Our Instructors

TPDC16_Teachers_Julie_082823Julie Otani

Artistic Director, Owner
Julie is a graduate of Montclair State University where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. She is also certified with the US Gymnastics Federation. Julie’s studies include NJ School of Ballet, Broadway Dance Center and Dance Space. Through her extensive training and performance experience Julie has become a highly skilled, innovative teacher and choreographer. She enthusiastically shares her talent and knowledge with all TPDC students. Julie resides in Cranford with her husband and her 2 children.

Jude “Reggie” Cassion

Artistic Director, Choreographer, Dancer, Teacher
Jude, is an active dancer, choreographer, and teacher in New York City. His classes and choreography focus on musicality and performance, while capturing the emotion, rhythm, and lyrics of the music. Students should expect a fun and challenging class that enhances their performance with precision by fusing hip-hop, street jazz, and modern choreography. Classes will be an outlet to enhance your natural abilities.


Meg new headshot 2016 bwMeghan Vaz

Performance Company Director
Meghan has a passion for dance, which is evident in all aspects of her life. She danced as a student at Turning Pointe for fifteen years, and has received her BFA in Dance from Montclair State University. Her dance education ranges from ballet, pointe and jazz, to hip-hop, tap, and modern. She has performed pieces by choreographers such as Lori Katterhenry, Maxine Steinman, Robert Battle, Joao Carvalho, Jessica DiMaurio, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, the founder of Urban Bush Women. Her choreography was featured in the Montclair State University production Dance Collage 2010. Meghan has been on the teaching staff of Turning Pointe Dance Center for 11 years, and continues to challenge her students with exciting, technical, and inventive choreography.

TPDC16_Teachers_Alexa_077823Alexa McCaffrey

Alexa developed a love for dance at a very early age. Alexa was a student at Turning Pointe Dance Center for 15 years, as well as an avid member of TPDC’s competition team. Alexa continued her dance studies into college receiving a BA in Linguistics, with minors in Dance and Psychology from Montclair State University. Through MSU’s Dance Department, Alexa took classes under the direction of Elizabeth McPherson, Nancy Lushington, Linda Roberts, Laurie Abramson, Cindy Thole, Jessica DiMauro and Joao Carvalho. Alexa is now continuing her studies at Seton Hall Unviersity in their graduate program for Speech Language Pathology. However, Alexa is very eager to continue sharing her commitment, passion and creativity with her students at TPDC!

Vanessa Pais

Miss Vanessa has had a passion for dance since she put on her first pair of tap shoes. For over 20 years, she has spent countless hours in dance classes, including Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Jazz, Musical Theatre, and Tap. In addition to her formal training, she attended many dance conventions and traveled to NYC learning from esteemed choreographers including Doug Caldwell, Tyce Diorio, Brian Friedman, Frank Hatchett, Laurie Johnson, Charles McGowan, Wade Robson, Gregg Russell, and Barry Youngblood. These experiences helped shape Miss Vanessa’s knowledge and appreciation of dance.

She continued her love of dance throughout college, graduating with a BFA in Dance from Montclair State University. While at Montclair State, she had the privilege of performing in works choreographed by Jessica DiMauro, Jay T. Jenkins, Earl Mosley, Twyla Tharpe, Charles Weidman, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar (Urban Bush Women).

Miss Vanessa’s competitive pieces have received numerous accolades at both Regional and National events. She is happy to be part of the Turning Pointe Family and is looking forward to another great season!

TPDC16_Teachers_Michelle_080223Michelle Guerrizio

Michelle has had a love for dance since the age of three. At TPDC Michelle trained in all genres of dance, and was a member of the TPDC competition team. Michelle has continued to study dance at Montclair State University where she will graduate with a B.A. in Dance with a concentration in studio teaching, as well as a B.A. in Family & Child Studies with a teaching certification for Preschool Grade 3. While at Montclair State, Michelle has performed in works choreographed by Jessica DiMauro, Christian Von-Howard, Charles Weidman, and Kim Whittam,. Michelle also had her own work featured in Montclair State Universitys production of Dance Collage 2017. Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of dance with her students.


Zina Scasso

Zina has had a passion for dance since she first stepped foot into the studio. Zina was a student at Turning Pointe Dance Center for 15 years and has been dancing ever since. She took classes in all genres such as pointe, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz and acro. Zina received a B.S in Exercise Science and a Minor in Dance Arts from Kean University. She is now planning to go onto Graduate School to receive a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Zina is excited to apply what she’s learned to her students at TPDC and is eager to continue sharing her love and passion for dance!

Kelcey Matheny

Kelcey Matheny is a New York City based teacher, choreographer, and performer. Kelcey has taught and choreographed for Coupe Theatre Studio, The Dance Centre, Bronx Dance Theatre, Andreas Dance Studio, Serious Fun After School, Inc., Sol Dance Center, and Project Broadway at Broadway Dance Center Children and Teen Program. Kelcey has choreographed Pippin at Nanuet High School, Homeroom, the Musical for Serious Fun After School, Inc., and has been the assistant choreographer for productions of In the Heights at Gallery Players and West Side Story and Cats at New Generation Theatre. She has also choreographed for studios and dance programs in New York, Connecticut, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. Kelcey’s performance credits include 42nd Street at Fulton Theatre, Pippin at Summer Theatre of New Canaan, and Song and Dance Men at Centenary Stage Company. Kelcey received her BFA in Dance from Southeast Missouri State University. www.kelceymatheny.com