Faculty


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Elysha Richman
Owner of Project Dance Studio


 
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Anthony Blasi - Acro

Anthony began his acro training at just 5 years old. He spent more than 10 years studying acro at DanceForce in Edison, NJ. He taught professionally as an Acro teacher at DanceForce, and Premier Gymnastics and Cheer academy in Morganville, NJ. Anthony is the co creator of a tumbling company known as SET( Synchronized Elite Tumbling), and is a certified SET instructor. He continues to teach at dance studios and gyms across New Jersey, and is excited to share his knowledge with the students at Project Dance!


 
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Erica Barton - Tap & Musical Theatre

I am a professional dancer in NYC. I am a New York native and grew up in Westchester, NY, dancing since the age of 3. I was a competitive dancer by the time I was ten and continued competing until I graduated high school. I then moved to Oklahoma to pursue a degree in dance at Oklahoma City University, a college well known for its respected theatre and dance programs. I graduated with a BPA in Dance Performance in 2015.

Within my my major, I receive prestigious dance technique classes in the styles of ballet, jazz, tap, and theatre dance and was placed within the highest levels of each of these genres. The university provided me with performance opportunities via audition in their Radio City-style Christmas spectacular and the spring dance showcase. The performances showcase a plethora of dance styles and some vocal numbers, which I had been chosen for in the past.

Within my major’s requirements were pedagogy and choreography courses. In these pedagogy classes, we learned proper teaching methods and techniques, the psychological and physical development of dancers for all ages, professionalism in a business setting, and proper class structures for every venue. In the choreography classes we studied the dos and don’ts of choreography, the importance of storytelling within the choreography, and the proper methods of lighting, costuming, and executing choreography on stage.

I am a very excitable, fun, and energetic person. I love working with children of all ages, and nothing brings me more joy than sharing my love of theatre with younger performers. I pride myself in my professionalism and my hardworking attitude. I am currently an employee of Artistry Dance Project in Pleasantville NY, where I teach Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Ballet, and Basic Hip Hop. This past June I was given the honor of being appointed to Dance Company Assistant. This means that on top of teaching my regular classes, I will be assisting in running the competition team’s rehearsals on the weekends. I am very grateful for this opportunity, because it is a reflection of how my employers view my hard work and love of my students.


 
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Erin Beatie - Acro, Strength & Conditioning

Erin's own dance career began at the age of 3, and since then has been her lifeline. Her knowledge and experience were cultivated at a young age with classical ballet and Russian character training that began at Monmouth School of Ballet (later Shore Ballet Theatre School), and in New York City at the New York Conservatory of Dance and School of American Ballet. Erin was gifted with international training at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England and at L'Ecole De Danse Classique D'Aix, Aix-en-Provence, France under Madame Lise Delaplace. Performance credits include nine years in the Nutcracker, Coppelia, Firebird, Napoli, Graduation Ball, Stars and Stripes, and Sleeping Beauty and multiple years competing on the regional and national level in multiple genres of dance, all-star cheer and all-star dance, which led to college scholarship opportunities at UMASS-Amherst and Marymount Manhattan.

Erin's success as a performer translated into her success as a young teacher. After her husband joined the Army following 9/11, Erin and family were moved up and down the east coast, allowing her to teach in many studios for over ten years. Many of her former students have gone on to college dance programs, dance companies, and even featured on MTV's America's Best Dance Crew. On top of dance, Erin's passion for artistic gymnastics has allowed her to coach and choreograph regional and national gymnasts in floor and beam, and served as head coach in North Carolina prior to moving back to NJ.

After owning her own local studio for a few years, Erin was drawn to Elysha and eagerly brought her students to join forces with Project Dance (where she can be found happily rhinestoning costumes at any given moment). Erin is a certified Cheer Limited Judge, a Professional member of USA Gymnastics and a member of the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD).


 
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Gwendolyn Baum - Ballet, Modern, Contemporary

Gwendolyn Baum, originally from New Jersey, graduated from the Boston Conservatory in May of 2014, Summa Cum Laude, with her B.F.A in Contemporary Dance. There, she performed works by José Limón, Tommy Neblett, Diane Arvanites, Doug Varone, Twyla Tharp, Francesca Harper, and Mark Morris. During her time at the conservatory, she also had the honor of performing for The American College Dance Festival Association’s national conference at the Kennedy Center, in Washington D.C., and premiered two original choreographic works on the Boston Conservatory Mainstage. In addition, she has studied at programs hosted by the American Repertory Ballet, David Dorfman Dance, and Bates Dance Festival. She also had the privilege of working with artist Nick Cave, and being a featured performer in one of his “Sound Suits,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, in Boston, Massachusetts. More recently she participated in a project commissioned by The Moving Beauty Series, working specifically with choreographer Sandra Kramerova as well as performed with Dante Brown|Warehouse Dance and Alison Cook Beatty Dance. She currently dances full time and tours nationally and internationally with Kizuna Dance as a founding company member and Rehearsal Director. Gwendolyn has trained in various ballet and modern dance disciplines, as well as improvisation, partnering, and somatic practices. She has taught modern and contemporary dance at Gibney Dance and has, twice, aided in setting works at the Joffrey School in New York City. Gwendolyn is excited to continue teaching and choreographing, as well as growing more through performance in New York City, where she is currently based.


