Meet Our Instructors


Ms Sandra

Ms. Sandra began the study of Classical Ballet through the guidance of renowned Ballet Mistress Maria Cristina Garcia. Sandra Feliz was admitted to the National Theater of the Performing Arts in the Dominican Republic.  She further continued her training under Clara Elena Ramirez and graduated as a Classical Ballet Dancer.  Ms. Feliz then went onto become a member of the Dominican National Ballet Company.  During her career, Ms. Feliz had the privilege of studying under well known artists such as Michelle Bruel (France), Nelly Golovina (Bolshoi Ballet), Arthur Lecth, Phillip Jerry, Francisco Monocion (USA), Xenia Chilistowa (Arizona University Ballet), Armando Vilamil (Panama), Magda Corbett (Cuba), Pilar Espaillat, Juan Gautreaux, Carlos Veitia and Miriam Bello (Dominican Republic).  Sandra Feliz developed her career as a professional dancer as well as a teacher in several schools, including Ballet Academy Clara Elena Ramirez, Mariam Bello Arts Academy and Germania Pellerano Ballet Academy.  Many of Ms. Feliz’s choreography has received notable awards in competitions in the category of Ballet; furthermore, Sandra Feliz’s students have received notable awards in Dance Educators of America Ballet competition and the International Grand Prix.


Miss Maria Teresa

Ms. Maria Teresa began her dance training at the age of 9 in Yolanda's Academy of Music and Dance. After several years of hard work and dedication to the art of dance, Ms. Maria Teresa successfully met the requirements of Dance Educators of America's Medal Test Program and graduated from the academy in 2006. At the age of 12, she joined the Joffrey Ballet School and continued on to pursue a rigorous ballet training program there. Ms. Maria Teresa has competed in competitions such as; Dance Educators of America, Cathy Roe, and StarPower receiving various platinum medals, overall top score and scholarship awards. In addition, Maria Teresa has been accepted into renowned ballet schools such as: Nutmeg Conservatory of the Arts, Central Youth Pennsylvania Ballet, and The Kirov Ballet School, among others. At the age of 15, she was a finalist at the international ballet competition “Youth American Grand Prix”.  After two years of study at Alvin Ailey in pursuit of a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree, in 2009 Maria Teresa was invited to dance with world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre company for their 50th anniversary celebration.  Ms. Maria Teresa has a Masters degree in Education from Fordham University and continues to introduce dance to children of all ages.

 

Lauren Smith

Our guest artist, Lauren Smith, received her initial dance training in the styles of ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical/contemporary and hip hop at the Gloria Frances School of Performing Arts in Wayne, NJ. There, she became a member of the school’s elite competition dance team, The Dance Edition. As a member of this team, Lauren competed in numerous regional and national dance competitions and obtained overall high scores, awards and judges’ recognitions for precision, personality, and overall technical ability throughout her elementary, middle and high school dance career. During this time, her mentors included the studio owner and resident tap expert, Gloria Frances, as well as MTV VJ and hip hop artist, Thalia DaCosta. Upon entering the University of Richmond as a college freshman, Lauren was selected by audition to become a member of the company, University Dancers, directed by Myra Daleng and Anne Van Gelder. She trained over 20 hours a week in tap, ballet, modern, and jazz technique, and participated in the annual spring concert, Imagine, where she was chosen to perform 5 original pieces. In addition, she was selected to perform a modern dance piece, entitled [P]regress, in the American College Dance Festival (ACDFA) in Roanoke, VA that same year. After transferring to the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ, Lauren continued pursuing her passion for dance by becoming a senior company dance teacher and choreographer for Exposure Dance Studio in Staten Island, NY. For the past five years, she has worked closely with the studio owner and company director, Ms. Katie Philipps, in leading Exposure’s competition team to attaining overall high scores, special judges’ awards, medals and prizes on regional and national platforms. One of her proudest accomplishments as a dance instructor is receiving numerous awards for her choreography’s entertainment and performance quality.