MEET THE STANFORD STAFF:
|MICHELLE SCHWARTZ |
MICHELLE SCHWARTZ- Owner and director of the Stanford Dance Studio for the past 17 years. She was a member of the first Stanford Competition Team, becoming a Platinum and Gold medalist in tap, jazz, and lyrical.
She formed the youngest competition team in the history of the studio who went on to win First Place at Star Systems National Competition in Las Vegas. It is her unique choreography that continues to win 1stPlace, Platinum, Double Platinum’s and special awards in all divisions at regional and national competitions. Dance Explosion Competition awarded Michelle with the prestigious “Xcalibur Award” for the highest scoring dance performance of the day.
Last season “Baby I’m A Star” won a High Platinum and Platinum Award, a 1st place award & 6th place overall of the day also receiving a " Fan Favorite Award." Production routine Turbulence took home a High Platinum & 1st place award. Platinum Award, 3rd Place Overall & Special Judge Award "Most Entertaining" routine of the day. The team will go on to compete in Nationals in Atlantic City, NJ last summer.
Michelle also received the Choreographer’s Award at “On Stage” America Competition. Starpower, Turn It Up Dance Challenge, & Star Quest Regional Competition, her choreography for “Welcome To The Jungle” a high energy large group jazz production received Platinum & First place overall beating out hundreds of dance routines from the tri- state area, they were also granted cash prizes. Her team competed in a prestigious National Competition in Providence, RI where they were awarded prize money toward entry fees. Michelle's students came in 1st place overall and were awarded the Top Apogee Trophy as well as many other special awards.
Michelle auditioned with 200 women and was selected for a feature role in “Waiting in the Wings” starring Lea Salonga of Miss Saigon. She has judged major competitions in the Metropolitan Area. She has received a Certificate of Achievement while taking part in the Teacher’s Workshop with Frank Hatchett and many other renowned dance professionals at the prestigious Broadway Dance Center. Michelle is extremely proud to be owner and beyond proud of all of her students.
GREG SINACORI- Born and raised in New York City where he began his dance training at the Joe Stanford Dance Studio under the direction of Joe Stanford and Michael Solivan. He is a graduate of the prestigious LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts “The Fame School” and in 2004 received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance through the Alvin Ailey / Fordham University BFA program. He has recently completed his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. As a professional dancer, Sinacori has danced with Alvin Ailey's second company, Ailey II, under the direction of Sylvia Waters. Through Ailey II he was given the opportunity to perform, lecture and teach in numerous theaters and universities across the United States. He has also danced with The Parsons Dance Company, Fred Benjamin Dance Company, Heidi Latsky Dance and Battleworks, where he performed nationally and internationally including Italy, Brazil, Switzerland and Israel.
Sinacori was a finalist in the Young Arts competition sponsored by National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and has also received numerous awards for his choreography in and around New York City. His choreography credits include; assistant choreographer on The Backyardigans Live Tour, 2010 Nickelodeon Music Fest, episodes of Team Umi Zoomi, Dora The Explorer, Angelina Ballerina and a feature film, The Necklace. He is a motion-capture performer on the hit Nickelodeon series The Backyardigans as the animated dancing moose – Tyrone as well as Nick Jr’s newest Emmy award winning animated hit, The Bubbleguppies where he performs the movements for Gil, Goby and Nonny. He can be seen in The Music of Regret, a film directed by Laurie Simmons at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC starring Meryl Streep. Currently, Sinacori is on faculty at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts where he specializes in teaching the dance technique of Lester Horton. He is also on faculty at The Ailey School and Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts (EMIA). For the past three years Sinacori has also acted as assistant director of LaGaurdia’s dance department under the leadership of Michelle Mathesius. In 2015 he created the LaGuardia Dance Ensemble (LDE) where select students performed his choreography throughout Metropolitan Area.
