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Stina Smith is the owner and artistic director of the Jersey Cape Dance and Gymnastics Academy. Mrs. Smith a native of the city of Cape May, received her initial dance training locally and then Glassboro State College now Rowan University. Mrs. Smith continued her dance training under the guidance of many of the top dance instructors, master teachers and choreographers in New York City. Still to this day Mrs. Smith continues her studies as the dance world is ever changing.
After a successful modeling and performing career, which included print work for international and national magazines as well as runway, featured dancer at Resorts International, the lead role of Cassie in " A Chorus Line" and performing with Bill Cosby, Ben Vereen, and Gene Kelly, Stina returned to her home town to open her own dance studio. From a rented building with a modest amount of students the business has grown over the past 28 years to become the most successful dance studio in Southern New Jersey. In 1997 Dancer Magazine a nationally published dance trade magazine named the Jersey Cape Dance and Gymnastics Academy among the top ten dance studios in the country. In 2002 again another national dance magazine , Dance Teacher Now claimed the Dance Academy among the top 50 schools in the United States and Canada to "watch out for".
The studios competition team over the past 20 years of competing has won numerous national awards and recognition for their outstanding work in all areas of dance. Mrs. Smith was honored by yet another national magazine, Dance Magazine when she was given the distinguished Bill Como Award For Excellence for her Holocaust piece "Suffer the Innocence. The New Jersey State Commission of Holocaust Education then backed the piece for its school programming . The Students in this piece have performed and educated on the horrors of the Holocaust and on the importance of tolerance for tens of thousands of children throughout the state of New Jersey for the the past 8 years. Today the video of this award winning piece is still used in classrooms through out the state to educate children on the atrocities of the Holocaust.
Many of Mrs. Smiths students have performed for Disney, cruise lines, on Broadway and with National Touring Companies as well as the Radio City Rockettes. Students have also danced back-up for stars like Mariah Carey and Justin Timberlake, as well as dancing on the Oscars, MTV Video Awards, and the Emmy's .
For the past three years Mrs. Smiths students have been seen on National television shows, in 2010 six of her students called the Pixie's were in the top forty of NBC'S America's Got Talent, in 2011 nineteen of her students called “Shore Thing” were seen on CBS in Paula Abdul's show “Live To Dance” and this summer another group of her students called “Unity In Motion” were again seen on NBC in the top 48 of America's Got Talent.
Annika Nash has been the Gymnastics Director at the Jersey Cape Dance and Gymnastics Academy for the past 12 years. Annika started teaching for the Academy as a junior staff member in 1985 and later taught dance and gymnastics in Massachusetts and also in Germany. Shortly after her return from Germany Annika took a position teaching pre-school for the Kindergarden for five years and later became their tumbling and dance teacher for an additional two years and an additional year in the same capacity for North Cape May Kids pre-school.
Annika is a member of USA Gymnastics as a safety certified coach. She has been safety certified with USAG for more than 15 years. Annika coaches all levels of gymnastics and contortion and her reputation as a coach and a teacher is outstanding. Her classes are energetic,exciting and always full of fun! She has been sought after as a master teacher and has tought master classes throughout the country.
For the past 12 years Annika has been working with the Academy's National Award winning Competiton Team and in doing so has won Regional and National recognition as an outstanding teacher in the field of Acrobatics/ Gymnastics and Contortion. Annika has been recognized by some of the country's top Directors, Judges and Teachers on the dance competition circuit such as Starpower, Showbiz, Rising Star, All American Talent Awards, Star Systems, On Stage America, Showstoppers, Jump, United states Tornement of Dance and Access Broadway. Annika's students have won some of the country's top titles such as Miss Acrobat of the United states for 2005-06, Petite Miss Acrobat of the United States 2005-06 and Junior Miss Acrobat of the United states 2006-07.
