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In Step With DC
Getting to Know You: Miss Donna!
Written by Joe Naftal on October 31, 2017

Today we are featuring Miss Donna in our latest edition of “Getting to Know You”!  The “Getting to Know You” series helps us get to know each of the Dance Connection teachers and staff we get to see at the studio every week and learn a little bit more about them.


In her free time, Miss Donna loves to go to the beach, take long nature walks, go to the movies, out to dinner and sometimes just to haze a lazy day with her husband (Tommy), daughter (Miss Brooke-Ashley), and dog (Miya).  She loves to see Broadway shows, but not as often as she’d like.  She also loves spending time with her Mom (Barbara).

Miss Donna has a 3 year old terrier named Miya.  She says that Miya is her second child!

Miss Donna doesn’t have a single favorite song she’s danced to, but a few would be “Rhapsody in Blue”, “Anything Goes”, “Smooth Criminal”, and “Don’t Tell Mama”.  Her favorite songs she’s choreographed are “Dive in the Pool” (which is being revived this season for the Competition Team), “G.I. Jane”, and “Hit Me With a Hot Note”.

The most challenging step Miss Donna ever learned was a pump turn.

When asked why she choses to work at Dance Connection, Miss Donna said, “D.C. started out as just a job for me, but after the first year, I knew I had found something truly special.  D.C. is not your typical dance studio.  Miss Mary provides her staff, students, and families with a state of the art space with a truly knowledgeable, caring, talented, and dedicated staff.  D.C. is a home away from home for many of the teachers, students, and moms, and the family environment that has been created is like no other.  We strive for a positive atmosphere for everyone and I’m so glad my daughter grew up in this very special place.

Miss Donna’s Favorites:

  • Movie: “Most people know my all time favorite movie is the “Wizard of Oz”.  However, I do adore any Fred Astaire movies, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland and on the newer side, “The Hangover”.
  • Dance Related Book: Steps in Time:  The Fred Astaire Autobiography
  • Inspirational Quotes: “Dance is the hidden language of the soul” – Martha Graham, “Dance is your pulse, your heartbeat, your breathing.  It’s the rhythm of your life.  It’s the expression in time and movement, in happiness, joy, sadness and envy” – Jacques d’Ambroise, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right!” – Henry Ford, and “Dreams come a size too big so we can grow into them!  Keep dreaming!” – Josie Bissett
  • Comfort Food: Ice Cream
  • Favorite Time of Year at Dance Connection: “2 Times – Christmas/Holiday Week and Recital Week.  It’s all about the kids and these 2 times during the year, their happiness is off the charts)!

The best advice that Miss Donna has for our DC students is to “absolutely do your BEST!  Never stop trying to surprise yourself.  It’s okay to have healthy competition.  Dance like nobody’s watching.”  For our DC parents she advises, “Enjoy the journey with your children.  Trust your child’s teachers and communicate with your children and with us.  Love them unconditionally, even when they are driving you crazy!”

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).