Ann-Marie Basara is the owner, director, teacher and choreographer at Dance Express. She began running Dance Express in 1989 alongside her mom. Since 2014 she has solely directed the studio with her amazing staff of teachers and with her mom’s continued guidance and support. Ann-Marie started dancing at the age of 5, studying many styles of dance. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in dance from DeSales University (formerly Allentown College) in 1993. While in college, she was a member of the Performance Touring Company, performed in multiple faculty and student dance shows, and performed multiple years at the ACDFA (American College Dance Festival Association). She also directed the children’s ballet program at college for local students. Ann-Marie prides herself on building the Dance Express Program into a much respected and well run organization. Thousands of dancers, both competitive and recreational, have thrived and excelled while at Dance Express. She has won numerous choreography, high score and judge’s awards during her 25+ years of teaching. Ann-Marie is a member of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston, Greater Brockton Dance Teachers Association, where she served terms as President, Vice President, Scholarship Chairperson, Workshop Chairperson and Competition Chairperson. In 2016 she became a member of the I.D.E.A. (International Dance Entrepreneurs Association) organization. Being a member of I.D.E.A. means she will uphold the highest standards and code of ethics as a dance studio owner and teacher. She loves teaching all levels and styles of dance but her most fulfilling classes to teach are her “mini-movers” and “pre-schooler’s”. There is nothing better than watching the pure love of dance through a young child’s eyes and to watch them grown up at the studio. She attributes her success to her husband Steve and her daughters Skyler and Sierra who share in her passion and love for dance.
Janet Halloway, Instructor
Miss Janet grew up in Randolph, MA where she started dancing at the age of 2. She was a student at Judy's School of Dance where she trained in ballet, jazz, tap and acro. At age 10, Janet began attending Dance Olympus dance conventions/competitions where she studied with top instructors and choreographers from all over the country. Her favorite instructor was Gregg Russell. As Janet entered her teenage years she began training in hip-hop and lyrical. Janet also began taking classes at local studios to further her dance education. She began a student apprentice program at Judy's School of Dance and later attended a dance teachers certification program through the Dance Teachers' Club of Boston. She received her teaching certification in the summer of 2000. Janet went on to attend Bridgewater State College where she studied business management and dance. While attending BSC, she was a member of the BSC Dance Company, BSC Dance Ensemble, and the BSC Dance Team. She performed and choreographed for shows including Winterdance, POPS, and Kaleidoscope. Janet also took trips with dance friends to various workshops in New York City. Her favorite workshop was The Pulse, where she learned from top choreographers, such as Brian Friedman, Laurieann Gibson, and Mia Michaels, all of which are well known from the tv series, So You Think You Can Dance. After graduating from BSC Janet joined a dance company created by student alumni dancers from BSC. She danced and choreographed with Intensity Dance Company for two seasons. Janet has been teaching and choreographing for Dance Express since 2002 and loves being part of the DE family. Janet continues to share her passion for dance and teaching with her students!
Joan Smith, Instructor
A dancer since age 2, Joan trained in ballet, jazz, tap, and lyrical at Dance Express in Easton, Massachusetts. Joan began competing in 1994, and performed in New England, New York City, Boston, Providence, Orlando, and Honolulu. She was named the All-American Cheerleader and Dancer in 2002 and danced in the halftime show in the 2003 Probowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. In college, she furthered her education in contemporary, modern, and hip-hop as a member of the Providence College Dance Company, where she choreographed for the company, trained in ballet technique from the principals of Festival Ballet in Providence, and competed at the American College Dance Association (ACDFA). She continues to further her dance education by traveling to workshops and taking Boston-area classes. Joan is a member of the Greater Brockton Dance Teacher’s Association (GBDTA) and has been teaching and choreographing at Dance Express since 2008. Outside of dance, Joan holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College, is the Lead Faculty of Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and lives with her husband Kevin, daughter Lucy, and son Teddy in Milton.
