Linda has served as Artistic Director of The Dance Connection since it’s opening in 1959. A former professional entertainer; Linda has trained extensively in New York City at American Ballet Theatre, Farnsworth & Howard School, Luigis Dance Center, Broadway Dance Center, with Charles Kelly, Frank Hatchet, Bob Audey, Don Farnsworth, & with June Taylor as a June Taylor Dancer. She is Certified by both Dance Masters of America & Dance Educators of America, where she has served as President of NYC Chapter 26 for Dance Masters & was National President for Dance Educators of America. In addition she is a proud member of I.D.E.A., an organization of Dance Teachers dedicated to excellence in Dance Education.Her love & way with children have made our children’s program, at the Dance Studio something people rave about. Her students can be seen on Broadway, television, cruise ships, commercials, teaching at Universities, & on faculty across the US. Linda has judged for many National Dance Competitions, taught Master Dance Classes and has filmed for the Lifetime Series Dance Moms.Her students & Choreography are consistent Regional & National High Score Winners.
Sandee began her training at age 2 with The Dance Connection, & later studied at Broadway Dance Center, Luigis Dance Center, with Charles Kelly, Frank Hatchet, Gus Giordano, Rhee Gold, Rennie Gold, David Howard, Judy Ann Bassing, to name a few. She has choreographed commercials & music videos for Cap’n Crunch Cerial, Kenner Toys, Proctor and Gamble, Quaker Oates, Crest Toothpaste, & Yale New Haven Hospital. She has staged works for The New Haven Ballet Ensemble, The US Dance Sport Team, Inc. and numerous schools across the U.S. & Mexico. Sandee has taught & judged for major dance organizations across the US, Canada, Mexico, & Costa Rica. Her Students are Nationally & Internationally recognized champions, & can be seen on Broadway, TV, Commercials, & Teaching on faculties throughout the U.S.. She has received more than 500 choreography awards from every major dance organization, including The Grishko Award for Ballet/ Lyric Choreography, The Capezio Award for Tap choreography, & The Marcea Award for jazz choreography. She was named CT’s Woman of the year 2006, & has been the recipient of Choreographer of the Year, & Teacher of The Year numerous times between 2007 & 2018.
Ms. Leopold serves as Ballet Mistress at The Dance Connection. In addition to over two decades of Teaching in University, College, & School settings, Ms. Leopold has performed & choreographed in various venues throughout the country, and served as Artistic Director & Resident Choreographer for the Athens Ballet Theatre. Nationally, she has served on the Board of Directors for the American College dance Festival Association and, locally, for the Pennsylvania Youth Theatre. Ms. Leopold has received numerous awards, including the University Award for Superior Teaching from the University of Georgia, Meritorious Achievement Awards for Choreography from the American college Theatre Festival, the Lehigh Valley Dance Forum Distinguished Service to the Community Award, and has been listed in Who’s Who in the Southeast the World Who’s Who of Women. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Dance & Political Science from Mary Washington College and a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Oklahoma.
A native of Nicaragua, international freelance artist Alejandro Ulloa began his dance training at the Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Nicaragua under the direction of maestro William Herrera, and launched his professional dance career with the Compañía Ballet de Nicaragua where he quickly became a principal dancer. He was later invited to be part of the contemporary company Danza Contemporánea Universitaria UNAN-Managua. In 2015, Alejandro and Maestro Herrera launched the first-ever ballet and neoclassical ensemble at the Nicaraguan University, where Alejandro became the Cultural Promoter for the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, as well as Director for the “Taller de Líneas Clásicas”. Later that year, he also became co-producer, teacher, and choreographer for Compañía Ballet de Nicaragua, as well as a ballet and contemporary teacher at the Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Nicaragua.
Alejandro’s vast repertoire has ranged from classical to contemporary works, as he has worked with a plethora of directors and choreographers. He has appeared as a guest artist for Gainesville Ballet’s production of Carmen,Danse Etoile’s Le Bayaderein Costa Rica, Island Moving Company, Thomas Ortiz Dance Company, Neglia Ballet, and Ajkun Ballet Theatre. He has also participated in many festivals, such as Jacob’s Pillow Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts, APAP Festival in New York City, Bitef Theater and Terazije Theater in Serbia, the International Ballet Gala in Nicaragua, the 50th anniversary of Universidad de Campeche-Mexico, the 20th Anniversary of Fundacion Ballet de El Salvador, and Great Friends Dance Festival in Newport, Rhode Island among others. In addition, Alejandro was an integral part of the Art and Science Unite as Psychological Treatment in Adults and Youth Workshop, developed by the Yale Hispanic Mental Health Clinic, andin 2016 he was awarded the “Artist of International Projection of the Year” by the Nicaraguan Artist Association.
Alejandro is currently a soloist with Connecticut Ballet and a principal with New England Ballet, and a dance instructor for New Haven Ballet, Connecticut Theater Dance School, Nutmeg Performing Dance Center, New England Ballet, New England Dance Arts, and The Dance Connection. Most recently, Alejandro co-founded Connecticut Theater Dance Company in Westport, CT, where he is working to cultivate a compelling, dynamic, and socially relevant collection of contemporary repertoire as the resident choreographer and a principal dancer with the company.
