Michael Guzman, owner and teacher, a native of Puerto Rico, grew up in New York City. While attending Syracuse University, he began his ballroom dance instruction teaching for Walt Medicis. A former teacher at Fayetteville-Manlius High School, he gained further experiences as a choreographer for the school musicals as the instructor for the Ballroom Dance Club. His performance credits include Pepe in West Side Story and Pedro in Man of la Mancha. Mike is a regular guest instructor in many school districts throughout the area.
Marisa Guzman-Colegrove, co-owner, is a lifetime member of the CNY dance community. As a teacher she specializes in Flamenco and is one of the only teachers of this dance style in Upstate New York. She also teaches jazz, creative movement, ballet, modern and is certified in Stott pilates. She is an award winning choreographer and her credits including Syracuse Contemporary Dance Company, Syracuse Opera and Syracuse Symphony as well as Fayetteville-Manlius High School Musical and Town of Manlius summer show. She is currently performing with Alegre Flamenco throughout the Upstate Region.
Ellen Ayer-Earley has been dancing, teaching and choreographing throughout New York, Philadelphia and Texas for many years. She attended the High School of Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and went on to University of the Arts, Philadelphia majoring in ballet and jazz. Upon returning to CNY, she taught for Metropolitan School for the Arts where she developed after school dance programs for inner city schools. She also taught for Syracuse School of Dance, Camillus Dance Center and Syracuse University. She has many credits for choreography with local theater companies and regional dance companies. She is the founder of the pre-professional dance company Roots Dance Company which performs at various locations in the community throughout the year.
Heather McNeil earned her BFA in Musical Theater from Ithaca College and an MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College. She has served as the Camps and Outreach Coordinator for Red House Arts Center and was the Theater Dept. Chair at the Connecticut Conservatory for the Performing Arts. She has choreographed for various theater and dance companies up and down the East Coast. Most recently she was in residence at Gundlach Theater where she choreographed their production of Cabaret.
Orresta Paddock has been studying ballet and performing in theater productions since the age of six. He began his training at Cazenovia School of Ballet and has performed as a guest artist with ballet companies including Moscow Ballet and Mobile Ballet Company (Alabama). An award winning actor, Orresta still enjoys performing in area theater companies. He has graced the stage at CNY Playhouse, Manlius summer show, and Rome Community Theater. He was also assistant choreographer for FM High School's Phantom of the Opera.
Lauren Puente is a dancer, singer and actress who graduated with a B.A. in Musical Theater from SUNY Cortland. She has performed for almost every theater company in Upstate NY and has added choreography credits to her list of accomplishments including CNY Playhouse, Fabius Pompey musicals,FM high school musical and Manlius summer shows. You can also find her as one of her many characters at the interactive Museum of Intrigue, Destiny USA.
Anna Rupert is returning after a three-year hiatus from teaching dance at GDS. During her time away, she was studying for her Masters in Dance Therapy at Lesley University in Boston. While there she took class with Isaac de los Reyes and was able to dive deeper into her Flamenco training. Anna began taking dance at the age of three and has studied with various schools throughout CNY. She has been part of Master Classes here as well as in NYC, Spain and Cuba. We are so excited to have Anna back with the studio!