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In Step With DC
Our Volunteers: In Their Own Words
Written by Erin Sforza on May 16, 2017

Dance Connection’s annual Recital is a huge production and a labor of love for our teachers and staff. There are countless hours spent prepping, designing, choreographing, organizing, and the list goes on, but one of the most essential and important parts of our Recital preparation and the success of the recital itself are our amazing volunteers that help us to provide our families and students with the kind of experience that they deserve after a year of hard work.

I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time chatting with members of the Recital Volunteer Team to get their perspective on being a part of the annual Recital – why they volunteer, what they enjoy about it, and where they love to work.


Jorge Perez – Set Design and Construction

I’ve lost track of how long I’ve been volunteering, it must be about 11 years. I really enjoy the creative part of designing and building the sets. My favorite set design was the Disney set for our opening number one year. It had a Haunted House, the Disney Castle, and the “It’s A Small World” set piece. I also liked making the Mary Poppins set.


Carole Gratzer – Quick Change Room

This is my 15th year volunteering. My favorite place to be is the Quick Change room because I love getting to see what goes on behind the scenes, I get to spend time with my daughter, and the recital goes so quickly back there! The most memorable change we had was a ZERO number change that my daughter Erin had. She came off stage and we had to get her out of her Pointe costume and right into the Many Faces of Jazz costume to go right back out on stage! Each performance we cut the ribbons on her Pointe shoes to get her back out in time.


Teal Liebold – Dancewear Boutique and Ticket Sales

I started volunteering a long time ago in the cafeteria with the dancers. I’ve also done the auditorium door security. It’s been about ten years total, but the last three I’ve been selling tickets and helping with the recital boutique. I love seeing all of the dancers in costume and the excitement on the faces of the families coming in. I love being part of the whole recital experience and being able to help someone choose the perfect keepsake gift for their grandchild. It’s a long and busy weekend but so worth it!


Cliff Iacovelli – Event Security

I’ve been volunteering as long as my daughter (Miss Isabella!) has been dancing. I’ve helped with props but I like working security. It’s nice to give back to the kids who work so hard all year to perform. Every year is an adventure, but I really like seeing the faces of the parents and how proud they are and how the whole studio comes together to try to give everyone the best experience possible.


Marlene Cohen – Dressing Rooms

I’ve been volunteering since my daughter (Miss Arial!) was four years old. The funny part is that I never set aside a whole performance to sit and watch when she was dancing, I always spent every performance backstage, but now that I have grandchildren dancing, I make sure to set aside one performance just to watch them! I’ve helped backstage and at the Snack Counter too, and I love to see all of the dancers’ excited faces as they arrive. The happiness you are surrounded by is just great!


Lynn Arco – Boys’ Changing Room, Dressing Room Area

I’ve been volunteering backstage in the Changing Rooms for a total of 15 years, but the last 5 I’ve been in the Boys’ Changing Area.  I am happy to make sure that our studio’s boys have a comfortable place to change where they have some assistance in case they need it. I also get to spend time with my son, Billy and see everything going on backstage. My favorite costume Billy has worn was for “Ready Teddy”


Franchesca Quesada – Usher/Front of House

I’m in my third year volunteering, and I’ve helped backstage but my favorite place to volunteer is Ushering and helping people find their seats, or taking tickets in the front. I really love getting to welcome people and make them happy as soon as they arrive. Sometimes I still run backstage to help too. It’s all about giving everyone a great experience.


We’d like to give a big “Thank You!!” to these and all of our volunteers for this year’s recital, and we hope that you’ll consider volunteering too. We truly appreciate the extra effort that our volunteers give to make sure that the Recital is a wonderful life-long memory for not just their student, but every family in attendance. To show our gratitude we’re waving the “Recital Supervision Fee” for all of these fantastic members of our Recital Team!

Erin Sforza

Erin is the Public Relations Coordinator for Dance Connection. She studied dance from childhood through college and continues to be an active member of the Long Island theatre community. Erin received a BA in both Musical Theatre Performance and History from the University of Tampa, and has utilized aspects of both degrees working in the hospitality industry, as an Event Coordinator for the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, and as the PR/Marketing Coordinator and Group Sales Coordinator for the CM Performing Arts Center in Oakdale. In addition to being a part of the Dance Connection staff, she is a Travel Consultant affiliated with and