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Jill holds a master's degree from Columbia University and believes that life-long learning is key to success as a dance educator.  Her goal is to train students who will not only be successful in dance, but successful in life.  Jill was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Edison Township.

Q: Starbucks or Dunkin? Do you have a go to order?

I love both but my current favorite is Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream!

Q: What is your favorite dance memory?

Growing up, my dance school was walking distance from my house. I spent all my free time there hanging out. I wanted to create a studio that was just as special to our students. That's why we always talk about our JJDA family because the studio is home for so many kids!

JILL JUSTIN

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Jen is a full-time faculty member and the Principal Choreographer of the JJDA Company.  Her dances have won national championships and numerous choreography awards.  Jen choreographed the music video Snowglobe by the artist Owel and has taught master classes up and down the east coast.

Q: What do you listen to on the way to the studio?

I listen to my favorite podcasts - "Armchair Expert" and "SuperSoul Conversations"

Q: What is your favorite dance memory?

I love hanging out with our dancers during long breaks at competitions. We play games and laugh a lot. 

JENNIFER IZZI

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Aanyse earned a BFA in Dance from Rutgers University.  She has performed both internationally and at such renowned locations as The Joyce Theater in NYC.  Aanyse is a graduate of The Jill Justin Dance Alliance and leads Acro for Dance technique program.

Q: Starbucks or Dunkin? Do you have a go to order?

Dunkin! In the summer I always get a medium caramel iced machiatto and in the fall/winter always a large hot tea with lemon and two honey packets or a large dark roast coffee with three sugars.

Q: Do you have a hidden talent?

When I was younger I was a contortionist and I can still do some of the tricks. I also know and speak a little Mandarin. 

AANYSE CHANDLER

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As a young dancer, Michayla received a full merit scholarship to the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, FL. She trained at The Rock School and The Boston Ballet before completing her degree with a minor in Dance Performance and Education. Michayla danced with the Joffrey Ballet in NYC before turning her love of performing into a passion for teaching dance.

Q: Do you have a hidden talent?

Yes! I can twist both of my arms all way around!

Q: What is your favorite dance memory?

One time I was taking class at Steps on Broadway and Julie Kent was also taking class. She told me I had pretty feet! Another favorite memory was getting accepted into the Harid Conservatory even though I fell flat on my face in the audition!

MICHAYLA DUNNE

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Toby has studied with Tap masters such as Gregory Hines and Savion Glover.  Toby toured the world in the show Riverdance for five years.  He has won awards such as top soloist of NJ, Mr. Dance America, NAACP National Talent Award and the Dance Theatre of Harlem's scholarship.

Q: Starbucks or Dunkin? Do you have a go to order?

Starbucks Mocha Frapp with a shot of espresso

Q: What is your favorite dance memory?

On the day I was hired at JJDA my daughter took her first steps in the studio lobby.

TOBY HARRIS

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Laura received a masters degree in dance from Florida State University and a BA in Dramatic Arts with a concentration in dance from Dickinson College.  Laura has taught and choreographed at colleges, universities and ballet academies throughout the country.

Q: Starbucks or Dunkin? Do you have a go to order?

Dunkin latte with almond milk and a shot of toasted almond

Q: What is your favorite dance memory?

When I was 13, I was told to learn Snow and Flowers. I was ecstatic to be understudying such grown up roles. When I arrived for rehearsal I was told to go into the Senior Company room. As I finally realized, I had been moved to Senior Co (usually ages 16 and older) and I actually got to perform Snow and Flowers.

LAURA KEYS

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Calen is the founder and Artistic Director of Pushing Progress Contemporary Dance Company.  Calen has been on faculty at Broadway Dance Center and Peridance in NYC.  Calen also traveled the country as an adjudicator for a national talent competition.

Q: What do you listen to in the car on your way to the studio?

Depends on my mood. Any music I’m choreographing to, Banks, Taylor Swift, Waitress The Musical Broadway Soundtrack, The Radio

Q: Do you have a hidden talent?

