Studio Director, Ballet & Broadway Jazz
Nicole Theodore brings with her over 20 years of work in the entertainment industry as a professional performer, teacher and choreographer. She trained with the South Jersey Ballet Company under Andrea Duffin and graduated top honors with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. There, she trained with some of the dance industry’s finest including Andrew Pap, Lisa Sundstrom, Wayne St. David and Roni Koresh. She was part of a select few that were chosen to perform for the Balanchine Trust. Nicole received a presidential scholarship to attend and also the Faculty Recognition Award for Excellence in her field of study when she graduated.
As a former photography and runway model for Jo Anderson Models, she also taught classes while modeling in Philadelphia and New York. Nicole modeled for companies such a Burberry and BBC Broadcasting. In addition, she has had the title of Miss New Jersey Teen USA and competed in the Miss Teen USA Pageant where she performed with Justin Timberlake and other artists.
Nicole has had the privilege of performing throughout the country and abroad in countless shows. She was a dancer for Legends in Concert and The Show in Atlantic City. She has also danced in several industrial shows for Commerce Bank, Disney and ABC to name a few. Nicole was a swing dancer and magician’s assistant alongside the famous Mark and Jinger Kalin in the Carnival Of Wonders Show. She has performed as a stage dancer for the past seven years in The Burlesque Show at Borgata and was most recently in the Rat Pack Show and The King in Concert, both for Elite Casino Marketing Group.
Continuing her studies, Nicole has trained and is now certified in a revolutionary program called Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT). This practice is an innovative body conditioning and strengthening program to help students understand the depth of training muscle memory for their dancing. As a passionate dance instructor and performer, she is dedicated to creating a positive learning experience to her students while providing a professional environment to assist in student progress.
Nicole resides in Mickleton, New Jersey with her husband Joe, and two children Logan and Lyla.
Ballet & Pointe
Valerie Amiss began her training at age eight under Sue Millington at the Regency Ballet. She continued her instruction with Victor Moreno and Alexei Yudenich, and at age 12 joined the Pennsylvania Ballet School. At age 15, Ms. Amiss spent a summer studying in Saratoga Springs, NY with members of New York City Ballet, including Peter Martins, Heather Watts, and Jock Soto. She was nominated for the prestigious Princess Grace Award in 1994, and in 1995 performed at the Algur H. Meadows Award Ceremony to honor choreographer Paul Taylor. In the summer of that same year, she also performed with the Chautauqua Ballet Company, directed by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride, and, in 1997, performed at the St. Bart’s Music Festival.
Ms. Amiss joined Pennsylvania Ballet as an apprentice in 1992. She became a member of the corps de ballet in 1993 and was promoted to soloist in 1999. In the summer of that year, she also represented the company at the Sintra Festival in Portugal. And in 2005, Ms. Amiss not only performed at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, where she danced featured roles in Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, but also performed Matthew Neenan’s 11:11 and Carmina Burana at New York City Center. Additionally, she had the honor of performing twice at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as well as with Susan Jaffe and Nicole Hlinka for a Rock School benefit.
Ms. Amiss has performed numerous principal roles in the Balanchine repertoire, including Titania and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Odette in Swan Lake Act II, and the Sugarplum Fairy and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker. As well, she danced featured roles in such works as Giselle, Paul Taylor’s Company B, Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Christopher Wheeldon’s Continuum and Swan Lake, Janek Schergen’s The Sleeping Beauty, Alvin Ailey’s The River, Jerome Robbins’ In the Night and The Concert, and George Balanchine’s Rubies, The Four Temperaments, Western Symphony, Agon, Scotch Symphony, Bugaku, and Serenade, among others.
