STAFF

Next Step Dance Studio of Staten Island, NY invites you to meet the members of their team. Each member has their own strengths and brings something unique to the team.

  • Linda Dolan-Cooney Owner/Director of Next Step Dance Studio


    Founded in 2008, Next Step Dance Studio of Staten Island, NY is dedicated to providing quality dance instruction to children of all ages (2 through 99!), boys and girls. We offer 2 beautiful locations. One is in Pleasant Plains on Amboy Road, and the other is on Livingston Avenue between Manor Road and Bradley Avenue in Manor Heights. Our staff is knowledgeable and professionally trained, some of which are also teachers for the NYC public school system. Our award winning competition team competes in competitions such as Starpower, Imagine Dance Challenge, Showstoppers, Starbound, Dance Xplosion, and other valued competitions. We take great pride in our students and are very proud of those who have gone off to college with confidence in themselves in whatever they wish to accomplish! Current and past students have auditioned and been accepted to La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts, Mark Twain Middle School for Gifted & Talented, The Joffrey Program at Fort Hamilton High School, Long Island University Dance Program, ABT Summer intensives, and Joffrey Summer Intensives, and Moore Catholic High School Dance Programs.

    Next Step Dance Studio is directed by Linda Dolan.

    Miss Linda grew up as a dancer in the competition world and won many awards as part of a prestigious competition team. After graduation, she went on to train in Manhattan’s Broadway Dance Center and continued on in their Work-Study Program. She is also a certified teacher with Acrobatic Arts. Miss Linda has been teaching dance for over 15 years and has experience with all ages and class levels. She always tells her student’s “Never Say can’t”, and so the NSDS motto has become “Never say can’t, Say I’m Working on It!” She believes that Ballet is for everyone and with the proper Ballet training, anyone can learn how to dance.

    We offer many programs of study, and urge you to explore our site and find the one that is the right fit for you and your schedule
    We offer classes in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Pointe, Modern, Contemporary, Acrobatics, Progressing Ballet Technique, Irish Step Dance, and Lyrical.

    We are happy to announce that the Next Step Dance Studio acrobatics staff is certified with Acrobatic Arts. For more information about our Acrobatics program please click on the link below.

    Acrobatics program

    Pleasant Plains Schedules
    Manor Heights Schedule

  • Miss Jennifer Reinhart Jazz and Tap instructor


    Jennifer Reinhart has been dancing her whole life since she was 3 years old. She loves all styles of dance, however Jazz is her favorite. She hopes to inspire her students with a love and passion for dance, encouraging them to always dance with energy and a smile! While dancing is her true passion, Miss Jenn is currently studying to be a Physician’s Assistant in Wagner College’s Master’s program. She loves children and hopes to either go into practice as a pediatrician or orthopedics with a concentration in dance medicine.

  • Miss Michelle Korn Teaches Jazz, Tap, Acro, Hip Hop, Ballet, and is our Special Needs Program Director


    Michelle Korn has studied ballet, modern, lyrical, tap, jazz, musical theatre and hip hop in the New York City area for a majority of her life. She has always had passion for teaching, choreographing, and performing. As a child, Michelle was always passionate about dancing, but her interests shifted toward musical theater in her high school years. She went on to study dance, acting, and voice from some of the best of the business at Rider University. Not long after, Michelle realized that she had a talent for teaching children and transferred to St. John’s University where she received a B.S. in Childhood Education with a minor in Psychology in just three years. In addition to teaching at Next Step, she is currently a New York City Public School Teacher while also pursuing her Master’s Degree in Special Education. This is Michelle’s second year teaching at Next Step Dance Studio and is very excited to inspire and motivate her students to become the best dancers they can be.

  • Miss GiGi Zumba, Hip Hop & Mommy and Me


    What most people who take my classes don’t know about me is that my name is not Gi Gi, it’s actually Regina. I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister and ZUMBA FITNESS INSTRUCTOR….And I love it all! In 2010 I took my first ZUMBA class and when I went home after class I wanted to cry. I have never NOT been able to keep up in a class. What I didn’t realize is that each instructor is different and you have to learn their routines, AND you should always take EVERY class at YOUR own pace! Every class is not the same. You should always do your best to enjoy yourself. I enjoyed ZUMBA so much that I wanted to become an instructor. On July 16, 2011 I became certified in ZUMBA FITNESS. I’ve been instructing ever since. I have a great time with the people and fellow staff members at NSDS. I love my new Zumba home, they motivate me. I’ve lost a lot of the weight that I gained during my pregnancy and I hope to keep going. I also hope to inspire other busy moms. I want to let them know that if I can make the time, they can too. Learn that you can always find 60 minutes to take for yourself. You don’t need to be perfect in class, I just want you to try the class and enjoy yourself!

