Marisa Guzman-Colegrove, our 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.
Julia Bulger began dance at the age of 3. In Indiana she attended the G. Scotten Talent Center where she studied tap, jazz, and ballet before relocating to Pennsylvania at Dance Fusion. There she also studied modern, lyrical, break dancing, and hip hop and was an assistant teacher for hip hop. Julia then relocated to Manlius where she joined GDS to study hip hop. She is a student at FMHS.
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.
Heather McNeil earned a BFA in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College and an MFA in Dance for Sarah Lawrence College. She has served as the Camps and Outreach Coordinator for the Red House Arts Center and was the Theatre Dept. Chair at the Connecticut Conservatory for the Performing Arts. She has choreographed for youth, community and regional theatre performances in Connecticut, Westchester and Central, NY. She is former member of The Zurich Comedy Club and The Blueberry Pond Theatre Ensemble, as well as, a founding member of Karen's After Dark playwriting workshop. She has been performing since age three and teaching dance and theatre classes for the past 25 years.
Lauren Puente is thrilled to be joining the GDS team. She is a dancer, singer, and actress who graduated with a B.A. in Musical Theatre from SUNY Cortland. Since graduating, Lauren has performed with The Redhouse, Appleseed Productions, CNY Playhouse, Syracuse Shakespeare Festival, Tully Council for the Arts, Homer Center Players, The Syracuse Summer Theater at the Oncenter, and the Syracuse Opera. Besides performing, Lauren has also choreographed Once Upon a Mattress (Tully), South Pacific (Homer), Animal Crackers (Baldwinsville), and Honk Jr. (Hebrew Day).
Anna Rupert has been studying dance since she was three years old. In addition to ballet, modern, and jazz experience she also studies the Spanish dance form Flamenco, both in Syracuse and in Sevilla, Spain, and has been dancing in a flamenco company here in Syracuse for six years. Growing up she danced at Syracuse School of Dance, Guzman's Dance Studio, and The Ballet and Dance Center, as well as taking dance at Manlius Pebble Hill, where she got the opportunity to take master classes with companies such as Paul Taylor, Taylor 2, Alvin Ailey, and more. She has performed with many groups around Syracuse, including SU Arts Engage, and the Syracuse Opera Company.
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 also competes yearly for Dancing With Our Stars 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.