Arabesque

dance academy

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur at vero adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod.

Sara Jean

Owner/ Director

Sara Jean has been planning to open her own dance studio since she was a child. She started dancing at 2 and a half attending North East Dance Academy. She then joined the competitive team at Michelle Cody’s Dance Center, while also being on Smithtown West’s competition kickline and pom teams. Sara Jean attended Sacred Heart University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a minor is human resources/dance education. While attending SHU she was on the Division 1 Nationally ranked dance team for 4 years. During this time she interned at Arthur Murray.

After graduating college Sara Jean was an instructor and choreographer at Jan Martin in East Northport, Jan Martin in Plainview and Elegant Dance studio in Medford. She also ran a private dance school from a single student studio.

Sara Jean believes that dance is so much more choreography and a stage. She has learned so much from the dance studio being her second home. This is a place where bonds are made, lifelong friends are found and hard work is rewarded. She is thankful to be living out her dream and will bring passion and dedication to this studio so that her students mature and thrive in a safe environment.

Jillian Lofaso

Instructor

Jillian is a graduate of Smithtown West, currently studying Child Study at St. Joseph’s College. She danced for over 10 years at Michelle Cody’s Dance Center where she met Miss Sara Jean. Jillian danced competitively as well as taught at her studio for three years after she graduated. She has a passion for dance, and for teaching dance. She made her best memories and met some of her best friends dancing. She cannot wait to be a part of the SJDC where she can see the new generation of dancers get to have to same experiences.

Emma Saunders

Instructor

Emma Saunders was born and raised on Long Island, New York. She began dancing at age four and was a competitive dancer from the ages of seven to eighteen. She has been trained in various styles of dance including Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theater, Modern, and Hip-Hop. Upon finishing high school, she attended Adelphi University where she graduated in May of 2020 with a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Dance. Through her minor, she was able to study Ballet, Pilates, and Modern techniques including Graham and Taylor. She also performed in many student and guest artist works through the dance department. Also while attending Adelphi, she was a member of the AU Evolution hip hop team that performed and competed at a variety of events. She has performed all over the country including New York City, Philadelphia, and Las Vegas. Other dance credits include Joffrey Ballet School Summe Intensive, Broadway Dance Center Summer Intensive, NYSSSA, Arrhythmia Dance Company, Hollywood Dance Invitational, and National Senior Dancer of the Year Winner 2016.

Mackenzie Levenberg

Instructor

Mackenzie spent the past two years as a Knicks City dancer. She has also recently been a dancer for T-pain, Madison Beer, Ashanti, Mase, Wyclef, Bryant Myers, Fat Joe and more at Madison Square Garden. Mackenzie has been on MTV and shines in the spotlight. She grew up in Happauge and is now finishing her B.S. in Health Science at Farmingdale State College.

Maria Dougherty

Instructor

Maria has been dancing for 18 years. She started at the age of 3 and fell in love with the art immediately. After dancing throughout high school she graduated and went to study at the University of New Haven in West Haven, CT. She was the lead choreographer for their 5678 dance team and also got involved in other sports like rugby. She has been studying to get her personal training certification. Maria says “I have an incredible passion for dance and physical activity. I am so excited to be a part of Sara Jean Dance Company.” 

Julia Kearns

Instructor

Julia Kearns is a 22 year old from Lake Grove, New York. Julia has been dancing/competing for most of her life. She has been through years of training from amazing choreographers throughout the dance industry. Julia has several years of experience with instructing dance classes of all styles and ages at Kings Park Dance Center. Julia attended Farmingdale State College where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Julia is beyond excited to meet and supply all of her dance knowledge to the students of Sara Jean Dance Company.

Madison Puglisi

Instructor

Madison is a graduate of Centereach High School and currently is attending Stony Brook University. She has danced at Dream Believe Achieve dance studio for 12 years and Stagedoor Dance Studio for 3. Madison spent 4 years on the Varsity kickline team and is a choreographer for the town of Patchogue.

Shauna Jean

Instructor

Shauna Jean is a passionate and dedicated instructor who brings a lifetime of dance background.  As she was a young dancer herself, she shared her love of dance with her children.  Shauna has be involved in group training, dance and has decades of experience at recitals & competitions.  Experiences begin with the 3 year old Daddy Daughter dances through the Division I Collegiate National Championships in Dayton, FL.  She is the “Mom” of the squad and will focus on sharing her love of dance with young dancers, a true asset.

Meaghan Schnell

Instructor

Meaghan has been dancing since the age of 3 and is so excited to join the SJDC family. Meaghan spent 15 years as a dancer with Michelle Cody’s Dance Center in Smithtown, 9 of which were spent on the competition team. She has experience in the styles of tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical and hip hop. Once graduating high school, she spent 3 years teachings kids between the ages of 2-18 at MCDC while earning her bachelors degree at Stony Brook University. Meaghan was also a member of the Kings Park Varsity Royalette kickline team in high school. Meaghan is currently an Account Manager at a tech company in Melville. She can’t wait to start the season!

Deanna Freemont

Zumba Instructor

Deanna has been dancing since age 3 and is no stranger to the stage. She is also a Licensed ZUMBA Instructor and 305 Fitness Instructor! She has danced at A Chorus Line, Northeast Dance Academy & Michelle Cody’s Dance Center. She grew up taking the stage with Musical Theatre at Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts & Theatre Three.  She danced competitively throughout most of her childhood as well. She knew dancing and sharing that passion was her path. After graduating High School in 2009 she attended Five Towns College with a major in the Performing Arts. She decided to change career paths and went into the medical field. Since she took a break from dance, her physical health started to take a toll. Deanna took her first her first ZUMBA class in 2015. She fell in love with the concept. Using dance as a form of a cardio workout! Well, about 20 minutes into class and she actually walked out. In 2015, Deanna was 288lbs and could not finish the class. Dancing has become too much. The thing she loved most started causing her too much pain. She decided to REALLY take control of her health and happiness and lost over 100lbs. She snatched her ZUMBA license in 2018 and her 305 Fitness license in August of 2019! You have to celebrate every single step of your journey, not just the finish line. In her classes she will challenge you to focus on how your soul and your body feels, rather than how you think you look in the mirror. “You are beautiful. You are brave. YOU ARE ENOUGH!” Deanna can’t wait to see you in the dance floor!

Brittney Skarulis

Off Ice/ Grounded Skate Instructor

Brittney Skarulis has been an ice skater and dancer her whole life. She is currently and has been a coach at the Rinx in Smithtown.

Susan Diblasio

Front Desk Receptionist

Susan Diblasio has a B.A. in English Literature and an M.A. in Communication Disorders. She has worked in several different industries including retail, publishing, social services and education. She took time off to raise a family and has been a “dance mom” for 18 years. Susan currently teaches pre-school and looks forward to working the front desk at SJDC.