ABOUT OUR STUDIO

Waves of Motion Dance Center prides itself on offering an exceptional and educational dance experience. Every student will grow their love for dance in an inspiring, encouraging, and nurturing environment. In return, this will feed their passion and awaken the artist in every child. Whether a student decides to pursue dance or a different career, Waves of Motion will instill lifelong qualities such as self-confidence, creativity, and collaboration, which are necessary to achieve their future endeavors.

ABOUT THE OWNER
MISS RAQUEL

OWNER/ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & INSTRUCTOR

Miss Raquel is a NJ Native and resident of East Brunswick. She received her degree in dance from Rutgers University. She had the pleasure of studying under Reagan Wood Sanders, John Evans, Jeff Friedman, Julia Ritter and many other amazing professors and choreographers from New York City’s Broadway Dance Center. While completing her undergrad credits at Middlesex Community College under the direction of Aimee Mitachoine, she was awarded “Most Promising Dancer” at the Dean’s Tea Ceremony. 

 

Currently, Miss Raquel is a member of the National Dance Education Organization and Dance New Jersey. Although she has been dancing for over 25 years, her passion for teaching students began at the young age of 13 as a teacher assistant. She took on her own classes at the age of 18 and has been teaching ever since.  Miss Raquel has taught at various studios throughout NJ. At a competitive level, her dances have placed in top overalls and won numerous choreography awards.  

 

As the owner/artistic director of Waves of Motion Dance Center, the studio has won a Sportsmanship Award, cash prizes, dancers have been awarded Titles at competitions, and overall top winners at a national competition level.  Miss Raquel is the proud mother of three children, Aidan, Savannah, and Julianna, and with the support of her husband Gilberto Simao she is excited to be celebrating her 5th year in June of 2021. She looks forward to a strong future of dance education,  teaching children the art of dance, and instilling life-long values necessary for their futures.

FACULTY
MISS KAREN

BALLET/POINTE/MUSICAL THEATER 

INSTRUCTOR

Karen Lester has been teaching Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Jazz, Pre-School, and Theater Dance for 24 years. She began dancing when she was three years old and has continued to dance since. She has a certification through Dance Educators of America and is a member of Associated Dance Teachers of New Jersey. She also has a Level III Training Certificate through Dance Masters.

Ms. Karen has been choreographing St. Bartholomew’s Middle School plays for the past 20 years, as well as musical theater routines for Middlesex County, Arts Middle School Program for the past 5 years. In the summer Ms. Karen is part of The Mighty Oaks Players Theater Camp at the Monroe Rec. Center. She also enjoys working with couples choreographing dances for their weddings. One of her wedding couples were even featured on the hit reality television show “Four Weddings”. Ms. Karen has choreographed routines for Sweet Sixteen and Quinceanera celebrations. Her inspirations come from her love of Broadway musicals, concerts, plays, and her family.

Ms. Karen is an experienced teacher who likes to get the most out of every student. She strongly believes that each child has something special to give the world of dance. That dance gives something special back to each student, which becomes a part of who they are, if they stick with it and work hard. Her goal for her students is to achieve something they didn’t think they could. Her favorite part of being a teacher is when her students have that “Aha!” moment when they make that connection with the movement. Ms. Karen enjoys the bond she has with her students and watching them grow as part of her dance family.   

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Mr. Quinn started out dancing in high school with the dance club, learning from the captain who was actually the student of his current teacher. After graduating Mr. Quinn connected with John “Comix” Barrella at a workshop and that summer joined his dance company. Mr. Quinn is now one of the veteran members of The Redef Movement and has experience in all street styles including breaking, popping, hip hop, and locking.

 

Along with being a Dance Professional through Dance New Jersey, Quinn is a tri-state area performer in places such as Philly, the five boroughs, and New Jersey. Through years of training with other teachers heavily rooted to the core of Hip Hop, he has attained the foundation necessary to properly modernize these dance styles without losing its integrity or value. It was through this training that The Redef Movement was invited to perform for The New York City Breakers at their 20th reunion and at “Chaos” presented by TedX Asbury Park.

 

While continuing to further his training he travels with The Redef Movement performing and hosting workshops at many different events. On top of that, the company puts on an annual full-length show “Stupid Humans”

MR. QUINN

HIP HOP INSTRUCTOR

MISS SARAH

TAP/ACRO INSTRUCTOR & WDC CHOREOGRAPHER

From South Amboy, NJ, Miss Sarah started her dance training at a local studio in Spotswood, NJ. There, she trained in the styles of tap, jazz, musical theatre, lyrical, hip hop, and ballet. She then continued her studies at the American Music and Dramatic Academy in New York City where she earned her degree in Dance Theatre.

 

At AMDA, Miss Sarah trained in the styles of tap, musical theatre, jazz, ballet, modern, and contemporary. She also trained her vocals by taking singing lessons with Heather Petruzelli. During her time there, she performed in many showcases as a featured vocalist, tap, and musical theatre performer directed by Cynthia Murray-Davis. Miss Sarah also choreographed numerous pieces in the styles of tap, contemporary, and jazz for performances at AMDA.

 

After graduating from American Music and Dramatic Academy, Miss Sarah performed in a Broadway-style piece to be aired on WOWOW, a Japanese television channel, for the Japanese Tony Awards. She currently performs as a member in the MCC dance ensemble in Middlesex Community College as well as choreographs. In the past year, she’s taught and choreographed for various regional and national competitions, as well as worked for the national competition of Step Up 2 Dance.

