Faculty

Artistic Directors

RANDY (KRAVITZ) ELMAN

Randy is the Creator and Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Conservatory. At 5 years old, Randy began her performing career as she sang in the Catskills with her parents Esther and Howard Kravitz (who were both Julliard graduates). Growing up, she sang with the Howard Kay Orchestra and performed in countless shows along side such notables as Jeff Blumenkrantz (How to Succeed, Damn Yankees, Into the Woods), Robert Downey Jr. (Chaplin, Iron Man), Todd Graff (Baby, Camp), casting director Marc Saks (The Good Wife, Person of Interest, 3x Emmy Award Nominee), Jill Geddes (Evita, Disney, Into the Woods), and many others.

 

She is professionally and personally proud of her students who have gone on to performing careers on Broadway, T.V., and Music as well as those who have become Agents, Managers, Directors, Teachers, Musicians, Writers, and Producers. Former students include: Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire,Dawson’s Creek), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserable, Devil Wears Prada), Cathy Trein (Hair,Grease, Gypsy), Nicole Leach (Fame, Shining Time Station), Alison Maloof and Samantha Stoller (Agents at Abrams Artist Agency), Megan Dryfuss (Mama Mia), Brandon Uranowitz -Tony Nominee-(American in Paris, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,Falsettos, Baby it’s You), Amy Englehardt (Grammy nominated band The Bobs), and Kathryn Alison (Aladdin) just to name a few.

 

From 1985 through 2009, Randy served as Artistic Director for Performers Theatre Workshop, a performing arts school for young people. There, she developed a thorough and well-rounded training program geared toward creating the quintessential performer. In addition to over-seeing a dynamic core curriculum, she incorporated guest artists and special workshops to continually challenge students.

 

As an instructor, she has taught song interpretation, voice, tap dance, theatre dance, and audition technique. She has served variously as producer, director, and choreographer for both cabaret shows and book musicals. Additionally, she has been a judge for the Papermill Playhouse Rising Star Awards. Her own background as a child performer makes her keenly sensitive to the needs and concerns of young performers. Her guiding ambition is to pass on her love and passion for the theatre to young performers so that they may take the skills they have learned and use them throughout their lives.

MARY BRIENZA AEA • WGAE • ASCAP

Writing credits include co-creator, co-writer, and principal songwriter for The Chalks, The Chalks Television Project for Lifetime Television and Big Ticket Entertainment, the comic monologue collection A Woman Possessed, special material for the dance theatre piece Dance, Dialogue, Reflections, co-writer for the sketch comedy show Girl Talk, web content for thechalks.com, and contributing writer and songwriter for the satiric political cabaret series, The Thalia Follies, at Symphony Space. She shares book, music and lyric writing credits for the musical The Chalks: An American Family In 3 Chords which was the recipient of a grant from the Lucille Lortell Foundation as well as Holidays with The Chalks at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre.

 

Performance credits include Leave It To Me (Off Broadway), Dance Dialogue Reflections with the A&G Dance Company (Dance Theatre Workshop), guest appearance with Jump Rhythm Jazz Project (Kaye Playhouse), the solo comedy A Woman Possessed, the sketch comedy trio Girl Talk, as well as productions of 42nd Street, My One & Only, and Mame. At Symphony Space she has appeared in Wall-To-Wall Cole Porter, Wall-To-Wall Broadway, Bloomsday On Broadway, Helpers (Thalia Reading Series), and is a recurring cast member of the political cabaret series The Thalia Follies. For the past 12 years she has appeared extensively as her songwriting alter ego Judeen Chalk of the country music sister act The Chalks, and has been seen and heard on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, radio markets across the U.S. as well as Belgium, Sweden and Guam, and stages throughout the country.

 

As an educator, she is a respected teacher of tap dance, jazz, and theatre dance at levels novice through professional. She has served on the faculty for Broadway Dance Center, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Jacque D’Amboise’s National Dance Institute, and American Theatre Dance Workshop. She has taught throughout the country for Dance Educators of America, Dance Masters of America, and Robert Christopher’s Dance Teachers Seminars. She is currently an adjunct teacher and choreographer for New York City’s High School for Performing Arts.

 

As an educator, she is a respected teacher of tap dance, jazz, and theatre dance at levels novice through professional. She has served on the faculty for Broadway Dance Center, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Jacque D’Amboise’s National Dance Institute, and American Theatre Dance Workshop. She has taught throughout the country for Dance Educators of America, Dance Masters of America, and Robert Christopher’s Dance Teachers Seminars. She is currently an adjunct teacher and choreographer for New York City’s High School for Performing Arts.

