Dance & Performing Arts Program

Newsletter

March Updates

  • We really hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy during this time.
  • You should have received emails with a variety of dance videos from Miss Jessica, but we will also share them below.
  • We may not be able to dance together - but let's keep moving! Please contact Jessica if you have not received the classes via email.

Take Virtual Ballet Class From Your Kitchen Counter With These Pros

an article by Chava Lansky from Dance Spirit Magazine

March 16th 2020~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



"One of the hardest parts of hunkering down to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is giving up our daily routines. And for dancers, that means class. Last week we shared a number of online teaching platforms (including Miami City Ballet principal soloist Lauren Fadely's new virtual ballet school), but now there are even more options. Over the weekend a handful of pros stepped forward to share that they'll be giving virtual class via Instagram or Facebook Live. So stake a claim to your kitchen counter, and start organizing your schedule for the week."


See the rest of the article to take online virtual classes! Click link below.

The Connection Virtual Classes

Please see links below:

*More to come!

Dance Teacher Spotlight!

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Na'imah Ray


Na’imah Ray was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY surrounded by her parents and 5 siblings. She always had a love for the arts, but started her dance training at the age of 12. While attending Brooklyn High School of the Arts, Na’imah joined the youth ensemble of the Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center where she performed at numerous locations throughout New York. Na’imah began attending Montclair State University in the Fall of 2016 for her BFA in Dance. During her winter and summer breaks, she takes the opportunity to dance at places like the Earl Mosley Winter Repertory and The Ailey School. Na’imah is currently a senior at Montclair State University.

Na'imah has begun teaching dance at the Connection this year and she teaches a few of our youth ballet & ballet/tap/jazz classes as well as You and Me Dance class. She is graduating with her BFA in Dance from Montclair State University this May.

Welcome to The Connnection Na'imah!

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Dance Staff Baby Photos 'Guess Who' Game

Can you guess which baby photo belongs to which dance teacher??

The first person to guess all 5 of the photos correctly, gets 10 FREE raffle ticket for our 2020 Dance Team Basket Raffle!

*You must email Miss Shelby with your correct answers in order to win.


shelby.effron@theconnectiononline.org

Guess Who Answer Key

The below names are not listed in the same order as the above photos!


-Miss Dakota

-Miss Jessica

-Miss Shelby

-Miss Bianca

-Miss Taina

Dance Teacher Spotlight!

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Dakota Judge

Dakota Judge is the Lights! Camera! Action! Instructor for ages 7-10! Dakota started working at The Connection as one of the Acting Instructors for Stars on Stage and Rising Stars in 2016. Dakota graduated from Rider University with a B.A. in Acting. Dakota began her career in the arts as a four year old in beginners dance classes. Soon after, she began taking voice lessons, acting classes, and piano lessons. She went on to train and tour with American Music Abroad, a mixed-choir featuring students across the country touring Europe. She also attended University of the Arts Pre-College Program with a concentration in Musical Theatre. At Rider, Dakota worked with Broadway fight choreographer Ian Rose and obtained SAFD certifications in five different weapons. Dakota just finished working with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, based in Boston, MA, as a member of their Apprenticeship Company. Some favorite credits include: Mary Hatch/others (It’s a Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Play), Thesus (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Evil Gabbi (She Kills Monsters), and The Telephone Girl (Machinal)


Dance Parent Observation

Parent Observation for the Dance & Performing Arts program will be at the END of the Winter session.


The week of-


Monday, March 23rd through Sunday, March 29th (the last day of Winter session).


(*Observation does NOT include Dance Team classes).

Dance Quote

"Ballet gives me the joy of doing what I love, all day every day. These teachers and friends know me as the best version of myself.” — Burklyn Ballet Theatre student Cecilia Hoff

Salsa Masterclass in March!

Sunday, March 1 from 4:00-5:00pm

Come explore the basics of Salsa Dance with Baila Society Company Member and Instructor Kalli Siamidou!