  • Miss Felecia


    Felecia has been dancing and performing since 1994. She received her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Montana. She also studied at Arizona State University for three semesters. Felecia is the artistic director of ImmeDance in New York. Felecia’s work has been presented in New York City at Dance Space Center, Dance New Amsterdam’s Works In Progress and Raw Material, Peri Dance’s Independent Choreographer’s series: Wax Works, Hatch, Dance OFF! at PS122, and The Muse Brooklyn. In 2010 she was Artist In Residence at Everbrite Mercantile Co. In Red Hook, Brooklyn. She spent that residency Creating a 45min solo show and taught yoga to the commuity. Felecia danced Banana Peel Dance out of Brooklyn for the past 6 years. Currently she creates solos based on her love of music and dance though improvisation though ImmeDance. This summer she performed in Montana with Headwaters Dance Company. They had commissioned her work and used it for the past 10 years. Felecia was invited to return and perform it one last time with the company. She also received her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification from Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in NYC in 2008. She currently teaches yoga in Staten Island though Friends of Firefighters once a week as a volunteer.

    Miss Felecia currently teaches our Skittles Yoga class as well as our Advanced Acro and Thursday Pre-Professional and Senior Company classes.

  • Hayley Rosenfeld

    Hayley Rosenfeld received her M.S. in Dance/movement Therapy from Sarah Lawrence College. She also holds a bachelors degree in Communications and dance from SUNY Oneonta. Hayley was a teaching assistant for advanced modern and choreography classes while studying at SUNY Oneonta. She held the position of President of the Terpsichorean Dance Company and was a member of the Oneonta State Dance Team. Hayley has opened for artist such as T-Pain. Hayley works for Starpower National Talent Competition and teaches workshop classes around the tri-state area. She has choreographed award winning numbers for Next Step Dance Studio, collecting many choreography and entertainment awards. One of her favorite quotes to share with her students is by Aristotle; “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

  • Miss Elaina DiBenedetto

    Elaina DiBenedetto has been dancing since the age of three. She has received extensive training in a variety of dance disciplines including jazz, tap, and hip hop. She is especially refined in her ballet, modern, contemporary, and lyrical dance education due to additional private training. During her time in Susan E. Wagner High School, Elaina was active in leading and choreographing various dance programs including the annual SING Production and Scholars Academic Fair. While still a student herself, Elaina stepped into the role of teachers assistant. From there her desire to teach her own classes was born. Upon graduating high school, she continued dancing at the College of Staten Island, completing ballet courses alongside her undergraduate coursework. Elaina was also a lead assistant in modern workshops held by Marquee Your Name in Lights. Elaina is in the process of earning her Bachelors of Social Work Program at the College of Staten Island where she will graduate in 2018.

  • Alexa Luke

    Alexa Luke is a Georgia native, currently living and working professionally in New York City. She has extensive training in countless dance disciplines including contemporary, lyrical, ballet, jazz, modern, and hip-hop. She received her early dance education at Roswell City Dance under the direction of Shannon Childers, and she continued her studies as a BFA Dance major at Marymount Manhattan College.

    Alexa has had the honor of traveling the nation to study the arts, teach dance, and set award-winning choreography. In 2012, she was one of Dance Spirit Magazine’s Cover Model Search Finalists. Alexa spent several years on tour with Intrigue Dance Intensive, assisting, teaching, and setting pieces on young up and coming dancers across the nation. Presently, Alexa is a team member with Hall of Fame Dance Challenge, and spends each weekend pouring into the lives of young artists at various locations around the U.S.

    Alexa is an innovative artist in her own right, and she is constantly performing in projects and works by choreographers all around New York City. She has worked closely with some of today’s most game-changing contemporary choreographers such as Teddy Tedholm, Mary Grace McNally, and Hannah Frederick to name a few. Alexa has shared her talents in several prestigious contemporary dance festivals such as Reverb Dance Festival, New York Moves produced by Shelly Hutchinson, “Mouthfull”, “Impetus”, APAP, and Carnival NYC. She is consistently involved in up and coming showcases and events, and is excited to continue sharing her art as both a performer and choreographer.

    Alexa’s primary interests and passions lie in contemporary dance, as she finds this vocabulary of movement particularly inspiring. She sees the possibilities as endless, and she strives to develop new concepts and discoveries through both dance and choreography. Alexa spends a large portion of time honing her artistry through taking and teaching classes, meanwhile pursuing a career as a professional dancer and choreographer. She is extremely committed to her work, and she finds genuine joy in discovering movement. She is ever-growing and ever-learning, continuously spreading her love for dance with those she has the pleasure of working with.

