Miss Courtney is an alumnus of St. Joseph’s University, received a masters degree from Immaculata University in 2003 and is a certified school psychologist specializing in child development and educational strategies. For over 18 years, Miss Courtney served as a professional educator at Paul VI High School, in addition to being appointed their Performing Arts Department Chairperson and Theatre Director and Choreographer. She has mentored countless students whose achievements are now seen performing on Broadway, The West End, The NFL and NBA and major network television and movie studios. In 2005, she initiated the resurrection of the Paul VI Dance Team. As the head coach of their Varsity and Competition Teams for over 15 years, Miss Courtney set and cultivated the team's standard of excellence, creating and maintaining the reputation of this award winning team. A former Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader and Head Coach of the St. Joeseph's University Dance Team, Miss Courtney began her training at the Bowman School of Dance, later training at the University of the Arts, supplemented by an extensive choreography mentorship with Suzy Zucker. She has been performing and instructing for over 30 years, in addition to choreographing and directing over 50 productions for theatre companies and high schools such as Camden Catholic High School, The Broadway Theatre of Pitman, The Forrestburgh Playhouse in New York and The Prince Music Theatre in Philadelphia. Miss Courtney has appeared on ESPN and was also featured on ESPN’s 2002 “The Year in Sports." Miss Courtney has won many awards for her choreography and direction and her work has been featured numerous times at the NJ Teen Arts Festival representing Camden County for Excellence in Musical Theatre and Drama. The Next Stage Dance Company, under her direction, has ranked first overall at many dance and talent competitions. Miss Courtney is proud to be the founder and artistic director of Project Dance, a dance festival celebrating the benefits of dance education in schools. In her most important role of being a parent herself, Miss Courtney truly understands and cherishes the honor of having the opportunity to pass on her passion for dance and its benefits to the children of our Next Stage Dance families.
Miss Courtney offers private lessons in dance and acting instruction and audition prep to students ages 10 to adult. She also sets choreography for competitions and performances.
Dania’s journey in the arts began at the age of 3 in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary and Hip Hop. A graduate of Towson University, Dania pursued her BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography. While at Towson, Dania trained under some of the most accomplished educators and choreographers in the dance industry today, including Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, Catherine Horta-Hayden, Vincent Thomas, Runqiao Du, and Alison Seidenstricker. Since graduating from Towson in May 2020, Dania has continued to explore her artistic voice through teaching, performance, and choreography for studios, companies and workshops all over the country. Dania’s goal as a dance educator is to help ignite a spark in her students and bring their technique to the next level
Hip Hop, Jazz
Adrianna is a Philadelphia-based dancer, choreographer and producer. She studied Dance Performance with a Theatre Performance minor at Stockton College, and also received training from Philadanco’s Summer Programs and Instruction and Training Program. Upon graduating college, Adrianna danced as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers Dance Team. More recently, she danced in the long-standing, live tribute show, LEGENDS IN CONCERT.
In 2016, she produced her first show, ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING, as part of the Philly Fringe Festival. After discovering this new passion for producing shows, Adrianna created HOT DAMN!, a cabaret-style dance show that features a troupe of beautiful dancers. She currently serves as the director, choreographer, producer, costumer and prop master for these theatrical productions. Adrianna’s mission is to use her works to inspire audiences and dancers alike.
Linnea began her dance education in her hometown, Newark, Delaware with Mid-Atlantic Ballet. Linnea graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree as a Dance Major from The University of the Arts in 2016, with honors and an Artist’s Merit Award Scholarship. She has had additional training in classical ballet as well as multiple styles of dance with: Central PA Youth Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Ballet Austin, The Rock School for Dance Education, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, Secret Circus Philly: School for Contemporary Circus Arts, and was invited to dance with BalletX and Pennsylvania Ballet in 2015. Linnea joined has been dancing professionally with SHARP Dance Company of Philadelphia since 2013.
