Our Dance Instructors

Marlyn Abramson

Untitled design (15).png

Executive Director

The journey began at the age of 4 years old when my mother enrolled me in my first dance class. Although it was many years ago, it seems like yesterday that I was experiencing the excitement and thrills of my classes and recitals. My family was encouraging and supportive of my dance performance goals, which is so important for a child.
As a student I took multiple classes which gave me the skills and confidence to dance with the Philadelphia Civic Ballet company when I was 15. Although I had minor parts, the experience was awesome, challenging, and rewarding. I have to say again that family support and encouragement is so very important!
During high school I taught dance at a
neighborhood music school, and knew that someday I wanted to have my own studio, and express myself with original choreography.
My husband built a studio in our house
in 1973, and I opened the Marlyn Abramson School of Dance with 12 students the first year.
Now I could share my love of dance by teaching children in my own school. What a great feeling that was. The enrollment grew, I rented space in a local nursery school in Lansdale and my daughters started taking dance lessons from me. It was a very proud moment in my life.

Over the last 48 years we have increased to 4 primary studio locations, and several satellite schools offering our dance instruction in pre- schools, community centers, and day care facilities. We perform at Walt Disney World, the 76ers ,and senior centers. Regardless where we teach, I
make sure that we provide quality instruction in a professional, caring, and loving way.

This has always been my
philosophy and my goal, because the children come first.
I have been so fortunate to be able to share my love of dance with multi- generations of families over the years. In my own family, our daughters and  granddaughters have taken lessons in our schools. Words can not describe how I felt watching my granddaughters on stage. Not only has the instruction spanned generations, but my daughter, Jennifer, is carrying on the legacy as our studio director with me. This is a true blessing!
Dance is a great performing art.
It builds confidence, self esteem, and character. It’s the experience that counts most of all. I want to thank all of the parents and students who have allowed me to share my love of dance with them, and enabled me to fulfill my life long dreams.
Keep on dancing!

Erin Griffith

Erin Griffith.JPG

Director, Harleysville 

Miss Erin is the Studio Director of the Harleysville studio. Erin studied Dance at Montclair State University in New Jersey, and Dance Education at Kutztown University, where she minored in Theatre Arts. She started dance at the age of five at the Lansdale studio, she is one of the original company members of the Marlyn Abramson School of Dance. Erin is also a founding member of The Lansdale Catholic Dance Company. Erin choreographs and trains our students for our Nutcracker Performance. In addition to her classical training she has been the choreographer for the musical theatre department at Souderton Area High School for many years. Erin is the dance director at Camp Nockamixon since 2003, and has choreographed for Laymen Playmen.

Kelly Peterson

Kelly-683x1024.jpg

Director, Hartsville Studio

Miss Kelly is the Studio Director at the Hartsville Studio. She grew up with the New Dance Workshop family, quickly realizing that she found a place she belonged since her dance career start at the age of three. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of West Chester University with a B.S.Ed. in English Education and Literature and a minor in Dance, she spent all four years as a dancer and choreographer for the University Dance Company and University Theater Company. Her love of dance knows no bounds as she strived to perfect her technique under the guidance of Elizabeth Staruch, Gretchen Studlien-Webb, Jerzy Golek, and Maria Urrutia, while taking multiple master classes with professional hip hop, jazz, and lyrical dancers from around the world. After graduation, she came back to New Dance Workshop to pass on her knowledge of dance to the wonderful students willing to learn. 

Katie Ramsey

Katie Ramsey.JPG

Instructor

Miss Katie began her dance career at New Dance Workshop at age three. Katie is entering her tenth season teaching and choreographing ballet,  including the Nutcracker with Donetsk Ballet Company from Ukraine.
Katie studied under the direction of Shelley Morinsky who became her ballet mentor.  Katie studied at DeSales University and participated in many dance projects with their dance team. Katie helped choreograph our Disney production in 2016 and is currently working on  ballet and tap productions at our Spring House studio.

