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THE BALLET STUDIO STAFF . . .
Lisa Zola - DeLibero| Director
Lisa Zola - DeLibero | Director
Lisa has been dancing since the age of seven. She started her dance training at The Ballet Studio under the direction of her mom, Beverly Zola. While taking weekly classes at The Ballet Studio, Lisa attended master dance classes and workshops in New York City, while also attending classes at Princeton Ballet. As well as a love for dance, she also played sports throughout her elementary, middle, and high school years. Lisa attended The College of New Jersey where she received a Bachelors degree in psychology, with a minor in journalism. During her years at TCNJ, she wrote a fitness and nutrition column for The Signal, the college newspaper. She then attended Rider University where she received a graduate teaching degree in elementary education. Lisa is presently attending Rider University Graduate school where she will receive a Life and Career Coaching Graduate Certificate.
Sherri Lynn DiStefano | Competition Director, Instructor, and Choreographer
Sherri began dancing at The Ballet Studio at the age of three under the direction of Beverly Zola, owner and former
ballerina with the Thomas Cannon Ballet Company. She attended Rutgers University where she graduated with a BA in Sociology
and was certified as an elementary school teacher. During college she pursued her love of dance as captain of the nationally
ranked RU dance team and as a Universal Dance Association instructor. After graduation, she was honored to become part of
the TBS staff and work alongside her mentor, friend, and director, Miss Lisa. SherriÃ¯Â¿Â½s passion for dance and teaching
continue as she heads the competition program at the studio and works as a fourth grade teacher at Errickson School in Freehold.
She is forever grateful to teach at the studio where she grew up and to be part of an amazing staff which she considers family.
Amber Brovak | Instructor and Choreographer
Amber began dancing at the age of 3, under the direction of Beverly Zola, at The Ballet Studio. She previously
danced with her high school dance team as well as attending recreational dance classes in NY & NJ. Amber enjoys teaching,
choreographing, and interacting with the students while they learn. She currently teaches combination classes. She
graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Chemical Engineering, with minors in Economics and Psychology.
Amber currently works for Church & Dwight.
Cara Jorgesen | Competition Assistant Director, Instructor, and Choreographer
Cara has been dancing since the age of three. She started participating in dance competitions at the age of
eight to the age of eighteen. She received an associates degree in the Arts from Mercer County Community College where
she studied dance. She was a part of the Mercer Dance Ensemble for two years. She recently transferred to Richard Stockton
College where she plans on recieving a Bachelors in Dance with a concentration in Pre Movement Therapy. She is also a
member of the dance team for Stockton. She plans on receiving her Masters and becoming a Dance Therapist. This is her
third year teaching jazz and hip hop at TBS and she loves every minute of it!
ut. Michaela is so excited to be helping out again this year, and looks forward to making more amazing memories!
Erika Houseworth | Instructor and Chroeographer
Erika began dancing at the age of 3 under the direction of Ms. Irene Parker. She continued her enjoyment of dance at
the Dance Shop under Ms. Joyce Smilek for 12 years. At the Dance Shop Erika participated in tap, jazz, lyrical and
ballet she also took part in competitions. After Erika finished high school she began taking classes and teaching
with Ms. Lisa at the Ballet Studio. She also participated in competitions. During the same time Erika attended MCCC
and graduated from Rowan University with a BA in History. While at Rowan University Erika launch the Rowan Dance Team.
They performed at home football and basketball games as well as school functions. She currently is employed by the
State of NJ as a Senior Police Officer with the Department of Human Services. She still continues to enjoy her love
for dance by instructing and choreographing for students performing solos, duets, and trios.
Amanda Ruzich | Instructor and Choreographer
Amanda began dancing at The Ballet Studio when she was five years old. She started with foundations in
ballet technique and eventually moved on to jazz, lyrical and pointe. In addition to these classes, Amanda
joined the competitive dancers at The Ballet Studio until graduating from high school in 2006. Upon graduation,
she became a Ballet Studio staff member. Amanda is currently a junior at The College of New Jersey where she
is pursuing a double major in Special Education and Math, Science, Technology and a double minor in Psychology
and Communication Disorders. While academics hold the highest regard, Amanda also finds time to dance on TCNJ's
Dance Team. The dance team attends camp every summer, performs at home football and basketball games, as well
as other campus events, holds an annual fundraiser Dancers for Cancer, and competes every January at the Universal
Dance Association's College Dance Team Nationals in Walt Disney World. Amanda currently teaches advanced level
hip-hop at The Ballet Studio.
