There is a true passion in my heart for the art of dance. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have dance in my life. I love nothing more than passing on that passion to the next generation.
Watching my students grow not only as dancers but as human beings is such an incredible thing to see. Knowing that you had something to do with the progress they make in every aspect of life and that you've had such a positive impact on their lives is one of the most rewarding things I've ever experienced.
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
Not one single person or class that I have ever taught has ever been the same. I try to find what works best for that specific person or class. Making it a more personal experience and really catering to what it is that they need from me the most. It's not always easy figuring out exactly what that is and it can sometimes take a little while but once you do, it makes it all worth it. I always like to get to know my students. So I'll always ask them questions about what they may be learning in school at the moment, what they did over the weekend, general questions that automatically get people to open up to you and start sharing and telling stories. Before you know it, you're all laughing and having a great time. Some of my more serious students would probably say that I can be strict at times and I would definitely agree. I can be strict and definitely firm at times but I expect of you exactly what you expect of me and that is your best. As long as you work hard and give me your best, there's nothing more that I could ask of you.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I started dancing at age 5 and have not stopped since. Started out slow in my earlier years just dancing at my elementary school which I was lucky enough to go to a school that offered an outstanding dance and other performing arts programs. At age 12 is when I really started to take things seriously and began taking as many classes as I could anywhere I could. Originally being from New York City, the options for class were tremendous. I have taken countless classes with amazing teachers and choreographers at places like Broadway Dance Center, Steps On Broadway, Peridance, just to name a few. I also started training at Horizons Dance Center, one of the best competition dance studios in Brooklyn. Tyce Diorio once trained there as well. Getting into my high school years, I went to the Professional Performing Arts School that is located right in the heart of New York City, where artists like Alecia Keys graduated from. There, I was given the opportunity to train at The Alvin Ailey studios. I continued my training at all of these great places until age 19 when I began my professional career traveling the world and dancing for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
I'm not the cheapest but certainly affordable. In a one time only, convention, master class, summer classes I normally charge $75-100 an hour, private lessons differ depending on length and whether or not choreography is being set. For an extended period of time my prices are $40 an hour and $35 per half hour for private lessons.
How did you get started teaching?
I started teaching at age 16. Started out how most dancers do, as an assistant to one of their own teachers. Slowly she began to give me more and more responsibility and taking on much more demanding tasks. Until I was covering classes for her when necessary. I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher just as much as I knew that I wanted to be a performer. So I made sure to aspire to both at the same time. In between contracts and shows, I always made sure that I was teaching and/or choreographing whenever I could. It eventually became just as much a passion of mine as dance was.
What types of students have you worked with?
Mostly I work with ages 10 and up, I prefer it. But I have worked with dancers as young as the age of 5 up to dancers in their 20s. I've found that I work well with older dancers, they are more responsive to my way of working and my method of teaching. Because I am a male dance teacher it can be a little scary and intimadating for the young ones.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
The best advice I think I could give as far as finding a new teacher goes is just to find someone that you can, ultimately, be friends with. My favorite teachers and people in the world were the ones that I still speak to to this day. Of course you want someone that is talented and great at what they do, THE BEST!!! But "the best" ones aren't always the people that you end up gaining the most knowledge from. Find what is the best for YOU.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
Focus on the time commitment and the dedication it takes and whether or not you have the time to do something more recreational or if a more rigorous and intense training is for you.