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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, and Director.

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 #GSTREET Dance Team 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, film and tv 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, stars in the Emmy Award Winning After Forever on Amazon Prime, Riley's Unforgettable School Project on Amazon Prime, and House of Cards on Netflix. He is currently on staff at Garden Street and is on the Hoboken Grace Worship Team. Her son Jack Casey is in the original company and original Broadway Cast album of the new Ahrens/Flaherty Musical: Knoxville which made it's premiere at the world prestigious Asolo Theatre in 2022. Jack has appeared in Law and Order SVU, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, and is a recurring role in the new Amazon Prime Original Series: Harlan Coben's Shelter. Jack recently made his Broadway debut in Ragtime's 25th Anniversary Concert. Annie helped launch the Broadway career's of Michael Cascetta and Nirvaan Pal (School of Rock Broadway) 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 is the producer of the project in progress Broadway OG's starring Hannah Elless, Chip Zien, Anita Gillette, Michele Pawk, and Natalie Toro.

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. 


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 Tap program to be award winning companies throughout the Tri-State Area. She has won Best Choreographer, regionally and Nationally and holds the 2023 title for Best Choreographer in the country from Access Broadway. Her knowledge and expertise as a performer and dance educator make her classes some of 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


Tabatha Arocho

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.

Tabatha Arocho
Tap, Contemporary Lyrical, Hip Hop, Musical Theater
A New York City native, Tabatha has trained with the best in the business since she took her first class at Broadway Dance Center at age 6. She danced her way to New York’s Madison Square Garden where she began her career as a Knicks City Dancer. Tabatha toured for many years with Grammy nominated Native American pop star, Jana, as her lead dancer, choreographer, and back-up singer.  Tabatha acted as assistant director as well as cast member in the off off broadway musical “A Hoboken Tale”.  Tabatha has danced with the famed Syncopated Ladies and can be seen in their “FORMATION” video, Sarah Reich’s “Gemini Vibe” tap video, and Brooke Paulsen- Zelus tap video, “Reaper”. Tabatha has been a member of two prestigious tap companies; Reverb tap company and Rithem Dance Co. where she performed Nationwide and in numerous videos. Most recently Tabatha was a cast member of the incredible production for the Mary Kay national convention working with choreographers Kevin Wilson and Sienna Lyons. Tabatha has choreographed and directed many musical theater productions, has taught at The Debbie Allen Dance Academy and is a sought after choreographer for many competition teams in Los Angeles, New York and around the country. Some more of Tabatha’s credits include Disney, Saturday Night Live, Native American Music Awards. Tabatha is so honored to start her fifth season as a Spotlight judge and master teacher.  She prides herself on leading each class with passion and energy and can’t wait to see you on stage and in class this year! 

Erica Phillips

Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre Dance


Originally from the North Shore of Massachusetts, Miss Erica started dancing at the age of 5, and she immediately fell in love with the gift of dance. She trained in Boston with the elite LeAnne Leslie School of Theatrical Dance under LeAnne Leslie for 15 years. During her time there, Miss Erica was a company and a faculty member. Miss Erica’s students competed in both regional and national competitions, winning numerous awards. Miss Erica trained and choreographed in a variety of styles including tap, jazz, hip hop and ballet, and she worked with everyone from the tiniest ballerinas to future Broadway stars. (Wicked)

Erica attended Syracuse University where she received her bachelor of science in Kinesiology. During her time at Syracuse University, Erica was a lead performer and choreographer for the competitive Creations Dance Troupe, earning national recognition. In addition, Erica was a member and captain of the Syracuse University Dance Team, performing at both football and basketball games at the NCAA Division 1 collegiate level for four years. Erica performed and was captain for the Tullys Dance Team in Syracuse, NY sponsoring community charity events and teaching children in the local community. After moving to New York City, Erica trained at Radio City, and is a former Rockette, and studied at the Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway.

In addition to her dance experience, Miss Erica is a certified personal trainer who focuses on strength and flexibility for injury rehabilitation related to dancing. She is certified in pre/post natal training to help Mothers of future dancers; additionally she is a certified Running Coach and former state representative for New Jersey for the Road Runners Club of America. Miss Erica is an avid runner who has completed 5 marathons.

Miss Erica is eager and honored to share her passion and love of dance with students in Hoboken, NJ at the Garden Street School of the Performing Arts!!!

Erica Phillips

Grace Connolly

Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop


Grace Connolly, who hails from New Jersey, was born into a family of professional entertainers and has been following their footsteps since she could walk and talk. Grace began her formal training in dance at the age of three at DANJ  in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Lyrical, Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Irish Step and Musical Theatre at WCPA and the Garden Street School of the Performing Arts. Grace made her professional onstage debut at the tender age of 4, as a member of an Irish Step Dance Company, “Emerald Fire”, which she currently tours the US and all over the world with. She is an award winning dancer, and has the special talent of teaching our youngest dancers.


 With her roots firmly placed in Ireland she had the pleasure of owning her heritage and performing in Dublin on the illustrious Vicar Street stage in 2020. With numerous professional performances now under her belt, her Ballet credits include guest performances in the Moscow Ballet’s production of “ The Great Russian Nutcracker” with Garden Street, and Swan Lake and Midsummer Night’s Dream with WCPA, to name a few.


 Her Musical Theatre performances include lead and supporting roles in the Garden Street productions of “Frozen Jr”, “Trouble in Pumpkin Town” and “Hoboken Tale” as well as a featured roles in the WCPA productions of “Alice in Wonderland”, “Curtains” and “Oz”. As a proud member of the Garden Street family for the past 12 years, Grace also competes with the Award Winning “G Street All Star Team” and has consistently won and taken home top honors for the studio in both Dance, Vocal and Musical Theatre with the team and as a soloist. Grace is very excited to embark on her role as an instructor at Garden Street


Grace Connolly

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