GUEST TEACHERS

Saturday, 9/17/16 – Audra B. (Contemporary)

Audra BAudra Bryant, a Kansas native, attended the University of Oklahoma where she received her BFA in Musical Theatre (2015) before moving to New York City to pursue a performance career. She discovered dance early as a child leading to a love of choreography and teaching. For Audra the two have gone hand in hand with her pursuits in the arts, and followed her to Oklahoma where she choreographed various musicals for local theatres (The Addams Family, Catch Me If You Can, In The Heights) as well as taught a variety of dance classes, privates, and coached/choreographed competition pieces. Audra worked multiple summers at the Lyric Theater of Oklahoma as Dance Captain and in her last season at Lyric she was the Assistant Choreographer for their production of Mary Poppins. Other performance credits include New Ziegfeld Girl (The Will Rogers Follies) at Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Louise (Carousel), Ivy Smith (On The Town), Carrie White (Carrie the Musical). Now as a performer in NYC, choreography and teaching has been a wonderful creative outlet for Audra. She has been associate choreographer on various dance videos for YouTube with Broadway’s Christopher Rice as well as teaching dance regularly throughout New York and the surrounding area through Liberate Artists (she was able to teach alongside Dance Mom’s Payton Ackerman). She has had the fortunate opportunity to work with various directors and choreographers such as Josh Prince (Choreographer of Shrek the Musical), Richard J Hinds (Assoc. Director of Newsies), Greg Zane (Assoc. Choreographer of The King and I at Lincoln Center), David Scotchford (Choreographer of the Stockholm production of Dirty Dancing and the Assoc. Choreographer of the US Tour of Dirty Dancing). Audra is also thrilled to take part in the New York City Jazz Choreography Project (produced by Jazz Choreography Enterprises, Inc.) this upcoming fall and thankful for the opportunity to debut her choreography on a New York stage.

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Saturday, 9/24/16 – Marika M. (Ballet)

Marika MMarika Matuszak has been studying ballet for 20 years. Ballet has been an integral part of her dance studies in her studios, Danek School of Performing Arts and Perkins School of the Arts. Marika also studied at Raphael Grigorian Ballet Theatre in Binghamton, NY where she learned Vaganova ballet. Marika attended the University at Buffalo for a year where she began looking at ballet from a modern-dancer’s perspective. Marika then transferred to Pace University which is where most of her ballet technique solidified. At Pace she studied ballet daily under renowned teachers such as Scott Jovovich, Michael Cusumano, Kat Wildish, Lauren Gaul and many others. With all of the different influences on her studies, Marika teaches a blended style of ballet. Her methodology stems from her studies in pedagogy. Here she became familiar with the American Ballet Theatre’s teaching, but also learned specific techniques of teaching to enhance the students learning. Marika chooses a theme for the day and implements that into each exercise to truly develop a full knowledge of the specific nuance. Approaching ballet from a performer’s stand point, Marika also focuses on performing ballet from within to teach the students the connection of ballet to other styles of dance while remembering: Ballet is the basis of it all.

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Saturday, 10/1/16 – Lindsey F. (Contemporary)

Lindsey FLindsey was born near Buffalo, NY where she spent her childhood dancing and playing a wide variety of sports. She ventured off to Michigan to attend Hope College and focused her dance studies on ballet and modern technique, choreography, and dance history.

While at Hope, she was fortunate to kick start her dance career early! In 2006 Lindsey auditioned and landed the role of a strict Russian dancer named “Natalia” on a children’s musical TV show called Come On Over!. The creative team enjoyed Lindsey’s bubbly personality so much that they changed the script and rewrote her character to be an extended version of Lindsey herself. Before graduating, Lindsey was cast in The Joffrey Ballet’s first contemporary jazz company, Dorrell Martin Dance Fusion, where she was a featured dancer, and rehearsal captain. Finally she flew back to Michigan to graduate with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and immediately moved to NYC permanently.

Lindsey made her Broadway Debut performing with The Illusionists in 2014 at the Marriott Marquis Theatre. Her final stop on their National Tour included the iconic Kennedy Center. Upon returning to NYC, Lindsey was privileged to workshop and perform four shows through RWS & Associates with Marc Kimelman, Michael Balderrama, and Lorin Latarro.

Some of Lindsey’s favorite television career highlights include joining Sesame Street for the “The Word on the Street” segments (4 episodes), America’s Got Talent with The Illusionists, and most recently appeared on MTV’s Ladylike. She can also be seen in a new media campaign for Samsung’s NX Mini.

