Michele Hulsart is living her dream and currently in her 25th season as owner and director Standing Ovation School of Dance. Michele been dancing ever since she was 3-years-old. After attending Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and achieving a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts she went on to perform world-wide. However, her real love for dance was in teaching so she has dedicated her life to teaching her students the art of dance and encouraging them to reach for their dreams. Michele has over 25 years of teaching experience and continues training to further her knowledge of dance by taking classes at dance conventions and attending business seminars. Michele's studio was proudly featured in Dance Spirit Magazine in 2007 as being one of the top 50 upcoming studios in the country. Michele was honored at Tremaine Dance Convention in New York City for all of the fundraising work the studio has done for Dancers Responding for AIDS. She also won the Co. Dance Educator award in NYC in 2011 and then her entire staff won it again in NYC in 2013. She is also the proud mother of five wonderful children who have all been a part of the dancing family through the years!
Brittaney has been dancing at Standing Ovation since the age of three and was in Miss Michele`s first three year old class. From age 9 all the way to age 19 she was a part of the Competitive Edge Competition Team winning many prestigious titles and scholarships and was even named Studio Dancer of the Year in 2000. In 2010 she was picked to internship with Dancers Inc Dance Convention and has been in the circuit with them ever since traveling all over the US. She has gone on to teach Master Classes for both Dancers Inc and On Tour and has choreographed for various dance teams throughout NJ. Brittaney is a graduate of Georgian Court University where she received her BA in Dance and studied under the direction of Silvana Cardell. She was able to perform at Philly Pard in Philadelphia and at ACDFA( American College Dance Festival of the Arts) two years in a row were her group scored in the top 5 and was invited to participate in the Gala performance. As well as teaching under the direction of Michele Hulsart for over 10 years she also choreographs and substitutes at various studios around NJ. Brittaney is very excited for the upcoming year and to be able to share her passion for dance with her students.
Dana Ingram graduated from Point Park University with a BFA in Dance with a jazz concentration as well as a minor in Art History in 2005. Prior to college Dana studied with such notable educators as Mike Minery, Shelia Barker, Wade Robson and Frank Hatchett. Dana had the opportunity to perform works by famous choreographers including Robert Battle, Bill T. Jones and Doug Bentz. For the past six years, Dana has been teaching and choreographing at numerous studios and colleges. She has worked with a number of children and adolescents ranging in age from 3 to 18, teaching the fundamentals of dance and creative movement expression. Recently, Dana was the Assistant Choreographer for the Broadway cast of "The Lion King" in a piece for Defying Inequality, a Broadway Benefit. Dana continues to dance, choreograph and educate the youth of the dance community.
Jennifer graduated from Trenton State College with a degree in Corporate fitness. She has been a certified personal trainer through American Council of Exercise for over 14 years. Jennifer is continually taking classes to further her education of health and fitness. She has been training and teaching a healthy balanced lifestyle her entire life. Jennifer's hope is that some of her love and enthusiasm for healthy living will be passed on to her students.
Helen Centrella has been dancing at Standing Ovation for eighteen years. She danced competitively with the SOCT for eight years attending competitions such as Tremaine, Dancers Inc and Company Dance. Helen has a natural love for dance and enjoys teaching and inspiring young children through her passion. This will be Helen’s fourth year teaching at Standing Ovation. Helen attends Kean University and in the spring will be receiving her bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in recreation. Helen will continue on in education to earn her certification in Dance Therapy.
Founder of Brown Productions, Enrique is a theatrical producer, director, choreographer and performer. From a young age Enrique was drawn to the stage and show business. His early training began in Dallas and continued with many instructors all over the nation including schools like the Houston Ballet Academy and Virginia School of the Arts. Enrique spent four seasons with Ballet Oklahoma where he danced roles from the Prince in The Nutcracker to Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet. Other favorite ballet roles include Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, D’artagnon in The Three Musketeers and the world’s shortest George Bailey in the premiere of It’s a Wonderful Life. From there, Enrique went on to become an actor/singer/dancer in many Broadway, national touring, regional and stock productions. He was last seen playing multiple characters in The Little Mermaid at The Lunt Fontaine. From 2004 to 2006 he was in the revival of Fiddler on the Roof starring Alfred Molina, then Harvey Fierstiein and Rosie O’donnell, where he performed the famous bottle dance for two years. Other Broadway credits include The Music Man where he performed the role of Tommy Djilas and Oklahoma! He can also be seen dancing in the film titled “Across the Universe” directed by Julie Taymor. Enrique has traveled the US in the national tours of Fame-The Musical and in the comedy role of Big Deal from West Side Story.