Alicia Riley | Instructor and Choreographer, Preschool Program Director
Alicia began dancing at the age of 4, under the direction of Irene Parker in Trenton, New Jersey. As her
love of dance grew stronger, she attended classes at The Dance Shop in Hamilton Square for 11 years where she
study tap, ballet, and jazz. She was also a member of the Competition Team who won many awards in both tap and
jazz. She has also taken classes and workshops in New Jersey and New York. After High School Graduation she
began assisting at The Ballet Studio in the Competition and PreSchool Programs. She attended Mercer County
Community College and Georgian Court College in Lakewood, NJ, where she studied Special Education. She has
taught the in the PreSchool program for the past 19 years and has been Director of the PreSchool Program for
the past 2 years. She also teaches Ballet and Jazz in the intermediate classes. The Ballet Studio is her
second home and all present, past and future students are her Kids!
Tara Toporek | Director of Customer Service, Instructor, and Choreographer
Miss Tara has been a part of The Ballet Studio since the age of three. She has been taking classes at
TBS for twenty seven years. Her mother, and two sisters have also been students at TBS. Tara began as an assistant
instructor and then became an instructor working primarily with pre-schoolers to students in 5th grade. Tara has
attended numerous classes at Princeton Ballet. She has also attended dance teacher Intensive workshops in New York
City and the Meadowlands. Tara is a graduate of The Art Institute of Philadelphia where she received high honors
status. Tara feels that The Ballet Studio and dance have been a big part of who she is today.
Courtney Anthes | Instructor and Choreographer
Courtney began her dancing career at the age of three at the Hamilton YMCA. At five years old, she started
at The Ballet Studio with Miss Lisa as her teacher, and loved it. During her years at TBS, Courtney was on the
competitive team from the age of eight to eighteen, winning many awards and competing in nationals. After
graduating high school, Courtney attended Rider University and graduated Summa Cum Laude in May 2016 with
her degree in Elementary Education, Psychology, and a minor in Special Education. She currently teaches
elementary and special education. Courtney has loved dancing since a very young age, and was excited to
return to The Ballet Studio as an instructor in 2016. She is thrilled to be back doing what she loves as
an instructor and co-choreographer for the competition team.
Ashlee Martel | Instructor and Choreographer
Ashlee began her dancing career at the age of 3 at The Ballet Studio. She refused to switch dancing schools
when moving to Pennsylvania in the third grade. She taught alongside of Mrs. Tara and Miss Stacy for many years.
She was also on the Competition Team for 5 years. After high school, Ashlee attended Millersville University
where she graduated in May 2017 with a BSE-Social Studies Education Degree for 7th-12th grade students. She is
very excited to be back home at The Ballet Studio to continue her career as a choreographer. Ashlee fully
believes and lives the moto, "Dancing with your feet is one thing, but dancing with your heart is another."
Olivia Miranda | Instructor/Choreographer
Originally from Robbinsville, NJ, Olivia grew up dancing at local studio Ballet Technique under the direction
of Julie A. Caprio, performing classical ballet works. Pursuing a double major in English and Dance, Olivia
attended the Ailey School in the fall of 2014. While at the Ailey School, Olivia worked with choreographers
such as Tom Gold, Jaclyn Buglisi, and Breton Tyner-Bryan as well as performed works by Alvin Ailey including
excerpts from Night Creature and Revelations. In June of 2017, Olivia performed in the Alvin Ailey Spirit
Gala at Lincoln Center, debuting choreography by Tracy Inman, Robert Battle, and Ari Mayzick. During fall of
her junior year, Olivia accepted a contract with Ballet Hispanico's second company (BHdos) under the direction
of Nicholas Villeneuve and Johan Rivera. At Ballet Hispanico, Olivia learned and performed repertory by
Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Eduardo Vilaro, Pedro Ruiz, and Talley Beatty, performing
at the Apollo Theater. She has attended summer intensives at BalletX, American Ballet Theater, and Koltun
Ballet Theater to name a few. While in New York, Olivia also pursued her passion for fitness, teaching
cardio-based rowing classes downtown at Current Fitness. Olivia graduated from the Ailey/Fordham BFA
program May 2018, and she is currently freelancing with professional dance companies in New York City.
Daria Briggs | Instructor/Choreographer
Daria danced at The Ballet Studio since the age of three. She went on to study ballet, jazz, hip-hop,
tap, and lyrical. During high school she joined the competition team and participated in duets, solos, and group
numbers. In her junior and senior years of high school, Daria volunteered teaching the youngest dancers at The Ballet
Studio. Daria is currently a senior at The College of New Jersey where she majors in Business Administration with a
specialty in Marketing and a minor in Communications. She was a member of the TCNJ Dance Team where she attended the
UDA Dance Team Nationals in Walt Disney World. Currently, Daria dances for Turbulence, the Semi-Pro Arena Football
League Dance Team. Daria will be teaching competition solos and duets this year and upon graduation will be a permanent
staff member of the TBS dance family.
