Kate Truesdell is the Founder and Director of Greenwich Dance Studio, and 2011 recipient of the 40 Under 40 award for Leaders in Business from Fairfield County Business Journal. As a native of Riverside, CT Kate began teaching dance in the Greenwich area in 1995 and received her BFA in Dance from Emerson College. In 2004, Kate formed Greenwich Dance Studio and quickly established a strong following of local dancers. Now in its seventeenth year with over 400 students, Greenwich Dance Studio is a recognized leader in dance for children up to 18 years of age.
Zoje Azeke is a professional dancer currently signed to MSA New York. Under their representation he has had the privilege of working with clients including: Madonna, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Carrie Underwood, Joss Stone, Tommy Hilfiger, COACH, Monocler Grenoble, Nike, Puma, Lance Armstrong, Elle Magazine, America's Best Dance Crew, and ABC's The View; under the direction of choreographers including: Jermaine Browne, Luam Keflezgy, Luis Salgado, Noemie Lafrance and Sheryl Murakami. He is also the founder/artistic director of The Z.Lines Dance Initiative. Ehizoje loves to teach and is happy to be working with students all over New York and Connecticut.
Lauren Jaeger is a member of the Buglisi Dance Theatre (formerly Buglisi-Foreman Company). She has performed professionally with Ballet Ambassadors in NYC, and with James Robey Dance (formerly Bare Bones Dance Project) in Ridgefield, CT. Currently, Lauren is teaching at Peridance, The Manhattan Ballet School, The Steffi Nossen School of Dance in White Plains, and Center Stage in NJ. She is also an associate choreographer of the Danbury Music Centre's "Nutcracker" Ballet. Lauren also taught, and was the Assistant Choreographer of the Nutcracker, at the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance while attending college; and taught at Ballet Hispanico in 2008 - 2009.
Cara Milo began her study of classical ballet at the age of 5. At the age of 11, she began training at The Ballet Class of Rye under the tutelage of Lynne Stetson, a former member of The New York City Ballet. She also studied under David Howard and Elena Kunikova, among others, in New York City. While attending Fairfield University, Cara decided to pursue a career teaching ballet and was invited in 2004 to join the staff of The Ballet Class of Rye. Since the start of her teaching career, Cara has instructed students ranging in age from 3-18 years old in classical ballet.
Alison Ligi graduated from Springfield College in 2006 with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Psychology. Since graduating, Alison has gone on to teach in dance studios, educational programs and summer camps throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. She brings a versatile background, in jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical and hip-hop, and has experience teaching all age groups. As a dedicated dancer and choreographer, Alison continues to enhance her skills by taking master classes and dance intensives. We are thrilled to have Alison on staff at Greenwich Dance Studio as she has quickly become very popular among the students due to her energetic and encouraging approach to teaching.
Originally from the Washington DC area, Karla Garcia graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in dance. She's performed in the Broadway shows West Side Story and Hot Feet; and the First National Tours of Wicked and Addams Family. She was also in the top seven females of FOX's So You Think You Can Dance, Season 5. Karla was also a regular dancer on season 2 of NBC's SMASH. When not performing, Karla teaches at Broadway Dance Center and different dance studios around the country. She has showcased her choreography at Broadway Underground at B.B. King's in Times Square, the Joyce Theatre, BC Beat Showcase, and numerous dance competitions. She constantly strives for creative growth, as she combines influences from her technical background with different textures of contemporary, jazz, and hip-hop, and musical theater.
Julia Maggiola graduated Magna Cum Laude from New York University, and since graduation has become a professional choreographer and dance teacher. In addition to teaching dance, Julia is a film and TV actor and currently freelances with an agency and management team in NYC. A Connecticut native, Julia began dancing in her home town of Fairfield, and was lucky to continue studying dance and performing in many locations, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Florence, Italy. Julia has always had a passion for teaching and hopes to spread the joy and fulfillment that dance can bring to all the students she has the opportunity to have in her classes.
Alison Ingelstrom is an Idaho native. She received her BFA in Dance Performance from the accredited Chapman University in Orange, California. Since moving to New York, Alison has worked with choreographers such as Sonya Tayeh, Brooke Wendle, Jermaine Browne, Ricky Hinds, Brian Thomas, Jenn Freeman, Mike Esperanza, and Kellen Stancil. Her credits include Franco Dragone, Macy’s Front Row Fashion Show, NBC’s The Red Nose Day Dance-A-Thon, Live Nation’s New Years event 'Coco and The Vanity Vixens’ and was an assistant to Sonya Tayeh on Encores 'The Wild Party' and Art Emerson’s 'An Audience with Meow Meow, She has taught and assisted at studios throughout the country and dance conventions such as The Dance Sessions, Adrenaline, and 24seven. Alison is signed with BLOC New York and continue her dance education in New York by attending workshops like Rock the Industry with Luam Keflezgy and Spinkick dance intensives. Alison believes in a well-rounded and everlasting dance education.
