Our Instructors

Mia Angelo

Styles: Tap, Ballet, Jazz

Mia Angelo has been dancing for 14 years and has been teaching for 4 years. She danced at Jamie’s Dance Odyssey for 12 years where she was part of their competition team. During high school, she danced for the Paul VI High School Dance Team for 4 years. She is currently dancing with the Rowan University Dance Team as she goes into her sophomore year of college. Throughout her dance career, she has done tap, jazz, hip hop, ballet, contemporary, modern, and pom. A few of her biggest accomplishments include being nominated for an Industry Dance Award (IDA) for best hip hop and best tap with JDO, attending the Universal Dance Association (UDA) World Nationals with the Rowan University Dance Team, and holding the position of the Health and Wellness Chair for the RUDT. Mia enjoys teaching dance because she loves helping students discover what style of dance matches their personality while also sharing her knowledge and love of dance! She loves learning from her students and allowing them to see the connection between what they are learning and how it impacts their personal lives. She is so beyond excited to be back home at JDO and teach with all of the great teachers who have guided and inspired her love of dance! 

Shannon Bramham

Styles: Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary

Shannon Bramham has been dancing for 32 years and teaching for 17 years. She grew up dancing in Virginia and once she graduated high school, she attended East Carolina University where she received her BFA in dance performance. After graduating, she joined the Koresh Dance Company and danced with them for ten years. Through Koresh, she was able to perform and teach all over the world. Along with JDO, Shannon also teaches at various colleges such as Wright State University, West Chester University, and High Point University. Shannon has been teaching at JDO since 2017 teaching contemporary, jazz, and ballet and has since taken charge of our jazz and contemporary competition teams. What she loves most is watching dancers grow and express themselves. Watching their hard work and dedication makes her work harder and strive to be better.

Terri Brown

Style: African Dance

Terri Brown is a choreographer, teacher, and movement coach whose unique blend of West African, Caribbean, Afro beat and Afro contemporary dance styles fuses with the integration of American culture. She grew up singing like her father but dance was always her first love. Her dance career began at the young age of 9years old where she began emulating her favorite artist and teaching herself different dance techniques. It was at the age of 14 that Terri realized she had a special gift but was always afraid to express her talent. In 2014 she took a leap of faith and founded the TAJEVA Dance Company. TAJEVA quickly established a reputation in her local community in schools for her work with the arts and mission to spread and educate about the importance of learning and appreciating culture through dance.

Terri was born in Staten Island, NY to parents Terrence Brown and Georgetta Mason who reign from Monrovia, Liberia in West Africa. She grew up in the small southern town of Clayton, New Jersey but always maintained and thrived off of her African culture. Her father being a musician, and singer throughout his entire life, kept the love of music and versatility in the home influencing her love for blending different styles of music and dance.

TAJEVA has performed at numerous events from weddings, church programs, birthday parties, school events, Black History month celebrations, and recently won 1st place at an Afro Fusion Dance competition at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Terri teaches weekly classes to the public to promote health, wellness, and the importance of physical activity to all people of all ages. Her biggest accomplishment yet is being a mother to her 6 year old son. She is currently pursuing her dream of becoming a geriatric nurse, studying as a fulltime student. Terri’s love for her culture and love for integrating cultures through movement is her mission and she will continuously strive to spread this love and positive energy to all people.

Jamie Down

Styles: Tap, Musical Theatre

Jamie Down has earned the title Master Tap Teacher after teaching for over twenty years. Jamie began teaching at age 15 and by age 27, she owned her own dance studio along with her best friend and co-owner Susan Walker. After founding the competition team at her former dance studio, she brought her expertise and her students to her own studio. After starting with just twenty students, her competition team has grown to over 90 members. Jamie is now the artistic director of a nationally recognized dance competition team as well as the choreographer of all our tap teams and tap solos, duets, and trios. Many of her soloists have won top awards at dance competitions, including state and national titles at dance competitions. Her groups have also won top awards, including her senior tap number "Come Sail Away" which won the Apogee Award (highest scoring number of the competition) at Starquest in 2015 and her junior tap number "In the Navy" which won the The Jam (highest scoring routine) at Groove National Dance Competition in 2018. Her number "Come Sail Away" also won "Best Tap Performance" at the Industry Dance Awards in 2015. Her choreography has graced the Miss America stage for Miss South Carolina, who performed many tap solos at pageants, all of them choreographed by Jamie. One of her current students also performed with the Brothers of the Knight tap performing group, who traveled around the United States performing on many different stages for large audiences. Jamie was also a visiting Master Teacher to local schools, as well as teaching in schools over the summer for charity. Jamie is not only a master tapper, she is a master choreographer who has produced many award-winning dances, solos, duets, trios, and groups alike. At dance competitions, she has won too many choreography, entertainment, and industry dance awards to count. She has produced many talented tap dancers who go on to do amazing things in the dance world.  

Lexxi Falisi

Style: Hip-Hop

Lexxi Falisi has been dancing since she was five years old and teaching here at JDO since 2006. She began dancing at Let’s Dance Studio and moved on to JDO where she competed in tap, jazz, and hip-hop until she graduated high school and began teaching. After taking over JDO’s hip-hop team, she has won top scores at dance competitions, entertainment and show stopper awards, won numerous first place awards at national competitions, and was nominated for “Best Hip-Hop Performance” at the Industry Dance Awards in 2019. She has also been a guest teacher at studios in multiple states. Lexxi loves to bring her students out of their shell while creating a fun, safe place for kids to express and be themselves. Creating bonds with the kids and their families has always been an important part of her teaching style. She also enjoys watching her dance numbers come alive on stage due to the amazing talent of her students. Because of her limitless energy and ability to create a fun atmosphere, along with some killer choreo, Lexxi has cultivated a fun hip-hop program that brings kids back every year.

