Founder/Director of Garden Street School of the Performing Arts
Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop Instructor and Choreographer. Competition Choreographer. Musical Theatre Choreographer.
Annie DiStefano is the Founder and Director of Garden Street School of the Performing Arts. She began her dance and musical theatre training at age 4, and studied with the most reputable professional companies on Long Island and New York City. She attended The Cultural Arts Center of Syosset, which is now known as the Long Island High School of the Arts. She also spent her summers training at USDAN for 12 years.
Annie began choreographing professionally at age 17 where she staged musicals, and dance company pieces at various High Schools, and Universities. She choreographed for SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Fredonia, and The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and Columbia University in NYC. She is the recipient of many scholarships, and awards for her dance and musical theatre talents.
She has also trained at Joffrey, Peri Dance, STEPS on Broadway, and Broadway Dance Center where she has worked with the top industry professionals such as Joe Lanteri, Mia Michaels, Joe Istre, Anne Reinking, and more.
Annie opened the dance and theatre program at Garden Street shortly after her son Jack was born. In addition to teaching the Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary dance classes at the studio, she oversees the award winning Annie Mac Dance and Musical Theatre Company and manages her sons' Broadway and Film and TV careers. Annie is an expert at helping children follow their dreams of becoming Broadway stars. She helped students land roles in School of Rock, On Your Feet, Inner Voices Solo Off Broadway Show, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, to name a few. She is a pro at the business of the arts, and nurturing young talent so they can balance the demands of professional careers, while being a kid. Her son Finn Douglas is the first child to ever perform a solo musical OFF Broadway which was part of Inner Voices 2018. Her son Jack Casey was recently a special guest star on Law and Order SVU, and is currently working with world renowned Broadway Lyricist and Composers Lynn Arhens and Stephen Flaherty in their new show Knoxville. Annie helped launch the Broadway career's of Michael Cascetta and Nirvaan Pal (School of Rock Broadway) who exclusively trained at Garden Street. She helped their parents navigate the ins and outs of the business, and put them in touch with the right people to make sure the talents of these exceptional performers were recognized.
Annie believes that if a child has a dream, and follows their star... the world can be a fantastic place for everyone to live their best lives. She is so proud of Garden Street, and loves sharing her passion for the arts with children.
Irish Dance Master Instructor, Tap, Jazz, Ballet
Joanna Barry is a founding member of Garden Street School of the Performing Arts, as the first instructor to teach at the studio in 2011 during our first season. She has developed our Irish Step program and Musical Theatre program to be award winning companies throughout the Tri-State Area. Her knowledge and expertise as a performer and dance educator make her classes the most popular at the studio. She works with our youngest beginners, and our more advanced dancers. All of her students leave her classes energized, excited, and looking forward to the next class.
Joanna Barry was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and began her lifelong career in dance at the age of three. Trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Irish Step Dancing, she has a well rounded approach to the art of dance performance, technique and instruction.
Joanna became a professional dancer at the age of sixteen, while living in Ireland. It was at this age that she also began assisting in training and teaching beginners in tap, jazz and Irish step dancing. Her theater credits in Ireland as a dancer and assistant choreographer include musical variety seasons in The Gaiety, The Olympia and The Point. Joanna was lucky enough to be a part of many Irish productions that gave her the opportunity to perform on R.T.E (National Television Station) on numerous occasions.
Hip Hop, Ballet Instructor
Dublin native Louise Barry started her Performing Arts training at the age of two, studying many aspects of Dance, Drama and Singing both in Dublin and New York and with The ABRSM, London.In Ireland, Louise's professional career began at a very early age. Her musical theatre highlights have included ' Little Eponine' in 'Les Miserables', The Point Theatre, 'Estelle Genovese', in the Irish National Tour of 'The Full Monty’, ‘Princess Rose’, in ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, and ‘The Fairy Godmother’ in ‘Cinderella,’ The Helix Theatre. As a choreographer, Louise's original pieces have been performed on RTE and TV3, in The Coronas 'Far From Here' music video, 'The Den', 'The Disney Club' and ‘Ice’ as well as in The Olympia, The Cork Opera House and most major theatres in Ireland, Wembley Arena, UK, Mohegan Sun, Connecticut, and Boston. Louise quickly earned the reputation as one of Ireland's most in demand choreographers and upon winning the coveted Dance Masters “People's Choice” award, was approached to collaborate with New York Irish contemporary dance company 'DCD' for their 2007 season, culminating in a run of performances in the Duke Theatre on 42nd Street, Broadway.
