Directors

Andrea Kramer

Founder and Artistic Director 

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.

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Humberto Teixeira

Assistant Artistic Director BFNJ Pre-Pro

Artistic Director BFNJ Pro 


Humberto Teixeira originally began his dance training as a teenager in his native country-Brazil, to improve his advanced martial arts skills. He studied with renowned ballet master Pablo Moret and Cristina Helena. In 1998 Humberto joined Dance Companhia Sesi Minas and was promoted to soloist in 2000. He has been a laureate in numerous dance competitions including Festival Internacional De Danca de Joinville. Humberto has performed numerous soloist and principal roles in the Classical Repertoire with Companhia Sesi Minas in Brazil, Columbia Classic Ballet in South Carolina, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe in Germany, New Jersey Ballet and Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Humberto is also a Choreographer, Winner of the Walter-Fink Preize as the best project of 2009 in Karlsruhe, Germany. In addition, Humberto is specialized in coaching dancers for auditions and competitions around the world. Recently he worked with Risa Mochizuki from Japan to prepare for the World Ballet Competition where she was awarded gold medal. He coached Christian Alex Assis to prepare him to the season 2016-2017 of Zurich Ballet, Switzerland and Leonardo Fonseca to prepare him to the season 2016-2017 of Theatre Chemnitz, Germany. Humberto has been appointed as Assistant Artistic Director with Ballet Forte, NJ for 2019-2020 season. 

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Mari Sugawa

Ballet Mistress BFNJ-Pro


MARI SUGAWA was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Japan where she received her training. She also worked privately with Prima ballerina assoluta, Eva Evdokimova when she came back to the US. Her repertoire includes in such classics as Giselle, Odette in Swan Lake, Kitri in Don Quixote, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Nikiya in La Bayadère to among others. Especially her Giselle and Juliet have met high critical praise. She has performed with New Jersey Ballet, Ballet Austin, Eglevsky Ballet, New York Theatre Ballet and Matsuyama Ballet Company. Currently, She performs as a guest principal artist including the Gala of 24th Varna International Ballet Competition. She is also a certified pilates mat and reformer instructor by Pilates Academy International. 

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Faculty

Deb Cutler

Deb 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.

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Ana Luiza Luizi

Ana 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.

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Junio Teixeira

Junio 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.

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Kiersten Morgan

Kiersten Morgan is  a 24 year old graduate of Montclair State University. In 2016 she received her degree in Theater Studies with a minor in Dance. She has been a dancer all her life and attended classes at Central Jersey Dance and Gymnastics until graduating high school and beginning courses at Montclair State University. While there, she received training in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and musical theater. She began teaching with the company in 2010 in a number of classes with children ages 2-15. After graduating college, she began an internship with Walt Disney World in Florida and worked in entertainment in Fantasyland Magic Kingdom at Enchanted Tales with Belle. After the internship, she began teaching music at The Orchard Academy Preschool and served as music director for all of their school shows. Currently, she is a director for The Allegra School of Music's theater program. She teaches classes to an array of students of all ages as well as direct and choreograph their summer musical theater productions. 

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Maya Schiller

Maya took her first dance class in 2007. She came to Ballet Forte in 2010 and has since received all her training through the school, with the exceptions of a few summer intensives. She attended Next Generation Ballet Summer Intensive, Tampa, FL (2015), Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Summer Intensive, Carlisle, PA (2016), Fabrice Herrault Ballet Summer Intensive, New York City, NY (2017), and was planning on going to Joffrey Ballet Chicago Summer Intensive, Chicago, IL (2018), but was unable to attend due to a knee injury. Maya has gone to various competitions including Artists Simply Human (ASH), New York City Dance Alliance (NYCDA), and Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP). At YAGP she recently placed top 12 in the Senior Men and Women’s Contemporary Dance Category. Maya is planning to dance throughout college and pursue a professional career upon high school graduation in 2020.

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