Meet Our Staff
~ ARTISTIC DIRECTORS ~
Theresa Elek Schoemer
In addition to owning and operating two dance centers, Theresa has kept very active in the dance world. After receiving an Associate degree at Suffolk Community College, she went on to attend Dance Educators of America’s Teacher Training School in NYC. When she completed her education she went to teach for many Long Island studios including the Wakefield Dance Center directed by Grace Wakefield. Furthermore she taught dance for Middle Country School District and the West Islip School District. In 1982 Theresa successfully passed an exam, which entitled her to become a member of Dance Educators of America (DEA). From 1983 thru 1988, she was working as their regional director, touring the Untied States examining new members and supervising the workshops and competition. From 1988 thru 1995, Theresa was on the staff of Starpower National Talent Competitions, again traveling nationwide. In 1993, she lead discussions on studio management and recital ideas at the Christopher National Dance Seminars and in 1994 she was the seminars Administrative Assistant. Theresa was most honored when she was invited to teach at the Broadway Dance Center in NYC. Theresa has also choreographed and staged music videos for various well-known groups. In addition to the previous mentioned; Theresa was on the Artistic Board of the Brookhaven Theatre Dance Guild, was a popular judge at many Regional and National Talent Competitions for DEA, Starpower, Starmakers and Performance Plus. Her extensive training over the years have lead her to train with such greats as Frank Hatchett, Robert Christopher, Harry Precht, Judy Ann Bassing, Germaine Salsberg and Crystal Chapman. She continues to pursue her training, keeping up with the constant changes and developments of the dance world.
Roanne Mulvey Morse
Roanne is a graduate of Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA., where she received her B.A. in Dance. She has performed with several dance companies in Pennsylvania and the New York area including the American Dance Ensemble, Ballet Petrov, Playhouse Theatre, Synergism and Theater Danz. Roanne also appeared on television as a Dancer/Model on such shoes as “Yo MTV Rap Videos” performing with Jennifer Lopez, MC Hammer and Fast Fly Freddie, “A Day of Dance on Broadway”, “Evening Magazine” and the “Today Show”. She has performed at Nassau Coliseum during half time shows for the NY Saints, and has showcased for local DJ Companies at expos throughout the Long Island area. Roanne has choreographed and was one of the co-producers of the Brookhaven Theatre Dance Guild (BTDG) annual productions of “Dance Spectrum” during the 1988-1996 seasons. She held the position of Artistic Director of this organization during 1996-1997. Roanne has held chairs and ran events with the Brookhaven Arts and Humanities Council, The Greater Northern Port Jefferson Arts Council and the Huntington Dance Consortium. She has also sat as a judge at Regional Dance Competitions. Besides her study in college, Roanne has gone on to study with Ann Reinking, Frank Hatchett, Germaine Salsberg, Nicole Fosse, Judy Ann Bassing, Robert Christopher, Harry Precht, Charles Wright and Phil Black. Roanne’s choreography has won numerous awards at competitions on both the regional and national levels. Many of Roanne’s former students have gone on to become professional performers and dance educators. She takes a great pleasure of passing her experiences through teaching the art of dance. Roanne is co-director of the Selden Studio.
~ TEACHING STAFF ~
Jennifer has been dancing most of her life. She has attended many competitions in which she has received 1st place and Gold Medal awards. In 1999, she received 1st place overall high score for all the solos ages 18 and over. She has been involved in many shows including Spectrum, Dance Celebration and Mastic/Shirley Talent Showcase. Jennifer has studied courses for the Royal Academy Dance and received “distinction”, the highest score possible, on their exams. Jennifer was chosen as 1 of 20 core dancers, to perform on a show called “JamTV”. Throughout her career she has performed at the Condado Hotel & Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and was spotlighted with 2 couples for the Broadway play “Forever Tango.” She has choreographed for Dance Celebration and for many other productions across Long Island. Jennifer has also attended the Virginia State Ballroom Championships and took 1st place and was a member of Swing Dance Long Island. Jennifer’s passion to dance reflects in her students performance. Jennifer is Coordinating Director for Community Events at the Moriches Dance Studio.
Lisa started dancing at the age of 11. Since then she has been studying all forms of dance. Lisa choreographed and performed in various productions when she attended Centereach High School. She still continues to choreograph their annual theatre production to this day. Upon graduation Lisa was voted “Best Dancer” for her class. Lisa has performed as a dancer at the Brookhaven Theatre Dance Guild’s annual performance of “Spectrum”. She had became one of their well respected choreographers and guest teachers. When the BTDG closed their doors Lisa helped to continue the goal of bringing dancers together from all over Long Island by directing the Greater Port Jefferson Art Councils production of “Dance Celebration”. She was selected to perform with the L.I. based dance company “Synergism” under the direction of Jamie Chandler-Torns. When Lisa attended S.C.C.C. she was featured dancer in their show “Temptation”. During her college years Lisa worked as performer/choreographer for “Music on the Move” and ran the physical education program for dance at Dawnwood Middle School. Lisa’s hard work and dedication led her to be featured in “Dance Teacher Now” magazine. In addition to teaching at Dance Elektra, Lisa has taught at several dance studios across Long Island and is currently an Elementary School teacher in Middle Country School District. As a teacher of hip/hop and jazz, her classes are as “Alive with Energy” as Lisa is.
