Kirby is the owner and artistic director at Higher Movement. She is passionate about dance, starting as early as the age of 3. Kirby studied at her studio in Wallingford, CT, as well as the Educational Center for the Arts (ECA) in New Haven, CT during high school. Following high school, Kirby chose to continue her dance training and education by attending the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York City. Since attending AMDA Kirby has been a part of The Providence Dance Project. She is currently the director of the dance program at the Jewish Community Center in Woodbridge, CT. She is truly eager to impart her wisdom on her students and watch them grow into true artists.
Owner / Artistic Director , Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, Combo Classes, Zumba
Miss Tracy is the Acro and Tumbling Teacher here at Higher Movement! This is her seventh year teaching at the studio. Miss Tracy did competitive gymnastics for seven years and competed in all four events: Floor, Vault, Uneven Bars, and Balance Beam. Over the course of her seven years competing, she won multiple state championship titles in all four events, as well as many other achievements and gold medals at local meets. Teaching Acro and Tumbling is one of Miss Tracy’s favorite things in the world and she loves to watch her students grow into amazing dancers!
Contemporary and Jazz
Madison "Maddie" Oquendo is very excited to make her debut as a dance instructor for Higher Movement Dance Studio. She is thrilled to join such talented artists by her side and make her feel welcome for the season. Madison has been a dancer since she was 2 years old and has trained under various artists. Madison received her Bachelor's degree from Central Connecticut State University this past May in which she studied Psychological Science and Dance. She was a part of a collegiate dance company called Dancentral the performance company at CCSU. Madison has taken master classes in New York City with the Radio City Rockettes and I am Musical Theatre. She is grateful for her grandmother a previous dance studio owner in Meriden and teacher along with her mother for their dance training and expertise throughout the years. She wants to thank Kirby for giving her this opportunity and Melissa for such a warm welcome.
Tiffany started teaching dance in her hometown, Woodstock, Georgia, and has been passionate about training the next generation of dancers ever since. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Brenau University with a B.A. in Dance with a concentration in Pre-Physical Therapy. At Brenau, Tiffany was honored to receive the Outstanding Senior in Dance and the Performing Artist Award, distinguishing herself among the performing artist majors. During college, she danced with the Gainesville Ballet Company, where she was also on staff as a dance teacher. Outside of performing, she enjoys exploring the choreographic process and has crafted works through a variety of dance styles and levels. Additionally, Tiffany is beginning her professional career dancing with Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet for the 2023-2024 season.
Anna Nitardy is from Martha’s Vineyard, where she trained at Rise Vineyard Performing Arts for 10 years. At Rise, Anna studied ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, acro, and hip hop dance. During her time at Rise, she won many awards including American Dance Awards Dancer of the Year. Anna continued her time at Rise as a teacher of contemporary, jazz, and conditioning. She also studied at the Walnut Hill School of the Arts, the American Dance Festival, and the Boston Conservatory. After graduating high school, Anna moved to New York and continued her dance training at the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance. After her first year at Purchase, she became a concentration in ballet. Anna is currently dancing with New England Ballet Theatre. In addition to performing Anna has been teaching and choreographing for award-winning competition teams in Westchester, NY, and eastern Massachusetts.
Ballet Technique and Pre-Pointe/Pointe
Kelly began dancing at the age of 2 at the American Dance Experience in Hamden, CT. She danced competitively in tap, ballet, jazz, and lyrical/contemporary in both local and national competitions. She was a performer, choreographer, and instructor for NUDANCO and No Limits Dance Crew while attending Northeastern University in Boston, MA. While living in the Boston area, Kelly was also an instructor of both children and adult classes. She is the co-founder of OnStage Dance Company, a performance group for adults, and also served as its Associate Director. When not dancing, Kelly is a middle school teacher who is busy chasing around her five kids James, Grace, Lily, Anna, and Giulia with her husband, Joe.