Stephen Purdy  Song Interpretation • Voice  Musical Direction

Stephen Purdy is the director of the American Musical Theatre Academy of New York and Artist-in-Residence at AMTA London. He is known as the author of the book "Musical Theatre Song: A Comprehensive Course" published by Bloomsbury and available at Bookstores online and everywhere. He is the founder of The New York Vocal Coaching Studio and spent many years on musical theatre faculty at Marymount Manhattan College and other higher education institutions. His students have been cast in the Broadway and touring companies of virtually every majoy Broadway musical in the last 15 years including WICKED, KINKY BOOTS, THE LION KING, JERSEY BOYS, BILLY ELLIOT, IN THE HEIGHTS, HAIRSPRAY, AVANUE Q and many others. His credits include musical director and conductor of a number of Broadway, off-Broadway, National and European tours and he regularly gives master classes and worships at universities and arts institutions throughout the US and around the globe.

Acting • Stage Combat

Rachel Black Spaulding  AEA • SAG/AFTRA

Rachel’s performance career spans Broadway, Off Broadway, regional theatre, summer stock, and film. She has shared the stage and screen with such luminaries asRoger Daltrey, Barbara Cook, Hal Linden, Roddy McDowall, Tony Randall, Chita Rivera, Frances Sternhagen, Jennifer Tilly, Ben Vereen, and more. She has had the privilege to work with numerous renowned directors including Woody Allen, Susan Stroman, the late Mike Ockrent, Graciele Daniele, and Gordon Hunt.

 

After taking a career hiatus to start a family, Rachel recently stepped back on stage as Vita in Eileen Atkin’s Vita and Virginia at Luna Stage to rave reviews! Other favorite productions and roles include: Broadway’s A Christmas Carol (Mrs. Cratchit),Shmulnik’s Waltz (Feyla), Troylus and Cressida (Andromache), The Mandrake(Lucrezia), Damn Yankees (Lola), A Chorus Line (Val), Oklahoma! (Laurie), The Land of Dreams (Helen), Rags (Rosa), the movie Bullets Over Broadway (Three Deuces Girl) among others.

 

Additionally, Rachel currently serves in the Literary Association at Luna Stage. There she works with the Director of Play Development evaluating incoming script submissions, providing input to create each season, and working directly with playwrights on new scripts in both acting and directing capacities.

 

Rachel has studied with some of the most lauded teachers in the industry includingWilliam Esper (Two-year Meisner Program), John Basil (Shakespeare), the latePierre LeFevre (Masks), Fay Simpson (actor’s movement/Yale Faculty), and Bruce Kolb (voice). She began a BFA at SUNY Purchase, left to work professionally, and then completed her degree by earning a BA in Theatre with honors from State University of New York Empire.

 

Throughout her career, Rachel has also worked as an instructor teaching and coaching acting and voice in private and educational settings. She loves sharing her passion for and teaching the craft of theatre!

Steven Ted Beckler  AEA

BROADWAY credits: The Most Happy Fella – Lincoln Center (Pasqualle standby), Beauty and the Beast (Wed. matinees Gaston, Beast understudy). NATIONAL TOURS: Original Cast of The Producers – Las Vegas Co. (Max, Roger , and Franz understudy),Radio City Christmas Spectacular – The Grand Ole Opry (Santa Claus), The Producers – Leo Co. (Franz & Roger understudy), Beauty and the Beast – Los Angeles (Beast Standby, Gaston understudy). OFF BROADWAY: Tovarich – The Vital Theatre, Little Kit – The Vineyard Theatre. REGIONAL: Over 30 musicals across the country. TV/FILM & several national COMMERCIALS. House of Cards.

Vocal Technique • Co- Musical Director

Hanne Ladefoged-Dollase

Danish born, Hanne Ladefoged-Dollase, is a sought-after singer, teacher and lecturer in New Jersey, who has taught voice for 23 years on both sides of the Atlantic. She has been on the Voice faculty of the Ridgewood Conservatory since 2004, and has been affiliated with the Bergen Academies as a voice coach since 2005. Her students have been accepted at prestigious voice programs, such as Manhattan School of Music, NYU, Michigan State, UCLA, Westminster Choir College, among others, and regularly perform at celebrated venues like Lincoln Center, NJPAC, The Stone Pony, The Bitter End, as well as with various opera companies.

