Our Instructors

-A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, & touches a heart!

Tiffany Mayer
Owner/Director/Instructor

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.    

 

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Annie Rotko
Instructor

Annie Ross began her dance career at the age of 2 in Auburn, NY. Over the years, her teaching has progressed and she has been fortunate enough to spread her love of dance through numerous studios around Central New York. Annie has studied under Sean McLeod in the Applied Study Program where she toured with the New York Institute of Dance and Education along the east coast as well as overseas with the Global Dance Initiative. During her apprenticeship she assisted with auditions, master classes, filming and receiving hands-on application in the dance world. From 2016-2018 Annie lived in Bavaria, Germany where she taught dance and ran her business as an Aesthetician. When Annie is not in the studio, she is the Head Coach for the Auburn High School Cheerleading teams. Back in 2013, Annie was the first senior to ever "graduate" from TSDPAC - she is so excited to be back as a member of this awesome dance family!

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Kaitlyn MacArthur
Instructor

Kaitlyn started dance at the age of 3 and immediately fell in love. She studied dance at River Rhythms Dance Center in Baldwinsville, NY. She did competition dance for 7 seasons winning a variety of awards. She was trained in a variety of styles, but jazz was always her favorite. After graduating high school she attended LeMoyne College where she received a bachelors degree in Biology with a minor in dance in 2018. While at LeMoyne, she was part of the dance team for 1 year, where she performed at the college’s basketball games. She also participated in the LeMoyne Student Dance Company by dancing and choreographing numerous routines. She is very excited to share her love for dance and knowledge with the TSDPAC dancers!

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Sarah Cox
Instructor

Coming Soon! 

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Kyra Lopiccolo
Instructor

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.

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Kathryn Rotko
Instructor

Kathryn- Keke- Rotko started dancing at the age of 2, studying in ballet, tap, and hip hop. As the years progressed Hip Hop became her favorite style of dance. Keke also was a varsity cheerleader throughout high school and graduated in 2020. When Keke isn’t in the studio, she can be found at the Auburn Credit Union as a teller or, working on her skills as a sports photographer. 

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Dan Williams
Voice/Piano Instructor

Dan Williams has been teaching private voice and piano for over a dozen years in the Central New York area. With music degrees from SUNY Oswego and Onondaga Community College, he has strong training in vocal technique and piano pedagogy. Also an active performer and music director, Dan has graced both the operatic and musical theatre stages as well as concerts. Musical directorships include Syracuse Summer Theatre at the OnCenter, Syracuse Area High School Theatre Awards, Cazenovia College, and Jordan-Elbridge High School. Awards include twice-winner for Musical Director of the Year for 2018 and 2019 SALT (Syracuse Area Live Theatre) awards and also 2019 Leading Actor in a musical for William Barfee in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Dan has also worked with virtually every community theatre in the greater Syracuse area. As an arts educator Dan has taught week long or program intensives at The Rev (formerly Merry-Go-Round Playhouse), Redhouse Arts Center, SUNY Oswego's SummerFame, Miss Lisa's Center for Dance Artistry (LCODA), Peacefuls Schools' School of the Arts, the CNY Community Arts Center, and the CNY Performing Arts Studio.

Dan is well-versed in many musical styles including musical theatre, classical, opera, jazz, and pop. For piano he can cater to whatever style wants to be learned whether by chords or by full music reading.

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Quinn Pierson
Instructor

Quinn Pierson grew up dancing competitively in Los Angeles, California where her experience was centered around jazz, contemporary, musical theater, and ballet. At the age of 16 she found her true passion of choreographing and began to teach dancers of all ages at The Vault Dance Studio in Pasadena, California. She now is studying Environmental Sciences at Syracuse University. Quinn’s goal at TSDPAC is to give students a safe and welcoming space to grow and explore their passions for dance while giving them a strong foundation of technique for a life long of dancing.

Corinne Price-Schmidt
Assistant Director/Instructor

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 Ebner
Instructor

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. 

 

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Cara Connolly
Instructor

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. 

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Kate Bailie
Instructor

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!

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Alyssa Franklin
Instructor

Alyssa’s love of sport began when she started playing ice hockey at age 4 and turned into a passion for gymnastics when she began tumbling in 2011. In high school, she continued to play tier 1 ice hockey with the Buffalo Regals, tumbling, cheerleading, and track and field. She later went on to join the club gymnastics team and club ice hockey team at Syracuse University where she also became a gymnastics instructor in 2015. She has been certified through USA Gymnastics, USA Hockey as a coach, and is certified through the American Council on Exercise as a Personal Trainer. Alyssa is also passionate about nutrition as she graduate from Syracuse University in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree majoring in Political Science and minors in Native American Studies and Nutrition. She is currently studying to earn her Master’s degree in Early Childhood/Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 6) and NYS Teacher Certification through Mercy College. She loves teaching children and helping them reach their goals whether academic or tumbling! She looks forward to seeing everyone in the gym!

Cierra Murphy
Instructor
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Ciera Murphy's love of sports started when she was 4 years old when she fell in love with soccer. In High School Ciera competed in Varsity soccer, as well as club soccer, Varsity basketball as well as ran track and played lacrosse. Speed is her best asset! After High School Ciera went on to a two year school and graduated with her Criminal Justice Degree as well as playing and being the captain of the OCC women’s soccer team! She plans to continue her school journey next fall! She enjoys teaching children and helping them learn the fundamentals to being a great athlete all around! She is excited to teach Ninja!