Ms. Amiss has taught ballet and pointe classes at summer sessions for the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. As well, she has been a guest instructor at schools throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For seven years after her retirement from the stage, she was co-ballet mistress for the Academy of Ballet NJ in West Berlin, NJ. Ms. Amiss had the pleasure of teaching ballet to aspiring figure skaters in Aston, Pennsylvania. She was a senior lecturer at the University of the Arts, where she taught several ballet classes, and a guest lecturer at Drexel University where she was asked to speak about Balanchine repertoire for the Philadelphia Museum Of Dance at the Barnes Museum., Ms. Amiss has been a faculty member of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet where she teaches all levels including a beginner ballet at Croft Farms in Cherry hill N.j She also teaches for the Princeton Ballet School in both the Cranbury and Princeton locations.
In 2018,Ms. Amiss was asked by Pennsylvania Ballet outreach program to teach classes for children with Down syndrome. She has taught several ballet classes for children with special needs at St. Katherine Day School in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania and currently teaches Audrey’s class for children of all abilities at the Princeton Ballet School.
Ms. Amiss retired from Pennsylvania Ballet in June 2007. She resides in Mantua, NJ with her husband, former Pennsylvania Ballet Soloist Edward Cieslak, and their son Adam and daughter Lily
Kyra has over 23 years of dance training, experiences, and performance opportunities. She has training in all styles of dance including, jazz, ballet, pointe, tap, contemporary, and hip-hop. She has even been very fortunate to learn from Nicole Theodore herself. Growing up she was recognized and awarded at competitions and conventions.
She has had opportunities to work with Scott Jovovich in creating excellent shows of The Nutcracker, accepting a principal role of performing as the Arabian Princess. Kyra is the head dance team coach at Kingsway Regional High School, lucky enough to be at her high school alma mater. She wanted to give students the opportunity, who had an interest in dance, to be a part of a team and give back to their school community. She prepares the team with high energy halftime performances for football and basketball games and high school dance team competitions. Through her teachings and coaching, she wants to continue to inspire and share her passion of dance with young upcoming artists.
Kyra was a 3rd year veteran and captain for the Philadelphia Wings Dancers in the NLL Organization. She is now continuing her dance career as a rookie on the sidelines at the Lincoln Financial Field as a NFL Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader.
Kyra is a proud graduate from Rowan University where she received her Bachelors of Science in accounting and a minor in dance. Kyra works full time as an accountant for a corporate company that makes a wide variety of juices. When Kyra is not working or at the dance studio, you can find her relaxing on the beach, playing with her pup, or going for a hike.
Broadway Jazz, Hip Hop & Pre-School/Beginner Dance
Nichole Bieth is a lifelong scholar of dance, music and theater. From a young age, she studied at the Performing Arts Academy in Ocean County where she developed her passion for musical theater. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rowan University in 2016 with two degrees- Theatre Arts, with a concentration in Musical Theatre, and Dance. During her time at Rowan, she studied under and worked closely with choreographers Paul Turner, Leslie Elkins and Beau Hancock. Nichole had the privilege to perform in many different dance productions, plays, musicals, and even operas! She has also devised multiple dance theatre pieces including “Coloring Book,” which she extended for her Capstone project, in collaboration with Alyssa La Pierre, called “Outside the Line.” In 2017, Nichole co-produced a benefit which raised over $600 for New Jersey Arts Education Partnership and has plans to produce follow-up benefits in the future.
Nichole specializes in Modern, Improvisation, Musical Theater, Jazz, and Hip Hop. Through her positive and uplifting classes, she hopes to inspire her students to follow their own creative journey. When Nichole is not at the studio, she can be found either at home with her boyfriend and their 2 rabbits, gardening, making homemade hot sauces, or playing video games.
Cassandra is a South Jersey native who has been dancing and performing since the age of three. She began her training at a local dance studio where she practiced, performed, and competed for thirteen years, then continued her dance career into college. She attended Montclair State University where she studied business, and was a member and captain of the Montclair State University Dance Team. In 2018, she helped lead her team to a national championship title for the D3 Team Performance category at NDA Nationals in Daytona! She graduated with her degree in Business Administration, and currently works as an Accounts Payable Specialist for a food and beverage company.
