Jennifer Kliegel I wonder each year if I will have the same connection to the new students coming in . . . and then they walk through the door and I fall in love all over again. What defines my life is teaching and I do love it. 2019 marks my 38th year at The Dance Studio. I’m grateful to be here and proud of the job that we all, collaboratively do, at The Dance Studio to make it one of a kind and simply the best! From Jefferson City, Missouri. I didn’t start dancing as a child; it was later, in high school, where I was blessed to have some of the most influential people of my life as dance & theatre teachers. With academic and dance scholarships I headed off to Stephens College, MO. This is where my true training as a dancer began . . . It’s Never Too Late! Though my training includes all dance disciplines, I consider myself a jazz, tap, musical theatre baby, performing in and choreographing numerous musical productions – across the U.S. and abroad. I have choreographed for elementary, middle schools, high schools, colleges, community theatres, dance studios, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, National Touring Companies and Ireland’s Montfort Singers. I am very proud to be choreographer for Brooklyn’s MS 51′s Vocal Department’s performance chorus and Show Choir, right here in Park Slope! I have danced my way onto soap operas, commercials, “Saturday Night Live” and 1st company with “Dance Theatre Dayton”. All of my experiences have helped me when wearing the many hats of teacher, owner and director of this Studio. I walked through the doors of The Dance Studio in 1981, as a student. I immediately started teaching and became partner in 1989 – sole owner since 1998. My greatest joy in life comes from my family, my “kids in fur coats” Riley (my boxer) & Delta Blue (my lab) and the smiles & hugs I get from your kids each day when I walk into the Studio.
Laura “Miss Ashley” Burke is a Michigan girl in the big city world! Graduating from Adrian College in 2012 with a dual BA in Musical Theatre and Communications, Ashley moved to the city to pursue her desire for the arts. Her most recent credits include “Birthday Boy” written by famed jazz artist Jack Donahue, which premiered Off- Broadway in October of 2013. She has also performed at 54 Below, The Duplex, and The Apollo. Ashley performed 102 shows with Blue Gate Musicals regionally in Lancaster, PA playing Mary in “The Confession”, adapted from the NY Times best-selling novel by Beverly Lewis. She has been dancing since the age of two and also twirled competitive baton for fifteen years. She was also a cheerleader from 5th grade to college, which in turn landed her a scholarship to be a Varsity cheerleader for the Adrian College Bulldogs for four years. While at Adrian, she was captain of the Majorette line for the marching band. Ashley has been teaching for eight years. Her specialties include: Musical Theatre movement, jazz, hip hop and tap. Ashley has also written five children’s plays and directed over twelve shows. She also has taught ages 2-15 and enjoys seeing her students grow and learn with her. Ashley is beyond thrilled to be joining the Park Slope family and cannot wait to have a super fun year!!! Special thanks to Miss Jenn and Miss Lauren for making her feel so at home from the moment she walked in the door. “We can’t always choose the music life gives us, but we sure can choose how we dance to it!” Ashley, now in her 4th year on faculty, brings her love for dance and musical theatre to our students with such energy and joy.
Sarah Garcea studied dance in Buffalo NY starting at the age of 5. She was trained in ballet, jazz, tap, and acrobats at the David DeMarie Dance Studio. While there she won numerous regional and national dance awards. She also started teaching jazz and tap to children at the Karen Kelly School of Dance. While studying ballet, modern, and jazz at the University of Buffalo she was also involved in local theatre groups, choreographing and performing in numerous plays, musicals, and dance recitals. When she came to NYC she continued her study of dance at Steps, and Broadway Dance Center. Sarah’s love for dance brought her to the Dance Studio of Park Slope in 2000 with an emphasis on having fun while learning to dance. Sarah, a beloved faculty member in the Children’s and Adult Programs. .
Setsuko Maruhashi was born and raised in Japan and started her ballet training at the age of eight. After moving to NY she added jazz, tap and modern to her dance training. In 1985, she became the first Asian Rockette at Radio City and performed in numerous productions, including: The Christmas Spectaculars, The Easter Shows, Super Bowl half-time show, Late Night with David Letterman and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She also performed in musicals and industrial shows. She holds a BA in dance from Empire State College, SUNY and is a certified personal trainer and an accredited Pilates instructor. Setsuko has been a faculty member in the Adult Program since June 2000. Setsuko’s gift for teaching has no boundaries and her contribution to both our Adult and Children’s Ballet Programs, immeasurable.
Sierra Overmoyer is from Rochester New York. Sierra started dancing in 1995 studying with “A Touch of Dance” into 2007 with Garth Fagan company prep. Sierra holds two scholarships to “Alvin Ailey summer talent institute” and “Garth Fagan summer intensive”. Sierra has studied at SUNY Brockport with Bachelor of Science degrees in Interdisciplinary Arts for Children and Musical theatre. Sierra has professionally performed in Salvador Brazil for “Welcome Ceremony-World Cup” in 2014 and as backup dancer for the singer Omari in Boston in 2016. She has taught many styles of dance at a local dance studio upstate New York and is thrilled to be living the dream in New York and working with amazing children and staff at the Dance Studio of Park Slope! Welcome back, Sierra, to your third school year on faculty.
Lauren Peart is a true Brooklyn girl and Dance Studio of Park Slope alum. She started dancing at age two and didn’t leave the Dance Studio until she graduated from high school. While attending the studio, she studied ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and gymnastics. She has trained under the watchful eye of both Jennifer and Shevaun. Lauren returned to us in the fall of 2011 after studying Criminal Justice at The Pennsylvania State University. She is excited and always ready to share with your children all she has learned. Her greatest hopes for the new school year are that your children fall in love with the Dance Studio just like she did. Lauren now six years as faculty member has worked with and excited hundreds of students. She is an inspirational dancer and loved teacher.
Shevaun Smythe Hiler is a native of NYC and a Dance Studio of Park Slope alum. She continued her training at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and went on to receive a BA in Dance/ Performance at Roger Williams University. There she was awarded a performance scholarship and was selected to present her choreography at the Kennedy Center’s National Gala. Shevaun has danced with Rocha Dance Theater Performed at Galapagos Art Space and Mo Pikins’ House of Satisfaction as cast member of Rocha’s “Painted Ladies”. Shevaun has also danced in off off Broadway extravaganzas “Shirley at the Tropicana” and “Fishbowl” under the direction of Chris Henry. As well as a dancer, She is an ACE certified personal trainer with a specialty in pre and post-natal fitness. She is proud to be part of the same studio that instilled in her passion to dance and perform and treasures all the little movers in the making. She believes in the special tradition of this unique institution. Shevaun has her own “little movers”, daughter Demi, who is now running and leaping throughout The Dance Studio and Jackson who we consider the bionic boy! What can I say about this incredible performer/teacher that I’ve known since she was one of those “little movers in the making”. She conveys her passion for dance so clearly – her students absorb it, make it their own and then share it through performance. 2019-20 marks Shevaun’s 19th year on faculty at The Dance Studio!