Our Owner & Director Fallon White
Fallon White began her journey with Danceworks as a student studying under Margaret Tapgona Gatzonis. By age 15, Fallon, was training and choreographing competitive soloists and in 2001, she was awarded her first national choreography award. A LaGuardia HS graduate, Fallon received training from the industry’s leading instructors in ballet and modern dance. Professionally, Fallon traveled as a dance ambassador to Beijing, China in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. She has appeared on MTV and choreographed for WKTU’s Summer Beatstock in back to back summer productions. Fallon has been interviewed and published in "Dance Spirit" magazine, as well as "Interview En l'air." You can read her expose with En l'air here: http://www.interviewenlair.com/fallon-white/
Teaching has always been Fallon’s passion. In 2008, Fallon, acquired Danceworks Dance Center from her mentor Ms. Gatzonis. Since then she has worked to expand the Danceworks brand, while keeping roots in the true essence of what makes the studio stand apart from others. In a continuous effort to bring quality dance training to children everywhere, Fallon acquired a second space in 2019 in Howard Beach, Queens. Many of Fallon’s students have transitioned in to the professional field, dancing on stage with the Ailey and Lar Lubovitch Companies. They’ve also danced & cheered for minor and major league NY sports teams, including the NY JETS.
In addition to running Danceworks Brooklyn & Queens locations, Fallon currently works as an adjudicator for many dance & talent competitions on the east coast.
"I'd like to thank you for giving us the chance to share our love for dance with your children. Your continued support of our team, brand and small business is greatly appreciated and we look forward to providing your children with a quality dance education and tools for so much more!" - Fallon White
Our Co-Director Joelle Messina
Joelle Nicole began her training at Danceworks Dance Center in 1994. As her passion for dance grew she went on to attend & graduate from NYC’s premiere high school for the performing arts; LaGuardia High School of Music & Art & The Performing Arts. After high school, Joelle worked as a fellowship student at the one & only Ailey School in NYC where she had the honor of performing Ailey's "Memoria" alongside the Ailey Company for two consecutive seasons. Professionally, Joelle has traveled and danced with the SD Prism Dance Theater, DeMa Dance Company, Xhale Dance Company and Michael Susten & Company. She has performed works by: Milton Myers, Sidra Bell, Adam Barruch, Pedro Ruiz Jr, Sonia Dawkins, Yesid Lopez, Tyce Diorio, Tracie Stanfield, KC Castellano and Michael Susten.
Joelle has over 20 years experience on the competition scene, as a competitor, choreographer and adjudicator. As an instructor, Joelle encourages her students to strive for excellence and nothing less. She has trained many young dancers and helped them to prepare and successfully receive admission to their “dream” specialized Junior High & High School dance programs, including Mark Twain JHS & LaGuardia HS. Joelle’s choreography is consistently recognized and at both, regional and national dance competitions, including back to back grand national wins for her choreography, in 2017 & 2018.
Joelle is excited to celebrate her tenth season as Co-Director at Danceworks Dance Center and wishes everyone a wonderful year ahead.
Competitive Hip Hop & Jazz Funk Lu Cuadra
Lu Cuadra is a choreographer and artist based out of NYC. He has trained under some of New York and California's most well known and accredited dance teachers. He is a proud member of the Kelly Peter Dance Company and has trained, performed and toured with them since the beginning of 2010.
Lu has worked and choreographed pieces for companies, studios, numerous schools and universities nationwide. His choreography is a fusion of all his favorite things from each style and places he's studied. Always dancing with a purpose and focused on the craft.
Competitive & Recreational Instructor Nicole Garofano
Nicole began her training at Danceworks under Margaret Gatzonis, Fallon White & Joelle Messina when she was 3 years old. She is a proud graduate of LaGuardia High School (2011) & Long Island University (Brooklyn) in 2015 where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance (BFA). Nicole was a member, of the charitable company, The All Star Dance Company, under the direction of Lu Cuadra for 2 years. Nicole was a 5 time, Brooklyn Cyclone Beach Bum Dancer and served as their captain and choreographer for 4 of those years. Lastly, she was a member of the Westchester Knicks Dub Squad from 2016-2018!
At Danceworks, Nicole, had been a class assistant, for 10 seasons before she became an instructor, in 2011. She has choreographed for the competitive team, since 2012 and received her first choreography nomination for her jazz production, "Im Every Woman" at Access Broadway's 2019 Grand Nationals!
In addition to teaching, Nicole returned to school in 2016 to earn her degree in Physical Therapy. She now works full time as a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) and doesn’t hesitate to bring her knowledge of the body, muscles, and healing to each of her students when in need!
Competitive & Recreational Instructor Marissa Pugliese
Marissa discovered her passion for dance, at Danceworks Dance Center. Training under Fallon White & Joelle Messina, Marissa, has dominated the competitive dance world since she was six years old. Her ability to command the stage, paired with her outstanding technical ability had always scored her amongst the top 5% at any competitions, she'd attend. Marissa holds multiple regional and national titles, including, Senior Miss On Stage America, which she won in her final pre-professional competition, in July 2017.
Marissa is a proud graduate of the prestigious LaGuardia High School, in NYC. Within her years dancing she discovered her passion for the art and decided to pursue dance in college as well. In May 2021, Marissa graduated Long Island University Brooklyn with a Bachelor Fine Arts in Dance, along with a business minor. Professionally, Marissa has worked with a numerous amount of established choreographers through her many experiences. Marissa has been involved in performances such as An Evening of Nathaniel Hunt’s Work”, The Brooklyn Dance Festival, American College Dance Association Gala, and dance films “Across from Solitude”, “Landing Point” choreographed and directed by Alenka Cizmesjia, and “Remember When” choreographed and directed by Natiya Kezavadze. Currently, Marissa is continuing to share her passion through instructing and choreographing for dance studios. She hopes to share her knowledge and passion with the new generation of upcoming dancers. Marissa has future plans to receive a Masters Degree for Dance Education, in hopes of teaching at a performing arts school.