Vanessa Berry Owner/Director of Kick Dance Studios
A Jersey Shore native, Vanessa Berry has been teaching since she was 16. Her education in dance includes Red Bank Regional Dance Major, a degree in dance education from New York University, multiple fitness certifications, and extensive training in the Lotte Berke method. Performing credits include stage and television.
Before Vanessa became the proud owner of Kick Fitness and Dance she taught at some of the best studios in NY and Colorado including Equinox, New York Sports Club, Lotte Berke Method, Dance West, and the Boulder Arts Festival. Vanessa’s unique workouts were featured in articles in Self, Fitness, and Parenting magazine and she also made multiple appearances on Good Morning New York as a fitness leader. Vanessa was also chosen to lead a warm up for the Revlon Run/Walk in Times Square.As a choreographer and dance teacher, Vanessa has received many accolades including Top Studio, Best Choreography, Most Entertaining, and multiple first place awards.
Her classes offer strong classic dance technique in a fun and caring style. Her students learn confidence, grace, stage presence, and coordination while developing a love for dance in all its styles.In the 12 years that Vanessa has owned Kick, the studio has gained a reputation of being a premiere dance and fitness facility on the Jersey Shore. Her children’s classes are always popular and full of energy. With over 500 students each week, Vanessa is also known for her super tough conditioning classes, and her amazing children’s Dance Sampler, Hip Hop, Musical Theater, Ballet and Jazz dance classes.
Vanessa is also the mother of two beautiful young dancers Sadie and Henry.
Samantha grew up in Colts Neck, New Jersey and started dancing at the age of 3. She attended the Freehold Regional High School District’s Fine and Performing Arts Center as a dance major from 2002-2005. As a junior at FPAC she was selected as 1 of 12 dancers in New Jersey to attended the New Jersey Governors School for the Arts. From 2005-2009 she attended The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, in which she holds a BFA in Dance. While attending UARTS Samantha was a “Soulmate” dancer for the arena football team, Philadelphia Soul. Samantha also studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder during her summers in college. There she attended the annual Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop and was an intern with their resident company, Interweave Dance Theatre (IDT). Some of her professional achievements include live performances with Bon Jovi, and Ne-Yo for XBox Kinect in Times Square.
A Rumson native, Erin began her dance career studying intensively in Ballet & Russian Character at the Monmouth School of Ballet, later renamed the Shore Ballet Theatre School. In her extensive training she studied abroad at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance in London, England and at the Ecole de Dance Classique d’Aix in Provence, France. Erin’s training also extended to scholarships at the School of American Ballet, Broadway Dance Center and NYC’s Conservatory of Dance.
Amanda Pyne began dancing with Not Your Ordinary Dancers at age seven and mainly focused on ballet and pointe technique studying under Yekatrina Strelnikova for eight years. Amanda was accepted to be a part of Boston Ballets program and attended their summer intensive. Amanda was then one of forty selected out of thousands to be a part of Joffrey Ballet School’s Jazz and Contemporary year round trainee program dancing many different techniques throughout the day. At Joffrey she has trained with many well known and creative teachers and dancers such as, Michael Blake, Sidra Bell, Janis Brenner, Francesca Harper, Jana Hicks, Devin Pullins, Tyler Gilstrap, and Angelica Stiskin. Amanda was also involved in fashion week collaborating with parsons school of design on a Louis Vuitton project. Amanda absolutely loves teaching and choreographing and passing on the knowledge and love of dance she has learned from such incredible teachers and to others.
Wendy Stein is originally from Long Island. She began her classical ballet training in NYC with Andre Eglevsky , Robert Joffrey and has continued her study of ballet with Finis Jhung. In her teens she studied modern dance at the Martha Graham School and traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, South and Central America performing as a soloist with Larry Richardson, Yuriko, Pearl Lang and was on the staff of the New School in New York City.
Ms. Wendy currently teaches in several professional dance studios in the tri state area. She was a dance instructor at the Performing Arts High School in Middlesex County. In addition to her teaching commitments Wendy travels to many cities in the US Judging Dance Competitions both at Regional and National levels. She also conducts Intensives, Workshops and Master Classes in ballet, pre pointe, pointe and modern.
As an accomplished ballet/modern dancer and teacher Miss Wendy is totally committed to giving back. “I teach from my heart, I want to give my students everything I know”. She is intensely passionate about dance and totally devoted to her students. She has instructed students of all ages. Miss Wendy has choreographed many award winning pieces in both classical and modern dance. Many students of Ms. Wendy have been very successful in the dance industry.
