MICHELLE BARBER (Jazz) has been a choreographer/teacher for the past 22 years. She is currently on faculty at the Broadway Dance Center and travels throughout the United States teaching and choreographing. Michelle has worked for Dance Spirit Magazine and her work has been featured in numerous musical theatre productions, college dance team performances and dance competitions nationwide. As a testament to Michelle’s abilities as a teacher and choreographer many of her students have gone on to perform in Regional Tours, National Tours and on Broadway.
ROBERT BIANCA (Theatre Dance) trained classically with Gabriela Darvash. He danced in several regional ballet companies including Minnesota Dance Theatre, and Garden State Theatre. Robert danced in A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, and Sweet Charity. He has been a featured performer in many regional musicals including Mame, The Boyfriend, West Side Story, and others. He was in the national tour of Cats, and 42nd Street. In New York he performed in Annie Get Your Gun starring Patti Lupone at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. He was also one of the original members of the “Fosse Workshop” where he danced featured roles in Sweet Charity, the Concert at Avery Fisher Hall. As a choreographer, Robert is best known for his work in The It Girl at the York Theatre in NYC. He choreographed A Soldier’s Tale for The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony, as well as Twenty Fingers, Twenty Toes, at The Downtown Plays for the Tribeca Theatre Festival, and The Music Man at the Hartt School. Robert has an extensive teaching resume, and is thrilled to be working at Coupé.
JULIE GAROFALO (Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz) received a degree in Dance from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She was a performer in the National tour of Sesame Street Live, on Good Morning America and Black Entertainment Television (BET). Julie appeared as a backup dancer with the popular R&B artist, Usher. She also teaches at Broadway Dance Center in New York City.
KELLY GLEASON (Hip Hop, Jazz) is a graduate of Pace University, where she studied commercial dance and psychology. She has also studied under Twyla Tharp, Elizabeth Parkinson, Scott Wise, and Mary Ann Lamb. Most recently, she was seen on the national tour of 42nd Street, which was helmed by the 2001 Tony Award-winning team of Mark Bramble and Randy Skinner. In addition, Kelly has performed with Ocean Professional Theatre Company and the Carnegie Hall Exchange. Kelly has been teaching a wide variety of dance genres for 5 years, from students in creative movement to adult levels.
JULIE McDONALD (Tap, Jazz, Kinder I and II) has been teaching at Coupé Theatre Studio for 14 years. She teaches tap, jazz, and acro to students ages six through adult. Julie also has a background as a certified Pilates instructor. She has volunteered her time to local elementary schools, where she directed original musical theatre productions and taught dance classes for after school enrichment programs. Julie has traveled the world performing professionally in various musical theatre productions (Will Rogers Follies, Bye Bye Birdie, A Chorus Line, Tokyo Disneyland) and is proud to be a former Radio City Rockette. She had the honor of performing those famous eye high kicks at Radio City Music Hall for nine years. Julie is a certified Rhythm Works instructor for children with special needs, and looks forward to sharing the magic of music and dance with all different types of learners!
CLAUDIA MEIENHOFER (Ballet, Creative Modern, Jazz, Kinderdance) received her training from Jan Hanniford Goetz, and earned her BFA from Adelphi University, under the direction of Norman Walker. She performed and choreographed with the NY Dance Theatre, Huntington Ballet Theatre, Carol Rioux Dance Ensemble, and was a member of Blanco Dances, a NYC based modern dance company. She was a faculty member at Adelphi University, BOCES Cultural Arts Center, Huntington School of Ballet and Steps Performing Arts Center in Connecticut.
LOUISE RUCK (Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Kinderdance) was a member of the Gateway Ballet Company at age 9, where she worked her way up to the role of Sugarplum Fairy in their production of The Nutcracker. She received scholarships to the Joffrey Ballet and to the Hartford Ballet. She was also a member of the Fort Worth Ballet. Ms Ruck’s Broadway credits include the original cast of Crazy for You, and Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public. She also performed in Anything Goes and A Christmas Carol and as a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall. Her teaching experience includes the Beutelo School of Dance in St. Louis with students from age 2 through adult.