Dance Instructors

Juliana Elliott

Annie DiStefano
Ballet/Pointe Mistress

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. 

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Annie DiStefano

Joanna Barry

Joanna Barry

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.

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Meg Hoshor

Beverly Jensen

Meg Hoshor

Ballet and Contemporary Lyrical Instructor 

 

Meg Hoshor was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio where she discovered her passion for dance. After years of training, Meg attended Western Kentucky University where she received her bachelors in Dance and Arts Administration. While at Western, Meg grew her versatility as a dancer by studying ballet, Graham, Horton, jazz, and contemporary. In the summers, she received full tuition scholarships to attend Joffrey Intensives, as well as intensives with Cincinnati Ballet, Pascal Rioult, and Complexions. Apron arriving to New York, Meg has become a featured soloist with the company, Ballets with a Twist, and has toured all over the United States to perform in Cocktail Hour: The Show. Meg has also had the opportunity to perform in Cyndi Lauper’s holiday show, Cyndi Lauper and Friends: Home for the Holidays, as well as M&M Dance Theater’s Broadway With Heart. When Meg isn’t performing, she enjoys using her training as a dancer to work with fashion brands such as AZ Factory and Marc Jacobs. Meg loves to share her knowledge and passion for dance to help young artists achieve their goals.

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly Jensen

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!

 

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Annamaria Diamant

Annamaria Diamant

Ballet, Grown Up + Me, 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. 

Michael Williams

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Cameron Clifford

Michael Williams

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.

Cameron Clifford

Ballet/Hip Hop/Musical Theatre

 

Cameron Clifford started dancing at the age of four and soon after began acting and singing. He trained at the Starmaker School for fourteen years, in addition to lessons in NYC. After beginning his career in commercials, television programs, and music videos, Cameron made his Broadway debut at eight years old in Waiting for Godot. Soon after he starred as Michael in Broadway’s Billy Elliot the Musical and continued in that role on the national/international touring production. Other credits include First Wives Club the Musical, On Golden Pond, and The Great Gilly Hopkins. He received Broadway World’s Best Featured Actor in a Musical Touring Production for Los Angeles, California and Austin, Texas.

 

Cameron is currently attending Stevens Institute of Technology where he is pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering. He is highly active in the performing arts on campus, being a part of the Stevens Dramatic Society, the President’s Ensemble, Choir, other performance-based organizations. He performed in Peter and the Starcatcher, The Drowsy Chaperone, and She Kills Monsters in addition to being President of the Dramatic Society.

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   Mikaela Papasodero

Mikaela Papasodero

Ballet Instructor

 

Mikaela Papasodero is from Middleboro, MA. She received her training from The Gold School under the direction of Rennie Gold. While at The Gold School she was a member of Project Moves Dance Company and the opportunity to work with artists such as Tyce Diorio, Teddy Forance, and many more. She was also a member of the Boston Community Dance Project under the direction of Sarah K(Skooj) and has performed throughout the Boston area while on the company. Mikaela graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance from The Hartt School at The University of Hartford in 2019. She has had the pleasure to perform works by Shannon Gillen, Paul Taylor, Jose Limon, Manuel Vignouelle, Bryan Arias, Martha Graham, Katie Stevenson-Nollet, Debra Collins-Ryder, Ralph Perkins, and Stephen Pier. Mikaela is currently living in Hoboken NJ (right next to NYC). She has worked with Rioult Dance Company (repertory project), Amirov Dance Theatre, Spark Movement Collective (under the direction of Michelle Ulerich) and American Liberty Ballet. She has performed works by Pascal Rioult, Michelle Thompson Ulerich, Jere Hunt, Alexandra Amirov, Lauren Curley and Charles Scheland. Mikaela spent 2021-2022 doing Limon Dance Company's Trainee Program. She is currently on faculty at Dance Theatre of New Jersey, and The Next Step School of Dance. Mikaela's Choreographic works have been presented at the Ailey Citigroup Theater with KoDaFe Dance Festival, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Versatility Dance Festival in Boulder, CO, Rioult In-HouseArtist Concert, Making Moves Dance Festival, and NUVU Festival (canceled due to Covid).

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Elizabeth Earley
Early Childhood Dance Specialist

 

Elizabeth is a versatile Broadway performer and enthusiastic teacher having taught many different mediums of dance and storytelling to students of all ages. Elizabeth was last seen locally performing in Broadway's "Hello Dolly!" with Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters and Donna Murphy where she served as Dance Captain, Dance Assistant to Ms. Midler and Swing. Other Broadway credits include "Something Rotten!" and Broadway's 1st and 2nd National Tours of Disney's "Mary Poppins" as Dance Captain and Mrs. Banks u/s.  Elizabeth was the Casting Dance Supervisor for the Broadway revivals of "Sunset Boulevard" and "Miss Saigon." Of Elizabeth's touring, regional, summerstock and cruiseship credits, highlights include playing Mary Poppins and Cassie in "A Chorus Line" regionally around the United States and performing on Dancing With The Stars and on Amazon's Modern Love. 

 

She is a passionate teacher who loves instilling that passion in her students. Elizabeth always seeks to build self-confidence while constructively educating students. Elizabeth has a BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts having trained with CAP21, The Classical Studio and Experimental Theater Wing. Elizabeth has trained with The School for The Washington Ballet, Boston Ballet, The Joffrey School, STEPS on Broadway, The Paul Taylor Studio and performed with The Brandywine Ballet and Opus 1 Contemporary Dance Company. Through her own program, Project Oak, Elizabeth teaches dance and singing to students of all ages and backgrounds via Zoom and in-person

Elizabeth Early