Faculty





Faculty

Lisa Simko Schumann, Owner/Director/Educator - Sussex County, Hamburg, NJ

Miss Lisa has directed the Hamburg, NJ-based Dance Expression dance arts for 30 years. She is the Artistic Director/Choreographer/Educator of the award-winning Dance Expression Dance Company.
She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Adelphi University and is an AFFA Certified Fitness Instructor as well as a Certified Dynamic Yoga Instructor and ZUMBA Instructor. Ms. Schumann received technical dance training at the NJ School of Ballet, the Broadway Dance Center and the Florida Dance Association’s Summer Intensives. She completed years of study with Phil Black, Chuck Kelly, Bob Audi and Frank Hatchett. Her professional memberships include DEA, ADT of NJ and NADAA.
Lisa has serverd as the choreographer for Pascack Valley High School, Wallkill Valley High School and High Point High School spring musicals for over 35 years. Her performance experience includes: featured dancer in musical revues, “Outrageous”, Bally’s Casino, A.C., NJ; featured dancer Hershey Park, Pa.; Green Mountain Guild, Vt.. Summer Stock; and Featured Dancer/Dance Captain for Hunterdon Hills Playhouse, Clinton, NJ.
"Miss" Lisa was honored with the 2013 Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council's "Arts in Education Award" for Outstanding Work in the Arts and Excellence in Arts Education.

Ellen McGovern – Wantage, NJ

"Miss" Ellen is a lead dance instructor and Assistant Director to the Dance Expression Performance Dance Company. For the past 12 years she has trained dancers in all levels of modern, jazz, tap, ballet, and hip hop. Ellen began her dance journey right here at Dance Expression dance arts at the age of 7. Her passion for the art of dance, which was sparked by “Miss” Lisa Schumann herself, led her to join the DEDA performance company and become a teaching assistant. Upon graduating she attended County College of Morris as a dance major where she furthered her studies in modern and ballet. Miss Ellen has completed her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts at Sussex County Community College and is continuing her education at Montclair University working toward her B.A in Dance Education. Additionally, her choreography has won many accolades including Overall High Score and Choreography Awards in both regional and nationals competitions. As an educator, Miss Ellen believes in the artistic potential of each and every student. She encourages creative expression, hard work, and FUN through every genre of dance!

Kit Nemecek – Rockaway, NJ

Miss Kit began her pre-professional ballet training at the New Jersey School of Ballet at the age of 12 and continued her intensive study of ballet at Theatre Arts Dance America. She studied privately under former Kirov Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and American Ballet Theater dancers such as Natasha Girshov, Lynne Grossman, and Elaine Kudo. In order to further her training, Kit attended summer ballet intensives with the School of American Ballet, Kirov Academy, The Joffrey Workshop in San Antonio, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center and Ballet Austin. In 2004 Kit competed in the Youth America Grand Prix Ballet Competition in Torrington, Ct. and qualified for the national finals event. Kit began her professional career in 2005 when she held a trainee position with Ballet Austin and then went on to be a company member with Evergreen City Ballet in Washington during its 2006-2007 season. She returned home in 2007 and joined New Jersey Ballet where she danced for six seasons. She performed throughout the state of New Jersey in full length productions of Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, as well as original pieces set on the company such as Suite for Six, Too Darn Hot, and La Gioconda. This is Miss Kit’s 9th year at Dance Expression where she teaches all levels of ballet and choreographs pieces for the performance company. Miss Kit recently married in September and she and her husband, David are excited to welcome their first child in October! 
“My goal is for every one of my students to understand the value and benefit of ballet.”


Barbara Dattoli - Wantage, NJ

Miss Barbi started training in Gymnastics at the age of 4 in her hometown of Cicero, Illinois with The Sokol Slavsky Organization. She has taught in the Vernon Gymnastics Recreational Program and served as a level 5, 6 & 7 Judge for The National Association of Women’s Gymnastics for 8 years. She has taught Gymnastics and Pre-School Dance with Dance Expression since 1994 and has earned the delightful reputation of being a little girl magnet. She is a loving wife to Nicky Dattoli, with whom she has two children, Nicholas, 32, and Emily, 30. “As a teacher I want to help create wonderful memories for you and your children.”