Ages 13+, Class is FREE and Open to the Public. Registration recommended. ALL LEVELS WELCOME. Email taina.bey@theconnectiononline.org to reserve a spot. Comfortable clothing and Ballroom Dance shoes or sneakers recommended.

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Spring Can't Come Soon Enough!


We've got tons of classes and activities to chase away the winter blues!



March 2 | Preschool Registration


A Certified Preschool for ages 3-5.
Flexible Schedule: Monday-Friday 8:45-11:30am, 8:45-1:00pm, or 8:45-2:30pm.
2,3,4, or 5 days a week! Click Here for more information and forms. Christina Carosella, Preschool Head Teacher & Director 908.273.4242 x112
christina.carosella@theconnectiononline.org

March 2 | BeforeSchool and AfterSchool Registration

Information and forms are available online for BeforeSchool at The Connection, Afterschool in the Summit Schools or at The Connection. Email Michelle Stelluto at michelle.stelluto@theconnectiononline.org or call 908.273.4242 x123


March 17 | Spring Registration!

8:30am online | 9:30 in person.
Classes run March 30-June 21.
Adult classes through 6/28.
Schedules will be available on MARCH 3rd.
Adult Classes are ongoing- Join as a Total Facility member anytime!



Ongoing Summer Camp Registration

Early Bird Pricing Through 4/1. Camps are filling quickly - some are already closed! Camp runs from June 29-Aug 26, for boys and girls ages 3 and up. SummerFun (mornings), Specialty Camps (mornings & afternoons) STEM, sports, warrior, gym, acro, theater, digital media, robotics, cooking, dance, fashion, fine arts, cheer and more. Full Day/Half Day, combine and SAVE! Extended hours.
For Registration forms click here. For Camp info click here or call 908-273-4242 or visit 79 Maple St. Summit.


March 20-April 20 | 20/20 Remix

You asked for it and WE DELIVERED!
Due to member requests, we've Remixed our 20/20 Challenge for adult classes and swim (laps or classes). Work out 20 times from March 20th -April 20. You'll get a 20/20 Remix card to keep track of the stickers you'll receive for each class or swim session you attend.
If you have 20 stickers by April 20, you'll receive a Connection Water Bottle! Sign up at the Front Desk. Limit to 1 sticker per day, please.

The Connection Dance Team Sneak Peek Performance

Come one come all!



The Connection’s competitive dance team is getting ready for their annual “Sneak Peek” performance Saturday, February 22nd. The dancers will have the opportunity to showcase their talent and competition dances to family, friends and dance lovers before they begin their competition season.

Two showtimes: 1:30pm and 3:30pm

Tickets: Adults = $10 and Children = $5

Tickets will begin to sell starting Friday, January 31st.


*Please save your print out receipt to show at the door as your ticket, or you may show it on your phone via email.*


Performance in The Connection’s Gymnastics gym. Purchase tickets at the front desk. Open to the public. Snacks and water will be sold.

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Dance Teacher Spotlight!

Jana Huba

Jana Huba has been a key player at The Connection for many years. She works in many departments and has made a difference in so many people's lives while working here. Her positivity and fun is contagious as she guides little ones through learning and exploration. Jana graduated in 2003 from Vibhuti Yoga School, completing Kripalu Yoga professional training. In 2004 she completed The OM Shree OM teacher training Program of children's yoga. In addition to yoga and dance, Jana has been teaching a variety of parent/child, youth, and adult classes, and working birthday parties for the past 13 years at The Connection.

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*Reminder*

Parent Observation for the Dance & Performing Arts program will be at the END of the Winter session.


The week of-


Monday, March 23rd through Sunday, March 29th (the last day of Winter session).


(*Observation does NOT include Dance Team classes).

Salsa Dance Masterclass!

Sunday, March 1 from 4:00-5:00pm

Come explore the basics of Salsa Dance with Baila Society Company Member and Instructor Kalli Siamidou!

Ages 13+, Class is FREE and Open to the Public. Registration recommended. ALL LEVELS WELCOME. Email taina.bey@theconnectiononline.org to reserve a spot. Comfortable clothing and Ballroom Dance shoes or sneakers recommended.

