Dance Teacher

Train With An Award Winning Dance Teacher!

Join ADA and learn from a former pro dancer who knows what it takes to create professional level dancers!

Our faculty also strives to be great role models for their students and loves training all types of students to achieve their personal best!

Our Directors


The Mishoes have been Co-Artistic Directors of The Academy of Dance Arts since 2008 and have inspired and educated thousands of students over the years!

Read more about the Mishoes below


Since taking over directorship of The Academy the Mishoes have maintained the excellent caliber of training established by Jennifer Church, while continuing to add exciting, cutting edge training methods. During their directorship they have restructured The Academy’s training curriculum including the addition of Pilates equipment classes which has resulted in a higher level of dancing at ADA. The Mishoes have implemented intensive training programs like the 14+ hour per week “Merit Scholarship Program” and the 2 week summer program “Performance Intensive” that gives students a taste of a professional dancers schedule. A weekly Advanced Ballet Class with guest dance teachers is now on the regular schedule, and frequent master classes expose students to the different styles & techniques that exist in the current dance world. Through the Mishoe’s relentless dedication to The Academy, students are better equipped & more inspired than ever to be part of the world of dance!

The Mishoes are detailed dance teachers & coaches, and under their direction the vast majority of Academy students who have participated in RAD exams have received the highest grade of Distinction from grades 2 through Advanced 1. The Mishoes thoroughly enjoy coaching their students for the Youth America Grand Prix, and are thrilled that out of thousands of competitors from around the world their students have been selected to perform solos and ensembles at the competition’s finals in New York City! In 2016 & 2018 the Mishoes were honored to receive YAGP’s ‘Outstanding Teacher Award’ at the semi finals in Boston & NYC. And in 2019 ADA was honored with YAGP’s ‘Outstanding School Award’ at the Semi Finals in NY! Due to their success at YAGP 2018, Dance Teacher magazine was prompted to feature the Mishoes in their October 2018 issue!

The Mishoes are passionate about working with their students on repertoire and full length ballets, which lead them to take over artistic directorship of the Company Of Dance Arts in 2010. CODA is a pre professional youth dance company affiliated with the Academy founded by Jennifer Church in 1985. As Company directors The Mishoes have overseen numerous Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Wizard of Oz productions at local venues like the Count Basie Theater. The Mishoes added their own choreography to CODA’s repertoire with their premiere of Cinderella in 2012. The Mishoes love watching these productions grow and improve each year and are thrilled that new students are drawn to train at The Academy because of them! In recognition of their work with CODA, the Monmouth County Arts Council honored the Mishoes with the 2019 “Community Champion of the Arts” award! 

The Mishoes’ students have received scholarships and acceptances for the summer & school year at prestigious programs and have gone on to dance with some of the best dance companies in the world! (check out ‘Our Alumni’ further down this page!)

The Mishoes are immensely proud of the wonderful people their students become and are thrilled by the many amazing successes they achieve!

SHAYNE MISHOE - ballet, pointe, pilates, gyrotonic®

Mrs. Mishoe is a proud alumni of The Academy of Dance Arts!

Mrs. Mishoe began her training with Jennifer Church, Charles Nicoll and Bridget Trochiano and danced with The Company of Dance Arts until graduating from high school. She then went on to train at the Boston Ballet School, and perform with Boston Ballet and various contemporary choreographers. While performing in Boston, Mrs. Mishoe received teachers certificates in Pilates & GYROTONIC® and began teaching those methods at Boston’s premiere studio, Boston Body Works. In 2003 Mrs. Mishoe moved to Amsterdam where she quickly became a teacher in high demand. She taught a wide range of students in ballet, pilates and GYROTONIC® including several principal dancers with the Dutch National Ballet! She was a founding company member of “The Movement Network”; a contemporary ballet and modern dance company. From 2008-2012 Mrs Mishoe was a guest ballet mistress for the Trey McIntyre Project in Boise, Idaho. In her time with TMP she staged many of Mr. Mcintyre’s works on his company as well as Point Park University and Boston Conservatory dance majors.
In 2011 Mrs. Mishoe represented TMP as a guest teacher at the Snowy Range Dance Festival in Laramie, Wyoming. An experienced teacher and coach, Mrs. Mishoe believes that with the combination of ballet, Pilates and GYROTONIC® dancers can gain a much deeper understanding of their own bodies, overcome physical limitations and develop a technique based on muscular efficiency. This has proven itself to be true through her students’ successes. Mrs. Mishoe loves to teach and in particular, to instill love and respect of the art of dance. She challenges students to approach ballet analytically and to develop a strong sense of awareness and self discipline. She creates an extremely focused classroom environment where each moment is utilized and details matter immensely. Mrs Mishoe is deeply passionate about her art and her teaching. She is known for her no nonsense approach and for the way that she aids students in developing the muscular awareness necessary to create a reliable base of technique.

