(508) 699-4959 North Attleboro, MA



Our Faculty

An All-Star Faculty for those just starting their dance training as well as students with exceptional technique and ability. NEDA offers innovative classes for young children and classes to prepare the young dancer for the professional level - we have something for everyone! Our teachers are highly dedicated in helping each child progress and reach their highest potential.

Congratulations to the New England Dance Academy Faculty who were named Tops in Dance Education for the entire Northeast Region! What an honor!

Stephanie Kemp director

 

For the Love of Dance

 

I believe anything is possible when it comes from the heart. Dance has taught me to live, laugh and dream. It has not been about the awards and the accolades, for me it has been about the journey. The memories and friendships I have made along the way are priceless.

When I started this business over 31 years ago I knew not a soul in Attleboro; the community embraced me, my second family. I am forever grateful for all of the love and support. I am honored that you have chosen to investigate the many advantages a New England Dance Academy education has to offer. I will do my best to earn and maintain your trust.

NEDA dance studio of MA

Meet the NEDA Faculty & staff!

Click on the photos below to learn about each staff member.
Stephanie Kemp

Stephanie P. Kemp

Artistic Director
Jill D'Aguanno

Jill D'Aguanno

Assistant to the Director
Hope Specht

Hope Specht

Assistant to the Director
Courtney D'Olivera

Courtney D'Olivera

Assistant to the Director
 
Erin Fort

Erin Fort

Instructor/Choreographer
Judy Weiland

Judy Weiland

Preschool Instructor
Nichole Pinto

Nichole Pinto

Instructor/Choreographer
Amanda Foster

Amanda Foster

Instructor/Choreographer
 
Josh Perez

Josh Perez

Instructor/Choreographer
Ashley Andries

Ashley Andries

Instructor/Choreographer
Tina Clarke

Tina Clarke

Instructor/Office Manager
Jayni Shumila

Jayni Shumila

Instructor/Choreographer
 
Missy Callen

Missy Callen

Parent Liason
Kara Pendlebury

Kara Pendlebury

Guest Instructor
Sydney Marchand

Sydney Marchand

Guest Instructor
Shane Farrell

Shane Farrell

Guest Instructor
 

 

 

 

 

Stephanie P. Kemp

Artistic Director, Choreographer, Leadership Mentor, Business Coach and Entrepreneur

As Artistic Director of New England Dance Academy (NEDA), Stephanie Kemp has created one of the most successful dance studios in New England. Now in its 32nd season, NEDA is recognized nationally as a premiere facility for dancers and acrobats of all ages.

Stephanie has received both regional and national recognition for her extensive knowledge and expertise. She continues to teach and choreograph at both the secondary and college level. Her recent nominations include:

  •   Federation of Dance, Top Finalist - Industry Dance Awards
  •   Winner - Choreography of the Year, 2019 Star Dance Alliance
  •   The ADCC Studio Of Excellence Award
  •   Top 10 Dance Studio on the MOVE Dance Spirit Magazine
  •   National Dance Champions
  •   World Dance Champions

 

Stephanie continues to master all of the latest techniques in all aspects of dance education including Anatomy, Dance History, Laban notation, dance production, Improvisation and Choreography. She brings a wealth of teaching experience, having taught dance at beginner through professional levels.

Stephanie Kemp earned her BA in Liberal Arts from Mount Holyoke College with a Dance Major from the 5 College Dance Department. She continued her studios in Kinesiology and Dance History at Smith and Amherst College respectively. Stephanie's professional background and creative insight have enabled her to create a school that is motivated by challenge and driven by high standards. New England Dance Academy has been named one of the TOP Dance Studios in the nation!

Stephanie is also the founder of Active Organics; a company that develops and manufactures all-natural and organic products and activewear for the dancer, made from eco-friendly, sustainable materials.

 

Jill D'Aguanno

Assistant to the Director

Jill D'Aguanno started her professional career in Chicago, IL, where she studied extensively with Gus Giordano. Her career then took her to Dallas, TX where she fell in love with teaching.

Jill is an energetic, enthusiastic teacher who focuses on developing the entire dancer. Her passion is in the classroom and she strives to share her knowledge and experience with all of her students. Her emphasis on strong technique and boundless energy has made her a significant force in the dance industry. Her classes are warm and welcoming. She continues to teach all levels, and she takes the same creative approach to all of her classes, from Little Steps through professional. Her team choreography is exciting, innovative and entertaining. Her choreography has been recognized both regionally and nationally. Her teams have received countess awards and accolades. Her high energy, entertaining, showstoppers are always the talk of the town.

Jill has been sharing her passion for dance with all of her students at NEDA since 1998 and she continues to inspire her students at every level, year after year. She strives to share her vision and vast experience as a master teacher, choreographer and mentor, in hopes of guiding her talented students of today into the stars of tomorrow.