 

In Seattle she was the artist-in-residence at several performing arts high schools, and served as voice coach and musical director on an array of musicals. In addition to a busy performing career, she was also the director of previews for the Seattle Opera Guild and lectured and sang with Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program for several seasons. In the New York area she has served as musical director for Pippin (Bergen Academies)Fame, Grease (Acting-A-Part) and Into the Woods (Lead Pac).

 

As a performer, Hanne enjoys a multi-faceted career as a recital, oratorio and opera singer that has taken her as far as Europe and as close as Carnegie Hall. Recent roles include the Goddess Erda (Das Reingold) the title character in Julius Cesar, and Marcellina(Marriage of Figaro), as well as premiering new opera works. . She especially enjoys performing with her own group, Beowulf Consort, a chamber ensemble that tells stories through music.

Musical Direction

Eddie Guttman

Born and bred in NYC, Eddie Guttman has been music directing in the theater for over 30 years. These productions include: The Book of Merman (starring Tony Award Nominees Carolee Carmelo and Max Von Essen, and Emmy Award Winner Penny Fuller), the BEAT Gala honoring Jimmy Smits (featuring Tony Award Winner Billy Porter, Eden Espinosa and Kimiko Glenn), The Irish Rep’s Off Broadway productions of Peg Of My Heart and A Celtic Christmas, as well as Montclair State University’s most recent production of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Other recent productions include: The Music Man, Little Women, The Last Five Years, Guys & Dolls, and William Finn’s Elegies. He also served as Associate Conductor of the Broadway-aimed workshop of Sugar Babies (starring Tony Award Nominees Michael McGrath and Beth Leavel). 

 

As a pianist, Eddie has performed all over the world - from Prague and Berlin to Papermill Playhouse, Lincoln Center (where he served as the pianist for The Meet The Artist Series for over a decade) and CBGB’s.  He loves working with singers - as an accompanist, a voice teacher and as an audition coach. Eddie has had the honor of being selected  “Favorite Piano Accompanist” by the readers of the publication Back Stage, and has also been featured in the book “Voice Teachers and Vocal Coaches of NY: The One and Only Guide.” Previous clients and students from the Broadway stage and T.V. have included: Mary Illes (Phantom, Music Man), Ta’Rea Campbell (Aida, Hamilton), Eric Scott Kincaid (Newsies, Cats), Brad Oscar (Something Rotten!, The Producers), Adrienne Moore (Orange is the New Black), Andrea Dotto (Bandstand), Doug Plaut (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Kathy Brier (Hairspray), Bashira Cresswell (Lion King) and Joel Robertson (Les Miz). 

 

Eddie currently teaches both piano and voice to students of every age group in NYC, as well as in and around his home base of Summit, New Jersey. In addition to teaching privately, he is also a faculty member of both Musical Collaborations in Franklin Lakes and Backstage Performing Arts Center in Rutherford, where he teaches piano and voice to children and young adults. Prior to that, he instructed students at The New School/The Actors’ Studio, NYU, Marymount Manhattan College, Wagner College, Horace Mann and Packer Collegiate. Eddie graduated with honors from Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Music and subsequently received a Masters in Music Composition from NYU. 

Polina Senderova

Polina Senderova is a Music Director, Multi-instrumentalist, and Dueling Pianist based out of New York City. While growing up, she studied at Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division for 12 years, where she trained classically in piano and violin. She then attended Northwestern University, where she graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor's Degree from Medill School of Journalism, but spent much of her time music directing large-scale shows, playing in pit orchestras, and being an accompanist for theatre and opera students.

 

Her senior year of college, Polina got hired by Howl at the Moon, a national Dueling Pianos bar, where over the next few years, she learned how to sing, play drums and bass guitar, and ultimately perform hundreds of songs on multiple instruments. She performed in 10 cities across the nation, and was chosen to launch the company's newest club in Cincinnati. In 2017, she took her talents to the seas, and was hired to work as a singing pianist on Holland America Line's luxury cruise ships, as part of a popular show called "Billboard Onboard." Today, she is based out her hometown, NYC, and continues to Music Direct, play and sing Dueling Pianos shows in multiple states, and work on a variety of other musical endeavors around the city.

 

Fluent in Russian and Spanish, Polina also freelances as an accompanist, writer, and copyeditor.

