Ann Schwenzer - Owner/Artistic Director
Ann Schwenzer earned her Bachelors of Science in both Landscape Architecture and Dance through Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey. She has expertise in Ballet, Jazz, Modern,
Pointe, Tap, Pre-Ballet, and Creative Movement. Ann has choreographed for Performing Arts Programs Summer Theater,Terpsichore Dance and Theatre Company, Avon Chamber holiday event, CT Dance Alliance’s Out for Art event, Farmington Valley Chorale, Act One Players, and Thompson Brook School Musical Theater. She has performed at The Bushnell for Gary Craig’s Holiday Show, The Arts and Ideas festival with Susan Matheke, and has danced in local dance companies including Dirt Dancers, Allongé
Dance Variations, and MAss Dance Project. Several of Ann’s students have danced for UConn's competitive dance team and Hip-Hop team and have danced at The Orange Bowl’s half-time shows. She has experience in business management as well as planning programs that teach students to dance with proper technique and gain a sense of appreciation for the art form through class exercises as well as in-house dance workshops and master classes. Ann has attended The Pulse On Tour and learned from well known choreographers including Dave Scott, Brooke Lipton, Tessandra Chavez, Desmond Richardson, and
Chris Judd as well as has taken business seminars and master classes through Dance Life Retreat Center, a center for studio owners and teachers developed by Rhee Gold to educate studio owners and teachers on the business aspects of studio ownership as well as providing curriculum and choreography ideas. She has also taken Professional Development courses through National Dance Education Organization and Studio Expansion Program, to further her education in dance. Ann is blessed to have the opportunity to be able to follow her passion for dance and share her knowledge and experience with Studio A dancers!
Rachel Armstrong - Dance Instructor
Rachel Armstrong began her dance training at the age of 5 in her hometown of Simsbury, Connecticut and has been dancing ever since. Upon matriculating to The University of Connecticut in 2001, she became a member of the Uconn All Stars, competing and performing in Step and Hip Hop dance. After earning her BS in kinesiology, Rachel returned to her home town studio to bring step and hip-hop dance to Simsbury. She has taught at private schools and private studios throughout the state, and has conducted workshops on hip hop dance. She has successfully completed the Acrobatic Arts curriculum and is thrilled to be teaching acro dance. In addition she has completed many dance workshops, in state and out, including many at Disney World. Her choreography comes from her soul, and she enjoys teaching not just the basic moves, but a love and passion for dance and movement.
Calvin Bittner - Dance Instructor
Calvin grew up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, studying ballet at the Raleigh School of Ballet, in Raleigh, North Carolina. He graduated from high school in 2013, and attended the University of Hartford, The Hartt School. There he studied Ballet, Modern, and Contemporary dance. A highlight of his time at Hartt was his senior choreography project, titled What Happened At The Garden Party, which was accepted to be performed at Jacob’s Pillow in August, 2017. He graduated in May, 2017 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance, after which he spent a year dancing with Vivid Ballet (now Ballet Hartford). He is currently freelancing as a choreographer, performer, and teacher.
Matthew Guerrera - Dance Instructor
Matt is a recent graduate of Muhlenberg College where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Dance and Theatre with concentrations in education, choreography, performance studies, and stage management. Matt has studied dance for over seventeen years in various locations throughout Connecticut and Pennsylvania as well as at the Broadway Dance Centre in New York City. A resident of Newington, CT, Matt graduated from the Kingswood Oxford School in 2015, where he received the award for Best Student Choreography at the 2015 KO Wyvern A Cappella Festival. He was also most recently nominated for a Broadwayworld.com award for best choreography (non-equity) for High School Musical. Throughout Connecticut, Matt has performed with various theatre companies as well as choreographed a multitude of shows for ages 12-25. Most recent choreography credits include Shrek Jr., Pirates of Penzance Jr., & Fiddler on the Roof Jr. (Performing Arts Programs), High School Musical (East Hartford Summer Youth Festival), Legally Blonde & Once Upon a Mattress (Wethersfield Teen Theatre), Willy Wonka Jr. & School House Rock (Tootin’ Hills Elementary School), and Shrek Jr. & The Music Man Jr. (Connecticut Family Theatre). In the Allentown area, Matt has taught in a variety of Elementary schools as well as at Ju-Ju Monkey, a small retail boutique offering pre-school classes. He also was a fulltime teacher at the Muhlenberg Community Dance Center where he taught tap, jazz, and creative movement for all ages. During the spring of 2018 Matt studied dance in Arezzo, Italy at the Accademia Dell’Arte.
Allesandra Rinaldo - Dance Instructor
Allesandra was born and raised in Upstate New York where she began her training at the Cazenovia School of Ballet with Joanne Rinaldo at age five. From the time she was born she knew she would be a dancer, following in the footsteps of her mother. Her passion to become a ballet teacher led her to start her journey at The Hartt School in 2012. Allesandra has had the privilege of studying with Nashville Ballet, Charlotte Ballet and The Nutmeg Conservatory over the past few summers. Allesandra recently graduated from The University of Hartford with a BFA in Ballet Pedagogy. During her time at the Hartt School she has had the opportunity to work with renowned teachers and choreographers including, Stephen Pier, Nina Watt, Hilda Morales, Betsy McMillan, Katie StevinsonNollet, Debra Collins Ryder, Gemma Bond and Norbert De La Cruz III.
Rachel Russell - Dance Instructor
Kaitlyn Way - Dance Instructor
Kaitlyn Way has her Bachelor of Arts from SUNY New Paltz and her Master of Arts from Trinity College. She is an experienced tap dancer, trained by the American Tap Dance Foundation in New York City where she was a member of the Tap City Youth Ensemble for over six years. With over twenty years teaching and performance experience, she has performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, at the Apollo Theater, for Bette Midler among a host of other small and large shows. Her choreography, "The Chain" was showcased at the Big Apple Tap Festival's Showcase in Manhattan performing with members of the Connecticut Tap Collaborative. She has performed with Michelle Dorrance, members of Syncopated Ladies, and Connecticut Tap Collaborative. Her influences include Gregory Hines, Michelle Dorrance, and Gene Kelly.
Kate Cavenagh - Guest Instructor
Kate is deeply devoted to passing along the rich history of Tap as well as preserving repertory and traditions. She focuses on rhythm, musicality, phrasing, and improvisation in class, and approaches tap as music. Kate attended Emerson College in Boston and holds a B.A. in Theater Education with a Dance Concentration. She has studied extensively in Boston and New York City, at the American Tap Dance Foundation, and with Barbara Duffy as her main mentor for the past several years.
Rachel Russell is going into her senior year at the University of Hartford, working towards her degree in Ballet Pedagogy and Performance. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Rachel graduated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. At the University of Hartford, she's had many opportunities to perform diverse repertoire such as excerpts from Swan Lake, Le Corsaire, and Don Quixote as well as historic modern works like Jose Limon's There is a Time, Dances for Isadora, and Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring.