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dancer in a strong crouched position
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COMPASSIONATE
PROFESSIONALS
WITH A COMMON
GOAL...

MEET THE ACADEMY TEAM

Compassionate professionals with a common goal... 

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

MICHELLE

STROFFOLINO

Michelle began her dance journey at a small studio in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York. It was there that her mentor, Margaret, took her under her wing. In her private lessons with Margaret, Michelle learned her strengths, what set her apart from other dancers, and was forced to deal with her insecurities head on in order to become a better performer.  Private lessons became her solace and safe space to develop a strong sense of self. Unable to afford weekly private lessons, Michelle worked as a teacher's assistant to pay for her sessions and quickly discovered her love of teaching. Michelle went on to earn a BA in Dance from Hunter College, train under prominent choreographers and become a professional dancer and choreographer, herself. She believes that dance can teach us so many life lessons and skills, but can easily be accompanied by negative messaging and comparisons, leaving many artists discouraged and insecure. Having seen so many dancers bring those insecurities into adulthood, Michelle decided to create The Academy NYLA . She believes in flipping the dance studio formula on its head, making private lessons and artist development the first step and ensemble learning second. Michelle's methods and teaching styles are different and progressive...but they really work.

The site's creator in a tilt position in an archway
Photo of Nick Huff, Acting

Nick Huff

Acting

Photo of Rachel Brown, yoga, meditation, and wellness

Rachel Brown

Yoga, Meditation

& Wellness

Photo of Dr. Ariana Middleman, PT, DPT, Physical Therapy

Dr. Ariana Middleman, PT, DPT

Physical Therapy

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