Julie Rizzo (Director)
Julie Rizzo is a graduate of Gloria Jean Studio of Dance, Danstarz Dance Team, and was member of the United States Tap Dance Team. She competed in Germany where the U.S. Team won the silver medal in the World Championship. Her expertise in tap has won her many high score awards in national dance competitions. She has won pageant titles such as America's Teen Yankee Miss and Teen Miss New Haven County. Julie recently graduated from Saint Joseph College where she was the president and choreographer of the Saint Joseph College Dance Ensemble. Julie represented the college at the Ted Hershey Dance Marathon and choreographed a piece for the 5x5 Dance Festival where she had the opportunity to work with Lorelei Chang. She is very excited to continue her work as a dancer and choreographer through Dance City and The Arts.
Elisa Alexander was born in West Virginia and started dancing at the age of three. She trained at Inwood Performing Arts and the Frederick School of Classical Ballet before leaving home to attend high school at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy for three years on scholarship. She spent two summers at North Carolina Dance Theatre and one at Boston Ballet's summer program. Elisa earned her BFA cum laude. in ballet at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. While there, she enjoyed dancing orles in Paquita, La Bayadere, Swan Lake and Balanchine's Walpurgisnacht and Pas de Dix, as well as original works created by CCM faculty. She also choreographed two pieces that were chosen to be performed in the Choreohrapher's Showcase at CCM. Additionally, Elisa performed as a guest artist in Dayton Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker. After college Eliza joined the Charlottesville Ballet in Cherlottesville, VA. She was a company member as well as choreographer for two years. In 2012 Elisa also performed and choreographed for concor Dance Contemporary, a brand new contemporary company in Crozet, Virginia.
Carey has been training in dance for over eighteen years, trained as a teacher’s assistant for 8 years, and has been teaching dance for three years. Although she is attending Central Connecticut State University for Art Education, she has always been passionate about teaching dance. As education is very important to her, she continues to train with master teachers from So You Think You Can Dance, including Brian Friedman, Sonya Tayeh, Mia Michaels, Wade Robson, and many more. She also recently attended a teacher training program taught by choreographers from popular Disney shows and ballet companies, and plans to attend this program each year for fresh teaching ideas. Carey was a national champion winner for Step Up To Dance with a group contemporary number, and she now enjoys teaching students to grow and strive at Dance City & The Arts. As a graduate of Dance City & The Arts, she is thrilled to continue teaching the various styles of dance offered, including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Acrobatics, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Musical Theater and more!
Lisa Carroll - Musical Theater Academy Teacher
Lisa earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in theater and education from Boston College. She has been actively working in local educational theater since 1988 as the coordinator/director of the Southington Youth Summer Theater program. She is also the drama club advisor at Northeast Middle School in Bristol, the drama teacher and advisor at Bristol Eastern High Schoool, the drama club director at St. Dominic's School in Southington and the musical theater teacher at Dance City & the Arts. Lisa has performed with the Southington Community Theater, as the lead vocalist of the "Screamin Eagles Jazz Band" and as the cantor and music ministry director at St. Dominic's Chuch in Southington. She has also performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City and in Dublin, Ireland. Las has taught in the Bristol school system for 17 years.
Jason was born and raised in NYC. It is there where he began his training as an actor at the Harlem School of the Arts. In 2001, Jason moved to Connecticut and began his dance training at Footlights Center for Performing Arts where he was introduced to ballet, jazz, hip hop, and ballroom. Jason appeared in the Hartford Stage Company's "Breakdancing Shakespeare" series as Antony in "Antony and Cleopatra" and as Puck in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." He also was an assistant choreographer for "A Comedy of Errors". In 2009, Jason received a scholarship to study at the Connecticut Concert Ballet where he performed Puck in CCB's "Midsummer Night's Dream" ballet. Currently, Jason continues his training with the Monsters Of Hip Hop. Teachers at MOHH include Nappy Tabs, Will Wingfield, and Phi from the Jabawackeez.
ARI GIRELLI (Ballroom Instructor and Tumbling Coach)
ARI GIRELLI (Ballroom Instructor and Tumbling Coach) is both a competitive gymnast and ballroom dancer. In Ballroom, he has placed first in Regional Fred Astaire competitions, collegiate competitions and NDCA events in latin, rhythm, and standard categories. He has trained with top coaches including Christa Cote, Jennifer McCalla, Tony Dovolani, and Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine. As a gymnast, Ari was a competitive gymnast for both Winingers Gymnastics and the Gymnastics Training Center for 10 years. He currently is on an Xtreme Martial Arts team that incorporates music, acrobatics, and strength training. The team is ranked 1st in the world for the third consecutive year. Currently Ari teaches Acro and coaches Xtreme Martial Arts Ari is in the process of developing a Competitive Ballroom Dance Teamn