Gabrielle has been teaching for over 7 years throughout the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania area. While receiving her B.A. in Dance from DeSales University, she directed the Conservatory of Dance connected with the school. She was also a rehearsal director for Repertory Dance Theatre, a pre-professional ballet company located in Allentown, PA. After graduating she moved back to her home town on Long Island and taught at two studios for the past 3 years. At the studios she taught classes such as ballet, modern, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe and acro to children of all ages. She also dances for a small contemporary company based in New York City called DM Dance Company. She teaches many workshops and master classes with the company all along the east coast. Gabrielle is very excited to be apart of Kick this year!
Caroline is an alumnus of Kick Dance Studio and has been dancing since age 10. After assistant teaching for 4 years and dancing on Team Kick for 6, she is very excited to be teaching her love of dance to others. Caroline has studied Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, and Contemporary throughout her years of dancing. Her senior solo, Walking in Memphis, was awarded “Most Entertaining” at a regional competition. A junior at Monmouth University, Caroline continues to dance and is majoring in Health Studies with a double minor in Photography and Communications.
Megan has studied Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical and Musical Theater since she was two years old! She has competed both regionally and nationally and has also performed in many ensembles including “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” She continued her love of dance straight out of college as an assistant teacher and then eventually dance instructor/choreographer for numerous studios in NJ. She has taught all ages from 2 years to adult including a “Dad’s” dance!!! Her choreography has won overall high score and entertainment awards. Megan has been privileged to have studied with amazing teachers/choreographers such as Frank Hatchett, Finis Jhung, Danny Wallace and Chloe Arnold. She also continues her dance education by taking class at STEPS on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center and attending Dance Teacher Summit each summer. When not teaching, Megan also works for Dancers Inc. She is thrilled to get to be part of Kick Dance Studio!!!
Robyn is our teacher of our youngest group of dancers at Kick. Starting as a young child she danced in South Florida at The Academy of Performing Arts. She performed in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. In addition to dance, she was involved in theater. She was Snoopy in Your a Good Man Charlie Brown that traveled throughout Broward County. Between her love for dance and theater, she decided to go back to her roots and began teaching dance. She started the Mommy and Me program with Vanessa over five years. This branched out into another class involving 2 and 3 year old drop off with a recital. Her classes have performed to songs incorporating Mickey Mouse and Dr. Seuss. We will have to wait and see what she will come up with next!
Michelle Tolson (Miss Michelle)
Michelle has been dancing since the age of 10 and choreographing since the age of 15. Her students hold many regional and national titles in both dance competitions and pageants including Regional Dancer of the Year for American Dance Awards, World Talent Winner for International Sunshine Girl, and World Showstopper.
Former students have gone on to appear in regional and national tours, So You Think You Can Dance and two are currently on Broadway in Memphis and the new musical Chaplin.Michelle received the Young Choreographer of the Year Award from American Dance Awards in 1998. She is also a pageant coach and choreographer, and has had four students compete in the Miss New Hampshire Program for Miss America in the last five years. Michelle also held the title of Miss New Hampshire 1996 and competed at the Miss America Pageant that fall. Her picture and shoe can be seen in the Miss America Hall of Fame in Atlantic City. She is the choreographer and producer for the New Hampshire’s Distinguished Young Woman Program, a scholarship program for senior’s in high school and is a former Junior Miss for New Hampshire.
Her performance credits include Radio City Rockettes for six years, where she performed in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular as well as on the Today Show, the Isaac Mizrahi Show, and in the Macy’s Day Parade. She also performed in Tap Girls, 42nd Street, and numerous television, video and print works.For five years she was a Professor at Wagner College in Staten Island, NY, where she choreographed Cabaret for the main stage and implemented the Tap program.
Michelle is the Head of Dance at Camp Vega in Kents Hill, Me. Michelle also tours the country as a master teacher, adjudicator and director for various dance competitions. She was a director for Dancers Inc for five years and now works as a judge for three competitions throughout the country. She has been judging for ten years and enjoys teaching new talent every weekend.
Laura Schwamberger (Miss Laura)
Laura started taking dance lessons at the age of 5 years old at a local dance studio and studied Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Pointe and Tap though college. When she was 11 she was accepted onto their competition team for jazz, tap, and ballet. She competed regionally and nationally with the team for 9 years and earned “Gold” status or higher at every competition. She began assistant teaching at the studio at the age of 12 years old and was given her own classes to choreograph at the age of 17.Laura also studied at the Ocean County Performing Arts Center, performed at Walt Disney World in Orlando for Disney’s Magical Music Days, and has taken private workshop lessons with a Rockette. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Montclair State University with Bachelors in Communications and Public Relations in May of 2008. Since then she has been a Marketing Coordinator for Woodlake Country Club and has continued to teach dance at a studio in Point Pleasant. In her spare time she likes to go to the Broadway Dance Center in New York as well as attend various conventions. Laura is excited to start teaching at Kick 2 in Rumson NJ!