Twelve of Annika's students from the Jersey Cape Dance and Gymnastics Academy have been named to the prestigious United States Acrobatic Team and have performed for the New York Liberty WNBA at Madison Square Garden and for DRA Solstice in Times Square. One of Annika's students Bryce Sol Hoffman, was featured on the CBS Morning Show and this student was also choosen to work for the New York Knicks as a featured half-time performer with the New York Knicks Acro Break Team. In 2005 Annika and her sister Stina were extreamly honored when the Academy was named the TOP ACROBATIC/GYMNASTICS STUDIO FOR 2005-2006 at the Acrobatic Nationals. In 2007 Annika's contortion / gymnastics choreography was featured at the Showstopper National Dance Championships on a live web-cast viewed by more than one million people.
In 2009 Annika was thrilled when six of her students know as "the Pixies Six" auditioned for the hit NBC television show "AMERICA'S GOT TALENT" and were a part of the top 40 spending part of the 2009 summer working with America's Got talent Annika and her sister Stina along with their students spent 5 days filiming in Las vegas as well as 8 days filming in Hollywood, the highlight was seeing her students perform LIVE in front of 12 million peoeple!! Annika's students from the Pixies Six also worked for the clothing company Aeropostale opening the companies new store P.S. from Aeropostale.
In 2010 CBS started a NEW television show with MEGA SUPER STAR Paula Abdul called LIVE TO DANCE the search for the BEST dancers in the COUNTRY started and ONLY 18 ACTS in the ENTIRE COUNTRY were selected to be a part of this NEW show and Annika is PROUD to say 19 of their students who made up the group SHORE THING were CHOOSEN and spent months filming in NYC and HOLLYWOOD with this amazing new show! Annika her sister Stina her neice Kendra and Annika's daughter Bryce Sol worked closely with MS. Paula Abdul and WORLD Famous Choreographer to Michale Jackson TRAVIS PAYNE this was just an unbelivable experience for the JCD&GA staff as well as their students! This past year in Oct of 2011 JCD&GA got the call again from the HIT NBC show AMERICS GOT TALENT their students were once again asked to audition for the HIT SHOW!! JCD&GA went with their group of 7 young ladies called UNITY IN MOTION, after filming in NYC their auditions took them to Las Vegas for 8 days of filiming and then to perform LIVE in front of 17 MILLION television viewers as well as a LIVE audience of 4 thousand and CELEBRITY JUDGES Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel, and Howard Stern during the Quarter Finals of THIS SEASONS HOTTEST SHOW ON NBC AMERICAS GOT TALENT! Annika is so very PROUD of her students and all they have accomplished!! Annika is just beaming with PRIDE to say that JERSEY CAPE DANCE & GYMNASTICS ACADEMY IS THE ONLY STUDIO IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY TO HAVE THEIR STUDENTS ON THREE NATIONAL TELEVISION SHOWS THREE YEARS IN A ROW!!!
Annika's students are now currently working for NBC television, CBS television, World Cruise Lines, National Touring companies, Live Las Vegas shows, Collegiate Cheer Teams,The World Famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, College Dance Teams and Coaching & Teaching around the country.
Annika is very proud of her position at the Academy and is extreamly proud to be a part of this family run business, working side by side with her sister Stina , the Academy's Director and her neice Kendra.
Kendra started dancing at the age of two and grew up in the dance studio. As a teenager, she received many awards and scholarships, including being chosen to study at the Governors School of the Arts. After high school and a leaving Jersey Cape Dance as a student, Kendra moved to New York City to pursue a career in dance. While in New York she was on scholarship at the Broadway Dance Center where she studied with numerous teachers in all forms of dance. After being in New York for less than a year, she was offered a show at the Hilton Casino and several cruise ship contracts. Kendra decided to stay in New York and kept training while she awaited the phone call from Disney that she was hoping for. That phone call was received and she happily signed a contract with Walt Disney World. During her time at Disney she performed in The Beauty and the Beast stage show and The Diamond Horseshoe Revue. Kendra has also performed in several live shows and industrials for Toyota, Microsoft, Benjamin Moore, House of Blues, and many others. Her dance talents have also been featured on the Regis and Kathy Lee Show and a Disney Christmas Special with Donny Osmond. She can also be seen in the blockbuster hit “Catch Me if You Can”.
