Faculty & Staff

Meet the 2018 - 2019 school year faculty & staff of North Jersey School of Dance Arts

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Ashley Feyrer

Co-Owner/Co-Director

Contemporary & Jazz

Ashley Feyrer was born and bred in New Jersey and received her dancing training at NJSDA from Christine Taylor and Luba Gulyaeva.  She also attended programs at Princeton Dance Theatre and Broadway Dance Center.  Summer programs include scholarship to Point Park University. 

An original company member of New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet, Ashley has performed principle roles in the Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf and La Jeunesse.  She has worked with Geoffrey Doig-Marx, Mark Morris, Kiki Lucas and Jennifer Deckert and has performed in a number of dance festivals including 2010 American College Dance Gala, Women in Dance-Alvin Ailey, Dumbo White Wave and West Fest Dance Festival.   

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Alex Thorpe

Co-Owner/Co-Director

Ballet, Pilates & Yoga

Alexandra Thorpe received her early dance training from NJSDA under the direction of Christine Taylor and was a founding member of the New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet. She attended numerous summer intensives including Cedar Islands with Suzanne Farrell, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, New Jersey Ballet, and David Parsons Summer Intensive. In May 2009, Ms. Thorpe graduated cum laude from Butler University with a BA in Dance Pedagogy. While at Butler, she danced corps and soloist roles in Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Giselle, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, and Balanchine’s Serenade. After graduating from Butler, Ms. Thorpe danced and worked with various contemporary ballet companies including Insight Dance Company, Nimbus Dance Works, and the Kennedy Dancers. Along with her dance training, Ms. Thorpe is certified in Pilates and Yoga.


Vanessa Falzarano

ballet & Musical theater

Vanessa is so excited to begin teaching this year at North Jersey School of Dance Arts. She is a senior at Warren Hills regional high school and has been performing for about 14 years now. She takes ballet, pointe, and jazz but has also tried many other styles in the past.

She has been in numerous shows including Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Pinocchio, Wizard of Oz, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Nutcracker, Coppelia, The Tales of Beatrix Potter, Peter and the Wolf, La Boutique Fantastique, Fiddler on the Roof, Farce of Habit, How to Succeed in Business Without really Trying, and Fairy Doll.

In 2018, she was nominated for a Freddy Award for her performance as Hedy LaRue in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in the category: Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. She has been dancing with NJSDA since she was two and a half and has been a part of the NEW Jersey Civic Youth Ballet since 2008. She loves dancing and ballet and hopes to join a professional company after high school.

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Shanna Heverly Hingel

Ballet & jazz

Born in Colorado, yet raised in NJ, Shanna received her initial dance training at NJSDA under the instruction of Christine Taylor and Luba Gulyeava . Shanna was an original company member of the NJCYB!  She received her BFA in Dance with a minor in ballet pedagogy at The Boston Conservatory. While in Boston, she also was a principal ballet dancer with the company Ballet Rox and found her love for musical theater while performing in regional houses there. Although, she continued to freelance with various companies, Shanna then shifted her focus full time into the musical theater world where she performed in the Broadway National Tour of CATS, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, White Christmas, Grease, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Beauty and the Beast, 42nd Street, Singin’ in the Rain, Swing, Annie Get Your Gun and Carousel. She also has had the privilege performing as a back up dancer for Ne-Yo, as well as appearing in various music videos and commercials. As a teacher, Shanna is extremely passionate about not only passing on her love for dance, but instilling clean, correct technique in her students, while building the confidence and grace needed to perform and thrive in or out of the performance world.  


Samantha Johnson

Tap

Sam began dancing at NJSDA in 2004 when she was in kindergarten and continued until the present day! Throughout her time at NJSDA, she has taken classes in all dance styles, but mostly rhythmic, rockette, and contemporary tap.

She has danced the roles of the Dormouse and John Pillar in North Jersey’s productions of Alice in Wonderland. In the fall of 2017, she began teaching her own tap classes at NJSDA. Sam choreographed and performed a tap dance that appeared in her high school’s marching band show in 2013.

She also played saxophone in her high school’s jazz band and pit orchestra playing in shows such as Shrek and 42nd Street. She recently attended Jersey Tap Fest in the summer of 2018. Sam currently attends Centenary University majoring in Environmental Science. 