Donna Illiano-Santomassino has studied various forms of dance on Long Island and New York City with many great instructors such as Frank Hatchett, Suzi Taylor, Germaine Salsberg, Crystal Chapman, Savion Glover, Charles Goddertz, Sheila Barker, Ms Vee, and more. In 1994, Donna passed her examination to become a member of Dance Educators of America and continues to study dance to keep up with the latest trends. She has performed on the Dr. Oz Show twice as a back up dancer for Stepp Stewart of Dynamite National Talent, but prefers to train her dancers to be in the spotlight instead.
Donna was excited to be asked to join the teaching staff at Dance Elektra in 2014 after 21 years as the director of Donna’s Dance Center. Her choreography has received many overall 1st place awards, high scores, choreography awards, special awards and accolades at the regional and national level in tap, jazz, musical theater, hip hop, and contemporary. Her dancers also participated in many community events, parades and fairs throughout the years. Donna’s passion for dance has inspired many of her former students to go on to become successful dance educators as well, carrying on the legacy of class structure, instilling proper execution of technique and developing the skills of students at both recreational and competitive levels. Donna is honored to be sharing her knowledge and love for dance with the Dance Elektra students and strives to guide them to their full potential as dancers.
Gina coming into her 11th year with Dance Elektra. She has danced her whole life with different teachers throughout the Island. She has studied under teachers such as Robert Christopher, and Yuri Vodolaga. She has also had the opportunity to take classes with Allison Holker, Jackie Nowicki, Braham Logan Crane and TOKYO. Gina has also studied and performed with the Eglevsky Ballet. She competed from the age of 5-18 and has won many overall regional and national awards. Gina was a part of the Nassau Community College dance team while she attended college there. Now as a choreographer she has won overall awards for her dancers as well as choreography awards. Gina is also a part if Arrhythmia Dance Company to be able to remain dancing in a non-competitive setting. Gina enjoys sharing her love of dance with her students to help them work together as teammates and to reach their goals as a dancer. Gina Longo is Coordinating Director for Dance Elektra’s Competition Teams.
Laurel has been dancing at Dance Elektra since she was a little girl. Since then, she has been studying all forms of dance, and has had the pleasure of being trained by studio owners Roanne Mulvey Morse and Theresa Elek Schoemer, as well as other esteemed dancers and choreographers. She has been a teacher on staff since 2005, and has worked with children of all ages. Laurel has danced in numerous competitions and shows and now enjoys choreographing dances for her students to do the same. She continues to dance in recitals even as an adult, due to her love of performing. Laurel particularity enjoys teaching the little ones, and runs the Mommy and Me program for both infants and toddlers. Laurel has two little girls of her own that seem to be following in theirs mother’s footsteps when it comes to the love of dance. Laurel has a Bachelors degree in Child Study, and a Masters Degree in Psychology. She is currently a Special Education teacher for students with Autism as well as other learning differences. No matter what the future holds for Laurel, her first love is dance and expects to continue dancing and teaching for many more years to come.
HARRY PRECHT – May he rest in peace
Harry Precht holds a M.A. in Dance from the American University in Washington DC as well as an M.S. in Elementary and Special Education from C.W. Post. He has been on faculty at Adelphi-Suffolk, Dowling College & St. Joseph’s, as well as at many dance studios throughout the state of NY. As the co-director of the Manning-Fried Dance Theater he received critical acclaim for his outstanding choreography. As well as having students picked to dance in the Bolshoi & Royal Ballet, Harry has had many students who have gone on to dance professionally with the American Ballet Theater & The NYC Ballet. In addition to teaching on the staff of Dance Elektra, Harry also owns and operates the North Fork Academy of Dance in Cutchogue.
The performing arts have always played a major role in Stephanie’s life. Her experiences range from various band and orchestral groups – once performing at Carnegie Hall; to co-founding and co-leading a youth dance and drama team based out of her home church, Lamb’s Chapel, from 2000-2007. Stephanie is honored to have been asked to join the Dance Elektra staff. Her goal is for her students to learn and explore the many different styles within the hip hop genre…and have fun! She is excited to see what the next year(s) have in store and hopes for many more to come!
Jen Wiley MARCH
Jen has been dancing at Dance Elektra for the past 21 years and joined their teaching staff in 1999. She has been trained in and teaches many forms of dance and brought kick-line classes to Dance Elektra last year. Jen has participated in many competitions and shows throughout the years and now enjoys choreographing for competitions for her students. She is a graduate of St. Joseph’s College (SJC) and was a member of the SJC Dance Team. She is currently a Special Education teacher and has also had the opportunity and privilege to teach dance to children with special needs. Jen participated in the Walt Disney World College Program, where she worked in entertainment as a performer. She loves teaching “her girls” and looks forward to many more years at Dance Elektra! Jen is Coordinating Director for Community Events at the Selden Dance Studio.