NICK MISHOE - ballet, partnering

Mr. Mishoe began his ballet training with Ella Hay in Huntington, West Virginia, then completed his education at the North Carolina School of The Arts.

After graduating from NCSA he went on to dance with Boston Ballet under the direction of Anna Marie Holmes, where he had the privilege to meet and work with former Dutch National Ballet director, Rudi van Dantzig, on his acclaimed “Four Last Songs”. After 4 years with Boston Ballet Mr. Mishoe moved to Amsterdam to dance with the Dutch National Ballet where he was promoted to Demi-Soloist by director Ted Brandsen. During his dance career Mr. Mishoe performed soloist and ensemble roles in a wide range of classics as well as cutting edge contemporary. He had the joy of working with such influential choreographers as Sir Peter Wright, Natalia Makarova, William Forsythe and Christopher Wheeldon among many others as well as the thrilling experience to dance with such powerhouses as Sarah Lamb & Pollyana Ribeiro. In 2006 Mr. Mishoe was named one of ’25 To Watch’ in Dance Europe Magazine’s Critics’ Choice Awards and soon after this had the distinct pleasure of dancing for Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands! In 2014 Mr. Mishoe was a contestant on Season 9 of “America’s Got Talent” and his act “Blue Journey”, danced together with Rachel Kivlighan, made it to the Top 12! Since then he has performed excerpts from “Blue Journey” at venues across the U.S. including the Youth America Grand Prix’s 2016 “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” Gala in New York City. Mr. Mishoe has been a guest teacher for the Dutch National Ballet Academy, the Royal Academy of Dance Summer Intensive in Long Beach, California and at the Red Bank Regional High School dance program. Mr. Mishoe’s classes emphasize pure ballet technique with an aim to educate dancers on the importance of self awareness. He is known for his lengthy and challenging exercises delivered with a dose of dry humor!

Find A Great Dance Teacher At ADA!

Faculty Achievements

Nick Mishoe danced with Boston Ballet & Dutch National Ballet and his dance duo Blue Journey reached the Top 12 on Season 9 of America’s Got Talent

Shayne Mishoe danced with Boston Ballet, was a Ballet Mistress for Trey McIntyre Project and teaches Ballet Hispanico

Bridget Trochiano danced with Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble as well as for Roberta Flack, Liza Minnelli & Shirley McLaine

Viorica Stampfel was a principal dancer with the Romanian Opera Ballet Company

Dan Peterson won a world title as a tap soloist at the Fred Astaire International Jazz and Tap Championships


is a registered teacher and member of the Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D) and holder of the Advanced Teaching Certificate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (I.S.T.D.) in Classical Ballet, National Dance, Modern and Jazz, also holding Associate Status in Greek Dance and Cecchetti Ballet. Ms. Church founded ADA in 1985 was owner & director from 1985-2008. The quality of instruction has earned The Academy a reputation of being one of the premiere schools in New Jersey. In addition, she is the Founder and Artistic Advisor of The Company of Dance Arts. It is with great pride and joy that Ms. Church handed her life’s work over to the care of Shayne and Nick Mishoe.

BRIDGET TROCHIANO - modern, ballet

Dance Teachers, The Academy of Dance Arts

has been a featured performer and a member of The Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble and The Joyce Trisler Dance Company. She has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music and toured extensively worldwide. She has done various music videos and television specials with artists Roberta Flack, Liza Minnelli and Shirley McLaine. She has taught Modern and Jazz dance at Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. She rejoined the faculty at The Academy in 2005.

