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Our Teachers and Staff


Stephanie Mack

President & Creative Managing Director

Stephanie is the owner of Dance It Up! Inc., and our retail boutique, Sugarplums, which opened in 1996. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Dance 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.


Maureen Williams

Performance Coordinator - Spring Dance Recital and Our World is Dancing, Dance Jam Director, Acrobatic Dance Program Director

Maureen graduated from Dean College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. 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 has been teaching at Dance It Up! since 2010. She teaches some of the youngest dancers starting in Dance 'N Play up through the graduating Seniors. Maureen loves to instill confidence and joy in her students for everything that they accomplish.   In addition to teaching classes, Maureen is Dance It Up!’s coordinator for our Fun ‘N Fancy Birthday parties, our Friday night parties and our Day of Dance parties during school vacation weeks. Maureen assists in managerial and administrative duties as well.


Catherine Rhodes

Ballet Director,
Artistic Director - Nutcracker 

Catherine holds an Master of Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design, and a Bachelor of Arts from University of New Hampshire. 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. 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, choreography, costume design 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.

Brendan Foley

Nora O'Brien

Nora is a graduate of Sacred Heart University and holds a Masters in Secondary Education from Providence College. She teaches Spanish at the Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School in Marlborough. 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. Nora substitute 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! since 2010.

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Christina Koleoglou

Christina earned a Bachelor of Arts, Economics and Bachelor of Science, Mathematics from the University of Notre Dame. Christina has studied ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, contemporary, musical theater and hip hop. As a high school student, she taught ballet, tap and jazz to preschool and elementary school children at the Dance Centre of the Hamptons. She also performed in numerous recitals and charity and competed in regional and national competitions. ​While attending college, Christina was a Gold (Advanced) Company Member of the Notre Dame Dance Company where she performed jazz and lyrical dances for Spring Showcases. As the Co-Captain of the Notre Dame Pom Squad, she choreographed jazz, pom and hip hop routines and performed at pep rallies, basketball games and other sporting events as well as community events. She organized events, oversaw treasury operations, assisted with budgeting and supervised social media. In addition to teaching at Dance It Up!, Christina teaches in ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical styles and techniques in West Roxbury. She enjoys fostering a love for dance in her students while successfully challenging them!


Brendan Foley

Brendan has degrees from Tufts and WPI, in mathematics and data science respectfully. He has released several mobile apps geared toward music and dance, following the WPI ethos of creating disruptive technology as a force for good. Brendan has been dancing and studying Latin styles for over 8 years. During this time he has traveled to Cuba, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, New York City, and the Dominican Republic to develop a more authentic understanding of Latin dances.  Brendan's classes are geared toward creating a fun, energetic, and relaxed environment that mirrors the essence of the dances. Fundamentals will always be prioritized with the hopes of eventually building up to some truly crazy moves. Brendan has danced and performed with Raices Latin Dance, and Tumbao Latin Dance in the Worcester area, and you can catch him teaching, performing, and programming with Ricardo Contreras in the Boston area.  During the day you'll find him teaching mathematics for GED/HiSET prep at Quinsigamond Community College. Where the fundamentals are always prioritized, and the hope is to eventually build up to some truly crazy equations. He maintains the ultimate dream, of someday building up the Salsa community in Boston to be competitive with New York.


Chase Garilli

Chase is currently enrolled at Dean College majoring in Dance and Choreography. She completed the Teacher Training Program at the Dance Teachers Club of Boston in 2022. Chase began dancing as a toddler. She has been a competitive dancer since she was 11 years old participating in numerous competitions, tournaments and dance challenges including the Turn It Up Dance Challenge, Starquest Performing Arts Competition, United States Tournament of Dance and Dance Ovations. She choreographs and competes as a soloist and trio dancer in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Contemporary and Hip Hop. Chase is thrilled to be teaching Hip Hop at Dance It Up!

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Kaylee Mahan

Kaylee will join us in the Fall 2023, bringing her talents and experiences to Dance It Up! Kaylee graduated from Roger Williams University with a major in dance. She has experience teaching adults as well as children ages 2 - teens in creative movement, ballet, tap, acro, jazz and modern genres. She holds the Acrobatic Arts Module 1 Certification. During college she studied abroad in London and trained under Stephen Pelton, Tory Trotter, and Renaud Wiser. She is the founder of Collective Moments Dance Company. Kaylee has most recently choreographed for NACHMOBoston 2023, Dance Works in Progress Metamorphosis Dance Company, Dance for World Community Festival - Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre and a MAKE iT / SHARE iT / SHOW iT (aMaSSiT): Choreography Lab - The Dance Complex. She has performed in numerous productions including works by Shura Baryshnikov, Sean Curran, Danielle Davidson, Ori Flomin, Christina Robson and Renaud Wiser.


Kim Tabbi

Kim has been a valuable part of the Dance It Up! family as an assistant teacher and Sugarplums staff member since 2022. Kim graduated from Grafton High School in 2021 and is currently a student at Quinsigamond Community College. Kim began dancing at the age of 5. She studied multiple dance genres under the direction of Patricia Brosnihan. After her training, she worked as an acro and jazz teacher at the Patricia Brosnihan Dance Center until its closure. Kim has competed in numerous Elite Dance, Starpower, and Platinum National dance competitions. She won a national title for her senior acro solo at the Platinum National Dance Competition. Kim is certified by the Acro Dance Teachers Association. She completed the Martha Graham Summer Intensive program studying the Graham Technique and Inversions. Kim is also a talented contortionist.


Zoie Vail

We are excited to welcome Zoie back to the studio as a member of the teaching faculty. She will join us in the Fall 2023. Zoie graduated from Roger Williams University in 2023. She received a Bachelor's of Arts in Dance & Performance studies and Communications. At Roger Williams University, she was a part of the Dance Theater Company for all four years where she trained in ballet, contemporary, modern, contact improvisation and Cunningham. Through this Company she had the opportunity to learn from various student choreographers, professors and guest artists. She choreographed her own pieces for two Jr/Sr performances. Zoie began her dancing at the age of two at Charlotte Klein in Worcester, MA. In elementary school, she began dancing at Dance It Up!. She danced here until her high school graduation. Zoie participated in many Dance It Up! performances including six Nutcracker performances. She trained in ballet, pointe and jazz. Zoie is so excited to be back at Dance It Up!, a place that prepared her well to successfully study dance at college. She is thrilled to share her knowledge and love of dance with the young dancers at Dance It Up!


Krista Oetsen

Administrative Specialist, Office Manager

Krista joined the team at Dance It Up! in 2016. Her daughters have grown up dancing here; enrolling in the Dance 'N Play program in 2005. Prior to joining the staff, Krista worked as a management consultant specializing in enterprise-wide software implementations. She was also a German to English language translator for a global software company.


Bridget Taverna

Retail Manager, Sugarplums & Social Media Strategist

Bridget has been the retail manager of Sugarplums since 2017 and has been a member of the Dance It Up! community as a parent, backstage volunteer and participant in the Nutcracker bodice brigade since 2005.  Prior to joining the staff at Dance It Up! Bridget was a School Programs leader at the Ecotarium in Worcester and a Life Sciences teacher in Holley, New York.

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