North Shore Performing Arts Center is thrilled to be in its 23rd year of business. The entire staff pride themselves on helping children and adults gain self-confidence, coordination and self-expression. The instructors at NSPAC teach more than just how to dance, they teach their students the art of dance.
Julia Rahman was born in Long Island, NY, and grew up dancing in New York City. In 2010, Julia began her studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst College and was awarded the Humanities and Fine Arts Achievement Award. In 2012, she was awarded a full scholarship to train at Perry Mansfield, a rigorous and nationally prestigious education in Colorado. Julia graduated in May 2014, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a B.F.A. in Dance. While attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she was given the opportunity to perform in works by Merce Cunningham, David Parsons, Karole Armitage, Ernesta Corvino, Ariel Freedman, Antonio Brown, and Colleen Thomas, among others while allowing her to present her own choreography.
After graduation, in June 2014, Julia joined Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre, Naganuma 2. She was awarded Most Promising Young Choreographer by the Naganuma Dance Company. Later that year, Julia performed in works by Francesca Harper of The Francesca Harper Project and the work “Signals” by Merce Cunningham set by Susana Hayman-Chaffey. In 2015, Julia joined Mystic India: The World Tour - AATMA Performing Arts. The following year, Julia performed in the work "Consider Water" with Davalois Fearon Dance.
Through dancing and performing, Julia discovered she also had a passion for fitness and maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle. This lead her to become barre certified. She currently teaches barre classes at Pure Barre in Garden City, NY, teaches at North Shore Performing Arts Center in Syosset, NY, and continues to dance in the world touring show Mystic India - AATMA Performing Arts. Through movement, expression, and exploration, Julia wants to inspire others to realize their dreams and lead them to their most balanced, beautiful, and best self!
Sarah Doheny was born and raised in Long Island, NY. During high school, she was captain of the St. Anthony’s High School dance team. She furthered her dance training and studied at Broadway Dance Center. After graduating high school, Sarah began teaching both recreational and competitive dance. She has won numerous awards for her choreography including most entertaining, best choreography in jazz/musical theater/tap and first place overall for her solo, duos, trios and group dances. Sarah prides herself on her love and passion for teaching and helping each individual dancer grow in technique, strength and confidence.
Jennifer Cestaro was trained at North Shore Performing Arts where she danced throughout high school and college. Her training also includes Broadway Dance Center, where she has danced with many professionals including Dan Karaty, Germaine Salsberg, Alex Hasbany, and Chris Hale. She has additionally attended events such as the Rockette Dance Experience, the Broadway Dance Experience through the Nederlander Theatre, as well as the Annual Dance Teacher Summit where she has worked with choreographers such as Mandy Moore and Travis Wall. Jennifer also has extensive experience in competitive dance. She has placed high score overall and won titles at National Dance Showcase, Legacy, Footloose, Starpower, Starbound, and Headliners, and was chosen to represent the US at the World Dance Championship in Germany. She has been choreographing high scoring routines for North Shore Performing Arts since 2005. Jennifer has a wide-ranging background in Musical Theatre as well. She participated in the Usdan Center for Performing Art’s Musical Theatre program for six years. Some of her experience includes playing Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, Arielle in Footloose, the Artful Dodger in Oliver, Sarah in Guys and Dolls, and Jeanie in Hair. She graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, in May 2011, magna cum laude with a Government and Economics degree, where she was the Assistant Director of the Georgetown University Dance Company, a concert repertory dance company that performs diverse works in classical ballet, contemporary, jazz, as well as other styles. She received her J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law magna cum laude in 2014. Jennifer loves being a part of the NSPAC family and is looking forward to another great year!
Keri Olsen, Long Island born and raised, has been dancing since she was two years old. Keri danced and competed both regionally and nationally for a highly competitive studio on Long Island, until she was 18. Upon graduating high school, where she danced on her school’s dance team, Keri attended Hofstra University. At Hofstra University, Keri was a Physical Education major with a minor in Dance. She was also on the Hofstra dance team, who was back-to-back national champions in the hip-hop division, in 2012 and 2013. Besides competing for Varsity Brands, Keri worked for Varsity and was a UDA instructor from 2009-2016. Keri was also a New York Cosmos Girl for three years, a dance team for a professional soccer team, and was captain in her last year.
Gabrielle Marino has been dancing since the age of two. From the moment she stepped on stage, her passion for dance was evident. She danced on the LA Dance Studio competition team throughout Middle School and High School, while also cheering on her high school team, where she choreographed tryout dances. During her time at the studio, she attended multiple Tramaine Dance Conventions, The Rockette Experience, and Performances in Disney, just to name a few. She was also a student teacher and found joy in teaching and guiding the young dancers. After High School, Gabrielle pursued her passion for fashion by attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, where she was able to study Visual Arts/Display, while simultaneously continuing her dance education. Since then, Gabrielle pursues a full time career in Marketing where she uses her creativity on a daily basis. She has found a ton of new outlets to dive into such as SoulCycle (her favorite), Running, Yoga and other miscellaneous forms of exercise which she anticipates adding to her choreography. She is so excited to get back to where she belongs, in a dance studio at NSPAC! One of her favorite quotes is “if the shoe fits” and dance shoes always fit!