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Dance & Performing Arts Recital

Our annual Dance & Performing Arts Recital is Saturday, June 13th this year!


Our theme this year is BROADWAY!



Location - Summit High School

Dress Rehearsals - June 11th and 12th between 4-9pm, schedule TBD



  • Deadline to sign up + costume fee is Monday, February 10th
  • Parent Child - $30
  • Pre School - $60
  • Youth Ballet - $65
  • School Age - $70
  • Adult Fee - $10 (paid one time in addition to your costume[s])
  • LCA Fee - $15
  • Special Needs - $30

Frosty Fun Camp!

December 24*, 26, 27 & 30

Join us this winter break for Frosty Fun Camp! Activities include recreational swim, sports, Jr Warrior Gym Challenge, STEM, and art. Ages 4+

*Christmas Eve (8:30-11:30am) = $35 ($50 for non-members)


Half-day (9am-1pm OR 1-5pm) = $45/day ($60 for non-members)
Full-day (9am-5pm) = $80/day ($90 for non-members)
Extended day – (8:30am-5:30pm) = $90/day ($100 for non-members)

click HERE to register!

For more information, email Shelby Effron at shelby.effron@theconnectiononline.org

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Holiday Hours

December 24 – January 1

  • Tuesday, December 24: Building closes at 12pm (pool closes at 11:45am)
  • Wednesday, December 25: CLOSED
  • Tuesday, December 31: Building closes at 12pm (pool closes at 11:45am)
  • Wednesday, January 1: CLOSED

There are NO YOUTH CLASSES December 24 – January 1

Drop-In & Play will run Sunday, December 29 from 11-12pm & 12-1pm

click here for holiday pool schedule:

https://www.theconnectiononline.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/HolidayWeek_SpecialPoolSchedule19.pdf

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Dance Program Teacher Spotlight for December

Nicolette Vassallo

This is Nicolette's third year teaching at The Connection. This is also her third year working with our team’s tap dancers. Nicolette has danced since she was 2 in many styles. She also danced competitively for over 13 years. While competing she won many high honors and national titles. Nicolette specializes in tap, specifically hoofing and Broadway styles. She has taken many workshops from some of the best in the industry to keep growing her technique and knowledge of the style. Nicolette has a degree in fashion with a minor in business. She currently works in fashion in NYC as a buyer and loves to travel.
Nicolette cannot wait for another fun year tapping with our dancers!

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Kristin Quigley Russell

Kristin has worked at The Connection since September of 2000 when she began as an afterschool assistant director. She went on to become an afterschool and summer camp director, birthday party leader, youth class instructor, dance instructor, group fitness instructor and special events coordinator. Kristin grew up as a lifelong competitive dancer at the Summit School of Dance. Kristin studied and competed in ballet/pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, hip-hop and even twirling. Her background in dance has led her to her career in dance-based fitness programs. She is licensed to teach Zumba® (basic 1 & 2), Zumba Gold®, Zumba Kids® & Zumba Kids Jr.®. She is also a certified willPower & grace® instructor and trained in Barre Fusion.

In addition, Kristin is an educator by career. She holds several certifications, Bachelor Degrees, Masters, and Post Masters. Kristin is currently the Child Study Team Coordinator/Manager for the Union County Educational Services Commission

Most notably, Kristin is the proud mommy to James and Joseph, and wife to her husband Michael!

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Dancers As Athletes

--a snippet of an article from danceconsortium.com explaining how dancers are considered more and more to be athletes in this day and age


"The human body is an amazing machine and in everyday life we use merely a fraction of the muscles and movement permutations available to us. Contemporary dance is one dance genre that constantly explores the movements of the body striving for innovation and originality.

As knowledge about the body increases, dance training improves and the competition for excellence paired with innovation is greater, dancers bodies are pushed to the limits. The physical ability and disciplines expected of a dancer can be easily related to those of an athlete and increasingly, dance critics are describing dancers as athletic.

So, can we consider dancers as athletes? Why might some people in the dance profession and in sport be unwillingly to accept this concept?

