-A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, & touches a heart!
Tiffany’s dance experience started at the age of 3 where she danced at Pat Haggerty School of Dance. She studied dance through high school and into college. Disciplines of focus were ballet, jazz, contemporary, and tap. Competitively she travelled to some of the top competitions and conventions in the country, including intensives with Rafael Grigorian. In college she ran the IUP Dance Company and took it from a small group to one that attracted the top dancers in western PA. During her time at IUP the focus for Tiffany was teaching and working with children to help them realize their own potential. Having been mentored by two amazing dance teachers she saw her true passion for dance. After teaching and creating choreography at mulitiple studios throughout Pennsylvania and New York she was finally able to start her own studio. Gazella Dance Studio was started in the summer of 2010 and it's a dream that has become realized. Working with students of all ages and helping them not only to become a better dancer but to nurture and develop self-confidence in ones self is the true reward.
Kelli’s love for dance began at the age of 3. Her dance training primarily includes classical ballet technique, pointe, and partnering at Light of the World Ballet School under the direction of Ashley Rollinson, The Ballet and Dance Center under the instruction of Danya Wikowski-Eades and Karen Menter, and SUNY Cortland Department of Performing Arts under the direction of Cynthia Halpin. Additional training includes modern, tap, jazz, creative movement, body conditioning, Stott pilates, power yoga, and Barre. She has participated in master classes with ACB Dance Company, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and a dance residency with Mel Tomlinson of NYC Ballet. She has danced as soloist and had lead roles in various ballets which include Les Sylphides, Paquita, Living Hope, The Crown, and Freedom, as well as performed for various venues and community events across the Central New York area including CRAVE Fest, Symphor!a, Holiday House, and Evening of Dance. Outside of the dance studio, Kelli is a full- time speech-language pathologist. She is an avid swimmer, runner, and cyclist, competing in triathlons and half/full marathons. She also teaches group exercise classes including spin and Les Mills programming. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for dance and fitness with the students at Tiffany's School of Dance.
Emmilly’s love for dance started at the age of three. She began her dance training at Tawn Marie’s Dance Centre in Liverpool, NY studying ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre and pointe. She was a member of the studio’s competition team and won numerous regional awards. Emmilly was accepted into the Rockette Summer Intensive in 2012, which is a week-long dance intensive in which dancers learn the precise choreography and the famous eye-high kicklines that the Radio City Rockettes perform, from the Rockettes themselves. She had the privilege to attend the intensive for five summers and hopes to continue attending in the future. Emmilly graduated from Cicero-North Syracuse High School in 2013 and is currently pursuing a degree in Social Work, while working as a Teaching Assistant at an early-intervention inclusive preschool. Emmilly is thrilled to be joining the TSDPAC team and can’t wait to combine her love of working with children and dance!
Julia Shove attended Utica College, graduating summa cum laude and receiving a Bachelor of Science in psychology with minors in sociology and gender studies. A dancer of twenty years, she studied at Ballet Arts of CNY in Clark Mills, New York throughout her formative years, under the instruction of Delia Foley, A.R.A.D. and Melissa Larish, RAD RTS. Julia completed her Royal Academy of Dance training through the Intermediate level. From fall 2015 to present, she has continued her training at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, partnering with the Dance and Movement Studies program and performing in numerous works choreographed by faculty and guest artists. Julia's teaching experience is concentrated in classical ballet, fusing together aspects of both the RAD and Vaganova techniques. She is also a certified PiYo and P90X fitness instructor through BeachBody. Julia performed as a soloist with the Mohawk Valley Ballet, a pre-professional student company, for five years, working alongside Columbia City Ballet’s artistic director and professional dancers in multiple full-length productions, including Cinderella and Don Quixote. She has returned to MVB as a guest artist since 2015 to dance a variety of principal roles, namely Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker. Her choreography is featured in repertory showcases and local festivals, incorporating balletic and contemporary movement. Julia currently teaches at a number of dance and fitness studios in the greater Utica-Syracuse area. She operates a small photography business and plans to focus her postgraduate studies in adolescent eating disorders.
Kyra LoPiccolo is currently sophomore at SUNY ESF and has been part of the TSDPAC family since 2014. Her love of dancing began at age 3 and has been growing ever since. Her experience is centered around ballet and jazz but includes background in tap, pointe, hip hop, contemporary, and musical theater. She danced on the advanced competition team at TSDPAC for three years and competed across a wide variety of disciplines. Her love of dance extends beyond performing and into teaching as she works with younger dancers to strengthen their understanding of dance and find the joy in it. Outside of the dance studio, Kyra is studying biotechnology and works in a research lab studying tissue culture and genetics. She enjoys hiking, backpacking, and spending time with her family in Skaneateles. She’s passionate about sharing her love of dance with all the students at TSDPAC.
Grace's love for dance started at age 4 and continued through college where she was a choreographer and dancer in the SUNY Oswego Del Sarte Dance Club. Grace grew up on Long Island where she studied ballet, jazz, lyrical, and modern at both competitive and recreational studios. Through high school she was a dancer on Newfield High School Kickline Team and a student teacher for beginner ballet dancers. She continued her dance studies with ballet and jazz classes at the college level while completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Wellness Management. Grace started choreographing in 2014 with a small group lyrical and found her new love in the dance world: designing clean performances that provide every dancer a moment in the spotlight.
