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Apogee Dance Academy strives to achieve the highest level of development in our dancers. We work to provide quality instruction to our students while not only improving their talent but also instilling character. In offering classes for both the recreational and competitive dancer, Apogee Dance Academy encourages the use of dance as both a discipline and a guide to living a healthy lifestyle. Our business ensures a comfortable environment that allows students to cultivate their talent safely, and to the best of their ability. Under the guidance of the most knowledgeable and creative staff in the area, dancers will grow and gain an extensive education in the art of dance. We pride ourselves on raising the bar for quality dance education in the state of Connecticut.
Alexandria Puglisi, Studio Director
Alexandria is a 2011 college graduate who received degrees in both Dance and Business Management. As an award winning dance instructor and choreographer, she has taught over the last ten years in both Connecticut and New York. She brings over twenty years of dance experience and is thrilled to be entering her 8th season as director of Apogee Dance Academy.
A competitive dancer herself, Alexandria is no stranger to the competitive aspect of the art. Having won Teen Miss VIP dance in 2006 and numerous overall dance awards she understands and appreciates the hard work and determination needed to succeed. Her other credits include performing on the UCONN dance team in 2009, making the top 200 dancers on the hit television series So You Think You Can Dance, and winning the overall talent award at the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Pageant in 2009, 2011 and 2014. In 2015, she was also selected as a Bootcamp finalist for the NFL Patriots Cheerleading Squad.
As a choreographer, her students have held high adjudications and overall awards throughout Connecticut and New York. Some of these include “Super Staging”, “Outstanding Choreographer” and the highly coveted “Apogee Award” at StarQuest Dance Competition in 2012 and 2018. This past year she was also awarded Choreographer of the Year at KAR's National final competition. Miss Alex's Extreme Team also brought home 2 Grand Championships and Studio of the Year Award at the 2018 National finals.
Alexandria also has extensive pageant experience, having been a part of the Miss America Scholarship Organization since 2003. Competing in both the Outstanding Teen and Miss division she has held numerous titles including Miss New Haven County 2014, most recently. Not only has she been awarded numerous talent and interview awards but she also placed 4th runner up in 2009 and 1st runner up in 2014 at the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Pageant(an official preliminary to Miss America). As the first runner up she received the opportunity to travel to Hoopeston, Illinois for the National Sweetheart Pageant as Connecticut's Sweetheart where she placed top 15 among 43 other state contestants. She has coached many past and present titleholders and continues to be an avid volunteer for this organization.
Sarah Scovill, Recreation Program Director/Dance Instructor
Sarah is thrilled to be a part of the Apogee team. With over 30 years of dance experience, she has taught and choreographed for numerous studios in the state of CT. She holds Degrees in Fine Arts-Dance, Early Childhood Education and in Child Studies. Growing up, not only was she trained in competitive dance but voice, piano and acting as well. As a child, she was in many local theatrical productions. Some of favorites include Nuncrackers, Footloose, Greece, Bright Lights and Showtime. She was also Captain of her High School Dance team for 4 years and the dance captain for her high school musicals. Sarah was lucky enough to be the recipient of a scholarship in dance for college. In college, she was in the dance ensemble where she worked with many professional choreographers including James Robey, Jim Clark and Lori May from the dance company Sokolow Now. Sarah has danced in half time games at UCONN, UMASS and at West Point in the Army vs. Navy Game. Sarah has both studied and taught many forms of dance including musical theatre, contemporary, ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, ballroom, acrobatics, contortion, lyrical and creative movement. She has also been a choreographer for Seven Angels theatre for over 10 years and is currently the residential choreographer for their Children's Theatre program. She has also worked for their summer theatre camp for many years, where she has had the opportunity to work with children from all over the country. Her students have been successful in winning numerous regional, national and special awards. One of her most favorite awards as a dancer herself was, Perfect Technique. She has choreographed for dance teams, weddings, theatres, vocalist and pageant contestants. Most recently, she has begun to create her own You-Tube Dance Channel and is excited to share her choreography with the world. She is also now teaching dance classes for Outschool online. To continue her dance education she is a part of CLI Studios where she is able to take online classes from Twitch, Allison Holker, and Kathryn McCormick. She loves visiting NYC to see the latest Broadway show and always looks forward to taking classes at Broadway Dance Center in NYC. She lives in Wolcott with her husband, eight year old daughter and their two dogs.
Ariana Puglisi, Assistant Extreme Team Director/ Dance Instructor
After completing four incredible years as an Apogee Extreme Team Dancer, Ariana is excited to continue to work with the team as a member of the faculty. Ariana is a nationally award wining dancer who has received much recognition over the course of her seventeen years as a competitive dancer. One of many highlights from Ariana’s dance career was representing the United States as she traveled to Germany to compete at the National World Dance Showcase. As a dance teacher, Miss Ari has received many special accolades, both regionally and nationally for the pieces she choreographed.
Ariana has performed and held lead roles in countless theatre and vocal performances around the state, including “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Little Mermaid”, and “A Christmas Carol”. In addition to dance, Ariana has been involved with the Miss America Organization throughout her young life. She has represented various towns throughout the state as junior and teen titleholder, even making it into the Top 5 at the 2017 Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen Pageant. She currently attends the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance at Dean College, where she is working towards obtaining a degree in Dance with a concentration in Performance and Choreography.