Jaclyn Bambara, Augusta, NJ

Jaclyn Bambara has been studying and performing various styles of dance, including: ballet, modern, hip hop, jazz, lyrical, and tap, since a young age. “Miss” Jaclyn attended undergraduate college at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, where she received her BS in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and a Minor in Dance. “Miss” Jaclyn continued her education at Seton Hall University, where she received her MS in Speech-Language Pathology. She currently is a speech-language pathologist in a public school district. “Miss” Jac has been teaching at Dance Expression since 2007 and is always excited to continue to share her passion and enthusiasm for Dance with Dance Expression!

Jennifer Harris -Ogdensburg, NJ

"Miss" Jenn began dancing at age 4 and became a member of the DEDA Performance Company as a High School Freshman. She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education and her B.A. in Dance with an endorsement to teach PreK-12 Dance in the public school system. James Madison University awarded the Dance Faculty Award to "Miss" Jenn for spreading dance throughout the community. Miss Jenn went on to begin her teaching career in Williamsburg, Va teaching 1st grade along with establishing a reading thorough dance program , choreographing for school musicals, and teaching for dance camps and the Recreation Department. She also received the "Rookie of the Year" Award for her outstanding achievements. After returning to NJ "Miss" Jenn began teaching 3rd grade for the West Milford Public School District and began teaching for Dance Expression. In 2014 she received her Masters Degree in Education from Scranton University, was chose as the Education Administrations Outstanding Graduate and in 2016 was awarded the Teacher of the Year! "Miss" Jenn and husband Ryan were elated to welcome their first son Gavin to their family in 2016. Beside teaching pre-school and elementary classes for DEDA "Miss" Jenn directs the Anti-Bullying program and runs the fourth-sixth grade dance club for West Milford School District. Her goal is to "spread the love of dance to students of all ages regardless of experience"!


Ami Setlock, Vernon, NJ

Ami Setlock began dancing at age 2 and went on to perform in dance competitions until graduating from high school. Ami begin teaching young dancers, and assisting with younger competitive students at age 12 and teaching her own tap classes during her junior and senior years of high school. She attended Marywood University in Scranton, PA and majored in Elementary Education and minored in Early Childhood Education and Dance. She was a member of the dance team and the dance ensemble, performed at basketball games and other school events, participated in the annual Spring Show and choreographed pieces during her 4 years at Marywood. Miss Ami served as dance ensemble president for 4 years, presented workshops and numerous dance events including one of Ami’s favorites; teaching dance to children with special needs. Upon graduating, Ami went on to receive her special education degree at William Paterson University. Ami currently resides in Pequannock, NJ and is a special education teacher in West Milford Township. "Miss" Ami loves that she is able to share her love for dance, especially tap dancing, with the young students at Dance Expression. “Over the past 5 years, the staff, students and families of DEDA have become my home away from home!”

Kelly Smith
Kelly Dacus-Smith is pleased to be starting her third season as part of the teaching staff with Dance Expression dance arts. She is the proud mother of two dancing divas, Miranda and Sabrina, who also consider DEDA their home away from home. Kelly graduated with a BFA from Webster Conservatory in St. Louis, MO with a degree in musical theatre. From there, she went to New York City to live and pursue the dream of being a musical theatre actress there for more than 15 years. She toured Europe playing Kristine in A CHORUS LINE, toured the seas dancing on Holland America's Statendam and traveled the United States with Blue's Clues Live! and Dora Live! She also performed in many regional theaters from Santa Barbara, California to Castine, Maine in such shows as SWEET CHARITY, PAJAMA GAME, CHICAGO, 42nd STREET and ME AND MY GIRL as well as several additional A CHORUS LINES. Kelly is thoroughly enjoying this second phase of her career teaching and sharing her passion of theatre and dance with others. (Especially kids!). She also teaches and directs musical theatre. She recently choreographed her first off-Broadway show entitled 27 SANTAS AND AN ELF CALLED KEVIN and can be seen dancing as featured dancer in Season Two of the series THE KNICK on Cinemax. 