James Harvey

James Harvey is a musical theatre composer, lyricist, and performer. His one-man show, The Bald Faced Truth: Comedy Songs by James Harvey, addresses such timely issues as the #resistance, cats, and male pattern baldness. As a musical comedian, James has performed at New York City venues like 54 Below, The PIT Loft, Club Cumming, Sidewalk Cafe, The West End Lounge, and The Triad.

 

James wrote the book, music, and lyrics for The Crack in the Ceiling, a darkly comedic musical about a single mother, her son, and their kitchen ceiling. The show was presented at the New York Musical Theatre Festival and the New York International Fringe Festival, where it received the award for Overall Excellence in a Musical.

 

 A member of the BMI Musical Theater Writing Advanced Workshop, James is currently writing the music for a show about the U.S. Supreme Court. He is also writing the book, music, and lyrics for a musical about Amazon.com.

 

In addition to writing and performing, James is a sought-after music director, vocal coach, and accompanist, working for such companies as Tada Youth Theater, A Class Act NY, and the American Musical Theater Academy. James studied music composition at New York University on a scholarship from composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Little Shop of Horrors).

Maxine Alstrom

From jazz to rock; musical theatre to sacred music, Maxine has performed with many notables including Count Basie, Ramsey Lewis, Paul Shaffer, Darlene Love, Ben E. King, Cissy Houston, Tevin Campbell, John Lloyd Young, Steven Van Zandt, and among others, playing in concerts at the Apollo Theatre, Lincoln Center and The Bottom Line. She was also on the road for several years with Larry and the Exciters touring throughout the U.S. and Canada.

 

Maxine holds a B.A. in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts. As an educator, she has taught Vocal Music at the middle school level, served as Music Director at Camp Deeny Reeback and Camp Horizons, and teaches private piano students.

 

An in-demand accompanist and musical director for countless vocalists, cabarets, and musicals, Maxine continues to perform frequently with bands and as a soloist throughout the metropolitan area.

Warren Cohen

Warren is an accomplished composer, conductor, and concert pianist. He served as music director for the Scottsdale-based MusicaNova Orchestra, the Fine Arts String Symphony in Phoenix, theSouthern Arizona Symphony, and the Hawaii Chamber Orchestra. While music director for Hawaii’s Kumu Kahua Group he composed music for numerous theatre productions including a show based on the life of Princess Ka’iulani and the Aristophones farce Eccleesazusie.His experience as a ballet and vocal accompanist led to conducting opportunities for musical productions in both the U.S. and England.

 

Born in Montreal, Cohen appeared extensively as a solo pianist performing over 200 works including 20 world premieres. His talent and inventiveness as both a composer and conductor has been recognized with 11 ASCAP awards for original composition, and a1999 ASCAP/American Symphony Orchestra League’s Award for Adventurous Programming. As a symphony conductor, his recordings are available on the ConBrio label.

 

Most recent credits include guest conductor positions with the Idaho Falls Symphony and Chorus and the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony.

 

 

GUEST ARTISTS

Dwayne Clark  AEA • SAG/AFTRA

Broadway credits include Smokey Joe’s Café (Adrian), Tarzan,Urinetown, In the Height (Benny), The Color Purple and Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. National tours: Smokey Joe’s Café and Rent (Collins), tick, tick…BOOM! (Michael) Dwayne has been seen on television on the drama Serious Money, Live From Lincoln Center as Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess and on Great Performances – My Favorite Broadway The Love Songs, and as the NYU Student Boyfriend in the film Eat Pray Love. As a vocalist, Dwayne has appeared with the Tempations and the Four Tops and was a winner of Amateur Night at the New York’s famed Apollo Theatre.

Jeff Blumenkrantz  AEA • SAG • BMI

Jeff began his career as an actor, performing on Broadway in Into the Woods (1987), Threepenny Opera (1989), Damn Yankees (1994), How to Succeed in Business… (1995), and A Class Act (2001), Sweeny Todd, Bright Star and on TV/film in Joseph … Dreamcoat, Will and Grace, all three Law and Order series, and the Great Performances (PBS) telecast of Candide in Concert.