TIFFANY DEFALCO - Studio manager and teacher at the studio. She is one of the instructors of the award winning competition team who has won the "Best Choreography Award," "Xcalibur Award," Double Platinum, Platinum and High Gold, Costume Award & Highest Score of the Day in major competitions. At Starbound Regional Competition her choreography for "Fuego" a high energy large group Latin jazz routine received First overall beating out hundreds of dance routines from the tri-state area, they were also granted cash prizes. The team competed in a prestigious National Competition at the Grand Hyatt in NYC where they were given Scholarship Awards toward workshops with top choreographers in the industry. She coordinates the Regional and National competitions. Tiffany currently teaches and choreographs jazz, tap, nursery, hip-hop and competition classes. She has judged for numerous prestigious competitions throughout the New York area. She also studies at the prestigious Broadway Dance Center.
FALLON WHITE- began her training, as a student, studying under Margaret Tapgona Gatzonis at Danceworks Dance Center, in Brooklyn, NY.
By age 15, she was training and choreographing, for competitive soloists and shortly after graduation Fallon, was named the director of recreational class operations at Danceworks. A graduate of LaGuardia High School, Fallon received training from the industry’s leading instructors in ballet and modern dance. Professionally, she has traveled as a dance ambassador, to Beijing, China in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. As well as choreographed for WKTU’s Summer Beatstock Productions at Jones Beach & PNC Bank Arts Center. Most recently Fallon works as an adjudicator for multiple dance & talent competitions on the east coast.
Teaching has always been Fallon’s passion. In 2008, Fallon, acquired Danceworks Dance Center from her mentor. Since then, she has worked, to expand the Danceworks brand, while, keeping root in the true essence of what makes the studio, stand apart from others. Her students and choreography are recognized, on a regional, as well as national level. Fallon has been interviewed and published in "Dance Spirit" magazine, as well as "Interview En l'air." Many of Fallon’s students have transitioned in to the professional field, dancing on stage with the Ailey Company, Lar Lubovitch Company and Metropolitan Ballet. They’ve also, danced & cheered for minor and major league NY sports teams, including the NY JETS. Fallon is excited at the merger of Stanford & Danceworks and believes it will be an amazing experience for all involved.
|JOELLE NICOLE MESSINA|
JOELLE NICOLE- began her training at Danceworks Dance Center in 1994. As her passion for dance grew she went on to attend & graduate from NYC’s premiere high school for the performing arts; LaGuardia High School of Music & Art & The Performing Arts. After high school, Joelle worked as a fellowship student at the one & only Ailey School in NYC where she had the honor of performing Ailey's "Memoria" alongside the Ailey Company for two consecutive seasons. Professionally, Joelle has traveled and danced with the SD Prism Dance Theater, DeMa Dance Company, Xhale Dance Company and Michael Susten & Company. She has performed works by: Milton Myers, Sidra Bell, Adam Barruch, Pedro Ruiz Jr, Sonia Dawkins, Yesid Lopez, Tyce Diorio, Tracie Stanfield, KC Castellano and Michael Susten.
Joelle has over 20 years of experience on the competition scene, as a competitor, choreographer and adjudicator. Her work is recognized everywhere she goes. Joelle was awarded the title of "Best Choreography" for her inspired contemporary piece, "500 Miles," in May 2017 & "The Rose" at On Stage America's 2017 Grand Nationals! Her students have been accepted to specialized junior high & high schools, such as, Mark Twain JHS & LaGuardia HS. She loves to share her love for dance with each and every student, while instilling quality technique.
ALEXANDRA LANDIVAR - Alexandra loves to spread her knowledge of dance and performance to the new generation of dancers. She has competed in local NY dance competitions since she was 15 years old, winning platinum, high gold, and gold. She was a member of the Archbishop Molloy H.S. Dance Team and choreographed many hip-hop and jazz routines for the Archbishop Molloy H.S. Dance Club. Alexandra has participated in the Rockette Experience, Tremaine Dance Conventions, CT & NY Salsa Congresses. She was a member of a Salsa On2 Dance Team, “Fusion’s Finest” & "Styling Gems". She was one of the couples chosen to represent NY Salsa on the Spanish telenovela, “Un Sueno Llamado Salsa (A Dream Called Salsa).” Currently, Alexandra is an instructor of a hip hop cardio based dance fitness class called The Vixen Workout in NYC. At Stanford Dance Studio, she teaches intermediate & advance hip hop and assists in advance lyrical and jazz. She is super proud of her students and always challenges them to be the best they can be.
