Renee Celeste

Artistic Director/Owner

Acting, Ballet, Combo, ShowTime, ShowTime Performing

Miss Renee comes from a very diverse background that includes being a director, choreographer, teacher, performer, teacher's teacher, writer, and mom! Renee has been teaching for over 20 years and has been the Artistic Director and owner of Front & Center for Performing Arts in Springfield, NJ for the past 12 years. She teaches all disciplines as well as directs and choreographs FNC's yearly musical productions. Renee's students have been seen on Broadway, in National Tours, and have won numerous awards at Competitions all across the state and Nationally. She is especially proud of the diverse college programs her students are being accepted into as a result of their versatility, training, and hard work! Renee is extremely proud of the many achievements of the students at the studio and feels extremely blessed to have everyone at FNC as a second family!

As a director and choreographer, her credits include productions of Shrek, Aladdin, Grease, The Little Mermaid, 42nd Street, The Wiz, 13, Thoroughly Modern Millie, RENT, Beauty and the Beast, Working, Once On This Island, Godspell, CATS, Into the Woods, Seussical, The Pajama Game, and Annie. She is also proud to head up the theatre program at Willow Lake Day Camp.

Renee began her ballet training at the Rochester City Ballet in Rochester, NY. She began training in voice and acting at age 10. After graduating from the Rochester School of the Arts, she attended NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. There she earned a BFA in drama with a minor in Dance Education. She is an Associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and a long time member of the Actor's Equity Association.

A specialist in teaching Musical Theatre for young children, Miss Renee has become a highly sought after teacher's teacher. This summer she was invited to present at the prestigious Rhee Gold DanceLife Convention. (www.DanceLifeConference.com) There she taught amongst the top master teachers in the industry, some of whom were her own mentors! This fall she will also be teaching at Rhee Gold's Retreat Center (www.DanceLifeRetreat.com) where she will also return for the summer of 2016. She is also the Co-creator, along with her partner Julie Lira, of T3: Training the Triple Threat (www.T3TrainingTheTripleThreat.com) which is a brand new company teaching and providing products and syllabi for Musical Theatre programs in the U.S., Canada, and many other countries. T3 was launched this summer at DanceLife and is growing fast with the help of the awesome FNC students who are an inspiration to the work! Renee's first book, Leap 'N Learn for Musical Theatre (www.leapnlearn.com), a young children's curriculum, is licensed to Leap N' Learn studios around the world. A true teacher's teacher, she has also presented for Dance Teachers Unite of Australia, The Dance Teacher Summit in NYC and Leap 'N Learn conventions across the country.

In November of 2015 Miss Renee and FNC will be featured in Dance Studio Life Magazine. This is a career milestone for both Renee and the studio! No matter how far she travels, she always looks forward to returning to her own studio for that is her most favorite place to teach!

In her past life, she was seen on Broadway in The Wizard of Oz (starring Mickey Rooney and Eartha Kitt) as Rumpleteazer in the National Tour of CATS and at numerous regional theatres including Paper Mill Playhouse, Walnut Street Theatre, and numerous others professional theatres across the country.

Renee has a true passion for sharing her love of musical theatre with children of all ages. At home, she enjoys singing show tunes with Miss Julie and her three amazing kids, Celeste, Lucas, and Thomas!

 

Danielle Bobish

Hip Hop

In addition to being our front office studio manager, the lovely and talented "Miss Danielle" also teaches Hip Hop here at Front and Center. A graduate of the University of Hartford's Hartt School of Music with a BFA in Musical Theater with a focus on Directing, Danielle's performance credits include: The 50th Anniversary National Tour of Singin' in the Rain (Lina Lamont), Pink Elephants (Bubbles) at Manhattan's Slipper Room, Ragtime (Evelyn Nesbit), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(Philia), and Children and Art: Sondheim's 75th Birthday Celebration (Broadway All-Star Chorus). When she is not keeping us all on track, Danielle is leading adult Zumba classes at New York Sports Club or performing in her favorite roll of all: Mother to our own company member, Madeline Bobish.  

