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
Mr. Brandon was born and raised in Connecticut. At a young age Brandon grew a strong passion for Hip Hop. Over the last 11 years he has taught thousands of students in numerous schools, studios & productions. In addition to dance and choreography, Mr. Brandon co owns a production company, Mirage Productions. He is sought out by choreographers and recording artists to help bring their visions to life!
Breakdancing & Hip Hop
Kate began dancing at the age of 9 at her studio in Stratford, CT. While there she took classes in ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, and tap. She was part of the company team and participated in competitions for 7 years all over New England and has won numerous awards and scholarships. When not competing, Kate studied at Broadway Dance Center in New York. After graduating high school, she took on the role of teaching in Stratford and Derby. Kate is so excited to start her journey at Higher Movement and share her love of ballet and pointe with the students!
Ballet Technique & Pre-pointe/Pointe
Miss Tracy is the Acro and Tumbling Teacher here at Higher Movement! This is her 7th year teaching at the studio. Miss Tracy did competitive gymnastics for 7 years and competed in all 4 events: Floor, Vault, Uneven Bars and Balance Beam. Over the course of her 7 years competing, she won multiple state championship titles in all 4 events, as well as many other achievemants 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!
Ballet, Pointe, Adult Tap
Miss Karen attended Jacki’s Dance Factory in Danbury, CT and The Connecticut Conservatory in New Milford, CT to receive the majority of her early dance training. She continued her higher level of study at Broadway Dance Center in NYC, concentrating in Classical Ballet and Pointe. Karen has also had the honor and privilege of attending classes conducted by the legendary Master Teacher David Howard of The Royal Ballet at Ballet Academy East in Manhattan. She has choreographed and performed in numerous productions, including venues such as The Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, CT and the Bushnell Theater in Hartford, CT. Karen enjoys continuing her dance education training by attending various workshops, conventions, seminars and online programs, thus enabling her to share with her students the enrichment from fellow instructors from around the world. Karen's teaching style incorporates both Vaganova and Cecchetti techniques with Balanchine influences. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Technology from Western CT State University with a Minor in Chemistry and has received training in the sciences of Anatomy and Physiology.
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.
Hello my name is Laneisha Perkins. I was born and raised in Norwich CT. I started dancing at the age of two. In 2009 I joined a competition team called Dance 10. We traveled up and down the east coast competing at dance competitions. I’ve performed at Disney, New York and Maine just to name a few places. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and im a Preschool teacher. I am currently in Graduate school, I’m pursuing my School Counseling degree. I have a lot of experience with kids and dance. I'm so excited to join the Higher Movement.
I am from Bergen County, New Jersey and I am currently a Junior at Quinnipiac University studying Public Relations and Management. I have been dancing since I was about three years old and I was a competitive dancer throughout middle school and high school. I am still dancing today as a member of the Quinnipiac University D1 Competitive Dance Team! Outside of dance, I love to hang out with my friends/family, go shopping, and workout. This is my first year teaching at Higher Movement and I am so excited to be able to share my knowledge and love for dance with these students.
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 12 years. Melissa is married to Bud who’s a Minister here in Meriden and they have 2 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
Miss Vanesa is one of our front desk members and is excited to be a part of the Higher Movement family. Vanesa is originally from the Philippines and speaks the native language, Tagalog. She has three kids: ages 12, 8, and 7. Vanesa spends her free time teaching them how to speak Tagalog too. Her family has a pet rabbit named Willow Tree and a guinea pig named Flex. Vanesa's favorite musical group is BTS. She loves all of their songs but her favorites are “Mic Drop, Dynamite, and Boy With Luv". Growing up, Vanesa always enjoyed watching movies of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire tap dancing. She promised herself, someday, she will learn how to tap dance too!
Front Desk Staff
Arielle Joseph is our Enrollment Coordinator.
She’s almost at her 1 year mark with Higher Movement and is with us virtually from Florida!
Arielle handles all trial sign ups, enrollments and 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.
Miss Michaela is the social media coordinator for Higher Movement. She runs our various social media pages and takes photos at the studio. Michaela is a current student at Central Connecticut State University, expected to graduate December 2022. She is excited to continue pursuing her love for social media and getting to know the students at Higher Movement in the process. Michaela has 3 years experience working with kids in the daycare setting and has a love for art and design. Though not a dancer, her creative approach keeps the social media full of exciting content. If you see Michaela in the studio feel free to say hi!!
Mission Statement: Higher Movement dance studio is dedicated to providing quality dance education in a safe, welcome & family friendly environment.