After college, Cassandra began her professional dance career when she made the Philadelphia Wings Dance Team. She represented the Wings Lacrosse Team for two seasons, attending many appearances and performing at the Wells Fargo Center. She is now continuing her dance career as a rookie on the sidelines at the Lincoln Financial Field as a NFL Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader.
Junior & Senior Company
Jackie (Chinnici) McLay began her dance education at the age of four in South Jersey training in all styles of dance. She’s performed as Clara in the Nutcracker with the Atlantic City Ballet, with the Harlem Globetrotters, at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, and at many other venues throughout the Delaware Valley.
Jackie graduated from Temple University with degrees in both Marketing and Dance. While in college, she danced with modern jazz company, Infatuation Dance Company, performing in numerous shows throughout Philadelphia and New York, and appeared in multiple Philadelphia Fringe Festivals. Upon graduation, she became a member of the Roger Lee Dance Company, performing in company shows throughout the year, the RAW Arts Showcase Philadelphia and New York, and was featured on 6ABC Loves the Arts.
Jackie has been featured as a model in dance costume catalogs and fashion shows for Costume Gallery and A Wish Come True. She’s attended the Dance Teacher Web Conference in Las Vegas for 4 years to continue her dance studies under some of the industry’s leading teachers. Jackie has taught at multiple studios in the South Jersey area and at The Rock School for Dance Education’s RockReach program in Philadelphia. Currently, she is the dance director at Triton Regional High School, developing their first ever dance program, created the new Triton Dance Company, and directs and choreographs numerous shows throughout the year.
Beginner Classes, Ballet, Lyrical & Social Media
Emily Cooney trained at Dancesations Studio of Performing Arts for 16 years. Throughout those years, she also has studied at South Jersey Ballet and Jovo Dance Company. Emily has been trained by Nicole Theodore for 15 years as well as Andrea Duffin for 5 years in ballet. Emily attended the Joffrey Ballet School’s Pre-Professional Summer Intensive in 2018 and was accepted into their all year training program to study dance. Emily performed in the production of the “Nutcracker” as well as “Cinderella” under South Jersey Ballet and was also chosen to be a part of their senior company. She also performed in Jovo Dance Company’s production of the Nutcracker as well. During High School, Emily attended Gloucester County Institute of Technology studying dance while being trained by many guest choreographers, all four years, who have been a part of professional dance companies like the City Dance Ensemble, the Matthew Westerby Company, and the Joffrey Ballet Company. In addition to her dance performances, Emily competed in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen organization winning countless regional and state level talent awards with her tap numbers. Emily now attends Saint Joseph’s University where she was a member of the 2020-21 Dance Team.
Caitlyn began her dance journey at the age of 2 at Dancesations Studio of Performing Arts. She has received training in various styles of dance including tap, jazz, ballet, musical theater, and contemporary. She was even fortunate enough to be trained by Nicole Theodore in ballet and musical theater.
Caitlyn was a part of a competition team for more than ten years and has participated in numerous regional and national dance competitions. She has led her competition team to two national dance off titles along with a national championship. Additionally, Caitlyn was awarded “Best of NDS” for her senior solo as being the highest scoring dance of the regional competition in 2021.
Caitlyn was honored to be invited to perform at the Koresh Dance Company as part of the Koresh Artistic Showcase, as well as having the opportunity to take workshops with Hillary-Marie, Aaron Tolson, Jason Samuel-Smith, Derick Grant, and Sarah Reich to name a few.
Caitlyn is presently a student at Rowan University to receive her Bachelors in Psychology in Spring 2024. Throughout her time in college, Caitlyn has had the privilege to teach dance for the past 2 years in the styles of tap and jazz. Aside from being a student and a dance teacher, Caitlyn works as a Registered Behavior Technician where she provides one-on-one behavioral interventions to children with developmental/intellectual disabilities.
Caitlyn is so excited to meet her students and begin her first year at HSD!