Firstly, let us consider the definition of athlete; a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill. A dancer must certainly achieve physical agility, stamina and strength in their profession and physical skill must be mastered. Daily training involves repetition of exercises to achieve the physical attributes necessary to execute movements required of a dancer, however the focus is not on sport or games. Whilst many dancers will compete in contests and will audition against other dancers for a place in a company the real emphasis in dance is on the performance itself. There is an element of competition across the dance profession but the reward is a particular role in a company or a promotion from chorus to soloist rather than a gold medal.

Dance critics have described dancers of Rambert Dance Company as ‘elegant and athletic’, Alvin Ailey’s dancers as having ‘athletic beauty’ and the moves of Company Kafig as ‘athletic feats’. Each company mentioned is known for their very different styles however the common thread here is athleticism which in these instances is seen to refer to physical skill and fitness. The term athletic when associated with a company will always form an image alongside other adjectives used, as well as the company’s past history. For example Rambert’s Dancers as elegant and athletic reflects their classical ballet past but still indicates their extreme physical ability.
One might compare the life styles of athletes and dancers and the similarities may be surprising to some. Due to the physical demands placed on the body health, diet and self-discipline are all crucial to both dance and athletics."

(read more...)

https://www.danceconsortium.com/features/article/dancers-as-athletes/

Dance Program Teacher Spotlight!

Nikola Palivoda


Mr. Nik is a new dance instructor here at The Connection this school year!! He currently teaches some of the Ballet/Tap/Jazz Pre-School and Beginner 1 classes. Mr. Nik began dancing at a very young age with his church's traditional Serbian Folklore Group where he learned and performed professional choreography. He has trained at Middlesex County College, at Montclair State University and is currently taking classes at Raritan Valley Community College. Mr. Nik choreographs for the current students at Middlesex County College, Directs and Produces two annual dance shows at Main Street Theatre Company and the UCPAC's Hamilton Stage and is currently working on his Group Fitness Certification. When he is not rehearsing, teaching or choreographing, then he is most likely driving to his next gig or sleeping. "Everything is dance for me right now. The goal is to keep it that way."

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Marta Jaremko

Marta Jaremko was introduced to belly dance while at a medieval reenactment event 22 years ago. She saw a dancer (Melanie Wood, who would become her longtime instructor) moving in a way that was more graceful and feminine than any dance form she had ever seen. Marta studied with Melanie for many years, learning an offshoot of Middle Eastern dance known as Tribal Fusion. Later Marta studied with Melanie's dance partner Karin Hein, who brought a balletic note to her form. Marta also studied cabaret style for several years with Alexia of the Nile. Thanks to fellow Connection dance teacher Heather Denges, Marta got a chance to become an instructor in 2007 and has been happily teaching at The Connection ever since. In 2009, Marta formed her own dance troupe, Zoryanna, with the students she taught at The Connection. For ten years, Zoryanna has performed Marta's original choreography at many venues. Marta also sings in the folk band Rodyna.
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LATE FALL REGISTRATION

Don't forget to register for Late Fall Session!


Registration begins Tuesday, October 29 at 8:30am online & 9:30am in-person
Classes run November 11 – January 19
(There are no youth classes 11/28-12/1 or 12/24-1/1)

*If you chose the Full Year Registration option when you registered for the Fall Session we have already registered you for Late Fall. Please check your email or account to confirm!*


https://www.theconnectiononline.org/membership/schedules.html


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'Why Pay So Much Money for Your Kids to Do Their Sports?' by Dana Cheek Keopple

This article was written by a gymnastics Mom and shared with us by our Gymnastics Director, Leslie McPeek.

We found it to be a great read and what we are all about here at The Connection. We hope you feel like having your kids dance with us is a great investment - in more than just the skills.

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"People always asked 'Why do you pay so much money for your kids to do all their sports'? Well I have a confession to make; I don't pay for my kids to to do sports. Personally, I couldn't care less about what sport they do.

So, if I am not paying for sports what am I paying for?


