Michele realized her life long dream of opening her own studio in 2009 when she and Jen put their professional talents together and opened Artists In Motion Dance Studio. Pulling from 18 years of teaching dance at many other studios in North Jersey, she wanted her studio to ensure quality training with all positive reinforcement, believing that no child should ever leave the studio feeling bad about themselves. She felt strongly that the dancers should give back through their dancing by performing at local community events as well as donating to a different charity each year during the recital. With “Be Kind” as their motto, AIM has donated thousands of dollars to numerous charities over the years. Artists In Motion started out as a one room studio in the Cherry Hill ISC and has grown to the 17k square foot complex it occupies today.
Michele received her training early on under the direction of Dance Masters Rosemary and Bob Boross and began performing professionally at the early age of 10. While dancing with the Red Bank Ballet, she was cast in the lead role Clara in The Nutcracker by age 12, and then continued on with the company to perform multiple leading roles. During her career, she has danced both soloist and principle roles with many of the outstanding choreographers, and has had the opportunity to study under/perform works by notable choreographers such as David Howard, Christine Spizzo, Terry Lacey, and Mia Michaels. With 25 years of professional performance experience, Michele has done both television and print work for numerous national companies throughout her career in addition to her stage credits. Certified through Dance Educators of America (DEA), she has been teaching, judging and choreographing for more than 30 years, and has been both a Master Teacher, and award winning choreographer for numerous studios and Performing Arts High Schools throughout the tri-state area. Many of Michele’s students have gone on to college with full dance scholarships while many others are now dancing with professional companies. In addition to her passion for dance, she is the proud mother of four wonderful children and thanks them, along with her loving husband Michael, and, of course, her BFF Jen for allowing her to live out her dream and open the doors to ARTISTS IN MOTION DANCE COMPLEX. While striving to fulfill the goals of a dance educator to develop strong and knowledgeable dancers, Michele also hopes to instill a love of the arts in EVERYONE!
AIM Elite Performance Team Director
Theresa is starting her 5th year with Artists In Motion Dance Complex. She has been choreographing for the AIM Elite Competition team for 3 years and has taken on the role of AIM Elite Performance Team Director. Theresa’s competition choreography has won numerous awards including Entertainment, Choreography, and Technique awards. Theresa is formally trained in Jazz, Musical Theater, Lyrical, Modern, Ballet, and Tap.
As Performance Team Director, Theresa creates opportunities for the team to perform at local community events and establishments, as well as find ways for the team to give back to the community. Theresa also plans team bonding events as well as numerous fun in-studio activities
Theresa started dancing at the age of three. She trained in Allentown PA at the Patricia Bostick School of Dance, under Pattie Bostick-Winn. Theresa went on to study dance at Temple University where she earned her BFA in Dance. While at Temple, she studied dance pedagogy and also performed in Master and Doctrine performances. Her choreography was featured frequently in concerts throughout her time there. After college, Theresa worked closely with and choreographed for the Allentown Central Catholic Dance team where her choreography was featured at Disney World. She also spent 6 years as the cheerleading coach and choreographer for various teams near Allentown, where her squads won both regional and state titles.
Theresa has spent over 12 years working with children. To supplement her dance teaching, she worked for Jumpstart, an Americorp Program, where she spent over 900 hours in preschool classrooms over the course of 3 years. Theresa is also certified in children’s yoga through Karma Kids Yoga, NY. She used her certification to create a two-day program that provided tools and methods to teachers explaining how to bring yoga into their classroom. Theresa is also a certified Barre instructor through Barre Above.
Theresa’s classes are all about positive energy and lots of fun! Her goal is that each child leaves her class learning something new. Theresa loves to teach her students not only how to dance but also how to perform. She wants each child to feel accomplished and proud of their work and effort. She encourages hard work, kindness, collaboration, and (most importantly) fun in the classroom.
Hip Hop/Acro/Dance Team
Stephanie began her dance education at age 6 at Washington Township Academy of Dance and Gymnastics and then moved on to DANCE! by Debra DiNote. There she studied ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, acro, modern, and lyrical. Stephanie graduated from Kean University with a Bachelors degree and dual certification in Early Childhood Education and Psychology. She also has a Masters degree from Rutgers University with a focus on Educational Administration. She currently teaches Digital Literacy to Grades 1-5 in Washington Township.