Hip Hop, Jazz
Elaina is currently a senior at Paul VI High School n Haddonfield and will be entering her 11th year dancing. She is also a member of Paul VI basketball and football dance teams. Elaina has taken all styles of dance but fell in love with hip hop and jazz the more she trained. Elaina competed for five years until an injury forced her to take a few years off. Elaina fell back in love with dance when she joined HSD. Durning her first year at Haddonfield, she has had opportunities to expand her teaching experience with Mr. Lavons hip hop class. The environment and people made her first year so special that Elaina is now a full time student and senior instructor at the studio. Elaina is looking forward to sharing her positive experience with other dancers.
Jazz & Company
Christine is a 2010 graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz Dance Performance and was awarded the Promising Artist Scholarship. Christine has trained under some of the best instructors in the industry including Andrew Pap, Scott Jovovich, Wayne St. David, Roni Koresh, Zane Booker, and Brian Sanders.
Before college, Christine performed many roles in the Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, and also participated in Manhattan Dance Project and The Pulse. After college, Christine appeared as a professional dancer and model in many casinos such as Revel, Golden Nugget, Tropicana and Ballys and appeared in shows such as Extreme Vegas and in numerous casinos around the country.
She has gone from stage back to studio teaching and choreographing classical jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary and ballet to students of all ages and levels. Her choreography has won numerous awards in local and national competitions. Christine’s students have gone on to represent their colleges on elite dance teams, win numerous regional and National titles, graduate from prestigious B.F.A. Programs and continue to have successful careers in dance and the performing arts.
Christine recently graduated with a Masters of Education in K-12 School Counseling and works as a School Counselor. She is so excited to join Haddonfield School of Dance!
Acro Dance & Jazz
Kiera Gross is a New Jersey and Philadelphia based dance teacher, dancer, and aerialist. She attended Temple University where she graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts concentrated in Dance Performance and Choreography. She also trained at AMDA NYC dance conservatory.
She is well versed in various styles of teaching including Jazz, Street Jazz, Commercial Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Dance Theater, Heels, Acro, and Aerials. Gross is also USAG certified in coaching/training Gymnatsics. She has most recently finished a contract performing in “Legends In Concert”- Holiday Show at Foxwoods Casino in CT this past holiday season; and this past summer “Legends in Concert” in Atlantic City’s’ Tropicana Resort Casino.
Kiera’s past professional dance experience includes performing as a 76ers NBA Dancer, “Prohibition”-1927 Speakeasy Oceans Atlantic City, A Tribute to the Legends, touring with I Am King: Michael Firestone, dancing with Biz Markie, Nina Sky, and many more!
Her classes are highly energetic and motivating. She wants you to feel challenged but also leave feeling like a winner. She takes what she has learned through her dance training and stage performance experiences in hopes of inspiring other dancers along their creative journey. Kiera is excited and eager to bring kindness, motivation, and energy into her classes and looks forward to working with you!
Lyrical, Contemporary & Company
Bridget Holmes, a Philadelphia native, began her training under Liz Fitchett-Tillotson and Scott Jovovich (Joffrey Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Tony Award Winning Broadway credits). As a company member of the Mid-Atlantic Dance Theater, she performed both classic ballets such as the Nutcracker, and originally composed works by Mr. Jovovich, as well as Nina Federova (New York City Ballet), Carla Craig-Krochak (Philadelphia Civic Ballet), and Jeffrey Lyons (Pennsylvania Ballet, San Francisco Ballet). Throughout her teenage years, Bridget also traveled, competed and took master classes with some of the industry's most revered teachers and choreographers in the dance world such as Joe Lanteri, Joe Tremaine, Mia Michaels, Gil Stroming, Jason Parsons and Suzi Taylor.