Jacquelyn Oathout 

Jacquelyn Oathout is an aspiring dancer and dance teacher. Growing up "Miss" Jackie trained and competed with Joann's School of Dance in Elizabeth and is a graduate of Rider University with a BA degree in dance and psychology. While studying at Rider, Jacquelyn was part of the Rider Dance Ensemble and the Rider Dance Team, she served on the board for the Rider Dance Ensemble and choreographed multiple pieces for festivals. In addition to dancing with the ensemble and participating in charity events, "Miss" Jackie performed with the Rider Dance Ensemble for all Basketball games including the 76ers vs. Kings game in Philly. The Rider Dance Team also competed in the MTV dance challenge, winning first place. Miss Jackie is planning to earn her master’s degree in dance and a certificate in dance movement therapy. Jacquelyn is passionate about dancing, loves teaching children and loves teaching at DEDA!

Michelle Nardini


Miss Michelle has been dancing and doing gymnastics since age 7. She has studied dance at various NJ & NYC studios, County College of Morris, SUNNY Buffalo State Collage, National & International dance workshops and conventions. Miss Michelle owned and operated her own dance studio for 7 years. Her choreography, dancers, and costuming have won many awards at national dance competitions. She is a member of Dance Masters of America (DMA) & Associate Dance Teachers of New Jersey (ADTNJ). She is certified graduate from DMA’s Teacher Training School and has her National Safety Certification through USA Gymnastics (USAG). Miss Michelle is also a National Certified Examiner for Dance Masters of America and continues her dance and gymnastic education by attending national and international dance workshops & conventions. Miss Michelle is excellent working with dancers of all ages, teaches each dancer as an individual, thrives on having each dancer reach their personal goals, and loves to spread the joy of movement to each class. She enthusiastically looks forward to teaching dancers, of all ages, level and various disciplines. For her; “dance is the emotional art of music” and sharing it is her passion.

Yessenia Janiec 

"Miss" Yessenia began dancing with the Dance World Academy in Clifton at age 3 and continued as a competitive dance company dancer through high school. At age 18 "Miss" Yessenia began training as a dance teacher with younger students in both the competitive and recreation divisions. She continued her dance education at Broadway Dance Center and workshops with Pulse. 
"Miss" Yessenia attended Fairleigh Dickinson University majoring in Criminology. She was a member of the Fairleigh dance team for 4 years performing for games and school events. Yessenia currently resides with her husband in Vernon, NJ and is currently a Client Support Specialist at ADP. Miss Yessenia is very excited and thrilled to join Dance Expression so that she can begin to share her passion for dance with her students!


Yvonne Setlock

Yvonne Setlock, a graduate from Montclair State University, has achieved her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance with a minor in Business. Yvonne has been dancing since the age of 2 ½ and competitively since age 6. "Miss" Yvonne has studied under many well-known dancers and choreographers, including Jamie Salmon, Ray Leeper, Michael Minery, Anthony Morigerato, Al Blackstone, and Tom Richardson. While at Montclair State University, Yvonne studied many different modern techniques and performed in works by various choreographers and studied ballet and modern under Frederick Earl Mosley, Christian Von Howard, Maxine Steinmen, Lynne Grossman, Nancy Lushington, Jennifer Chin, Jessica DiMauro, and Joao Carvalho. Throughout her years at MSU, she performed works by Jessica DiMauro, Lynne Grossman, Christian Von Howard, and Nancy Lushington. Yvonne also had the opportunity to perform in José Limón’s Choreographic Offering, Martha Graham’s Panorama, Mark Morris’s Polka, Larry Keigwin’s Exit Like an Animal, and as a soloist in Antony Tudor’s Continuo. Yvonne has performed in various venues throughout the tri-state area, including Alexander Kasser Theater, Manhatten Movement and Arts Center, Martha Graham Studios, and The Joyce Theater. In addition to performing, Yvonne has choreographed many works on young students and received numerous Choreography Awards including a High Score Solo Choreographer Award from American Dance Awards. "Miss" Yvonne is excited to begin sharing her love of dance with her Dance Expression students!