VICKY GREEN - ballet, pointe


Victoria Green trained for her professional career at the School of American Ballet in New York City and went on to a 20-year career rising to soloist with New York City Ballet. Her dance credits include world tours with Karole Armitage, Jacobs Pillow in The Berkshires, and principal dancer with Princeton Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet. Victoria also performed with Raul Julia as Anjelica Houston’s dance double (Morticia) in the major-motion pictures Addams Family and Addams Family Values and provided choreography for Blair Underwood in the 1998 film, Deep Impact.
She currently resides in Wyckoff, NJ.


Dance Teachers, The Academy of Dance Arts

began training at the Institute of Choreographic Arts in Bucharest, Romania at the age of 9. She studied the Vaganova Ballet Technique, Modern & Character dance as well as Choreography and Piano. She apprenticed with the Romanian Opera Ballet Company for six years before joining their corps de ballet. After 1 year she was promoted to soloist and 3 years later to Prima Ballerina. She performed an extensive repertoire as Prima Ballerina including Kitri from Don Quixote and Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. Viorica moved to the Red Bank area in 1984 and has been teaching ever since. She joined ADA’s faculty in 2010.

SORI GOTTDENKER, RTRAD - ballet, pre pointe, pointe, new pointe mini course

Dance Teachers, The Academy of Dance Arts

developed ADA’s successful pre-pointe and stretch program. She is a registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance. She also acts as rehearsal assistant for the Company of Dance Arts. She creates choreography for children, and has designed many ballet costumes and sets for the stage. In addition, she is a registered nurse. Trained primarily at the Academy of Dance Arts under the direction of Jennifer M. Church and Charles Nicoll, she also studied at the Joffrey Ballet and at the American Ballet Theatre. Sori has been on staff since 1990.

ELAENEE NOWELL - ballet, pre pointe, pointe, pilates, flexistretcher, jazz

Dance Teachers, The Academy of Dance Arts

began dance training at the age of 5. She has studied ballet, jazz, modern and tap. She has appeared in Frank Hatchetts Showcase and at Merv Griffins Resorts Casino. As a student of the Academy of Dance Arts, she was trained in the Royal Academy of Dance. Mrs. Nowell continued her training, on scholarship, at the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. Performing credits include The Nutcracker, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, and Peter Rabbit & Other Tails with the Company of Dance Arts, The Nutcracker, Petrouchka, and Romeo and Juliet with the Pennsylvania Ballet, and the Philadelphia Opera Company’s Aida. Elaenee has been on the ADA Faculty since 1999.

MICHELLE SYMOS - ballet, pointe, body conditioning

considered the Academy of Dance Arts her second home while growing up and training under the direction of Jennifer Church. Michelle has been teaching at The Academy since 2012 and has been part of the Company Of Dance Arts Artistic Staff for many years, acting as Ballet Mistress for The Nutcracker, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Cinderella.

DAN PETERSON - tap, theater arts

Dance Teachers, The Academy of Dance Arts

is a member of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television & Radio Artists). He has performed in both regional and professional theater productions and has made several television appearances. He won a world title as a tap soloist at the Fred Astaire International Jazz and Tap Championships held at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan, NY. He currently teaches at a number of facilities including the Academy of Dance Arts and the New York City Performing Arts Centre. Dan has served as a guest artist for the Dance and Drama programs and as Choreographer of the Spring musicals at Red Bank Regional High School Visual and Performing Arts Dept. He has also been an instructor for the Shakespeare Young Peoples Company as part of the the Count Basie Theaterʼs educational program. Dan has been on faculty since 2012.

LINDA MINNELLA - tap, pilates

Dance Teachers, The Academy of Dance Arts

received her B.A. from Montclair State University and Kean College. Her performing experience includes community summer theater, The Company of Dance Arts productions and American Repertory Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet. Linda joined the faculty in 1995.

