Staff

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 Gardner

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, which includes preparing for graduate school, in hopes to become a Speech Language Pathologist. However, Alexa is very eager to continue sharing her commitment, passion and creativity with her students at TPDC!

Vanessa Inacio

Vanessa Inacio has had a passion for dance since she put on her first pair of tap shoes. For nearly 20 years, she has spent countless hours in dance classes, including ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and modern. Vanessa 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). She is beyond thrilled to be apart of the Turning Pointe Family!

TPDC16_Teachers_Michelle_080223Michelle Guerrizio

Michelle has had a love for dance and has been dancing since the age of three. At TPDC Michelle has taken and continues to take all genres of dance including tap,ballet,acro,hip-hop, modern, lyrical, jazz, pointe, and musical theater. Michelle has been a member of the TPDC competition team since she was ten years old and has performed solos, duos, and group numbers which have been award winning performances. She has trained with Master Ballet instructor Thomas Hanner as well as with contemporary instructors/choreographers Angel Armas (Dance Moms: Miami) and Victor Smalley (So You Think You Can Dance). Michelle enjoys sharing her love of dance with her students. She considers TPDC her extended family and her home away from home!

Christina Montesano

Christina has been a part of the Turning Pointe dance family since she was four years old. She has been trained in various dance styles including, ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip hop, acro, contemporary, and pointe. Christina was an active member of the competition team for many years. The dances she participated in won many high achievement awards. Being a dance team member also awarded her with the experiences of giving back to others by performing for the community. Christina is a graduate from Montclair State University with a B.A. in Family and Child Studies and a Teaching Certification in Preschool-3rd grade. She loves sharing her passion for dance with her students.