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Born in Melrose, MA, Ellen started taking tap class at Miss Cathy’s Studio of the Dance there at the age of 9. Her teacher soon suggested that Ellen add ballet and then later jazz and the rest is history! She started teaching when she was 15 and hasn’t stopped studying and teaching!
Ellen earned a B.A. in Theater Arts from Umass/Boston and an M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Lesley University. While an elementary school teacher at St. Mary’s in Melrose, Ellen continued to teach dance in the afternoons and on Saturdays. In addition to Cathy’s studio, where she taught for over 20 years, Ellen was on the faculty of Jeannette Neill’s Studio in Boston for 9 years, teaching ballet, tap, and jazz to pre-schoolers through adults.
Always passionate about performing, Ellen has shared the joy while directing and choreographing in education programs for various professional theaters ... the North Shore Music Theatre, Greater Boston Stage Co., Reagle Music Theatre, and at the Melrose YMCA. She worked as a choreographer for the spring musical for Waltham’s Gann Academy from 2014 - 2019. In addition, Ellen has taught adult tap at the North Shore Music Theatre since 2017.
Also a professional dancer, singer, actor, Ellen has had the thrill of performing in musicals and plays at many theaters in the Boston area ... North Shore Music Theatre, Speakeasy Stage Co., Worcester’s Hanover Theatre, Theatre-By-the-Sea (Rhode Island), Boston Playwright’s Theatre, the Huntington Theatre Co., Lyric Stage, Wheelock Family Theatre, New Rep, and Greater Boston Stage Co. Favorite roles include Tess in Crazy For You at Reagle Music Theatre, Mrs. Brill/Bird Woman in Disney’s Mary Poppins at NSMT, and Sister Mary Martin-of-Torres in Sister Act at TBTS.
Ellen is delighted to have the opportunity to share her knowledge, experience, and love for dance and performance at Refine Dance Studio this year!
Shannon Bell (Reading, MA) discovered her passion for dance growing up at a small studio in North Reading, MA that lead her to study dance at various dance programs throughout Boston and New York. She continued her dance education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she graduated with her BFA in dance and BA in Arts Administration. She has been greatly influenced by her studies of various contemporary and jazz techniques, as well as somatic practices such as pilates and yoga. Shannon’s choreography has been featured in the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival and she has continued performing in Boston-based contemporary dance projects as well as the Boston Cannon’s Dance Team. Shannon can be found teaching dance and fitness classes at various studios outside of Boston and feels passionate about facilitating a setting where dancers can bring their focus internally and connect with their bodies.
Summer Intensive- Dance Teacher
Bernie is beyond excited to be joining the Refine Team! Holding a BFA in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College, Bernie has worked extensively as a performer, choreographer, director, and theatre educator. Locally, he has taught dance and acting for North Shore Music Theatre, The Young Co. at Greater Boston Stage, Artbarn Community Theatre, The JCC of Greater Boston, Venturing Studios, and Noel Smith Voice Studio. He also served as a choreographer and company member for Rockhard Dance Co. in Ithaca, NY from 2014-2018. Some favorite directorial and choreographic credits include Disney’s High School Musical, Godspell, and The Dinosaur Musical all with the Young Co. at Greater Boston Stage. Bernie has performed across the country on the Broadway National Tour of Elf the Musical and in the original company of Baby Shark Live! (Dance Captain). Other recent performance credits include A Christmas Carol and Disney’s Freaky Friday both at North Shore Music Theatre.
Business Development, Teacher
Emily Yuu, from Peabody, Massachusetts, is an undergraduate student majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, at the Girard School of Business at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. She is a Student Ambassador for Admissions at Merrimack College. Emily started dancing at the tender age of four at Expressions in Dance in her hometown. At Expressions, she studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, and lyrical. She was an assistant and substitute teacher with many classes in all styles of dance since she was 16 years old. She is also certified in CPR and AED by the American Red Cross. Emily is so thrilled to join the Refine Team and is excited to grow as a dancer and business professional.
Debi Cocco is an active member of both professional teacher organizations, Dance Teachers Club of Boston and Dance Masters of America. She is a former studio owner that teaches at many studios throughout New England. Debi has been on the faculty at many conventions and workshops including Dance Teacher Live Conference, Dance Teacher Web Conference, Dancers Inc. Nationals, and many local teaching organizations. She is also a part of the operations staff for Big Apple Tapfest. She not only has judged competitions but her students continually achieved many overall and high score awards. Her choreography received a regional nomination for the industry dance awards in the tap category. Debi has taught many dance intensives throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She continues her education by attending seminars, classes, and conventions in New York, Las Vegas, and California. Debi is excited to share her knowledge and passion for dance with her students!
