Is the owner of Magnolia Dance Academy. Kim’s extensive and incomparable training in ballet, Pointe, modern, theater and voice enables her to offer the best of training and choreography to her students. Her passion and enthusiasm carries over to the staff at Magnolia Dance Academy, where she is an inspiration and information source.
Kim has performed with the National Dance Institutes (Jacques D’Ambroise) at Madison Square Garden and Lincoln Center, performed on both NBC and ABC; danced and toured with the Joyce Trisler Danscompany, performing Milton Meyers, Nuevo Tango (Alvin Ailey); The Joffery Ballet, and “Limelight” based on the life of Charlie Chaplin, with Charles McGowan (“A Chorus Line The Movie”). Kim appears in Harvey Edwards book, “The Art of Dance”, and appears in his “2003 Dance Calendar” (Pinnacle Passion); and her prints from Harvey can be seen all over the world. Kim was offered the role of “Victoria”, (the white cat), in Andrew Llyod Webber’s
“Cats” and a role in “Starlight Express”; Kim has danced and done guest appearances with various NYC companies starring in lead roles for both ballets and modern pieces.
Kim is certified by Dance Masters of America, in Ballet/Pointe, and is a member of New York Dance Masters, Chapter 26. In addition, Kim is a member of The National Dance Association, “Who’s Who in Dance”, Dance Educators of America and is listed in “National Registers Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals.”
Kim is a graduate of Adelphi University, B.F.A, Cum Laude. She graduated from LaGuardia’s High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts, and attended The School of American Ballet and The Eglevaky School of Ballet.
Kim has been the ballet coach for aspiring figure skaters and gymnasts. Kim was the ballet coach both on and off the ice for the United States Figure Skating Gold Medalist, Sarah Hughes.
For 21 years, Kim proudly owned The Maple Avenue Dance Center. She looks forward to carrying on MAD’s legacy and traditions at Magnolia Dance Academy. Miss Kim has taught hundreds of dancers the values of proper technique, and the importance of dancing and performing from their heart.
Jennifer Sudol is a graduate of the Cultural Arts Center, (now Long Island High School for the Arts). She received her B.F.A. from Adelphi University under the direction of Norman Walker. Jennifer went on to work with Carmen DeLavallade and Regina Larkin on a demonstration of the Horton modern dance technique and the works of Joyce Trisler as an educational reference for the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts. Jennifer has worked with various independent choreographers and has been a featured dancer in film and for dance companies such as the Fedicheva Ballet and The Bare Bones Dance Project. Her innovative choreography has been showcased for production companies, concerts, and dance and theatre programs, staging ballets, operas and musical theatre works as well as working on music video concepts for emerging musical artists. Jennifer has established herself as a well-known teacher, coach and dance mentor for the Long Island area with a great majority of her students going on to dance professionally for dance companies and theatre productions.
Cailey Bruno, 19, from Toms River, NJ, began dancing at the age of three. She has attended summer intensive programs at the Harid Conservatory, the Eglevsky Ballet, and the American Repertory Ballet. Coached by Jennifer James Church, she has been a successful candidate of the Royal Academy of Dance’s examinations. She, also, trained at Dance Mixx Studio under the guidance of Jolene Baldini. Cailey currently studies all genres of dance at Peridance Capezio Dance Center in NYC and will graduate in June of 2016, earning a certificate in Ballet and Contemporary. During her training program she has performed works by Milton Meyers, Charlotta Overhölm, Cindy Salgado, and many others. She, also, dances for SueMo Dance Company based in Milwaukee, WI and looks forward to furthering her career in dance no matter what she is doing or where she is.
Dena Vilardi is a native of Long Island and has been teaching dance locally for over 15 years. Dena’s dance training began as a preschooler and continued throughout high school. She was an active competition team member and won numerous awards for her performances. Miss. Dena began her college career as a dance major, studying under Stanley Berke at Nassau Community College. She free styled and trained with a group of break-dancers, who came to form the NCC Breakers, with Dena as a founding member. This is where her true passion for hip hop flourished. One of only two female crew members, she was interviewed by Oprah’s “The O Channel” for a piece about standout women in the fields that are predominantly male oriented. The NCC Breakers are still going strong and are about to celebrate their 15th anniversary at the college. Dena continued her dance education at the University of Tampa. In 2002, she traveled to Alabama for the 21st Annual Panoply Choreography Competition, representing UT, where they left as Grand Champions. She went on to become Riptide Films head chorepgrapher, where she choreographed commericals for Matel, Toys R Us, and Topps Candy Line. Dena is now our Competition Team Director and award winning choreographer. She has changed the face of hip hop on Long Island, and has been recognized for being unque, innovative, entertaining and above all, current. Her strong technique and style fuses hip hop along with jazz funk, contemporary and breakin’. Her explosive and intricate choreography has won numerous regional and national awards, including best choreography, top overall high scores, and most entertaining choreography. Miss. Dena is thrilled to be celebrating her 10th year with Maple Avenue Dance!