Jess Galinsky

IMG_2139.JPG

Instructor

Miss Jess started as a student at New Dance Workshop at age five, learning different techniques from Fosse, Morris and Grahm. Jess attended Temple University where she received a BFA in dance, with a concentration in modern, ballet, and African dance and a minor in psychology.
While at Temple, she studied with various teachers from around the globe, including music video projects with Dope Crisis, Dacav, and Jodi.
In 2010 Jess performed on live television for P.Diddy’s album release on BET’s 106 & Park. 

Tiara Canizares

IMG_2070.JPG

Instructor

Miss Tiara has a BFA in Dance and a BA in Psychology from Temple University.  She also earned an MS degree in Dance/Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute in New York. Tiara worked as a dance/movement therapist at Montefiore Medical Center Bronx, where she provided therapy to groups of adults in the psychiatric facility.
She ran Creative Expressions groups, Open Art, and Stress Reduction therapy.

Tiara is a Dance Movement Therapist for groups of children with special needs.  She is a member of the American Dance Therapy Association. Miss Tiara has adapted tap productions from various shows in our recitals, including LaLa Land.

Melissa Byrd

Melissabyrd.JPG

Instructor

Miss Melissa graduated from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and received a BFA, double majoring Dance/Communications.
She graduated Cum Laude. She has trained with various Master teachers and attended summer intensive at The Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and the Koresh School of Dance. As part of the Five College Dance Department, Melissa had the pleasure of training and performing works by artists such as Paul Dennis , Ohad Naharin, Billbob Brown and many others.
While attending UMass she received the Chancellors Talent
Scholarship for dance and taught courses in ballet and jazz.
She also had the rewarding experience of teaching grades K-12
various MA schools.  Recently, she performed in Philadelphia with the Femme Collective, Fringe Festival, and as a feature soloist in Valley Forge’s Nutcracker.  She brings a strong technical and educational influence to her classes and believes it is important for each child to find their own artistic expression through dance.

Jennifer Abramson Green

new dance workshop jen green.JPG

Director, Lansdale & Spring House

Miss Jen began her dance journey at the age of three in her mother’s dance studio. She loved dance instantly and began to take multiple classes at a young age and student teach the younger students.
She received BFA in dance and child development from Ohio State University. Jen studied with many choreographers throughout the years, Twayla Tharp, Roni Koresh and Broadway Dance Center.

She is the director of the Lansdale and Spring House studios, also directing many company projects. 

Including Disney, The Philadelphia Sixers and many more. Jen is very involved with the local community and helps with many philanthropic causes. Jen is celebrating her 24th season of dance education.

Alexis Keenan

Alexis Keenan.JPG

Assistant to the Director,

Harleysville

Miss Alexis is Assistant to Director at our Harleysville Studio. She started dancing at the age of four with the New Dance Workshop in Lansdale, where she studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, modern and hiphop. She performed in Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and many of our company performances as a student. Alexis produces and choreographs our ballet productions in the Harleysville studio where she has continued to improve the ballet technique. Alexis graduated from Kutztown University where she became certified in Dance Education. Her time in college she performed and choreographed for the Lenhart Dance Company and was a member of Kutztown University Dance Team that performed at all home football and basketball games. Alexis studied under Amy Garcia, Joyce Campbell and Karen Fuhrman who created the Ground Aerial Dance Company in Philadelphia. After graduation she came back to her NDW family and started teaching. She is going into her 8th season of teaching with us and has worked on many productions such as our Disney and 76ers performances. Miss Alexis takes pride in sharing her talent with her students, there is always something new to learn.