Guest Instructor/Choreographers

Guest Instructor/Choreographers- Brant Michaels

Brant grew up in Parsippany, New Jersey and moved to Manhattan in 2000 to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. While still a teenager he landed his first job, the first national tour of Broadway's "The Music Man". Other credits include West Side Story (Baby John, European Tour); Aladdin (pre broadway run); Hairspray (I.Q.); Cats (Mungojerrie); La Cage aux Folles (Jean-Michel u/s); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Protean); Nights on Broadway III (swing); The Music Man (starring Tom Wopat, regional); and numerous Broadway charity performances. Brant has also performed off Broadway at The Public Theater for 365 Days... as well as at the Promenade Theater with American Dance Company (principal dancer, company member). He has judged extensively for various dance competitions, taught master classes and set choreography across the country. He is thrilled to be back on the east coast and return to teaching and auditioning. Brant feels that teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs he could ever hope to do and is very excited to choreograph for Dance Expression. Brant is a union member of Actors Equity Association.
Guest Instructor/Choreographers- Sharon Uyar

Sharon Uyar has been a member of the Dance Expression team since 1998. We welcome her back this year with great enthusiasm! Miss Sharon holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Montclair State University and brings over 18 years of teaching experience into her classroom. As a Rhythm tap artist, Miss Sharon has performed as a Principle Dancer and soloist with the New Jersey Tap Ensemble, as well as in various productions with Broadway Dance Center and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Her teaching experience spans from local studios throughout the tri-state area, to master classes and conventions, to public school classrooms through the NJPAC Dance Academy. She has been featured on television programs and panel discussions speaking about the value of Arts Education, and has also judged for numerous dance competitions and Arts organizations throughout America. Miss Sharon is the owner and Artistic Director of Fusion Dance Centre in Kenilworth, NJ, now entering its 13th season of classes. Miss Sharon shares her love of dance with her three children, Giovanni, Jayda and Alyiah!

Guest Instructor/Choreographers- Tara Madsen

Tara Lynne Madsen started her early dance training at Dance Expression dance arts. She received her BA in Dance from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania where she was awarded "The Outstanding Choreographer Award" and her MFA in Performance and Choreography from Smith College where she was awarded a teaching fellowship. She is currently living in Philadelphia and starting her third professional season with the touring company TANIA ISAAC DANCE. As a freelance choreographer, Tara has presented her original choreography internationally where she received critical acclaim at The 41st International Choreographers Showcase at the 22nd World Dance Conference in Athens, Greece and Festival Estivo dell' Universiti di Danza & Teatro in Bari, Italy, the 33rd International Choreographers Showcase at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland as well as The 28th International Choreographer's Showcase in Barcelona at Mercat de les Flors-Ciutat del Teatre and in Madrid at Sala Cuarta Pared presented by Dance Forms Productions. She has presented her choreography nationally at various venues in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, California, North Carolina and at the American College Dance Festival Association. She is currently adjunct faculty in the dance department at DeSales University. She continues to teach freelance master classes and choreographic residencies for professional dance companies, colleges, festivals, conventions, conservatories, studios and dance camps throughout the Northeast region. Tara has been setting work on the Dance Expression Dance Company for the past few years. She would like to thank her Dance Expression Family-past and present- for their continuous love and support.
Guest Instructor/Choreographers- Dylan Vonder Linden

Dylan grew up in Vernon, New Jersey and started dancing with Dance Expression dance arts at age 15. He trained intensely for the following 3 years studying Ballet, Modern and Lyrical and performed with the DEDA Performance Dance Company. He received many all around awards and performance recognition. Dylan also attended special workshops at DEDA and in New York City to heighten his training. 
 Following his graduation in 2014 Dylan attended multiple dance intensives with companies throughout New Jersey including Freespace Dance Intensive and Hearts of Men Dance Intensive at MSU. Dylan interned with Freespace Dance Company, and performed with three modern/contemporary companies in New York City: The Rod Rodgers Dance Company, Sans Limited Dance Company, and Coyote Dance Theatre. Dylan's recent performance credits include Busch Gardens Entertainment in Virginia, and Celebrity Cruises as a production cast member. 
 Dylan has been studying under well known choreographers/teachers Emily Bufferd and Tom Richardson in New York City. As Mr. Richarson's protege' Dylan assists classes at the famous Broadway Dance Centre, the Peridance Summer Intensive, and the AV8 intensive in Iowa. Dylan love’s to be involved with the current dance world and attends performances, intensives and classes on a regular basis. He is thrilled to join DEDA’s staff and hopes to enlighten and inspire anyone who attends his class.

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