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Our Story

Previously Carlisle Ballet, Carlisle Dance was purchased in 2012 by Kristen Gazza. Kristen always hoped of one day opening her own studio. When she stumbled upon the listing for "Carlisle Ballet" she took a leap of faith from Corporate America to running her own business.

Kristen is a proud member of Dance Masters of America (DMA). DMA is a professional, certified membership organization of artists and educators committed to the elevation of the art of dance and to provide innovative artistic experiences for the advancement of dance worldwide.

Our Approach

Carlisle Dance offers a supportive dance environment that promotes proper training and technique. Younger children are introduced to dance in a positive and pleasant environment. More advanced students are given expert and supportive training in all styles of dance.

Meet the Team

Each of our faculty members has a different background and style to bring to our studio.  While their backgrounds may be different, they all have one thing in common: the love of dance. Our highly trained staff is dedicated to supporting the development of all children. Our teachers and support staff use proven methodologies and a highly effective curriculum to help children grow academically, socially, and physically. We regularly participate in professional development in order to improve our skills and offer a better learning experience for the children.

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Kristen Gazza

Director

Kristen bought Carlisle Dance, previously Carlisle Ballet, in 2012. In 2012, Kristen became a member of Dance Masters of America. Kristen attended The Pennsylvania State University and received her degree in Supply Chain and Information Systems. During her time at Penn State, she was a member of the Penn State Lionettes Dance Team and competed as part of their competition team.  She also choreographed many kicklines that were seen on the football field and basketball court. Also during this time, she choreographed dances for the Centre Dance competition team. Kristen started dancing when she was six at Centre Dance in State College, Pennsylvania.

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Jennifer Leshniowsky

Ballet, Tap, and Pointe

Jennifer has taught dance locally for the past 14 years. After attending Dance Masters of America Teacher Training School, she was granted certification by examination in ballet, tap and jazz. She attended the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet teacher workshop in 2013. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Political Science with a French minor. Teaching dance is a second career for Jennifer, and she brings her skill in communications, process consulting and training to her lesson planning and program development at the dance studio. Jennifer also is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) through Yoga Alliance. Jennifer’s teaching style approaches dance as art, combining classic tradition and technique with inspiration to experience joy and self-expression.

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Elaine Seckar

Modern

Elaine began dancing when she was 16, taking classes in Ballet, Modern, and Jazz/Hip Hop.  While attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Elaine danced with the IUP Dance Theater Company for 3 years and had the opportunity to join many guest artist residencies.  While completing her undergraduate education, she assisted her hometown studio’s owner and instructor, Mary Strong. After the experience of aiding in her classes, Elaine returned as a guest choreographer. Elaine was a Professional Ballroom Instructor for Aurther Murray Studios for 5 years. Most recently, she trained with Martha Eddy, Tricia Gomez, and Barbara Mahler studying hip hop for children with disabilities, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Body Mind Centering, and Klien/Barre Technique.

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Megan Fedeli

Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop

Megan is a Kindergarten teacher at the Kindergarten Academy in Mechanicsburg, PA. She has been teaching dance for 8 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Elementary Education. While at Penn State, Megan was a member of the Whiplash Dance Team, a hip hop club. Megan grew up dancing in State College, PA, at Centre Dance, and participated in their competition program.   Her favorite styles to choreograph and perform are tap and hip hop. She loves working with the younger students and watching their love for dance grow!

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Paige Snyder

Ballet, Tap

Paige teaches third grade at Northside Elementary School in Mechanicsburg, PA. Paige holds a Bachelors Degree from West Chester University in Early Childhood and Special Education. She began dancing at age 3 at Studio 91 in Mechanicsburg and is excited to be joining the staff at Carlisle Dance! Her favorite style of dance is tap. Paige is eager to meet all of her dancers and watch their love of dance grow throughout the year!

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Crystal Kerns

Tap

Crystal began her formal dance training at the Marcia Dale School of Dance, now the Central PA Youth Ballet.  She has studied dance at various local studios as well as studios throughout the world.  Crystal has taught tap, ballet, jazzercise, exercise and Broadway dance for many years at local schools, Parks and Recreation Depts, YWCA, and Carlisle Army War College. She is well known in the area for her choreography work with community theatres.

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Chelsea Wolfe

Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical

Chelsea has been teaching dance since 2001. Chelsea has trained at Edge Performing Arts Center, Millennium Dance Complex, and Sacramento Ballet Summer Intensive, all in California.  She has been seen as a dancer for JBLAZE as well as a performer in Stacie Orrico's "I Could Be the One" music video.  After making the move from California, she began teaching for Carlisle Dance. In 2014, she welcomed her son, Jude and is expecting another little boy this summer!

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Motique Doporsyk

Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical

Motique was born and raised in Carlisle PA and has been dancing for 19 years. She was an assistant instructor for three years at the Walnut Bottom School of Dance and an independent instructor four years.  She also competed with the Walnut Bottom School of Dance's Company Dance Team for 3 years. At the age of 12, she began studying Ballet and Modern at CPYB and was asked to be an assistant instructor. She has a beautiful daughter Alliya and a handsome son Amante. She is very excited to share her knowledge and passion for dance with each of her students.

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Brynn Butler

Ballet

Brynn is a Junior at Trinity High School in Camp Hill. Brynn has been dancing for 5 years and is a member of Carlisle Dance's Elite Dance Company. Brynn has been a part of the Elite Dance Company for the last 3 years. As part of the Company program, Brynn is required to take more than 6 hours of dance each week including 2+ hours of ballet each week.  Brynn recently competed a solo and placed in the top 10 as well as received the "Magnificent Musicality" award. Brynn is eager to meet all of her new dancers and watch their love of dance grow throughout the year!

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Shannon Donnelly

Choreographer

Shannon is a Senior at Penn State University. She is a member of the Orchesis Dance Company which can be seen performing throughout campus. Before transferring from Penn State Altoona, Shannon was a member of the Penn State Altoona Dance Team.  She has been dancing 15 years and has been a class assistant for the past 8 years. While dancing at Carlisle Dance, she was also a member of their Elite Dance Company. She has trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, and modern.

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Grace Winton

Choreographer

Grace is a sophomore at Catholic University. At Catholic University, Grace is a member of the nationally ranked Catholic University Dance Team.  She has been dancing for 16 years and has been a class assistant for the past 5 years.  She has trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, and modern.  She was also a part of the Elite Dance Company team at Carlisle Dance. While competing with Carlisle Dance, Grace's solo won Highest Overall Lyrical Routine at the Talent Explosion competition.  She loves teaching dance and watching girls grow a love for the art of dance.

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Marissa Riley

Office Assistant

Marissa graduated from Carlisle High School in 2017.  That Fall, Marissa became the Office Assistant at Carlisle Dance. When she’s not at the studio, Marissa is a barista at Starbucks. Marissa danced at Carlisle Dance from 2015-2017. She has trained in Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz, and Modern but her favorite is Tap and Ballet. She has been involved in musicals along with small dance groups and is currently a part of an outside dance company called “Army On It’s Toes Dance Company”. Marissa loves her Carlisle Dance family!

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