Rachel Isajewicz

IMG_2140.JPG

Instructor

Miss Rachel began her dance journey at the age of six. She continued to dance in a both competitive and non competitive circuits in various styles through her high school years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance from Dean College in Franklin, Mass. Her work was featured in a professionally adjudicated Dean College Choreographer's Showcase as well as the Dean College 50th Anniversary Company Performance. She also studied intensively through dance education courses in Pedagogy 1 and 2, Creative Movement, Kinesiology, and Dance History. After graduation, Miss Rachel quickly joined the staff of the Massachusetts-based competition Step Up 2 Dance. Miss Rachael has been teaching at New Dance Workshop for five years instructing students from 3 years thru adult in ballet, tap, jazz, modern and creative movement.

Cara Slemmer

IMG_2138.JPG

Instructor

Miss Cara is the Ballet director at the Hartsville studio. Cara has danced as a freelance professional dancer since she was eighteen years old. She had extensive ballet training under the direction of George Thompson, and has trained with Pennsylvania Ballet soloists Tara Keating and Meredith Rainey. Cara has done choreography for the Fringe Festival Philadelphia. Cara has choreographed various performances for the New Horizons Dance Alliance in East Greenville and Quakertown, Pennsylvania. Among her dance works  are Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and The Dream. 
Cara also does the choreography for the Montgomery Theatre in Souderton, which her family owns.  She has a Bachelor's degree in Dance from Drexel University, and a Master's degree in Dance/Movement Therapy from Drexel.

Shelly Morinsky

IMG_2137.JPG

Instructor

Miss Shelley has been teaching ballet for 49 years. She opened her studio in West Point in 1982, and is still teaching today. Shelley studied with Nancy Johnson with the San Francisco Ballet and with Jilliana of the San Diego Ballet. She performed with the San Diego Ballet touring Arizona and Nevada. She studied jazz with Phil Black, Luigi and Tommy Rola.
She did a five month tour of the East Coast in summer stock, performing in Bravo. She also studied with Tom Stevens of West Side Story on Broadway. Shelley has mentored many of our teachers and choreographed spectacular ballet productions.
We think of her as our national treasure.

Alysse Falbo

IMG_2122.JPG

Instructor

Miss Alysse has a BA degree in dance from Cedar Crest College and a B.S. Degree in Business Administration. She has extensive training in many styles of dance including ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, contemporary, and tap. She is experienced teaching children with Down's Syndrome, and  other children with challenges. She received many awards:
Best creative concept for Alice,

Creative concept for New York,
Creative costume for Merrimack River,
VIP Choreography for We Will Not Stay Silent.
Alysse looks forward to working with a team of instructors dedicated to providing fun, educational dance experiences for students.

Olivia Wood

Audition headshot.JPG

Instructor

Olivia Wood began her dance training at the age of 3 at Position One School of Dance (now Creative Motion) in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
During high school, she joined the studio’s performance troupe and took additional classical ballet and pointe classes at the Newport Academy of Ballet, home of Island Moving Company (IMC).
During that time, she performed in IMC’s performance of The Nutcracker at Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, RI. In 2017, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Muhlenberg College, receiving her BA in Dance and Spanish. Her college experience allowed her to perform works by Megan Flynn, Teresa VanDenend Sorge, Jeffrey Peterson, and Orion Duckstein. She also studied abroad in Arezzo, Italy, where she studied with Rita Petrone, Giorgio Rossi, Sabine Fichter, and Carolina and Fabrizzio Basagni. In spring of 2017, she joined Anne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers Company in Philadelphia, and has performed with them for the past four seasons. In addition to her work with the company, Olivia performed works by Karen Fuhrman, artistic director of Grounded Aerial, at the Performance Garage and Guggenheim Museum in NYC, and traveled to France with the company to earn her certification in bungee dance technique.
She has also worked with Asya Zlatina, Ani Gavino, and Matter Movement Group (Teddy Fatscher and Frank Leone). Olivia has presented her own solo choreography at Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers’ in Hale Performance Series, Koresh Artist Showcase, and the Performance Garage. Last month, Olivia joined TK Dance Lab, directed by Stephanie Tolbert-King, a virtual dance company that seeks to create choreographic works of social activism through an online platform during the pandemic. Miss Olivia is very excited to begin her first season with the studio.