Melissa Adler has had extensive training in both classical ballet, pointe, and musical theatre. Although she started dancing at the young age of three, her ballet journey began at age six, when she began training at the Eglevsky School of Ballet. Melissa trained at Eglevsky with both Leda Eglevsky and Nina Papova. As an advanced student, she was invited to tour with the Eglevsky Ballet Company and to take classes with Edward Villela and Michael Vernon (both of whom were the Artistic Directors of The Eglevsky Ballet Company). She also studied at the Usdan Center of Performing Arts, where she trained with Francis Patrelle and Dick Andros. Melissa’s ballet training went a step further, when she auditioned for the Boston Ballet program, and was accepted.
As extensive as Melissa’s ballet training was, so was her training in musical theatre. Melissa started out at Five Town Theatre and the Broad Hollow Theatre at a very young age and later began to train with Betsy Dickerson. It was at Betsy Dickerson’s Center of Performing Arts, that Melissa had the privilege of working and studying with legendary artists, Gwen Vernon and Chita Rivera. It was during this time that she began to perform in many Off Broadway shows, as well as performing at the Adams Playhouse.
At the age of sixteen, Melissa’s voice was discovered. She signed her first recording contract and it was then that she began to pursue her singing career. She was picked up by an independent label, Metropolitan Records, and sang under her stage name, Nicole Daniels. Her first recorded single, “Forever” can still be heard today. She later collaborated with music mogul, Carlos Berrios and movie/producer/song writer, Franc Reyes. Melissa then signed onto their label, After Dark Records, where she recorded her second single, “Never Give Up.” Melissa also worked as a background singer for such artists as Ray Rock and Juan Kato, and has collaborated with the one and only, Marc Anthony.
Today, Melissa continues her passion of the arts by teaching young children who aspire to dance and sing at Maple Avenue Dance.
Stephanie Rivieccio began teaching full time at Maple Avenue Dance in 2005. A proud member of the MAD Alumni, she was trained by Maple Avenue Dance’s own Miss. Kim and Miss. Jen for over ten years and worked alongside them as an assistant teacher. Stephanie has studied and taught classes in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, broadway tap, classical tap and rhythm tap. After graduation she went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree while still remaining closely involved with various aspects of the studio. During this time, Stephanie continued her dance training in NYC, learning from such greats as David Howard, Nancy Bielsky, Scott Thompson and Alan Onickel…to name a few. Before she became a full-time teacher at MAD, she could be seen working backstage at recitals as well as substitute teaching throughout the year. Stephanie holds a master’s degree in childhood education, with a concentration in special education, early childhood and biology, and is currently teaching at a local elementary school. In addition to her teaching duties in both the academic and dance classrooms, Stephanie is a choreographer for the annual MAD production of The Nutcracker, as well as the assistant manager of MAD. Stephanie feels that being a part of the MAD family for over 20 years has taught her dedication, respect, discipline and a love for the arts. She feels lucky to work in a community that nurtures her two life passions: teaching children and dance. Stephanie is excited to enrich a dancer’s life, just as MAD has enriched hers.
Kelly A. Leya
Kelly A. Leya began her dance training on Long Island at the young age of two. As a competitive dancer, she was recognized for her technique and stage performance winning multiple top scoring awards and titles. She furthered her education receiving a dance scholarship to Adelphi University working under the tutelage of Frank Augustyn. During her time at Adelphi, she had the opportunity to perform the works of Paul Taylor (alongside the Taylor II Company), Martha Graham, Doug Varone, Danny Grossman and Christopher Fleming. She received her BFA in Dance graduating Summa Cum Luade and was the recipient of the Ruth St. Denis Award for Performing Arts. For the past 5+ years, Kelly has been teaching and choreographing for Maple Avenue Dance as well as their Competition Team. She has been recognized for her unique choreography which has earned multiple high score awards including Most Entertaining and Best Choreography, both regionally and nationally. Kelly regularly attends intensives with Complexions Contemporary Dance Company, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Také Dance as well as attends classes at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway and Peridance to keep herself proficient in all aspects of dance. Her main objective is to make sure each child feels like a star and to have them enjoy dance as much as she does.