Alexandra Poulis, B.A. (Aerial, Acro, Jazz, Executive Director)
Alexandra has been part of the seacoast dance community from a young age. She is from Rochester, NH where she began dancing at Corinne’s School of Dance. While at Corinne’s, she studied all forms of dance offered and competed in regional, national, and international dance competitions. In high school, along with dancing at Corinne’s, she expanded her dance studies to include modern, jazz, and ballet at Ballet New England.
Alexandra continued her dance education at the University of New Hampshire where she double majored in Dance and Communication, with a minor in Business Administration. At UNH, she was an executive board member for the Mu Alpha chapter of the Chi Omega sorority and danced for the UNH Dance Company. While continuing her dance education at UNH, under the direction of Gay Nardone, she was introduced to a new dance form, aerial dance. Since this time, Alexandra has continually attended workshops with teachers from the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA), as Aerial dance is continually evolving and staying knowledgeable in all aspects continues to benefit her students‘ safe and comprehensive training. Since graduating from UNH in 2009, Alexandra has returned to UNH to help with the aerial program. She is a teaching assistant for the aerial classes and helps the students choreograph their end of semester pieces.
On top of her years of training in dance and aerial, Alexandra is a certified Acrobatic Arts instructor, an AFFA Certified Personal Trainer, an AFFA Certified Group Fitness Instructor and she carries licenses in Zumba® and Strong by Zumba®. Alexandra also owns a group fitness studio in Rochester.
Alexandra is a big proponent of daily movement and finding fun in the movement that you do! She continues to work to create a dance and fitness space that is welcoming, fun and can find ways to give back to the community. Alexandra is excited to be the Executive Director and continue the mission of Sole City Dance.
Samantha Morales, M.A. (Modern, Jazz, Ballet)
Samantha Gabriel is a dance educator, choreographer, and freelance performer based out of New Hampshire. She received her Master’s in Dance Education from New York University specializing in the professions and higher education. Samantha has taught all over the Seacoast in both academic institutions and private studios. She is currently the Director of Dance at Berwick Academy in South Berwick, ME. In 2018 she started a pilot dance program at Cocheco Academy of the Arts, and brought dance to the school for the first time. Samantha’s choreographic work ranges in styles and settings. Her work has included concert, competition, recreational, and theatrical stages. She has been a choreographer for many Seacoast Repertory Theater productions in Portsmouth, NH and Kittery, ME.
Samantha has also performed professionally throughout the east coast. Her performance credits include WAXWorks, Dumbo Dance Festival, Ballet Inc. The Series, MultiPurpose Dance Project, Dance Research Forum Ireland, Universal Studios Orlando, and Shelter: A One Billion Rising Event. She was a Jazz & Contemporary trainee at the Joffrey Ballet School where she studied under leading industry professionals. Samantha has had the opportunity to dance with a variety of companies including Neoteric Dance Collaborative, DanceKerr & Dancers, Aries in Flight, Level Dance Company, DFS Company, and Dance Tallahassee Performance Company.
Samantha is passionate about advocating for dance and brings a unique energy to her classes that pushes dancers to take risks and remain curious. Her personal teaching philosophy is that dance should foster individuality and provide a supportive environment to find one’s creative voice. As an educator, she values a safe environment where differences are welcome and encouraged. Her overall mission is to produce active, creative, and open-minded members of the community. Students that go on to be lifelong learners that question, reflect, and explore are incredibly crucial for the art of dance and humanity as a whole. Through her network of fellow artists, educators, and advocates, she plans to guide her students into collaborative work that keeps dance important. Visit http://www.samanthajgabriel.com/
Jacqui Young, M.A, B.S. (Ballet, ABT Instruction, Ballet Curriculum Director)
Jacqui graduated from the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary (NYC) with a Bachelor of Science degree with concentrations in Choreography and Creative Theory and Deviance and Victimization of Women. She also holds an Associates Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northern Essex Community College (MA) and a Master of Arts from John Jay College in Criminal Justice (NYC). She currently teaches at Plymouth State University in the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance teaching ballet, jazz, and performance. She also teaches online at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
She has certifications from American Ballet Theatre, Progressive Ballet Technique, and Giordano jazz technique. Over the past five years, Jacqui had also taught internationally in Italy for Dance Master Class where she taught classes and set choreography on pre-professional dancers from all over the world. She has worked with such dance masters as Angelo DeMello, Anthony Wright, Deborah Dobson Kage, Jonas Kage, and Jean Paul Comlin as well as Shaun Holms, pianist for the Royal Ballet Company in London. She has also worked with Summer Dance in Roma setting choreography on novice to intermediate students from around Italy.
