Lucienne began her dancing career at the age of two in Middletown, New Jersey. She danced for sixteen years at a studio in her hometown and went on to attend Red Bank Catholic High School in Red Bank, NJ, where she also studied the art of dance. Lucienne became proficient in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Hip Hop, and Acro and at seventeen years old, was nominated to represent Red Bank Catholic at the Governor’s School for the Arts audition. In addition, Lucienne performed in yearly recitals, dance competitions, and charity performances all over New Jersey.
During her first two years at Red Bank Catholic, Lucienne decided that she would be pursuing dance in college and as a professional career. After many successful auditions, she made the decision to attend Towson University in Towson, M.D. as a Dance Performance major, which would grant her a Bachelor of Fine Arts when she graduated in May 2011. Throughout her four years at Towson University, Lucienne primarily studied Ballet and Modern dance with electives in Jazz and Tap. Her modern training is Horton based technique under the instruction of Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, principal dancer of Alvin Ailey for over ten years. Lucienne always excelled in her classes and was always advanced to the next level by her chief ballet teacher, Runqiao Du, principal dancer of Susanne Farrell Ballet.
Lucienne also performed in the Towson University Dance Company and Repertory classes, in which she was cast in many featured roles. She was a soloist in ballet repertory pieces choreographed by Runqiao Du and in one of four lead duets in Troy Powell’s (of Ailey II) piece, “Unscathed.” In addition, she was cast in a lead duet in Alvin Ailey’s work, “Escapades,” along with ensemble roles in Alvin Ailey’s choreography, “Escapades” and “Mary Lou’s Mass.” Lucienne also performed in ensemble work and featured roles in “La Bayadere” and “Swan Lake.”
Not only did Lucienne perform in such reputable roles, she also found a passion in choreography. After completing a composition series as part of Towson’s curriculum, she worked closely with a musician to create her own music, story, and choreography to portray her aunt’s struggle with breast cancer during her college years. Throughout her years as a dance major, Lucienne also went back home to teach and choreograph at her own studio, where the students enjoyed hearing about her new feats, endeavors, and training.
At nineteen years old, Lucienne attended a Summer Internship Program at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. There, she studied all forms of dance especially Jazz, under the mentorship of Sheila Barker. She also participated in many professional photo shoots, master classes, and workshops.
Upon Graduation from Towson University, Lucienne began auditioning for many jobs near and far and ultimately landed a job as a female ensemble dancer on Carnival Cruise Line. She performed in two high-energy production shows while onboard the Carnival Destiny along with a Welcome Aboard show. In addition to performing in exciting yet challenging shows, she was also able to travel to the Caribbean, Mexico, Spain, and Italy while meeting new people from all over the world.
While performing was always her passion, Lucienne also found a great joy and love for teaching. She taught as an assistant teacher by the age of thirteen and was instructing her own classes by the age of seventeen. When her contract on the Carnival Destiny was complete, she came back home to Middletown, New Jersey and began teaching for a local studio. There, she became accomplished in teaching Jazz, Ballet, Acro, and Hip Hop while also teaching master classes in modern, lyrical, and contemporary. She has choreographed many award winning dances for small groups, large groups, lines, duos, trios, and solos. These awards include many first place overall awards, crowd pleaser awards, and precision awards for all different styles of dance. She has also supported her students in many conventions, including but not limited to, New York dance Alliance and Sheer Talent and has attended charity performances with her dancers as well.
Lucienne is looking forward to launching Jersey Shore Dance Academy with her dear friend and partner, Megan Amitrani Ford, and hopes to instill all of the training and experiences she has obtained in her life so far into the lives of many young, aspiring, dancers.
Megan began her dance training at a very early age which has allowed her passion for the art to intensify over the past 25 years. While Megan trained at a local dance studio in Red Bank, NJ, she was a member of the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble, a pre-professional company, under the direction of Nancy Turano. She took classes and learned choreography from some of the most prominent instructors in the industry. At NJDTE, Megan acquired the knowledge, technique and discipline of ballet and modern dance.
Megan attended Red Bank Catholic High School in Red Bank, New Jersey where she had the opportunity to dance, perform and choreograph. It was in 2005 when her love of choreography and the creative process was awakened and sparked an internal flame. During these years, Megan not only trained classically and competitively, she was also a dancer for Holiday Express (a non-profit organization that brings music, food, gifts and human kindness to adults and children in need, including the mentally and physically disabled, poor and homeless and children with critical illnesses). Through these volunteer performances Megan could interact with special needs children and developed a deep-rooted passion and inspiration from these incredible individuals. In addition to Holiday Express, Megan also performed with “Arts from the Heart” through Red Bank Catholic, where she was able to give back to the community through the arts.