In 2004 Bridget earned her B.F.A. in Dance and Choreography from Temple University. While there, she performed in student and professional concerts both at the University and in performances throughout Philadelphia and New York City, most notably with choreographer and director of danceTheaterX, Charles O.Anderson. In addition to her technique and composition studies in the music and dance program, she also was the Co-Captain of the nationally ranked Temple University Diamond Gems Dance Team which performed at Temple University sporting and supporting events. To supplement her training further, Bridget also studied at The University of the Arts Summer Intensives and Koresh School of Dance where she was chosen to perform in numerous teachers' works and showcases.
After graduation Bridget danced professionally as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers Dancers where she had the great experience of performing choreography by Brian Friedman, Tabitha and Napoleon, Chris Judd and others. She also danced with the Philadelphia Soul, Soulmates Dancers which led her to several opportunities to dance live on stage with Bon Jovi in concerts. In addition to performing, Bridget has had the privilege and pleasure of teaching, coaching and choreographing for The Sixers Junior Dream Team, Philly Phresh Crew, Temple University Diamond Gems Dance Team, Halftime for the Harlem Globetrotters and Haddon Township's Middle School and High School Musicals. She is currently in her 11th season as the Head Coach of Haddon Township High School Varsity Dance Team.
Bridget's students have won numerous regional and national titles, graduated from prestigious B.F.A. programs, represented their colleges and universities as members of elite dance teams, and gone on to professional careers in the performing arts. She also travels the country as an adjudicator for several national dance competitions and conventions.
Bridget is thrilled to join the faculty at Haddonfield School of Dance!
Caitlin began her extensive dance education at the age of two in South Jersey training in all styles of dance. Caitlin was a part of the competition team for 14 years, and participated in many Regional and National Competitions, where she won numerous titles and top overall awards. In addition to competing, she has also performed in many fundraisers and taken workshops where she trained and studied with some of the dance industry’s finest dancers. Throughout her career, Caitlin has had the opportunity to be in numerous commercials, TV programs, and print advertisements.
Caitlin attended college at Widener University, where she graduated with top honors with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Hospitality Management. After graduation Caitlin has completed the cycle and started teaching in 2016, where she has since won multiple choreography awards. Sharing her love of tap and dance with all of her students is her true passion and is excited to be a part of Haddonfield School of Dance.
Dance Company Director & Ballet
Megan Lafferty began her dance training at the age of 3 at the Leonardo Dance Studio that has since become the Tricia Sloan Dance Center. In 2002, Ms. Lafferty graduated from the University of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance with a concentration in Ballet. There, she trained with the some of the dance industry’s finest including Roni Koresh, Andrew Pap, Lisa Sundstrom, Wayne St. David, the late Faye B. Snow and the late LaVaughn Robinson. She has performed on the Merriam and Drake stages in Philadelphia and theaters across South Jersey. Megan was chosen as a select few to perform for the Balanchine Trust and with Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project. She received a presidential scholarship to attend and upon graduation received the Faculty Recognition Award for Excellence. In 2012, Ms. Lafferty finished her Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from Drexel University. By day Ms. Lafferty holds the title of Director of Administration for a non-profit called the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership (PAEP). She manages the day to day administrative and business affairs for PAEP. Ms. Lafferty’s roots in dance have allowed her to continue to contribute to the world of dance through her teaching and have grounded her in becoming a professional in the world of non-profit business. She has over 25 years of teaching experience and she has had the wonderful opportunity to teach the students at the Haddonfield School of Dance (HSD) for the past 18 years and looks forward to continuing her teaching at HSD. Megan resides in Mount Ephraim, New Jersey with her husband John and her three children Liam, Finnegan, and Riagain.
Pointe & Pilates
Sue holds a BS in nutrition and a BA in dance from Rutgers University as well as a MS in Education. She has been teaching ballet, technique, musical theater and Pilates across New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania for over 20 years. Her early ballet training was grounded in the Royal Academy of Dancing system based in London. She later trained in the Vaganova classical system. She performed many classical as well as contemporary roles in her time as a dancer.
Sue has spent the last twelve years judging and teaching for National Dance Showcase. She loves that NDS captures the heart of the dancers and promotes love, support, and unity. Her favorite part of teaching is installing worth and confidence in her students!