Jacqui has enjoyed an extensive career as a professional dancer, concert producer, stage director, artistic director, choreographer, studio owner, and educator. She has devoted her entire life to the field of dance. She feels that dance is therapeutic and brings joy to all who experience it. Dance is life.
Heidi (Hanson) Mitrushi, B.S., B.A. (Jazz, Tap, Aerial)
Heidi is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in Theater and Dance and a B.S. in Exercise Science. She was a member of the UNH Dance Company under the direction of Gay Nardone, and specialized in jazz, tap and aerial dance. While living in NYC, Heidi performed with the XYandZ Project and En L’Air Aerial Dance Theater in the International Dance Festival, and you can catch her on the kid’s TV series Sheria and Loli’s Dittydoodle Works as Pink-A-Dink. Heidi has performed alongside tap legends Brenda Bufalino and Dean Diggins while in the cast of Clara’s Dream, A Jazz Nutcracker, and Ringing in the Rhythm, both directed by Drika Overton. She teaches aerial dance each summer at the UNH Summer Dance Intensive and has been teaching tap and jazz locally for over ten years.
Joyce Goldstein, B.S. (Tap, Ballroom)
Joyce was extensively trained in ballet and tap from early childhood, with Theresa Montone in Philadelphia. In her teens, she began training in Luigi style jazz, with Odette Luisi from NYC. She began teaching dance and performing in community theater during her high school years. Joyce holds a BS degree in Health and Physical Education from Pennsylvania State University. While attending PSU, she participated in their modern dance company, Orchesis, directed by Patricia Hiegle. She also danced professionally with the traveling troupe of the Manhattan Rockets during the summers while attending college. After graduating, Joyce taught Health & Physical Education at Heritage Junior High, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey for eight years, during which time she established an after school dance club. After moving to Washington State, Joyce developed an Aerobic Dance & Fitness business which she owned and directed for 10 years. While living in WA, she maintained her dance training with Patty White and choreographed several musicals for the Richland Light Opera Company. She continued her dance training after moving to NH and has been teaching dance in the area since the 90’s. Joyce has also choreographed several musical productions for Garrison Players, as well as Dover and Winnacunnet High Schools. In 1997, she began training in Ballroom Dance with Sergei Slussky at the American Ballroom Dance Academy, in Maine and began teaching Ballroom social dance a few years thereafter. Joyce has been with the organization now called Sole City Dance for over 25 years and expects to share her love of dance and theatre for as long as possible.
Moriah Bureau (Young Children’s Dance, Modern & Ballet)
Moriah started dancing when she was eight at Sole City Dance (then Rochester Creative Arts Center). Her main focus started in ballet & she trained heavily in that style before moving more towards modern/contemporary. She has been on faculty at Sole City Dance for the past eight years and is also a part of the faculty for the dance program at Berwick Academy for the past four years.
Moriah danced with Northeaster Ballet Theatre for a few years and was in many of NBT’s full-length ballet productions during that time, and she has performed in numerous productions of “The Nutcracker” throughout the area over the past several years (her favorite roles include: Snow Queen & Dew Drop Fairy). Now, she is mainly focused on the Modern & Contemporary dance styles and is a company member of SONARdance (a modern dance company based in the Portland, ME area). She continues to grow as a dancer and dance educator by talking as many classes and workshops as she can. She has gotten the opportunity to take class and learn from artists such as Momix Dance Company, Larry Keigwin, Kyle Abraham, Margie Gillis, Faye Driscoll, Sean Curran, Heidi Henderson, Angie Hauser, Jenna Riegel, Anthony Rizzi… among many others. She has attended many workshops with David Dorfman & his company (David Dorfman Dance) -working closely with David & his company members in technique, improvisation, and creative process- as well as attending Bates Dance Festival. At BDF, she choreographed a piece which was performed at the Festival Final Showcase as well as having been chosen to dance in another artist’s piece for the showcase.
“I like to engage my students physically as well as mentally – creating thoughtful & innovative dancers. And I just love being able to share my love for dance through teaching!” says Moriah.
Debs Grammatic (Ballet)
Deborah Grammatic began her ballet training with the Seacoast Ballet Company then Ballet Theatre Workshop and Ballet New England. After dancing the title role in The Sleeping Beauty, she was asked to join Ballet New England’s professional company. She attended many summer programs including Ballet Magnificat and Ballet Austin, where she was asked by both companies to stay on as a company trainee. Deborah then went on to join both Boston Dance Company and Northeastern Ballet Theatre as a principal dancer. She was also a sought-after guest artist, performing the roles of the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker and Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty for many companies throughout the seacoast area the past ten years. In 2009, Deborah was a guest artist for Portland Ballet Company’s Giselle production as a soloist. She then joined Portland Ballet as a professional company member for the 2010-2016 seasons. During that time Deborah was featured as a soloist in La Bayadere, Giselle, original works of Boy Meets Girl, Jack the Ripper, and Three Tales by Poe. In addition, she was a principal dancer in The Victorian Nutcracker, performing as the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Snow Queen. Deborah has also been teaching ballet the past 11 years and is a sought-after guest teacher and choreographer for schools around the seacoast.
