Dance Educators

Jen Naso-Marinis

Jen Naso-Marinis Director

Dance Dimensions is managed and directed by Jennifer Naso Marinis. Jen has been studying dance for the past 33 years. She is currently a member of the Dee Hillier Dance Company and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance and Health Education from Baldwin-Wallace College. She has coached cheerleading and dance for 19 years including St. Joseph and John cheerleaders, Ohio Cheer Explosion All-Star Cheerleaders, Ohio Cheer Explosion Dynamite Dancers, John Carroll University’s Dance Team, and Dance Dimensions All-Star Dancers. All of her teams have won Regional titles and she has guided several to National Championships including winning a national Dance Title. Dance Dimensions has won the honor of Ohio State Dance Champions for the past 8 years and was voted Cleveland’s Best Dance Studio in 2008 by Fox News. She was the choreographer for the Cleveland Lumberjacks Dance Team, 1998-2000. Jen was also a high school and college cheerleader and was an NCA Collegiate All-American and Summer Staff Instructor. Jen has also participated in Master Dance classes with Tom Evert, Barry Youngblood, Bob Rizzo, Michelle Barber and Sheila Barker. Jen also judges dance competitions throughout the U.S. With her background she promotes a disciplined but exciting learning environment and always encourages self confidence. She is also a member of Professional Dance Teachers Association and is a certified and licensed Dancing Thru Pregnancy Instructor. Jen attends dance conventions and competitions to keep her training diverse and to give her students the latest dance styles and choreography.

Kathy Naso-Alberty (KNA) – Instructor

Kathy has been training in dance for over 19 years both competitively and recreational. She has a strong background in tap, lyrical, modern, ballet and jazz technique. She has many years experience and training with our preschool students and brings an exciting base of knowledge for the art of dance to them. Kathy is an alumni of the Dance Dimensions performing company. She is a former member of the Cleveland Lumberjacks Dance Team. She has trained with Dee Hillier and participates in master classes locally and at Broadway Dance Center in NYC and The Edge in LA with such names as Michelle Barber and John Gavin Thompson. Kathy is a graduate of Strongsville High School, holds a degree in the Arts and is a Certified Massage Therapist and assists in managing Dance Dimensions. Kathy has been teaching at Dance Dimensions for the past 8 years and she believes in assisting each student to strive to be their best at any age or level of dance.

Kathie Nejman (KAN) – Instructor

Kathie is excited to be a part of Cleveland’s amazing dance community and the Dance Dimensions family! Her teaching career spans over two decades, and although she teaches many dance styles, she specializes in tap, jazz and musical theater. Kathie has been on the Dance Dimensions teaching staff since 2004, directs our Tap Performing Company and also choreographs for our Jazz Performing Companies as well. Kathie teaches and choreographs for many dance studios and competition teams throughout Northeast Ohio as well as being a Dance Educator for Cleveland’s Playhouse Square Community Engagement and Education Department. She was also a Choreographer and Director/Stager for Norwegian Cruise Lines, based in Florida. She has choreographed several numbers that have been performed throughout their fleet of ships. Kathie has also choreographed for high school musicals, show choirs, and dance teams as well. Throughout the years, her competition numbers have earned numerous overall awards and have been recognized for choreography.

Kathie has grown up taking dance classes, performing in musicals and has been privileged to study with renowned teacher/choreographer Dee Hillier since 1984. She was also a member of the Dee Hillier Dance Company, where she performed in the televised Christmas lighting of Cleveland’s Public Square – “Tis The Season”, the opening of the Allen Theatre, various industrials and more. Kathie continues her education by attending dance conventions and travels annually to New York City to take classes from world-renowned teachers to stay on top of the latest trends in dance.

Kathie’s dance training also extends into the ballroom world. She was a professional ballroom dancer/instructor, where she competed in the professional division, as well as the pro/am division with her students.

Kathie is most proud of being a founder of “Dancing For A Miracle”, an annual performance/fundraiser that invites our Cleveland dance community to come together to perform for a local child afflicted with serious illness. The money raised is donated to the child and his/her family to help offset the many expenses associated with the disease. Since its inception in 2006, “Dancing For A Miracle” has raised over $50,000, and has helped lighten the burden for some very special families. “We dance today, to give hope for tomorrow.”

Dee Hillier (DH) – Instructor

Dee Hillier a native New Yorker, studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Voice at the C.B.S Television Studios in Manhattan. She intensified her jazz training with Matt Mattox at the June Taylor School of Dance. Throughout her career she has studied with Luigi, Frank Hatchett, Ronn Forella, Michele Assaf, and others. After performing as a singer and dancer in N.Y., Dee headed to Ohio University where she received her B.A. in Psychology. Dee’s students have become successful teachers, choreographers and performers throughout the country.

