Faculty

Christina Pastore

Studio Owner/Director

 

Christina Pastore has lived in Ballston Spa for over 25 years.   A former dancer herself she is pleased to own a dance studio that offers children a positive environment where they can develop their self-esteem, creativity, communication and become part of a team that is family.  Christina along with her husband Michael have owned and operated JDC Dance Center in Ballston Spa for the last 6 years.  The Pastore’s have 3 children Mike Jr., Jenna & Steven.  Their eldest Mike jr. is a graduate of Suny Fredonia and lives in Orange County California, where he is a successful graphic designer and a personal trainer.  Their daughter, Jenna has her Associates Degree in Dance from Dean College and is currently a full-time student at Florida State University pursuing her Bachelors in Arts & Science. Jenna was a competitive dancer for 12 years and participated in many regional and national competitions. She was a 2016/2017 Boston Celtics Dancer and most recently on the dance team at Florida State University.  Their son Steven attends SUNY Cortland as a Physical Education Major.  Steven is an active basketball and competitive baseball player.  The Pastore family is excited to offer dance programs that will nurture, educate and encourage all students to develop skills that will allow them to grow into confident individuals.

Michaela Ahl
Dance Instructor

Michaela Ahl is a lifelong resident of Ballston Spa.  Dancing since the age of 2 and a 2013 graduate of Ballston Spa High School.  Michaela comes to JDC with experience in hip-hop, tap, jazz, ballet, Irish step and clogging.  A competitive dancer in both hip-hop and clogging with a love for all genres, her passion has always been hip-hop.  After 19 years of dance lessons, including many regional and national competitions as well as teaching dance for the last 3 years, Michaela is excited to join the JDC dance family bringing her talents and passion to all the dancers at JDC.  Besides her love for dance, Michaela has been working with children for as long as she can remember.  With experience in daycare and grade school age children Michaela is the perfect fit for JDC.  Welcome Michaela!

Brittany Bush
Dance Instructor
 

Brittany Bush has lived in Ballston Spa for 24 years, she has been studying dance for over 20 years.  Brittany is experienced in all different types of dance such as; Ballet, contemporary, tap, jazz, hip-hop, modern, musical theatre and ballroom.  She studied with many different dance companies including JDC Dance Center, The World of Dance and Spa City Swingers; she also has studied with the Saratoga Ballet with Michael Steele, Broadway Dance Center, NYCDA, JUMP, Dan Karaty, Mia Michaels, and Michael Minery.

 

Brittany has competed worldwide performing, contemporary, tap, jazz, musical theatre and hip-hop; winning multiple high scores and title awards with her solos, including the title of Miss Starquest.  Brittany teaches tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop and ballroom swing; she has been teaching for 15 years.  She is currently teaching with JDC Dance Center and The Spa City Swingers.

 

Brittany was given the award of “Dancer of the Year” in 2009; she also danced in a Price Chopper commercial choreographed by Dan Karaty.  Brittany attended Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY where she started a Hip-Hop team for the college.

 

Brittany is beyond excited to join the JDC dance family!!

Candace Harblin
Dance Instructor
 

Candace has been dancing for over 35 years and has had the pleasure of teaching for more than 25 years.  She started out as a dedicated student and worked extremely hard to become the dance instructor she is today.  She studied tap, jazz, ballet, pointe and gymnastics under Joanne Sylvain. Candace currently teaches tap, jazz and ballet to students from ages 2 1/2 to 18 years old.

 

Candace continues to attend dance workshops to enhance her knowledge of dance, choreography and technique.  Candace's competition tap teams have won many high placement and specialty awards.  She's also received highly-sought-after choreography awards. For four years in a row, Candace has received the Appogee award from StarQuest in the classic division, which means her dance had received the highest score in the classic division. Her dance also received the Critiques Choice Award at NYCDA in 2014.  Each year, Candace sets an individual goal for herself and her students to reach and accomplish through each and every dance season. She strives to pass on skills that her students will use during their dance experience at JDC and in the future.  She strongly believes that dance encourages discipline, builds confidence and demonstrates the importance of teamwork.  Candace always tries to encourage her students to be the best that they can be and pushes them to their limits in a positive and fun enviornment.

 

Candace also enjoys her full-time job as a special education teaching assistant at Gordon Creek Elementary School.  She enjoys spending time with her husband, Patrick and her 13 year old daughter, Cadence.  Cadence is also a JDC competition dancer and always enjoys and looks forward to dance class each and every week.  

 

"I would like to personally welcome each and every student to an exciting dance season at JDC.  I am extremely excited to start a new year with my students and new JDC students. 

It is so nice to watch our JDC family grow from year to year!