A recent graduate from the American Music and Dramatic Academy of New York City, Jordan Celli has studied dance theatre, vocal technique, and acting. Jordan has performed onstage in the Fulton Theatre’s Production of Peter Pan and the opening act for the Radio City Rockettes at the Wang Theatre. Jordan is a current member of Refine’s very own dance company and is thrilled to now be on staff for the studio. Aside from performing professionally, Jordan began her teaching career as an assistant at Encore Dance Academy right here in Reading, Massachusetts! She has continued to teach and choreograph in styles such as contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, jazz-funk, and lyrical in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Jordan is a powerhouse of a dancer and is extremely humbled and grateful to be a part of the Refine family!
Kayla Ostrowski is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and visual artist. In 2015, she moved to New York City to study at Marymount Manhattan College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in Photography. During this time, she was also fortunate to have trained with many respected educators including Sidra Bell, Shannon Gillen, Teddy Tedholm, Marcus Schulkind, Jenn Freeman, and David Parsons. Kayla has set her own choreography on Marymount Manhattan students, as well as on the company dancers of the Boston Community Dance Project, with whom she trained under the direction of Sarah-Katarina ‘SKooJ’ Clark as a company member beginning in 2013 and continues to work with as a guest artist. She has performed at the Park Avenue Armory, Dixon Place, Steps on Broadway, Carnival Choreographer’s Ball, Museum of Ice Cream, Liberty Hotel Boston, and as a part of the Table of Silence Project at Lincoln Center. At the start of the 2020 pandemic, Kayla returned to Massachusetts where she originally began her training at the age of three. Over this past year, she has enjoyed teaching and choreographing for various local studios, assisting remote technique classes for her alma mater, performing with Refine Dance Company, and keeping up with her own movement practice. Though she misses the stage, Kayla is grateful for time spent educating the next generation. A forever student with an unmatched dedication to dance, she strives to always continue learning and sharing.
Summer Intensive- Dance Teacher
Sarah is originally from Miami, FL, and is pumped to be teaching at Refine! She and Briana met in college and became quick friends (and is really proud of her for opening this studio!) Sarah was most recently seen in the Broadway National Tour of Mean Girls the musical in the ensemble and understudy for the role of Janis. Other favorite performance credits include, In the Heights, West Side Story, and Footloose. Sarah is also a teaching artist and choreographer. Favorite choreography credits include Bring it On, A Dolls House the Opera, James and the Giant Peach, and the off-Broadway premiere of Single Rider the Musical. She has been teaching dance and music to all ages, all across the country thanks to Zoom, however cannot wait to be in the studio with you all! Check her out on insta @saritacrane
Summer Intensive- Vocal Teacher
Ginger is a professional actress/singer and proud member of Actor's Equity who has performed on stages from coast to coast. She has taught Voice for over 15 years both privately and at multiple universities. Ginger has music directed shows such as Suessical, American Idiot, 13, Guys and Dolls, The View Upstairs, Fame, In The Heights, and Les Miserables just to mention a few. She has taught at The Las Vegas School of Rock, North Shore Music Theatre, and Seattle's Village Theatre. She also has a vintage jazz band she tours the country with.
Summer Intensive- Acting Teacher
Kyla Moulton discovered her love for theatre education while she was a student at Boston College. She has been teaching and directing children’s theatre for nearly 15 years. In 2019, she became the Director of Education at North Shore Music Theatre where she has had the pleasure of working with students from ages 8 through 80. Additionally, Kyla has served as the theatre director at Danvers High School for 11 years. During her time at Danvers High, Kyla has directed 35 productions including annual musicals and entries into the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild’s High School Drama Festival where her productions have earned such accolades as a state winner, and multiple state finalist and semi-finalist titles. Kyla also spent 8 summers directing for the Tufts University Children’s Theatre. She is thrilled to join the Refine team this summer!
Gillian was born in Exeter, NH and grew up in Raymond and Bow, NH. She has danced since she was the age of 3, and danced competitively throughout middle and high school. Her specialties are hip hop and ballet, but also has a deep passion for jazz and contemporary. She graduated at Bow High School in Bow, New Hampshire in 2018, and since has continued her education, along with her dance career. She currently studies health sciences at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, and will graduate by 2022. She has trained in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Boston, New York City and Orlando. She has trained with Julianne Hough, Hamilton Evans, Jojo Gomez, Sienna Lalau, and more. Gillian’s main focus as a choreographer and student is to help everyone in class feel supported, confident and go home feeling like a superstar. After graduating from NHTI, Gillian is hopeful to move to LA and continue her education and dance career in a warmer, less snowy climate.