Dance Instructors

 
 


 

Melissa Arizzi

Owner/Director

Miss Missy opened JUST DANCE in 2004 with one goal in mind, to provide quality dance instruction for the children of the Danbury area... the place where she grew up.  Miss Missy found her passion for the art of dance at a very early age.  Her rewarding career began as a student at local dancing schools where she participated in many competitions, winning many awards along the way.


At age 18, Miss Missy auditioned for and secured a position with the prestigious Hoctor’s Dance Caravan.  This exciting accomplishment took her on a NATIONAL TOUR as a “Caravan Kid,” traveling to many cities across the United States, working with professional choreographers and performing in many of the most famous theaters in the Country. 


Miss Missy has studied extensively at STEPS ON BROADWAY and the BROADWAY DANCE CENTER in New York City, while also attending Gibbs College as a business major.  She has studied under the tutelage of Ms. Jeri Kansas, a Radio City Music Hall Rockette and accomplished star of broadway and television.   She continues to work and study with famed choreographers such as Barry Youngblood, Jeri Rose, Bambi Swazye, Loree Russeau, Mallory Graham, Nick Lazarini, Tommy Tune, Tracie Stanfield, Gill Stroming and Tabitha and Napolean.  


Miss Missy has been the recipient of many awards of EXCELLENCE in dance, some of which include regional tap solo championships and best in shows for both Performance Quality, and Outstanding Choreography.

Janet Kent


Instructor

Miss Jan born and raised in the greater Danbury area began dancing at the age of six.  Her dance and theater education crossed several genres, including ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, lyrical, voice and acting.  In her youth she performed in local summerstock theater productions of Gypsy and Annie and attended various dance conventions and workshops in NYC.  For over 20 years, Janet has shared her love of dance and performing with her students.  She has instructed all levels from beginners through advanced.  As an avid yoga enthusiast, she incorporates several yoga stretches and techniques in her classes and emphasizes the importance of proper stretching and breathing.  In addition to instructing her students on correct technique, Janet also focuses on helping each student develop stage personality and presence.  As a very busy wife and mother of four children, Janet feels very blessed to have the opportunity to teach dance, and watch all of her students progress and mature as dancers.

Jen Lancaster


Instructor

Miss Jen began her dance training in Connecticut and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Towson University.  While in Maryland, she performed with the Towson University Dance Company in a wide variety of pieces ranging from swing to modern, jazz to full-length ballets.  She had the opportunity to work with Geoffrey Holder and perform in “Dougla” with the TU Dance Company along with being a featured tap dancer in Fosse’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” re-staged by Doug Graham.  In addition, Jen danced with the Stephanie Powell Danse Ensemble, performing at venues such as the Baltimore Museum of Art and Artscape.  Since moving to New York, she has performed with Synthesis Dance Project at the Élan Awards, among other events and was a founding member of the Pushing Progress Dance Company, which has performed at numerous events including The Artists’ Showcase, SONO Arts Festival, Maryland Council for Dance and more.   Other credits include dancer in “Bob Rizzo’s Rhythm Tap: Stompin’ in the City with Sharon Heller”, “Swing on the Side” by Maria Watson and “Time and Space” choreographed by Chris Hale.


Jen has taught and choreographed all over the tri-state and Maryland/DC area.  Her work was presented at numerous showcases in Maryland, at the American College Dance Festival Association in North Carolina and at the ISVP/Intern Showcase at Broadway Dance Center.  In addition, Jen had the privileged opportunity to teach at Towson University during alumni week and has had her work performed at many regional competitions.  She continues to teach throughout the tri-state area during the year, encouraging all of her students to have fun while learning strong technique, proper body alignment for a healthy dance body and fueling their passion for dance.

Miss Elizabeth has been dancing since the age of 4.  Her mother enrolled her in dance because she was shy.  Dance soon became Elizabeth’s passion and now she loves to share it with others.  Elizabeth has been dancing now for over 25 years.  She has studied ballet, tap and jazz at Ona May School of Dance and Lori’s Center Stage Dance Studio.  Elizabeth was a member of the Western CT State University Dance Team.  Elizabeth has been teaching dance for over 10 years at Parks and Recreation Programs and here at Just Dance.  She has also choreographed high school productions of 42nd Street, Fame and The Pajama Game.  Elizabeth is also the Varsity Cheerleading Coach at Bethel High School.  In addition to her cheerleading Elizabeth has taught preschool tumbling classes and is a former high school and college cheerleader.  Elizabeth brings her own special flare to the classroom and her students all love and adore her.  She has a B.A. in Human Relations and is currently pursuing her M.S. in Elementary Education.

