Michelle Toale, Artistic Director Michelle Toale has built a tremendous career in fitness and dance over the past 10 years. She has studied and performed all genres of dance since the age of three, and competed and won many credible titles in nationally renowned competitions. Michelle has performed on New York City’s world famous stages including Carnegie Hall, Brooks Atkinson’s Theatre, and Lincoln Centers’ Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls for the American Alliance of Performing Arts Educators. Throughout her dance career, Michelle has worked with children of all ages, both inside the studio, as well as a coach for West Milford’s Junior and Varsity Dance Teams. Michelle’s students have in the past been invited to perform at the Olympics in Sydney Australia and most recently, the London England ceremonies. Many have gone on to continue their dance education and careers on university dance teams and cheer squads, ultimately becoming dance teachers themselves. Michelle also has six years of experience as a Theatre and Artistic Director for Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Children’s Theatre Program. There she has produced and choreographed countless musical productions including Smokey Joe’s Café, Cabaret, A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, Cats, Annie, Fosse, Hairspray, Kiss Me Kate, Footloose, Little Shop of Horrors, The Music Man, Singing in The Rain, The Sound of Music, and many more. In 2003, Michelle was accepted into Montclair State University’s Dance Program where she continued her dance education studying ballet, jazz and modern styles. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Exercise Science and Adult Fitness in 2008. Michelle continues to pursue her education in current and advanced techniques in choreography and teaching by attending workshops and seminars in the dance and fitness industries. Her certifications include AFAA group fitness, CPR/AED& First Aid, Personal Trainer, Zumba, Zumba Toning, and Zumbatomic. She is accredited and certified to teach dance and gymnastics through Dance and Gym USA.
Pamela Lynn Sorensen, Artistic Director Pamela began dancing as a young child her primary focus of study was ballet, while also taking lessons in, and mastering Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Tap. Pamela studied intensely in the Russian method of Ballet under the instruction of Yuliya Akopyan and Andrey Shakhin; both formal principal dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet. After graduating high school Pamela was awarded an apprenticeship to one of the nations top dance programs; The Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. While enrolled in the Conservatory Pamela studied under Nicholas Petrov; the founder of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She also took Ballet with with Nancy Schaffenbugh, Luigi Jazz Technique and Dunham Technique. Pamela went on to finish her degree at Ramapo College of New Jersey, she holds a Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in Professional Performing Arts. Upon graduating college Pamela received a contact with the Northwest Florida Ballet, directed by Todd Eric Allen, and under careful watch of Ballet Mistress; previous Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo dancer, Dorothy Daniels Lister. At Northwest she performed in Winthrop Corey’s Dracula, soloist rolls in The Nutcracker, and Cinderella, and Fernando Bujones’ Jazz Swing. Pamela was seen performing with the Pensacola Opera, and Northwest Florida Symphony in Aida. During her time in Florida Pamela was an artist in residence at a local school where she won choreography awards at regional and national competitions. Following Northwest Florida Ballet, Pamela danced with the Atlantic City Ballet, under the direction of Phyllis Papa. While at ACB, she danced Midsummer’s Night Dream, Dracula, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Mountain Legend, and Fredrick Ashton’s Les Patineurs. Pamela was on faculty at the pre-professional school of the Atlantic City Ballet. Upon relocating back to Northern New Jersey, Pamela has danced with the Staten Island Ballet, under the direction of Ellen Tharp. She has performed in The Nutcracker, excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty, Robert Garland’s Joplin Dances, We Regret to Inform You, and The Memory Keeper both original works by Ellen Tharp. She also has performed at the Staten Island Ballet’s annual Snowball a fundraiser for ballet scholarships. Pamela’s teaching methods have lead her students into numerous collegiate dance programs, and dance teams. They have competed successfully in national and international competitions, and been awarded with acceptance into programs at world famous dance institutions such as Juilliard, Gelsey Kirkland Academy, Steps on Broadway, Joffery, American Ballet Theatre summer programs, School of American Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet summer programs.
Maura Lennon, Instructor Maura graduated magna cum laude from Dean College, in Franklin Massachusetts, in May of 2020 with a BA in Dance and Arts & Entertainment Management. Maura performed and choreographed all throughout her college career and is a current member of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts. While at Dean College, Maura was chosen to be a part of the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance Performance Company and was given the opportunity to perform at the Young Choreographer’s Festival in New York. Spring semester of her junior year, Maura had the opportunity to travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina to train with instructors of the Colon Theater Ballet along with studying the technique and culture of Tango. Entering her senior year, Maura was elected to be captain of the Dean College Pom Team as a third year veteran on the team. Aside from her training in college, Maura has trained locally in the New York and New Jersey area studying Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, and Contemporary. She studied under the instruction of Yuliya Akopyan and Andrey Shakhin, former principal dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet. Maura is excited to continue to share her passion for dance with her students. She hopes to inspire them to grow as individuals and to help them gain a further appreciation for the performing arts.
Madelyn Eltringham, Guest Faculty & Resident Choreographer Madelyn Eltringham graduated summa cum laude in May 2015, with a BFA degree in Dance Performance from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. In her Fall 2013 semester, she was chosen to take part in the Conservatory’s international exchange program, giving her the opportunity to study abroad at London Contemporary Dance School. As a member of the Purchase Dance Company, she has performed works by Sarah Mettin, Adam Barruch, Gabrielle Lamb, Rosalind Newman, Ori Flomin, George Balanchine restaged by Bettijane Sills, and Nicolo Fonte. Ms. Eltringham, a New Jersey native, attended The Academy for Visual and Performing Arts High School (Dance Major-Theater Minor) in Denville. During that time she trained with the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble, under the direction of Nancy Turano, as well as being privately coached by Yuliya Akopyan of the Bolshoi Ballet.
Shayla Doherty, Instructor Shayla has been dancing since the age of 3 and has been trained in a wide variety of styles. She grew up dancing at Precision Dance Academy where she was instructed by Miss Michelle. Shayla has performed at Lincoln Center three times as well as numerous charity events. Along with studio training, she was also a member of the West Milford Junior Dance Team for 3 years and the West Milford Varsity Dance Team for 4 years. Shayla was named captain for both of these teams during her 8th grade and senior year. While competing with these teams, she has won many state titles and national rankings. Ever since Shayla graduated high school, she has been and coaching the West Milford Junior Dance Team and instructing classes. She attends Ramapo College of New Jersey where she is studying Contemporary Arts. Shayla is currently a member of the college’s competitive dance team. Dance is such an important part of Shayla’s life and she is so excited to share her passion at CDA!
Michele Theiler, Instructor Michele has been dancing since the age of 3 and has always known that dance would be a huge part of her life. After studying ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and pointe throughout her younger years she attended Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. After graduating in 1997 Michele began her teaching career. Six years later she became Owner and Artistic Director of On the Move Performing Arts Center in Butler where for 12 years she was able to live her dream of running a studio. Michele is a proud wife and mother of 2 who works during the school year in the special needs preschool program in her home school district. She also runs the after school dance enrichment program at her children’s elementary school. Michele keeps up her dance training and is always inspired by attending workshops with dancers from So You Think You Can Dance. She is honored to be here sharing her love and passion for dance with the students of CDA.