 

It was Audra McDonald’s recording of his song “I Won’t Mind” (lyrics by Annie Kessler and Libby Saines) that jumpstarted his songwriting career. Since then, Jeff received a Best Original Score Tony nomination for his songs in Urban Cowboy, and his one-act pieces, Woman with Pocketbook and Precious Little Jewel, have been performed at several regional theatres around the country. Additionally, he has received song commissions from both Carnegie Hall and the Guggenheim’s Works and Process program. Most recently, his songs have been recorded by Sutton Foster, Rebecca Luker, Victoria Clark, Lauren Kennedy, and Megan Mullally.

 

Jeff is a recipient of the Fred Ebb Award, the BMI Harrington Award and the Dramatists Guild Jonathan Larson Memorial Musical Theatre Fellowship. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and a longtime member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. In 2005, he published a songbook of his music and produced The Jeff Blumenkrantz Songbook Podcast, which featured live performances of those songs. The podcast episodes can still be heard by visiting iTunes or www.jeffblumenkrantz.com. Jeff also produced and hosted The BMI Workshop Songbook Podcast, featuring never-before-available music by members and alumni of the acclaimed musical theatre writers’ workshop. It, too, can be found on iTunes or at www.bmiworkshopsongbook.com.

 

 

 


Brandon was a 2015 Tony Nominee for his featured performance in An American in Paris. Since then he has also been nominated for a Tony Award for Falsettos and BurnThis.

Uranowitz trained at NYU and had roles in off-Broadway productions prior to being cast in Rent. He was part of the ensemble cast of Evita at the Papermill Playhouse, held the roles of Richard in Richard III and the King of France in All's Well That Ends Well at Classical Studio, the role of Cardinal Bellarmin in Galileo at The Skirball Center, the role of Dante in Only Children at The Abe Burrows Theatre, the role of Feste in Twelfth Night at the Kirk Theatre, and the role of Eugene in Brighton Beach Memoirs / Broadway Bound at the Old Globe.

In the jukebox musical Baby It's You!, Uranowitz played the role of Stanley,the blind composer and son of Florence Greenberg as played by the Tony Award Winner Beth Leavel.

Brandon also had minor appearances in the television series Law & Order: CI, As the World Turns, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Soul Man.

He grew up in New Jersey and was a student of Randy Elman for over 10 years.

Angel had the wonderful opportunity to work both on and off Broadway, on National Tours and overseas for over a decade! She was fortunate enough to receive an Astaire nomination in 09' for her original role in Rock of Ages on Broadway. In 10', after performing with her cast On Dancing with the Stars, She began the exciting career of becoming a dance educator. She has been teaching roughly six hundred dancer's in numerous public schools through out NYC, Bronx, Brooklyn and Jersey City. I have had the opportunity to work with students of many different cognitive and behavioral abilities. Last Winter she participated in assisting Kay Garner, in The Dream Program at National Dance Institute where she taught children with disabilities and ended in a culminating performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bethany Pettigrew

Brandon Uranowitz

Angel Reed

Bethany performed in the German National Tour and Broadway productions of CATS in the roles of Sillabub and Rumpleteazer. She has been the co choreographer of the CHS musical for 15 years and was the associate choreographer in the most recent Broadway production of Godspell. Bethany is a casting director and baby wrangler for clients such as Huggies and Walgreens.

Lulu French

Lulu French first took improv classes at Gotham City Improv over two decades ago and has been improvising ever since.  In addition to being a graduate of GCI, she has also studied improv under many improv masters such as Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, and Matt Besser — original members of the Upright Citizens Brigade, Armando Diaz — founder of the Magnet Theater, and various Second City alumni such as Todd Stashwick (12 Monkeys).  She has appeared in numerous improv performances in NYC improv theaters such as Gotham City Improv, the Magnet Theater, and Upright Citizens Brigade. 

 

TV credits include Yearbook:1983 on the Discovery Times Channel and various roles on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.   She was also seen in the JCPenney viral campaign, "Return to the Doghouse.”  She co-starred in a video short for MTV.com with current SNL member Pete Davidson, and can be seen playing opposite Rachel Dratch in a video short for Everytown for Gun Safety.  She is a cast member of the improv group The Flip Side in Summit and Montclair Improv Comedy in Montclair.

 

Lulu first started out as a musical theater performer and is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York and has numerous stock and regional musical theater credits.