During college, Stephanie served as a part of the Kean Dance Theater and held the positions of Treasurer and Public Relations Chair. Shortly after, the newly created company, The Well Dance Performance Project, chose her as one of its first dancers in its inaugural year on campus. Under the artistic direction of Dawud Jackson, Stephanie also studied African and jazz funk dance styles. She performed on and off campus for open houses, graduation ceremonies, charity events, and seasonal showcases. Stephanie also attended the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) at Montclair State University for two years learning the styles and steps of new choreographers in the tri-state area.
Stephanie has been a part of the Artists in Motion family since 2010. During that time her Zumba class was voted the “Best Way to Break a Sweat” and she was featured in South Jersey magazine’s “Best of the Best” 2012 issue. She and her husband, Matt, are the proud parents of two little future dancers, Adria and Vienna. Stephanie enjoys sharing her love of dance and fitness with all of her students, children, and adults!
Early Childhood Program Director
Jennifer began dancing at age three at a local studio. By the time she was five, she began training
seriously in ballet under the instruction of Andrea Duffin. She danced as a member of the South
Jersey Ballet Theatre Company for twelve seasons. Jennifer also performed in the Garden State
Dance Festival for eight seasons under the direction of Suzy Zucker where she performed in
modern, lyrical, jazz, tap, ballet, and musical theatre pieces choreographed by Rochelle Haynes,
Darrell Williams, Merideth Rainey, Jose Rodriguez, Andrea Michaels, Zane Booker, and
Tommie-Waheed Evans. Jennifer also performed in a Philadelphia based Tap Dance Company,
Uniting Colleges Through Tap under the direction of Corinne Karon.
Jennifer is a certified public school teacher holding New Jersey licensure in early childhood
education, elementary education, special education, and dance education. She has taught preschool
and pre-kindergarten in both public and private school settings, most recently teaching integrated
preschool in Moorestown Public School District for four years. She holds a B.A. in
Elementary/Special Education from Holy Family University and a Masters in Dance Education
through the University of Northern Colorado.
Jennifer has been teaching and choreographing for twelve years at various local studios. During this
time Jennifer choreographed competition pieces and founded and directed the Junior Ballet
Company at another local dance studio. The competition and performance company won numerous
awards over the years for choreography, staging, and performance. She also choreographed
Moorestown Friends School’s Fall Production of Shrek The Musical and choreographed a Christmas
Show at Saint Peter School. Jennifer taught after school and summer dance enrichment courses for
Moorestown Friends and Moorestown Public School District.
Jennifer loves sharing her passion for dance with her students. She especially enjoys teaching the
foundational skills to young dancers. She is very excited to be directing the Early Childhood Program
at AIM this season!
Miss Melanie is trained and certified in numerous styles of dance including acrobatics, jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary. A member of the 2012 Philadelphia Soulmates, and a model for A Wish Come True dance costume company, Miss Melanie L has been dancing and competing since she was 2. She also has 2 bachelors degrees in Biology, and Secondary Education from Rowan University. In addition to teaching middle school science and acrobatics, Miss Melanie is a nature and animal enthusiast, and loves to care for her dogs, cats and chickens.
Jazz, Contemporary & Hip Hop
Mr. Frankie is a Philadelphia-born dancer that has been dancing for 10 years. He graduated from Temple University in 2016 with his BFA in Dance, focusing his studies on modern and contemporary styles of movement! He is currently a dancer with Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers located in South Philadelphia, now for 5 seasons. Mr. Frankie has been a part of the Artists In Motion family for 4 years now and is excited to start his 5th!
Grace is a professional actress and proud EMC member currently appearing on regional stages in the Tri-State area, and feels so honored to be brought on board by Michele. She holds a BFA in Acting from Arcadia University and completed a professional internship at The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. Recently Grace has performed at The Media Theatre (PA), Candlelight Theatre (DE), The Broadway Theatre of Pitman (NJ), and will soon be appearing at Ocean City Theatre Company (NJ), and Bucks County Center for the Performing Arts (PA). Grace has served as the Dance Captain in multiple professional productions and is also a Teacher, Director, and Choreographer. Currently Grace is the choreographer for Harmony Show Choir, a group of high school aged performers who perform year round including at the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade. Grace also co-runs the Drama Program at Lumberton Middle School. Over the last seven years Grace has directed and choreographed multiple productions, recently at Mainstage Center for the Arts (NJ), Limelight Performing Arts Center (PA), Exit 82 Theatre Company (NJ), Arcadia University (PA), Lumberton Middle School (NJ), and Stuart Country Day School (NJ). Grace is excited to share her love of Musical Theatre Dance with AIM’s students.