Happy dancing and be ready to "WOW the Crowd"

-Candace Harblin

Jenna Pastore
Dance Instructor

 

Jenna Pastore has lived in Ballston Spa her whole life, a graduate of Ballston Spa High School.  Jenna is currently a Senior at Florida State University, where she is also a dancer on the FSU Dance Team.  In the spring of 2017 Jenna graduated with her Associates Degree in Dance from Dean College in Franklin, MA.  She graduated Cum Laude and a Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society member.  Along with her academic accomplishments she is also a talented dancer. 

Jenna began dancing at the age of 2 ½ and starting competing at 10 years old.  Jenna has won many regional competitions as well as high score placements nationally, including Runner-Up for Dancer of the Year for Dance America and the Nancy Stone Award.  In addition, Jenna has won several scholarships to attend workshops and dance schools around the country, including a 2 day workshop in Orange County, California as well as scholarships to Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in New York City.  Jenna also received a full scholarship to New York City Dance Alliance (NYCDA), a full Scholarship to Artist Simple Human (ASH) Summer Intensive and Scholarships to L.A. Tap Fest.  She also attended a 1 week tap intensive "SLIDE" in NYC.  Jenna has competed and won the following Titles, Miss Starquest, Miss Teen Starbound, Talent Winner for Step-Up to Dance, Top Talent for KAR, Miss Senior Starbound, Title for Starpower and National Champion Soloist for Turn It Up Dance Challenge.  Most recently Jenna was a (2016/2017) Boston Celtics Dancer and a Dancer for Florida State University.

 

Jenna’s love and passion is dance and in her spare time when she is not in the studio training or in the gym working-out, she takes classes at Broadway Dance Center in NYC as well as attends workshops throughout the northeast taking classes from accomplished choreographers from all over the world.  Jenna also takes Pilates from a renowned Pilates Instructor to continue to improve her flexibility and condition her body. 

 

"As a dancer, I am very excited to mentor younger dancers not only the love and respect I have for dance but also the new and fresh choreography I continue to learn as a dancer in college.  Dance changed my life as a young girl and I truly believe that with passion, hard-work and dedication any dancer can achieve any level of dance they desire.  I love being a part of such an incredible dance family, thank you JDC"

 

Remember to always be true to yourself and “Wow that Crowd”!

- Jenna Pastore

 

 

Kasie Ritota
Dance Instructor

 

Kasie Ritota has been dancing for over twenty years. She started off as a student for The Dance Centre owned by Joanne Sylvain. Kasie started teaching when she was in high-school, which started with a few solos and a pre-school class. She now teaches students from ages 2 ½ to 18 years old. Her students range from beginners to competition students in solos all the way up to large groups and Productions. She enjoys working with all of her students and treats them all as family.

 

Kasie has had many students attend regional and national competitions where they have received high scores and special awards. Kasie also received regional and national highly-sought-after choreography awards. She enjoys working with students of many ages and enjoys taking classes of her own. She has had the privilege of taking classes from choreographers around the world in many different styles. She had competed from the age of 11 until the age of 21 where she has received many high scores and special awards for all styles of dance. In the summer of 2008 Kasie had the privilege of traveling the country for three weeks with Dance Olympus and Dance America. During this opportunity Kasie was able to grow as a dancer while studying under many choreographers.

 

Kasie proudly graduated from the College of Saint Rose in May of 2013, with bachelors in Early Childhood and Special Education. She uses her lessons learned in school while teaching her students in the dance room. Kasie feels strongly that her students will not only strive in the dance world but outside world with the lessons she teaches in the classroom. Kasie as well as the other instructors at JDC live, love, and breathe Dance. She is very excited to work with all the students at JDC.

 

“Welcome to our studio! We are very excited to have you and cannot wait to see you “WOW the CROWD” every week in your classes. We as a studio are excited to see the love of dance shine each and every day!

We know you will make memories that will last a lifetime!”

-Kasie Ritota

 

 

Jessica Fowler
Dance Instructor

Jessica Fowler began dancing at the age of five. She studied with The American Dance Center in Saratoga Springs under the direction of Madame Phyllis Latin.  While in high school she performed as a member of the Phyllis Latin Dance Company, Inc. at many local venues.  In 2006, Jessica earned a BA in Dance and a BA in Psychology from The University at Buffalo. While attending UB, Jessica performed in several school productions as well as being a guest performer with Buffalo City Ballet and danced alongside Western New York’s Children’s Choir. In 2014, she received her Master of Science in education (MSED) in Childhood / Special Education from the College of Saint Rose. Although an injury forced Jessica to stop dancing professionally, she continued to share her love and passion for dance as a teacher and choreographer.  With 18 years of dance instruction and choreography experience, Jessica has choreographed and taught students from age 2 to adults.  Teaching creative movement, ballet, pointe, jazz, and conditioning at local studios including The American Dance Center, Saratoga City Ballet, and The Dance Factory.  Additionally, Jessica has choreographed several school musical productions at Brown School in Schenectady.

