Ashley started dancing at the age of three and enrolled as a student at the Encore Performing Arts Center (EPAC) at the age of five. She grew up dancing at EPAC and began competing on their award-winning competition team at the age of eight.
As she continued to train, Ashley earned a multitude of national titles and awards. In her high school years she began assisting instructors during classes at EPAC and eventually began teaching and giving instruction on her own as well.
Ashley graduated with honors from New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts program with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. After completing her BFA, she returned to teaching at EPAC in 2004 where she took over the role of directing the competition team.
In addition to her role in the operations of the EPAC studio, Ashley is also a NJ certified teacher of Dance and has been teaching Dance in public schools for the past thirteen years. She is currently the Dance teacher at Cedar Creek High School, in the Greater Egg Harbor School District of AtlanticCounty.
At the turn of the 2018 new year, Ashley became the sole proprietor and director of EPAC. Her goal as owner/director is to continue the legacy of dance that the studio has established for the past thirty years, and to bring EPAC and its new generation of dancers into the modern era. Ashley is devoted to continuing to build positive relationships with all current EPAC families, as well as welcoming the next generation of dancers to the EPAC family. Ashley inherently believes that educating young artists to attain their artistic and life goals is Encore’s primary mission and believes herself to be a living testament to that mission.
Ashley currently resides in Cape May County with her husband and three daughters.
Contemporary / Hip Hop Teacher
Initially, an interest in hip hop got Austin into the dance studio. As a teen, he trained at a Performing Arts High School, Cooper Ballet and Joffrey Ballet, while dancing competitively at a local dance studio, in Contemporary, Hip Hop and Tap. Transitioning from dancer to teacher came naturally to Austin. Austin has trained with various choreographers and dancers including Michael Susten, Matt Steffanina, Kyle Robinson, and has danced with Megan "Megz" Alfonso, Derek Piquette, and Dushaunt "Fikshun" Stegall of So You Think You Can Dance. He is signed with Divine Management Company and has appeared on "The Americans", "The Leftovers" and the movie "Demolition". Currently, Austin is on staff at Encore Performing Arts Center in Egg Harbor Township NJ as a contemporary and hip hop choreographer.
Ballet / Lyrical Teacher
Judi Michael-Engle began her dance training with Encore Productions. In 1994 at the age of thirteen, Miss Judi was accepted to study on scholarship at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy of Moscow, Russia. Miss Judi graduated from the Bolshoi Academy in 1995, and competed in the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition in Lausanne, Switzerland. Judi was placed in the top 24 dancers in the world.
John Famiano, has been a renowned Choreographer, and a Dance & Gymnastics
instructor for over 20 years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Health and
Exercise Science, from Rowan University. He began his Dance & Gymnastics
training at a local Dance & Gymnastics studio in Cape May, New Jersey where he
has studied all forms of Dance & Gymnastics. From there, he continued his Dance
& Gymnastics training in College where he was a member of C.O.D.A, a Modern
Dance company, and was also on the Rowan Universityâ s Dance Team. While in College, John has taught and performed with many Dance companies across the
United States. In 2000 John decided to open up Cape May County Performing Arts
Academy, his own Dance & Gymnastics Studio in North Cape May, NJ. John is mostly
well-know for his Contortion work, Gymnastics instruction, and his Acro /
Lyrical Dance pieces. John has received many Jr. & Sr. choreography awards from
many Performing Arts Competitions.
John is pleased to be on staff at Encore for his third year.
Dessie Baker has been dancing since the age of 3 years old. She has studied various styles including ballet, tap, modern, and jazz. She has been able to performed in many competitions and shows throughout New Jersey. Recently she has gaduated from Stockton University with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism but continues to teach and share her love of dance.
Todd Jones attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, majoring in Music Production & Engineering. There he honed his musical skills, and learned to write and arrange music for large ensembles. hired as musical director, singer, and bass player for a nationally touring show band.
In 1987, after a year of touring, Todd relocated to Las Vegas to continue with his career as a band leader/performer. Todd used the experience to garner more opportunities, writing music for local shows, both on and off the Las Vegas strip.
In 1994, Todd built his own commercial recording studio, Montage Productions, which he operated for the next seven years. During that time, he became an accomplished audio engineer, and recorded and produced dozens of CDs and hundreds of projects. Over the last several years Todd’s music has been heard on several network televisions programs, including Dateline NBC, and America’s Most Wanted. In 2007, he scored the music for the 13-part documentary series, ‘Odyssey: Driving Around the World’, which aired in over 80 countries on National Geographic’s Adventure Channel.
In 2011 Todd relocated to NJ. In addition to his job a music director for ENCORE, he works a music producer/composer, and audio engineer.