Kiera Gross

Styles: Jazz, Musical Theatre

Kiera Gross is a New Jersey and Philadelphia based dancer. She attended Temple University where she graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts concentrated in Dance Performance and Choreography. She also trained at AMDA NYC dance conservatory. She is well versed in various styles including Jazz, Hip-Hop, Ballet, Contemporary, Dance Theater, Heels, Acro, and Aerials.

Gross’ past professional dance experience includes performing as a 76ers NBA Dancer,  “Prohibition “ 1927 Speakeasy Oceans AC, touring with I Am King: Michael Firestone, Invincible: A Glorious Tribute to Michael Jackson, dancing with Biz Markie, Nina Sky, and many more! 

Gross loves teaching kids and has a strong passion to help them become the best they can be as an artist.

Callie Hoctor

Style: Ballet

Callie trained at Jody Phillips Dance Company in Kansas City before moving on to study dance with a concentration in Jazz at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. While at school, she was privileged to perform in many choreographic works including pieces by Ronen Koresh, Larry Keigwin, James Gregg, Jim Cooney, Adam Hougland, Mark Burrell, and Kiesha Lalama. Along with performances at school, Callie has danced back up for Weird Al Yankovic at the Benedum Center and at Hershey Park's Music Box Theatre where she was able to work with Broadway's own, Chip Abbott. Callie is now on her third season with Koresh Dance Company.

LaVon Patterson

Style: Hip-Hop

LaVon Patterson, originally from Philadelphia, PA, started his journey with dance at Broadway Dance Center in Manhattan, NY. To further his skills and education, he attended the Creative & Performing Arts High School in Philadelphia and went on to receive a BFA in Jazz Dance Performance from the University of the Arts.

LaVon had the honor of being assistant choreographer to Brian Thomas for Michael Jackson's 30th Anniversary Special in 2001 at Madison Square Garden and he's worked with major artists Usher, Destiny's Child, N*Sync, J-Lo, Michael Jackson, and many more!

His magnetic energy and authentic freestyle has taken him around the world where he shares his love for movement through performance and education. From dancing in national commercials and movies, to award shows and world tours, LaVon truly embodies what is is to be a modern day professional artist. His passion for teaching and entertaining from a young age has served as the foundation for his career. His goals are to always make a positive impact and be a role model. The mission is to transform lives through music, movement, and the groove.

Katie Pasternak

Styles: Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Creative Movement

Katie Pasternak has been dancing since the age of three in tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, and hip-hop. At the age of eleven, she made the switch to Jamie's Dance Odyssey and competed on our competition team in tap, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary until she graduated from high school in 2014.  With her JDO teams, she won several national titles. At Rowan University, she joined the Dance Team and performed at home football games and all Rowan University events. The team also performed at several social and community service events. In 2015, Katie made the Philadelphia Soul Dance Team, The Soulmates, and performs at games and social events. Her love of dance is evident from her constant pursuance of dance throughout high school and college. Her experience on various dance teams, including our own, gives her the expertise to teach our classes. Katie is fun-loving, highly-experienced, and loves dancing and working with children.

Schuyler Sorensen

Style: Tap

Schuyler has been dancing since she was three years old, and dancing competitively since she was seven. She competed in jazz, hip-hop, and tap and has won many first place trophies and several national titles along with her teammates while on the JDO competition team. While she loves all styles of dance, tap has always been her passion. Schuyler has been dancing and teaching at JDO ever since it opened in 2003. After graduating from Arcadia University with her Bachelor's Degree in English and her Master's Degree in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, she returned to JDO to teach our tap classes, assist in teaching the tap teams, and choreograph tap solos for competition. Throughout her entire dance life, she has studied under master tap teacher Jamie Down and emulates her style of tap dancing in her own choreography. Her ideal student is not necessarily the best tapper in the room, but the one who works the hardest and does their best. 

Michelle Verechia

Styles: Ballet, Tap, Jazz

Michelle Verechia began dancing at the age of 2.5. She has studied many styles of dance during her career such as tap, ballet, jazz, Irish Step, and clogging and has been teaching dance since 2002. Along with her dance teaching experience, she also holds degrees in both early childhood and elementary education. Her love of dance is shared with her students in a fun and positive environment. She is just a stay at home mom who loves to dance! Michelle has been teaching at JDO since 2019 and hopes to teach our young ones how to love dance.

Joann Weindel

Style: Acrobatics

Joann began her gymnastics career at age ten. By age thirteen, she was competing in national competitions. She began her extensive teaching career when she was fifteen and, since then, has taught pre-school gymnastics, mommy and me, and recreational gymnastics to levels beginner to advanced. She also taught and coached the level four and five USAG Gymnastics Teams. Joann studied Health and Physical Education at Rowan University. During her college years, Joann won first place at the Women's Bodybuilding competition. She is also a certified personal trainer. Throughout her over 20 years in the acro world, Joann has made herself known as one of the premiere acro teachers in South Jersey. She has been teaching here at JDO since 2013 and her students excel thanks to her professional teaching.

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