 

Miss Sarah has had award-winning tap and musical theatre choreography and has received numerous “Feet on Fire” special awards, most entertaining awards, and Best choreography awards. Teaching is her passion, and she cannot wait to work with all her students.

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MISS JULIANNA

 WDC CHOREOGRAPHER

Julianna has been dancing since she was 3 years old, competing since the age of 8. She trained in jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, and ballet, while also volunteering her time as a student teacher at her studio for 10 years. It was during this time that Julianna discovered her passion for teaching young dancers.

 

Julianna recently graduated from The College of New Jersey, where she was a member of their nationally-ranked competitive Dance Team. With the team, she performed jazz, pom, lyrical, and hip hop styles at Football and Basketball games. She also earned spots in the team’s competition routines each year, competing at regional and national competitions, including the UDA College Dance Team Championships in Orlando, FL.

 

Coached by longtime UDA instructor and award-winning choreographer Jennifer Whitford, Julianna had the privilege of learning from many well-known teachers and choreographers including Stacy Paydo, Toya Ambrose, Katie Lane, April Hamner, Wanda Weir, and Karl Mundt. She has attended numerous camps and conventions held by the Universal Dance Association and Proaction Dance in Las Vegas.

 

Julianna has been teaching and choreographing at studios throughout central Jersey since 2017, working with students ranging from preschool aged to high school in various styles. Routines she’s choreographed have received recognition for entertainment, cleanliness, and dynamics, as well as many overall awards at competitions. Currently, during the day you can find her working (remotely for now) as an Analyst at a Marketing Research company, taking dance classes both in-person and virtually, and continuing to share her love of dance with all her students through her teaching and choreography!

Danielle has been dancing since the age of four and has studied in all styles. She specifically trained in Hip Hop at Iconic Dance Complex.

 

Danielle recently graduated from the University of Delaware with a BA in Psychology. There, she competed with Delaware Dance Fever and choreographed hip hop dances for the team. She was also an assistant choreographer for team performances at 76ers basketball games.

 

While at the University of Delaware, Danielle helped build Evolve Intercollegiate Dance Convention to connect college dancers from around the east coast. Danielle is excited to teach and share her passion for dance.

MISS DANIELLE

HIP HOP INSTRUCTOR & WDC CHOREOGRAPHER

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Deanna has been dancing since age 4. After studying Dance, Theater, and English at Montclair State University, Deanna continued her dance training at Broadway Dance Center in NYC and Princeton Ballet (American Repertory Ballet), studying with teachers such as Susan Tenney, Kim Vaccaro, Sheila Barker, Bev Brown, and Joshua Bergasse.


She has choreographed several musicals including Little Shop of Horrors, Guys and Dolls, and The King and I. Her performance credits include Brigadoon, Oklahoma, Godspell, and many others. In addition, Deanna has been featured in a variety of film projects both as a dancer and an actor.

 

Deanna specializes in Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, and Modern. She also teaches Creative Dance, Tap, and Acro, with students ranging from 2 ½ years old to Adult. Formerly a preschool teacher, Deanna uses her extensive study of early childhood education to develop a creative curriculum for the young dancer. Deanna is also a trained vocalist and pianist who incorporates her knowledge of music theory into all of her dance classes.

MISS DEANNA

CREATIVE MOVEMENT/COMBO/ACRO   INSTRUCTOR & WDC Choreogrpaher

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MISS BRITTANY
AJ MANNION

A knowledgeable dance educator, seasoned performer, and researcher in dance science, Brittany Cohen received her Master's in Dance Education from Rutgers University and graduated from Mason Gross School of the Arts with her B.F.A. in Dance Performance. Brittany is also a Certified Human Movement Specialist and a Yoga Therapeutics Instructor, using her knowledge for research in the support of safe practices in the development of dance abilities.


Brittany began her dance journey at a young age, and has been working in the dance field studying, teaching, and researching for the last decade. Today, her goals include advocating for the importance of dance education and dance science in the lives of young dancers and helping them maintain their wellness while improving abilities. 

Brittany has inspired and supported young dancers & their families through her work with BC Artistry LLC, offering personalized and comprehensive coaching, training, and consultation. Brittany works with other local dance medicine and wellness specialists as the team leader for the Bridge Dance Project New Jersey Chapter.

BALLET, POINTE, MODERN, MINI STRETCH INSTRUCTOR & WDC MASTER BALLET TEACHER

WAVES DANCE COMPANY GUEST TEACHERS
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"AJ has 10 years of experience teaching dance, and is widely known for his compassionate and energetic teaching style, visually stimulating choreography, and anatomically precise technique. He takes his deep knowledge in the healing arts - being a currently working Reiki Master, a full-time graduate student of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, and having previously worked as a licensed Massage Therapist - and dance to create classes that help dancers bring finesse to their technique, voice to their inner creative spirit, and calm self-awareness to their physical, emotional, and mental faculties. AJ has taught classes and workshops for students and teachers alike all over the Tri-State area, for dancers of all skill levels ages 5-70. He received his BFA in Dance from Montclair State University and has extensive experience in yoga and contortion. AJ also works as a visual artist selling angelically-inspired artwork. More information on all AJ's professional offerings can be found on his website www.ajmannion.com"