Jazz and Ballet/Tap Combo
This is Miss Susie's second year teaching at Higher Movement. She has a strong passion to work with children and help them build passion and excitement for dance. She has been dancing for 36 years. She started at the age of 8 at Sunshine Dance and still performs to this day (she took eight years off to have her three children). The owner, Sheila Tetreault inspired her so she has an incredible passion for dance. She took master classes in New York City, growing up with the studio. She was also a tiny tots assistant to Miss Sheila prior to teaching there for over 6 years. In high school, she studied ballet in Cape Cod and was the choreographer of many high school musicals at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Springs Maryland. Susie attended ECSU for a degree in Dance and then transferred to Southern Connecticut State University where she received a degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition. She has been a certified dance/fitness instructor since she was 16 years old. She is so excited to start her second year at Higher Movement and work with her prior and new students.
Toddlers in Tutus Tap, Ballet, Move
with Me and Tap
Miss Molly is from Woodbridge, Virginia, and began dancing at the age of 3. She started at Strictly Rhythm Dance Center and began competing at 5 years old. She studied ballet, tap, musical theater, hip hop, contemporary, lyrical, and jazz. At 12 years old, she switched to KLR studios for Dance and Music and continued competing. She was on the high school dance team and competed nationally with pom and kick. She attended the Center for Fine and Performing Arts program at Woodbridge High School and Colgan High School where she studied modern dance. Molly attended Christopher Newport University and graduated with a degree in Environmental Biology. She is very excited to teach tap this year!
Miss Ginette (aka Miss Gin) is a performing artist from Hartford County. The styles of dance she loves are hip hop, dancehall, traditional afro, and krump. Her style consists of mainly these foundations. She is CT's first active female krumper. She has battled throughout the U.S. and won a tournament for krump. She's also a visual artist and has been working on different ways to incorporate visual arts and props into her performances to help tell the story. She prefers an abstract way of looking at things. Connection, creativity, relatability, and wanting to see people inspired or enjoying themselves matter to her. Her creation process though is in thought of what story she's telling with music or sound.
Mr. Alex has over 15 years of professional dance experience as a motivational dancer and instructor. He’s performed at bat/bar mitzvahs, sweet 16s, and various other events. Alex has a passion for the art of dance and wants to see his students grow and succeed not only on the dance floor but also in their personal lives.
Front Desk Staff:
Melissa is one of our front desk staff members and this is her fourth season with Higher Movement! Although she has no dance history, she’s been a “Dance Mom” for over twelve years. Melissa is married to Bud who’s a Minister here in Meriden and they have two daughters and a son-in-law. She always has a smile on and loves greeting our new and returning dance families as they arrive! If you see Miss Melissa at the studio be sure to say hello.
Front Desk Staff
Whitney is one of our front desk staff. Whitney has a professional background in community health. Whitney grew up doing ballet in New Haven for several years and she absolutely loved it! She is excited to be one of the newest members of the Higher Movement team.
Whitney loves going to the park and to the beach. Her favorite food is bacon and broccoli pizza.
Front Desk Staff
Arielle Joseph is our Enrollment Coordinator.
She’s almost at her one-year mark with Higher Movement and is with us virtually from Florida!
Arielle handles all trial sign-ups and enrollments. She loves talking to our families over the phone.
She’s a mom of two little ones and has a passion for helping others! In her free time, she sews bridal dresses! Designing has been her passion since the age of 9 and she followed that dream by getting her bachelors degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising.
Hi! I'm Kaylee, and I run Higher Movement's social media accounts. I am a former journalist and marketer. I love the human element of a story, and that's exactly what I hope to show for Higher Movement and our dancers. When I am not working, I enjoy living life to the fullest with my fiancé and stepdaughters, binge-reading thriller novels, and snuggling with my pup. While I am not training in dance, I am not afraid to break it down like no one's watching.
Mission Statement: Higher Movement dance studio is dedicated to providing quality dance education in a safe, welcome & family friendly environment.