Kara Thompson grew up in Mullica Hill and has always been fascinated with health, nutrition, and fitness. As a child, she was a dancer and gymnast and in high school and throughout college she played softball and was part of the swim team. Kara pursued another passion in college and received a B.A in communications from Rowan University, but always dreamed of starting her own business.
After having a baby and missing her days as an athlete, Kara decided to try Pilates, Zumba, and other group fitness classes. After one class, she was hooked. She loved the feeling of gaining confidence, strength, and burning calories while having fun…and she knew other moms like her wanted the same thing offered in a flexible schedule. Kara has taught adult fitness and student dance classes at the studio, but you will usually find her managing everything that goes into running the studio behind the scenes.
Kara and her sister-in-law Megan, started Fit to Dance Studio with the dream of bringing a love of DANCE and FITNESS to Mullica Hill. They are thankful everyday for the F2D family of students, FIT clients, and staff. It is a pleasure to watch people young and old alike grow and express themselves through dance and fitness. To stay in shape both physically and mentally, Kara enjoys taking walks and bike rides with her husband Tom, sons Garret and Reid, and dog Harlee, where they live in East Greenwich.
Megan Datz started her dance career at Dance! By Debra DiNote at the age of 7 and was a member of the Dance! Workshop Company for 11 years. Throughout her time at DDN she was in countless competitions, workshops and performances where she earned her way as a top performer and lead dancer in roles like Cinderella in "Once Upon a Glass Slipper".
Megan attended Rowan University and graduated in 2008 with a BA in Child Drama and a Minor in Dance. While attending Rowan University she was a member of the Rowan Dance Team and Dance Extensions, holding the office of President of Dance Extensions. She was recognized with several awards and Honors, including the award for Best Choreographer and the recipient of the Bryna G. Goldhaft Dance Medallion Award and Scholarship, the highest honor a graduating senior can receive to acknowledge superior performance in her field. She has been an annual guest teacher at Dancing for Sheena in Allentown PA, for many years to honor her cousin who inspired her to begin dancing.
Megan has taught at various schools in New Jersey which led her to open up Fit to Dance Studio with her sister in law Kara, in Mullica Hill, NJ in 2012. The Studio has grown steadily every year and has nearly 300 students at all levels. They started a dance company called F2D Elite which competes and does various events in the community. Megan has earned top choreography awards at competitions with the Fit to Dance Elite dancers. She hopes to instill the love of dance and inspire young dancers to be the best they can be!!
Kathleen Hornung has spent several years managing businesses and helping them excel. She has been the office manager at Fit to Dance since 2017. Kathleen grew up in Williamstown and now resides in Carneys Point with her three children and loving fiancée. She absolutley loves putting a smile on everyones face and is thrilled to be a part of the Fit to Dance family. You can find her at the front desk with a smiling face, ready and happy to help you with anything you need.
Laura Donnelly grew up dancing for 15 years. Trained in Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Lyrical, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tahitian, and Maori Poi balls. She has years of experience in competitions, recitals, and other dance performances. After earning her Bachelor's degree in communications from West Chester University, Laura entered the creative world to explore her passion for art. She recently decided to attend Rowan College of South Jersey to obtain an Associates degree in Graphic Design. In her free time, Laura enjoys watching football and soccer. She also loves to paint, helping with choreography, and coming up with new creative designs.
|GABRIELLE SCHLOCCHINI • Instructor|
Gabrielle Sclocchini's love for dance started when she was just three years old. She danced at Tricia Sloan Dance Center where she was a member of their Dance Company. She received her dance training in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and contemporary. Gabrielle was involved in their production of The Nutcracker as well as numerous other performances as well as competitions. Gabrielle received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Rowan University and her Master's Degree in Clinical Social Work from Rutgers University. Gabrielle is currently a School Social Worker for Pennsville School District.