Maria Kiriazis has been dancing for the past nineteen years. She started her formal dance training at North Shore Performing Arts Center. She competed in hip hop and tap for many years, while teaching recreative and competition dance classes during her senior year of high school. Maria attended SUNY Oneonta, where she just graduated with her Bachelors degree in early childhood/childhood education. Maria was on Oneonta’s dance company since her first semester in college. She choreographed contemporary and hip hop works for four years at SUNY Oneonta and was the secretary on the executive board for two years. Dance has always been a passion and something Maria looked forward to doing everyday. She can’t wait to be back at her second home with her NSPAC family. She is so excited for such an awesome year and is blessed to be working with so many amazing dancers!
Kat Morrison started dancing when she was only two years old, giving her twenty years of experience in the dance world. She trained at many studios, including Lynch School of Ballet, as well as taking classes at Broadway Dance Center. She has been trained in jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, ballet, lyrical and modern. She danced competitively for eight years, competing at multiple competitions on Long Island, including; KAR, Revolution, and Legacy. She was crowned Miss Beyond the Stars, in 2012, where she won first place for her jazz solo, as well as winning first place, in 2014, for her contemporary solo at Access Broadway. Kat also danced with her high school kickline team, where she was captain and choreographed jazz, hip-hop, and kick routines for football and basketball games, as well as competitions. In 2013, she was awarded St. Anthony’s High School Fall Sports’ MVP for her hard work and dedication to and for the team. She started teaching dance when she was sixteen and continued to teach after she graduated high school. Kat graduated from Loyola University Maryland, in 2018, where she was a part of the Loyola Dance team and Dance Company. She choreographed for two years on the dance team, until she was elected officer of the Loyola Dance Company her junior year where she was able to choreograph and perform for the end of semester showcases. Along with running a company of over 100 students, she taught jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary groups as well as solos and duets. Kat currently works at Universal McCann, a media agency in New York City, as a planner on the ExxonMobil account. Kat is very excited to start her first year with the NSPAC family and be able to continue her passion in teaching and choreographing dances!
Allison Luca is a native of Baltimore, Maryland who has been dancing since age three. She was a competitive dancer with Spotlight Studio of Dance throughout her whole adolescence where she learned to be proficient in ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, musical theater, tap, and hip-hop. She has won numerous regional and national awards throughout her competitive years of dance as well as being the recipient of the Maryland Distinguished Scholar Award for the Arts.
She went on to further her training at Point Park University graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance. After college, Allison moved to NYC where she was an intern for The Pulse On Tour Convention and STEPS on Broadway. Her favorite performance opportunities include the Jazz Dance World Congress with Oasis Dance Ensemble, Capezio ACE Awards, and dancing back-up for the Backstreet Boys. Allison is also a certified teacher for The McGovern Method, a conditioning program for dancers helping to prevent injury while strengthening and toning muscles. She has experience judging & teaching for several dance competitions and conventions; however, she is currently a Head Judge with Beyond the Stars Competition and most recently, was a part of the faculty for their Virtual Convention. Allison teaches master classes & sets choreography for several studios across the east coast. Her choreography has won numerous awards and has been recognized both regionally and nationally. She also currently teaches for three studios in Long Island where her mission is to inspire dancers through movement, creating a positive environment to grow as a person & as a dancer.
Cassidy has been dancing for the past sixteen years. She started off taking combo classes at NSPAC and worked her way into becoming a dance teacher. She is trained in many styles of dance such as ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop. After participating in several dance competitions, she won platinum awards and first place trophies. Cassidy also participated in the Joffrey Ballet School and the Karen Lynch School of Ballet summer intensives. She also took classes at The Ballet Center to further her knowledge and expand her passion for dance. She is currently in college and is a member of the Nassau Dance Team. Cassidy is looking forward to another great year teaching at NSPAC!
Lauren Juchem has been dancing since she was two years old, starting in a strictly Ballet and Pointe academy. In high school, she furthered her dance education by training in Tap, Jazz, Lyrical and Kickline. Later, Lauren became a dance instructor, teaching Lyrical, Ballet and Pointe. Currently, she attends Long Island University Post as a sophomore and is pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. Lauren is also a member of the nationally ranked LIU Post Dance Team and competed in Daytona, Florida this past April with her team at NCA/NDA Nationals where they placed sixth in the nation! Lauren is very excited to become part of NSPAC and meet her students this year!
Sydney Zelin was a student at NSPAC for 16 years before heading off to college. She trained at
NSPAC in all styles of dance. For 11 years, Sydney competed in hip-hop, jazz, and tap. During
her time at NSPAC, Sydney was dancer in award-winning dances. She was also a member of the
nationally ranked Syosset Varsity Kickline throughout her four years in high school. While on
the team, they placed third in the nation! Sydney recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from
The Ohio State University, earning a B.S. in Education and Disability Studies. Sydney took
multiple dance classes at OSU, taught by professional and well-known instructors. She
competed on Ohio State’s Movement Variations dance team in 2017 and was a member of her
award-winning sorority, Delta Gamma, dance team. During her final two years of college,
Sydney earned the captain position of her dance team, in which she choreographed and trained
highly competitive dancers. Sydney is so excited to officially join the NSPAC staff and be back in
her second home!
Jennifer Farrugia fell in love with the art of dance at age three and joined her home away from home, North Shore Performing Arts Center, in 1998. Jennifer danced competitively throughout grade school, during which time, she won numerous high scores and special awards for team routines and jazz solos. She continued to dance in Maryland, while attending Towson University. She has taken master classes with the world renowned Mia Michaels and has enjoyed exploring all styles of dance. After concentrating on her career and building her family, Jennifer has returned to her home away from home, NSPAC, to continue her passion in dance. Jennifer is excited to teach and inspire the next generation of dancers at NSPAC!