 

Hope Specht

Assistant to the Director

Hope Specht has an impeccable reputation in the New England dance world. Known for her explosive and innovative choreography, she is in constant demand as a teacher and adjudicator. Having owned and operated her own dance studio for over 15 years, her students were World Champions, and 2-Time Silver Medalists in Germany. Hope also had the prestigious honor of being nominated to choreograph and perform for then President George Bush, Sr.

Hope has shared her talents with dancers across the country, teaching workshops and master classes. She has been a senior staff member at NEDA since 2006. Hope's unique and creative style is contagious. Her classes focus on style and proper technique. Known for pushing her students to their ultimate potential her creative insight and original vision is a inspiration to all of her students. Her classroom is an environment where artistic risks and deliberate stylistic choices are encouraged. The master of Improvisation, Hope's techniques will help students master the mind, as well as the body.

Hope's daughter, Jada Specht, is the 2019 Miss Teen World of Dance!

 

Courtney D'Olivera

Assistant to the Director

Courtney D'Olivera holds over 15 National Titles in Dance and Acrobatics, including JR Miss Dance USA and JR Miss Acrobat USA. Her professional Dance Career began in the Off Broadway Musical "One". In 2003, Courtney was chosen to represent the United States in the WORLD SHOW DANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS in Riesa, Germany. There she competed and won the Adult Championship Dance Division.

Courtney's dynamic and well rounded experience allows her to teach students of all levels, all ages and all genres. Her students have excelled both on the recreational and competitive level. Her choreography for soloists and performing dance teams have won countless, Regional, National and Title High Score Awards.

Courtney's expertise, knowledge and instruction has had a remarkable impact on the growth of her students. She strives to inspire her dancers, not only in the classroom, but in life itself. Her goal is to provide a healthy, positive dance environment where her students will continue to grow and thrive.

 

Erin Fort

Instructor & Choreographer

Erin Fort has been a member of the NEDA family since our grand opening in 1990. She spent most of her childhood in the dance studio, and she danced and competed with NEDA until her high school graduation in 2002.

In 2006, Erin received her BFA from The University at Buffalo. Upon graduation, Erin dedicated herself to teaching. She has worked with many prestigious companies including: The Martha Graham Dance Company, Gus Giordano Dance Chicago and The Doug Varone Company. She returned to her roots and began teaching at NEDA. Fast forward 11 years later, and Erin is now a Senior Member of the NEDA Faculty. She teaches all levels and ages with a specialty in musical theater. Her competition teams and dance clubs have won numerous awards and accolades. Her choreography has been awarded high score awards and special Judges recognition.

 

Judy Weiland

Preschool Instructor & Choreographer

Judy Weiland is a graduate of Bridgewater State University. She is renowned for her compassionate and nurturing teaching style. Miss Judy utilizes the NEDA preschool dance program to inspire her young students. She encourages her young dancers to experience the magic and creativity of dance through music and self-expression.

Judy has been with NEDA since 2007, she is endeared by her students of all ages. Her goal is to provide a safe, loving dance environment for her little steps and young children's program students so they will fully embrace the spirit of the art. When a dancer graduates from miss Judy's preschool class they will be more confident, socially intelligent, and asking for more!

 

Nichole Pinto

Instructor & Choreographer

Nichole Pinto is an accomplished dancer, choreographer, and martial artist. She started dancing at the age of 5 with Donna Carter's Dance Studio and later danced for the Hope Specht's School of Dance. Throughout her dance career she has won numerous awards, including Miss Acrobat of the United States in 1994. At the Terpsichore dance competition she was the youngest dancer in the Master"s division as a soloist.

Nichole studied nursing at the Community College of Rhode Island and obtained her nursing license in 2015. Currently she works as a full-time school nurse at the Segue Institute for Learning in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Throughout this time, she has continued to share her passion and energy as an instructor at NEDA.

Nichole also teaches a wide range of cultural dances and an Afro-Brasilian martial art called Capoeira at New Wave Martial Arts and Fitness in Warwick, Rhode Island. Nichole remains committed to creating an inviting, respectful and educational classroom experience that promotes teamwork and self-confidence.

 

Amanda Foster

Instructor & Choreographer

Amanda Foster started dancing at NEDA in 1992 at the age of six. She fell in love with dance and found her passion. Amanda called NEDA her "home away from home" and danced and competed until her high school graduation in 2004.

In 2010, Amanda graduated with her BS in Sports/Entertainment/Event Management from Johnson and Wales University. She worked with many companies planning and executing events. Never taking her sights off of her passion, she continued her dance education becoming Acrobat Arts certified. Amanda also completed an ariel/back-handspring workshop in Acrobatic Arts.

Over the past six years, Amanda has taught many styles of dance including ballet, lyrical, acro, and jazz. She teaches all skill levels and ages. Her favorite styles are Acrobatics and Lyrical. Her competition teams have taken on her same passion and drive to receive many overall high score awards.

Amanda enjoys passing on the passion and gift of dance to her students. She loves watching her students grow as dancers and reach their true potential.