Kimberly Hill Kimberly Hill’s dance journey began at the age of four in Pennsylvania. She continued her training in college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she was a member of the prestigious IUP Dance Theatre and had the privilege of performing works and trainings with numerous influential choreographers. She is classically trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and musical theatre. Kim has performed with multiple dance companies and holds a Master of Arts degree from Drexel University in Dance/Movement Therapy. She has worked with children and their families in a variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and in their homes assisting with medical, behavioral, and emotional challenges. In recent years; she has continued to study, perform, choreograph, and attend dance teacher workshops throughout the region. Kim is certified in Progressing Ballet Technique and is a member of the National Dance Education Organization. Routed with a strong technical foundation, Kim utilizes her love of dance, along with her therapeutic skills to maintain a positive, fun, and safe education setting for her students. Kim has been a part of the Fit to Dance family since 2013.
Amanda Vahey has been a part of the Fit to Dance family for over 5 years and has loved watching the students grow. As our Acro and Kids Dance Fitness leader, her background comes from competitive cheerleading, and she's also a certified gymnastics instructor (USA Gymnastics) and a Zumba instructor. A new mom to son, Brayden Joseph, Amanda is also a special education teacher at Woodbury Heights Elementary. She loves working with kids of all ages and abilities and looks forward to another great season at Fit to Dance.
Taja Fooks-Thornton is a native of South Jersey where she attended Cherry Hill High School West and competed at Dance Worlds as a member of the Cherry Hill West Dance Team. Taja began her formal dance training under the mentorship of Dara Meredith and Laceda Nelson. Between 2011 and 2014 Taja danced with Eleone Connections, the second company of Eleone Dance Theatre. In 2018, Taja received her BFA in Dance from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts where she performed works by Brian Brooks, Yvonne Rainer, Camille Brown, and Darell Grand Moultrie. While at Rutgers, she also worked to receive a BA in Communications & Public Relations. In addition to being given the opportunity to perform at the world-renowned Joyce Theater in NYC with Mason Gross School of the Arts (MGSA), Taja’s choreography was recognized when MGSA awarded her the 2018 Dance Plus Choreography award for her work, undoneTogether. After leaving Rutgers, Taja traveled the world with Disney Cruise Line under contract as a Main Stage Performer. Most recently, she has begun her journey as a Pilates instructor and is on track to complete the Balanced Body Comprehensive Instructor Training. Taja believes everyone can benefit from mindful movement regardless of age. Whether teaching children or adults, Taja prides herself in prioritizing discipline, etiquette, and technique. Every student in her class will learn to excel through dedication and hard work.
Conner Kelly coming out of South Jersey found the love of tap dance at the age of 10 years old taking beginner lessons from his Aunt. After being asked by Jamie Brickner Down to join her competition team he soon began doing extremely well everywhere he went. After his first trip to Broadway dance center, NYC, he became very fond of improvisational rhythmic tap that became his trademark style to compete with. He has performed with “The American Tap Dance Foundation” and other New York based shows including "Juba" which was featured at the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C). Short after he was flown to teach and perform at the Vancouver tap festival with Rasta Thomas' "TAP STARS". Conner’s biggest influences to learn more and become a better tap dancer include Jason Janas, Jason Samuels Smith, Robin Passmore, Michelle Dorrance, Derick Grant, Jared Grimes and of course the late and great Dr. Harold Cromer (among many others). Being that his career is just getting started he is very excited to see what the future may hold.
Wanda Hoagland is a dedicated and inspiring instructor with a varied and extensive background as a professional dancer and gymnast. A talented and gifted choreographer, she has choreographed the Mrs. New Jersey America Pageant and is frequently asked to judge other pageants and competitions. Immersing herself in the disciplines of dance and gymnastics since childhood, she proceeded to win numerous scholarships and awards recognizing her accomplishments. Honors from Dance Masters of America and Dance Olympics included. Wanda's intensive training has led to roles in movies, and her professional experience in Resorts International, USO, and several television shows.
