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Matt Parello – Director

Matt started dancing at the age of six and never stopped. He went on to attend Dean College and Long Island University (LIU) as a dance major. Matt studied at the Charlotte Klein Dance Centers in Worcester from 1996-2003. There he studied ballet under the direction of Clyde Nantais, who is also Executive Director of Boston Dance Company (BDC). Matt joined BDC in 1999. As a Company member of BDC, he performed in their annual production of “The Nutcracker” as the Nutcracker and other roles. In 2003 Matt won the title National Mister Headliner. Soon after, he moved to New York to attend L.I.U. While in NY he studied with Alvin Ailey and New York City Ballet. After returning from NY, he continued to perform with BDC, and started his own company, DCW.  Matt was a dancer/entertainer at Six Flags New England. He performed the title role of the Beast in The Commonwealth Ballet Company’s “Beauty and the Beast”.  Matt has also performed in regional theater groups in such roles as Ren McCormack in “Footloose”, Mike in “Chorus Line”, The Emcee in “Cabaret”, and Cosmo Brown in “Singin’ in the Rain”. He has choreographed shows such as “Anything Goes” and “Singin’ in the Rain”, Grease” and “Footloose“.  Matt has taken classes by such teachers as Shane Sparks, Bob Rizzo, Thom Cobb, Joe Lanteri, Mia Michaels, Gus Giordano, Brian Friedman, and Geo Hubela. He went on tour with Pulse and Performed with Brian Friedman in New York City. Matt is a sought-after instructor of Master Classes and Competition adjudicator. He was recently on staff as a Judge and Master Class Instructor for the touring dance competition “Step Up 2 Dance Tour”. Matt has performed as the Nutcracker and Cavalier in Dance Companies throughout the U.S. This past season he served as Artistic Director of the Melrose Youth Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. He is currently the resident choreographer of the Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Center in Woonsocket R.I. Matt teaches Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop at various dance schools in the area along with his own studio “Downtown Dance Center”.  This past year, Matt was the resident choreographer for the Stadium Theater in Woonsocket R.I. for “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, “West Side Story”  and “Beauty and the Beast”. He was also on tour with the “Headliners Dance Competion” as Emcee and Judge.

Erin Linebarger – Instructor

Erin has been training in aerial dance and contortion-style flexibility for over 6 years, and has been dancing since childhood. She is a current member of Dance Company Worcester. Her flexibility classes emphasize active and dynamic stretching. This approach furthers both passive flexibility (stretching with the help of a partner or gravity) and range of motion (stretching using only one’s muscles), while preventing injury that can occur from incorrect stretching. Erin has a passion for healthy flexibility and for teaching others healthy stretching techniques, customized for their body’s specific needs.

Brittany Perkoski –  Instructor

Miss B started her ballet training in Massachusetts at Franklin School for the Performing Arts. This further branched out over the years to include such disciplines as jazz, modern, contemporary and hip hop. Miss B’s training has also brought her to Boston Dance Company and Broadway Dance Center in New York City. A former dance major and scholarship recipient at Dean College, Miss B has an extensive background in teaching the arts with an emphasis on ballet technique and foot strengthening & conditioning. Her credits include choreographing award-winning competitive dance pieces, teaching master level dance classes throughout Massachusetts and Western New York, choreographing the beloved Christmas ballet “The Nutcracker” and being on the faculty of many respected dance studios throughout her almost 20 year teaching career. Miss B is also a member of Dance Company Worcester.

Jocelyn Pulnik – Instructor

Jocelyn has been dancing since she could walk. Her training began at Dance Education Centre in her home town of Clinton, MA. Throughout her years there she was able to explore various dance techniques including ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, tap, hip-hop, and acrobatics. At age fifteen she started as an assistant teacher and developed a passion for the education process. She later went on to compete both locally and at the national level with the Dawn Rand Dance Company as well as perform with Dance Company Worcester, earning the Miss MRD scholarship in 2016. Currently, Jocelyn is pursuing her BA in Dance, with a concentration in teaching, at the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance through Dean College.She also continues to teach all ages and levels at multiple studios throughout the Worcester area. Along with dancing, Jocelyn also grew up with rigorous training in competitive figure skating, which has helped refine her expertise and love of fitness. In her spare time, Jocelyn enjoys exploring the idea of dance through different mediums, specifically through on ice choreography and contemporary figure skating.

Nicole Scimeca – Instructor

Nikki began dancing when she was three years old and has been dancing ever since. She is Studio trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, and hip hop.  She has performed in a variety of dance competitions, winning several regional awards. Nikki has been a student of Matt for 10 years, a member of Downtown Dance Center since it opened and a member of Dance Company Worcester for the past five years, where she has performed in many showcases, Worcester’s Pride parade as a backup dancer, and Marlborough’s Labor Day Parade. Outside of dance she is employed as a daycare teacher at The Learning Experience in Shrewsbury.  She is very excited to have the opportunity to teach our young children and share her love of dance with them.

Avra Liverman – Instructor

Avra started her dance journey at a young age studying hip hop for many years and joining and becoming captain of her high school’s Varsity Hip Hop dance team. Avra discovered Latin dance through Zumba and hasn’t looked back since! She fell in love with the music, dance and life of Latin music, and became a certified Zumba instructor in 2013.  She continued her dance training at the Star Dance School, where she started studying bachata and salsa more in depth. At the International Latin Group competitions, she worked her way up from the Bronze group to the Silver group and won first place in all 5 dances! That included learning cha cha, samba, rumba, jive and paso doble! Although Avra teaches Latin Fusion, which centers around bachata and salsa, she’s excited to bring in some of the techniques from the other latin dances she’s learned throughout the years. Avra also teaches a Zumba class so join her for a session to see how fun this workout can be! You’ll see her joining the students in other styles of dance because when it comes down to it, when dance is in your life… it’s impossible to limit yourself to just one!

Alex ‘Backspace’ Diaz – Instructor

As a child, Alex was exposed to what most people call “Break Dance” through family and friends of the community.  As a teenager, Alex exceled in dance and won multiple talent shows in high school. He then worked at the Worcester Youth Center, where he participated in community outreach, and various urban arts and recreation programs, while pursuing a degree in Psychology. Alex has taught Hip Hop and Breakin’ classes at various dance schools, where he gained experience in professional settings, as well as an education in other forms of dance. Alex became a Break Dancer and Host on cruise ships. Working on a ship gave him the opportunity to travel and become a guest artist in various dance environments in the United States, Mexico, Peru, and England. Since 2014 Alex has worked in the Youth Activities department with Disney Cruise Line. There he developed showmanship on the dance floor, while providing safe, elegant, entertainment for kids and their families. Whether on ships or on land, Alex continues to thrive through dance education.

Jada Pedlow – Asst. Instructor

 

Mia Huff – Asst. Instructor