Jasmin is an Italian dancer and teacher. She began her path in dance through ballet following the academic program of the Royal Academy of Dance of London by obtaining her advanced degree in ballet. She subsequently obtained the National Diploma as a ballet teacher with the CSEN (Italian National Educational Sports Center). In 2019 she began a new academic path at the musical academy "MTS- Musical! The School" in Milan where she had the opportunity to refine not only other dance styles such as musical theater and jazz, but also other artistic disciplines such as singing and acting. In the same year she participated in The BLUEPRINT Summer Intensive (classical and contemporary dance circuit) with the Peridance Capezio Dance Center in New York. Finally, Jasmin is also an Aerialist specializing in Lyra Hoop and earned The National Diploma of aerial acrobatics instructor 1st lev. (Lyra, Silks, Trapeze, Hammock and Rope) with CSEN. Accustomed to being on stage since childhood, Jasmin has performed in many productions as a classical dancer. Credits include: "Swan Lake" , Sleeping Beauty”, "Don Quixote" with Style Dance Company and also for “Opera Studio Molise” productions like “Don Giovanni” and “Barbiere di Siviglia." In addition, Jasmin was a member of the ensemble for the film/ musical “Pippin” produced by “MTS Musical! The School " and in the ensemble for the musical" Hair "organized by" MTS Entertainment " with " Compagnia della Rancia ." She also starred as "Esmeralda" in the musical "Notre Dame de Paris" organized by the “Tre Torri” Association . In 2021, she joins DDWECO, the “Drum Dance Women Company” based in Milan.
Ryan grew up in South Jersey and started his dance training at the age of three, having trained in all styles. He spent many years as a student performing on countless competition stages before graduating in 2013. He attended Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and received a Bachelor's Degree in Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Management in 2017. Tap has always been Ryan's true passion, and he feels so grateful to be an educator who shares his love of tap with younger generations. He always strives to challenge his students and watching them shine on the stage brings him so much joy. Ryan continues to stay updated in the industry, including being hand-selected for a closed professional tap workshop in NYC with tap icon Jared Grimes. He also received a full scholarship to DC Tap Fest from this workshop from world-renowned tap icons and creators of the Syncopated Ladies tap group, Chloe and Maud Arnold. Ryan is excited to join the Next Stage Family!
Advanced Jazz, Adult Jazz
Andrea Mychaels is returning to Next Stage Dance for season 15! Miss Andrea has been immersed in the theatre and live production business as an educator, choreographer, vocalist and dancer for more than 20 years. She earned her MFA at Texas Woman’s University, Ed.M. in Dance Education at Rutgers University and B.A. in Dance at Stockton University. She has been an Adjunct Professor at several universities teaching Jazz, Tap, Modern and Ballet as well as directing and choreographing for Dance and Theater Department Productions.
Mychaels has performed throughout the country as a dancer, vocalist, and choreographer in places such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, New York and Branson. She has worked with Shawn T. (Hip-Hop Abs/Insanity), International Award winning Neo-Burlesque Troop "The Peek-A-Boo Revue" (as seen on America's Got Talent, season 5), the New Jersey Nets Dance Team, Kathy Sledge, Taylor Dayne, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and The Trammps, and was the Director and Choreographer for the Philadelphia Soul (AFL) Dance Team in 2011.
Mychaels is the recipient of three “Outstanding Choreography” awards for her Choreography at various East Coast Regional Theatres and ICCA, a National Acapella Competition. After being picked as a finalist in the 2012 Jazz Dance World Congress International Choreography Competition, she started her own dance company the Andrea Mychaels Dance Project in October, 2012. AMDP continues to be successful in providing performance opportunities for dancers and creating an entry point into the art of dance for a diverse population of youth through the company’s Educational and Community Outreach programming.
Ballet, Early Childhood, Acro, Nutrition, Fitness & Conditioning
Brittany has been dancing since early childhood, continuing her training at the University of the Arts where she received her Bachelors in Dance in 2019. Brittany has performed professionally with contemporary ballet companies in the Philadelphia area such as Rock on Pointe, The Roger Lee Dance Company and the Klassic Contemporary Ballet Company. She is currently obtaining her personal training and nutrition certifications to enrich her knowledge and instructional approach in the studio. She is committed to passing on her passion for dance, teaching multiple ages and styles throughout the South Jersey area.
Amanda Ortner began her dance education at the age of eleven in her hometown of Manahawkin, NJ, where she studied and competed in Tap, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical and Contemporary. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rider University with a B.A. in Arts and Entertainment Management and a minor in Dance in December, 2020. She has extensive training in Modern technique, Pilates and Mind/Body connection through dance science with a COMBO certification. During her college years, she performed in the semi-annual Dance Department showcase and danced in and choreographed for the Rider Dance Ensemble. She continues to train at Koresh Dance Company and is a company dancer for Flair Dance Company. Additionally, she has experience working for several performing arts companies and in a member of the production team with Groove Dance Competition. Amanda strives to challenge her students to improve their technique while having fun in class and emphasizes for injury prevention training. She currently works full time at the University of Pennsylvania in addition to teaching a variety of dance styles in the South Jersey area.
