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School of Performing Arts
Our faculty is made up of an ensemble of experienced teachers and choreographers who will enrich the lives of their students through positive motivation and self-confidence
Gloria Frances (Artistic Director, Tap) has been professionally teaching for fifty four years. Her students have performed at the PNC Bank Center, Resorts International Hotel in Atlantic City and in hit musicals both on and off Broadway. Recently, her students have appeared in commercials as well as hit TV shows. Her students have also been the recipients of many awards, both regionally and nationally, including "Overall High Score," "Best Choreography," & "Best Precision" to name a few.
In addition to the many awards her students have won, Gloria is proud of her international recognition, having had her students invited to perform in Italy and China.
Stefania Alves (Pre-School/Jazz) holds the distinction of being one of Gloria's first "full-time" faculty members. Realizing her love for dance at an early age, she received her formal dance training with Gloria beginning at the age of 3. Over the years, with her loyalty to Gloria and the school, she has become a key part to its success and has helped shape the school as we know it today, 2016 marks her 37th year teaching with Gloria. Throughout the years, her outstanding choreography (combined with her creative props!!) has won her numerous awards at both local and national competitions. In addition to teaching here at the school, she has been the choreographer at Whippany High School for the past four years, and the assistant choreographer on many high school productions in the past, including West Side Story, Pippin, Chicago and Grease.
Pamela Alviar (Ballet) began her formal dance training with the Landrum School of Dance in Queens, New York. At the age of eight she was picked to study classical ballet at Eliot Feld’s prestigious School Ballet Tech. She continued her studies and love of dance at Purchase College where she graduated with a BFA. Through the years she has mastered the styles of Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz and Lyrical. She has danced professionally with the following Companies; Lexington Ballet, The Kevin Wynn Collection, and Eliot Feld's Ballet Tech. Ms. Alviar has had the wonderful pleasure of performing in works by George Balanchine, Eliot Feld, Bill T. Jones, and Sir Kenneth MacMillian. She has also worked with choreographers such as Francesca Harper, Betti-Jane Sills, Troy Powell, Kevin Wynn, Luis Dominguez, and Caridad Martinez. Her Repertoire includes Nutcracker, Meshugana, Apple Pie, Patootie, Endsong, Half Time, and Behold the Man choreographed by Eliot Feld. The Four Temperments choreographed by George Balanchine. D-Man in the Waters choreographed by Bill T. Jones. Concerto Pas de Deux choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillian. Ms. Alviar has been a guest artist in Mexico City, Mexico for the Competition Interdanza and for Sawnee Ballet’s Nutcracker in Cumming, Georgia. Pamela has collaborated with Yon Burke and Evelyn Wheeler where they presented their work at the Mahaiwe Theater. She has taught numerous dance workshops with dance organizations that have taken her across the US as well as internationally. She has appeared on the TV show Dance Moms on Lifetime as a guest judge as well as dance articles in Dance Magazine and Dance Teacher Magazine. Ms. Alviar has also appeared in Lise Friedman's novel First Lessons in Ballet.
Carlynn Laurie (Contemporary) is a native Texan who just got finished performing in the production of "The Wizard of Oz" at the Palace Theater in Wisconsin. Before that, she completed two tours with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line where she most recently played Brenda in "Hairspray". Her regional credits include Cats, Cabaret, Beauty and the Beast, Hello Dolly and the Stephen Schwartz Project. Carlynn's positive outlook combined with her love of dance makes her a perfect fit for our faculty!
Melissa LoGiudice (Pre-School/Acro) after 33 years a student, she now joins our staff as a faculty member! Teaching our Mommy & Me classes along with our Pre-School & Acro classes, Melissa is thrilled to be part of the GFSOPA family! While a student here, she was also one of the first Dance Edition members. She is rich in history of the school! When you see her, ask her to tell you some of the stories from the early days with Miss Gloria & Miss Stefania!!
Welcome Melissa...we are so happy to have you as a faculty member!
Steven McNamara (Contemporary) originally from the East Coast, Steven moved to California where he earned a degree in graphic design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. He started his dance training here at the age of 10, studying Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet & Musical Theater. As a Dance Edition member, Steven won many regional and national titles along with top overall scores and judges recognition. He spent his high school years training in NYC at the renowned Broadway Dance Center under an accomplished staff such as Frank Hatchett, Shelia Barker & Doug Caldwell. Steven has performed with the Los Angeles Clippers, Bon Jovi's drummer Max Weinberg and large entertainment companies as well as an Off-Broadway show. Steven's choreography has led his dancers to win countless awards and become National Champions numerous times. He continues to choreograph on both the East & West coasts for companies, studios and schools. When he is not choreographing he travels around the country judging dance and drill competitions. Steven's passion for dance continuously shows through his work and he is excited to share that with his students.
Christan Meyer (Pre-School/Lyrical/Jazz/Tap/Ballet) celebrates her 16th year as a faculty member! Christan began her dance training with Gloria and holds the honor of being one of the first "Dance Edition" members. While a member of the Dance Edition she was the recipient of many awards including "Top Soloist" at various competitions both regionally as well as nationally. Her gracefulness along with her dedication to the school makes her one of our more popular teachers! When Miss Christan is not here, she is a busy Mom to her two little chick-a-dees, Aliyah & Anthony!!
Trisha Tookmanian (Tap/Acro) comes from one talented family...and did we mention she's an incredible tapper too!! Also starting with Gloria at the age of three, Trisha's hard work and dedication in dance earned her a place in the Dance Edition. As a member of the Dance Edition she was the recipient of many awards both as part of the group as well as individually. When Trish is not here teaching dance, she can be found teaching Special Education for the Paterson school district.
Brittany Vervaet (Hip Hop/Pre-School) enjoys year number four as a faculty member and we are happy to have her! In the three short years as a faculty member, she has quickly become a favorite with our Hip Hop students! She has literally turned our Hip Hop program upside down and has given it a style all her own!! Brittany too has been a student of Gloria's since the age of three and was also member of the Dance Edition. Brittany currently continues to study dance in NYC.
Gloria Frances School of Performing Arts
2124 Hamburg Turnpike
Wayne, New Jersey 07470
"Educators in the Art of Dance Since 1963"
Throughout the years, Gloria has taught Master Classes for such organizations as the Miami Valley Dance Teachers Association, Dance Educators of America, Dance Teachers Club of Boston, The Louisiana Chapter of Dance Masters of America, & The Professional Dance Teachers Association. She has also been a member of Dance Olympus, where she has toured throughout the country furthering the education of dance teachers. Gloria is currently a member of Dance Educators of America