Julia Gazzara, Instructor
Julia Gazzara began dancing when she was three years old at Dance Express. For the next sixteen years she trained in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop and musical theatre. Here she competed in competitions throughout New England for nine years as part of the Dance Express Ensemble team. She then went on to compete at the NDA varsity dance competition in Florida her freshman year attending Bridgewater State University. She is currently a senior at BSU finishing a degree in art. She is the newest addition to the Dance Express team and is looking forward to a wonderful year of dancing!
Karen White, Instructor
An associate editor and writer for Dance Studio Life magazine, Karen has more than 30 years of experience as a dance instructor. With training at local studios and the Boston Conservatory, she has taught at dance conventions and in studios, and also choreographed musicals for school drama clubs, summer theater camps, and professional corporate events. With a lifelong love of theater, she has appeared in almost two dozen musicals, and for the past several years has specialized in musical theater instruction. Under her tutelage, DE competition team musical theater students consistently win high scores, judges’ choice, and special awards in both regional and national competitions, including two Choreography Awards from the United States Tournament of Dance, and two First Place Overall in the 13 and under division at Spirit of Dance Awards Nationals.
Kristin Urciuoli, Instructor
Kristin has been a faculty member at Dance Express since 2005, teaching ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, and lyrical/contemporary. She was born and raised in Easton, MA where she began dancing at age 3. She was a student at Dance Express where she was a member of the Dance Team for many years. Kristin went on to attend Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY where she studied Dance and Psychology. Genres studied included modern, ballet, jazz, and hip hop. While attending Hofstra University she participated in Faculty performances with many of the Hofstra professors and guest choreographers. Kristin was also a member of Danceworks, a club and performance team, where she had the opportunity to perform at the homecoming football game each year as well as various shows throughout the year. Living in New York, Kristin was able to study at Broadway Dance Center with many well known performers and choreographers as well as perform in their showcases. Since graduating from College, Kristin has continued to study dance taking classes and workshops with various professional teachers/choreographers, such as, but not limited to, Mandy Moore, Mia Michaels, Rhee Gold, Travis Wall, and Joe Tremaine. Kristin takes every opportunity to continue her dance education and recently attended the Dance Life Teacher Conference in Arizona. In addition to dance, Kristin has her M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling and School Adjustment Counseling. She currently works as a School Adjustment Counselor in the city of Attleboro.
Lauren Previte, Instructor
Lauren began her dance training at a young age with Melissa Kelley-Clark. After high school, she attended the Nutmeg Conservatory where she studied ballet and Graham. Here she performed many classical ballet variations and Graham repertory, including Le Corsaire, The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Martha Graham's "Acts of Light". After a year at Nutmeg she was thrilled to be accepted into the Boston Conservatory, where she earned her BFA in dance. During her time at the Conservatory, she performed works by Jose Limon, Daniel McCusker, Gianni DiMarco, and Alwin Nikolais. Lauren was also a pioneer in establishing the first dance outreach program at the conservatory with teacher Denise Pons and fellow dancer Emily Singleton. Lauren currently teaches ballet at Dance Express, is a certified Pure Barre instructor, and performs with modern dance company "Dance Currents Inc".
Mary Ahern, Instructor
Mary has been dancing since age five. She began her training at Dance Express Easton under the direction of Ann-Marie Basara. During her years at Dance Express, Mary studied ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop and contemporary. After high school Mary attended Dean College to pursue her dance education. While there, she studied ballet, modern, tap and jazz. Mary went on to finish her college career at Westfield State University, where she became a member of the nationally ranked WSU competitive dance team. She traveled up and down the east coast performing and competing with the team. Mary has spent time dancing with Contemporarily Out Of Order under the direction of Wendy O’Byrne. In 2014, Mary became a member of IMPACT Dance Company, a Boston based company under the direction of Meghan McCaffrey. With IMPACT, Mary has trained extensively in contemporary dance and has performed at different venues around the Boston area. Mary is currently a dance teacher and choreographer at various studios across southeastern Massachusetts. She loves to create and share her passion with her students.