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In Step With DC
DC Dancers “Rocked the City”
Written by Joe Naftal on August 4, 2017

Six of Dance Connection’s Competition Team dancers participated in the Rock the City Summer Intensive last week at Pearl Studios in New York City.  The intensive was hosted by True Talent Dance Competition, where the team competed at their Nationals at Split Rock Resort in the Poconos just two weeks prior.

Dance Connection was represented at Rock the City by dancers Alison Bradley, Emily Civitella, Thomas Henderson, Nyomi Jurado, Ginger Mastrosimone, and Kiara Zeledon.

The dancers took class each day from 9:00AM until 4:00PM in styles including Jazz, Theater, Contemporary, Tap, and Hip Hop.  The master teachers taught the dancers choreography, improv skills, and audition preparation.  Classes were taught by Hayley Bochner, Keith Leonhardt, Liz Piccoli, and Jason Warley.

The dancers saw it as a great opportunity to be immersed in dance for a week in New York City.  Allison Bradley and Kiara Zeledon both found it to be a worthwhile experience.  Bradley said Rock the City allowed her to “work super hard, make new friends and learn from amazing choreographers.   Zeledon enjoyed “making so many new friends and dancing with new people”.


“I loved every minute of dancing in the city! The choreography was challenging and I was able to try new styles of dancing.  I would describe this week as intense and exciting! My favorite was the contemporary class! I learned new ways to tell a story with dance. I definitely want to do Rock the City again next year!”– Nyomi Jurado


Civitella said, “Rock The City is an amazing convention where you learn for many different teachers who work as professional dancers and they teach not only combinations but tips on how to make it in the professional world. Also the atmosphere is amazing by the end of the week we all had made a lot of new friends and everyone there felt like family.”

We are very proud of our dancers for all of their hard work at the convention last week.


Joe Naftal

Joe Naftal is the Marketing Director for Dance Connection. When not working at Dance Connection, Joe has a career as a theatrical lighting designer, assistant designer, and production manager. His experience spans the worlds of classical and contemporary theatre, musicals, ballet, modern dance, and opera. In addition to his work at Dance Connection, Joe collaborates with Dance Studio Owners across the country, is a member of the Panel of Experts, has been featured in the business section of Dance Teacher Magazine, and was on the seminar faculty for the 2016 Dance Teacher Summit in New York City. Joe holds a BFA from UNC School of the Arts and is a proud member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).