Andrea Kramer - Founder and Artistic Director, Ballet Forte at Wings Conservatory

Andrea Kramer has choreographed and taught dance for over 25 years. Since founding Ballet Forte at Wings Conservatory in 2003, her coaching and mentorship has propelled students on to Julliard, Ailey/Fordham, National Ballet of Canada, San Francisco Ballet School, American Ballet Theater, and the finals at Youth America Grand Prix at Lincoln Center and Prix De Lausanne.

Andrea's dance training began under the direction of Alfredo Corvino with the New Jersey Dance Theatre Guild, and continued through high school with Andra and Ernesta Corvino, E. Laura Hausmann, and Susan Chowning. Andrea also trained with Princeton Ballet under Dermot Burke and New Jersey Ballet under Eleanor D'Antuono and Edward Villella. She received three Gold Cup Scholarships from NJDTG, a RAD scholarship, and at age 16 won the East Coast Talent Olympics young choreographer's award.

As a dance major at Mason Gross at Rutgers University and later Montclair State University, Andrea was selected by Laura Glenn to perform Jose Limon's "A Choreographic Offering" and was granted a summer scholarship by Alvin Ailey. She performed with Princeton Ballet II and Inner City Dance Ensemble, was demi soloist with The Long Island Ballet, and was featured in works by Doris Humphrey, and Antony Tudor.

Andrea performed with Shapiro and Smith, Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre, and Wendy Perron at Jacob's Pillow; danced for Prismatic Productions at Lincoln Center; and was a founding member of Moe-tion Dance Theater. Andrea's distinctive choreography has been featured at the 14th Street Y's Choreographers' Series, Jennifer Muller's HATCH, Sweat Modern Dance Festival, Paul Taylor Youth Ensemble, Youth America Grand Prix, and L'Academie Americaine de Danse de Paris.

A sought-after guest instructor and choreographer, Andrea has worked with programs such as Montclair State University for Freespace Dance, Smith College, L'Academie Americaine de Danse de Paris, Hasland Dance Theatre (UK), and Patel Conservatory. Andrea has also won the prestigious 2014 Dance Teacher of the Year Award, presented by Dance Teacher Magazine. Most recently, Andrea was a guest faculty member at IAB (Institute of the Arts Barcelona) and Barcelona Dance Center's summer intensives in 2016.

 

Deb Cutler has been the Dance Conditioning instructor at Ballet Forte since 2011. In addition to holding a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University, Deb is certified as a Personal Trainer (CPT) by the American College of Sports Medicine and is a licensed instructor of the GYROTONIC Expansion System.

Originally offered as a Flexibility class, the Dance Conditioning Program has expanded to focus on various interrelated elements of conditioning. The aim is to provide immediate benefits to every dancer through enhanced strength and flexibility, proper body alignment, improved balance and cardiovascular fitness. This focus supports the dancer as both an artist and technician, as well as builds a solid foundation for injury prevention.

In addition to her work at Ballet Forte, Deb is the owner of Pure Motion Fitness, providing personal training and private GYROTONIC instruction, as well as Power Barre classes.

 

Candace Haupt has an extensive background in all forms of dance. She trained with Appalachian Ballet Company, Atlanta Ballet and received her Bachelor's in Dance Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Upon moving to NYC to pursue dance professionally, she attended a workshop with the famed Margot Fonteyn at the Joffery Ballet School where she was given a scholarship. This led to many company experiences with Windemere Ballet Theatre, Balinese American Fusion Dance Theatre and American Ballet Theatre.

At the Joffery School, Candace began working as an assistant teacher and a rehearsal assistant for the children's productions and Joffery's Nutcracker, choreographed by Gerald Arpino. At the School Director's request, she began teaching her own classes. She brings many years of experience working with young dancers. Candace combines creative movement skills with a strong emphasis on ballet technique. Through movement, students also learn some basic music theory, games and the musicality needed to perform at an accomplished level.

Candace has lived and worked in NJ as an instructor of ballet, tap, jazz and a choreographer for the past 20 years. In 2012, she was named director of the Young Dancers Program at Ballet Forte.