Gia Savidge has taught hip hop dance for over 11 years. Her love for dance dates back to her childhood, drawing inspiration from artists like Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Usher and Chris Brown to name a few. In high school, she joined a dance team and would eventually teach the team herself from 2010-2012. Later in 2010, she began receiving formal training in hip hop and teaching when she joined the dance company, Intrinsic Styles. Under Intrinsic, she was trained in the 5 main styles of hip hop, which include locking, popping, breaking, housing, and krumping. It wasn’t long before she began teaching for the company, taking them to competitions, such as Monsters of Hip Hop. During this time, she also found an appreciation for ballet and received basic training at Adagio Dance Center in 2012. Gia went on to teach for school programs and many different dance studios from New Jersey to Pittsburgh, PA. While teaching, Gia explored the world of party motivation, performing for countless bar mitzvahs all over the tri state area. Through the years, her versatility as a teacher has given her the opportunity to teach all ages, take many students to state and national competitions, and inspire adults to channel their inner dancer through her hip hop fitness classes.
Sara Kovarovic started her dance career at Dance! By Debra DiNote at the age of 4 and was a member of the Dance! Workshop Company for 9 years. She began competing at the age of 6 and also performed in yearly productions where she earned lead roles for 3 consecutive years. Sara attended Drexel University, where she was a member of the Drexel Dance Team for four years. During her time on the team she choreographed for the team and also performed during all basketball games, other sporting events, galas and competed on the national level. Sara now works at URBN Urban Outfitters Inc. as an event planner, but still has a love for dance! Sara previously has taught adult fitness at Fit to Dance, and has taught student classes for the last two years. She is excited for the upcoming year to teach hip hop again to such wonderful students at Fit to Dance!
Erin Mahoney was born and raised in Boston and moved to South Jersey after finishing college at Franklin Pierce University in 2012 with a BA in Theatre with a concentration in dance. She has been dancing since age three and is trained in a variety of dance styles, including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, hip hop, and acro. During her time at Franklin Pierce she was on the Raven Thunder Dance Team as a dancer and choreographer. She has performed with KN Dance & Entertainment for multiple events over the past six years. Included in these events is the annual CHOP Halloween Party hosted by the Philadelphia Phillies. Over the past few years she has organized multiple charitable dance fundraisers for Suicide Prevention at Fit to Dance featuring professional dancer and choreographer Matt Lopez, from New York City. Erin continues to actively learn through a variety of classes in NYC and the surrounding NJ area. In addition to her dance career, Erin is also an accomplished writer and has published five novels.
|Kiera Perry has danced since she could walk. She danced at several studios before finding her true love of dance at Fit to Dance Studio. It was here that she gained life long friends and truly developed her talents. As an alumni of Fit to Dance, Kiera was an active part of Fit to Dance’s Elite Company and participated in many events. She danced with Fit to Dance Elite for 8 years. Kiera has participated in many competitions and brought home many 1st place awards and titles including, Premier Miss NexStar 2021. She’s competed on the stage at Fine Arts Nationals for 3 years and was ranked top 10 in the country. Kiera has been trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, contemporary, and lyrical. Kiera loves instructing “littles” and has assisted at Fit to Dance for the last 4 years. She is excited to instruct others and see them have the same positive experience at Fit to Dance that she has had.|
Aly Schroeder began dancing at age five at Elite Dance Company in her hometown of Richboro, PA. She went on to study classical ballet at The Koresh Dance Center and Symmetry Dance Wellness in Philadelphia, PA. Aly is also a certified group fitness instructor and licensed clinical social worker. Currently, Aly continues to pursue her love of dance as a dancer with KN Dance and Entertainment, dancing professionally in corporate and community events throughout New Jersey and Philadelphia, PA. She also pursues continued education in dance by participating in master dance classes and attending dance workshops throughout the region. Aly loves to share her passion for dance, fitness and emotional and physical health with all ages. Aly combines strong dance technique with fun and creative movement to create dance classes that enable each dancer to reach his/her full potential. Aly is a certified dance teacher through the Associated Dance Teachers of NJ.
