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E L I T E   F A C U L T Y

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SILVIA SIMEONE

Owner/Artistic Director/Instructor

Silvia received her early years of training at the Donna Miceli Dance Center and then furthered her career at the University of Tampa, FL where she graduated with a B.A in Psychology and Dance/Theatre.  While preparing for her career at UT Silvia was a lead choreographer and dancer and  was honored with awards for her contributions to the UT Dance Program.

Her extensive training also includes study under renowned artists while attending dance workshops and intensives at the Boston Conservatory, the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance (NYC), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (NYC), and ballet technique intensives with ballet master Finis Jhung.  Silvia's training also extended overseas where she joined the World Dance Movement in Italy which offers training and inspiration from international faculty.  Her training never ceases as she believes in the importance of continual education as a dance teacher as well as her driving passion for growth as an artist. 

With more than 20 years of training with the dance industry's leading innovators and masters in their fields, Silvia continues to bring current and evolving style of dance into her studio while also keeping with the traditional and classic styles of which dance is rooted from.

DONNA MICELI
FACULTY

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Donna was the Founder/Director of the Donna Miceli Dance Center for 47 years and has been a pillar of the dance community since its opening and continues to be highly regarded in the field of dance.

Donna received her training at Boston Ballet, Gus Giordano Dance Center in Chicago, and the New York City studios of Luigi and Alvin Ailey. In addition to founding the Donna Miceli Dance Ensemble and the Youth Dance Company, Ms. Miceli has instructed at Boston School of Ballet, Gus Giordano Dance Center, Jeanette Neill Dance Studio and Lowell Arts Magnet School. She has been a Master Teacher for the Dance Teachers Clubs of Boston and Maine, Dance Masters of America and Tanzwerkstatt Internationale in Bonn, Germany.

The recipient of numerous awards for her performances and choreography, Ms. Miceli has choreographed for MRT and professional companies. She was a finalist in the International Choreography Competitive Event at Jazz Dance World Congress 2000 and 2003 where she received Honorable Mention awards for her work. Ms. Miceli is certified by the Dance Teachers Club of Boston and Dance Masters of America and serves as adjudicator at competitions. 

We are honored to have Miss Donna sharing her knowledge with both our dancers and our teachers.

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Mikayla Souza grew up dancing throughout Southern New Hampshire and the Greater Boston area and first discovered her love for teaching dance as a student instructor during her high school years. Miss Mikayla went on to earn a BS in Elementary Education and a BA in Theatre and Dance from Keene State College, where she had the privilege of working with esteemed professors such as Marcia Murdock, William Seigh, and Cathy Nicoli, and guest professor/artist in residence Frances Nii Yartey of the Royal Ballet of Ghana.

In addition to her studies in modern, ballet, and West African dance, Miss Mikayla also performed and competed hip hop and jazz routines throughout New England with the Keene State College Dance Team.  She joined the Elite Dance family in 2011 as a tap, jazz, ballet, and hip hop instructor. Miss Mikayla strives to further her growth as a dancer and an artist by attending as many classes and conventions as possible, including weekly classes at EDC.  In addition to teaching our lovely Elite dancers, Miss Mikayla also teaches fifth grade in Haverhill, MA.

MIKAYLA SOUZA
FACULTY

CAROLYN MCCARTHY
FACULTY

Carolyn received her early years of classical training from several studios in the Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts and attended national competitions as a teen. She represented the University of Vermont (UVM) by presenting choreography at the American College Dance Association (ACDA) New England Conference and Vermont College Dance Festival, and was awarded the Senior Outstanding Performance and Choreography Award upon graduating with a B.A. in 2015. She earned a Master of Philosophy in System Dynamics at the University of Bergen, Norway in 2018 and has published research on simulation-based education in scholarly journals.

