Cori Colombo - Owner/Dance Director
Cori has a long history of teaching, performing and training all over the Rochester area for the past 25 years. Shortly before receiving her masters teaching certificate from the Broadway Dance center, Cori lived in Florida where she was selected to do character and parade work at Walt Disney World, spreading “magic” each and every day. Returning home to Rochester, she decided to continue spreading the “magic”and opened an artistic center in Ontario, New York. There, she continues to teach various areas of dance, theater, and gymnastics, enjoying every minute of the past 15 years. Cori’s love of dance does not stop there, she has a true passion for Broadway and has been a choreographer for Wolcott Central School, Wayne Central School, Webster Theater Guild, Wheatland Chili Central School, Irondequoit Theater Guild and “Stages”, putting on over 145 shows over the last 20 years. Cori has also taught performing arts at RAPA, worked tech for GEVA professionally, and has been a judge for RBTL’s Stars of Tomorrow program for several years. She looks forward each and every year to bring “a little bit of magic” to all of her students through the arts.
Jamie Grant - Dance Instructor
Jaime has been dancing and performing since the age of 5. She has received training from Lynn Scott School of Dance, Dance 22, Spins Dance Studio and was also a Senior Company Member in Carol Walker Dance Academy's Dancers Company One, in Atlanta, GA. She has participated in several dance competitions over the years and has earned many awards including, but not limited to, a scholarship to one of Julliard's summer seminars from Dance Educators of America and an overall high score for ages 12 and under in the Showstoppers Talent Competition. With that achievement she was invited to dance on the competition's television show taped during Nationals in Myrtle Beach, SC. She went on to win 7th place in the nation in her category. In High School, Jaime participated in Webster High School's Show Choir as well as several plays and musicals such as Greece, 42nd Street, The Wiz and Up the Down Staircase. She also performed in various community theater productions. Jaime is very excited to work, learn, and grow with the students and other teachers as the studio itself continues to grow!
Bethany Good - Dance Instructor
Bethany grew up dancing in the Rochester area, where she was an award-winning soloist, achieving top soloist at Star Systems in 2004 and 2005.
Following high school, she continued her dance training and received her B.A. in Dance at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Most recently, she has completed her M.F.A in Dance from The College at Brockport, SUNY.
Over the years, Bethany has studied with William (Bill) Evans, Mariah Maloney, Stevie Oakes, Michelle Ikle and Cadence Whittier. She has attended Bill Evans Teachers’ Intensive for three consecutive summers, taking classes in modern dance technique, pedagogy, and Bartenieff Fundamentals.
Bethany performed as a soloist with Elizabeth Clark Dance Ensemble for two years, with opportunities as a guest choreographer. She also participated in the Musselman Arts Triathalon in Geneva, NY for two consecutive summers, performing structured improvisations. While pursuing both her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Bethany performed in faculty and student works, and continued choreographing contemporary works on fellow students.
Bethany has taught at local studios, as part of an after school program at Penn Yan Academy, and for general education requirements at The College at Brockport, SUNY.
Kaitlynn Shultz - Dance Instructor
Kaitlynn began dancing at the age of 5. She came to dance at Strike It Up in 2006 where she quickly discovered a passion for tap among other styles. She joined the travel tap team in her sophomore year of high school and continued on until her senior year with the award winning Five Guys Named Mo group. Although tap is her strength, she studied other styles during her time at Strike It Up. Kaitlynn is currently a senior, working toward her bachelors degree in Recreation Management at SUNY Brockport, where she hopes to become an event planner.
Aviva Gomes - Dance Instructor
Aviva Gomes originally born and raised in Rochester, NY began her training at Little Red Dancing School where she decided she wanted to pursue a career in Dance. She participated in competitive dance for many years winning various titles and traveling around the country at a young age. She also attended School of the Arts and graduated in 2012. She then continued her education at Point Park University where she received her B.F.A in modern dance. She has trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, choreography, rep, tap, folk, dunham and Horton dance. As a student at Point Park University, Aviva has had the privilege to work with and perform in many works by esteemed professors and highly known choreographers such as Ron Hudson, Jessica Lang, Garfield Lemonius, Kiesha Lalama, Troy Powell, Madboots, and Luke Murphy.