Dana Soroczak (DS) – Instructor

Dana Soroczak began her dance training when she was three years old at Tracy Vedda Studio of Dance in Westlake. She has studied ballet, modern, jazz, and tap. As a child, she participated in annual summer workshops with dancers from the former Cleveland/ San Jose Ballet. Her formal ballet training was at Marguerite Duncan Studio of Dance and she was a member of North Coast Ballet Theatre. While a member with the company, Dana graduated Magna Cum Laude from Baldwin Wallace College (BW) with a double major in Physical Education with a Dance Concentration and Business Administration. She also completed the Sports/Dance/Arts Management Program. At BW she was awarded the National Dance Association’s Outstanding Dance Major. Dana worked as an administrative intern with American Ballet Theatre in New York City. While living in New York she took classes at American Ballet Theatre, Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, Broadway Dance Center, and Steps. She has had the opportunity to perform at the Cleveland Playhouse, John Patrick Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, as well as numerous educational venues. She has been invited to perform liturgical pieces at the United Methodist Church in Berea and St. John Bosco Church in Parma Heights. Upon graduation of college, she danced with Tom and Susana Evert Dance Theater, and began teaching dance at local studios. She has taught at Center Stage Studio, Broadway School of Music and the Arts, Beck Center for the Arts, and Hawken Summer Theatre Program. She has been at Dance Dimensions since it opened in 1998! She is married and has two children.

Karrie Zingale (KZ) – Instructor

Karrie Zingale began dancing at the age of three. She has bee training under the direction of Karen Colabianchi as well as professional seminars. Karrie is still actively training and performing. Her dance philosophy is that a true artist continues to evolve through education and performance. Karrie has extensive experience as a performer. In high school she performed with the North Royalton Royalettes, Royal Harmony and Spotlighters. Some of these performances included the Rose Bowl Parade, Disney Parade and Bands of America national competition, as well as Oklahoma, Grease and Music Man. Some of her professional experience include the nationally televised Gymnastic Championship and Festival of the Arts at Playhouse Square. Karrie’s love of dance has extended to television, field, stage and studio. She is honored to be part of this prestigious teaching staff at Dance Dimensions.

Lisa Czech (LC) – Instructor

Lisa Czech has been with Dance Dimensions since it opened in 1998. Lisa has been dancing for over seventeen years, and has spent fifteen of those years training with Jen Naso. She is now coming up on her eighth year of teaching at Dance Dimensions. Lisa teaches ballet and tap classes. While a student at Dance Dimensions, Lisa was a member of the Performing Company for six years. She also spent three years as a member of the Tap Company, during which the Company took first place in the Ohio State Dance Championships three consecutive times. Lisa also performed a tap duet that placed first runner-up at the Ohio State Dance Championships. Lisa was also an assistant teacher at the studio for many years. Lisa was a member of the Padua Dance Team for three years in high school, where she performed at rallies and football games, as well as ran dance camps for grade school children. In addition to training with Jen, Lisa has also taken classes at The Edge in Los Angeles and Broadway Dance Center in New York City. She has taken many master classes, most notably with Radio City Rockette Melissa Thomas, and the Dance Captains of Dr. Doolittle the Musical and Anything Goes. She has also taken class from Michelle Barber, Sheila Barker, Shea Sullivan, and Germaine Slasberg. She was a member of the Esbi International Dancers and has performed at Dancing for a Cure. Lisa received her degree from Cuyahoga Community College and currently works as a registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer.

Lauren Hoag (LH) – Instructor

Lauren Hoag has studied dance for the past 15 years with the last ten being at Dance Dimensions. She has also studied gymnastics and acro since the age of eight. Along with acro and gymnastics she has studied ballet, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, and tap. She graduated from Strongsville High School and will continue her education at Cleveland State University with a major in health sciences and will pursue becoming a pediatric physician’s assistant. While at Strongsville, she was on the gymnastics team for two years and then cheered for varsity football for two years. She was on the Dance Dimensions performing company for eight years and got to travel to New York, California and Pittsburgh where she danced for various events and took class from professional instructors at Broadway Dance Center. She has participated in three “Dancing for a Miracle” benefits where she and many other dancers helped raise money for families in need. Lauren has also had the opportunity to take classes from many other professionals throughout the Cleveland area. She brings her strong background of jazz, acro and gymnastics to the Dance Dimensions staff and is excited to continue on teaching throughout her college studies.

