Faculty @

DANCE! By Debra DiNote

Sara Funicello 

Sara began dancing at the age of 3 at DANCE! by Debra  DiNote, where she was a member of the DANCE! Workshop Company. During this time, she performed lead roles in company productions, as well as won national and regional  awards at numerous dance competitions. She attended Southern NJ Academy of Performing Arts at GCIT where she  furthered her dance education. Sara graduated from Montclair State University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Dance Education. While at MSU, Sara was a  member of the Repertory Dance Company and had the privilege of performing works by influential choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Charles Weidman, David Gordon, and Doug Elkins. She was asked to perform Fredrick Earl Moseley's Running Spirits at the American College Dance Festival's Gala Performance as well as part of a showcase at the Alvin Ailey Dance Studio. Sara has performed with numerous choreographers in NY and the Philadelphia area and is currently performing with Andrea Mychaels Dance Project, Instinct Movement Collective & Reverie Dance Theatre.  Sara has been teaching dance and fitness classes for the past 5 years and is a member of the National Dance Education Organization. She is excited to be part of the DANCE! family and looks forward to continue sharing her knowledge of dance with her students!

Kelly Sheppard

 Kelly Sheppard graduated from DeSales University with a B.A. in Dance.  During her time at DeSales she studied under Trinette Singleton (formerly Joffrey Ballet), Kristin Fieseler Alexander (Annex Dance Company), and Vincent Brosseau (formerly Brosseau Danceworks).  Upon graduation, she moved to the Boston area to pursue her Master’s degree in Dance Therapy at Lesley University.  Kelly spent two years in the city teaching parent/child and preschool dance classes, while also extensively studying the modern dance technique of Isadora Duncan.  In addition to teaching, she performed throughout the city and completed her degree in 2008.  Kelly specializes in teaching dancers ages 18 months – 8 years and attends various conventions to help keep her teaching approaches fresh.  When not in the studio with her talented Dance! students she enjoys spending time with her husband Ryan and her two children: Riley and Aidan!

Joni Casta

Joni  has  been in the entertainment industry for over 35 years as lead vocalist with many groups and soloist since they were both very young.  Their experience includes major recording contracts and songs on the Billboard Charts.  Throughout their career they have worked with many great music legends including: Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman, Frank Sinatra Jr., Harry James, Frankie Vali & The Four Seasons, Jackie Wilson, The Stylistics, The Coasters, Eric Carmen and Rick Nelson...They have performed in many venues including concert halls, theaters, hotels, casinos, nightclubs, and network television.  They also continue to perform today at weddings, special occasions, and many other events.

Their combined experience provides them with a level of expertise that enables them to share their knowledge and technical expertise with young aspiring vocalists which now will be offered at DANCE!