TDC Instructors

Sheri Daknis

Sheri Daknis, Studio Director- Sheri has been instructing and choreographing dance and acrobatic classes at her family’s business, The Dance Centre, in South Toms River, NJ for 24 years. She began her dance training locally in N.J. at the age of 3 and has instructed and choreographed many forms of dance including acrobatics, ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, and lyrical. She trained for ten years in the arts of acrobatics, gymnastics, and cheer tumbling at Gymnastics Plus and Devlin Gymnastics in N.J. She continued her dance training in ballet and modern at Rutgers University from 1992-1996 while dually pursuing her nursing degree, graduating with a bachelors in science and nursing in 1996. Over the last 24 years, she has developed both a competitive and recreational acrobatics program at The Dance Centre and became the director of the studio in the summer of 2016 when her mother retired from the position. Throughout the years, her competitive acrobatics team has won numerous overall awards, including junior grand champions at Beyond the Stars National Competition in Cape May, NJ and at Star Systems National Competition in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Her routines have also won many choreography and entertainment awards at both local and national dance competitions and several of her dancers have been featured in opening showcases at national dance competitions.Over the last five years, she has added the arts of contortion, hand balancing, and aerial silk dancing and fitness, training in NYC and at New England Center for Circus Arts in Vermont. In the spring of 2016, she founded Peninsula Performing Arts in Little Silver, N.J., an elite program for small group and private instruction in dance, acrobatics, contortion, and aerial silk dance and fitness training for children from preschool through adults. She is proud to incorporate her family’s long-standing business, The Dance Centre, as a company of her Peninsula Performing Arts LLC. Sheri also works as an independent contractor, traveling throughout the east coast to provide seminars and master classes in acrobatics, aerial silks, contortion, and hand balancing.

Bonnie Dirk

Bonnie Dirk- Bonnie started her teaching career at the young age of 16, instructing and choreographing at her parents’ business, The Dance Centre in South Toms River N.J. and has been employed by them for the past 34 years. She has studied many forms of dance including tap, ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop and acrobatics. Her work has been influenced and inspired by many great teachers who she has trained with throughout the years, including Mallory Graham, Jerry Rose, Frank Hatchett, Mike Minery, Gregg Russell, Savion Glover, Mia Michaels, Joe Tremaine, and Daryl Retter. Early in her dance career, she toured with Dance Caravan and performed with the jazz company Sizzling Hot and the tap company, the N.J. Starlets. For 3 years, she performed as a dancer in both the Miss Atlantic City Pageant and the Miss New Jersey Pageant. She has studied the Royal Academy of Dance ballet method and received her assistant teacher and teacher certificate from the Jay Dash training school with high honors in tap. During her 34 year teaching career, she has choreographed numerous award-winning routines at many local and national competitions. Her production numbers have been featured in several showcases at national competitions over the years. She has had numerous students go on to study and achieve BFAs in dance from Mason Gross at Rutgers University, Montclair State University, and Stockton University and various other colleges for dance. Some of her students have become members of national dance teams and several, after completing their BFAs in dance, have become dance instructors and choreographers in some of our local, New Jersey Performing Arts High Schools, directors of their own personal studios, and some have come full circle back to The Dance Centre as choreographers and instructors. Miss Bonnie’s passion for dance is apparent in her dedication to and love for all of her students, nurturing them through their dance journey as if they were her own children.

Doug Brown- Doug has been teaching and performing circus arts for over 25 years across 4 continents. He has served as the director of multiple circus education programs, founded the New Jersey Circus Center and Circus Kid Productions. We are so happy to have him join our team, teaching Lyra, Static Trapeze, Aerial Silks, Clowning, & More!

Jessica Corrigan
Jessica Corrigan- Jessica teaches several dance subjects here at The Dance Centre, including: Musical Theater, Acrobatics, Jazz, Lyrical, and Adaptive Dance. Jessica has been dancing at TDC since the age of 2. She began assistant teaching in 1996 and later taught her own classes. In time, Jessica assisted in the development of the musical theater and adaptive dance programs within the studio. Her choreography has been recognized at the competitive level. The musical theater program she developed is growing in popularity and she was asked to be a guest musical theater teacher in a summer workshop. She also studied acting through Weist Barron-Ryan Acting School and Workshop for several years. Jessica attended Georgian Court University where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology, Special Education, and General Education. She holds over 15 years of experience in education including teaching preschool, teaching High School History, acting In-Class Support Special Education Teacher, and of course teaching dance. Jessica’s most important role and passion in life is being a mom to her two children “Tripp” and Emma! She is also very active in the autistic community. Jessica’s proudest accomplishment is being able to see her students take pride in their achievements as they grow as individuals and enjoy her classes.