 

Michelle Bruckner

Jazz

Michelle made her Broadway Debut in Chicago the Musical. She received critical acclaim from Variety Magazine, with theatre reviewers across the United States and Europe when she played Sheila in A Chorus Line in the Broadway Tour of America and the European Tour. As a performer, Michelle has appeared in: The Full Monty (Pam), Jekyll and Hyde, Anything Goes, Brigadoon, Follies, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Mame, Cats, La Cage Aux Folles, and many others.

Margot De La Barre

ShowTime, Tap

Margot has appeared on Broadway in South Pacific, Evita, Anything Goes, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, and Promises, Promises. She has danced on three Tony Awards telecasts, Good Morning America, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The View. She was also part of NBC's Sound of Music Live! starring Carrie Underwood. Margot toured the country playing Nancy and covering Polly in The Boy Friend directed by Dame Julie Andrews. Additionally, Margot has performed at many regional theater's around the country, including Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, Theatre Under the Stars, North Shore Music Theatre, TOTS, Westchester Broadway Theatre, and Arizona Theatre Company. She is originally from New Orleans, where she trained in ballet with Giacobbe Academy of Dance and Delta Festival Ballet. Margot is the proud mother of two little ones. Margot brings her vast theatre background along with her mommy skills to the studio!She is so excited to begin this next adventure teaching at Front & Center.

 

Amanda Dunsdon

ShowTime

Amanda Dunsdon is excited to begin her first year with the studio. She is a Maryland native who graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a BA in Performing Arts and a dance minor.  She has been dancing and involved in Musical Theater from a young age. She was involved with a local Maryland studio and enjoyed a few years to competition dance.  But she decided to end her competition season and switch into Musical Theater in High School, and hasn’t looked back since.
She is a professional actress, who has performed in NYC, Off-Off Broadway and The Producers Club. She has also worked with other dance studios in NJ. As well as performed in local theaters like Cranford, UCC Players and been a part of The New Jersey Fringe Festival.
She has a passion for working with children and sharing her joy of the arts.

 

Amanda Hudson

Ballet, Lyrical, Pointe

Amanda began her training at Sharron Miller's Academy for the Performing Arts (NJ), where she studied as a scholarship student for over ten years.  Additionally, she spent summers training at Studio Maestro, and The Ailey School. Amanda attended Mason Gross School of the Arts, at Rutgers University, and later furthered her training as a student in the professional division at The Ailey School. She concluded her undergraduate education at Montclair State University, where she completed her BFA in Dance, with second major in and Psychology. Amanda has also attended dance teacher-training programs including: Ballet Teacher Intensive, DanceLife Retreat Center, and the DanceLife Teacher Conference.
With over 14 years of teaching experience, Amanda continuously strives to create a nurturing learning environment that stimulates her students' curiosity while refining their technical skill. Her classes are centered on classical dance techniques with additional emphases including, yoga, Pilates, dance history, and performance. As an instructor, she focuses on the fundamental components of discipline, respect, integrity, and compassion.

 
 

Analisa Leaming

Voice

Broadway: The King and I (Lincoln Center Theater), On the Twentieth Century. New York: Pipe Dream and Where's Charley? (City Center Encores!). Regional: The Muny, Kansas City Starlight, Ogunquit Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, Barrington Stage Company, North Shore Music Theatre, Magic Theatre. BMus: Eastman School of Music.

 

Julie Lira

Creative DIrector

All levels Ballet,Lyrical, Theatre Styles, Tap, Jazz, Acro, SLT, Butterfly Garden and Pointe

Julie is extremely excited to be returning to Front and Center, and to be yet again immersed in a world of inspiring teachers and wonderful students who share her love for the performing arts.

 

"One of my greatest passions is teaching the art of dance and theatre to children and young adults. I find great joy in watching a student discover that they can work hard and still have fun.... I love being part of that journey, when a young dancer falls in love with the work and becomes an artist."

 

Julie danced and performed from a very young age and began her teaching and choreography career by directing the neighborhood kids in shows in the backyard of her childhood home in her native Texas. She went on to train formally and has not stopped.