Melissa has been dancing with The Dance Connection since she was 3. She holds numerous Regional & National Titles from such organizations as: Headliners, Fire & Ice, Dance Ovations, On Stage America, C.I.S.C., Dance Educators of America, DanceXplosion, to name a few as well as numerous Dance Scholarships. She has performed in Bring it to The Floor 1, 2, & 3 at Foxwoods Hotel & Casino as part of The United States Dance Sport Team.She traveled to Riesa Germany for several times as a member of the United States Dance Sport Team where she competed at The World Show Dance Championships; the Olympics of Dance,& received a Gold, 2 Silver & a Bronze Medal from the prestigious I.D.O. event, which attracts more than 3,000.00 dancers from over 30 countries around the globe. Melissa enjoys teaching all levels of Dance, but has a soft spot for the little ones. Her SmallFry Class won Overalls for both thier Tap & Jazz routine this year both Regionally and Nationally, where they were asked to perform as special Guest at The Gala! She was personally requested by Lucille DeCampli to join MSA Agency in NYC. She has taught Dance at The Manhattan High School for girls in NYC and has been a Guest Faculty member for several studios around the Country.
We are very excited to welcome back Sherry to our Faculty. A definite favorite on our staff, Sherry has a warm loving disposition, allowing each pupil to feel confident and secure, making them able to grow at their own individual pace. Sherry has taught many levels and ages for us over the years. In addition to her teaching skills she is an accomplished dancer/ and competitor. She has extensive training in all dance arts and has studied with such Master Teachers as Charles Kelley, Frank Hatchet, Luigi, , at Broadway Dance Center, Steps and Farnsworth and Hauer school in NYC, and online with CLI Studios which connects teachers with LA's top Teachers and Choreographers.
Sherry continues to study to bring the latest techniques from the dance world to her students.
Alicia has had the privilege of kicking up her heels at Madison Square Garden as a member of The Knicks City Dancers for more than 6 years. During that time she had the opportunity to perform with and for many Celbrities including Alicia Keys, Derrick Huff, Debbie Gibson and Celine Dion to name a few. She has an extensive background in all dance styles, having had the opportunity to train with some of the countries top teachers and choreographers including Brian Friedman, Tyce Diori, Frank Hatchet, Lenny Juliano, Cheryl La Mura, and more.A nationally ranked Dancer, Gymnast and Cheerleader, Alicia has performed with Various ballet and Theatre companies in regional productions. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Dean College, where she was on the dance Team and Step Team, and a Bachelor of Science, Political Science and Government from Southern CT State University. She is excited to work with the next generation of dancers.
TDC is proud to welcome Christina Rodriguez back to our faculty . Christina is a proud alumni of TDC, having trained in all genres of dance, with an extensive concentration in Hip Hop and loves sharing her passion for Hip Hop and it's many forms, including Tutting, Popping,Grooves and Breaking. In addition to TDC, Christina has trained around the country with many top choreographers, and continues her studies online through C.L.I. Studios.Experienced working with children of all abilities, Christina is excited to be back in CT and ready to get our students moving and grooving.
For the past 20 years, Christopher Erk has traveled the world as a professional tap dance performer, teacher, choreographer and community program developer. Most recently he has toured with Tap Dogs, Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, and was a featured Artist in Las Vegas' number one show Absinthe at Caesar' Palace. His production company the Tap Factor emphasizes the global implications of Tap Dance through all-inclusive workshops and performance opportunities. The Tap Factor's two original productions, Tap in the Night and Feet Speak, have recently debuted on Forbes' top two reigning luxury cruise ships in the world, Hapag Lloyd's MS Europa and MS Europa 2. Christopher's newest project, Dark Stepp challenges his more traditional approach to tap dance with new sounds and interactive projected imagery.
As a professional dancer, singer, and actress, Alexa performed in a variety of regional theatre, television, and film productions in the United States and Europe. Alexa is a proud member of the theatrical unions Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA. Her credits include: The role of “Helene” in a touring company of “Sweet Charity,” “Singin’ in the Rain” (Tour), “Sugar Babies” (Regional), “My One and Only”(Regional), “The Runner Stumbles” (NYC), “The Matchmaker” (NYC), and the soap opera “Days of Our Lives.” Alexa was honored to play “Mae Jones” in the historic Italian premiere of the opera “Street Scene” at Teatro Regio Torino in Italy.
She is the author of two well-received audio books on yoga, “Illumine” and “Yoga Breakthrough,” and has been featured as a leading expert on Fitness and Wellness both online and on television.
She holds a degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Exercise Science and multiple certifications in fitness and wellness including American College of Sports Medicine and Yoga Alliance. As a youth, she studied ballet at the Connecticut Ballet (New Haven). She continued her professional dance training in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, and Musical Theatre at Steps on Broadway (NYC), and Broadway Dance Center (NYC). Alexa studied acting at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York.
Her approach as an instructor is to lead and inspire students to live passionately, work hard, and follow their dreams!
TDC strives to expose our dancers to the best working Artists in the business & often brings them in to give Master Classes. Some of our past Guest Artists include: Mia Michaels, Anton Lapidus, Billy Griffon, Sheila Barker,Shondra Lee Gold, Shamika Ben, Mike Minery, Anthony LoCasio, Alicia Monoco, Raymond Luken's, Jamie Salomen, Tim Fournier, Carlynn Laurie, Nicole Cavalloro, Ashley Hunter, Ashle Dawson, Dee Tomasetta, Robb Gibbs, Adrienne Reed, Tyler Roberts, Shawn Lesniak, Michael Knight, Edward Spots, Cochise Qinones and Julie Vigilante.