Jenna Scott is excited to be a part of the Fit to Dance staff for a fifth year! Miss Jenna, a history teacher at Clearview Regional High School, earned her bachelor’s degree in History from West Chester University. She has studied dance at Trisha Sloan Dance Studio and was an active member of the dance company by performing in various competitions, holding various roles as a cast member of "The Little Match Girl" and performing in Walt Disney World. She performed with Ballet South in their productions of "The Nutcracker" and "Coppelia." Miss Jenna also studied at Kathy Henkel School of Dance and The Professional School for several years. At West Chester University, she continued to study dance and was a member of the Dance Production Workshop. She also works as the choreographer for Clearview Regional High School musicals, and lives in Mullica Hill with her husband Chris and their two children, Annabelle and Brandon.
Valerie Pelosi began her dance journey at the age of three at Dance! By Debra DiNote and then
continued competition dance at Jamie’s Dance Odyssey. Valerie’s dance experience includes
competing with her studio and dancing for the Philadelphia Soul football team, the Paul VI High
School Varsity Dance Team, and the hip-hop dance team at Johnson & Wales University. During
her high school years, she attended classes as well as taught competition jazz for at her studio,
in addition to teaching ballet/jazz at her high school. While attending college, she was Vice
President and co-choreographer for her college’s dance team. Aside from dance, Valerie went
to school for Hospitality and Tourism Management at Johnson & Wales and went back for her
MBA. Since graduating, Valerie moved to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida where she completed a
management program with Marriott International and is moving back to New Jersey to
continue her hospitality career. She is super excited to be part of the Fit to Dance crew and to
share her passion of dance!
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Celia Cioffi began dancing at 8 years old and has trained in a variety of styles including ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, pointe, lyrical, tap, and musical theatre. She joined a competition team at age 11 and competed for years, winning many national titles. In 2020, she earned her BA in Dance from Georgian Court University in Lakewood, NJ where she further developed her skills as a dancer as well as a choreographer and an instructor. She continues her education through taking master classes all throughout the NYC and Philadelphia area. Celia has also worked for Groove National Dance Competition as a Scorekeeper & Emcee where she had the opportunity to run dance competitions all across the country. She loves sharing her passion with her students here at Fit to Dance!
Bailey Shirk was a competitive cheerleader for six years, and captain of the high school cheerleading team. She competed in the Colonial League Cheerleading Competition and placed 2nd. Bailey studied at Binghamton University were she trained in many styles of dance including Jazz, Hip Hop, Acro, and Modern. In her free time she loves writing, going to the beach, and spending time with her dog Shelby. Bailey is so excited to join our Fit to Dance Family and can not wait to dance with her students!
Devon Caldes has been with Fit to Dance Studio since we opened our doors 11 years ago and will be starting her 7th year as a member of the F2D Elite Dance Company. Devon has studied almost all styles of dance at Fit to Dance including pointe, ballet, jazz, tap, modern, contemporary, and acro. Her favorite style of dance is ballet. Devon has competed in varoius dance competitions and earned numerous awards for team, duo and solo dances. When she is not dancing at the studio, Devon is an honor student at Clearview High School.
Brayden Wilson He started his dance career at Fit to Dance Studio when he was four years old. Here he has been trained in 5+ genres of dance as well as acro. He says "The staff at Fit to dance has inspired me so much and I am so excited to help inspire future dancers like the F2D staff has inspired me."
Gianna Battaglia “G” is starting her 10th year of dance and her 5th year as a member of the F2D Elite team. She loves Jazz and Contemporary. Gianna is going into 8th grade at Clearview Middle School. If you don't see her at the studio you can find her on the football field cheering.
Mia DiRienzo is in eighth grade. She has been dancing at F2D for the past 10 years. Mia has also been on the F2D Elite Dance Company team for the past 5 years. She is looking forward to helping your young dancer(s).
Gabrielle Buck is in 8th grade and has been dancing at Fit 2 Dance for 9 years. This will be her first year being a student assistant and she's super excited!
Janina Caputo is 13, has been dancing for 12 years and is about to start her 10th season at Fit to Dance studio. She loves ballet, contemporary and tap. She is very excited to share her love of dance by assisting classes this season.
Morgan Duffey has been with Fit to Dance Studio since we opened the doors 11 years ago and a member of the Elite Dance Company as well. She loves working with kids and hopes to continue to teaching after she graduates from high school!
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