Kara Cortes is the director of Beyond Dance. Kara is a graduate of Montclair State University where she majored in dance and received her BFA in fine arts in 2000. While at Montclair, she took classes in choreography, dance improvisation, dance history, rhythmic analysis, dance methods, laban movement analysis, production elements, ballet, modern and jazz. Kara feels she has become a more well rounded dancer and will incorporate her knowledge from these classes into her dance classes at Beyond Dance.
Beyond Dance New Jersey is where you can find balance, harmony and energy with our experienced instructors.
Rae-Ann Thomas was raised in Massachusetts and began dancing at a young age. She is a graduate from Dean College receiving a Bachelorette of Arts degree in Dance and an Associates degree in Business. Directly after college she moved to New York; where she has lived for 3 years. Rae-Ann is teaching and setting choreography on various studios throughout the east coast. While hustling in New York City Rae-Ann has gained knowledge about the dance industry through her consistent training in diverse styles, and
networking regularly. Rae-Ann has performed for choreographers such as Mike Esperanza, Kristin Sudekis, Hannah Frederick, and Rachel Hettinger, Teddy H. Rae-Ann has also set her own work at showcases and festivals in both the New York and New England area. Rae-Ann is a bright and optimistic person who brings positive energy wherever she goes. She hopes to inspire and motivate others with her unique movement style.
Rebecca Corrigan is a 20 year old teacher and student from Rochester hills, mi. Moving to New York at 18, Rebecca has performed in several places around the city including New Victory Theatre on Broadway, Capezio ACE awards, NYU Gelatin school final Showcase, secret theatre, symphony space and many more! She has danced for artists such as 3oh3! , kid rock, and nickelback. She has traveled across the u.s as an assistant to Danity Kane's choreographer, Bobby Newberry, at Jump dance convention and was
featured in Dance Spirit magazine as a highlighted "mover and shaker". She has performed various times at Detroit opera house as principle roles in nutcracker, coppelia and sleeping beauty under the direction of ABT alumni, Cornelia Sampson. Rebecca is currently training rigorously with Nadine Bommer dance company whom just made their premiere on Broadway with 'Invisiball' and are on their way to touring in Russia, Israel and Poland this upcoming season. Rebecca has been teaching for the past four years and is incredibly grateful to be able to share her love and knowledge of dance to her students and peers!s.
Erin Dillon graduated *magna cum laude* from The Hartt School/University of Hartford, where she performed classical works by Limon, Balanchine, Tudor, and Martha Graham, as well as current choreographers such as Emery LeCrone, Manuel Vignoulle, and Charlotte Griffin. Miss Dillon was a guest choreographer for the Periapsis Music and Dance spring 2013 concerts and is now a resident choreographer and dancer with the ensemble. She’s presented her work in the American Dance Guild Festival at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, Steps Performance Lab Series, the Moving Beauty Series, the Provincetown Dance Festival, Sans Limites Dance, the 2013 Composers Now Festival’s *Music in Motion* concert (with the American Modern Ensemble), and other venues. She has attended summer intensives in the US and abroad and was part of Northwest Dance Project’s *Launch 8* intensive. She has performed at the In/Out Festival at Jacob’s Pillow as a company member of Abarukas. She is also a 500hr RYT Yoga Instructor and Pilates Instructor.
Jerica Niehoff began her dance training in Denver, Colorado at various Ballet and Modern schools. At the age of 12 she moved out east & began taking classes at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, Dance New Amsterdam & she as well spent two summers doing Alvin Ailey's summer intensive.
Since moving to New York City, Jerica has performed with various companies and choreographers including; Stephanie Deer, Nick Kepley, Michelle Barber, Sheila Barker, Savion Glover, Cara Goodwin, Andrea Torres, Erin Dillon, Jennifer Roit, Michael Susten, and Kate Griffler. Jerica has also been known to showcase her own choreography at various dance festivals.
Teaching Dance is another one of Jerica’s passions. Jerica has worked for Broadway Dance Center’s Children Teen Program for 10 years of her life teaching Jazz. She has worked for 5 years teaching Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, and Contemporary to ages 6-18 at Beyond Dance in Cranford, NJ and is looking forward to her 6th year at the studio!