Kendra has been teaching and choreographing for fifteen years. For the past seven years she has been teaching and choreographing for the Academy’s advanced student and competition team. Her choreography has been nationally recognized. Some of her most outstanding work has been seen on “Live to Dance” and two seasons of “America’s Got Talent”, choreographing for the groups Unity in Motion, Shore Thing, and Pixies Myster’e. One of her most talked about achievements has been her piece Ghost, seen on “Live to Dance”, which has won high score at numerous national competitions. Another noteworthy piece of Ms. Heminway’s, All that Jazz, which has won high score for the past two consecutive years at every dance competition where the team has performed including, Showstopper, New York City Dance Alliance, and On Stage America.
Her students have gone on to have very successful careers in the professional dance world such as Radio City Rockettes, Royal Caribbean, and Las Vegas shows. Kendra is also very proud of her former students’ college dance achievements including a graduate of University of the Arts, captain of the dance team at The College of New Jersey, and members of Seton Hall, Monmouth University, Stockton College cheer and dance teams.
Ms. Heminway has also used her knowledge as a professional dancer and teacher on the national competition circuit as a judge for several dance competitions.
Kendra’s most rewarding part of her career has been sharing a part of her family business. She works side by side with her Mother and Aunt where she gets to share her days with a very special group of young dancers.
Louise has a diversified background in all disciplines of dance and gymnastics. She recieved her initial dance education from Stina Smith at the Jersey Cape Dance Center. Louise has achieved expertise in Tap and Jazz having studied with Joe Tremaine, Marcia Lane, Doug Caldwell, Tony Cappola and Barry Lather.
Louise has now extended her education to include gymnatics and cortortion. Louise has obtained her USAG safety certification. Having the paitience of a saint Louise has developed and directed our pre-school program for over ten years, which now includes several advanced pre-school classes. Louse instills the basic fundamentals to all of her students, but most of all she gives her students the love of dance, that will last a lifetime.
Working closely with the Academy's National Award Winning Mini Competition Team, Louise's tap choreography has been regognized all over the National Competition Circut, with numerous awards at the Regional and National Level.
We at the Academy credit Louise with being the stepping stone for many of our Academy's alumni who have contiued with a career in dance. These students have never forgotten where there passion for dance was first cutivated.
With the help of her wonderful and supportive family, she looks forward to many more excieting years at the Academy
Kelly Rossi Stelacio
Kelly Rossi has been a part of the JCD&GA since the age of two taking her very first gymnatics class with Stina Smith. Now 22 years later Kelly is the Assistant Director of Gymanstics at the Academy having trained with some of the countries top gymnastics coaches. Working with a USAG safety certification, Kelly brings an exstensive background in the field of gymnastics and cheerleading to all of her students. Teaching all levels of gymnastics , contortion and cheerleading Kelly's classes are full of high energy, fun, and always exciting!
Kelly also has a background in the competitive world competing at the regional and National level she has been recognized with top honors such as Jr. Miss Starpower and Jr. Miss Acrobat of N. J.. She recieved top honors placing at Nationals in Dallas Texas, Orlando Florida and Myrtle Beach ,South Carolina with her All Star Collegic Cheerleading Team. Kelly has credentials with the National Cheerleading Association and has been an instructor for NCA Cheerleading programs throughout the United States. Sharing her cheerleading expertise, Kelly has coached many local teams such as Margaret Mace, Crest Memorial, Tietleman, Wildwood High, Lower Cape May Regional and Wildwood Cathlic. Chorographing Individual routines for many cheerleaders who have placed 1st at the National level.
Recently 12 of Kelly's students have had the honor of being choosen for the United States Acrobatic Team being highlighted performers at such venues as Madison Square Garden, Walt Disney World and Times Square in New York City with DRA., One of Kelly's students who held the title of Miss Acrobat of the United States 2005 was a featured performer on the CBS morning show. Kelly is extreamly proud of her students and their accomplishments, many of which hold some of the countries highest titles, such as Petite Miss Acroabat, Jr. Miss Acrobat and Miss Acrobat of the United States.
Kelly is looking forward to many more rewarding years at the Academy , and feels very blessed to call JCD&GA her home.