Tyler Schnese grew up in Appleton, WI. After graduating from SUNY Purchase he joined the Hessisches Staatsballet in Wiesbaden/Darmstadt where he danced works by Alexander Ekman, Richard Siegal, Crystal Pite, Václav Kuneš, Cayetano Soto and Marcos Morau (La Veronal) among others. He received a nomination for the German Stage Prize (Der Faust) in 2016 for his interpretation of the title role in Tim Plegge’s Kaspar Hauser. Tyler is currently based in Brooklyn where he has danced with MeenMoves, MADBOOTS DANCE, and Gibney Dance Company where he was nominated for the Princess Grace Award in 2018. He is currently teaching in and around New York City at Gibney, SUNY Purchase and Greenwich Dance Studio.
Kayla Sohn, born and raised in Minnesota, started dancing at the age of 2. She grew up competing in jazz, lyrical, contemporary, ballet and clogging. She attended Gustavus Adolphus College where she graduated with a B.A. in Dance and Communication Studies. While attending Gustavus, Kayla was a captain of the Gustavus Dance Team and also performed in the Gustavus Dance Company. After college, Kayla went on to dance professionally for the past 8 years. Most recently she was a two-year captain, 2019 MVC of the year and 2019 Pro Bowl Cheerleader with the Minnesota Vikings. With the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders, Kayla had the opportunity to travel and dance on six different trips including London, Mexico, Canada, and various military bases. She also danced in Super Bowl LII. The past ten years Kayla has continued to share her passion by teaching at a studio in Minnesota. Kayla is new to the east coast and excited to be a part of the management and teaching team at Greenwich Dance Studio.
Mary Speed is a Connecticut-based dance artist from Jacksonville, Florida. She trained at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and continued her studies at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, where she received her BFA in Dance Performance in 2018. Over the Years Mary performed works by master choreographers such as George Balanchine, Doug Varone, and Kyle Abraham, among others. Post-graduation, Mary has worked as a freelance artist, performing in a variety of work. Most recently, she has performed at St Mark’s Church, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Lincoln Center Plaza, The Theater at Gibney 280 Broadway, and New York Live Arts. Alongside her performing career, Mary is a Ballet instructor at Greenwich Dance Studio, and a fitness coach at Pure Barre Greenwich. She continues to teach, perform, and create work throughout the tri-state area.
Born and raised in Long Beach California, Jimmy Stuart began his path in dance under the guidance of some of the most sought after teachers and choreographers in the industry. Most notably under the teachings and training of internationally recognized master instructor, Paula Morgan. His journey with dance has allowed him to travel the country choreographing and teaching at countless workshops, master classes, and conventions, as well as perform on television, in theater, and in multiple other venues. Select credits include The Dirty Dancing National Tour, where he understudied the role of Johnny Castle, originally performed by the late Patrick Swayze, the world premier of “Seeing You,” an immersive theater piece created by Randy Weiner and Ryan Heffington, and performing with Derek and Julianne Hough on Good Morning America to name a few. With a heavy focus on musicality and movement quality, Jimmy’s class provides a challenging but safe environment to explore one’s personal ability as well as define a strong sense of individuality through movement.
Kelsey Donovan is currently studying at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, where she will receive her BFA in dance. In addition to being a proud GDS alumni, her recent training includes the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Summer Program, BODYTRAFFIC, Peridance BLUEPRINT, the Rockette Summer Intensive, and the Ailey School. She has also performed works by Dexandro “D” Montalvo, Ting Ting Chang, Christine O’Neal, and Dana Tai Soon Burgess, as well as had the opportunity to train under Antonio and Kirven Douthit-Boyd, Rose Moye, and Karla Garcia, among others. Upon graduation from the Conservatory, Kelsey will pursue a professional dance career.
Darius Barnes, formerly with the New York City Ballet, is a freelance dancer/choreographer in NYC. His most recent credits include the 1st Nat’l tour of Memphis, NBC's SMASH, and NYC workshops of “Superfly” the Musical with Bill T. Jones. He was also in the Broadway company of the Tony Award-winning musical, Memphis, where he made both his Broadway and Principal debut. Darius studied at various schools in Baltimore and attended Baltimore School for The Arts until his acceptance at the School of American Ballet in 2004. On full scholarship at the School of American Ballet, Darius received the Rudolf Nureyev Scholarship, the Estelle Dennis Scholarship and performed annually in the School of American Ballet Spring Workshops. In 2007, he was offered an apprenticeship with the New York City Ballet, and joined the corps de ballet 2008. In 2010 he joined Suzanne Farrell Ballet. Darius began choreographing during his summer apprenticeship with the Chautauqua Company and presented at SAB’s Choreography Workshop in 2007. Since then, he’s created several works and was asked to participate in the 2007, 08, & 09 spring & summer sessions of the New York Choreographic Institute. He participated in the 2010 New York Choreographic Institute’s 10th anniversary celebration, creating a work on the New York City Ballet for the occasion.
Penelope Armstead-Williams is a dancer and choreographer who has danced nationally and internationally with Philadanco (dir. Joan Meyers Brown), nathantriceRITUALS, Tania Isaac Dance, Urban Bush Women, LaMazing and the AudioSuite collective, and Loco7 Puppet Theatre. Musical theatre credits include the 1st National Tour and San Francisco Company of Wicked, and Anita in El Paso Opera's production of West Side Story. Greenwich Dance Studio is thrilled to have Penelope as part of its teaching team.