Brianna Mercado (aka Miss Bri) is a professional dance artist, teacher, and inspirational speaker based in New York City. Born and raised in San Jose, CA, she received a majority of her training at A.K.A. Dance Company, training in jazz, ballet, tap, and contemporary. In college, she was the Artistic Director of Main Stacks Dance Team, UC Berkeley's elite competitive urban hip hop dance team, and a founding member of Thrive Dance Company, Cal's first contemporary dance group. She graduated with honors in 2013 as a double major in Social Welfare and Dance & Performance Studies. Since moving to New York, Brianna has completed the Professional Semester at Broadway Dance Center, Establish Your Empire, and Rock The Industry programs. She has worked alongside New York's best teachers and choreographers such as Jon Rua, Rhapsody James, Luam Keflezgy, Joanna Numata, Derek Mitchell, Andy Blankenbuehler and Gigi Torres, and has had the honor to work in pre-production for several Broadway shows (The Spongebob Musical, Cats, & Hamilton). Credits include The Muny’s production of Aida (Dance Captain), Fuerza Bruta, Broadway Underground, Phish “Fuego” Tour, Humans Collective, Masterworks Festival Chorus in Carnegie Hall, and The Grit.
Brianna continues to spread her love and passion for life through performing, mentoring, teaching, blogging, and public speaking. She embodies her belief that inside every impossible situation there is an opportunity to be great, and no real reason to wait. If there is more to learn, someone to love, something to give, and things to do, then do them, now.
Originally from Poughkeepsie, New York, Ashley grew up dancing and performing in New York City. She holds a BFA in Dance (and a BA in English Literature) from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.
Over the past decade, Ashley has performed professionally in musical theater, concert dance and commercial contexts. She has danced with Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Ne-Yo, Lady Sovereign and Shakira and has worked on campaigns for X-Box, Wii, Rite Aid, Bloomingdale's and Cirque du Soleil. In the concert dance world, Ashley has worked with Jill Johnson (of William Forsythe’s Frankfurt Ballet), Susan Marshall and the Denman Theatre & Dance Co, along with running her own contemporary dance company, Marinelli New Dance Theater. In the theatrical realm, Ashley has performed in *West Side Story, Mary Poppins,* *A Funny Thing...Forum, White Christmas,* *The Donner **Party** Project* and has worked for Disney Cruise Line. She often demonstrates at various workshops and events (from the NYC Dance Teacher's Summit to The Pulse on Tour) and has assisted both Andy Blankenbuhler and
When she is not performing, Ashley spends her time choreographing, teaching master classes with Liberate Artists, judging various dance competitions, playing drum set and drinking coffee. Lots of coffee.
Emily Greenwell was raised in Michigan and has been residing in NYC for the past 7 years.
Upon moving to New York, Emily booked a tour with Oz the Musical, directed by Todrick Hall. She can be seen as a featured dancer on the Wendy Williams TV Promo, choreographed by Luam and Derek Mitchell. Other credits include dancing for rock group Phish, choreographed by Jon Rua. This summer she will be performing in the production of Aida, choreographed by Jon Rua, at The Muny Theater.
Emily teaches at Broadway Dance Center and PeriDance. She has gained a great deal of knowledge about the industry through her work as assistant choreographer to Derek Mitchell, with projects including So You Think You Can Dance Ukraine, and industrials for the NBA playoffs, Sears, and Clarins, to name a few. She was also assistant to choreographers Jon Rua and Derek Mitchell in Broadway Bares: United Strips of America, directed by Nick Kenkel.
This past summer, Emily was selected as The Featured Choreographer for The Pulse On Tour in New York City. She has also presented work at Carnival, Sybarite, The Young Choreographers Festival, and will be presenting work as a finalist at this years Capezio A.C.E. Awards for Choreographic Excellence. She has been lucky to travel to Argentina and to various studios across the U.S. setting choreography, teaching workshops, and master classes.
Through assisting and performing, Emily has found her creative voice, developing a genuine passion for choreography.
Rachel's passion for music, theater, and dance started from childhood, always performing and training in NJ and NYC throughout her life. After high school Rachel was excepted into *AMDA* (The American Musical and Dramatic Academy NYC) Rachel's professional career as a signer/ dancer/ actress has spanned over 10 years. Her theater credits include "*Frenchy" *in a *National Tour *of " *Grease*" working along side guest stars such as *Frankie Avalon, Cindy Williams, Debbie Gibson *and working with *Tony Award *winning choreographer *Jerry Mitchell. *Other credits include *"Ellie May Chipley" *in "*Showboat*", "*female swing" *for "*Dames at sea" *and " *Lavern **Andrews" *in "*Andrews sisters memoir". Cabaret *performances at *"Eighty Eights" *and *"The Duplex" * in NYC. Concert work includes "*The Family" *live concert series with CD recordings. Rachel's teaching career started over 20 years ago. As part of the company, Rachel also taught for the Westminster dance academy. She was part of the staff at *The Papermill Playhouse *and taught for *The New Jersey school of Ballet. *Rachel is happy to be teaching here at Beyond Dance, always hoping to make a difference in each students journey, while sharing her love of the arts with them. When Rachel is not creating in the studio she is creating at home designing her dream home with hubby Greg! With another passion for decorating and entertaining with family and friends.... There's no place like home!!!.