Teresa Grazia-Dei (Ballet Teacher)
Teresa Grazia-Dei grew up on Long Island and started studying ballet at the age of thirteen, which was considered late by ballet standards. Almost immediately, she won a dance scholarship for a summer arts program at Tanglewood Preserve in Rockville Centre, N.Y. She then studied with Yurek and Galina Lazowski at their school in Wantagh, her hometown. After auditioning, she was accepted to the Andre Eglevsky School of Ballet and the following year, she was given a scholarship to the school. As a teenager, she became a regular member of the Eglevsky Ballet Company, and performed extensively in ballets such as the Nutcracker, Cinderella, Peter and the Wolf, Swan Lake, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, Igrouchki, and Les Sylphides. Later she was chosen for the role of Taglioni in Pas de Quatre. Many guest artists performed with the company including Dame Margot Fonteyn of the Royal Ballet, Sergiu Stefanschi of the National Ballet of Canada, Violette Verdy, Gelsey Kirkland, Fernando Bujones, Marianna Tcherrkassky, Warren Conover, and Carol Sumner to name a few. For several summers, she studied at American Ballet Theatre School, and was also accepted and took lessons at The School of American Ballet.
Ms. Grazia-Dei auditioned for The Julliard School in New York, and was offered a grant to continue her education. She was recommended for her first dance teaching job after high school by Mr. Eglevsky. At twenty-two, she went to Europe to perform as a demi-soloist in an Opera Ballet in Austria. She danced in operas, operettas, in several full length ballet evenings, and in the full-length production of “Giselle”. Upon returning to the United States, Teresa continued her ballet training in New York City, and studied with many notable teachers, such as Igor Schwezoff, Juliu Horvath, and Geta Constantinescu. She performed with the Radio City Music Hall Ballet, danced with the Bridgeport Ballet Company, and with the Fedicheva Ballet Company.
In 1992, Ms. Grazia-Dei began teaching ballet, and choreographing recital pieces. She has been on the faculty at Progressive Dance School in Englewood New Jersey, and also taught at the Manhattan Ballet School in New York City since 1997. She taught at Broadway Dance Center substituting for Dorit Koppel’s adult classes. She joined the faculty at in the Broadway Dance Center in the Children and Teen Program from 2004 through 2007, and choreographed recital pieces for all of her classes there.
Since 1993 Ms. Grazia-Dei has been teaching ballet to children and adults at the Michele Compa Dance and Exercise Center and has also choreographed original pieces for the yearly school recitals. Teaching ballet and choreography has become her full-time career.
Francesca Nieves (Ballet, Modern, Tap and Jazz)
Francesca Nieves is a native New Yorker who now resides in New Jersey. Graduating from the University of Michigan in 2011 she received a BFA in Dance and a BA in Sociology. At the University she trained and studied with Melissa Beck, Amy Chavasse, Bill DeYoung, Lindsey and Jason Dietz Marchant, Jessica Fogel, Daniel Gwirtzman, Judy Rice, Peter Sparling, Sandra Torijano, and Robin Wilson. There she also performed works such as Merce Cunningham’s Minevent, Carolyn Dorfman’s Cat’s Cradle, Laura Dean’s Impact as well as other faculty pieces. Francesca Nieves received her early ballet and modern training with Leslie Brown (Ballet), Zelma Bustillo (Ballet), Lisa Lockwood (Ballet), Columbine Macher (Limon), and Dionisia Garcia (Flamenco). Francesca Nieves started her professional dance career at Ballet Hispanico first as an Intern, then as an apprentice/guest dancer in 2006; in 2008 she became full Company member. With Ballet Hispanico, she has performed works by Tina Ramirez, Willie Rosario, Pedro Ruiz, and Alexander Magno. She joined New Jersey Ballet in 2011 as an apprentice where she performed in Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Don Quixote, Death and the Maiden, Giselle (Full length), Nutcracker, Pinocchio, and Sleeping Beauty. She will begin her third season with the company this year.
Francesca Nieves began her teaching career at the University of Michigan teaching beginner modern to non-dance majors. In 2008, she began teaching at the YMCA of Ann Arbor teaching Tap and Jazz, beginner Hip-Hop, and Salsa Fitness. She also began her GYROKINESIS training in Ann Arbor and is continuing to pursue her certification. Moving back to the East Coast after graduating in 2011 she began teaching at Michele Compa Dance and Exercise Center teaching Ballet, Flamenco, beginner tap and jazz, Modern, and Salsa and in 2012, she started teaching Ballet in Montclair, NJ at Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts. She happily continues to work at both of these studios today.
Satoko Mori (Hip Hop teacher)
Satoko Mori is originally from Tokyo, Japan. She has been active as a dancer as well as a choreographer in and around New York area since 2008. The styles of dance that she has trained for about 14 years include but not limited to; Hip Hop, Jazz, Theater, Heels, Ballet, Modern, Popping and House. She has performed and opened up for numerous artist such as Madonna, Lil Kim, 50cent, Fabolous, Chris Brown, Mario and Ciara. She also toured with Lil Kim in Africa and Australia. Satoko has also appeared in numerous TV shows, Music Videos and Commercials such as PIX11, MTV’s A-List New York, Comcast TV, VH1, Showtime at Apollo, TV Tokyo and Fuji TV. Satoko is also an amazing choreographer. She has choreographed for many dance shows, competitions and music videos. Satoko has been signed to one of the top dance agency called ‘Bloc talent agency’. Satoko Mori has taught several dance classes and workshops in Japan and New York City. She always bring her original style, experience and passion for dance to her students.
Asami Tomida (Hip-Hop, Ballet and Modern)
Asami Tomida was born, raised and began dance training in Japan. She trained in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary and gaga. She received her B.A from Nihon University College of Art and worked at Universal Studios Japan in 2009. Asami moved to NYC in 2010 and graduated from Hunter College as a Dance Major in 2013. Tomida has worked with choreographers Stefanie Batten Bland, Donna Uchizono, Julian Barnet, Yuki Hasegawa and Doug Varone, Samuel Pott and Ray Sullivan, and had worked with Nimbus Dance Work, Miami contemporary dance company and New Century Dance Company.