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DANCE! By Debra DiNote

Debra DiNote

Artistic Director Debra DiNote opened her small single-storefront school at the young age of eighteen and has worked 34 years to make it one of the most well-known and highly respected schools in the tri-state area. Currently enjoying the 6,000 square foot, state of the art facility, and 400+ family based enrollment; it is the mission of DiNote to foster an interest and appreciation for the performing arts in the young people of our area by offering a strong technical based curriculum accompanied by the opportunity to showcase artistic development and stagecraft for Southem Jersey audiences. In 1975 she founded the Companies of The DANCE! Workshop, inviting hundreds of students over the years to further develop their love of dance and the arts through community service performances, competitions, and yearly Company presentations of full-length ballets and productions. DiNote was commissioned by the Rouse Company owned malls in the tri-state area to write, direct, and choreograph Disney productions that were presented at eight area malls form 1978-1985.  Students from the school were featured in the shows as singers, dancers, and actors. In 1988, DiNote wrote the original “Overtime for Santa,” a holiday extravaganza presented by The Workshop Company to area audiences. Sell-out performances of “OZ… Over the Rainbow” and “Once Upon a Glass Slipper” have given DANCE! students the opportunity to wow audiences since their initial stagings in 1991.  Debra has been honored with various awards from local and state organizations for her service to the community, offering lecture demonstrations to elementary schools, libraries, churches, elders homes, teaching a dance program for seniors, and offering scholarships to her students since 1973. She has received special recognition from national competition directors and adjudicators for outstanding choreography, staging, and attention to technique. Dancers have been awarded scholarships to the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC, the Debbie Reynolds Studio “F” in California, the Gus Giordano School in Chicago, the Governor’s Schools of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the Broadway Dance Center in NYC. DANCE! students have been seen on the stage of Carnegie Hall in NYC, five invitational performances at Disney World, Six Flags Great Adventure, Hershey Park, Toys for Tots benefits, and the Miss New Jersey parades in Ocean City… all made possible through the efforts of DiNote’s teaching and guidance. Debra’s experience, dedication, and love of her students and the arts is demonstrated through her daily work in the classroom as well as her family-friendly run school. She prides herself on bringing the best in the business into the school to work as faculty and guest artists for her students. The loyalty and dedication of the DANCE! faculty (most of which are alumni of DANCE! and The Workshop Company) further proves what a positive and fulfilling experience children have when they spend their childhood with DANCE! and Debra DiNote.  

Lee Ann Littleton

Lee Ann Littleton grew up in our school and was invited into the Company at the age of seven becoming a strong presence in all productions. Lee Ann is a graduate of Rowan University with a degree in Business Management and Concentration in Dance. While attending Rowan, she was a member of the Rowan Contemporary Dance Company, the Rowan Dance Team, Dance Extensions, and the President and Vice President of Dance Extensions.

Receiving top honors from regional and national competitions for choreography, Lee Ann is known for innovative and emotional choreography. Some of Lee Ann’s recognitions include: Two time recipient of the USTD Choreography Award, Dancers Inc Choreographer of the Year, and Cathy Roe Dance Choreography Dance Challenge 1st Runner Up. Numerous pieces have received Highest Score honors at national competitions. Her choreography show credits include: Singin in the Rain, Triton HS, Once Upon a Mattress, Timber Creek HS, Ticket to Broadway, Timber Creek HS, Once Upon a Glass Slipper, The DANCE! Workshop Company, Overtime for Santa, The DANCE! Workshop Company, and Over the Rainbow, The DANCE! Workshop Company.

Lee Ann has also performed with various Philadelphia based companies, and has taught Master Classes in Modern Technique and Movement at area held conventions and workshops.

Lee Ann teaches a full schedule of classes, and enjoys working with all ages and levels. She founded the DWC, a student run organization for Company dancers, working on community service events and fundraising activities. It is the mission of this group to give back to the community through dance and to cherish the amazing talent we have. She is also the Business Manager for DANCE! by Debra DiNote.
Lee Ann, and her husband, Jerrod reside in Monroe Township with their 3 beautiful children.

Eisa Jackson 

Eisa started her dance career at DANCE! by Debra DiNote at the age of 4.  She was a member of the DANCE! Workshop Company for nine years and participated in numerous competitions, workshops, and performances such as “Cinderella” and “The Wizard of Oz” where she played the role of the Tin Man.  After graduating valedictorian from Washington Township High School, Eisa attended Temple University and obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance.  She has studied at Philadanco and has apprenticed with the River North Dance Company in Chicago.  In addition to teaching at DANCE!, Eisa also performs throughout the area.  She is a founding member of the Underground DanceWorks Company, as well as a member of the Philadelphia Civic Ballet.  For the past year, Eisa has been touring with Tania Isaac Dance Company.  She has performed in Virginia, D.C., and New York. This is Eisa’s ninth year of teaching at DANCE! and she is very excited to share her love of dance with her students.