Amanda Zambetti, Dance Instructor
Amanda Zambetti is from Southington, Connecticut. As a town resident, Amanda has built strong relationships with many families of our community through working at the Southington YMCA and at YMCA Camp Sloper for the past ten years - some of which are also a part of our Apogee family! Since the age of 5, Amanda danced for Connecticut Dance Theatre & The Arts (ConnDTA) located in Prospect, Connecticut. There, she took a variety of classes including but not limited to tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary/lyrical, and hip-hop. Amanda won the studio award for “Most Improved in Tap” at just the age of 7. After dancing in the recreational program for many years, Amanda joined CT Dance Theatre’s Competitive Team in 2007, where she and her studio earned many local and nationally accredited awards at multiple showcases. In 2016, Amanda graduated magna cum laude from Roger Williams University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. Amanda kept her passion for dance alive by choreographing at the collegiate level as a member of Dance Club at RWU and furthered her dance education during her four years there as an undergraduate student. Now, Amanda attends Southern Connecticut State University where she will complete her master’s degree in December of 2020 in Multicultural, Bilingual Education & TESOL. Currently, Amanda is a 5th grade teacher in the Ansonia Public School district. She feels so fortunate to be a faculty member of Apogee, and looks forward to continuing to watch her dancers grow and achieve throughout Season 7 at Apogee!
Daniel Ramos, Dance Instructor
Dan Ramos was born and raised in Connecticut. From a very young age, he had a passion for dance that could not be denied. He grew up training at Connecticut Dance Conservatory where he received a full scholarship based on his talent and incredible work ethic. He trained intensely in ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop. After graduating high school he decided he wanted to be a contemporary dancer in New York City. He was then accepted into Pushing Progress: a contemporary training program under the direction of Chris Hale and Calen Kurka. He had completed 1 year of the program before he realized that the concert dance world was no longer his goal. He always felt the need to extend his training and dive into the commercial dance world.He joined Team Leggoo (based in Connecticut) in 2016, under the direction of Paul and Brian Herman, where he began to train in more commercial dance styles. This
is where his love for the commercial dance world began to blossom. It became clear to him that this was the path he was always meant to take. Company directors constantly encouraged him and pushed him to do more. He trained within the company for 2 years before he ventured back into New York City. He was then accepted into the prestigious Professional Semester at Broadway Dance Center.
Dan is currently training in both Connecticut and New York City where he continues his commercial dance training. He finds it very important to constantly take class as a teacher so his students are always getting new and valuable information. Within the next few years he hopes to get signed to a talent agencyvand continue his professional dance career.
Alex Brandy, Dance Instructor
Alex Brandy from Clinton, CT has been a professional dancer and dance instructor/choreographer for the last 10 years. She graduated with her degree in Dance from Dean College, and started her professional dance career as a Connecticut Sun Dancer (WNBA) and Black Wolves Dancer (NLL). She later went on to cheer on the Patriots as a New England Patriots Cheerleader for the past 4 years. While on the team Alex did choreography for on field performances and for a NKOTB performance at TD Garden. She also performed all over Mexico City and at 3 Super Bowls - LI, LII, and LIII.
Most recently Alex is proud to have completed her first year of owning her self-made company the Ascend Experience where she works supporting her clients with one on one training and nutrition management. Alex is so excited to be back at Apogee to continue to share her love of dance with an amazing group of dancers!
Ashley Membrino, Dance Instructor
Ashley Membrino is currently a Real Estate Associate at Day Pitney LLP. She is a graduate of UCONN Law where she completed her juris doctorate degree. She also graduated summa cum laude from Western New England University with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Law. She was a national competitive dancer for 16 years. She has held regional dance titles and was runner-up to Dancer-Of-The-Year at the American Dance Awards. She was a member of the Western New England Dance Team, where she served as President for three years.
In addition, Ashley competed in the Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Connecticut Scholarship Organization for 10 years. She is well known for her memorable rhythmic tap routines. Among her many accomplishments includes being 4th runner-up to Miss Connecticut 2013 and 1st runner-up to Miss Connecticut 2012. As a choreographer, she has had her soloists place in overall line ups on both the regional and national level. Most recently she has begun a new journey as a certified 305 Fitness Instructor!! She loves having the opportunity to teach part time and share her love of dance with the Apogee students!
Erica Wolf, Dance Instructor
Originally from Tampa, Florida, Erica Wolf began dancing at Bay City Ballet where she
performed in works such as “The Nutcracker”, “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” and “Valse
Fantasie” by George Balanchine, and other classical works by Marius Petipa. After moving to
Saugerties, NY, she began her formal dance training at Saugerties Ballet Center under the
direction of Scarlett Fiero. She joined Ulster Ballet Company and performed in the annual
“Festival of Dance” from 2013-2016. She has attended numerous summer intensives throughout
her pre-professional training including the Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive, Next Generation
Ballet, Boston Ballet, The Rock School for Dance Education, New York State Summer School of
the Arts, and Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet.
She chose to further her studies after graduating high
school and chose to attend The Hartt School in Hartford, CT. Throughout her studies at Hartt,
she has performed/ learned works by Jose Limon, Gabrielle Lamb, George Balanchine, Claudia
Schreier, Debra Collins Ryder, and various classical works by Marius Petipa. In December of
2018, she was a guest artist in Ballet Hartford’s performance of Handel’s “Messiah”. In the
summer of 2019, she attended the Henny Jurriëns Studio Summer Intensive in Amsterdam,
Netherlands for two weeks, where she took workshop classes including William Forsythe’s
Improvisation Techniques by Amy Raymond, Counterpoint Technique by Jenia Kasatkina, and
Partnering taught by Luke Jessop. Erica graduated with a BFA in Ballet Pedagogy from The
University of Hartford, The Hartt School in the spring of 2020
Less than a mile from 84 East and West bound we are currently located right off of Exit 32 in Southington, CT.
122 Spring Street
Southington, CT 06489