Elizabeth Leto


Instructor

Nancy Day


Instructor

Miss Nancy began dancing at the age of 4.  She studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip hop at many local dancing schools in the area.  In her youth, she attended many competitions and workshops along the east coast.  Nancy continued dancing at WCSU where she was a member of the dance team and studied under the direction of Khalda Logan.  She has a B.B.A. in Accounting and an M.B.A.  Nancy has been teaching dance for the past 10 years.  She also offers choreography and technique classes to local dance teams.  She likes to teach students proper technique but also teaches the importance of being able to express themselves through dance.  Nancy also emphasizes developing poise and building confidence by encouraging students to have a strong ballet background.  Nancy is very grateful to be able to share her passion for dance with her students. 

Jeri Kansas


Instructor

Miss Jeri (Guest Teacher) started dancing professionally at the age of 19 on the stage of Radio City Music Hall as a Rockette.  Her first Broadway show was Sugar Babies with Ann Miller and Mickey Rooney.  Then Gower Champion cast her in the original Broadway production of 42nd Street produced by David Merrick.  There she originated the role of Phyllis and understudied to Anytime Annie.  Other favorite roles are Mona Lipschitz in Chicago and Eulalie Mechecknie Shinn in the Music Man.  Numerous industrial shows and films round out her career.  She studied acting in New York City at the William Esper Studio.  Jeri had the pleasure of working with stars such as Jerry Orbach, Tammy Grimes, Cyd Charisse, Van Johnston, Tommy Tune and Angela Lansbury.  She loves to bring her passion of dance and theatre to each and every student.  It is an opportunity to pass on what she has learned from choreographers such as Gower Champion, Peter Gennaro, Alan Johnston and Tommy Tune.  Jeri is a proud union member of Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA and AGVA.  She is excited about being on staff at Just Dance.  Melissa Arizzi is a former student and she couldn’t be prouder of all she has accomplished with her studio.

Kelly Milacic


Instructor

Miss Kelly (Guest Teacher) is a dedicated professional dancer with lifelong experience and very disciplined training in ballet, pointe, jazz, hip hop, tap, contemporary and modern dance.  She has performed professionally, is skilled in aerial performance art, and has experience teaching a variety of dance styles to a wide range of ages.  Kelly was a key member of Royal Caribbean International’s Theater review cast for over three years, performing in eight productions on the Luxury Cruise Ships Freedom of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, and Voyager of the Seas, in which she was also selected for aerial soloist parts.  Kelly is excited about her first year on staff with Just Dance and looks forward to sharing her love of the art with her students.

Laura Sullivan


Instructor

Emily Renna


Instructor

Miss Laura began dancing at the age of 3 in local dancing schools throughout the Danbury area.  As a teen, she participated in many dance conventions, workshops and competitions throughout the tri-state area while also studying dance at the Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in NYC.  She received a Bachelor’s Degree from Southern Vermont College, Majoring in History and Education, and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Childhood Education and Special Education while working as an Assistant Teacher at the prestigious Rippowam Cisqua School in Rye Brook, NY.  Laura is a passionate advocate for providing all children the specific early developmental  skills they need in order to reach their full potential emotionally, academically and physically.  we feel very fortunate to have a person who possesses such a deep passion for the well-being of children and working with our young dancers here at Just Dance.

Miss Emily has approximately 20 years of dance experience, having studied extensively in jazz, lyrical, ballet, pointe and hip hop.  When I was 16, I was asked to be an Assistant Teacher at the studio that I was attending.  I loved being a role model for young dancers and knew that dancing would be a huge part of my future.  I began teaching at Just Dance in my hometown of Danbury, CT, while attending college.  After graduating from Sacred Heart University with a BS in Athletic Training, I was awarded an intership as an Athletic Trainer for the Radio City Rockettes in New York City.  This was the job of a lifetime for a dancer and working with such a prestigious dance troupe was a very exciting and rewarding experience.  While working with the Rockettes, I was exposted to every aspect of professional theatrial life and of what it takes to be a professional dancer.  The education I received while interning at Radio City gave me an extrordinary amount of knowledge I am now able to pass on to my dance students.  The audition process, rehearsal schedule, physical fitness demands and practical living situation are all part of what I am able to offer the young, promising dancer who seeks a career in professional dance.    In addition to teaching dance, I am an Athletic Trainer with Select Physical Therapy in Danbury, CT, and am contracted out to the Danbury High School Athletic Department coverling all of the schools sporting activities.