Valerie Arnold - Dance Instructor
Valerie has been dancing since the age of two. She started off attending Turning Point dance studio, eventually joining the Strike It Up family in 2003. Valerie began competing in all types of dance categories, but excelled in acro, contemporary, and jazz. She won numerous judges choice and platinum awards, including placing in the overall high scores at two national dance competitions. After her high school graduation Valerie continued her dance education at SUNY Postdam, majoring in both psychology and dance. She quickly excelled in the dance department and was selected to perform in four different choreography showcases. After two years at SUNY Postdam, Valerie received a scholarship and decided to study psychology at St. John Fisher College.
Alongside her dancing, Valerie had an extensive high school cheerleading career. In her freshmen year of high school she made the Wayne Central Varsity cheerleading team. Very shortly after joining the team, she became a captain, helping to lead her team to win three Section V sectional titles. She was presented with two coaches' awards and a Finger Lakes exceptional senior award, being invited to perform in the Ronald McDonald All star game. Valerie was very eager and excited to join the Strike It Up faculty in 2016.
Skylar Smith - Dance Instructor
Skylar has been dancing since the age of two. Along with learning six days a week at the studio, taking classes in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Modern, Broadway, Tap, and Kinesiology, she teaches at the studio a few days a week as well. She absolutely loves working with children and helping them achieve their goals. Skylar is a Senior in High School and hopes to pursue dance in college in the fall of 2018. She has been competing since the age of 10. Some of her greatest achievements have included top soloist and Miss Teen Beyond The Stars 2016, having a featured dance role in RAPA'S 42nd Street, and Miss SIU at the studio, which is an award based off of character and leadership. Recently in the summer of 2017 Skylar took part in a very competitive program with the Rockettes. She trained with them and took classes in New York City for three days. Skylar is very excited to be working with students and the amazing staff this upcoming year!
Jennifer Colombo - Music Therapist/Guitar Teacher
Jennifer offers group/individual music therapy services, adaptive music lessons, beginning vocal lessons, beginning piano lessons, clarinet lessons from beginning to advanced, classical/acoustic guitar individual and group lessons, music theory tutoring, as well as toddler group music classes, ages preschool - 6. She grew up and still lives in the Rochester area. Jennifer completed her Bachelor degree of Music in music therapy at Nazareth College, and has been a passionate as well as dedicated musician since early adolescence. After completing her music therapy internship at Mary Cariola Children’s Center, she has achieved board certification and has been privately practicing across the Rochester region with clients of different ages in various settings for the past year. Jennifer is currently employed as a music therapist at Liberty POST and works with children with developmental disabilities ages 2-5 in the individual and group setting. She conducts music therapy evaluations for the company and travels across the region for sessions. Jennifer has also been teaching private adapted music lessons for over ten years and works with numerous private contracts, such as group homes and private individual clients. She works with students with varying learning and developmental disabilities and offers numerous instruments to study, working directly with the parents to adapt each lesson to the students’ specific learning style. She studied clarinet, classical guitar, voice and piano while attending Nazareth College, and continues to further her education in all instruments, as well as all aspects of music therapy.
Nick Roche - Piano and Band Instructor
Nick offers individual music lessons to all ages, focusing primarily on piano; but also including clarinet, trumpet, baritone, trombone, tuba, french horn, percussion, saxophone, oboe, bassoon, and music theory tutoring. He is from Long Island, fortunate enough to have briefly studied with a former pianist and current celeste player for the metropolitan opera, Cecilia Brauer. He completed his Bachelor Degree in Music Education at SUNY Fredonia, his primary being piano and lower brass instruments. He studied with multiple accomplished pianists such as the Bach scholar, Father Sean Duggan. He has been studying piano privately for 16 years, and furthering his study of all instruments ever since. He is currently working for the Brockport CSD and has been teaching private lessons for six years now. His aim is to make each of his students a well rounded musician, well versed in music history, music theory, while not sacrificing any performing skill.
Katie Fisher - Voice Instructor
Katie is a graduate of the University of Valley Forge where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Music Education with a concentration in Vocal Music Studies. Katie has been teaching private lessons for about 10 years and currently serves has the vocal teacher, show choir director and muscial music director at Wheatland-Chili High School. She is a native to Rochester and no stranger to the arts.
