55 Mill Street
P.O. Box 563
Unionville, CT 06085
Miss Maria has been dancing for over 30 years. This year she celebrates her sixteenth year as the owner of The Dance Connection. She is a member of the Professional Dance Teachers Association of America, National Alliance of Dance Associates, National Federation of Independent Businesses, and is licensed by American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publicists. Maria has studied with such leading names in the world of dance as Luigi, David Howard, Ronni DeMarco, Ginny East, Frank Hatchett, and Charles Kelly. She was twice awarded the overall scholarship for Dance Masters of America for excellence in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Acrobatics. In 1992, Maria graduated from Roger Williams University with a B.A. in Dance and as a member of Alphi Chi National Honor Society. She was also the recipient of the Deans Award for academic excellence in Performing Arts. Her choreography has been awarded numerous choreography awards across Connecticut and Massachusetts. Her students are regularly awarded overall top awards at competitions. When she is not at the studio teaching, she is home being a mom to Cameron, Sean, Ryan, and Easton.
Jennifer has been dancing since the age of 3, studying with Nancy’s School of Dance and The Dance Connection. A member of the Dance Corp since its inception, she was a top-ranking competitor earning awards such as “KAR All Star.” Jennifer is a 2007 honors graduate from the University of Hartford, as the Treasurer of Kappa Delta Pi National Honor Society, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary Education, and is currently a certified teacher in the state of Connecticut. She was also a member of the University of Hartford Dance Team from 2003-2007. Constantly earning awards for her achievements throughout the years, Jennifer brings innovative and fresh ideas to her classes and choreography, and is continually expanding her knowledge by training with some of the country’s finest teachers, including Savion Glover, Frank Hatchett, Jason Samuels Smith, Derrick Grant, Sheila Barker, Robin Dunn, Pam Chancey, and Jermaine Goodson. She is an accomplished choreographer and her choreography has received many top awards at various competitions and has been recognized for its artistry and originality. In the classroom, Jennifer creates a fun and artistic atmosphere that allows her students the opportunity to get the most out of their dance classes to be the best dancers they can be. Her greatest source of pride is the opportunity to share her love of dance with children.
Stephanie McHugh earned her BA in dance from Dean College in May of 2005. There she studied tap, ballet, jazz, and modern with Derrick Grant, Josh Hilberman, Jill Silverman, A.C. Ciulla and Maurice Hines. She has performed with Kelly Donovan’s Dance Company in 2005 and Impulse Dance Company in 2006. Miss Stephanie focuses on technique within her classroom while encouraging artistic style and personality. Stephanie will continue to dance throughout her life as it is her passion and true happiness. Live, Breathe and Dance!
Alicia has been dancing for 19 years, beginning at Nancy’s School of Dance and continuing at The Dance Connection. She has also studied at The Broadway Dance Center in New York City with such renowned teachers as Sue Samuels, Pam Chancey, and Andrey Silantyev. She was a member of the Dance Corp for four years during which time she received many high awards and an invitation to Nationals as a Dance Team member. She was co-captain of the team from 2004-2006 when she graduated from Farmington High School. She currently attends Central Connecticut State University, where she is majoring in English and double minoring Dance and Journalism. At CCSU, Alicia studies with well known and respected names in dance, including Catherine Fellows, Judie Clark, and New York City and Albano Ballet dancer Julia Frederick Daddi. She has been teaching at The Dance Connection for four years, and continues to be thrilled to share her passion for dance with her students.
Diana began dancing at the age of two and has been teaching dance for the past nine years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Dance and has studied with many well known artists such as Peggy Lyman, Hilda Morales, Katie Nollet-Stevinson, and Pilobolus’ Becky Jung. Upon graduation from Hartt, Diana trained with Cirque USA and performed professionally with Clymb-X Aerial and Modern Dance Theatre in Orlando, FL before returning to teaching in 2008. Diana has received prestigious awards throughout her career including Dance Performer of the Year, Miss D.E.A. and Miss Acrobat of the United States. Diana is the proud mother of her one year old daughter, Kayla.
Kate Cavenagh has over 25 years of dance experience. She grew up studying tap, jazz, and lyrical at the Jackie Lynn Studio of Dance and later studied tap at Company N’ Tempo. In 2004 she graduated from Emerson College with a B.A. in Theatre Education with a Dance Concentration. Kate has choreographed numerous musicals during and after her high school years at HKHS, and spent several seasons with the Freelance Players in Boston. She attends classes in CT, Boston, and NYC and is a member of the Boston Tap Company, and participates annually in Tap City- The New York City Tap Festival. Kate focuses her teaching primarily on tap with an emphasis on technique, style, rhythm, and musicality. She feels that studying the history of tap is important to keeping the art form alive and has founded CTC – the Connecticut Tap Collaborative to help preserve the roots of the rhythm.