Throughout high school, Megan also took classes, workshops and intensives at renowned dance academies such as the Princeton Ballet, The Academy of Dance Arts, Broadway Dance Center, Jersey Cape Dance Academy and in 2004 Megan was chosen to represent Red Bank Catholic at the Governors School of New Jersey. She attended the National High School Dance Festival in 2004 and 2005 at Goucher College and the University of the Arts. Upon the end of her competition career, Megan received a scholarship to Starpower’s "Power Pak," where she performed in Ocean City, Maryland and took classes with amazing teachers such as Marinda Davis, Robert Moses and Ray Leeper. Learning assorted styles of dance and choreography from prestigious educators has contributed to Megan’s success as an artist.
After high school graduation Megan took her love, passion and creativity to DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. In 2009, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major in Dance. During these years, Megan had the rare and fortunate opportunity to perform all four years in DeSales University's main stage spring performance. Each year she trained under multiple teachers and choreographers including Kristin Fieseler-Alexander, Tim Cowart, Tara Madsen-Robbins, J.T Jenkins, Ben Levy and Shen Wei dance company to name a few. As a junior, Megan was selected to perform the renowned Twyla Tharp piece, "Torelli," where she learned and performed original repertoire. As a senior, Megan was one of four selected to perform “Physics,” a high intensity fourteen minute piece choreographed by Ben Levy, and was given a solo role. Megan was also gifted the opportunity to perform in the American College Dance Festival at Montclair State University where she danced and took class with the nation’s top collegiate artists. During her four years at DeSales University, she focused on the art of performance and found an admiration for modern and contemporary dance. Megan’s college years were a great success and served as a springboard into an even more successful future.
After her undergraduate education, Megan was accepted into Annex Dance Company, a modern company originally based out of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania under the direction of Kristin Fieseler-Alexander. Her years with ADC allowed Megan to perform in front of dozens of audiences throughout the tristate area. At the same time, Megan began teaching at several dance studios and started guest choreographing at her alma mater, Red Bank Catholic High School. Her choreographic style varies from ballet and jazz to lyrical and contemporary and has been recognized at dozens of regional and national competitions. Technique, precision, emotional execution and choreography awards are just some of the few awards her work has been commended for and in 2016, Megan’s choreography won first place at Turn It Up National Dance Competition. Although these awards and acknowledgements are extremely humbling, she strives to find the emotional connection behind every piece of choreography. This allows her students to fully invest themselves in the concept behind every piece.
Megan is sincerely overjoyed to embark on this new adventure that has been a lifetime dream. Along with her partner, Lucienne, she will strive to create a positive and motivating environment all while providing the highest level of technique, choreography and performance skills. Megan and Lucienne cannot wait to share their knowledge, creativity and lifelong experiences with the students of Jersey Shore Dance Academy!
Jessica Smith Malafronte
Jess Malafronte, teacher and choreographer with 10 years professional experience, holds her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Born and raised on the Jersey Shore, Jess began her dance career at the age of 7 with a concentration in jazz and ballet. She quickly realized her passion for the art and began competing at a regional and national level, performing in various styles including lyrical, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip hop and musical theater. She decided to further her dance education by entering the dance major program at Rutgers where she studied modern, ballet, jazz, African fusion, and Flamenco dance as well as choreography, dance production, dance history and anatomy. In her senior year, Jess was honored to be the recipient of the Marjory J. Turner Choreography Prize, given to just one member of the program for excellence in choreography. Jess has performed the works of world famous modern choreographer Bill T. Jones and hip hop legend Rennie Harris. She was also a company member of the Julia Ritter Performance Group and The Von Howard Project performing at multiple venues in New York City and surrounding areas. Upon graduation, Jess began her journey into dance instruction for competitive and recreational students. She is a highly decorated competition choreographer, receiving numerous artistic, costume and choreography awards and has been featured on Starquest Dance Competition’s YouTube channel. Jess credits her past decade of experience for molding her into a dedicated educator who promotes creativity and pursuit of excellence. Jess is so excited to be on staff to at Jersey Shore Dance Academy and to share her knowledge and love for dance with their amazing students.
Michael Wang is originally from New Jersey, where he began his dance training at the age of 16. He studied all forms of dance, as well as acting and voice, at Class Act Performing Arts Studio, and furthered his dance studies at New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble. He graduated magna cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance, with a concentration in Ballet. Following graduation, Michael performed with Los Angeles based contemporary dance company, BODYTRAFFIC. He has performed in works by Gerald Arpino, Jiri Kylian, Sidra Bell, Stijn Celis, Doug Varone, Larry Keigwin, and Robert Battle, among others. Michael has also continued his training at several intensives including the Nederlands Dans Theater Summer Intensive, Jacob's Pillow Contemporary Program, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Movement Invention Project.