Miss Melanie has had the pleasure of performing in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Joyce Theatre, Hersheypark, and Symphony Space. One of her favorite venues to date is Lincoln Financial Field where she performed as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders. As a cheerleader, she was included in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade and traveled to Mexico for the 2019 Calendar shoot. In New York City, Melanie has assisted and trained extensively with the Radio City Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall alongside earning her BFA degree from Pace University’s Commercial Dance program. As a member of the 2020 graduating class, Melanie is eager to put her degree to use through performing, choreographing, and teaching dance. Melanie is also studying to become a NASM CPT in the near future.
Kristen - Acro / Jazz / Ballet - Kristen began her career at age three as a competitive dancer in the southwest Washington/Portland Oregon area where she received numerous awards at the national level. Her training led her to numerous performances all over the United States. After 9/11 Kristen had the esteemed opportunity to perform with Disney in their American Pride production. Kristen has performed with the Oregon Ballet Theater, Vancouver Ballet Theater, NBA, NFL and IBL. Her career continued to progress in 2006 when she became a member of the Agneizhka Laska Modern Dance Company. After touring with the company for several seasons and performing at an international level she packed up and headed for the bright lights of Las Vegas. In 2010 and 2011 Kristen choreographed for Paul Mitchell the School of Las Vegas National Caper Launch which allowed her work to be commended by John Paul DeJoria, Angus Mitchell and Robert Cromeans. Kristen has had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented people in the entertainment industry.
In addition to instructing and choreographing, Kristen is a Director for Thunderstruck Dance Productions which is an international dance competition. This allows her to travel the country and work with talented competitive dancers.
Whether it's teaching, judging, choreographing or mentoring, Kristen feels blessed to be able to share her passion of dance with others who embrace a love for the arts.
Jen graduated from Lehigh University in 1994 with an Accounting degree and went on to hold various positions at different financial institutions before leaving her job as VP at Merrill Lynch to start a family with her husband Michael. In 2009 Michele approached her about joining forces to open a dance studio together. Having 2 girls of her own, Jen was excited at the prospect of owning her own business and using her financial background, while being able to be with her kids. Growing AIM with Michele over the last 13+ years has been an immensely rewarding challenge. She especially enjoys watching her two beautiful daughters take the stage!
AIM Elite Competition Team Director
Miss Nicole is a formally trained dancer who has a passion for being with young dance artists in the classroom as an educator. She currently serves as the director of the competition team for Artists in Motion and a competition team choreographer. Nicole is also on the panel of judges for Cue the Music Dance Competition, which travels along the East Coast judging young aspiring dancers.
Her choreography has received many accolades including Highest Score for the 12 and under division at several regional and national competitions, Groove’s best of 2019 groups, and several IDA nominations. Nicole’s choreography can also be seen on the season 8 season finale of Dance Moms. Nicole has been dancing since the age of three and has trained at multiple schools in South Jersey where she studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop and Modern. She was also a member of the 2012 Philadelphia Soulmates Dance Team. Being a member of the Arena Football League's Philadelphia Soulmates afforded her numerous performance opportunities like being a back-up dancer for pop singer GoGo Morrow and a back-up dancer for rap artist Fat Joe, and appearing on Fox 29's Good Day Philadelphia. In some of her latest ventures, Nicole shot a pilot for a non-scripted TV series, was a featured dancer in Red Wagon Films' Carver and performed in a commercial for Millennium Dance Complex which aired on MTV, BET and VH1. Nicole graduated from Rowan University with a B.A. in Theater and Dance along with a minor in Communications.
Jennifer - Ballet / Barre - Jen started her training with Mount Laurel Regional Ballet. She went on to study with Alexander Borovic of the Donesk Ballet. She was coached by Leslie Browne of ABT and Irina Kolopakova. She toured with International Ballet Theater as a teenager and was an apprentice with Russian Ballet Theater.
As an adult she was a soloist with International Ballet Theater and a principal with Roxey Ballet. She has performed in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Raymonda, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Coppelia, La Corsaire and many others. She also performed in Dracula and The Nutcracker with The Pennsylvania Ballet. She has performed with Melinda Roy in Florida and with Sarasota Ballet.
Jennifer was offered a position with Sarasota Ballet in Florida in 2002 but decided to move back to NJ to get married. She lives in the area with her husband and three children and has been teaching for the past eleven years.
Jen recently completed her certification in Progressive Ballet Technique and is excited to begin her 8th year teaching for AIM!