Ballet, Pointe, Musical Theatre
Roberta is a performer, teacher, and choreographer based in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area. She has been training in ballet, jazz, tap and modern for over twenty years. Her training has taken her to The Bowman School of Dance, Princeton Ballet School, Miami City Ballet and more. During her career as a dancer, Roberta has had the privilege of performing the choreography of Todrick Hall, Derek Hough, Debra McWaters, and Christopher d’Amboise. She also had the honor of performing the original choreography of Bob Fosse restaged by Ben Vereen. Other appearances include: The Atlantic City Ballet, The Broadway Theatre of Pitman, The Ritz Theatre, NYMF, Reverie Dance Theatre and The Lady Hoofers Junior Company. Roberta has been teaching dance for over eight years. During that time, she has taught for private dance studios in both New Jersey and Philadelphia, summer camp programs at The Ritz Theatre and Media Theatre and community engagement programs for The Philadelphia Ballet. Roberta is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Roberta’s teaching style focuses on the development of the whole dancer. Not only focusing on proper technique but also positive self-talk, and individual artistry. Select works of choreography include: The Addams Family, 13 The Musical, The Little Mermaid Jr, and Sweet Charity.
Ms. Erin has a long history of teaching dancers in the South Jersey area, is a certified teacher, respected choreographer and former studio owner. Ms. Erin studied dance in North Jersey and then earned a dance minor from Rowan University. In 2001, Ms. Erin opened her own studio where she taught ballet, tap, modern, hip-hop, and jazz for many years before seeking a career as a public school teacher. She has performed professionally in Philadelphia and has held many leading dance roles including Clara (Nutcracker), Dewdrop (Nutcracker), Sheila (Chorus Line), Hot Box Girl (Guys and Dolls), and KitKat Girl (Cabaret).
Acro, Modern, Ballet
Wren is a transmasculine dance artist and educator from Hatboro, Pennsylvania. Wren has been trained in multiple styles of dance for 20+ years, including ballet, acrobatics, postmodern and contemporary dance. He received his BFA in Dance from Temple University and was awarded the “One Last Dance” Award for his dedication throughout his time at Boyer. As a teacher, his main goal is to make those that he interacts with feel supported and encouraged. By using Piaget’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, they approach every new student with an open mind and creative solutions that help young dancers achieve their goals of feeling comfortable and expressing themselves onstage. He finds importance in connection, and support, in learning the language of dance. Being trained by and performing with educators such as Diane Sharp, Timothy Early, and Dara Meredith, he has learned the importance of connection between peers within a classroom, strong foundational technique, and good classroom etiquette as well as a positive attitude towards others and themselves. When he is not teaching, they are working on freelance dance projects to promote inclusivity, positivity, and freedom within the dance and LGBTQ+ community, as well as performing with SHARP Dance Company in Philadelphia.
Lyrical , Modern, Jazz
Maria DeFeo has been dancing since the age of three, studying at different schools in the South Jersey and Philadelphia areas before finding her home at Next Stage. She has trained in various dance styles and techniques including ballet, pointe, tap, hip hop, modern, and jazz. She graduated from Haddonfield Memorial High School in 2020 and spent a year training on the Saint Joesph’s University Dance Team before finding her way to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she currently studies dance with plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2025. Maria has studied under a variety of professional performers, including former members of Pennsylvania Ballet, Complexions Ballet, LINES ballet, and Philadanco!, as well as current Broadway performers. Maria is thrilled to be a part of the Next Stage Staff, and is looking forward to helping her students learn and grow in their love of dance.
Early Childhood Dance
Kara started her dance training in South Jersey at age three. She continued her dance education through high school and continued to perform during and after college, currently performing for Collingswood Theatre Company. She is an alumna of the Paul VI high school dance program, where she performed in the musicals and was a member of the dance team, both under the direction of Courtney Daniels. Kara is an experienced preschool teacher and caregiver of young children. She is currently earning her Masters degree in early childhood education. She is honored to share her love of dance with our youngest Next Stage students.
Early Childhood Dance
Natalie started dancing at a very young age training at various studios throughout South Jersey. In addition to dance, she participated in many theater productions and attended acting school in Philadelphia in her early years. She began teaching and choreographing for school and studio recital productions in her teenage years. She was a member of the Cherry Hill West Dance Team, earning multiple state and national championship titles. Natalie continued to pursue her love for dance on the basketball court as a member of the La Salle University Dance Team in college while earning her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. She was a member of the Philadelphia Rugby’s Vixen Dance Team in 2013. Natalie has an extensive history of teaching early childhood dance education for ballet/tap, as well as jazz and hip hop. Natalie is a full time Registered Dietitian Nutritionist when she is not dancing, and is also a busy mom of three. She is very excited to join the Next Stage family and can’t wait to share the joy of dance with young her students.