TDC Instructors
Keryn Dirk- Keryn started competing at The Dance Centre at the age of 2 years old. She is trained in all styles of dance. She was the highest scoring senior solo and Senior Miss titlist at Dancer’s Inc, and two-time Senior titlist at both Step Up 2 Dance and On Point. She is in the process of getting her business degree and transferring to Studio School Los Angeles for their Commercial Dance program. She is currently a Dancer’s Against Cancer ambassador and has danced at multiple Dance for A Cure events. She has also modeled for the UDMA and American Girl Doll Runway show. She has worked with and assisted many talented professionals such as Rachelle Rak, AC Ciulla, Miles Keeney, Julie Carter, and many more. She started choreographing solos at 15-year-old and continues to do so today. Over the past few years, she has produced many overall high scoring dances and titlists. Keryn’s favorite thing about being a dance teacher is being able to give back everything she can to the children she works with, while working in the facility that she has trained in her entire life.

Elise Klinger- A graduate of the High School of Performing Arts in New York City, has received training from Joffrey Ballet, Luigi, Phil Black, Martha Graham School of Contemporary, and The Alvin Ailey School. She has performed at venues such as Jacob’s Pillow, New York City Center, and Snug Harbor Cultural Center. She has owned a lucrative dance school for thirty years and has been rewarded with the success of her students, some of which received scholarships to Julliard, Martha Graham, and Alvin Ailey.  Elise has also held the top 10 percent of students accepted to The High School of Performing Arts in New York City. She has choreographed numerous musicals as well; some of her favorites are Godspell, Evita, and Carousel. Several students have worked on Broadway as well as on Regional Tours. Her latest piece was seen at the Welmont Theater in Montclair, NJ with the band Foreigner. Elise enjoys teaching a variety of students and style; she currently with competitive gymnastic teams, aspiring actors, singers and dancers. Elise is estastic to be part of such an esteemed community.

Ashley Werner
Ashley Leonard- Ashley is a graduate of Kean University with a degree in Business Marketing. Her journey in dance began twenty-three years ago at the age of two. The Dance Centre family taught her everything about dance. As she advanced into different styles, her love for dance grew. At the age of seven she began competing. Traveling throughout New Jersey brought more experience to my dancing career, and she began student teaching at the age of thirteen. After graduating Lacey High School she started teaching students of all ages Jazz, Tap, and Hip-Hop.  Watching her students grow and learn choreography and different techniques within the season brings her joy. She has advanced her teaching skills by attending several dance conventions throughout New Jersey, as well as attending classes at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Her one goal as a teacher is to pass along her passion for dance to all her students.

Jacki Liss

Jacki Liss- Jacki has been teaching for nearly 10 years now.  She has been dancing since she was about 2 years old and it has been a true passion of hers since she was a little girl. She grew up dancing at The Dance Centre taking acrobatics, jazz, tap, hip hop, and ballet. She has been teaching acrobatics here for 7 years and was at Avenue to Broadway prior to TDC teaching acrobatics, jazz, hip hop, and tap.  When I am not teaching, I have my cosmetology license and manage a hair salon in Toms River.

Brianna Lowden
 Brianna Lowden-   Brianna has been a dancer since she was 2 years old at The Dance Centre. She is trained in ballet, tap, acro, jazz, pointe, musical theatre, hip hop and lyrical. She has been a part of the award-winning competition team since she was 6 years old. Brianna has been an assistant dance teacher at The Dance Centre since she was 11 years old. She helps with the regular recital classes as well as the competition classes. Brianna has a Liberal Arts associates degree from Ocean County College, and she will be graduating from Kean University in December 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Special Education and English.

Courtney Loglisci- Courtney began dancing at Spotlight Academy of Dance at the age of five. At Spotlight she was trained in ballet, pointe, lyrical, tap, jazz and hip hop. At 8 years old she became a member of their competition team and continued to dance for the team for ten years until graduating high school. Upon graduation, Courtney attended and graduated from Stockton University where she minored in dance and had the opportunity to train under ballet master Henry Vankuiken. After graduating high school, Courtney also began teaching and choreographing at dance studios around New Jersey. Since then she has found a love and talent for choreography and teaching all ages of students. Her choreography has won numerous choreography, high score and special awards throughout the years. Courtney keeps up her training by continuing to take classes at Broadway Dance Center, Millennium Dance Complex, attending conventions and master classes. In 2017 Courtney traveled to California to attend Mather Dance Company’s annual teacher intensive where she trained under Shannon Mather, Addison Holmes and Gina Pero. Courtney has had the pleasure of working as backstage manager for Imagine Dance Challenge as well as an Adjudicator for Starbound National Talent Competition. She continues to keep educated in all styles of dance but has a love more specifically for dancing and teaching jazz and hip hop. She strives to be a healthy role model for her students, not only teaching them dance and how to properly use their bodies, but teaching them confidence. She hopes to inspire her dancers with lessons they can take with them throughout life and to continue to share her love of this art for many years to come.