Emily Olman grew up on the Jersey shore, spending most of her time within the studio walls of Dance For Joy, Brielle. She has been dancing for 18 years and is skilled in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, Horton, Release technique, Graham, Taylor, Street Jazz, Breaking, Locking, and Popping. Emily received a full tuition scholarship to Point Park University's International Summer Dance Intensive in 2011 and 2012. She also attended Joffrey NYC Summer Intensive in 2010. In 2016 Emily graduated cum laude from Georgian Court University with a BA in Dance and a Minor in Holistic Health. While at Georgian court she was on full dance and academic scholarships and was awarded Most Accomplished Dancer, as well as Honorable Mention for her choreographic works. Emily worked with professional artists including Rennie Harris, Brian Sanders, Gregory King, Sidra Bell, and Beau Hancock and traveled to Argentina as part of a dance exchange program. Emily interned with New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble during their 2013-2014 season, and was their South Branch Manager for the 2014-2015 season. Emily continues her training by attending workshops and taking classes around NYC, as well as training with the local hip hop crew, ReDef. She has been featured as a guest artist with the crew in performances around the tri-state area.
Emily has been teaching for 6 years and approaches her classes from a kinesthetic standpoint encouraging her students to experiment with trial and error. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of anatomy which she continues to broaden through Pilates and outside research forms as a way to connect her dancers' art with their main tool. Most of all, Emily loves to fuel the flame of passion for dance that is harbored inside each one of her students.
Since a young age, Allye Amorino has always loved the art of dance and the thrill of a performance. Allye grew up dancing at Movement Dance Academy and continues her dance education at Broadway Dance Center along with attending teacher workshops. She now teaches at Standing Ovation School of Dance, Dancin' on the Edge and New York City Performing Arts Center. She is very passionate about instilling the love, art, and commitment of dance into her students. Allye recently danced alongside the major league football team, the Somerset Bears! She has also performed in numerous musicals and on stage with the charity organization Cabaret for life. One of her proudest moments was her television debut on TLC's show "Four Weddings" where she preformed to the hit song and dance "Thriller." She has modeled for dance catalogs, and now works as an entertainer for booked events, along with training to compete in festivals. Allye is so thankful and blessed to share this amazing journey of dance with her students and she cannot wait to see where it will lead them in the future!
Brianna has been dancing since she was 2 1/2 years old and started competitively dancing at the age of 7. She won various high score awards and scholarships, as well as taking classes and dancing with several top name choreographers. She has performed in many benefit shows including Dancers Responding to Aids in Los Angeles, CA, Dance for Diabetes and the Stepping Stones Disabilities Festival in WV. She also was a performer in the Citrus Bowl Half Time Show in Orlando, FL. Brianna graduated from the West Virginia University on the Deans List, with a bachelors degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Business Administration. She was a 4 year member and captain of the WVU Dance Team. In 2008, Brianna and the WVU Dance Team made history when they became the first WVU dance team to ever attend NDA/NCA Nationals in Daytona Beach, FL. Winning 2nd place in 2008, 3rd place in 2009 and then again making history in 2010 winning the National Championship title and the "Innovative Choreography Award" for their performance to "Dare you to Move." Even in West Virginia, Brianna continued to strengthen her dance career by choreographing for the WVU Dance Team, being a WVU Cheer tryout instructor/judge and coordinating a number of children's dance camps. She is also the head coach of the Saint John Vianney High School Dance Team in Holmdel, NJ. She choreographs their routines and trains them throughout their season. In Brianna’s free time she likes to get some use of her personal training certification and leads personal work out classes and boot camp classes. She looks forward this year and every year, to be “home” and sharing my love of dance with all of my students.
Merrie started her dance career at the age of 2. After moving from Weehawken, NJ, to Brick at the age of 3, her parents helped build her love of dance within the walls of Rebecca Martin's Dance Studio. At 13 Merrie auditioned for and was accepted to Rutgers SAI (Summer Arts Institute) where she trained under teachers from the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and the Harlem Dance Theater. At that time, Merrie also began her study in acting and singing. At 15 Merrie studied ballet and pointe under Lynn Bielk, who was a dancer with the Pittsburgh Ballet. After high school, Merrie graduated from Kean University with a BA in Psychology and then from Monmouth University with a MA in Education. All the while continuing to take classes in NYC and dance studios local to her universities. Merrie taught middle school for 4 years before her children were born.
Merrie came to teach dance at Standing Ovation 6 years ago, and approaches her classes as she did her educational classroom. There is a mutual respect for teacher and students and a safe haven for students to explore the world of dance. Two years ago, Merrie also took up the mantle of studio seamstress. She was taught to sew by her mother and grandmother at a young age. Merrie not only alters all of the studio's costumes for the end of the year recital, but designs, creates and alters all of the Standing Ovation Competition Team's costumes along with designing and creating solo and duet costumes.
