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MARY GIATTINO

Studio Owner & Lead Educator

Mary is a proud Stage Door Graduate! Mary's parents, James and Diane Giattino, opened SDSD 42 years ago. Mary is honored to carry on the family tradition everyday!  In addition to owning the studio, Mary also served as the Assistant Choreographer of the NBC Drama, RISE, starring Rosie Perez and Josh Radnor. Mary also serves as the Associate Choreographer of the Broadway National Tour of, Fun Home, and is the Associate Director/Choreographer of the National Tour of Irving Berlin's White Christmas. Prior to owning SDSD, Mary has worked on the BROADWAY National Tour of Billy Elliot, as the Associate Choreographer, Resident Choreographer and Swing.  She is known in NYC as a tap expert and was hired to work on Billy Elliot when it opened on BROADWAY as the tap teacher, to all of the "Billy's" & "Michael's." Mary has performed and assisted Tony Award nominee choreographer Randy Skinner, on BROADWAY in White Christmas, Lady Be Good, No No Nanette and Of Thee I Sing. She has also kicked her legs with the famous Radio City Rockettes and toured the United States with the BROADWAY National Tour of 42nd Street. Mary has choreographed Irving Berlin's White Christmas, 42nd Street and Thoroughly Modern Millie, at the Gateway Playhouse, in addition to performing in over 20 productions there. Mary has performed for and had the pleasure to meet two Presidents, numerous Senators and many celebrities.  She is a very sought after Dance Teacher & Choreographer who travels across the country to Universities and Studios spreading her passion for teaching and dance. Mary specializes in Musical Theater Tap and Jazz.


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JESSICA HEINS

Dance Teacher & Company Manager

Is a proud alumnus and scholarship recipient from Stage Door! During high school, Jessica was invited to study ballet under Maggie Black and performed in Paris, France. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance with a K-12 teaching certification at the acclaimed Towson University. There, she was selected for the Towson University Dance Company, chosen to perform in the American College Dance Festival and studied/performed repertoire from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dana Tai Soon Burgess, Amy Marshall Dance Company, and Ballet Theatre of Maryland. Jessica has worked for Universal Dance Association as a dance instructor and competition judge throughout the US. Jessica specializes in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, and early childhood classes. She regularly attends classes at Broadway Dance Center and is currently working under the direction of Nancy Duncan for the restaging of a Bebe Miller modern piece entitled "Guardian Angels."

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STEPHANIE VERTICHIO

Dance Teacher & Prep Manager

Stephanie is another proud alumnus and scholarship recipient from Stage Door! She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography, and a Minor in Communication from SUNY College at Brockport. Stephanie has performed at the Gateway Playhouse in the ensemble of Singin' In The Rain, Beauty and the Beast, A Century of Christmas, to name a few. Stephanie has been a dance teacher at Stage Door School of Dance for the past 10 years. Stephanie is also the Choreographer at Bellport High School and Eastport-South Manor High School, where she has choreographed many Musicals and Variety Show Performances. Stephanie's Choreography has been seen in many of the Gateway Playhouse Children's Theater Productions. She is excited for her first production at Bay Street Theater during their Literature Live! Series. Stephanie is blessed to share her passion with the students at Stage Door School of Dance. All of these experiences have benefited her as an instructor as well as a performer.

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Nuala degeorge

Dance Teacher

Nuala DeGeorge-Potts' dance career of 20+ years encompasses a wide variety of techniques including Modern, Tap and Hip-Hop as well as competitive Latin Ballroom. In addition to performing, Nuala has established herself as a teacher, director, judge and choreographer. Her choreography has been recognized by The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, NOW (National Organization for Woman) and amFar (AIDS Research) as well as regional and national Dance Competitions. Nuala holds a B.A. in Theater-Dance from C.U.N.Y. Queens College. This proximity to New York City during college allowed her to regularly perform and work with artists from major companies such as Martha Graham Dance Company, American Tap Dance Foundation, Limon Dance Company, Dance Theatre Etcetera, Manhattan Tap and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  Nuala currently teaches at universities, private schools and dance conventions throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

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STEPHANIE PITOCCO

Dance Teacher

Stephanie Pitocco has been trained in jazz, tap, ballet, pointe, and hip hop since the age of 2. She has previously coached the Sachem East Varsity Arrowettes to a grand national title, along with many other awards, such as an innovative choreography award, from 2004-2008.  In 2008, Stephanie had the opportunity to train and perform with the national hip hop company Hip Hop Connxion Chicago, focusing on empowering youth through dance and movement.  Her work with Hip Hop Connxion Chicago exposed her to some of the top hip hop artists in the midwest.  Currently, Ms. Stephanie also choreographs national hip hop routines for many high schools on Long Island.

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FELICIA CRUZ

Dance Teacher

Felicia Cruz has been trained in Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Ballet and Lyrical since the age of 2 1/2. Graduated St. John the Baptist DHS with honors and was on the Danceworks Company in high school. She has her Bachelors in Business Management and a Minor in Dance from Stony Brook University. Felicia has choreographed "The Table Where We Met" for Ironworks Company and a student piece in "Over the Edge".  Felicia's choreography is recognized and rewarded in many competitions regionally.

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CHRISSY KLINGER

Dance Teacher

Christina La Perla Klinger has been studying dance since age two at various dance studios on Long Island, winning various national titles. Christina is a recognized Distinctive Dancer by the Royal Academy of Ballet and went on to become a soloist with the Harbor Ballet Theatre. Christina continued studying dance at the University of Tampa and Broadway Dance Center in New York City. She has been teaching dance across Long Island for the past eleven years, winning awards and recognition for her choreography. Christina has also judged at various competitions and worked alongside the Director of the United States Tournament of Dance. Her greatest accomplishments are her two sons, Logan and Connor.

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HELEN MCDOWELL

Dance Teacher

Helen is a proud Stage Door Alumnus from the class of 2014 and has been trained by Stage Door's finest in a variety of genres. Helen danced with the Award Winning SDSD Dance Company for 8 years and was a featured dancer in several Regional & Nationally ranked routines. She has now been a teacher at Stage Door for 5 years and she enjoys creating an inspiring atmosphere for all dancers. She hopes to help and educate all students to be the best artists that they can be! She is a graduate from St. Joseph's College and is certified in both general and special education for grades birth-6.

OYA BANGURA

Dance Teacher

Oya is originally from West Africa, Sierra Leone. Her early dance training was received at The United Nations International School and as a scholarship student with Jacques d’Amboise and his National Dance Institute before heading to Boston University. Oya has appeared at Madison Square Garden’s Felt Forum, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center’s Outdoor Festivals, American Ballet Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Rodotto and Fenice. She has performed as the Principal choreographer/ dancer/actor in an Off Broadway production written, directed and produced by Jahidah Diaab. 

ASHLEY LONG

Director & Head Teacher, DanceAbility

Ashley Cole is a certified special education and elementary school teacher. Her passions for dancing and leading others to finding their own unique paths to success are a perfect combination for the DanceAbility program. She looks forward to creating an environment for our students which fosters positive relationships, continuous opportunities for success, and the building of self esteem. She is happy to have recently taken on the position of Director of the DanceAbility Program.