JESSICA TOTARO - contemporary

Jessica Totaro is a Contemporary and Choreography Skills teaching artist from Asbury Park, NJ.  She received her BFA in dance from Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts. She is the founder and Artistic Director of the Movement Arts Project; a student-based, educational dance company based in Brielle, NJ that focuses on preparing students who want to further their education at a collegiate level.

Jessica is currently a teaching artist for Derling Dance Arts, 10 Hairy Legs and Dance New Jersey’s Young Audiences. Jessica was featured in Dance Studio Life Magazine for her choreography methods and program. Jessica continues to teach master classes and choreograph throughout the tri-state area at various studios and performing arts schools. Her teaching method is to not dictate but guide each dancer deeper into their own creative ability and communicate authentically through movement.

Jessica joined The Academy’s faculty in 2019.


started ballet at a young age with instructor Viorica Stampfel. In 2009 she began training at the Academy of Dance Arts under the guidance of Nick & Shayne Mishoe, Sori Gottdenker, and later on, Viorica Stampfel. At the Academy, Leah has had the opportunity to participate in Master classes with dancers from Pennsylvania Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet. In 2017, she went to the SLK Ballet Summer Intensive to train with Sara Knight to gain a deeper understanding of Vaganova technique. Leah is currently an intern at The Whole Dancer under the guidance of founder Jess Spinner and is also working towards earning her MS in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through Saybrook University. She hopes to be able to use her knowledge and experience of nutrition and health to help dancers be as healthy as they can be while learning ways to cope with the many body image issues dancers face. Leah joined the faculty in 2018 and continues to train at The Academy so that she can continue to learn and grow and inspire her students to do the same.


has taught dance and fitness throughout Monmouth County for the past 15 years.  She graduated from the Dance Program at Red Bank Regional High School’s Visual and Performing Arts Academy.  She continued her training at various dance schools including: The Academy of Dance Arts, Princeton Ballet School and Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance.  Kristi graduated from Monmouth University with a B.A. in Communication, where she was a Principal Dancer, Choreographer and the Founder/President of the university’s Dance Club.  In addition, she studied acting for several years and was featured in theater productions, regional commercials and independent films.

LUCY GAO - ballet, yoga
was trained in Chinese Dance since the age of 7. Dancing and movement have always been the tools that helped her personal growth. Later she found her way to the adult ballet community at the Academy after moving to New Jersey. Her ballet training primarily took place under the direction of Shayne Mishoe and Wies Van Houplines. Lucy enjoys an active lifestyle. In addition to ballet, she’s been practicing yoga for years and is a certified yoga instructor. Over the past year, she has worked closely with Miss Sori Gottdenker to study how the curriculum set for young dancers at the Academy. Lucy is passionate about supporting students in finding mind-body connections as well as self expression through movement.

Our Alumni

Academy students have graduated to the following professional dance companies and year round dance programs, often on scholarship!

Alonzo King Lines School | Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater | American Ballet Theater | Avant Chamber Ballet | Ballet Arizona | Ballet Hispanico | Ballet Idaho | BalletMet | Ballets with a Twist | Ballet Tucson | BalletX | Barcelona Ballet | Boston Ballet | Boston Dance Theater | Carolina Ballet | Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet | Charlotte Ballet 2 | Cincinnati Ballet | Cleveland Ballet | Colorado Ballet | Columbia University | Dance Theater of Harlem | Fordham/Ailey BFA Program | Francesca Harper Project | Houston Ballet 2 | JKO School of ABT | Joffrey Ballet Trainee Program | Juilliard School | Kanopy Dance | Kizuna Dance | Miami City Ballet | Milwaukee Ballet 2 |Nashville Ballet | New York City Ballet | New York Theatre Ballet | New York State Ballet | Nimbus Dance |Ohio Ballet | Orlando Ballet 2 | Pacific Northwest Ballet | Pennsylvania Ballet | Peridance Contemporary Dance Company | Pilobolus | Pretty Woman The Musical | Princeton University | Roxey Ballet | Sarasota Ballet | School of American BalletSUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance | TU Dance | Urban Ballet Theater | USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance | USC Dept. of Theater & Dance | The Washington Ballet

