Miss Michelle Strauss: Michelle began her dance training as a pre-schooler, and continued throughout high school at the Geri Blyer School of Dance in Metuchen. She was accepted into the Arts High program for Modern Dance in 1995 and went on to participate in dance classes and performances at Montclair State University, Rutgers University, Newark Community School of the Arts and various festivals throughout the state. Michelle taught a variety of disciplines and directed plays at Miss Dawn's Studio of Dance from 2000-2010 before opening Strauss Performing Arts in 2010. Now in it's sixth season, the studio has grown tremendously and is very active in community events. Michelle is a certified ballet instructor of the Associated Dance Teachers of New Jersey, and continues to take master classes and professional development workshops in all areas of dance.
Miss Dawn Hackler: Miss Dawn has been dancing for 35 years, beginning her training at age 3. During her career she has studied and taught all genres of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe and acrobatics. Dawn has experience teaching all levels and styles of dance to students aging 2-18. She is certified under Christopher National Dance Teacher Seminars, directed by Robert Sean Christopher, who worked under dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey. Dawn has also studied Acrobatics under Charles Kelly, a master Acrobatics instructor. Miss Dawn is a licensed cosmetologist with vast experience in stage performance make-up artistry. She is also a professionally trained vocalist who auditioned for Season 11 of American Idol, and was one of 123 contestants to survive two rounds of auditions out of 7000! Miss Dawn is excited to share her love of Acro with the students at Strauss Performing Arts.
Miss Casandra Dent: Cassie started dancing at age 4 at Yvonnes School of Dance in edison. From there she went to Star Essence where she took a full range of classes and participated in various competitions. Cassie then came to Miss Dawn's in 2003 and found her home. She had been assisting in classes for three years, and began teaching when we transitioned to Strauss Performing Arts in 2010. Miss Cassie continues to train by taking various workshops and master classes.
Miss Catherine Satterthwaite: Catherine began her dance training at Miss Ruth's School of Dance in Fords where she focused on ballet, jazz, pointe and lyrical. She taught ballet, lyrical, jazz and tap at Miss Dawn's Studio of Dance for 10 years, where she also directed plays for 'Kids in Production'. She performed in both Cabaret and Jekyl and Hyde for Plays in the Park, and danced in two seasons of Dance in the Park.
Her resume also includes performances in the Westfield Community Players production of "Jerry's Girls", and dancing at the halftime show of the Florida Citrus Bowl. Catherine next
taught ballet, jazz and lyrical at Dance Factor in Fords for three years, where she was also head of their Dance Team. We are so excited to welcome her to our staff! She will be teaching Intermediate Jazz in the fall.
Miss Kelly Farley: Kelly has been dancing for 22 years and began at Dance Dimension in North Brunswick. She has been in regional competitions since the age of 5. She won a title for her tap solo at the age of 13, and numerous awards for tap, jazz, and lyrical group numbers. Kelly is an MCC Alumni, who graduated in 2010 with a L.A. Education degree. She then transferred to Rowan University, graduating in 2013, with a dual major in Elementary Education and Liberal Arts: Mathematics & Geography. She has performed in nine MCCDE shows and had the honor of choreographing six of them. Kelly has been part of the dance company, Artistic Visions, for the past three years for which she has performed and choreographed.
Miss Jackie Raviola: Jackie has been dancing for 24 years. She began dancing at Linda Jandoli’s Dance Studio in Monroe, and then continued her studies at The Dance Carousel in Spotswood where she took a full range of classes and participated in various competitions and performances. Jackie is a graduate of Montclair State University where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and minored in Dance. Jackie has been teaching at The Dance Carousel for the past 9 years. She loves to watch the students progress and build confidence as they work towards learning new material and choreography! Jackie continues to take master classes and professional development workshops in all areas of dance. She is ecstatic to become part of the Strauss Performing Arts family!