LAUREN NIZZO- Lauren has been a proud member of the Stanford Dance family for the past 21 years. This is her sixth year on staff and her first year as a teacher. Lauren was part of Stanford Dance Studio's award winning Showstoppers Competition Team for two years and won many gold, high-gold and platinum awards. In 2015, Lauren assisted Michelle in choreographing the platinum and high-gold award winning "Welcome To The Jungle" for the Stanford Showstoppers. She was also part of the dance team at Archbishop Molloy High School and currently takes numerous classes at Broadway Dance Center.
ALEXANDRA LIGUORI- Alexandra has been a Stanford Student for the past 17 years. This is her first year being the office manager. Alexandra was an assistant teacher for 4 years teaching tap, ballet and hip hop classes at Stanford Dance Studio. She performed as a member of Stanford Dance Studio’s award winning competition since 2011. Her team received many awards such as 1st place in their category and many platinum awards. Alexandra and her team won platinum and high-gold in the award winning "Welcome to The Jungle" for the Stanford Showstoppers in the 2015-2016 season. She completed her senior year at St. Francis Preparatory High school in 2016. Alexandra just finished her second year at Molloy College to pursue her dream to be an Accountant. Alexandra loves her Stanford Family!
AMANDA PERALTA- Amanda began dancing at the age of 3 and graduated from LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts in 2015. She is a rising senior in the Ailey/Fordham BFA program and will be starting her Masters early in Childhood Education. Amanda has danced backup for freestyle artist such as Coro, Judy Torres and TKA, has been featured on “Good Day NY” and danced in NYC’s Halloween and Columbus Day Parades. She also interned for Parsons Dance Company where she had the opportunity to assist in Galas, fundraisers and educational outreach. Amanda has also worked with choreographers such as Greg Sinacori, Darrell Moultrie, Virginie Mecene, Chanel DaSilva and Greg Dolbashian. She is trained in Graham, Horton, Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz and Hip Hop. Amanda enjoys working with children and sharing her love of dance.
MARISA FINAZZO- Marisa began training at Danceworks Dance Center at the age of 3 under the direction of Fallon White. She graduated from Edward R. Murrow Highschool as a theater arts student and participated in many shows as a lead dancer and dance captain. Since graduation Marisa has danced as a Brooklyn Cyclones Beach Bum for two seasons, a Brooklyn Bolts cheerleader and a Westchester Knicks Dancer. Currently she is celebrating her second season as part of the NY Jets Flight Crew, dancing and cheering for the pro NY Jets.
ADAM ESPARZA- has been teaching gymnastics and Acro/Dance classes for 20 years. He has choreographed for tristate competitive Dance/Acro and national elite and USAIGC gymnastics teams. Adam began training as a gymnast at 7 years old and quickly developed a love for the sport and achieving new skills. During his gymnastic competition experience. He would perform at exhibitions to promote the Gym and coaches he trained with. This led to his experience in the entertainment industry eventually being signed with his agency Abrams Artists NYC. He has credits in TV, Film/Music Video as well as iTunes and radio releases as a recording artist. Aside the performing aspect of himself Adam has been working for the Department of Education for the past ten years and contracts Afterschool programs throughout the NYC area. Adam has created a unique teaching style to his Acrobatic classes based on his experience in the entertainment industry and the Department of Education. He is a certified fitness trainer through the I.S.S.A. (The International Sports and Science Association).
VICTORIA NIZZO- Victoria has been a proud member of the Stanford Dance family for many years. This is her first year on staff as an office assistant. Victoria attends Baruch College where she studies Finance and also takes numerous classes at Broadway Dance Center on her free time. Victoria is so excited to be part of the team and can't wait to see what this year has to bring!
STANFORD DANCE STUDIO
82-17 153rd Avenue
Howard Beach, NY 11414
Studio Phone: (718) 835-7563