Meet Our Instructors
Meet Our Talented Instructors
Gabriela Soto was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and relocated to the states at age 14. Miss Gabby is an alumni from The Ailey School Certificate Program. Theatre credits include Brigadoon (New York City Center), and In The Heights (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse at the Park). TV/Film credits include Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Gabriela has also performed works by William Forsythe, Alvin Ailey, Lar Lubovitch, Matthew Rushing, Elisa Monte, Robert Battle, Francesca Harper, Amy Hall and Jae Man Joo. When off stage Miss Gabby enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge with the younger generation of dance.
Jessie Levin is a New York City based performer, dance teacher, choreographer, and certified personal trainer. Originally from Syosset, New York, Jessie discovered her love for dance at the young age of 3. Growing up, she competed in various styles around Long Island and studied ballet with American Ballet Theater. Jessie wanted to continue her dance education and received her BFA in Dance Performance from the University at Buffalo in 2018. While at school, she studied the styles of jazz, contemporary, ballet, tap, aerial silks, and Spanish web. Since graduating, Jessie has had the incredible opportunity to perform works at DUMBO Dance Festival and APEX Showcase at Peridance in NYC. She has also traveled the world while performing for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in a variety of shows like the famous tribute concert, Legends In Concert. Through dancing, Jessie discovered a passion for fitness. She decided to pursue a certification in personal training with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Jessie aims to inspire and share her passion and knowledge with other movers.
Nikki has been dancing and performing since the age of 2. She has earned a BFA in Musical Theatre from Molloy College/CAP21, and is a proud Alumni of Divine Rhythms Dance graduating in 2017. Nikki teaches dance and is the director of the theatre program at DRD. Nikki is a member of Actors Equity Membership Candidate Association. Regional theatre performance credits: The Cher Show (The Gateway), Mamma Mia! & Cabaret (The Argyle Theatre). Choreography/Directing credits: Elf Jr., Willy Wonka Jr., Seussical Jr. (Director, DRD), The Wizard of Oz (Choreographer, The Argyle Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (Choreographer, West Babylon High School), The Argyle Accents Show Choir (Choreographer, The Argyle Theatre). Nikki has trained and worked with Broadway professionals and incorporates her extensive theatre and dance training into her classroom. She loves to watch her students grow from week to week and inspire them to be the best well-rounded performers they can be in a positive, fun, welcoming, and creative environment.
Miss Alexis is a graduate of the Performing Arts High School in Syosset (currently LIHSA), & has earned a B.A. in Theatre Arts. She started as a ballroom/latin dancer w/ her mother, Giny Rae as her coach & has won national titles in latin & cabaret. Alexis’ performance career includes the Las Vegas show “Simply Ballroom.” In addition, she was a featured performer in a USA tour w/Debbie Reynolds as the host. She has performed in the Sundance film “Dirty Eyes”, as well as done site-specific pieces at such locations as Lincoln Center, & Central Park. Alexis spent 8 years performing as a featured dancer & aerialist w/Celebrity & Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines cruising the Mediterranean, Baltic, & Caribbean. As well, she was part of the inaugural cast of the Celebrity Reflection. In that time, she also served as Aerial Captain, & performed on such circus apparatuses as: lyra, tissu (silks), static trapeze, Spanish web, & bungee.
Miss Gina has been trained by Anne Cunningham, a Radio City Rockette, Savion Glover, The Eglevsky Ballet Company, Rock Steady Breakers, and many more inspiring performers! Miss Gina attended NCC where she was a Principle Dancer and received nan Associates Degree in Dance. She danced in numerous commercials for Lucille Roberts and was the Captain/Choreographer of the AFL’s New York Dragons Fire dancers for 5 years after. She was chosen to represent the NY team in New Orleans for their XXI Arena Bowl Dream Team and to be the video animation dancer for EA Sports AFL Video Game “Road to Glory”. Gina has performed with the NHL as an Islanders Ice Breaker and chosen by MTV to be a MADE Coach. In 2007, Miss Gina was selected to be a part of The New York Jets Flight Crew Cheerleaders for their inaugural season. Throughout her years with the NFL she modeled for their calendars, performed next to Lenny Kravitz at his Half Time Show, and was in years of televised news and Sports Commercials. She was a member of their Elite Show Team and later as alumni she choreographed for the Show Team and judged the Flight Crew auditions. Gina is currently a judge for Star Quest International Dance Competitions. She believes in being a well rounded dancer. Her classroom is lively, athletic, theatrical and she is constantly pushing dancers to give it their all!