Outside of performing, Lindsey is an avid runner year-round and loves to cook. Her boyfriend will proudly say that she can make a mean guacamole!

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Saturday, 10/8/16 – Julie C. (Ballet)

Julie CJulie Carter is originally from Florence, Alabama, and a graduate of Point Park University with a B.A. in Dance and a concentration in Jazz. Julie was a dancer/soloist aboard Royal Caribbean International Cruise Lines and has assisted Jason Parsons, Doug Caldwell, Elizabeth Parkinson (Chorus Line), and Kathryn Murphy (Moving Out). She has performed for Mike Esperanza (BareDanceNY), Erin Pride of EDP Project, Artistic Abandon and performing artist, Klairkia; while most recently appearing in Christmas on Ice in Niagara Falls, Ontario. She has over ten years of teaching experience at Steps On Broadway, numerous studios in the New York City region, and throughout the southeast, while traveling nationally teaching masterclasses working as Show Manager with Step Up 2 Dance.

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Michael Bullard: 10/15 (Contemporary), 10/22 (Ballet)

Michael BMichael Bullard has extensive formal training in Vaganova and Cecchetti techniques, as well as training in Limon based modern, tap dance, and contemporary dance. He attended dance intensives with the New York City Ballet
and Alvin Ailey. At Wagner College, he received my B.A. in Theatre Performance and a Minor in Dance, learning an extensive amount about anatomy/kinesiology, dance conditioning/stretching (including pilates and theraband work), and Bartenieff/Laban fundamentals. His teaching experience began in high school where he started as a teaching assistant for upper level classes and taught younger level ballet classes and private lessons. During college, he was the teaching assistant for several musical theatre dance classes as well as substitute teaching for professors
as the opportunities presented themselves. Post college, while working as a performer on the International Tour of West Side Story for two years, he taught the company ballet class before every performance. He currently substitute and guest teaches ballet classes and West Side Story master classes at various studios and colleges.

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Fiona Laube: 10/29 (Contemporary)

FloridaFiona is an Arizona native and has spent several years dancing, performing, and teaching around the valley. A graduate of Oklahoma City University, she holds a BA in Dance. She has sailed the Atlantic and Pacific while performing aboard Princess Cruises, dancing in several different production shows. Regional credits include Singin’ in the Rain, My Fair Lady, Miracle on 34th Street, Will Rogers Follies, Home for the Holidays (original production), Cinderella! Cinderella! (Theater for Young Audiences production). She has appeared on an in-house commercial as well as some regional television specials. While she enjoys performing, she has a strong passion for teaching. It delights her to be able to share the joy, discipline, education, and therapy that dance provides. She teaches jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, and musical theater. Certified in The S.E.E.D. Method, she is eager, as The S.E.E.D. Method promises, to “Plant The SEED For Fitness” and help dancers and non-dancers sculpt the leaner, stronger body that they desire.

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Audra Bryant: 11/5 (Ballet)

Audra BryantAudra Bryant, a Kansas native, attended the University of Oklahoma where she received her BFA in Musical Theatre (2015) before moving to New York City to pursue a performance career. She discovered dance early as a child leading to a love of choreography and teaching. For Audra the two have gone hand in hand with her pursuits in the arts, and followed her to Oklahoma where she choreographed various musicals for local theatres (The Addams Family, Catch Me If You Can, In The Heights) as well as taught a variety of dance classes, privates, and coached/choreographed competition pieces. Audra worked multiple summers at the Lyric Theater of Oklahoma as Dance Captain and in her last season at Lyric she was the Assistant Choreographer for their production of Mary Poppins. Other performance credits include New Ziegfeld Girl (The Will Rogers Follies) at Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Louise (Carousel), Ivy
Smith (On The Town), Carrie White (Carrie the Musical). Now as a performer in NYC, choreography and teaching has been a wonderful creative outlet for Audra. She has been associate choreographer on various dance videos for YouTube with Broadway’s Christopher Rice as well as teaching dance regularly throughout New York and the surrounding area through Liberate Artists (she was able to teach alongside Dance Mom’s Payton Ackerman). She has had the fortunate opportunity to work with various directors and choreographers such as Josh Prince (Choreographer of Shrek the Musical), Richard J Hinds (Assoc. Director of Newsies), Greg Zane (Assoc. Choreographer of The King and I at Lincoln Center), David Scotchford (Choreographer of the Stockholm production of Dirty Dancing and the Assoc. Choreographer of the US Tour of Dirty Dancing). Audra is also thrilled to take part in the New York City Jazz Choreography Project (produced by Jazz Choreography Enterprises, Inc.) this upcoming fall and thankful for the opportunity to debut her choreography on a New York stage.

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