Sara Plunkett grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and started her dance training at the age of 3, studying at The Dance Academy under the direction of Donnajean Kline and Cathy Greco. She trained in tap, jazz, ballet, and lyrical and immediately fell in love with performing and being creative. At the age of 5, she joined her studio’s competition team, competing in tap, jazz, and lyrical, as well as in tap duos, trios, and solos. Sara danced competitively for 13 years and during this time qualified for national competitions in Atlantic City, Myrtle Beach, and New York. Sara went to college at the University of Pittsburgh where she was a member of their dance ensemble, performing annual showcases in jazz and tap. After college, Sara pursued a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and now works as an Elementary School Counselor in the Barrington School District. Sara has been teaching and choreographing for AIM for the last five years and has loved being able to share her love of dance with her students.
Abby has been dancing since the age of 4, at her family studio, Carbondale Dance Academy. Abby started the studios contemporary division and she still teaches and choreographs there whenever she is home.
She was also a student at Ballet Theatre of Scranton from the age of 7-18, where she was principal soloist and had the privilege of being coached by Ballet Master Henry Danton, one of the original surviving members of the Sandler’s Wells Ballet, which is now The Royal Ballet Abby continued her dance education in college as a dance major at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
After college, Abby began her career as a professional dancer with Simon-Will Entertainment, a Las Vegas based dance company that specializes in Tribute Shows. She was an ensemble dancer in several Tribute Shows and was promoted to Dance Captain.
Following her years with Simon-Will, Abby was hired by Norwegian Cruise Lines. She traveled the world for 7 years as a dancer and was also promoted to Dance Captain. While traveling overseas, Abby was cast in the show “Elements” choreographed by Broadway star Patti Wilcox and a brand new show, “Blazin’ Boots” where she was afforded the opportunity to work with Chase Benz, who is Brittney Spears choreographer.
Abby is also a professionally trained aerialist. She studied for 3 years with The Toronto Circus School of the Arts. She has performed in many Cirque style shows and is proficient in several apparatuses including Spanish Webb, Lyra, Bungee and Silks.
Abbycurrently shares her passion for dance through teaching and choreographing throughout the States. She is beyond excited to share her love of dance with everyone at Artists in Motion.
Kayla Johnson began dancing at the age of one at a local dance studio and hasn't stopped since. As the daughter of a dance teacher, she has grown up in the dance studio both training and assisting. Kayla has been studying ballet intensely with her mentor, Beth Allen Motzel, since the age of 8. She has been an assistant for ASH ( Artists Simply Human) for two seasons, 2014-2015 and 2016-2017. She is one of only two dancers ever to be chosen twice to assist this dance convention. While on tour, Kayla worked closely with many well known choreographers, such as Desmond Richardson, Rudy Abreu, JoJo Gomez, Tokyo, Dee Caspary, Judy Rice, Dwight Rhoden, and many more. Kayla has competed both regionally and nationally and has consistently been awarded top scores for solo and group pieces. Last year she competed her first self-choreographed solo and won 1st place overall and a choreography award with a near perfect score. Kayla is excited to share her passion for dance and choreography with Miss Michelle's students this year !
Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Natalie began her dance education with Debbie Apalucci's Touch of Class. At a young age, she was hand picked by Apalucci to perform with an elite traveling group called the Dancertainers. After moving to central Bucks County, Natalie continued her training with Joan Beard from Budzysnski's, Dance Elite, and Dance Techniques. It was then that she fell in love with Ballet and spent her summer at Vassar with the American Academy of Ballet. Under the direction of Mignon Furman, Natalie was able to study from greats such as David Howard and Fernando Bujones. Natalie recieved her BA at Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts in Pittsburgh. She apprenticed with Pittsburgh Playhouse for four years performing various roles in ballets like "Cinderella", "Les Sylphides", and "Don Quixote". Natalie recieved a rave review in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for her solo debut as the lead in the company's orginal children's musical "The Pied Piper". A career changing knee injury lead Natalie to return to Philadelphia. She began coaching for Temple University's Diamond Gems dance team. This ignited her passion for competitive dance. Natalie traveled with the Diamond Gems to California to train with the United Spirit Association and also conditioned the team to compete with the National Dance Association at Daytona Beach. During the summers she worked for Montgomery Theater Project which she recieved a Special Recognition Award for her choreography of "Tommy". Natalie has been teaching dance and competing her choreography for 20 years. She has sat on the judges panel for 5 years with Thats Entertainment. Now Natalie is a mother to three of her own little dancers: June, Holly, and Ashlin. They are all thrilled to be a part of AIM's dance family!
