Jessica is a currently a Professional Ballerina with Festival Ballet of Providence. She was born and raised in Arizona, where she started her dance training at Master Ballet Academy under the direction of Slawomir and Irena Wozniak. She has trained from a very early age in the styles of ballet, contemporary, modern, jazz, hip hop, tap, ballroom, and aerial arts. Throughout her career, Jessica's dancing and choreography has been recognized through various scholarships and national awards. She has experience performing a variety of roles in productions such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Serenade, Carmen, Paquita, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, etc. Jessica has had the privilege to work closely with choreographers such as Chehon Wespi-Tschop, Dominik Olechoswki, Yury Yanowsky, Kurt Douglas, and many more. Upon graduating, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career as a commercial dancer where she is under the representation of Bloc LA Talent Agency. When not performing, Jessica serves as an Adjudicator for National Dance Competitions in addition to teaching ballet to students throughout the country.
Lauren has been studying the art of dance since she was 2 years old. She has taken classes in all forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and acro. She is also a member of the the Beyond the Barre Yellow Jacket Elite Competition team. She has had opportunities to dance in Disney World and was also a dancer at the Orange Bowl. Lauren is a freshman at Rhode Island College where she is pursuing a major in her second passion, education! She is an elementary and special education major and loves to share both of her passions for dancing and for teaching with her students at Beyond the Barre Dance Academy.
Holly has been dancing for over 30 years. She has studied various styles of dance including Ballet technique, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballroom and Acrobatics. At a young age she discovered this was a passion that she wanted to share with anyone who was interested. Holly has performed semi-professionally on variety of cruise ships, in Disney, and various places around the country including Las Vegas. She is certified through Dance and Gym USA. Holly has been teaching for over 10 years, sharing her knowledge and passion for the arts.
Amanda Foster started dancing at NEDA in 1992 at the age of six. She fell in love with dance and found her passion. Amanda called NEDA her “Home away from home” and danced and competed until her high school graduation in 2004.
In 2010, Amanda graduated with her BS in Sports/Entertainment/Event Management from Johnson and Wales University. She worked with many companies planning and executing events. Never taking her sights off of her passion, she continued her dance education becoming Acrobat Arts certified. Amanda also completed an ariel/back-handspring workshop in Acrobatic Arts.
Over the past six years, Amanda has taught many styles of dance including ballet, lyrical, acro, and jazz. She teaches all skill levels and ages. Her favorite styles are Acrobatics and Lyrical. Her competition teams have taken on her same passion and drive to receive many overall high score awards.
Amanda enjoys passing on the passion and gift of dance to her students. She loves watching her students grow as dancers and reach their true potential.
Ashley has been dancing for over 25 years and teaching for over 10. As a dancer herself she competed on both the regional and national scale, winning a variety of awards, titles, and special recognitions for her solos and group performances. In college, she was able to grow her own professional dance career with The Cat Country 98.1FM Elite Dance Team, appearing at many promotional and performance events (and got to meet Miss Shaina)! As a dance teacher, Ashley has worked with recreational and competitive dancers of all ages, in a variety of styles such as contemporary, jazz, and musical theater. Her competitive routines have won a variety of high scoring awards, high gold and platinum awards, special awards, and even highest scoring routine at a regional competition!
Outside of dance, Ashley is a clinical pharmacist for a large health care organization and mommy to Ellora and her little brother- due in July!
Karli has been studying the art of dance since she was 5 years old. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, musical theater, hip hop, and pointe for 13 years and was a competitive dancer for 10 years. In 2011, Karli came in first place for her contemporary solo at the National Dance Showcase Regional Competition.
Karli’s dance training continued at Providence College where she minored in dance and joined the Providence College Dance Team. For four years, Karli performed jazz and hip hop routines at all Providence College men’s home basketball games. She also competed in group routines with the PCDT each year, winning first place at NDS in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and winning second place in 2015. Additionally, in 2013 Karli danced professionally for a summer at Broadway Dance Center in New York City where she studied under world-renowned teachers and choreographers including Tyce Diorio, Sonya Tayeh, Cat Cogliandro, Ashlee Dawson, Sheila Barker, Brice Mousset, Deborah Wilson, Ginger Cox, Jim Cooney, and many more.
During her years of performing Karli assisted and taught at her childhood dance studio. She also taught creative movement classes for children ages 3-10 at Providence College and choreographed for the Providence College Dance team.
