Marisa Guzman-Colegrove, our new artistic director, has been a part of the Central New York dance community for many years. Her teaching credits include flamenco, jazz, creative movement, modern, Stott pilates, and ballet. She has performed and choreographed with the Syracuse Contemporary Dance Company, Syracuse Opera Company, and with the Syracuse Symphony. Marisa has choreographed for Fayetteville-Manlius High School musicals as well as the Town of Manlius summer show. She is presently performing with a new group in central New York called Puente Flamenco. Her greatest creations thus far have been her beautiful daughters Elena Maria, Silvia Isabella, and Gloria Concepcion. Miss Marisa will be teaching Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet, and Pre-Tap.
Claire Angier grew up dancing in Syracuse. She is trained in ballet, modern, and jazz. Claire studied dance at the University of Buffalo and has performed with the Syracuse Contemporary Dance Company. She taught at several local studios, including GDS, before moving out of state to Portland, Oregon. There Claire was a special education teacher and also taught at the flagship exercise studio barre3. Claire is currently a teacher in the Chittenango School District. She has two young daughters who already display a love of dance. Miss Claire will be teaching Creative Movement.
Ellen Ayer Earley has been dancing since she was 3 years old at various studios throughout Syracuse, Houston, Philadelphia, and NYC. She attended The High School of the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and went on to The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Ellen has performed in and choreographed for many local theater companies and also danced with the USO during the first Gulf War. Most recently she was on the board of directors for Rarely Done Productions. Ellen has been teaching dance for the past 20 years for Camillus Dance Centre and formerly for Metropolitan School for the Arts and Syracuse School of Dance. While teaching for MSA, she developed a very popular musical theater class that focused on performance qualities and history of Broadway shows and performers. But her three dancing daughters are by far her greatest accomplishment. Miss Ellen will be teaching Ballet 3, Hip Hop, Jazz 2, Intermediate Jazz, Modern and Musical Theater.
Theresa Rutkowski is a graduate of The Fredonia School of Music with a Bachelor's of Music Education with a concentration in clarinet. Having grown up in the Fayetteville-Manlius area, she studied under Marisa Guzmán during her early dancing years and danced at GDS through high school. At FMHS she was a member of the FM Dance Team. While at Fredonia, Theresa was the choreographer for her a cappella group for four years. She is thrilled to return to GDS as part of the staff and will be teaching ballet, tap, and jazz. Miss Theresa will be teaching Ballet 3, Teen Jazz, Jazz 3, and Jazz 4.
Juli Sneider is a graduate of Bowling Green State University where she trained in ballet, pointe, tap, and jazz. A choreographer for numerous musicals, including Honk, Hello Dolly, and most recently, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Juli also taught several years at Dance Arts Studio in Cicero, NY. An active performer herself, she has appeared in many local theater productions, including Jesus Christ, Superstar and Ragtime. Miss Juli will be teaching Pre-Tap, Jazz 1, and Youth Hip Hop.
Shannon Tompkins is a director, choreographer and performer in the Syracuse area with over thirty-five years of experience in ballet, tap and jazz. She has been teaching dance since she was a sophomore in high school and has been choreographing professionally since the age of eighteen. Shannon trained at the Syracuse Dance Factory for nearly twenty years and she continuously trains with local tap legend Barry Shulman. She spent several months performing professionally for the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre in both Sarasota and Venice, Florida. Over the years she has been lucky enough to assist several visiting professional choreographers including the current Producing Artistic Director of Merry Go Round Playhouse, Brett Smock. Shannon has choreographed and directed for several area children’s programs including Syracuse Children’s Theatre, Manlius Pebble Hill’s summer stock program and Salt City Center for the Performing Arts TAFY program. She was the choreographer for Jamesville-DeWitt High School from 1995 until 2002 when she became the director of their musicals until 2013. Over the last twenty-five years Shannon has directed, choreographed and performed extensively for several local theatre companies including; The Wit’s End Players, The Talent Co., Theatre First Productions, Simply New Productions, Covey Theatre, Appleseed Productions, Rarely Done Productions, The Town of Manlius and Salt City Center for the Performing Arts. Ms. Tompkins has been nominated numerous times for SALT (Syracuse Area Live Theatre) Awards for directing, choreographing and performing. She has won four times; three of those awards were for choreography. Miss Shannon will be teaching Tap 4, Tap 5, and Musical Theater.
Caroline Brackett is a dance educator at West Genesee High School and has been working with the Wildcat Marching Band on and off since 1997. Caroline has an MA in Dance Education from Teachers College, and is a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) through the Laban Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. She danced professionally in New York City for fifteen years and was a principal dancer in the New Orleans Ballet for four years. She has performed in numerous musicals including Sweet Charity (Nicki), A Chorus Line (Christine), West Side Story (Velma), 42nd Street, My Fair Lady, Cabaret, Funny Girl, and Jeckyll and Hyde. Caroline can be seen in two films: Interview with a Vampire and Undercover Blues.
Krissi Caccamo grew up in Syracuse and took up ballroom dancing as an adult just for fun. She has been dancing at Guzmán’s Dance Studio since 2008 and decided she would like to teach ballroom. She became an instructor in 2009 under the teachings of studio owner Michael Guzmán. Since that time she has choreographed several “first dances” for couples, taught private lessons, assisted with classes at the studio, coordinated after school dance programs at Mott Rd, Jamesville Elementary, and Tecumseh Elementary Schools. She has been involved with various theatrical productions in the area as Stage Manager. In addition she has performed at different venues including The Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Currier and Ives Celebration in Fayetteville, Dancing With Our Stars, and the studio’s end of year performance. She competed in 2015 at Dancing With Our Stars at the OnCenter in Syracuse, NY.
Owners, Ballroom Instructors
Michael Guzmán, 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 experience as a choreographer for the school musicals and 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 and Jennifer Greene, co-owner, have danced together for functions such as the State Fair, Beyond Boundaries Fundraisers, and the Carriage House Cotillion. Mike is a regular guest instructor in many school districts throughout the area.
Jennifer Greene, originally from Virginia, moved to Syracuse after having attended Ithaca College for her M.M. in Music Education. While an undergraduate student, she got her first taste of dancing the polka while working at the Interlochen Summer Music Camp in Michigan. Jennifer continued her pursuit of ballroom dancing by studying at Arthur Murray’s with her husband, Tony. A teacher at Fayetteville-Manlius High School, it wasn’t long before she met Mike and began attending his Ballroom Dance Club. When Mike opened the studio in September of 1999, Jennifer began her training as an assistant instructor. She and Mike have danced together with the Syracuse Symphony and taught together in demonstrations/ workshops at the New York State Fair and many area schools.