Growing up she participated in many productions in the community and educationally. Some credits are Annie (Annie jr), Asaka (Once on this Island jr.), Maria (West Side Story in Concert) and Glinda (The Wiz), Paminia (The Magic Flute), Gretle (Hansel and Gretle) and Sussanna (Marriage of Figaro). In high school she participated in Eastridge's fine arts program where she studied Dance (Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap and Contemporary), Acting and Voice. She also attended the Eastman Community School of Music where she earned an Advanced Diploma in Voice and a Diploma in Music Theory. During her time at Eastman she served as the principal soprano for two years in the musical theater class; she studied violin for five years under Rebekah Boyde; music theory for five years under Margret Henry; and voice for four years under Cecile Saine.
Katie is a well-rounded instructor and loves to work with young musicians. Her goal is to create an unique and enriching musical experience for each student.
Danielle Colombo - Drama Instructor
Danielle graduated from AMDA in New York City as a Musical Theater Major. Her theater training was under Terry Ralston, Catherine Cox, and Even Papas (original Broadway cast members). She was one of twenty students selected out of the top colleges on the East Coast to perform in the Broadway Rising Stars Showcase held at New York City Town Hall. She has been studying Voice for the past 20 years, 4 of which she spent studying at the Eastman Community Music School under Cecile Saine. She has danced for 20 years at local dance studios and continued her dance training while in college at AMDA. She was a member of the Webster Schroeder Show Choir for 4 years and has won several awards for best Soloist in a Show Choir (NYC Show Choir Competition, Festivals of Music Competition in Toronto). She also participated in NYSSMA solo-fest for 7 years, all county choruses, Area All-State, the Christmas Pops Concert at Eastman and was a featured soloist in the New York State Conference All State women's Choir. She also has a great love of theater, some of her favorite roles include: Batboy the Musical (Mrs. Taylor), Urine Town (Soupy Sue), The Wiz (The Wiz), Seussical (Gertrude), The Green Rose (Rose), and Joseph and the Amazing Techno-Colored Dream Coat (Narrator), Donna Lucia in Nazareth College’s Production of Where's Charley. Danielle also coaches many students on their auditions for college and local shows. She has directed and written a lot of the Summer Theater Camp productions at SIU. In her spare time, she is the lead singer in the Pop Show Band, writes and records her own music, and has performed the National Anthem for the past 10 years at several Local/National Sporting events. Danielle is also a member of the Monroe Community College A Cappella Group.
Katelyn Spinosa - Drama Instructor/Music Teacher
Katelyn Spinosa is a graduate of Westminster Choir College of Princeton, N.J with a degree in Vocal Performance. She is a member of the Actors Equity Association (AEA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Katelyn has a number of credits from stage to screen, including cameos on such shows as “The Good Wife”, HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” & “The Newsroom”.
Katelyn’s most recent project, was with the premiere staged reading of the musical, “On the Air”, directed by Hunter Foster in NYC. Past regional theater credits include: “Carlotta” in The Phantom of The Opera (National Regional Premier), “Musetta” in La Boheme and RENT. She has worked as an ensemble vocalist for Kenny Rogers and Andrea Bocelli. Katelyn has been cast in independent films throughout the tri-state area. She has experienced being a TV host at movie premieres and press junkets for the Mojo Creative Group through The University Network.
Katelyn has studied with acting and vocal coaches throughout the Metropolitan area. Among those coaches are; Katie Proctor, (RWS & Associates), Jasper Grant, & Denis O’Hare, (American Horror Story) and Dr. Deborah Simpkin-King (Schola Cantorum on Hudson)
Katelyn is a newcomer to the Webster, N.Y. area. She is the military spouse to an active duty U.S. Army Serviceman, Captain Keith Perri. She is very excited and proud to be apart of and share the goals of the “Strike It Up” team.
Ellen Bergeron - Strings (Violin, Viola, and Cello)
A graduate from the Eastman School of Music, violinist Ellen Bergeron holds a bachelor’s degree in both Violin Performance and Music Education under the tutelage of Lynn Blakeslee and Renée Jolles. Recently she received her master’s degree in Performance and Literature under the instruction of Renée Jolles.
