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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. She is also a member of the Dance Studio Owners Association, always looking for ways to grow and enhance the studio for each and every dancer.

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.

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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. Since starting Carlisle Dance, she has received many choreography awards, including the the Entertainment award for her dance 'Legally Blonde' in 2019. 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, 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, Improv

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

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

Adult Tap & Ballet

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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Corey Fake

Jazz, Lyrical, Tap

Corey is a Paralegal in Franklin County, PA. She has been dancing for 15 years and teaching for 6 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in History and Paralegal Studies and Master’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University in Public History. Corey grew up at Mar Le Nie Dance Studios in Chambersburg, PA. In college, she was the President of the Performing Dance Portmanteau at Kutztown University where she taught Tap and Jazz classes and choreographed. After she graduated from Kutztown, Corey returned to Mar Le Nie and taught sporadically and was their production manager for 7 years. Her favorite styles of dance are Tap, Jazz, and Lyrical.

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Cassi Casale

Lyrical

Bio coming soon!

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Jada Ector

Substitute Instructor

Jada started dancing at the age of 4. In high school, she auditioned for her Mercy High School's renowned dance program under the instruction of Gloria Lang. Jada studied Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop and Irish. After high school she attended Lynn University where she received her B.A in Criminal Justice and her M.A in Criminal Justice Administration. She joined the Lynn University Knightros for two years and was captain of the team during her second year. While in Florida, Jada auditioned for the Delray Beach Open VolleyGirls. She danced for Delray Beach for three years and enjoyed the opportunity to dance in the professional world. She also worked as a choreographer and teacher for Creative Dance Academy and 5678 Dance. Jada is now in her third year of law school at Penn State's Dickinson Law.

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Hannah Herman

Ballet

Bio coming soon!

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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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Natalie Dohman

Hip Hop

Natalie first experienced dance at age 7 when she started dancing at Gail Ercoli dance studio in Wilkes-Barre where she was born and raised. In her childhood, Natalie was also part of the Ice-a-Rama figure skating club where she believes dance translated to a different medium in ice. Natalie has since then continued to study various styles of solo and partner dancing such as Latin Dance, Swing and has taken hip-hop lessons from World of Dance Star iDance Mikey. Natalie holds a degree in Human Sevices from Harrisburg Area Community College and during her day time hours runs a photography and design company based out of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Natalie is happy to be part of the Carlisle Dance faculty and sees dance as another art medium that can bring immense joy to all who participate.

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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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Gabby Schock

Office Assistant

Gabby completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Lock Haven University with a minor in dance, studying under Professor Jayme Host. During her time at Lock Haven, Gabby took various levels of ballet and modern classes as well as additional courses including Dance Composition, Dance in Western Culture, and Integration of Dance into Early Education. Gabby also spent time working for The Arc of Cumberland and Perry Counties: Early Education Center of Perry County.  There, she had the opportunity to work with children of various ages in a preschool setting.  She is excited to be a part of the Carlisle Dance family!  

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Liz Spicer

Jazz and Acro

Miss Elizabeth Hetrick Spicer has been involved with dance for the past thirty-three years as a student, professional, and teacher. She owned her own studio for 15 years of that.  She taught dance, gymnastics, and fitness at various studios in PA and Maryland. Miss Elizabeth attending Slippery Rock University and Towson University majoring in dance, education and exercise science. She most recently graduated from Southern New Hampshire with a Bachelors in Psychology and is working towards her masters in Counseling.  She has studied subjects such as choreography, ballet, modern, jazz, improvisation, dance composition, kinesiology, dance history, pilates, wellness for dancers, dance production, theatre, music, costume design, lighting, staging, and much more. Miss Elizabeth has had formal and professional training in: Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Hip hop, Acro, Pointe. Miss Elizabeth has studied numerous times at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, Showstopper Dance conventions, and has attended master classes with the New York City Ballet. She has had the opportunity to take classes and train with the following choreographers including: Mark Taylor, Dance Alloy, David Howard, Frank Hatchett, Chio, and Jackie Bird. Miss Elizabeth has also has done award winning choreography with her students and dance teams in the following dance competitions: ShowStopper, Starpower dance competition, Creation Dance Championships, Dance Alliance, I Love Dance, and much more. She has won "Best choreography, Best Technique, and Best Costume" Awards. She has taught cheerleading camps throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania. She has experience coaching and participating in Pageants for local and state competitions. She has also coached modeling and acting. She has certifications in cycling, aerial yoga, body pump, barre above, strong by Zumba, and yoga. She has a group exercise certification through AFFA to teach group fitness as well as resistance and personal training. Miss Elizabeth also holds a health care management position with UPMC Pinnacle in Carlisle. 

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Jeannette Kole

Strength and Conditioning

Coach Jeannette is a stay at home mom of 6. She graduated from college with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing. She became a group fitness instructor in 2009. Since then, Jeannette has become certified/licensed in Zumba, Zumba Kids, Zumba Gold, Aqua Zumba, Zumba Toning, RIPPED, RUMBLE, Cize Live, Kettlebell, Hot Hula, Foam Roller Fitness and Strong and Sculpted. She currently teaches Senior Fitness in Newville; Zumba, Zumba Gold, RIPPED and Cize Live at the YMCA; Zumba, RIPPED at Rice Elementary School; Zumba Gold at Platinum Fitness; and RUMBLE, Stretching and Conditioning at Carlisle Dance. She enjoys spending time with her kids, listening to music, playing piano and visiting haunted locations.

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KRISTINA KAUFMAN

Hip Hop

Bio coming soon!

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