Marissa Kowallek (MK) – Instructor

With extensive training in jazz, ballet, lyrical and tap, Marissa has been a dance educator for over 14 years. She has trained with numerous instructors including Jen Naso- Marinis, Dee Hillier, Dana Soroczak,Leilani Barrett, Janice Kelley-Kitely and Sue Strew. Marissa has also participated in Master Dance classes with Barry Youngblood and many other professional choreographers. Marissa has nine years of experience in competitive dance and has performed in groups that won state and national titles. She also has experience competing professionally in Ballroom dancing. In 2003, Marissa earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Dance and Art Education from Baldwin –Wallace College. Through college, she taught classes and choreographed for local dance studios, competition teams, soloists, and high school musicals. After graduating college Marissa earned many fitness certifications through ESA. She is a Personal Trainer, Fitness and Pilates Instructor and Master Choreographer. In the year 2009, Marissa returned back to B-W to earn a teaching licensure and to continue her dance training. Currently, she is a fitness instructor, director and educator of the dance and art programs at the Parma Health Education Center. In addition, she also provides instruction for after school programs in the area, judges dance auditions, and offers private instruction. Marissa is very excited to bring her continuing education, knowledge and passion for dance to her students.

Jen Lilly (JL) – Instructor

Jen Lilly has been training in dance for over 20 years and is an alumnus of the Dance Dimensions Performing Company. She spent a majority of her dance career studying ballet, modern, lyrical, and jazz at Dance Dimensions. Jen also served as a performance ensemble member for Cleveland Dance Theater and participated in several summer intensive programs with the Royal School of Ballet. Besides attending a variety of master classes at local studios, Jen has taken master classes at the Edge Performing Arts Center in LA and the Broadway Dance Center in NYC. She discovered her passion for choreography and teaching as the captain of the Strongsville High School Dance Team her junior and senior years of high school. Jen went on to study dance in college, focusing primarily in ballet and modern, and served as a member of The University of Akron Dance Team and The University of Akron Dance Company. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of Akron in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering, with minors in Chemistry, Mathematics, and Dance as well. Jen is excited to utilize her technical knowledge and passion for the arts to provide quality dance and performance education at Dance Dimensions.

Brenna Brys (BB) – Instructor

Brenna Brys has been dancing for 20 years and is a native to Strongsville, Ohio. She started dancing at Dance Dimensions when it first opened in 1998. She has been trained in various types of dance including ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, and pointe. She has competed in numerous competitions and was part of the Dance Dimensions performing companies for 7 years. She has trained with numerous instructors including Jen Naso Marinis, Dee Hillier, Dana Soroczak, Kathie Nejman, Tina DeAlderete, and Richard Mosley. Brenna was a member of the Padua High School Dance Team for three years and was co-captain her senior year. She graduated from the University of Dayton in 2012 with a major in Early Childhood Education. Brenna was a member of the UD Dance Team for four years and was president for one of those years. During her time on the UD Dance Team she performed at numerous events on campus, choreographed routines, and participated in service events and fundraisers. She also took numerous dance classes for college credits. Brenna taught the Dance Dimensions Ballet Camp during the summer of 2012 and was an assistant with Dana Soroczak the first summer camp began. Brenna has been an assistant and substitute teacher at the studio and is excited to be teaching at the studio while pursuing her career as an elementary school teacher!

Emily Dowler – Instructor

Emily Dowler began her dance training at the age of six. She trained with Studio 19 Dance Complex from Cranberry Township. During her competitive dance career Ms. Dowler won numerous overalls, special judges awards as well as the coveted Victory Cup from Starpower Nationals in 2006. She furthered her dance education at the University of Akron. She graduated with a Bachelors in Creative and Professional Arts. While at UA she performed with the University of Akron Dance Company, participated in Choreographers Workshop and Spring Into Dance. Emily is currently a professional member of RED Company real.edge.dance Ms. Dowler is currently a teacher and choreographer for studios all over NE Ohio. Her choreography has won many accolades such as first overalls, Dare To Be Different award, highest scoring number of the entire competition, Best Emotion, Best Presentation, double platinums and specialty judges awards. Ms. Dowler is passionate about dance and loves to watch her students grow and achieve their best.

Aryn Pecoraro – Instructor

Aryn Pecoraro has studied dance for over 15 years where she trained in jazz, lyrical, ballet, pointe, hip hop, and musical theatre. She was on the Dance Dimensions Performing Jazz and Lyrical companies for a total of 9 years along with the Strongsville High School Dance Team for 4 years. Her senior year of high school she was the captain of her high school dance team where she choreographed halftime dances for the team. Now a graduate of Strongsville High School, Aryn has continued her education at Case Western Reserve University where she is studying for a bachelors of science in nursing and a minor in the arts modern dance. Aryn has had the opportunity to study from many professionals in both New York and Cleveland and has participated in many dance events and benefits throughout her career. Aryn is honored to be part of the family at Dance Dimensions and is excited to teach her knowledge and love of dance.

