JOIN THE APOGEE FAMILY!
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 5th 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 Stamford 2012, Miss Hartford County 2013 and 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, Dance & Tumble Instructor
Sarah is thrilled to be a part of the Apogee team. With over 25 years of dance experience she has taught for numerous studios in the state of CT and is currently on staff for Mama Loo (Parent Child Activity Center) in Woodbury, CT. She holds Associate Degrees in Early Childhood Education and Fine Arts-Dance as well as a Bachelors in Child Studies. Sarah has taught many forms of dance including musical theatre, contemporary, ballet, tap, jazz, ballroom, acro, contortion, lyrical, creative movement, and mommy & me. She has danced in half time games at WestPoint, U-Mass and UCONN. In high school, she was Captain of the Dance team and received a Scholarship for Dance. In college, she danced in the dance ensemble where she worked with many professional choreographers including James Robey, Jim Clark and Lori May from Modern Dance Company, Sokolow Now. In 2014, she was the choreographer for the very successful musical "13" at Seven Angeles Theatre. In addition, she also ran their dance program for the Summer Theatre Camp. Her students have been successful in winning numerous regional, national and special awards. Most recently, she has begun to create her own You-Tube Dance Channel and is excited to share her choreography with the world. 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 looks forward to taking classes at Broadway Dance Center in NYC. She lives in Wolcott with her husband, four year old daughter Mackenzie and their dog Wally.
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.
Amanda Zambetti, Dance Instructor
Amanda Zambetti is thrilled to be joining the Apogee Dance Academy faculty for her first full season! Amanda is a fifth grade teacher in the Ansonia Public School District. 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 choreographed at the collegiate level through Dance Club at RWU and continued her dance education for the four years that she was an undergraduate student. Now, Amanda attends Southern Connecticut State University where she will complete her master’s degree in the spring in Multicultural, Bilingual Education & TESOL. Since the age of 5, Amanda danced for Connecticut Dance Theatre & The Arts located in Prospect, Connecticut. There, she took a variety of classes including but not limited to tap, jazz, ballet, 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 Theater’s Competitive Team in 2007 where she and her studio earned many local and nationally accredited awards at multiple showcases. As a resident of Southington, Amanda has built strong relationships with the youth of our community through working at the Southington YMCA and at YMCA Camp Sloper. She’s very excited to have some familiar faces in her classes on Saturday and looks forward to continuing to watch her dancers grow and achieve throughout this year at Apogee!
Ashley Membrino, Dance Instructor
Ashley Membrino is currently a fourth year Associate at Kirkland & Ellis in New York City. 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. She loves having the opportunity to come back to CT as a part time instructor at Apogee.
Anthony Rondell Thomas "Popkorn", Hip Hop Instructor
Mr. Anthony is from Hartford, CT. He is a dancer/instructor for various studios including the CT Ballet, BTC Ballet Company Theater, Farmington Dance, New England Dance in Cromwell, Studio8sixty Hartford, Jazz-N-Motion in Meriden and Dance Kraze in East Windsor. He is also the hip-hop instructor for Loomis Chaffee School, His styles of dance are Hip Hop, House, Salsa, Stepping, Krumpin, Breakdancing, Lyrical and Freestyle. Popkorn has won numerous dance competitions in both Connecticut and New York, including Showtime Live at the Apollo and most recently, put together a House Dance Conference Hip Hop Competition. Popkorn has trained and taught at various dance workshops and conventions. He is also an inner city youth mentor for troubled teens, juveniles and is a group home motivator with over 7 years dance entertainment for Mitzvah's, sweet 16, events, and shows. for all his dedication and work, his story was recognized front page of the Hartford courant news September 3 2008 issue. from 2013 started going by p0plife... meaning Positive-0ringnal-Popular, surround yourself with positive energy, good vibes, art and Dance.
Tony Spencer, Team Acro Coach
Mr. Tony is excited to be entering his third year as the Extreme Team's on-site acro coach! A graduate of Central Connecticut State University, Anthony majored in physical education. He is CPR, BLS and First Aid Certified. His credits also include being a USA Gymnastics Certified Team Coach for 10 years. In addition to coaching at Apogee, he also works as a team coach at Farmington Valley Gymnastics. He can't wait to share his skills and expertise with our Apogee dancers.
Amy Hoeing, Ballet Instructor
Amy Hoeing is thrilled to return to the Apogee Dance Academy faculty this year! Amy holds an M.F.A. in Dance from George Mason University and has been teaching dance for over twenty years. She currently teaches ballet technique here at Apogee Dance Academy. Most recently, she is the choreographer for her local homeschoolers’ drama group that performs a full musical production every summer in Connecticut. She lives in Meriden with her husband and their eight children.
Ariana Puglisi, 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.
Ap-o-gee: The highest level in the development of something; the pinnacle or climax.
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