 

Welcome Jessica, we are excited to have you join the JDC Family!

Frankie "Francesca" Soldevere
Dance Instructor

Frankie began her dance training in Albany, NY at the young age of three.  By the age of fifteen she was choreographing and teaching at the recreational and competitive level and by eighteen her dancers had won numerous special awards, titles and overall high scores. In May of 2016 Francesca Soldevere received her BA in Dance with a concentration in Performance and Choreography from Dean College.  Her many notable accomplishments include: creating the Dean College Tap Team Loose Screws, School of Dance production "New Dancers Showcase" Student-Director, internships and work-study's with Suffolk Theatre Arts & Recreation and the Bill Evan's Dance Teacher Intensive and International Somatics Conference. She also performed and choreographed in many Joan Phelps Palladino productions, student productions, and off campus with the Boston Tap Company. Francesca is proud to graduate as the recipient of the Trustee's Prize for the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance, summa cum laude and one academic year early.

Currently Frankie is in rehearsal for upcoming performances with Anthony LoCascio's Taplife in New York City and Ryan Casey's Off Beat in Lexington Massachusetts. Most importantly, she is grateful for the opportunity to return to the studio to pursue her first love, teaching and choreography.  Welcome Frankie!

Hillary Reiter
Dance Instructor

 

   Born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in Upstate NY, Hillary started her dance training with the Decker School of Ballet and Wendy Wade Dance Studio. She danced at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center with NYCB's "A Mid-Summer Night's Dream “at age 10. Throughout high school she spent her summers doing intensives and also began her singing training in Italian Opera. Hillary attended NYSSSA Ballet and Dance programs, where she worked with Carolyn Adams, Robert Battle and many others. Hillary shared her love for dance to the children in Dominican Republic while also joining her Mother in translating for a medical retreat. Hillary earned her BFA at SUNY Purchase Dance Conservatory.  

 

   After graduating, Hillary made her move to NYC. She was introduced to the world of Musical Theater and fell in love! Hillary was honored to join her first National Tour of West Side Story performing the original Jerome Robbin's Choreography as Bebecita. She then joined the cast of ANNIE as an orphan swing and the assistant dance captain. The following year, Hillary became the Assistant Choreographer to launch the 3rd national tour of ANNIE in Chicago. She assisted choreographer, Liza Gennaro and prominent director, Martin Charnin. Hillary then joined the cast of Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella as a featured Dancer in the ensemble. She will be going on the international tour of Phantom of the Opera, beginning her journey in Manila, Philippines. Hillary feels grateful and blessed for all these opportunities and is excited to share her extensive knowledge to your aspiring artists! 

Madison Wolfe
Dance Instructor

Madison is a former JDC Competition dancer and a 2018 graduate of Ballston Spa High School. She is currently attending Hudson Valley Community College majoring in Mechatronics, which she plans to obtain her degree in the Spring of 2019.  From there she plans to attend the College of Saint Rose pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education.

 

Madison started her dance career at the age of 3 and started competing by the age of 11. She began assisting around the age of 13, which helped her to realize that dance is more than just her sport, it is her passion. In her early years Hip-Hop was her style of choice but as she entered her teen year’s she started venturing into new styles such as, jazz, lyrical and tap.  Madison has won many high score placements and awards in all genres and is excited to share her passion and love of dance with her students.

 

I am beyond excited to join the JDC faculty to teach and share my love for dance with all the JDC Dancers!  ~Miss Madison~

Christiana Ostrander
Dance Instructor

JDC Dance Center would like to welcome Christiana Ostrander.  Christiana started dancing at the age of 8, but her real journey in dance began at the age of 11 when she joined the American Dance Center owned and operated by Phyllis Jackson-Madame.  There she took ballet, tap and jazz.  Her hour & ½ per week dance classes turned into 20+ hours of dance per week as her love and passion for dance quickly grew.  During the next 10 years, Christiana would not only take intensive ballet training she also trained in tap, jazz, contemporary, Irish step and swing dance.  At the age of 12, 13 and 14, Christiana performed with the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker and through the years continued to train under the wonderful training of Madame, who is a well-respected icon in the world of ballet.  Christiana went on to be an assistant teacher for Madame, which helped prepare her to be the instructor she is today.  Christiana also taught for Glens Falls Ballet and Dance Center and is currently an instructor at Saratoga City Ballet.

 

Now as a mother, she enjoys being a dance instructor training young inspiring dancers to pursue their love and passion for dance. She is thrilled to continue sharing her love of dance with others and excited to join the JDC Dance Family.

 

Welcome Christiana!!

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