Nothing I would call a hidden talent. I play the piano, draw, sing, and COOK

CALEN KURKA

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Jessica has a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and an associates degree in Performing Arts and Dance.  She has been teaching children the love of dance since 1991.  Jessica studied at The Ailey School and has a Creative Movement Certification from the Dance Education Laboratory.

Q: Do you have a hidden talent?

I like to bake cookies.

Q: What is your favorite dance memory?

I used to teach at Kids Bay Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx, the same place where Jennifer Lopez would attend. When her album "On the 6" came out, she went back for a visit and a concert. I was there. I remember feeling so proud to teach where JLo once danced.

JESSICA LINTON

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Carly began her teaching career as an assistant in the JJDA teacher training program.  In addition to performing as a member of the JJDA Dance Company, she assisted classes and trained in the teaching methodology of our top instructors.  Carly's love of children shows in every class.

Q: Do you have a hidden talent?

I play the guitar and piano. I'm self taught!

Q: What is your favorite dance memory?

Winning the victory cup with the JJDA Company for "Fashionista" at nationals in Connecticut.

CARLY POPPE

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Felicia appeared on the MTV hit show America's Best Dance Crew with the group SASSx7.  Felicia danced for the NJ Devils and the Rutgers Dance Team.  She appeared as a model in Dance Spirit magazine and in a variety of television shows, commercials and a music video for Kelly Clarkson.

Q: Do you have a hidden talent?

I can do handstand push-ups...on a wall of course!

Q: What is your favorite dance memory?

Dancing at the infamous Rutgers vs. Louisville game with the Rutgers Dance Team. ICONIC!!!

FELICIA REMBERT

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Devin is an accomplished tap dancer who performed in Maurice Hines’ off-Broadway show Tappin’ Thru Life.  She was a member of the Tap City Youth Ensemble and performed improv at the Smalls Jazz Club in NYC.  Devin was featured in Dance Spirit Magazine in their "You Should Know" section.

Q: Do you have a hidden talent?

I was a varsity track athlete (hurdles/mid-distance) and I can recite 200 digits of pi (I don't know why lol).

Q: What is your favorite dance memory?

My favorite movie growing up was White Nights with Mikhail Baryshnikov & Gregory Hines. When I was 16, I was selected by Baryshnikov to perform in a show that he directed. The next year I was in an off-Broadway show with Maurice Hines (Gregory's brother).

DEVIN RUTH

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Eileen had a successful career with The JJDA Dance Company, winning numerous high-profile awards. She has since toured as an apprentice with Wild dance convention and danced in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade. Eileen trained in the JJDA Assistant Teacher Program and has worked with our JJDA dancers for many years.

Q: Do you have a hidden talent?

I can say all 50 states in alphabetical order in under 20 seconds.

Q: What is your favorite dance memory?

My favorite dance memory is winning Miss Dance America of NJ for Revolution two years in a row.

EILEEN SALVATO

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Stephanie trained under some of the country's top instructors as a member of the national award winning JJDA Hip Hop Company.  Stephanie choreographed and starred in several music videos by up and coming artists. Her choreography has won many high score awards at competition.

Q: Starbucks or Dunkin? Do you have a go to order?

Starbucks! I go every single day and order an iced coffee even in the winter. Most days they have it ready for me as I walk in.

Q: What is your favorite dance memory?

My all time favorite JJDA memory was when our studio won the highest scoring studio at Dance Xplosion and the dance I choreographed won the highest scoring group routine of the whole competition!

STEPHANIE WNEK

In Addition to Our Faculty, These Amazing Master Teachers Have Taught & Choreographed At JJDA:

Chaz Buzan

Cat Cogliandro

Tash Crudup

Marinda Davis

Marguerite Derricks

Tabitha & Napoleon

Talia Favia

Karla Garcia

Tawney Giles

Emily Greenwell

Tre Holloway

Finis Jhung

Scott Jovovich

Chuck Maldonado

Mia Michaels

Martha Nichols

Mark Orsborn

Jalen Preston

Eric Stretch

Amy Shulke

Teddy Tedholm

Jason Williams

Hannah Wintrode

© 2017 by The Jill Justin Dance Alliance              

Dancer photos courtesy of Something New Studios

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