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 PALLOTTA JASION - Owner/Director/Choreographer

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.

AMANDA KINNEY 

Amanda has been teaching at Dance Expressions since 2013, but it seems like she has always been here.  She came to us with more than 8 years of experience as a dance instructor and choreographer, teaching Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary, 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!

ALYSON JUSKO 

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 has been teaching at Dance Expressions since we opened, and is a great asset to our studio.
 


CASEY DRUGA

Casey Druga has been working as a Dance & Theatre teacher/choreographer for ten years! She is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a BFA in Musical Theater and is a proud member of Actor's Equity. Her favorite professional credits include; Choreography for SPRING AWAKENING and HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL and Performing as Velma in CHICAGO and Gertrude in SUESSICAL (TYA national tour). She is passionate about her work as a teacher and loves working with students of all ages.  


JILLIAN PETRIE

Jillian is thrilled to be teaching at Dance Expressions! Having choreographed over 100 productions while still in her twenties, she is just getting started. She is currently Company Choreographer at the Growing Stage Theatre and continues to work freelance as a contemporary and musical theatre choreographer in her spare time. Regional theatre and opera companies as well as venues in NYC, London, and Vancouver have produced her work. Her contemporary choreography has been produced all over NYC, most notably at The Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, Queens Museum of Art, Alvin Ailey Studios, DANY Studios, and at the Joyce SoHo. Two regional productions that Jillan had the pleasure of choreographing received NJ Tony Awards. Theatre critic, author and former Drama Desk President, Peter Filichia declared Seussical, in which she co-directed and choreographed, "Better than Broadway". She has been personally nominated 9 times for Broadway World Awards in multiple categories including Best Choreography. Recent performance credits include Nicole in the world premiere play THE PRICE OF ILLUSION, Tony Nominated Actress on SMASH (NBC) and Kate in J.M. Barrie's THE 12 POUND LOOK. A passionate educator, Jillian previous taught dance at Lycoming College and most recently as an adjunct professor at Centenary University. Her students have portrayed prominent roles on Broadway, National tours, and Regional theatre. Training highlights include the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, Mark Morris, Larry Keigwin, Broadway Teachers' Workshop, Broadway Evolved, and the Juilliard School. Jillian is a certified member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and Progressive Ballet Technique. Thank you to the parents and families for supporting your childrens' love of dance here at Dance Expressions!



JOANNE TAGLIENTI

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.


MONIKA AIMOVA 

Monika has over 25 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.


MORGAN OCCHICONE

Morgan Occhicone was one of the first two students to sign up at Dance Expressions at the age of three when it opened, and she hasn't left since! She began student teaching and working the front desk while still in high school and immediately returned after graduating from Marist College in 2015. Her favorite things to teach include tap, jazz, and musical theatre. Morgan also has experience with the younger age groups thanks to her 8 years of experience working as an instructor at a daycare center and a nanny. Her passion for dance and teaching shines both in and out of the classroom. 


MONICA PESEK

ALYSSA MILLER

ONYEIK DOUGLAS

AKIRA


VICTORIA BURKE






 

 



 

 

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

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