Nina Marchesani | Instructor
Nina began dancing at The Ballet Studio at the age of 3. She began competing with TBS at age 5
and was part of the Philadelphia 76ers Pre-Pro team. Her dance career continued through high school
and college. She attended the Pennsylvania State University, where she received a BS in Mathematics,
minors in Dance and Italian, and choreographed for Whiplash Dance Team. She currently works as a Middle
School Math Teacher at Trenton Catholic Academy. She has recently been accepted to Rider University
to pursue a Graduate degree in Education. Nina is truly grateful to be given the opportunity to teach
at the studio where she first fell in love with dance.
Julie DeLibero | Public Relations
Julia started dancing at The Ballet Studio at the age of 3. She enjoyed dancing as well as having
a love for photography, art, and playing field hockey. Julia attened Montclair State University where
she majored in Family and Child Studies. Her love for children made her decide to attend Rider
University, where she received her Graduate Teacher Certificate and is presently completing a Masters
degree in education. She is currently teaching third grade at Robinson Elementary School in Hamilton
Township, New Jersey.
Jordan Jackson | Guest Instructor
Jordan Jackson | Guest Instructor
Jordan Joel Jackson, a native of Somerset, New Jersey, began his formal dance training at Inspira
Performing Arts and Cultural Center and continued at Manhattan Youth Ballet. Mr. Jackson is a graduate
of Somerset County Vocational and Technical High Schools Gifted and Talented Honors Dance Program. He is
a 2x bronze medalist from the NAACP ACT-SO competition. He is also a recipient of the Paul Robeson
Youth Achievement Art Award and a Certificate of Appreciation from the New Brunswick Area Branch of the NAACP.
Jackson has performed in works by Frederick Earl Mosley, Clifton Brown, Antonio Brown, Artis Smith,
Jessica DiMauro-Marks, and Maureen Glennon-Clayton. He is currently attending Montclair State University,
majoring in Dance and Education. During his freshman year of college, he was named a Rehearsal Assistant
to Jessica DiMauro-Marks for her work entitled Underneath.
Luke Profy | Guest Instructor
Currently, Luke is receiving a Minor in Dance from the University of Pittsburgh under the direction
of Susan Gillis-Kruman, Jessica Marino, and Jil Stifel. He has grown up dancing since he was 7 years old.
Luke primarily studied dance at Dance Arts of Yardley in Lower Makefield, PA for 11 years with Andrea
Bontoni, Jaime Santoro, Christina Castro, Melissa Profy, and Sakie Hachiya. While at Dance Arts of Yardley,
Luke was a Senior Company Captain of the competition teams and was tasked with rehearsing and the cleaning
of the various competition dances for the various ages and levels. While at Dance Arts, he was given the
unique opportunity to student choreograph, under the advisement of Andrea Bontoni, for various ages and
levels of the competition students. Luke started choreographing when he was thirteen and his choreography
has won numerous top overall awards and special judges awards at various regional dance competitions and
at nationals. Luke still sets pieces of choreography for competitions during winter break, as well as,
choreograph for the dance productions, musicals, and concerts at the University of Pittsburgh. With regards
to teaching and instruction, Luke completed a two-year teaching training program that included observational
learning and feedback instruction from numerous instructors at Dance Arts of Yardley. He also has studied
proper dance pedagogy under Susan Gillis-Kruman at Pitt. Luke has experience teaching children ages 5-18 in
ballet, jazz, jazz funk, hip-hop, musical theater, contemporary/lyrical and modern. Some other class options
that Luke teaches include improv classes, jumps and turns, and stretch/strengthening classes.
Caitlin Kazanski | Intern
Caitlin started dancing at The Ballet Studio when she was three years old. Since then, she has graduated
from Robbinsville High School and is now taking classes at Mercer County Community College. After completing
her associates degree in Dance-Fine Arts, she plans to being my second major to become a Physical Therapist
Assistant. The past two years she has been in five performances at Mercer, taken classes with multiple dance
companies, and continued to perform in the annual recitals at TBS. Caitlin is so grateful for her years at
the studio and can't wait to become an official staff member in the future!
Francesca Alessi | Intern
I started dancing when I was 9 years old at The Ballet Studio. My first teacher at The Ballet Studio was
Ms. Victoria. I still remember the first dance I did and, I still have the costume. That was one of my
favorite costumes and one of my favorite dances. It was Stand By Me from Ben E King, still to this day is
one of my favorite songs. Mrs, Victoria told us while we are dancing this dance to think about someone we
lost and dance our hearts out. Ever since then every lyrical dance I dance, I think about all the love ones
I've lost. My junior year of high school I joined the competition team. We did Mamma Mia one of my favorite
movies. Over my years at the studio I met people and became best friends with all of the girls. I love all
the girls at The Ballet Studio and all the teachers. The Ballet Studio will forever be my favorite place and second home.
A special thank you to the founder of The Ballet Studio, BEVERLY ZOLA, for making this opportunity possible.
We thank our former staff members and invite you to read their biographies as well. To do so, Click Here.