It wasn't until the age of 19 that Todd took notice to the hip-hop scene and became completely entranced in it. He was discovered and began his training under Andreas Johnson and Versatile Entertainment and devoted all of the time he had to learning this art form. This was difficult because Todd was already a full-time Physics Education student at the University of Delaware. His passion has always been found in education and the classroom but it wasn't until his senior year that Todd realized he could combine both his passion for educating and children with his new found love for dance.
Todd still enjoys a life of performing. He has worked internationally, as a choreographer and trainer for University dance teams, as a feature dancer in the Blockbuster film Silver Linings Playbook, but he finds himself enjoying a new passion of being a young Entrepreneur and Philanthropist at his current age of 31. Todd currently is the co-owner and co-director of Beat Addikts United (a youth hip hop company aimed to bring a safe haven and unified environment for hip hop dancers from across the tristate area), The Werkshop (A series of hip hop camps for ages 7-13) and as the founder of DelAWAREness (A dance showcase that benefits Autism Delaware, raising over $130,000 in it's first 5 years).
Miss Tierney is a dance artist born and raised in New Jersey. She began her training at Jamie’s Dance Odyssey under the direction of Jamie Down. She also received private ballet training from Barbara Sandonato and Gabriella Yudenich among others. Tierney trained with The Koresh Dance Company in Philadelphia and was a member of the Koresh Youth Ensemble, directed by Melissa Rector. She attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, under the direction of Susan Jaffe and Brenda Daniels, where she received her BFA in Contemporary Dance in May of 2018.
At UNCSA, Tierney performed works by Trish Casey, Natalie Desch, Sean Sullivan, Dawn Bazemore, Merce Cunningham, Brenda Daniels, Paul Taylor, Shen Wei, Aszure Barton, Robyn Mineko Williams, and Martha Graham. She attended Shen Wei Dance Arts and Paul Taylor intensives and American Dance Festival’s Summer intensive, where she performed excerpts from Shen Wei’s RE: III, staged by Sara Procopio. Tierney was also selected to attend the Kyoto International Dance Workshop Festival in Kyoto, Japan where she took classes with artists from all over the world. Tierney worked as a Kenan Fellow with Lincoln Center Education where she continued to learn skills to be a teaching artist and presented her first full-length work at Lincoln Center’s Clark Studio Theater. Tierney performed professionally with Bryce Dance Company based in New York City and taught in New York City public schools with Dancing Classrooms and FEMCHO.
Currently, Tierney works administratively with Gibney Dance in New York City and teaches weekly with Jamie’s Dance Odyssey and Artists In Motion. Tierney loves sharing her passion for dance with students of all levels and ages and she hopes to instill that love of dance into her students.
Schuyler has been dancing since she was three years old, and dancing competitively since she was seven. She competed in jazz, hip-hop, and tap and has won many first place trophies and several national titles along with her teammates while on the JDO competition team. While she loves all styles of dance, tap has always been her passion. Schuyler has been dancing and teaching at JDO ever since it opened in 2003. After graduating from Arcadia University with her Bachelor's Degree in English and her Master's Degree in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, she returned to her studio to teach tap classes, assist in teaching the tap teams, and choreograph tap solos for competition. Throughout her entire dance life, she has studied under master tap teacher Jamie Down and emulates her style of tap dancing in her own choreography. Her ideal student is not necessarily the best tapper in the room, but the one who works the hardest and does their best.
Louis was born in Bruges, Belgium, and grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey where his love and passion for dance had its origins. Starting at the age of 6, Louis trained at a local Cherry Hill dance studio where he danced competitively and trained predominately in ballet, contemporary and hip hop techniques. Throughout his competition days, Louis was frequently invited to travel to Las Vegas for The Dance Awards where he was able to learn and work with leading choreographers such as Travis Wall, Mandy Moore, and Misha Gabriel. He currently studies at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, where he majors in cellular biology and minors in dance. In his past two years at the university, he has focused heavily on developing training in Horton, Graham, and Humphrey contemporary techniques. He has also had the pleasure of collaborating with students and faculty in the creation of pieces for the Dance Department’s Fall showcase, Young Choreographer’s Series, and Spring showcase, Spring Dance Concert. He now travels throughout the state of Georgia and New Jersey to choreograph for varying studios’ competition teams and loves to serve as a mentor for students on their dance career paths. He loves to instill his passion for dance and choreography in all of the students he gets to work with and hopes to do the same for the students at Artists in Motion!