About the Director
Stephanie is President and Creative Managing Director of Dance It Up Inc., which opened in 1996. She holds a B.S. degree in Dance and Physical Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She was formerly the owner/director of SMW Dance Studio in North Grafton, MA, from 1977 to 1987.
Stephanie began studying dance with Marlene Francis of Worcester, MA at the age of seven. In her early dance training, she also studied with Virginia Williams of the Boston Ballet, Don Farnsworth and Luigi to name a few.
Stephanie has developed, implemented and taught pre-school and other dance programs in Boston area studios. She co-created and is co-owner of the specialized registered pre-school dance program called Dance ‘N Play® These classes have been showcased on WCVB-Channel 5 Lifetime Television with Dr. Penelope Lynch, child psychologist, analyzing and promoting the benefits of non-competitive activities for young children.
She holds a Massachusetts Teacher’s Certificate in Health and Physical Education, K-6. Stephanie is also trained in Pilates, both Classical Method and Stott. She is also a totalbarre™ certified instructor.
About the Instructors
Michele has over forty years of teaching, dancing and choreographing experience. She has taught students ages 2 ½ through adult in a variety of dance techniques, including Ballet, Jazz and Tap. She recently earned her Zumba certification.
She spent the first 10 years of her teaching career in New York, where she also was a choreographer and studio manager for the JG Dance Arts Center. She has had additional teaching and choreographing experience in both Florida and Texas.
Michele teaches Dance ‘N Play®, Intro, Ballet/Tap and Fundamentals Ballet/Jazz/Tap and choreographs for Dance Team. She has been a part of the faculty for 17 years!
When not teaching, Michele assists in managing Sugarplums, our dance wear boutique.
Julie began dancing at the age of 5. At the age of 13, she found her love for classical ballet and started her pre-professional training with Boston Ballet School. At age 15, she continued her training and schooling at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, where she then graduated. Julie also spent every summer on Cape Cod dancing with teachers Skip Warren, former professional of Boston Ballet and former owner of North Atlantic Ballet Company, and Thomas Vacanti, Artistic Director of Pioneer Valley Ballet.
After graduating high school, Julie joined Festival Ballet Company in Rhode Island as a professional ballet dancer. Over the years, Julie has danced many leading roles, such as Swanhilda in Coppelia, Titania in A Mid-Summer Night's Dream, Cinderella, pas de deux in Graduation Ball, and Dew Drop and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker. More recently, Julie has added Ballroom to her repertoire and is dancing competitively in International Latin. This is Julie's first year teaching ballet at Dance It Up! and she is excited to share with everyone her passion and love for dance.
Julie will be teaching Ballet to students ages 8 and up and Adult Ballet.
Elizabeth McCarthy- - Co-director of Team Dance It Up!
Elizabeth graduated with a BFA from the University of Hartford/Hartt School with an emphasis in children’s dance.
Elizabeth began dancing at an early age, and immediately knew it was something she would be involved in her whole life. She studied Graham technique under Peggy Lyman and ballet with Franco DeVita and Alla Osipenko.
Elizabeth has extensive teaching experience in ballet, contemporary, creative movement and yoga for children. She started her own creative movement and yoga for children program which was offered to local preschools and day cares in the area. She has also worked in the classroom setting with ages 2.9-6 years of age at multiple Montessori schools.
Elizabeth is an accomplished pianist and flutist, planing since her early childhood. Her musical background also includes instructing music at a private K-6 academy. She has worked as a Director and Choreographer at numerous area high school drama productions, including Nipmuc Regional High School, Hopedale Elementary, Hudson Arts Alliance, and Shepherd Hill Regional High School.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from Worcester State College. She holds a Masters degree in Elementary Education from Framingham State College and is currently teaching third grade at the Grafton Elementary School.
Tracy has been a student of dance since the age of 2, taking classes in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern and Hip Hop.
While attending Worcester State College, Tracy performed in numerous shows with the Worcester State Dance Team as well as choreographed many production pieces.
Tracy has been a member of the Dance It Up! faculty for eight years.
Nora is a graduate of Sacred Heart University and holds a Masters in Secondary Education from Providence College. She teaches Spanish at Auburn Middle School.
Nora began her dance career at four years of age, with the McInerney School of Irish Dance. She competed in hundreds of Irish Dance competitions and was a champion dancer when she concluded her classroom study of Irish Dance. She now teaches at the McInerney School.
In addition to the competitive side of Irish Dance, Nora has also enjoyed public performances and has had the opportunity to dance with world renowned Irish performers, such as Cherish the Ladies and The Saw Doctors in beautiful venues including Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA and the State House in Boston.
Nora has been a member of the Dance It Up! faculty for seven years.
Kathryn holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Elementary Education and Dance Performance from Roger Williams University. She also has a Masters Degree in Special Education from Lesley University. She has a passion for working with children and enjoys teaching and sharing her love of learning with her students.
Kathryn has studied dance for over 16 years, 12 of which were at Dance It Up! Throughout her years at Roger Williams University, Kathryn was a member of their Dance Theater performing many modern dances including her own choreography. While at Roger Williams, she was able to study under France Hunter, a previous member of Twyla Tharp’s company, Sean Curran, Tiffany Mills, Deganit Shemy, Jenny Rocha, Carl Flink, Kelly Donovan, David Dorfman, and Melody Ruffin Ward.
Kathryn loves the joy dance brings to life while guiding her students on an exciting journey to discover their own world of Dance! She teaches students ages 8 to high school level.
Olivia graduated from Walnut Hill School for Performing Arts where she studied Musical Theatre and Dance Education. She attended Adelphi University studying Dance and Theatre Arts. Olivia received her BFA in Dance and Theatre Arts with a minor in Education from Marymount Manhattan College of NYC. She performed in NYC and South Florida while continuing her training and studies. Olivia is excited to share her passion as a teacher and choreographer with her students.
Olivia teaches our Musical Theatre Dance classes as well as Adult Tap/Jazz.
Catherine Rhodes – Artistic Director of Dance It Up!’s annual Nutcracker Program
Catherine trained in classical ballet with Boston Ballet dancers Larry and Colleen Robertson, performing with the Seacoast Ballet Company for many years. She continued and supplemented her studies and performance experience in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, acting, and musical theater through Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Wittenberg University, The New England Ballet, University of New Hampshire, and Boston Ballet School. She holds an MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, and a BA from University of New Hampshire. Catherine has been teaching since 2001, at Dance It Up! since 2006, and has been the Artistic Director of the Nutcracker and ballet program since 2011. She created Dance It Up!'s unique summer workshop, which integrates dance, acting, art, and creative storytelling into original dance works by students. She also designs many of the costumes for our productions, as well as the artwork for the Not Just Nutcracker series.
Maureen Williams - Co-director of Team Dance It Up!
Maureen graduated from Dean College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
She began dancing when she was five years old. Maureen performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City with the Mike Miller Dance Team. Maureen has studied Ballet, Tap, Theatrical Jazz, Contemporary and various teaching techniques in Modern Dance.
Maureen is Dance It Up!’s coordinator for our Fun ‘N Fancy & monthly Friday night parties. This is Maureen’s sixth year teaching at Dance It Up!. She teaches all ages; including Dance ‘N Play®, Acrobatic Dance, Ballet/Tap, Jazz & Contemporary.