Sean is the founder of Sojourn Productions where he has produced over 30 shows as well as directed and choreographed (and everything in between) for most of them. Sean especially enjoys writing and producing sketches. He has his BA in communications from Azusa Pacific University. Sean met his wife Karissa while touring the nation with Impact Production's, The Masterpiece, an internationally touring and award-winning stage production. He and his wife Karissa have performed off-Broadway and at the International Arts festival in Kunming, China. They are blessed with four wonderful daughters.
Rachel Gaskill grew up dancing at Mary Jane's School of Dance in Greene, Maine. She currently resides in Margate. She is in her 15th year as the dance teacher and dance team advisor at Oakcrest High School in Mays Landing, where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2015. Rachel has earned a B.S. in Dance Education from East Carolina University and a M.A. in Dance Education from New York University. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization and a certified Zumba instructor. She has taught at numerous studios; The Greenville Civic Ballet, Little People's Creative Workshop, Young Dancers in Repertory, Staten Island Academy and for a variety of public schools in North Carolina and New York. She has choreographed for numerous Dance Concerts, recitals and school musicals. She is excited to begin her 3rd year teaching at Encore Performing Arts Center.
Katie Roesch graduated from Point Park University with a BA in Jazz dance performance. She is trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, and contemporary dance. She has performed with numerous companies including Walt Disney World, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, and Legends In Concert. Katie has had the honor of performing all across the United States as well as abroad to countries such as Seoul, Korea to perform in various shows.
Recently, she became a full time teacher and choreographer and her work has received several awards. In addition, Katie has served as a judge for many popular dance competitions. Katie loves sharing her passion for dance with students of all levels and ages and she looks forward to rejoining the Encore family where she trained growing up.
Jen Gilbert studied at the Greenwich Ballet Workhop in Greenwich, CT, Broadway Dance and Steps on Broadway in NYC. She attended Boston Conservatory of Music and went on to tour with the American Youth Ballet throughout Europe for six summer tours.
She has toured the US with various musical revues and show bands and has performed at Ceasars AC, Bally’s and Trump Plaza.
She is co-director and choreographer for the community education and recreation theater program in Brigantine NJ
Jen has been on the Encore teaching staff for more than twenty years and considers it an honor to be a part of such a talented group of teachers and a joy to watch our kids grow up to be outstanding dancers and performers.
Grace began dancing at the age of 9 at ovations preforming arts, where she studied various styles of dance such as lyrical, jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop, and pointe. She later began taking her craft more seriously when she was accepted to Ocean County vocational technical school preforming arts academy for their high school program. there she was exposed to styles of dance like flamenco, musical theater, modern, and african dance. After graduating high school Grace followed her love of dance to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia,PA on the promising artist scholarship all 4 years. She was taught by Wayne St. David, Roni Koresh, Micheal Sheridan, Kim Bears-Bailey, and Anastasia Babayeva to name a few of her teachers. She was trained in graham technique, modern release technique, horton technique, dunham technique, Vaganava technique, giordano technique, fosse, and many more in her four years at Uarts. She graduated with a BFA in jazz performance. She has been with the encore family teaching since 2015.
Dana Daniels was born and raised in Galloway, NJ. Miss Daniels studied ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and gymnastics at Encore Performing Arts Center under the direction of Donna Daniels, Pamela Clark, Ashley Tabano, and Judi Engle. She continued her education at Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts and graduated with Bachelor’s of the Arts degree in Economics. She is currently on staff at Encore and teaches dance and gymnastics.
Brandon is immensely grateful to be an Acting teacher at Encore Performance Arts Center! Brandon just recently graduated from Rowan University this past May with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts. While at Rowan, Brandon took part in many performances. He played Romeo, Julius Caesar, and Benedick in Shakespeare In Concert and he also played the role of Arron in Titus Andronicus. In addition, Brandon was an e-board member and a performer in Rowan's Improv Troupe "The Improfs." Brandon wishes his students and his colleagues a year full of success and joy!
Donna founding owner has been with Encore for over 30 years. She recently stepped down as director and will always have Encore as her family. She is proud of the legacy that she built over the years and is confident in in the fresh new direction Ashley will continue continue to pursue.
She has worked as a professional dancer, director and choreographer of numerous shows throughout the United States. You will still see her around the studio!
Caleb Green began his dance training at Encore! Performing Arts Center at the age of nine. He has trained in various styles of dance including ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, hip hop, acro/tumbling, and aerial arts. He has performed in the movie Breaking Brooklyn, Just Right’s production of Dream Girls, and in various works by Matt Steffanina, Hamilton Evans, and Hannah Wintrode. Caleb has received a lifetime scholarship as an assistant with Artist Simply Human convention. He also has performed in the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the first ever hip hop number choreographed by WilldaBeast and Janelle.