Corinne began dancing at the Munson Williams Proctor Dance Institute. In high school she applied her dance background to cheerleading and high school musicals. After graduating, she went on to the State University of New York at Cortland College where she co-founded Danceworks. By her sophmore year at SUNY Cortland she had quickly asserted herself as a game changer in the program, her hunger and commitment catapulted Danceworks from a club that met occassionally to SUNY Cortland's highly acclaimed and energetic dance team that performs at athletic and university events, as well as regional and national competitions. Corinne served as the Danceworks Club Sport President as well as choreographed and performed for Danceworks for 4 years. Since graduating, Corinne has attended numerous NY Knicks City Dancers and NY Jet Flight Crew choreography camps to advance her passion for Hip Hop and Jazz Funk. With Bachelor and Master degrees in Health Education and Wellness Promotion she is a Health Educator at Baldwinsville H.S. who enjoys making time to teach dance to her high school students during Wellness Days and Physical Education classes. Seasonally, Corinne loves continuing to dance and explore street styles in NYC studios. Since joining the team at Gazella Dance Studio, Corinne has immersed herself into the brilliant lives of her students as their Hip Hop teacher. Corinne thrives for opportunities to introduce the many exploratory avenues of Hip Hop to her students and more importantly to ignite a passionate flame within them. With a drive to help provide a rich multi-faceted program at TSDPAC, both recreationally and competitively, Corinne is thrilled to work aside Tiffany as her Assistant Director.
Julia was bit by the theatre bug as a small child. She studied dance at a variety of Central New York studios finding a mentor and teacher in Cathy Strong. After receiving a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from Syracuse University and a Masters of Music in Opera from Binghamton University, Ms. Ebner went on to perform with the Virginia Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Charleston Chamber Opera, Syracuse Opera, Oswego Opera, Green Mountain Opera Festival, Opera North, Tri-Cities Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, Winter Opera St. Louis, Bel Cantanti Opera, Opera San Antonio, Opera in the Heights, and the Florida Grand Opera. She has had the previlage of working with a variety of choreographers and directors including Sean Curran, Dorothy Danner, Paul Curran, and Renaud Doucet. In addition to her performance career, she is a dedicated educator in the performing arts and has taught dance at the CNY Academy of Dance Arts, and the Jean Stelter Dance Studio, The Arts Company as well as starting a dance program for beginning adults at the Tri-Cities Opera. She was the musical director, and acting teacher for The Arts Company in Faison, North Carolina, where she directed productions of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” and “The Wiz.” Julia has also choreographed dance scenes for opera productions including “Romeo et Juliette” and “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” for the Tri-Cities Opera. As a music teacher, Julia has held her own private voice studio as well as teaching at Mount Olive College, Cortland University and Binghamton University. She currently teaches dance at Always Dancing, and Celebration Dance and is an instructor of Pilates and Barre at Bodhi Barre in Syracuse. Julia is thrilled to share her love of movement, and musical theatre with TSDPAC.
Cara Connolly grew up on Long Island, New York, where she received the majority of her training from Maggie Black. In addition to Black's coaching, Ms. Connolly attended Studio Maestro under Deborah Wingert and François Perron, Huntington Ballet Theatre under Karen Lynch and Tony Jones, and the School at Steps under Leslie Browne. She also trained with some of the country's most prestigious summer programs, including Boston Ballet, The Washington School of Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and New York State Summer School of the Arts.
Ms. Connolly is joining Syracuse City Ballet as both a company dancer, and as assistant ballet mistress. She has also danced professionally with numerous companies such as Hudson Valley Ballet, Neglia Ballet Artists, American Swiss Ballet Company, Connecticut Ballet, and Ballet New England. She has also worked with renowned contemporary choreographers David Fernandez, Ada Cacciatore, and Sergei Vanaev, among others.
In addition to performing, Ms. Connolly has been choreographing, and teaching ballet to all ages and levels for over ten years. Her students have been accepted to many notable ballet programs including University of the Arts, Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet, The Rock School of Ballet, NYSSSA, American Academy of Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet School. At TSDPAC, she aims to train the next generation of dancers to have strong technique, musicality, and above all, a love for classical ballet.
Kate started dancing at the age of 3 at Creative Dance Arts in Clifton Park, NY. She focused on ballet and jazz, but also had the opportunity to train and perform with the Shenedehowa High School Dance Team throughout all four years of high school. While on the dance team Kate competed at the NDA National Championship, and performed in both the Orange Bowl Pregame Show and the Disney Park’s Christmas Parade. Her love of dance continued into college where she was a member and choreographer of Del Sarte Dance Club of SUNY Oswego. Kate served as both Vice President and President of the student-run dance club in her junior and senior years of college. After graduating with her undergraduate degree, Kate continued her education with a Master of Science degree in Chemistry at SUNY Oswego. She continued to dance and choreograph in Del Sarte throughout her two years of graduate school. She now works full time at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse as the General Chemistry Lab Coordinator. Kate is extremely excited to join the TSDPAC team and get back into the dance studio!
Sonja Lara-Gonzalez is from Watertown, NY where she began gymnastics at the age of 3. She was a gymnast for 15 years at the YMCA, where she competed through level 8. She began coaching in high school and has been coaching for 7 years now. She specializes in competitive gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, yoga, and tumbling for children of all ages. She coached an excel silver team at SUNY Potsdam, where she graduated with 2 bachelor degrees in psychology and criminal justice, minoring in human series and Spanish. She has coached multiple excel silver and bronze teams in South Carolina at the Columbia Palmetto Athletic Center, and levels 1-7 teams at GC2 Gymnastics in Syracuse. She plans on pursuing her masters degree in social work at Syracuse University, with a focus on correctional counseling. She is currently a mental health counselor aide at Hillbrook Detention center, as well as a NYS Paramedic for AMR. She began playing rugby in college and currently plays for Uticuse Women's Ruby. She is excited to be joining the staff at TSDPAC and can't wait to see you all in the gym!