  • I pay for those moments when my kids become so tired they want to quit but don't.
  • I pay for those days when my kids come home from school and are "too tired" to go to their training but they go anyway.
  • I pay for my kids to learn to be disciplined, focused and dedicated.
  • I pay for my kids to learn to take care of their body and learn how to correctly fuel their body for success.
  • I pay for my kids to learn to work with others and to be good team mates, gracious in defeat and humble in success.
  • I pay for my kids to learn to deal with disappointment, when they don't get that placing or title they'd hoped for, but still they go back week after week giving it their best shot.
  • I pay for my kids to learn to make and accomplish goals.
  • I pay for my kids to respect, not only themselves, but others, officials, judges and coaches.
  • I pay for my kids to learn that it takes hours and hours, years and years of hard work and practice to create a champion and that success does not happen overnight.
  • I pay for my kids to be proud of small achievements and to work towards long term goals.
  • I pay for the opportunity my kids have and will have to make life-long friendships, create lifelong memories, to be as proud of their achievements as I am.
  • I pay so that my kids can be in the gym instead of in front of a screen...
  • I pay for those rides home where we make precious memories talking about practice, both good and bad.
  • I pay so that my child can learn the importance of time management, and balancing what is important like school and keeping grades up.
  • ...I could go on but, to be short, I don't pay for sports; I pay for opportunities that sports provides my kids with to develop attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives and give them the opportunity to bless the lives of others. From what I've seen so far, I think it's a great investment!"


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NEW CLASS

I am so excited to announce a NEW class starting in the Late Fall Session for our preschoolers!


We all know the after school time can be a bit crazy with school pick ups, waiting for the bus, grabbing a quick snack before coming to a class, etc.


Dance, Gymnastics, and Specialty have come together to offer a new 2 hour class - PRESCHOOL FUN PACK!

Drop your preschooler off for an afternoon of fun in this 2-hour combo class. Children will move to the music in a dance/movement rotation, develop strength and agility in a gym/warrior rotation, and explore their creative side in an art rotation! Please pack a nut-free snack for your child to enjoy during storytime.


Our goal is to start the class one day a week and work our way to offering it multiple days.

For Late Fall the class will run Tuesdays 1:45-3:45pm.


Registration opens online at 8:30am on Tuesday October 29th!


Please contact Jessica with any questions -

Jessica.Fascenelli@TheConnectionOnline.Org


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Move To Heal: Dance/Movement Workshops

Saturday, Oct. 26th 2019 at 1pm

79 Maple Street

Summit, NJ

Saturday, October 26, 1:00-2:00pm (teens) and 2:30-4:00pm (adults)

Led by Naomi Arad-Broome. Participants will experience a demonstration of Dance/Movement Therapy and learn the difference between Therapeutic Dance and Dance/Movement Therapy. Experience the transformative power of movement as a tool to heal.

Participants should be prepared to move and wear comfortable clothes. No dance experience is required.

This workshop is FREE and open to the public.

  • Teen Workshop (Ages 13-17), 1:00-2:00pm
    Dance/Movement Therapy is the therapeutic use of dance. Come explore a different part of dance and harness the human need for play and self-expression. Dance/Movement Therapy acknowledges that how we move is a reflection of how we feel. By changing our movement, we can change our attitude. The power of movement is undeniable.
  • Adult Workshop (Ages 18+), 2:30-4:00pm
    Dance/Movement Therapy is the exploration of the mind-body interface. The qualities of any movement are a manifestation of how our mind is expressing through the body at the moment. Our body moves as our mind moves.

About Naomi Arad-Broome MA BC-DMT LAC
Naomi Arad-Broome is a Dance/Movement Therapist at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Naomi is also the NJ Chapter of the ADTA Co-President and has served on the Board since 2011. Additionally, she has worked on the NJ Taskforce for Licensure, a collaboration between Drama and Dance/Movement Therapists to pass legislation for licensing the profession in NJ. Dance/Movement Therapy has always been Naomi’s passion; while in high school, Naomi had the opportunity to experience the work in a pediatric oncology setting. Naomi earned her BA in Psychology with a minor in Dance from Hofstra University and MA from Antioch University New England. Naomi is the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award from the ADTA as well as the 2019 Exceptional Service Award.