Jennifer Wade – Instructor

Jennifer Wade has earned her teaching degree from Ohio University with a minor in dance. Jennifer has studied with Joanne Morscher, Dee Hillier, Troy McCarty, David Strobbe, Ana Lobe, Lynn Tabor, Mary Jo Rimke, the late Josh WIdick, Kenya Woods, Sean Curran, Earl Mosley, Joanna de Souza, Zelma Badu-Younge, Paschal Yao-Younge, The American Theater Dance Workshop in NYC, the faculty of Ohio University and countless others. Jennifer was a company member of Azaguno African Contemporary Dance Company from 2005 to 2009 which allowed her to perform in New Jersey, Ohio, South Korea, Italy and China. Jennifer had her last tour with the company in Oct. 2009. Jennifer has also been highly trained in ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, musical theater, Indian dance and African drumming and dance and finds time to continue her training with the wonderful Dee Hillier and at BalletMet Academy in Columbus. She has worked in studios in the Cleveland area for 4 ½ years, relocated and taught all over Columbus for 3 years and is excited to be back home teaching in Cleveland! Jennifer’s ideas on teaching have been published in two articles in Dance Spirit Magazine. She has also been judging for Rising Star Competition as well as choreographing for Miss Ohio. Jennifer is also a teaching artist for Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, which brings ballroom dance to schools as a social development tool. She is very excited to share her love of dance with your studio!

James Burkes – Instructor

James “Showtime” Burkes began building upon his childhood love for dance in 2003, while competing nationally at “You Got Served” in Cleveland, OH. Shortly after, he joined the first official NBA Cleveland Cavaliers Hip-Hop Dance Team, the “Scream Team”. As a four year member, his passion included traveling around the country promoting dance while performing in front of tens of thousands of fans. As James grew to become a part of a team rated “Best Game Entertainment”, he performed at the NBA All-Stars Game and the Celebrity Games within that same year. James was also part of his own performing dance group, known both locally and across several states for their performances and tributes to dance. They performed and worked with many venues including accredited Colleges and Universities, “The Soul Circus”, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, private events, local festivals, and charity events. Since then James has personally and continually progressed and has competed solo on a national level in Orlando, Florida earning a first place trophy and honorable mention.

For the past six years James has expanded and continues to spread his love for dance and his knowledge as a dance instructor for numerous competitive dance studios across Northeastern Ohio. James is supported by additional training from many gymnasts, nationally acclaimed breakdance instructors as well as tap and ballet instructors and has quickly reformed himself into an entrepreneur of dance and entertainment. For several years James also worked with a production team known as “Rock the House”. There he received additional exposure as a highly requested dancer.  He was awarded “Dancer of the Year” in 2013 and expanded his talents within their company as a Master of Ceremonies as well as an occasional DJ. Now, James has become a professional choreographer and has worked with nationally accredited colleges, universities and studios offering his expertise in performance and style. Present day, James continues his work in entertainment and student instruction. He excites his audiences and continually engages with his students to create an atmosphere filled with life and laughter. He strives to create lasting memories and a big heart throughout all walks of life and continues to grow within his professional career by sharing everything he loves for dance with each and every one watching and willing to learn.

Nick Lockhart – Instructor

My name is Nick Lockhart I’ve been dancing for about 8 years, 4 years professionally. I tried out for so you think you can dance in 2014 and made it to the second round. I work for Rock The House Entertainment as a Dancer DJ and Emcee, as well as dance for American Commodore Tuxedo. I primarily dance hip hop but I like to incorporate different aspects of other styles in my dancing. I’ve performed at the IX center and Playhouse Square. I’ve opened for Alex Angelo, Rick Smith Jr. , Becky G, and the Pointer Sisters. I am constantly working on bettering myself and others through dance.

Amanda Budzick – Instructor

Amanda has been training for over 15 years and is thrilled to be a part of the Dance Dimensions staff. She is pursuing her early childhood education and dance minor and can’t wait to share her talent with the kids!

Callie Lacinski – Instructor

Callie Lacinski will be obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance alongside a minor in Business in May 2017 from The Ohio State University. Lacinski began training, choreographing, and teaching at a very young age at Studio 82 in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. She was a member of Versatile Dance Company, New Vision Dance Company, and worked with artists such as Eddie Taketa, Susan Hadley, Bebe Miller, Dee Hillier, Jessica Starr, Lisette Bustamante, Mitchel Federan, Tessandra Chavez, and Jaci Royal to name a few. Most recently, Lacinski attended company intensives with MusEffect and Entity Contemporary Dance in Los Angeles as well as toured in Salvador, Brazil. Lacinski continues to explore the combination of concert and commercial dance in choreography, performance, and teaching.