Toni Andino is thrilled to be teaching at Divine Rhythms Dance. She has been dancing since the age of 4 and began her training at Just For Kicks School of Dance in Island Park, NY under the direction of Miss Marilyn’s sister, Barbara Ann Cittadino. While there, she trained in numerous styles of dance including jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet, modern, lyrical, pointe and even Irish dance! She also took part in two Nutcracker performances at Divine Rhythms Dance in 2011 and 2012. Throughout her high school years at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School in Hicksville, NY, she was a member of their kickline program as well as the Trinity Dance Company, directed by Catherine Murphy. During that time she had the opportunity to learn from many different choreographers, such as Christina Lynch Markham of Paul Taylor Dance Company. Her love for dance followed her into college where she was a member of the Adelphi University Dance Team and the AU Evolution Hip Hop team. She has since graduated from Adelphi University with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing in December 2021 and is a New York State Registered Nurse. Toni is also the Assistant Coach for the Holy Trinity Varsity Kickline team. Toni credits her teaching ability to all the wonderful teachers that nurtured her love for dance over the years. She has been teaching since 2017 and looks forward to growing and learning alongside her students for the years to come!
Daria is a passionate and dedicated dancer who continues to train in efforts to perfect her craft. She has learned from top choreographers and dancers in the industry and she desires to share that experience with her peers. She started dancing when she was 2 and has danced competitively for 17 years receiving numerous awards throughout the region. Daria had been teaching since the age of 17 and is thankful to share her knowledge and expertise to the dance community. Daria is constantly training at either local studios or taking classes in NYC. A recent graduate from Sacred Heart University where she was dancing at the pre professional level with the Sacred Heart University Dance Company. The highlight of Daria’s career thus far was being named the 2nd place soloist at the World Dance Movement in Bari, Italy and being featured in various music videos and projects. Daria is currently pursuing a master degree in Digital Forensics at John Jay College in NYC. Daria’s future plans are to move to NYC and pursue her dance career.
Kelly Ann Gillen
Miss Kelly has been dancing & performing since the age of 3. Her love for dancing, singing and acting has been the biggest part of her heart and soul. She studied theatre arts at AMDA in NYC and graduated with an associates degree in fine arts.
After College she auditioned for New York Express Dance Troupe in Nutley, New Jersey. She was given the opportunity to professionally ballroom dance and train with the World Hustle Champions. She toured South America performing and teaching on Cruise Ships. After 5 years competing she returned back to Long Island and continued teaching, training and competing at Arthur Murray Studio of Dance in Huntington Station, NY.
Miss Kelly taught Jazz and Hip Hop at North Shore Performing Arts in Syosset. She continued dancing at Suzanne’s Dance Experience in West Islip, NY and competed in adult tap divisions.
While auditioning for local theaters and performing on stage again, she spent 2 years as an Assistant to the Directors with Lynn Clark Summertime Players, in Bay Shore, NY.
“I love performing, it’s such a rush.. there is nothing like it! All my life I knew I wanted to teach children theatre and dance. To give the gift of this beautiful art and inspire others the way I was inspired. I have been at Divine Rhythms for 5 years & teaching dance the last 3. My heart is so happy teaching, it has been the highlight of my career. I can’t imagine doing anything else..there is no better job.. I love every minute of what I do!!”
“Keep Smiling, Keep Shining ⭐️”
You can also find Miss Kelly managing the Babylon Dance Shop, performing with Echo light Productions and singing with the band Tradewinds.
Miss Haley is very excited to be teaching at Divine Rhythms Dance. Throughout high school, she trained primarily at Divine Rhythms Dance, as well as competed there for many years. While competing, she won many Title Awards, as well as choreography awards for pieces she set. Haley was a member of the Koin and Co Junior Training Program, under which she took classes of every discipline year round in New York City. She has attended the Complexions summer and winter intensives of 2015-2017, and taken several discipline specific workshops through Broadway Dance Center. She has also been a member of Tracie Stanfield’s apprentice company, Synthesis Too. She is currently a student of the Adelphi University Dance Department on a scholarship, where she is studying to earn her BFA in movement and choreography.