Made possible by funds from the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

For more information or to reserve a spot please email Taina Bey at taina.bey@theconnectiononline.org

National Dance Day Countdown

NATIONAL DANCE DAY 2019


We had so much fun celebrating with our dancers! From our workshop to our dance team performance, learning the NDD routine, and out fun classes - we had a blast!


Below you can find out why some of our staff dance.


Miss Jessica's why -

I dance because it is a part of me, a constant throughout my life, an emotional outlet, a true joy. Dance makes me feel good, happy, and makes my heart smile. Dance is my passion and I feel so lucky to be able to share it with our members - from our tiniest movers to our seasoned dancers.

Today is an especially special day as it will be my first National Dance Day celebrating with my daughter (who is almost one!). I cannot wait for my tiny dancer to watch/participate and to officially join our dance family in You & Me Dance this spring!


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1 DAY UNTIL NATIONAL DANCE DAY


Marta's why -

I dance because it’s an extension of who I am. Dance helps me to express myself in a way that speaking cannot; it is what I think my soul would say if it had a voice.
Belly dance, in particular, has been my adult life’s companion: it has brought me joy, healing, comfort, and above all, friendships across many different spectrums.

*You can meet Marta by joining our adult Belly Dance class on Tuesdays at 7:30pm


Miss Taina's why -

For me, dance is freedom, strength, creativity and joy. Through teaching, choreographing and performing, I’m able to share this joy with my students, dancers, audience members alike.

*A BIG thank you to Miss Taina, our Special Events Coordinator and youth/adult dance teacher for putting together such an amazing day of dance for NDD 2019!


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2 DAYS UNTIL NATIONAL DANCE DAY


Miss Lisa's why -

I love to dance because it nourishes my soul. Dancing can lift my mood from sad and lethargic to happy and energetic.
I love being a dance teacher and connecting with students of all ages. I try to share the joy that I experience through dance with them, so just maybe they’ll leave my class a little happier than when they arrived.


Miss Heather's why -

I dance because it gives me a creative and emotional outlet. It just feels good!

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3 DAYS UNTIL NATIONAL DANCE DAY


Today Leslie will be sharing why she dances -

I dance to keep myself moving and keep my mind focused. I dance because it is fun and it makes me happy!

*You can catch Leslie teaching Barre Sculpt for adults on Thursdays at 9:30am


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4 DAYS UNTIL NATIONAL DANCE DAY


Mr. Nik's why -

I dance because I can't imagine myself doing anything else!! I get to do what I love every day. Dance is in my blood, it's part of my heritage. I come from a family of artists and dancers. I come from a long line of Serbian Folk Dancers. Someone has to keep up the family tradition!!


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5 DAYS UNTIL NATIONAL DANCE DAY


Miss Shelby (Assistant Director) shares why she dances -

I dance because it allows me to express myself and how I am feeling. Whether I am happy, sad, angry or just in the mood to move my body, it allows me to do that in my own way and express those emotions through movement. I feel movement, dance and just moving my whole body releases endorphins and makes me feel free.
I just love to move!

National Dance Day

Saturday, September 21

Join us for this FREE day of dance to celebrate National Dance Day! All classes and events are open to the public and geared to movers of all ages, experience levels and abilities! Though all classes are FREE, if you enjoy the day, we ask that you consider making a donation (split between the American Dance Movement Foundation and The Connection). Come learn the official National Dance Day Routine (12:20pm in MP3) and catch a very special performance brought to you by The Connection Dance Team (12:45pm in the Big Gym)!


