Our faculty consists of professional, highly trained instructors who are truly dedicated to bringing out the very best in each and every one of our students.  Our entire faculty has an intense background in teaching.  We are passionate about teaching, and it shows!  A student teacher may assist in a class that is extremely full, or at the request of the instructor.




Darlene has been teaching dance for more than 30 years.  She was trained by Judy Debenedicty, Helen Douglas and BDC.  She earned a bachelor’s degree from Centenary College, where she majored in Early Childhood Education and minored in Dance. 

Darlene has won hundreds of choreography, top studio, top group, and top duet/trio awards when she owned Dance By Darlene, a competition school.  Darlene closed the competition school after deciding to stay home and raise her three sons. 

After a short while, she started teaching again in the Hackettstown area.  In 1999, she opened Dance Expressions, a performance school where the emphasis is on a friendly, family oriented atmosphere, and where the students are trained and geared towards all aspects of performing, not strictly competition.  Darlene and other members of her staff have had their students dance on Carnival Cruise Lines, Walt Disney World, the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, Hershey Park, baseball games, Morey's Piers in Wildwood, the New Jersey Devils at MetLife Stadium, and various locations in Myrtle Beach including the Palace Theater, the Carolina Opry, and Broadway on the Beach.  They have also performed at many community events.


Monika has over 20 years of teaching experience in all levels of ballet, pointe, contemporary and gymnastics.  She was trained in the Vaganova method by Czech and Russian teachers.  She was also the Owner/Director of Ballerina-European Dance Academy for 14 years.  She choreographed hundreds of dance recitals, workshops, auditions and competitions.  Monika was also a member of the Czech Junior Olympic Gymnastics Team, and is certified in Pilates. 

Monika had an extensive professional career as a dancer with major Eastern European ballet companies.  She was a member of the National Ballet of Prague, as well as a Solist and Leading Ballerina for the State Theatres in Pilsen and Ostrava, Czech Republic.   Her career includes over one thousand performances at major theatres, operas, musicals and television shows in the Czech and Slovak Republics, Germany and Poland, including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Carmen, Giselle, Peer Gynt, Cinderella, Don Quixote, and Romeo and Juliet.  She is a very gifted teacher, and a wonderful asset to our studio


Amanda has been teaching at Dance Expressions since 2013, but it seems like she has always been here.  She comes to us with more than 8 years of experience as a dance instructor and choreographer, teaching jazz, hip hop, modern, lyrical, contemporary, ballet and musical theatre.  She has a degree in Theatre Arts/Dance from Rowan University.  She is energetic, creative and passionate about teaching our dancers, and it shows in everything she does.  We are so pleased to have Amanda's talent on our staff!


Jonathan Godfrey has been teaching at Dance Expressions since 2015.  He began his dance training at the age of 9, at the age of 14 Jonathan was accepted into the South Jersey Performing Arts Program at Gloucester County Institute of Technology where he studied under David Kloss, Althea Leslie, Norman Taylor and other guest artists. At the age of 16 Jonathan performed the World Premier Contemporary Ballet “Van Gogh” with the Rebecca Davis Dance Company at the Prince Theatre in Philadelphia performing the role of “Little Theo” as well as training with their professional training programs on a full scholarship. He has also performed with South Jersey Ballet Theatre performing in “The Nutcracker” and “Swan Lake.” Jonathan has attended multiple intensives including Cooper River Ballet Summer Intensive, Atlantic City Ballet Winter Intensive, and Philadanco Summer Intensive. Jonathan has performed at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in 2011 and 2012, performing alongside of members from Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Alvin Ailey 2, Life Dance Company and many others. In the summers of 2012 and 2013 Jonathan received a full scholarship to Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts where he studied under Earl Mosley, Ronald K. Brown, Brian Harlon Brooks, Aubrey Lynch, and many others, as a student at EMIA Jonathan’s choreography was presented in the professional showcase. Jonathan performed under choreographers such Earl Mosley, Bill T. Jones, and Larry Keigwin, in such pieces as “Continuous Replay”, “Runaway” and “I See You.” In 2013 he performed “Continuous Replay” for the 92Y in New York City, and “I See You” at Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Series.

Jonathan has choreographed for Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts Benefit Gala, EMIA, Hearts of Men, Who’s Who in Asian American Culture, and the 2014 Maccabi Games. Recently Jonathan has had the opportunity to teach master classes at Somerset County Vocational and Technical High School, Center of Dance Arts and many other studios in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. As an Intern for EMIA, Jonathan had the opportunity to choreograph for their weekly showcases, as well as teaching Ballet, Modern, and Contemporary. Most recently Jonathan has been given the opportunity to be apart of NYC’s Man In Motion.



Aly is a very talented teacher, choreographer and dancer with an extensive background in jazz, modern, hip hop, lyrical and ethnic.  She teaches all ages and ability levels, with a strong emphasis on technique.  Her results are phenomenal.    

Aly received a degree in dance from County College of Morris, and continued her training at Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center and Merrellis in New York.  Her many performances include the Beyond Dance Company, the New York International Fringe Festival, and the Beyond Words Benefit Concert, just to name a few.  She has also won many awards over the years for her choreography and performances. She is a great asset to our studio. 






Joanne has been teaching dance for over 25 years.  She studied at Signorelli School of Ballet, Broadway Dance Center and the Annapolis Ballet Theatre.  She has performed and was the choreographer for the St. Joseph’s College Kickline.  Joanne has won numerous awards for her choreography at national dance competitions, and has also judged several events.  Joanne has been instrumental in the development of preschool dance programs, and has a special gift for teaching our youngest students.  She has been teaching at Dance Expressions for over 14 years. 



Lauren was a student at Dance Expressions for twelve years, and a member of the Dance Troupe. She was trained as an assistant teacher for four years.  She also performed in HHS musicals such as Big, Annie Get You Gun and All Shook Up.  She is currently attending Centenary College, majoring in theater arts and dance. 






 Dance Expressions | 14A Crossroads Center | 915 Route 517, Hackettstown, NJ 07840 | (908)852-5209

 Copyright © 2018 Dance Expressions.  All Rights Reserved. 


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