“As an alum of The Academy of Dance Arts and a current professional dancer with American Ballet Theatre, it brings me great joy to see the high level of ballet training offered at the school and how much students grow from year to year when I come back to teach. Students are given wonderful opportunities to learn from current and former professional dancers, have beautiful studios to dance in, and are given fantastic performance opportunities throughout the year. Knowledgeable teachers, dedicated students, and a nurturing environment!! Proud to say that I come from ADA and that it’s the place that gave me the foundation for not just my ballet career, but also taught me lessons that have helped me outside of the studio!” Alexandra Basmagy

Our Accompanists


received her musical education in Lima, Peru with Blanche and George Czemere; she continued her study at the Rollins Music Conservatory in Florida. Diane has been a group accompanist for the theater group Saints & Sinners and a choral director for area churches and temples. She joined the Academy staff in 2000.

Our Office Staff

LEORA KORB - administrative director


joined the staff in 1991. She prides herself on having brought The Academy into “the computer age”. Responsible for the overall running of the business, she has seen the school grow tremendously. Being able to combine performing arts with a strong sense of what it takes to make that type of business successful is a challenging task.  She worked in New York City in Press relations and has an Associate degree in Communications. She utilizes her skills in helping make The Academy of Dance Arts the success that it has become. Leora has lived all over the world and has always had a love of ballet and dance.

KRISTIN DRISCOLL - programs coordinator

was a student of The Academy of Dance Arts at it’s inception in 1985 and an original member of the Company of Dance Arts when Jennifer Church founded it. She graduated from Montclair State University with a degree in Communications and Journalism and went on to become an Emmy Award winning television news writer/producer. She also spent time studying early childhood education and worked as a preschool teacher for several years. Kristin found her way back to the Academy in 2008 when her daughter began training here. She volunteered for the Company of Dance Arts and became a member of the Board of Trustees in 2010. Kristin worked part-time in the Academy office for 2 years before joining our staff in 2015.

LINDA ARMSTRONG - billing & attendance coordinator

joined the Academy administrative staff in 2017 as Billing Coordinator.  Linda is the first point of contact in assisting Academy families with any questions regarding tuition and student accounts.

Linda spent the majority of her career as a Corporate Communications professional for a large global corporation. She began her professional life in public relations and eventually transitioned to internal and Human Resources communications. Prior to Communications, Linda spent several years in Corporate Meeting and Event Planning. In addition to her professional career, Linda has been an active school volunteer and PTA board member. Over the years, she has put her professional skills into action through volunteer work with various community projects and charitable organizations.

Linda is thrilled to be a part of the Academy team and looks forward to getting to know all of you, our Academy family!

Our Partners

The Academy partners with organizations and dance teachers in an effort to provide as many people as possible with the joy of movement!




Yoga With Littles classes incorporate gentle movement, breathing, and mindfulness for both moms and little ones. Classes are designed to help you connect and bond with your little one while making new friends.

Babies and toddlers benefit from an early introduction to mindful movement, breathing, stretching, and socialization.

Mothers benefit from stretching, breathing, and taking time for self care while joining a community of other new moms.

Click here for additional information and class schedules.


Whether you are new to ballet or advanced this adult class offers something for everyone!  Build body tone and strength, work on posture, learn how to move efficiently and wake up your brain. All this in a fun and supportive environment!

Contact Doreen Laperdon-Addison for more information! ( betterhealththroughmovement (at) gmail (dot) com


Get strong and aligned in this group Pilates equipment class with Elaenee! Contact ( Hone.NJ (at) gmail (dot) com for info!


The Academy works with Dancers Embrace and the Red Bank Salvation Army to provide dance classes for the SA’s Dance Academy. ADA’s advanced students teach these classes on behalf of ADA and gain valuable experience in doing so. 

Dancers Embrace’s IG: @dancersembraceorg

The SA’s website:


This class is designed for all levels and focuses on strength, alignment all while remembering the actual joy that dancing can bring. 

Miranda is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher with In Good Company Dance and a Reiki Master and Practitioner. 

The Academy of Dance Arts offers top notch dance instruction with caring and highly skilled faculty. The professional quality of instruction is exceptional and the staff trains each dancer to reach for their personal best. I highly recommend this fantastic school and their wonderful teachers.