An active and passionate orchestral and chamber musician, Ms. Bergeron has performed as a soloist and principal player for both the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra and the NEC Youth Symphony with which she toured Eastern Europe. While at Eastman, Ms. Bergeron served as a concertmaster for the Eastman Philharmonia with which she recently premiered Kevin Puts’s “Letters from Georgia” alongside Renée Fleming at Alice Tully Hall in NYC. Additionally, she has also been an active member of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra, the Greece Symphony Orchestra, the Eastman Graduate Ensemble, SoundExchange, and the Eastman Film Music Ensemble. During her time at Eastman, Ms. Bergeron frequently participated with “Music for All,” a volunteer outreach program at Eastman designed to bring classical music into the community. Ms. Bergeron currently teaches at the Eastman Community Music School. She also regularly performs with her piano trio in other community outreach opportunities.
Over the past few summers Ms. Bergeron has participated as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician at Bowdoin International Music Festival, Nuevo Mundo Music Festival in the Dutch Caribbean, Brevard Music Festival, and Summit Music Festival where she studied with distinguished Curtis violin professor Aaron Rosand. She has performed under the baton of maestros such as JoAnn Falletta, Ken Laam, David Zinman and Keith Lockhart.
Ms. Bergeron has performed in masterclasses with Lynn Chang, Ben Sayevich, Michael Kannen, Kelly Hall-Tomkins, Chien-Kwan Lin, Efrem Briskin, Terry King, and the Pacifica and Ying Quartets. Additionally, she has also performed alongside distinguished artists such as Itzak Perlman, Peter Serkin, Renée Fleming, Sarah Chang, William Preucil, Mayuka Kamio and Leon Fleisher.
Anne Jurgens - Art Teacher
Anne began her teaching career in 1968 teaching English at Jefferson High School in Rochester, New York. In 1971, she left teaching to begin her family. After raising her children, she returned to obtain a master's degree in Reading at the State University of New York at Brockport. From 1991 until 1999 Anne taught second and fifth grades at the Village Elementary School in Hilton, New York. From 1999 until 2001 she taught reading to all elementary levels, grades one through six.
While raising her family Anne began her art career. First, painting in oils, and later expanding and experimenting with tole painting, clay, porcelain painting, sculpture, watercolors, acrylics, and multi-media painting. She studied under many accomplished artists including John Barsall, Steve Carpenter, Valery Larsen, Judy Soprano and Harriet Bingham Thayer.
Anne believes that art is for everyone. Too often we get discouraged in our youth believing that art is just for the talented few. The process of making art brings joy to the artist and is every bit as important as the finished product. We are always growing, which is one of the things that make art so much fun.
About her art, Anne says: "For me, art is an interpretation of life, an attempt to express the emotions that nature and life instills in me. Whether landscape, still life, portrait, or abstract, it is the emotional quality of my subject that inspires me. This emotion such as serenity, love, joy, excitement, courage, calm, contentment, or hope, to name a few, can be expressed through color, value or form.
Each medium has its own unique fascination for me. The rich deep color of oils best expresses some ideas, while the delicate transparency of watercolors best expresses others. Mixed media enable me to sometimes go beyond the power of paint into another realm altogether. Art brings me joy. It is my hope that I can share some of that joy with you, the student."
Anne's art can be seen on display at the 3174 State Street Gallery in Caledonia, NY and in many private collections in New York, Missouri, New Jersey, Florida and California.
Sue Piccirilli - Zumba Instructor
Sue has been a licensed Zumba Fitness ® Instructor since September 2014. Aside from being a nail technician, babysitter and full-time mom, she currently teaches 3 classes a week for Strike It Up Artistic Center. She is also licensed to teach other Zumba Fitness ® formats, such as Zumba Kids, Zumba Kids, Jr. and Zumba Toning.
What is it about Zumba that she love so much? The reason is simple: Every class feels like a party! Zumba Fitness ® does not require you to be a good dancer to benefit and enjoy it. There are no wrong moves. As long as you are moving and having a great time, that’s all that matters. It’s hard not to get drawn into the hypnotic Latin and International rhythms! Come and try it; she guarantees you’ll have a blast! Ditch the workout and join the party! You’ll break an incredible sweat without even realizing it. Sue looks forward to shaking it with you.