Class Schedule

  • 9-10am Barre Sculpt w/ Kristin Quigley Russell
    (Ages 13+) Join us for a low-impact dance fitness class that integrates the fat-burning format of interval training, the muscle shaping techniques of isometrics, and the elongation principles of dance conditioning.
  • 10-11am Zumba® w/ Kristin Quigley Russell
    (Ages 13+) Continue your workout with a high-energy dance/fitness class set to fun international rhythms!
  • 11am-12:20pm Animation Hip-Hop w/ Chris Dixon
    (Ages 10+) Explore the basics of popping, locking and isolations in this stop motion inspired technique class taught by professional dancer and ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Alum, Chris Dixon! Class will consist of a warm-up and a short, fun dance routine.
  • 12:20-12:45pm National Dance Day Routine
    (ALL AGES WELCOME) Learn the official National Dance Day Routine, choreographed by internet sensation Matt Steffanina, to Dua Lipa’s song, Electricity!
  • 12:45-12:50pm The Connection Dance Team Performance
  • 1-2pm Jazz Jumps, Kicks and Turns w/ Sydney Little (Ages 6+)
    Want to learn how to how to do a firebird? Looking to nail your side leap? Perfect what you know and learn some new skills in this class! Dancers will work on flexibility and correct placement for grand battements (kicks), leg holds, tilts, basic jumps and turns. Class will consist of a warm-up, across the floor, and a short, fun dance routine.
  • 1-2pm Creative Movement and Improvisation w/ Taina Bey (Ages 3-6)
    Tiny movers will be introduced to the basic concepts of rhythm and movement using exercises and games designed to engage their imagination and expand individual creativity. Class will consist of a warm-up, games, and an improvised dance routine.


About National Dance Day
National Dance Day was launched in 2010 by “So You Think You Can Dance” co-creator and the American Dance Movement Foundation (formerly the Dizzy Feet Foundation) co-president Nigel Lythgoe; National Dance Day is an annual celebration that takes place on the third Saturday in September (previously the last Saturday in July). This grassroots campaign encourages Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and fight obesity. NDD achieved national recognition when Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a long-time proponent of healthy lifestyles, announced at a press conference on July 31, 2010, in Washington, D.C., that she was introducing a congressional resolution declaring the last Saturday in that month to be the country’s official National Dance Day.

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September Highlights


  • Fall session begins Tuesday, September 3rd and ends Sunday, November 10th.
  • Many of you have selected our NEW, full-year registration for dance classes- that's awesome!
  • We will register your child for each new session.
  • If you have not selected this option, please note you will have to re-register your child for each new session (for example, Late Fall, Winter, Spring).
  • Also, we are very excited to announce Shelby Effron has been promoted to Dance & Performing Arts Assistant Director!

    Shelby is going in to her 6th season as a dance and gymnastics instructor here at The Connection. In addition Shelby is starting her 3rd year as our Theater, Dance, & Specialty Camps Assistant Director as well as our Assistant Dance Team Coordinator.

    Shelby will be assisting Jessica with all things dance & performing arts and we look forward to having you meet her if you have not already!

  • We hope you have a fabulous September! :)

National Dance Day!

Saturday, Sep. 21st 2019 at 12am

79 Maple Street

Summit, NJ

Let's celebrate a day of dance!
Join us for FREE dance classes all day on Saturday, September 21st for National Dance Day! There will also be a Dance Team performance in the big gym at 12:45pm. :)

~More details to follow~

A Night At The Ballpark

Saturday, Sep. 21st 2019 at 6pm

1 Patriots Park

Bridgewater Township, NJ

Come watch the Connection Dance Team (TCDT) shine as they dance for the Somerset Patriots Baseball team! The performance will be on Saturday, September 21st at approximately 6pm, before the 7:05pm game.

This is a fundraiser, so all proceeds on the ticket sales goes towards our Dance Team scholarship fund. It's for a very good cause!

You can order your tickets at the Front Desk for $15 per person. You can email Shelby for any questions at:

shelby.effron@theconnectiononline.org

Safety Rules


  • Please familiarize yourself with our drop off and pick up guidelines. Note that no preschool aged students will be permitted to leave the classroom unattended. In addition, no school aged students will be permitted to leave the classroom unattended until the signed form is returned to the instructor.
  • Please DO NOT enter the room until the instructor opens the door at the start of class. Absolutely no one (students, parents, caregivers, siblings, etc.) are permitted to be in the room without the class instructor.
  • There is no food, drink, gum, or candy permitted in the room except for water.
  • Parents, caregivers, and siblings may only observe class when invited to do so by the instructor and on designated observation sessions only.
  • Please refrain from taking pictures and/or standing at the window/door as it is extremely distracting for the dancers and instructor.
  • No running in the classrooms – especially in tap shoes.