Carolyn celebrates 15+ years of teaching dance to a variety of students, from classically trained dancers, to public school students from low-income communities, to People with Parkinson’s Disease. She founded Emergence (@emergence.mvmt) in 2022 to expand access to dance education to students in the Lowell Public School system, while applying her 3+years of curriculum development experience to building an online choreography course for K12
teachers.


Carolyn loves the community of faculty, students, and families at Elite Dance Company and is thrilled to train students and showcase work as an EDC Team choreographer.

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AMANDA WEINER
FACULTY

Amanda has been dancing since she was three years old and received her training at Dance Productions in Woburn, MA. After graduating from Wilmington High School, Amanda went on to study Dance Performance Studies and Elementary Education at Roger Williams University (RWU) in Bristol, RI. At RWU, Amanda performed for four years as a company member of the Dance Theatre. She received the "Who's Who among Students in American Universities & Colleges" Award, the "Outstanding Academic Achievement Award in Dance", as well as, the "Paolino Dance Scholarship".

After earning her BA in Dance Performance Studies and Elementary Education, Amanda earned her Master's degree from Bridgewater State University in Special Education: Severe Disabilities (all levels). For the past seven years, she has been working as a special educator for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and teaching dance to students ranging in ages 6 - 18.

GINA SANDELLI
FACULTY

Gina began dancing at age 5 and danced throughout most of her childhood at Broadway Dance Academy in Tewksbury, focusing mainly on tap, jazz, and ballet.  Her passion for dance continued into adulthood as she started a family.  While signing her daughters up for dance classes at Elite in 2012, Gina also found an opportunity to continue her own dance education and also began taking classes at Elite in various styles. 

After six years of continued training with Elite's faculty, Gina began teaching our combo classes in 2018 and strives to instill the love of dance at a young age.  She is committed to providing a fun, exciting,  and nurturing dance environment and setting a foundation for our youngest dancers to build upon.  Miss Gina is loved by all our toddlers and continues to keep our classroom filled with joy and encouragement for our tiny dancers.

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LYNN COMBS
FACULTY

Miss Lynn started studying dance at age 3 under the instruction of Marian T. Miller & Susan Miller-Barton at Dance Arts Studio in Somerville, MA. She was trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern/Contemporary and Lyrical. She spent many years on the competitive circuit winning numerous awards and titles. Lynn was also a member of Horizons Unlimited Dance Company.

She started her teaching career at age 13 with the Junior Teacher Program in MA. Lynn has spent more over 30 years teaching at numerous studios in the Boston area. She continues to advance her training with many Master teaching programs from Dance Teacher Life to ballet with Finis Jhung. Lynn is thrilled to be a new member of the EDC family!

EVELYN LALLY
FACULTY

Evelyn Lally is thrilled to be joining EDC!  As a young dancer, Evelyn has trained under some of the most experienced teachers in New England and achieved many competition accolades.  During her high school career, Evelyn served as Dance Team Captain for Lowell High School and received the only Fine Arts Department Award for Dance Excellence upon graduation. 

Evelyn has been teaching young dancers for over seven years and choreographing award winning group pieces, solos, duos and trios for the past five years. She presently continues her dance education earning certificate program credits to add to her training.  Evelyn is also the Mini Program director at a local studio and has created unique programming for local recreational and competitive students. 

She attends Merrimack College in North Andover, MA where she is a President List senior enrolled in their four plus one program. She is working toward multiple Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in trauma therapy and Special Education. She has a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She is very passionate about dance being used as an outlet for individuals experiencing trauma.  Evelyn is also employed by the City of Lowell as a traveling manager for Parks & Recreation, overseeing their fall and winter sports programs and their summer camp programs. She is also employed as a certified lifeguard and swim instructor. Additionally she works as a warden for the City of Lowell’s Election Commission and also works with multiple adaptive sports programs for children and adults with disabilities. 

Evelyn is excited to bring her love for teaching to new young dancers at EDC, with the hope that they develop a lifelong love of dance. 