Musical Theatre Directors/Choreographers

Jensyn Modero

Jensyn Modero is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, received her K-12 Theatre Education certificate from Kean University and is currently working towards her M.A. in Theatre Studies at MSU. She is currently the theatre teacher at Rahway High School where she directs the Fall Drama. In addition, she is the director and choreographer for Mount St. Dominic Academies Spring Musical. Among her accomplishments, she was the recipient of the 2017 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award for “Outstanding Choreography” for MSDA’s production of 42nd Street and her production of Antigone won the 2018 MSU Theatre Night Award for “Outstanding Classical Play.” In addition, she choreographs for Sayreville High School and the Community Access Unlimited Players, a theatre group dedicated to developmentally disabled performers. Jensyn is also the proud writer of the book and lyrics of Professionally Developed: A Musical About #Artsed. 

Robert Serrano

Robert A. Serrano- Proud Alum of the American Musical & Dramatic Academy (Musical Theatre/Dance), The Academy of Cinema & Television (Commercial print) & New York Film Academy (Acting for Film). Owner/director of JR Productions (dinner theatre co.). Favorite theatre credits: Link Larkin - Hairspray (UCPAC), Broadway Show Choir - (Papermill Playhouse), Guys & Dolls - Emcee/Crapshooters Ballet (Ocean City Theatre Co.), Joseph....Dream Coat - Naphtali/Baker (OCTC), Broadway on the Boardwalk with Julia Murney - Featured Performer. Favorite film credits: Castrol Oil/Auto Zone Commercial - Employee, “Only Then” - Boyfriend, Target Holiday. Robert recently finished a tour with Royal Caribbean.

Lara Friedman

Lara, born and raised in Central NJ, began her dance training at Kaye-Lynn Dance Studio in Edison. In 2008, Lara received the NJ Governor’s Award for Excellence in Dance. Lara participated in the musicals and straight plays at her High School along with being Dance Captain and Choreographer (Urinetown 2007, Sweeney Todd 2008, Inherit the Wind 2008, Tommy 2009). Lara is a proud BFA and Dance Education graduate of Towson University’s Dance Department in Maryland. In 2011, she won the National Society of Arts and Letters (NSAL) regional competition for Art of the Solo and went on to compete and place nationally. She also received the Outstanding Achievement in Dance Education Award in 2013 from Towson University. Lara has performed with Dissonance Dance Theatre (DC), Deep Vision Dance Company (Baltimore), Deviated Theatre (DC), Carolyn Dorfman Dance (audience dancer “Interior Designs”- NY/NJ), Mish-Mash Productions (NYC), Nikki Manx Dance Project (NJ), and Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre/Sean McLeod Dance Experience (NYC). She has studied with Amy Marshall Dance Company, Parsons Dance, Limón Dance Company and Carolyn Dorfman Dance during the summers. While in Maryland, she had performed works by Alvin Ailey, Enoch and Kimmie Chan, Runquiao Du, Linda-Denise Fisher Harrell, Nicole Martinell, Troy Powell, and Shawn Short. Lara had been a long-term substitute at Academy for Performing Arts in Scotch Plains teaching dance from 2014-2015. Lara taught for Towson University’s Community Dance and currently teaches at Center Stage Dance and Theatre School. She is also a company member of Carolyn Dorfman Dance (NYC).

 

Christina Cruz

Christina is thrilled to be teaching at the Musical Theatre Conservatory!  She began dancing at the age of 3 and always had a passion for musical theatre, ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical. After graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in English and Psychology, she decided to go back to school for Musical Theatre at Florida School of the Arts.  Christina attended Montclair State University where she received her MA in Theatre Studies. Post graduation, her dance background expanded to include ballroom dancing and she became a member of the National Dance Council of America. She is a certified ballroom dance instructor and judge throughout the United States Terpsichore Association in American Rhythm, American Smooth, International Standard and Latin. She is thrilled to be able to share her love of musical theatre with her students. 

 

Alyson Monaco

Growing up dancing in New Jersey, Alyson attended programs throughout the US and danced in the Moscow Ballet Nutcracker for two seasons. She went on to become a dance performance major at the Boston Conservatory, where she performed in Jose Limon’s Psalm and Misa Brevis, as the Hosana solo dancer. Alyson has choreographed over ten musicals, five with Coastal Artists Productions, and has performed numerous leads, highlights being Mayzie LaBird in Seussical and Victoria in Cats. You can catch Alyson as a featured dancer in Patrice Jegou’s From This Moment On music video and may have seen her in the SuperBowl XLVIII halftime Show with Bruno Mars. Alyson is a published freelance model and a certified Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer through AFAA. She is currently a company member of the Nikki Manx Dance Project.

 

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