 

Erin Hete is currently pursuing her BFA in dance from Montclair State University. She has been dancing and performing for 15 years. Her training spans through all techniques including a serious focus on tap, modern, and ballet.

She was a member of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble for 3 years where she developed a strong tap repertoire and gained several professional performance experiences. Erin has trained with numerous fantastic choreographers such as Jason Luks, Talia Favia, Lynne Grossman, Dee Caspary, and Savion Glover. She has been on staff at The Dance Academy of North Jersey for the past 2 years. Most recently, she was commissioned by Ruth Clark of The Morris County School of Technology to set a piece of her choreography for their 2015 May Dance Concert.

 

Ana Luiza Luizi was born in Belo Horizonte/Brazil and began her dance education at age 8. In 2002, she graduated as a professional dancer and joined the Sesiminas Dance Company. Ms. Luizi toured throughout Brazil and Latin America, performing in renowned venues such as Castro Alves Theater, National Theater, Palacio das Artes and Colon Theater. Ana performed lead roles in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, La Fille Mal Gardee, Coppelia, Don Quixote and Raymonda.

In 2006, she was invited to dance at the Europe Ballet Conservatory of St. Polten, Austria, performing lead roles in various Conservatory Ballet Repertoires and enjoyed a very successful tour through China. Ms. Luizi came to the US in 2007 to guest for the International Ballet Theater, PA in their Nutcracker production. She joined New Jersey Ballet Company and in 2008, she toured Russia with them. Ana is also a principal guest artist with the Staten Island Ballet, NY.

 

 

Junio Teixeira started his ballet training in Divinopolis/Brazil. He was inspired by his older brother, who was also one of his first dance teachers. Along with ballet, he trained in ballroom dancing and worked as an entertainer doing many styles of dance including Salsa and Samba.

In 1998, Mr. Teixeira started his professional ballet career with the Sesiminas Dance Company. Junio won first prize in many national and international Competitions, such as: Joinville International Dance Festival, Brasilia International Dance Seminar and New York International Ballet Competition. In 2005, Junio was hired by Columbia Classical Ballet, SC, where he performed principal roles in Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Nutcracker. In 2007, he was invited to join the New Jersey Ballet and in 2008, toured Russia where he received tremendous critical success.

Junio Teixeira dances as a guest artist in New Orleans, Colorado, Philadelphia, New York, North Carolina, Michigan and Delaware. Junio is also a principal guest artist with the Staten Island Ballet, NY.

 

Amy Weis started her ballet and jazz training in New Mexico with Albuquerque Children Theater and New Mexico Ballet. When living in New Jersey, she trained at the Garden State Ballet, progressing to a teaching position.

Moving to NYC to further her profession with the Joffrey Ballet, lead to a scholarship under Meredith Baylis. Amy was also a summer scholarship recipient at Chautauqua NY, plus studying at other NY prominent studios.

Higher education: Laban Institute of Movement & Dance at University of London, England Royal Academy of Dance, RAD syllabus, teacher training. Amy has also taught in Spain, England, New York and New Jersey.

 

Meagan Woods graduated with a BFA in dance from Rutgers University, earning the Margery Turner Award for choreography. She received her RYT training from Sonic Yoga in NYC and is a certified Vinyasa yoga teacher. She has performed professionally with Liz Lerman, Sarah Skaggs, Orit Ben-Shitrit, Dana Salisbury, Glitterati, SHUA Group and Insurgo Stage Project.

Meagan Woods & Company has presented a wide range of original, high-caliber dance pieces in venues across the North East, including NJPAC, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Grounds for Sculpture, George Street Playhouse, Crossroads Theater, Scheide Hall, and The Historical Loew's Theater. Meagan is the originator of Dance Within the Art at the Zimmerli Art Museum, and frequently serves as a choreographer and lecturer for the museum. She also choreographs, costume designs, and guest lecturers for Rutgers University.

Meagan curates and co-produces Your Move, Jersey City's annual modern dance festival. Meagan also choreographs for the STAGES! musical theater program at Art House in Jersey City. While her work is often presented on a stage, Meagan particularly enjoys creating work for untraditional spaces, including roof tops, churches, galleries, plazas, and bus stops.