Helpful Hints for Children’s Classes:

  • We find when dropping off your child it is best to leave promptly. That way the student can get acclimated in the class and will usually feel more comfortable as the class progresses. We will always do our best to calm any child who is upset, and will bring them out to you if we are unable to calm them.
  • Please take all children to the bathroom before the start of class.

Other Program Info

Parent Observation - Fall Session Nov 3rd-10th, Winter Session March 22nd-29th

Student Evaluations - Late Fall and Spring

Program Evaluations - At the conclusion of each session

Jessica Fascenelli Weisenbach

Dance & Performing Arts Director
Dance, Theater & Specialty Camps Director

Jessica Fascenelli Weisenbach has been teaching dance and theater for 10+ years. Dance has been her passion since she began dancing at the age of 4. Jessica studied several styles of dance through college including ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, hip hop, lyrical, and more! Jessica was on her studio’s competitive dance team in addition to part of their ballet company. She also attended several dance intensives across the US. Jessica has a BA in Dance Education from Montclair State University. During college in addition to performing, she continued working with children in summer camps and began her teaching career. Jessica joined The Connection family as a teacher and the Dance Team Coach in 2012. This year will be her 6th as the Dance & Performing Arts Director and the Director of the Dance, Theater, and Specialty Summer Camps. She has received many awards for her dances such as choreography awards, entertainment awards, and performance awards. Aside from working with her “first babies” Jessica enjoys spending time with her husband and their daughter, her little ballerina. Jessica looks forward to a great year and cannot wait to share her love of dance with our dancers!

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Shelby Effron

Dance & Performing Arts Assistant Director

Theater, Dance & Specialty Camps Assistant Director

Dance Team Assistant Coordinator

Dance & Gymnastics Instructor


Dancing since the age of three years old, Shelby has grown a passion for dance and loves being able to share that passion and knowledge to children every day. Her areas of expertise include ballet, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary and modern dance. Shelby has a BFA in Dance from Montclair State University. There she studied ballet, jazz, modern and performed in concerts every semester. Shelby will be going in to her 6th year teaching dance and gymnastics at The Connection. In addition to her 3rd season as the Assistant Dance Team Coordinator Shelby is also Assistant Director of our Dance, Theater, and Specialty Camps. As one of our team choreographers, Shelby received awards for entertainment/choreography and judges awards. She cannot wait for another great year of dancing with her students!

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Taina Bey

Special Events Coordinator

Dance Instructor


Taina is a Dance Instructor and the Dance and the Special Event Coordinator as well as the Stars on Stage/ Rising Stars Camp Coordinator at The Connection. She is a graduate of Smith College where she received a BA in Dance and a minor in African Studies. Taina began her dance training at a young age and has studied a variety of techniques including Ballet, Modern/ Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theater, and more. She has studied contemporary and somatic dance overseas in Berlin, Germany and performed in residency with Pilobolus Dance Theater. While obtaining her BA, Taina was a member of the Smith College Smithereens, the fourth oldest all-female collegiate a cappella group. She is a graduate of the Intensive Semester Certificate program at Peridance Capezio Center in NYC and a member of Annie Sailer Dance Company, a contemporary company based in New Haven, CT and NYC. As one of our team choreographers Taina has received entertainment awards for her routines. Taina is so for another great year and is grateful to be teaching at The Connection, where she is able to spread and share her love of the performing arts!

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The Connection Dance Team

The Connection Dance Team’s (TCDT) mission is to build well-rounded dancers and encourage team building in a safe, fun and competitive environment.

The Connection Dance Team has their first two performances of the season coming up! - National Dance Day & The Somerset Patriots game on Sept. 21st!

Watch our team shine!