Meghan McCoy Seedner, B. A. (Ballet, Pointe)
Meghan McCoy Seedner trained at the Portsmouth School of Ballet, the Joffrey School of Ballet and the Jose Mateo Ballet Theater. In 2010 she graduated from the University of New Hampshire with her BA in Theater and Dance. She joined the Portland Ballet Company as an apprentice for their 2010-2011 season before being promoted to company dancer in 2011. During her time with Portland Ballet, Seedner performed in many classical and contemporary works as well as Portland’s international tour of Giselle to Canada. In 2013 she joined the Teatrul de Balet Sibiu, in Romania. With their extensive repertory, Seedner enjoyed dancing both corps and soloist roles. Upon her return to the States, she began her teaching career and continues with Portland Ballet as a Contributing Artist. Seedner has performed as a Guest Artist with numerous companies across the seacoast. Her repertoire includes The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum), Le Corsaire (Pirate pas deTrois), Swan Lake (Four little Swans), Serghei Angel’s Missa Prophana (Soloist), Nell Shipman’s Boy Meets Girl, Aleisha Gardner’s Four Seasons, Paquita (Soloist), David Sun’s Back to Bach, Coppelia, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Giselle, A Mid Summer Nights Dream, and Nell Shipman’s The Armed Man
Jim Mastro, B.S., M.A. (Ballroom)
Jim first took up dancing as a sophomore at San Diego State University, after seeing people dance the jitterbug in a movie. “That looks like fun!” he thought, and immediately signed up for a ballroom class. Indeed, it was fun, and Jim has been dancing ever since. He focused his studies on ballroom, but also studied jazz dance at San Diego’s famous Stage 7 studio. One year after his first ballroom class, he began teaching and performing. While earning his Bachelor of Science in Zoology, he and his partner became two of the leading performers and instructors in San Diego, bringing jitterbug, west coast swing, cha-cha, waltz, tango, nightclub freestyle, and of course street hustle (the most popular, couples disco dance) to the stage and studio. They taught hundreds of people to dance; competed in (and won) dance contests; performed at conventions, charity benefits, and in television commercials; and were half of a four-member dance troupe employed by a popular radio station to do promotional performances.
While attending graduate school in English at UNH in 1991 and 1992, Jim taught ballroom dance at Rochester Movement Arts and took tap lessons from Christine Hounsell. Afterward, he spent several years in Antarctica, where he taught a weekly jitterbug swing class (for people, not penguins). Since returning to New Hampshire, Jim has taught ballroom occasionally at Sole City Dance, often serving as a substitute teacher for Joyce Goldstein. Jim believes few activities are more joyful — or more healthful — than dance. It helps you stay in shape, lifts your spirit, and keeps you young. He is excited to be doing his part to keep ballroom dance (especially swing and street hustle) alive.
Danielle Coombs, B.S. (Hip Hop, Ballet, Jazz)
Danielle is a recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in dance. During her time at UNH, she trained in jazz, tap, ballet, pointe and aerial. She was a member of the jazz, tap, aerial section of the UNH Dance Company, in addition, she performed in many dance and aerial showcases. Before dancing in college, Danielle danced at Adagio Dance Academy for 15 years training in styles of ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary and pointe, as well as dancing competitively for 10 of those years. Danielle is very excited to be joining the faculty at Sole City where she can continue her love of dance and inspire her students to share in her passion to keep dancing.
Emily George, (Young Children’s, Hip Hop)
Cassandra Stover, (Jazz, Ballet, Young Children’s, Tap)
Cassie Stover is an alumnus of Sole City Dance; she started dancing when she was four years old and came to dance at Sole City when she was nine years old. Cassie has been a part of many productions with Sole City, including the Nutcracker, Dance Northeast, Cinderella and their annual end of year show. She has also taken apart in intensives here at Sole City as well as one at Southern New Hampshire Dance Theatre during the summer of 2016. Cassie graduated from Coe Brown Northwood Academy in May of 2018. She is currently a student at New Hampshire Technical Institute in a health science major, with plans to transfer to Life University in the following years in pursuit of a chiropractic degree.