TDC Instructors 3
Laura Manresa- Laura is a native of the Jersey Shore and started dancing at 5 years old with The Dance Centre. She studied ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, hip-hop and lyrical. Laura began assisting with classes at the studio when she was 12 years old and was part of TDC’s award-winning competition team. She also studied that the Performing Arts Academy of Ocean County and performed during Disney World’s Magic Music Days. Her recent training credits include Broadway Dance Center, JUMP Dance and Dance Olympus conventions, along with trainings from Rhee Gold, Julie Kay Stallcup and being a certified Once Upon a Ballerina instructor. Laura has taught at Kick! Fitness & Dance, Rhythms Dance Academy, and worked with Shore All Stars Cheerleading, but TDC is her home! She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Public Relations from Montclair State University, and her Masters of Science in Educational Counseling with a concentration in Higher Education and Student Affairs, from Monmouth University. Laura loves being able to teach her students confidence and perseverance, all while having fun dancing!

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Kelcey Matheny- Kelcey is a New York City based teacher and performer originally from Bradford, Tennessee. Her credits include   42nd Street at Fulton Theatre, In the Heights at Gallery Players, Song and Dance Men at Centenary Stage Company, Legally Blonde, Broadway Takes Two  and the   Choreographers Canvas  at the 92nd Street Y.  Kelcey has also performed with the tap dance companies of Justin Boccitto, Mark Albrecht, Denise Caston, and Ann Dragich. Other performance credits include Dance St. Louis’ Spring to Dance Festival and the Dancing in the Streets Festival in St. Louis, Missouri. Kelcey has choreographed and taught for dance studios, high schools, and theatre programs in Kentucky, Tennessee, Connecticut, Missouri, New Jersey, and New York. She received her BFA in Dance from Southeast Missouri State University and was a graduate of Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester program.

Kaitlyn McPartlin- Kaitlyn joined The Dance Centre family 23 years ago as a kindergartener. Specializing mostly in acrobatics and ballet, she also has experience in jazz, hip hop, and lyrical. Kaitlyn began student teaching for the “tiny tots” her junior year of high school and is now teaching all levels of acro, contortion, hand balancing, and beginner level aerial silks. When she is not at dancing school, she is loving being a mommy, to two future dancers, Myla and Marley. Kaitlyn finds herself and her daughters extremely lucky to have a second family at The Dance Centre.

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Allison Platt- Allison attended Montclair State University, and is a May 2012 graduate of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a B.A. in dance and a concentration in studio operations. While in college, Allison participated and choreographed for many of Stockton Dance Company’s annual shows. She has worked with many teachers and performed in many pieces from prestigious choreographers such as Jae Hoon Lim’s (Koresh Dance) “Occupying Ambiguity”, Twyla Tharp’s “Torelli”, and Rebecca Stenn’s “Aviary”. She also has performed in many American College Dance Association performances, and even had the privilege to perform in the esteemed “gala performance”. Allison has been dancing for over 20 years, and teaching for seven. She is currently teaching at two dance studios, Cygnus Creative Arts Centre in Egg Harbor Twp., NJ and The Dance Centre in Toms River, NJ. At The Dance Centre she teaches and choreographs various levels of ballet, ballet technique, and contemporary/lyrical. In 2011, Allison was a member of the Philadelphia Soulmates Dance Team. She has performed all over the US, and can most recently be seen in New York City, and the greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey area with KAOS Dance Company, Scull and Bones Dance Company and Cygnus Contemporary Dance Company. Allison loves her new home here at The Dance Centre, and can’t wait to see where the years take her.

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Noelle Ricco- Noelle started dancing at the age of 2 at The Dance Centre. She took classes in jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap, hip hop, and musical theatre and as she got older she started student teaching as well. Noelle attended OCVTS Performing Arts Academy where she continued to to broaden her dance education in modern, jazz and ballet and graduated high school from there in 2009. She continued her training and studying  in dance as well as elementary education at Slippery Rock University and graduated  in 2013. Throughout her college years she has taught dance at a YMCA summer camp in addition to TDC. Now she continues her love of dance by beginning her 4th year teaching at The Dance Centre!

Mary Zucker
Mary Zucker- Mary has been with the studio since 1999. She started dancing at The Dance Centre when she was 5 years old. During her high school career she was in multiple theater productions as a dancer and a featured role. She graduated high school in 2012 at Central Regional and she went on to study physical therapy. She graduated Ocean County College with a degree in Liberal Arts and a certification in Physical Therapy Aide. She went off to State University of New York and received degrees in Health science and Individual Health Studies. Mary has been on the competition team from the age of seven years old to when she graduated high school. She has been working at the studio as an assistant teacher since 2008. Her favorite styles of dance are Acro, Musical Theatre, Tap, and Jazz.