ELLEN GRINDER - Guest Artist

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Ellen Grinder is enjoying celebrating her 33rd year of teaching dance this season, under the recent business title of EBC Creations, LLC and is currently specializing in JUST JAZZ classes for teens and adults.  She grew up dancing (and teaching) at the Donna Miceli Dance Center where she earned all but 3 of her years of teaching experience and her technical training.  She served as Senior Company Director and was responsible for the Advance Contemporary Reparatory Ensemble, Musical Theater Reparatory Ensemble, Hip Hop Youth Performing Ensemble and Co-Directed the Youth Dance Company (after being a long-term company member since its inception) along with Donna Miceli.  In addition to the wonderful staff there, she and the opportunity to study with numerous guest artists and to showcase her own choreography on talented and passionate students.  Most notable, she was honored to compete in the International Gus Giordano World Jazz Congress, first as a student and then qualified and returned as a choreographer.  Participation in more local dance performance, benefits, conventions and competitions yielded a wealth of experience, positive feedback, accolades and awards. 

Ellen's education includes a B.S. in Elementary Education from Salem State College while on a Presidential Scholarship and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction (focusing on math & science) from Boston College.  Currently, she is happily employed as the Site Director and Dance Coordinator at an after school program in Lexington, Lextended Day at Harrington, where she has been known to sneak in math concepts and vocabulary building opportunities while teaching dance, especially (but certainly not limited) to the younger students.

ALICIA NAPOLITANO - Guest Artist

Alicia grew up dancing at the Donna Miceli Dance Center where she trained in all styles and began her assistant career. She has received the top regional scholarships from conventions like The Pulse, West Coast Dance Explosion, NYCDA, Jump, and many others throughout the country training under top choreographers featured on SYTYCD. She was a member of the Divison 1 Hofstra University Dance Team, earning herself two National Championship titles as well as her minor in Dance. She was also a member of the 2016 USA Dance Team competing at the ICU World Competition and earning a World Championship title. She was most recently cast as an ensemble dancer in the production of Grease at the Palace Theatre.

Today she continues to train and assist while also teaching at studios throughout the MA and NH area. Her choreography has won numerous 1st place titles and specialty awards as well as Best Choreography awards. She loves sharing her knowledge and love of dance in hopes of inspiring the next generation of dancers!

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MICHELLE FOWLER PINTO - Guest Artist

Michelle Fowler Pinto has been inspiring and motivating students for  over 32 years by sharing her love of dance, appreciation of proper technique, and her positive and proactive approach to life. She teaches ballet, children’s tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and modern. She has directed  pre-professional and competing companies at the Donna Miceli Dance Center in Lowell, MA, Allegro Dance Academy in Nashua, NH and at The Studio Dance Company in Clearwater, FL. She currently is on the faculty at West Florida Dance Center in Largo, FL and travels to New England each summer to teach master classes at numerous camps and intensives. Her students emerge from her classes as strong, passionate, and technically proficient dancers. They have gone on to win scholarships from conventions and advanced academies, perform at Disney, on cruise ships, for the Rockettes, Cirque de Soleil, the Dizzy Feet Foundation, on Broadway, television and in movies.

 

ZACH GALASSO - Guest Artist

Zach Galasso has been dancing for over 18 years. He began his training at Broadway Dance Academy in Tewksbury, MA and was a member of the competitive program for 10 years. Zach attended Hofstra University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Art's in Communications. At Hofstra, Zach was a four year member and senior captain of the Hofstra University Dance Team. While on the team, he won two Division 1 National Titles in 2012 and 2013 at the Universal Dance Association Collegiate National Championship. He also appeared, with his team, on ESPN and Good Morning America. In addition to being a dancer, Zach has been teaching and choreographing for 12 years. He started teaching at Broadway Dance Academy and other local studios in MA as well as schools in Long Island, New York. He is now a choreographer for TRA Choreography and works nationally with high school and college dance teams.  Among his dance projects, Zach has choreographed a music video for artist Jared Evan and recently traveled to Finland to work with competitive dance teams.