Edie Ollwerther, Director
Edie has been dancing and performing all of her life and has been teaching since she was a teenager. She has taught in the Bergen County area for the past 41 years. She danced professionally and taught in New York City before getting married and raising a family. She has studied at various New York studios and performed with several touring groups throughout the East Coast. She began teaching in the basement of her home in 1974 and opened Edie's Dance Factory in 1991. Edie is currently a member of the Netsational Seniors Dance Team, performing Hip Hop at Brooklyn Nets basketball games. Edie has been a member of this team for 9 years. She has appeared in the award winning documentary "Gotta Dance" and is currently a member of the "Gotta Dance Originals Dance Team". "Gotta Dance" is presently in rehearsal to open in Chicago in December of 2015 and will hopefully open on Broadway spring of 2016. As a performer, teacher and director of Edie's Dance Factory, Edie hopes to instill in her students her love of dance and the benefits the commitment, respect, camaraderie and discipline that dance gives.
Marion Senzon – Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical
Marion grew up dancing at the Dance Factory. She now has her Master’s Degree in Reading Education from the College of St. Rose. She is a reading specialist for the Garfield school district. Marion has been dancing since she was 3 years old, has studied with various teachers in New York City and has been teaching dance for the past 10 years. She was part of our original competition team which started in 1992. She is also now choreographing some of our award winning competition dances.
Catherine Thornton – Vocal Coaching, Acting Singing
Cathy has been coaching acting and teaching vocal training for over 15 years. Cathy has spent a lifetime performing . She attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC an has performed in many regional tours across the east coast. Cathy can now bw seen entertaining the night life in various night clubs in New York and New Jersey. She has directed numerous plays and vocal concerts in addition to directing theatrical audition workshops throughout the tri- state area.
Mallory is thrilled to be on the teaching staff at Edie's Dance Factory, where she is an alumnus. She graduated Cum Laude from Marymount Manhattan College with a BA in Dance and a minor in Psychology in June 2015. Mallory is currently on the National Tour of 42nd Street, playing the roll of "Phyllis".
Mallory began dancing at Edie's Dance Factory at the age of 2 and joined the competition team when she was five. She was an award-winning tap soloist and performed with the team at various competitions and venues. She also performed in the opening number of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, NJPAC's Summer Conservatory, Random Farms Kids Theatre, Broadway Workshop, Nunbetter's Dance The Nutcracker and Wood-Ridge High School's spring musicals.
Living in New York City gives Mallory the opportunity to work with many top professionals in the industry. Training at Broadway Dance Center, "Summer Professional Semester" and Godspeed's "Summer Dance Intensive" afforded her the opportunity to work with Randy Skinner, Sheila Barker, Ricky Hinds, and Jim Clooney. Mallory is also a member of the Peggy Spina Tap Company, making her debut performance in the Winter of 2015.
Mallory is excited to be back at the studio where she grew up and is looking forward to sharing her love of the performing arts with the next generation.
Tiana Benevenga has danced since the age of three, with years of experience in hip hop, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, and ballet. Tiana has trained at the Broadway Dance Center for five years, Dance Designs for six years, and East Coast Movement for three years. She danced professionally for the New Jersey Nets Kids Dance Team for two years, where she got to dance in front of 20,000 fans at the Izod Center every weekend at the games. Tiana has done many live dance performances on MSG Varsity, Good Day New York, ABC 7, News 12, and WB 11 morning news. She was in the movie "Gotta Dance", where she danced and had a part in this documentary that was shown at the Tribeca Film Festivals. She has starred in a Kidzbop video game and became an interviewer for the Kidzbop website. She has been an MC, where she has done live commercials for Aeropostale, as well starred in a hotel commercial in Rome for Italy Rai Productions. She attended DePaul Catholic High school and was on the dance team all four years. Senior year she was awarded with hip hop captain of her high school dance team, where she choreographed for her team. Tiana is now currently studying at Montclair State University, where she is minoring in dance and continuing her studies in Elementary Education, as well as being apart of the Montclair State dance team. She has back up danced for an upcoming rapper Allegory. Tiana was also apart of the dance crew X-Quisite, where she danced at many events including a fashion show at the prudential center. Tiana currently danced on BET, on the show "106 and Park", where she won best dancer on live television. She also has been starred in a recent music video as the main model/dancer in X-phaze's new music video, "Gonna get down". Last August, she was on Goodmorning America in a flash mob dancing live on TV for "The Wanted'. Tiana is currently continuing to go out on auditions, work hard in the studio, and go for her dreams in her dance career.
Melissa has been dancing since she was five years old and is a product of Edie's Dance Factory. She danced at EDF for over ten years and was on the competition team for eight years. She won numerous awards while on the team for solo, duo, trio and group dances. While attending Wood-Ridge High School, Melissa appeared in all four of their Spring Musicals as a lead character where she sang, danced and acted. Melissa also taught dance for the YMCA Musical Theater Camp for the last five years.
Melissa majors in Communication and Media Arts and minors in Dance at Montclair State University. In her freshman year Melissa joined a dance company and performed there for two years entertaining at the college's showcases and special events. However, in her junior year, Melissa wanted to dance more, and her urge to return to dance competitions helped her form a new team of elite dancers.. She is the Founder and President of the Montclair Dance Team, which performs at sporting events, such as football and basketball games at Montclair, as well as doing shows and competing against other college dance teams all over the state.
Melissa is now a senior at Montclair and is looking forward to giving back to the dance studio where her love for dance began.
Jennifer Kelbe grew up in a family owned dance studio now celebrating it's 30th year in business. She received her BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory, where she performed in works by Murray Louis, Paul Taylor, Jacqueline Buglisi, and Anna Sokolow. She continued on, dancing for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as Dance Captain aboard the Monarch of the Seas. The next few years were spent as Director of The Malibu Civic Ballet and teaching throughout the Los Angeles area, while dancing with both the Santa Monica Contemporary Ballet and the Los Angeles Ballet Theatre. Jennifer then headed east, where she joined the Lydia Johnson Company in New York and continued to teach all around the tristate area. In 2010 she joined Prometheus Dance based in Cambridge Ma. Jennifer spent the last three years teaching at Bridgewater State University and is currently in pursuit of her Masters of Fine Arts at Hollins University.