Outside of dance, Karli is an elementary special education teacher. She loves teaching dance as well as academics, and is excited to expand her teaching at Beyond the Barre Dance Academy!
Nicole has been dancing for the past 18 years. She has trained in many styles such as ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop and pom. Growing up she had the amazing opportunity to attend a performing arts middle and high school where her knowledge of dance continued to grow, outside of dancing at a studio. In 2019 Nicole graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she was able to continue to follow both of her passions and receive a Bachelors of Arts in Dance as well as a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology. As well as being a dance major Nicole had the wonderful opportunity of being on the Umass Dance Team where they performed at home football and men’s and women’s basketball games as well as compete in nationals in Daytona beach’s Florida every year. Nicole is continuing her education at the University of Rhode Island receiving her doctorate in Physical Therapy. She is hoping to take what she is learning in the class room to help her become a better dance teacher. She is grateful to have to opportunity to continue her passion and share her passion with her students.
Ryley Polak is a Dancer, Teacher & Choreographer that was born and raised on the East coast. Ryley trained strongly in Acrobatics, Jazz, and Lyrical/Contemporary and is known for his energy and enthusiasm for teaching and making his class balanced with both a sense of intensity and enjoyment. He has won numerous special awards at dance competitions as well as multiple choreography awards starting at a very young age which lead him to follow his passion and pursue an education in Commercial Dance at Studio School Los Angeles. After this 4 year program he will be receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts. Since moving to California, Ryley has trained heavily in many more styles such as On Camera dancing, Jazz Funk, Ballet, Hip Hop, World Cultural styles and much more. Ryley has trained closely with numerous well known choreographers in the industry such as Tessandra Chavez, Janelle Ginestra, DJ Marv, Ambrose Respicio, and many more. He is now represented by Movement Talent Agency and is auditioning and working towards becoming a more educated and overall well rounded Dancer & Teacher.
Kim has been dancing for over 25 years and has followed her passion to dance and teach through many different opportunities. She has studied ballet, jazz, pointe, hip hop, and her true passion, tap. During high school Kim danced in musical productions at La Salle Academy, including pieces she choreographed while also being a captain of the dance team. While attending the University of Rhode Island Kim was the tap choreographer and president of the URI Dance Company, which had over 125 dancers. The URI Dance Company danced at school events such as homecoming, along with putting on a recital every semester. Since college Kim has choreographed for local dance teams and is beyond excited to be working at Beyond the Barre! Along with teaching the art of dance, Kim is also an early childhood special education teacher and loves being in the classroom as much as the studio.
Michela has been dancing for over 20 years. She has studied various styles of dance including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, and Pointe. Dance has been her passion from the very beginning. When she wasn’t at the studio, Michela could be found practicing her routines at recess and choreographing her own numbers with her neighborhood friends! While attending Boston College Michela continued to follow her passion by performing in showcases sponsored by the Fine Arts Department. She is excited and grateful for the opportunity to share her love for dance with such a wonderful community here at Beyond the Barre! In addition to dancing in our Adult Advanced class, Michela will be teaching Ballet Technique and Jazz this season.
Stephanie Stanford Shaw has been teaching throughout New England for more
than 25 years. She joined Fusionworks Dance Company, a modern dance
repertory company, in 1992 and served as assistant to the director for the
company until September 2016. Stephanie was also the director and primary
choreographer for the pre-professional junior company, Fusionworks II and was
a senior member of the Fusionworks Educational Team until its cessation in
2018. Stephanie retired from her professional performing career in 2013 to
concentrate on her teaching and currently teaches at several private studios
throughout the region as well as conducting curriculum-based dance programs in public and private schools throughout the area. She is a member of the Rhode
Island State Council on the Arts Artist in Residence Educational Roster. Her
work, “All You Need to Know”, was chosen to represent the Rhode Island dance
scene as part of the 2002 National Dance Education Organization (NDEO)
conference and in 2012 her dance “Turf Wars?” was performed at “Day of Dance”presented by Dance Alliance of Rhode Island and the Massachusetts Dance Education Organization. Her formal study began with prima ballerina, Anamarie Sarazin at the Sarazin School of Dance, she then went on to perform as a principal dancer with Cumberland Company and received her BFA in dance from the Boston Conservatory.