Acro, Jazz, Ballet, Tap Instructor
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Miss Beverly was an RAD ballet trained, competitive dancer. She then moved to Maine to study on scholarship with world renowned Vaganova teacher and Andrei Bossov where she danced in LeCorsaire (Odalesque), Nutcracker (Spanish Hot Cocoa), Cinderella (Step Mother) and Hungarian Dances (featured pas). She then moved to New York City to study musical theater at American Musical and Dramatic Academy and along the way dancing with Dance Workshop, and Tressor Group.
Beverly starred as Phyllis in 42nd Street (Tuacahn Aphitheater) in Utah, she landed the Asian tour of 42nd Street (Revival) (Broadway Asia) and played in every major city in China and Korea.
Other favorite credits include going Ape in Tarzan, moonlight tapping in Crazy 4 You, My Fair Lady, Can Can-ing for the Paris Review, she also was featured in the Off-Broadway showRelationships and Sometimes…Love. Most recently, she Dance Captained Crazy 4 You debuting her skill as a tapperina- tap dancing in pointe shoes!
As a choreographer her work has been used for music videos and performances for Michael V. Doane, Josh Triplett, Broadway Cares, Horseplay (Fringe NYC), and a musical adaptation of Macbeth (Off-Broadway).
She has been teaching dance over the last 10 years, and many of her competitive dances have won choreography awards and gone on to World Dance Championships and Nationals!
Ballet, Ballerina Princess, Ready Step Rock, Broadway Babies
Early Childhood Dance Specialist
Annamaria hails from Florida. She graduated from the University of South Florida where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts. Following graduation she became a company member of Sarasota Contemporary Dance Company (formerly Fusion Dance Artists). She has worked with MA Dance company of Dallas, TX as a dance educator, instructor and camp director throughout the country. She is a former Capital One Bowl Half Time Show dance instructor. Annamaria made the move to New York in 2013. Since then she has performed in contemporary works by Julia Ehrstrand and Jennifer Archibald and presented her own choreography for CBGDance Empathy Series, Sans Limites Dance, Your Move: New Jersey Modern Dance Festival and J CHEN Project’s TRANSLATE 2018. In 2016 she was named as one of Sarasota Contemporary’s "Emerging Choreographers" and in 2018 returned as a SCDC Artist in Residence. Annamaria loves to share her passion for movement, she is a teaching artist with Williamsburg Movement and Art Center and Shooting Stars Dance Company and currently working towards her graduate degree in Arts Administration at Baruch College.
Competition Choreographer/Adult Ballet
Michael Williams began his dance training at The Studio of Dance in Georgetown, SC. Michael also attended the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia for four years and received a BFA in dance with emphasis on ballet. He is a performer, choreographer, teacher, and mentor. Michael recently closed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Broadway and is currently the Dance Captain, and Swing in My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center. He was part of the revival of “On the Town” a musical comedy, as well as the Broadway production of “Wicked” the musical. He has trained with Columbia City Ballet, the Alvin Ailey American dance school, Brandywine Ballet company, Scott Jovovich, and Twyla Tharp. His classes focus more on the technical aspect of dance as well as being able to move and create outside of the box. With the fusion of his ballet background into the jazz and modern styles of dance, Michael's classes will further develop a relationship with the music as well as each individuals growth as a dancer and human being. Michael is married to Broadway's Anne Brummel, and is the proud father of their adorable son, who can be seen taking Grown Up and Me classes at Garden Street.