Abigail Haugh is a dancer, teacher, and personal trainer originally from the Philadelphia area. She obtained her BFA in dance performance at Hofstra University, where she trained extensively in modern and ballet. She performs in dance projects and companies throughout New York City. Most recently, she has been in rehearsals with Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre, Chutzpah Dance, and Anna Paterson Dance Company!
For four years, Abigail has been teaching at studios across the east coast. She has a great passion for instilling and nurturing a love of dance in movers of all ages, and strives to help her students reach their fullest potential through providing meaningful feedback, stimulating artistic exploration, and encouraging confidence in all of her students.
In addition to Divine Rhythms, she is an assistant teaching artist with the Mark Morris Dance Group! She has taught intensive summer classes, created dance pieces within the dance department at Hofstra University, and helped in the creation and teaching of a dance workshop, alongside her peers, at schools all across Long Island and Queens. Abigail is looking forward to teaching at Divine Rhythms again this season!
Miss Pam graduated from the Long Island High School of the Arts (LIHSA) for Dance and earned her BFA in Dance at LIU. She has studied Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, and Lyrical extensively throughout Long Island and NYC and has training in Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, and African dance as well.
After performing throughout NY and the United States, Miss Pam earned her Master’s Degree in Secondary English Education. She is a NYS Certified and Tenured English Teacher.
Miss Pam is also a 500 hour Certified Yoga Instructor & registered with Yoga Alliance (RYT-500) and a Level II Thai Massage practitioner trained from Lotus Palm School. In addition, she offers several other modalities to assist in healing.
She prides herself in providing a well-rounded education for students, teaching technique, alignment, vocabulary and skills, as well as inspiring confidence, creativity, team work, and awareness of self and space.
Miss Pam believes dance is a way we can come together as a community to create art. She tries to cultivate an energy of happiness and a feeling of positivity. She has been teaching predominantly ballet, contemporary, and modern for over 20 years, including spending a wonderful 10 years as Assistant Director of Divine Rhythms Dance.
Currently living in Upstate New York, Miss Pam plans to continue her work with DR virtually and in numerous other choreographic capacities.
Mr. Buddy is a performer with 30 years of working experience in all mediums of show business. Before tumbling into show business, he was a competitive ELITE level gymnast, as well as a 3 time Jr. Olympic swim champion. In the 80’s, (after beating her in his High School talent show) Buddy became a back-up dancer & choreographer for teen pop sensation Debbie (Deborah) Gibson, touring the world with her for 7 years. After his 3rd world tour with Debbie, he pursued his dream of dancing on Broadway. Some of his favorite show credits include: Broadway’s “Miss Saigon”- “Starlight Express”- “Hercules Live” – “Red Hot Broadway” -“Miss Saigon” 1st National Tour , “That’s Christmas”, & most recently “ POP goes BROADWAY “ (starring Debbie Gibson).
Buddy has appeared in numerous music videos on MTV, & worked with other recording artists such as SYLVESTER, Deborah Cooper, Darlene Love, Paul Young, & Tommy Page. Recent work includes : director/choreographer onboard Norwegian Cruise Lines, director/ choreographer of numerous corporate industrials (Walmart, ABC Family, ESPN) & co-choreographer of the Debbie Gibson/Tiffany tour. He has danced for some of the BEST choreographers, & directors, including George Schlatter, Twyla Tharp, Jerry Mitchell, James L. Brooks, Arlene Phillips, Michael Peters, Otis Salid, Jodi Moccia, & Paula Abdul. He has had the pleasure of directing and choreographing some INCREDIBLE performers such as : Ben Vereen, Karen Ziemba, Jennifer Holliday, Adrian Zmed, Asa Somers, Eugene Fleming, Andrea McArdle, Anthony Rapp, Norm Lewis & Lea Salonga. A pair of his dance shoes are displayed in the Hard Rock Cafe, as well as a pair in the Smithsonian pop-culture exhibit. Buddy has been teaching dance & judging for National talent competitions for 20 years, and currently teaches master classes in jazz, musical theater, lyrical, & his own athletic, jazz-infused style he calls “Buddy-ography”.
Coach Cheryl started gymnastics at the age of three. She was a competitive gymnast competed on the West Islip High School Varsity Gymnastics Team. She attended St. Joseph’s College and was a part of their Cheer leading Team where she competed at UCA Nationals in Orlando, Florida. Coach Cheryl started coaching gymnastics at the age of 16. She has coached all levels of gymnastics from recreational classes through competitive teams and has coached many individual state and team champion winners throughout her years!