Leslie Drucks (Founder)
Leslie Drucks received her ballet training as a Ford Foundation scholarship student at the school of the Garden State Ballet. She later joined the Garden State Ballet Company performing various roles in "The Nutcracker," "Symphony in C," "Concerto Borocco," "Valse Fantesie," and others.
Melissa Markowich (Director)
Melissa Markowich is a graduate of Studio Allegro. Since graduation, she has received a BFA in Dance from
Montclair State University. She has performed works by Martha Graham, Maxine Steinman and Peter Kyle, among
others. Melissa was the Assistant Director of the Watchung Hills Dance Ensemble until 2017, where her choreography was recognized at the county and state Teen Arts Festivals. She has also choreographed for the Jerry Gibson Summer Theatre.
Catherine trained at Studio Allegro for eleven years before going on to study at SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Dance, where she received her BFA in Dance Performance. She performed works by George Balanchine, Bettijane Sills, Rosalind Newman, and Norbert de la Cruz, among others, as well as having the opportunity to showcase her own choreography. Catherine is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Auina Gebara was born in Campinas, Brazil, where she started her career as a ballet dancer and teacher. Auina trained at Academia de Ballet Lina Penteado, a renowned dance studio in Brazil, and she graduated from RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) in Grade 8 and Advanced Foundation. She danced many classical and contemporary pieces, in groups and as a soloist, and has been teaching ballet for the past 16 years for all ages and levels. Auina has a RAD certificate for teachers in Grades 1 to 5 and a certificate for Teachers from the RAD examiner Rosana Presente. She also has a B.A. Degree in Social Communication. In 2002 she implemented a Ballet Program in a club, where she taught for 14 years and was responsible for creating, writing scripts, directing and choreographing all annual recitals. She also worked as a teacher and choreographer for Olmos Ballet, Luana Lopes Arts Institute and Casulo Encantado Kindergarten School. Auina moved to the USA with her husband in 2017.
Mrs. Innis holds a BFA degree from Syracuse University, and has trained extensively in New York City at both Steps and Broadway Dance Center, and in New Jersey with New Jersey Ballet. Her professional credits include: soloist with the Syracuse Opera Ballet; member and later director of the Dance Works Company of Upstate New York; performer and dance captain of Theatre 90 Musical Theatre Company; and principal dancer with the State Theatre of Pennsylvania. Her favorite performances include; “Sleeping Beauty”, “Nutcracker”, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, “Oliver”, “42 Street”, “Guys & Dolls”, “Oklahoma”, “Carousel”, and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat”. In her nearly three decades of teaching, Mrs. Innis has proudly taught dance at many centers including the Metropolitan School for the Arts, The Academy of Ballet, State Academy of Ballet, Worth-Tyrrell Studios, Center for Dance Education, and Studio Allegro.
Tammy Klinck received her BFA in Dance from Montclair State University. She danced professionally for four seasons with Free Space Dance and currently teaches Ballet and Modern Dance at County College of Morris.
Mrs. Peterson began serious dance training at Skidmore College and at S.U.N.Y/ Purchase Conservatory of Dance, where she earned a B.F.A. degree in Dance. At Purchase, she was first introduced to the Pilates Method through the now late Romana Krzanowska, an original disciple of Joseph Pilates. While a dance student, she spent her spare time designing and constructing costumes for fellow student choreographers.
Between college years, Susan spent two summers on scholarship at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. After graduation from Purchase, she performed with a few small modern dance groups, taught Pilates at Romana’s studio, and freelanced as a costume designer and wardrobe mistress in New York City. She later stopped dancing and pursued clothing design.
After a long career in design, she retired from the fashion industry when her division closed. She found her way back to ballet at Studio Allegro, retrained in Pilates, and became a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor in 2011. Mrs. Peterson enjoys teaching Pilates to dancers and people of all ages and backgrounds.
Molly Phillips began her professional ballet career with the Kansas City Ballet, where she performed pieces by George Balanchine, Alvin Ailey, and Anthony Tudor. Some of her favorite roles include Merliton and Doll in The Nutcracker, Melancholic in The Four Temperments and Les Cygnettes in Swan Lake. Molly trained at the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and received a scholarship at the Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet. After retiring from dancing, Molly moved to New York to attend Columbia University where she graduated cum laude and received a B.A. in History. Molly began the advanced studies program at Columbia’s Teachers College in New York and completed her studies at the University of Colorado at Denver, where she earned her M.A. in Educational Psychology. Molly has a K-6 teaching certificate and has experience teaching in the upper elementary grades. When living in Denver, Molly taught at several local studios as well as for Colorado Ballet’s Academy and outreach programs.
Dieter Riesle was born in Wiesbaden, Germany. He graduated from the John Cranko Ballet Academy in Stuttgart, Germany. The curriculum of the academy includes, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Character Dance, Spanish Dance, etc. besides daily ballet training. During his performing career, Mr. Riesle danced principal roles in Nutcracker, Cinderella, Swan Lake, A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as other ballets. Mr. Riesle performed with the Frankfurt Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Garden State Ballet, NJ, and as a guest dancer in Japan.
For the last twenty years, he has been teaching children, pre-professional teens and adults at Tri-State Area schools, such as Studio Allegro in Madison, NJ, the Ballet School of Stamford, the JCC in Scarsdale, The Pulse, Bedford Hills, NY and, formerly, at the Stamford City Ballet. Allegra Kent originally invited Mr. Riesle to teach for the Stamford City Ballet and he continued teaching for SCB under the direction of ABT's David Richardson. He has also guest taught at numerous schools in Japan, Germany, and Denmark. In addition, he has substituted for Evee Lynn at Broadway Dance Center, Igal Peri at Peridance and Lowell Smith at Ballet Arts in NYC.