Jordan started dancing at the age of two. At the age of five she started dancing competitively and has become a trained dancer in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary and Hip Hop. She has had the privilege of being a student teacher for the last eight years and just completed her first year of teaching.
At the competitive level, Jordan has earned Platinum awards for her solos and has placed in the top five for overall score with Dancer’s Inc, Groove National Dance Competition, Beyond the Stars and Elite Dance Challenge. In High school, she received A Critiqued for Excellence Award for her participation at the Teen Arts Festival at Ocean County College and was Captain of her Dance team for four years. Jordan is now the current coach for the Jackson Liberty High School Dance Team.
Jordan is always looking to improve her technique by taking workshops and attending dance conventions. She has attended the Dance Olympus, Dance Educators of America, Titans of Dance, Turn It Up Dance Challenge, and Jump conventions. Jordan has also attended a weeklong dance intensive with the New England Dance Camp where she earned a scholarship and a Certificate of Excellence for Improvisation. She is currently a member of the Broadway Dance Center in NYC and at The Koresh School in Philadelphia.
She will be attending Ocean County College in the fall, for her second year, pursuing a degree in Business, as well as, earning her Certification in Early Childhood Education. She loves to share her passion of dance with all of the children and looks forward to a wonderful year.
Ashley Konopada has been dancing at Standing Ovation for 12 years. She has studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Pointe, and Hip Hop. Ashley has been dancing on Standing Ovation's Competitive Edge team for nine years. She has participated in many competitions and conventions including, Tremaine, ASH dance convention, and Co. Dance. Her team was Dancers Inc.'s national Jr. showcase champions. Ashley has also traveled to Walt Disney World with her team where she preformed in the Dance the World event in the Magic Kingdom. She has recently received a scholarship to be a part of the Heart and Soul dance company. She has also preformed in the Ashley Lauren Foundation's performance of Sussical as a dancer. Ashley is currently a freshman at the Performing Arts Academy . This is Ashley's second year of student teaching and she is excited to share her passion with the younger dancers at Standing Ovation.
Hailie Steiner is 15 years old and a sophomore at the Performing Arts Academy. She has been dancing for 6 years competitively at Standing Ovation. She has competed at national competitions and has also danced in Disney World. She has attended conventions each year and has taken classes with the Rockettes and other industry professionals. She has taken classes in ballet, tap, lyrical, hip hop, jazz, modern, African dance and pointe. This year will be her third year being an assistant teacher at Standing Ovation and she says she really enjoys teaching kids a new way to express themselves.
Valerie Hine has been dancing at Standing Ovation for 12 years. She has studied several styles such as Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Lyrical, and Hip Hop. Valerie is currently entering her eighth year on Standing Ovation’s Competitive Edge Dance Team. She has traveled to numerous dance competitions and conventions learning from some of the top names in the dance industry. During this time she received several high score and platinum awards with her team as well as being crowned Teen Titlist for Cathy Roe, Throwdown, and Beyond the Stars competitions. Valerie also was a member of Groove Competition's G-Rock Performance Company the year of 2014-2015. In addition she has been a principal dancer in Howell Middle School South’s productions of Legally Blonde and Mary Poppins along with Howell PALS production of Grease where she played Cha Cha DiGregorio. Valerie is honored to have the opportunity to share her love of dance with the younger dancers!
Samantha O'Gara is looking forward to working with the children as a student teacher this year! Sam has been dancing at Standing Ovation for 12 years, and has been on the Competitive Edge team for 8 years. Sam attends the Performing Arts Academy (PAA) where she studies dance history and performs many different genres of dance. She is an Honors student and takes her academic courses very seriously. Not only does she perform on stage, she also has stage managing experience from PAA dance performances. Sam has an enduring passion for the art of dance, and looks forward to sharing that passion with younger dancers. She hopes to help these young dancers grow just as her teachers helped her grow into the dancer she is today.
Sarah Kalp has been dancing since the age of three and just celebrated her tenth year dancing at Standing Ovation. She has also been a member of the Competitive Edge Dance Team for the past eight years. Sarah is an active member of the Kidz 4 Kidz/Ashley Lauren Theatre Ensemble and the Lake Riviera Middle School Drama Club. She has performed in several plays and musicals including Beauty & The Beast, Broadway Dreams, Suessical, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Pinocchio. Sarah is also a talented artist and singer and is interested in developing her skills further. Sarah has been a member of the National Junior Honor Society for the past three years at Lake Riviera Middle School. She will be entering Brick Township High School in the fall of 2017 as an honor student. She is looking forward to working as a student teacher at Standing Ovation School of Dance!