 
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Sarah Goodhue - Modern, Jumps and Turns

Goodhue is an artist hailing from Oceanport, New Jersey. She graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Jazz Dance Performance. Sarah spent a season as a Soulmate for the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football team. She has spent four years dancing with the Interweave Dance Theatre, a dance company at Colorado University. She has done numerous projects with Sheila Barker, Jessica Hendricks, and Ronen Koresh. She has been assisting choreographer, Dee Caspary on the WorldStride Heritage halftime performances for the college bowl games for the past two years. Sarah recently just performed with Mickey Avalon at the Highline Ballroom and Webster Hall, in New York City. She is currently teaching and choreographing at numerous places in California, Bermuda, and performing arts high schools in the New Jersey area.


 

Carlie Jakub - Acro

Carlie grew up in North Carolina and was trained in gymnastics at the Leonard Clemmer School of Gymnastics and Dance. She has been in the gym and coached gymnastics since childhood with a sabbatical while she attended law school, and another when she had young (5) children. While competing, she was enrolled in traditional ballet classes as many of the skills complement each other. In North Carolina, Carlie competed and coached USAG teams for all levels. In NJ, she began a pre-team, which led to a competitive JOGA team. She has been certified as a safety coach several times and has taken and passed the coaching courses offered by USAG. As an instructor at Project Dance, Carlie plans to bring her gymnastics experience to the stage by teaching students acro skills that will strengthen and enhance their dance performances and help them learn control, agility, and strength.


 
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Isma Kielty - Summer Faculty

Isma Kielty started her dance training when she was 2 years old and grew up as a competition dancer from Freehold, New Jersey. She graduated the FPAC dance program in 2018 at Howell High school in Farmingdale, New Jersey where she studied Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Musical Theater, Voice, acting and had numerous pieces that were showcased in the Evening of Choreography shows. At Howell High School, she was in 4 of their musical productions and had the position of Dance Captain in 2 of them. She was also an original member of The Project Dance Studio where she studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Contemporary, and tap and won 2 regional titles and 1 national title in her final dance competition season. Isma is currently enhancing her dance education at Oklahoma City University studying among the most prestigious faculty in the country and was awarded with the Jo Rowan talent scholarship. She also has been a member of the American Spirit Dance Company and performed in their dance Showcases, “Home For The Holidays” and “Broadway Revue”in 2018 and 2019. Isma hopes to perform for numerous dance companies and theaters in the future and will always be grateful for her Project Dance family.


 
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Jordan Powell - Summer Faculty

Jordan began her dance training at the age of 3 as a student of local dance studios in New Jersey, including Project Dance. She has studied various styles such as ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, jazz, and hip hop throughout the years. Jordan has expanded her knowledge of dance by attending intensives at the Juilliard School, BalletX, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Academy of Dance Arts, and NYCDA, in addition to frequently attending master classes and conventions. She has performed in many shows including dancing at NJPAC as a member of XY Dance Project. After graduating from the Fine and Performing Arts Program at Howell High School in 2018, she is pursuing a BFA in dance at the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California. There, she is training to become a versatile dancer and scholar, learning under outstanding faculty including Jodie Gates and William Forsythe. After graduating, Jordan’s goal is to have a long career dancing in various companies, performing with popular musical artists, and even taking the Broadway stage. She is always excited to come home and share her love of dance with students at Project Dance.


 
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Paolo Arceo - Administration

Paolo Arceo’s passion for the arts stems from his musical theatre background. A graduate from Rutgers University, he studied Acting (Meisner & Stanislavski), Dance (Modern), and Psychology (Specialized in Abnormal, Social, and Developmental). He served as Artistic Director of Cabaret Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ and worked on 3 musicals, 2 plays, and 5 original artists events/festivals. Paolo has been an avid performer in the NJ theatre community having played roles such as Mike Costa (A Chorus Line), Cousin Kevin (The Who’s Tommy), and Matt Lloyd (bare: a Pop Opera). Among the many other productions he was involved with, he has fulfilled positions such as dance captain, director, stage manager, and hair/makeup artist. Aside from being a Triple Threat, Paolo is a professional photographer specializing in lifestyle and performance photography. Paolo is an aspiring TV/Film actor and hopes to instill positive energy everywhere he goes.