Sue is the owner of Opal Wellness Studio where she combines her passion for a healthy lifestyle with extensive training as a Pilates teacher to help people live their best life! Above all else, she believes “movement heals”. She loves to help dancers strengthen their technique through Pilates!
LaVon Patterson, originally from Philadelphia, PA, started his journey with dance at Broadway Dance Center in Manhattan, NY. To further his skills and education he attended the Creative & Performing Arts High School in Philadelphia and went on to receive a BFA in Jazz Dance Performance from the University of The Arts.
Lavon had the honor of being assistant choreographer to Brian Thomas for Michael Jackson's 30th Anniversary Special in 2001 at Madison Square Garden and he's worked with major music artists Usher, Destiny's Child, NSYNC, J-Lo, Michael Jackson and many more!
His magnetic energy and authentic freestyle has taken him around the World where he shares his love for movement through performance and education. From dancing in national commercials and movies, to award shows and World tours, LaVon truly embodies what it is to be a modern day professional artist. His passion for teaching and entertaining from a young age has served as the foundation for his career. His goals are to always make a positive impact and to be a role model. The mission is to transform lives through music, movement and the groove.
Pre-School & Beginner Classes, Ballet, Tap & Broadway
Helen has over 28 years of dance experience in a variety of settings and styles. She danced and performed from a young age through high school and college where she was a captain on the competitive dance team at The College of New Jersey. She graduated with a double major in mathematics and early childhood education. Helen continued her dance experiences beyond college through being a UDA instructor, a performer and impersonator at Boogie Nights in Atlantic City, and a choreographer for several middle school musicals.
Helen has been a classroom teacher for 12 years, teaching first grade and kindergarten, as well as working with special education students at Folsom Elementary School. She has a master's degree in special education from Stockton University. Helen has recently left the classroom to spend time at home raising her two girls, and she is excited that this life shift has brought her the opportunity to join the team at Haddonfield School of Dance!
Pre-School Classes & Lyrical
Maya is currently a senior at Haddonfield Memorial High School and has been dancing at HSD for the past 15 years. During her time at HSD, Maya has trained in all styles of dance, with her favorites including tap, jazz, and lyrical. As a member of the HSD dance company for 7 years now, Maya has competed in numerous regional and national competitions throughout New Jersey, bringing home special awards and overalls for both solo and group performances. She has been a part of countless holiday performances, benefit performances, senior home showcases, and parades. She has also had the opportunity to learn from and train with many professional instructors by participating in numerous intensives.
Maya has a lot of experience in working with young children. She has volunteered as a teacher’s assistant at local art camps and worked closely with children as young as two years old during the past few summers. Maya began working as an assistant teacher at HSD last year, assisting in tap and broadway jazz classes. Right away, she fell in love with teaching. Maya has always loved working with children and is so grateful to be a senior instructor for her final year at HSD. She is excited to share her love of dance with her students this season!
Pre-School Classes & Hip Hop
As a student, HSD Company member, and former student teacher-Caroline is so thrilled to become an official part of the HSD Staff, and she believes it is the best way to sum up the past 15 years she has spent as a student here! Throughout her time at HSD, she has had many opportunities to expand her knowledge and resumé as a dancer, including- “Dance the World” at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where she danced down Main Street USA, in addition to numerous conventions and competitions at the Regional and National levels with the HSD dance company taking scholarships, special judges awards and overall placements. In addition to all her hard work at HSD, Caroline is currently a senior at Haddon Township High School, where she is a 4-year member and captain of the Haddon Township High School Dance Team, formerly under the direction of HSD’s very own-Miss Bridget Holmes. She has attended Universal Dance Association (UDA) Camps throughout her years on the team, where she has earned numerous Superior performance ribbons, qualifying their team to compete at the national level. Miss Caroline has enjoyed every moment of her time at HSD as a student and assistant, and cannot wait to share everything she has learned with her own students this upcoming season!