 

She toured the U.S. in West Side Story, Dick Clark's American Bandstand and State Fair, which later transferred to Broadway. Not only did Julie appear on Broadway in State Fair, but she also served as the assistant director, working alongside James Hammerstein. It was while working on State Fair that Julie decided that she wanted to begin a career as a director/choreographer. She was the associate director on Abby's Song at City Center and then went on to direct sold-out productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Footloose, Carousel, The King and I and the acclaimed Morrison, off-Broadway.

 

In 2009, Julie was ordained as an Interfaith Minister after studying for 2 years at The New Seminary in NYC. She has served as an art therapist abroad under the auspices of the United Nations where she worked to help children overcome severe trauma in war torn and disaster ravaged countries.

 

Miss Julie has been teaching in all genres at FNC for the past eight years. She has also  choreographed and

co directed  productions of The Wiz and 42nd Street, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Children of Eden, Seussical, Cats. While her interests may be diverse, her true passion has brought her home to the classrooms of Front and Center.

 

Kenzi Maniff

Hip Hop, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap

 

Carli Millen

Ballet, Combo, ShowTime

Originally from New Orleans, Carli received extensive ballet training from the Giacobbe Academy of Dance, School of American Ballet, and the University of Oklahoma. After earning her B.F.A. in 2000, she moved to NYC where she was soon hired as a dancer for The Phantom of the Opera Broadway National Tour. She toured the country for 5 years, playing theatres from the Pantages, in LA to the Kennedy Center. Carli was also a featured dancer in the musicals Music Man and Kismet with Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre, and has additionally worked as a Montessori teacher assistant, camp counselor, and choreographer. Carli brings her years of professional experience and love of dance to the studio, where she joyfully creates a fun, educational, and nurturing environment for her students. She is a proud mama to Olive and Emme and is honored and grateful to be part of the FNC family!

 

Maureen Monroe

Voice

Maureen Monroe is graduate of Vassar College, RPI and New England Conservatory with a graduate degree in vocal performance and has performed with a range of regional companies including the Opera Company of Boston, Longy Opera, New England Touring Opera and Lake George Opera. She has sung oratorio and orchestral concerts throughout New England and the New York region including performances at Boston's Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall as well as the Tanglewood Festival . Locally, she has performed with Stage 23 Theatre (where you may have caught her incredible performance as Jack's Mother in Into The Woods,under the Direction of Eric Sciotto, produced by Miss Renee) CDC Theatre, The Little Opera Co. of NJ, Opera at Florham and The Morris Theatre Co. She sang last season as part of the onstage choir for the Hunchback of Notre Dame at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. She has taught at the Westfield Workshop for the Performing Arts and maintains an active private studio. We are thrilled to have her as a part of our FNC Family!

Jeff Ostermueller

Voice

Jeff Ostermueller is a Manhattan-based actor, singer, musical director and voice teacher. As an actor, he is best known for touring with the musical Spring Awakening, working regionally around the US and at dozens of venues throughout NYC, as well as appearing in short films. Favorite Credits: Jean-Michel in La Cage aux Folles, Brad in Rocky Horror, L.M. in Pump Boys & Dinettes, Jamie in The Last 5 Years, and Franky in Forever Plaid. Recent credits include Music Directing the The Drowsy Chaperone and Peter and the Starcatcher with the St. Bart's Players in NYC. Other MD credits include Arkansas Repertory Theatre and Flat Rock Playhouse. As an educator, Jeff has a private voice studio and has worked with PGT Theatre in White Plains, NY, Applause NYC and Broadway Kids Auditions. BFA in Music Theatre, Elon University. Currently working towards a Master's Degree from Teachers College, Columbia University.

 

Kathy Voytko

Voice

Broadway: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Oklahoma!, Nine, The Frogs, The Pirate Queen, Next to Normal. NYC: Carnegie Hall: Showboat, Kristina; Encores!: On Your Toes, Little Me, The Most Happy Fella. Tours: Evita, Phantom of the Opera. Proud member of AEA since 1996, proud wife of John Cudia since 2003, and proud mom of Alena and Evelyn indefinitely!

 
 

2023 - created by CMR for Front and Center for Performing Arts

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95 Victory Road
Springfield, NJ