Marisa Guzman-Colegrove (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.
Ellen Ayer Earley (co-artistic director) has been dancing in and around Central New York, Houston, Philadelphia and NYC her entire life. 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 25 years for Camillus Dance Centre, Syracuse University Enrichment, Metropolitan School for the Arts and Syracuse School of Dance as well as teaching master classes in the area.
Julia Bulger began her dance education 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 became an assistant teacher. Julia then relocated to Manlius where she joined GDS to study hip hop and tap. She is an alum of Fayetteville Manlius High School.
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) and most recently the award-winning Newsies for FM High School.
Orresta Paddock has been studying ballet and performing in productions since the age of six. He began his dance training at the Cazenovia School of Ballet. He has performed as a guest artist for various ballet companies, including the Moscow Traveling Company (The Nutcracker- Rat) and the Mobile Ballet Company (A Midsummer Night’s Dream- Bottom). Orresta is an award-winning actor, and has been performing in community theatre around the Central New York area for several years, including the Town Of Manlius Recreational Department (A Chorus Line, Les Miserable, The Little Mermaid), CNY Playhouse (Chicago), and the Rome Community Theatre (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). He was also an assistant choreographer, under Marisa Guzman, for the Fayetteville-Manlius High School’s production of “Phantom of the Opera.”
Bethany Bourgault began dancing at age three, studying modern, lyrical, tap, jazz, hip hop and ballet at various studios around Fitchburg, Massachusetts. She has been a coach of the SU Ballroom and Swing teams and is an active organizer/instructor for the city's only Lindy Hop group, the Syracuse Swing Connection. In 2019, she was ranked among the highest level of competitive collegiate standard ballroom dancers. She still competes in all ballroom and Latin styles. Bethany graduated from Syracuse University's magazine journalism program in 2017 and now works as the Publications and Communications Coordinator for OneGroup - a local risk management and insurance firm.
Maggie Hansen has been dancing since she was three years old at various studios around Central New York. Following her passion, Maggie went on to study dance at the University of Buffalo. Maggie's focus within teaching is to encourage dancers to be the best that they can be. Her aim is to foster creativity and artistry while informing her dancers through anatomy and kinesiology, all of which will further their knowledge and love of dance.
Owners, Ballroom Instructors
Michael Guzmán (owner) 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 (owner) 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.
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.