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Sean Kelly

ballet

SEAN WAS A PRINCIPAL DANCER WITH HOUSTON BALLET FOR MANY YEARS, WHERE HE EVENTUALLY BECAME THE BALLET MASTER.  HE DANCED LEAD ROLES IN MANY CLASSICAL BALLETS LIKE SWAN LAKE, GISELLE, SLEEPING BEAUTY AND THE NUTCRACKER TO NAME A FEW. MOST RECENTLY HE WAS THE RESIDENT DIRECTOR/ASSOCIATE CHOREOGRAPHER FOR BROADWAY SHOW AND NATIONAL TOUR FOR AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. HIS OTHER THEATER CREDITS INCLUDE BILLY ELLIOT, MOVING OUT, AND SWING.


Alison Levenberg

rockette tap


ALISON LEVENBERG is originally from England where she trained professionally at the Doreen Bird College of performing Arts (now Bird College), London, graduating with Distinction, where she also gained teaching qualifications in the nationally taught I.S.T.D. syllabus

Alison was the Associate Choreographer for the UK Tour of Billy Elliot and was also the Resident Choreographer for the second US National Tour of Billy Elliot.  She has performed on Broadway as Dance Captain/Swing in Billy Elliot and in the ensemble of “42nd St” The Revival.  Alison also appeared in the world premiere of “Gershwin’s An American in Paris”, Alley Theatre, Houston TX, and was a Rockette in the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” in New York from 2005-2011.

She can also be seen in the movie “The Producers” featured as a ‘Tapping Brown Shirt’ in “Springtime for Hitler”, a ‘Pearl Girl’ and ‘Little Old Lady’. Regionally, Alison has performed at Pittsburgh CLO, her favorite shows there include “The Who’s Tommy”, “White Christmas” and “Cats”. PCLO awarded Alison ‘The Julia Deberson Award for Outstanding Ensemble Member’, and was Dance Captain there for six productions. She has also toured the US and Worldwide venues with “Spirit of the Dance” as ‘The Temptress’.

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Emmanuel Martirosyan 

Ballet 

Emmanuel Martirosyan graduated from " The Yerevan state choreographic college”  in Armenia. While studying Emmanuel had an apprenticeship at the “ Armenian National Ballet Theater.  After graduation he attended the '' Joffrey Ballet school '' in NYC on a full scholarship.  In 2014, he placed second at the Ballet Competition in Russia, also was a top 5 finalist at " World Ballet Competition'' 2018. In 2016 he joined " New Jersey Ballet Company'' and has performed several soloist roles. Mr. Emmanuel has also guested around NJ as a principal dancer,  and also was actor in numerous television series on Armenian Television. 



Cari Sanchez

musical theater & jazz

Cari Sanchez is a born and raised Jersey girl and a graduate of Montclair State University's Theatre Program. With a vast musical theatre background she has performed in productions such as Footloose, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Crazy for You, Parade,Tommy, Bye Bye Birdie, Peter Pan, Shrek, Pippin, Elf, and the list goes on.

Cari recently returned home after 5 years working with Norwegian Cruise Line as a principal Vocalist/Dancer on various ships around the world including the Norwegian Getaway where she originated the role of Elle/Margot in Legally Blonde the Musical at sea. She also performed as the principal vocalist for the famous, world-wide ballroom sensation Burn the Floor.

Cari is currently a full time mom and is thrilled to be on the faculty at NJSDA!

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Erin Usawicz

Ballet

Erin Usawicz studied as a scholarship student in the Young Dancers Program at Ballet Theatre of Boston (now Jose Matteo Ballet Theater). After graduating from the program she apprenticed with the company, later dancing with the corps de ballet in productions such as: the Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Giselle as well as various contemporary works choreographed by Jose Matteo. After dancing with Ballet Theater, Erin moved to Brooklyn, NY and studied Fashion Design at Pratt Institute. While at Pratt, Erin studied ballet at Broadway Dance Center with Finis Jhung. Erin continued her studies at Mason gross School of the Arts where she earned a BFA in Fine Art Photography. Erin currently is a full time professional photographer and teaches ballet at Centenary University as well as NJSDA. She lives in Hackettstown with her husband, two young sons and her dog, Billy.