 

Josh Perez

Instructor & Choreographer

In 2010, Josh Perez made his television debut on the 5th season of MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew". In 2012 he was a back-up dancer for Jordan Knight on the "Live and Unfinished" tour. In early 2017 he choreographed, and was showcased on, the new hit reality TV show "World of Dance" by Jennifer Lopez.

Josh's style goes beyond hip hop, Josh is the real deal with the perfect combination of natural ability, learned skills and determination. With the emerging popularity of Hip Hop, his high energy, fun and original classes are a game changer for today's youth. Josh brings a fresh, new, authentic style to the classroom and he is excited to be able to share his love of movement with all of his students.

 

Ashley Andries

Instructor & Choreographer

 

Ashley Andries began dancing at the age of 5 and received her early ballet training at the Eastern Connecticut Ballet. She attended several summer programs including Boston Ballet and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, as well a performing in the Youth America Grand Prix for 2 years.

Ashley completed her last three years of schooling with Festival Ballet in Providence, and soon after joined the company at age 17. She has performed in numerous productions, such as Balanchine"s Rubies and Donazetti Variations, Antony Tudors Leaving are Fading, danced the lead in Romeo and Juliet, and various soloist roles in Nutcracker, including the Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Other various works have included pieces by Viktor Plotnikov, Avichai Scher, and Mihailo Djuric. She also has danced as a guest artist for many schools and companies throughout the New England.

Ashley"s passion for the art of ballet has not only allowed her to perform, but has also lead her to quite the career as an instructor. She shares her art as a faulty member at New England Dance Academy and she is always excited to train and influence her students in the wonderful world of ballet!

 

Jayni Shumila

Instructor/Choreographer

 

Bio coming soon.

 

Kara Pendlebury

Guest Instructor

 

For the past ten years, Kara Pendlebury has been shaping the lives of her students through dance. Her extensive dance background has made her an industry leader in the New England area. Her expertise in Contemporary Ballet and Jazz has made her an invaluable member of the NEDA team. Her choreography is fresh and innovative, and she has been honored both regionally and nationally for her concepts and vision. As a competition judge and traveling artist she continually bring the latest techniques and foundations into the classroom and her students adore her!

 

Shane Farrell

Guest Instructor

 

Shane Farrell is a native of Rhode Island and his dancing has taken him to such places as New York City all the way to Los Angeles, CA. At the age of seven he began taking acrobatics classes and eventually furthered his training in all areas of dance. Shane has trained with the Brae Crest School of Ballet and has danced with the State Ballet of Rhode Island where he had the opportunity to perform in such ballets as Coppelia, Walpurgis Night, The Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle. He is a graduate and scholarship recipient from the Dance Teachers Club of Boston and has also appeared on several TV shows including MTV's MADE, as well as being a semi-finalist in Las Vegas for the hit FOX TV show "So You Think You Can Dance" in 2007.

Shane can also be seen dancing alongside Richard Gere in the film Hachi. Aside from performing, Shane is also a choreographer. Some of his choreographic works include Island Moving Company, America's Junior Miss Pageant, Providence College Dance Team, as well as various dance studios and ballet schools throughout New England. Currently, he is a company member with the Island Moving Company in Newport, RI, and is teaching classical ballet technique and composition at dance studios throughout New England.

 

Sydney Marchand

Guest Instructor

 

Sydney Marchand began dancing at NEDA in 1999 at the age of 4. Dance was her outlet for self expression and she soon was asked to be apart of Miss Stephanie"s competition team. After graduating from Attleboro High School in 2012, Sydney attended Dean College and received her BA in Entertainment Management with a focus in Dance studies. She graduated from Dean summa cum laude in 2017.

Sydney is the Programming Director for the All American Assisted Living in Wrentham, MA providing arts and entertainment to seniors with dementia. Sydney is still with our NEDA Dance family teaching pre-team tap, jazz and hip hop. Dance will always be a major part of her life and she enjoys sharing her love of dance with her students.

 

Tina Clark

Office Manager & Instructor

 

Tina Clarke is not only an amazing dance instructor she is also the resident Office Manager. Delivering outstanding customer service has always been as essential part of the NEDA experience. As Office Manager, Tina is responsible for all of the day-to-day operations behind the desk, and she is able to answer any questions or concerns.

Tina attended Dean college for dance, she has a strong dance background which has made her an integral part of our team. The entire NEDA team will work efficiently to get your needs met ... YOU are our #1 priority!

 

Missy Callen

Parent Liason

 

Missy Callen has been a part of the NEDA family since 2009. As a dance mom she continually supported all the dancers backstage during competitions and recitals. She was a mentor and advisor to new dance parents in the waiting room and she was always willing and eager to lend a helping hand. When we decided to add this liaison position to NEDA, We knew Missy would be the perfect person for the job!

Missy graduated from Rhode Island College with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Psychology, as well as a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education. Missy has been a classroom teacher in both Rhode Island and New Hampshire elementary schools and has volunteered for over 7 years in the Foxboro elementary school system. Missy has also taught religious education for 11 years in Foxboro and has been a stay at home mom for the past 19 years. Missy is on hand to answer all of your questions as your Parent Liaison.