Bryce Sol Yerk
BRYCE SOL YERK
BRYCE SOL YERK, HAS BEEN A PART OF THE DANCE WORLD FOR AS LONG AS SHE CAN REMEMBER TAKING HER FIRST DANCE STEPS WITH HER AUNT, STINA SMITH OWNER AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF JERSEY CAPE DANCE AND GYMNASTICS ACADEMY IN CAPE MAY, NJ BRYCE ALSO WAS TRAINED IN GYMNASTICS AND CONTORTION AT JCD&GA AND TRAINED WITH KENDRA HEMINWAY, CHRIS DAVIS, CARRIE LOCKLYN, KELLY ROSSI, MARK MARINO, SKY HOFMAN, RAY LEEPER, AND SHELIA BARKER. BRYCE CONTINUED TO FURTHER HER DANCE AND GYMNASTICS TRAINING WITH CLASSES AT THE PRESTIGOUS BROADWAY DANCE CENTER AND RIPLEY GRIER DANCE STUDIO IN NYC. DURING BRYCE YEARS ON THE COMPETITION CIRCUIT BRYCE HELD SUCH PRESTIGOUS TITLES AS MISS ACROBAT OF THE UNITED STATES, MISS DANCE OF NEW JERSEY, AND WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES DANCE AND ACOBATIC TEAM. BRYCE HAS WORKED AS A PROFESSIONAL PERFORMER FOR THE MISS AMERICA PAGENT AND ALSO WORKED FOR THE WORLD FAMOUS NEW YORK KNICKS WITH THEIR ACRO-BREAK SHOW.
CURRENTLY BRYCE IS A STAFF MEMBER AT JERSEY CAPE DANCE AND GYMNASTICS ACADEMY TEACHING ALL FORMS OF DANCE AND GYMNASTICS. BRYCE IS CERTIFIED WITH “USA GYMNASTICS” AS A SAFETY CERITIFED GYMNASTICS COACH. BRYCE SPECIALIZES IN ALL FORMS OF CONTORTION HAND-BALANCING, CONTORTION PARTNER WORK, AND THE HAND-BALANCING KANES.
THIS PAST SEASON BRYCE WAS PART OF THE JCD&GA STAFF THAT TOOK 19 STUDENTS KNOWN AS “SHORE THING” TO HOLLYWOOD TO BE A PART OF THE NEW CBS TELEVISION SHOW WITH PAULA ABDUL “LIVE TO DANCE” BRYCE GOT TO WORK WITH PAULA ABDUL AS WELL AS WORLD FAMOUS CHOROGRAPHER TRAVIS PAYNE AND KIMBERLY WATTS. BRYCE ‘S STUDENTS HAVE ALSO BEEN SEMI-FINALISTS ON TWO DIFFERENT SEASONS OF THE NBC SHOW AMERICAS GOT TALENT. NOW BRYCE IS LOOKING FORWARD TO FINISHING HER COLLEGE EDUCATION AT STOCKTON UNV. WHERE SHE IS MAJORING IN ELEMENTRY EDUCATION .
CHRISTINE ROSSI SUNDSTRUM
Christine has loved dancing since the first time she took her first dance class when she was 3 years old. Christine trained with Stina Smith, Annika Nash, Kendra Heminway & Kelly Rossi at the Jersey Cape Dance and Gymnastics Academy from age 3 to 18. She has traveled all across the United States competing in numerous competitions like ShowStoppers & ShowBiz. During Christine’s time on the competition circuit she was chosen to be a member of the United States Dance Team. Christine has continued her dance education at the Broadway Dance Center, and at many dance conventions such as Jump and Pulse with renowned dancers and choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Dee Caspary & Ray Leeper. She now attends Stockton College where she has studied ballet technique with Henry Van Kuiken.
Christine specializes in Jazz and Hip Hop, but has studied all areas of dance and gymnastics. She has been a staff member at the Jersey Cape Dance and Gymnastics Academy since 2009. Recently, she and Bryce are responsible for the Rising Stars Performing Arts Team at the studio. The Rising Stars perform at numerous community events. Christine strives to instill her passion for dance into her students, and hopes that they find her teaching technique fun and inspiring.
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