the dance department

Connie Sweeney

Connie became the Director of The Dance Department in 2017. She is not only an owner but also a teacher. She began passing her extensive knowledge of gymnastics on to our students in our exciting new Acro classes. Her focus on form and technique keeps the dancers wanting more!

Amillion Turner

Amillion is a recent High School graduate from South Colonie High. She began dancing at the age of 4 at JoAnne's Academy of dance, training in tap and ballet. The following year she trained at Art in Motion Dance Academy, where she took lessons for 9 years and began competing in competitions at age 11. The last few years Amillion has danced at Dance Dimensions and lastly at World of Dance to broaden her technique and ability. Amillion has competed in local and national competitions and attends many conventions and workshops annually. Her styles now span lyrical, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, ballet and tap. She has experience choreographing routines for recital and competition. Her goal is to teach the girls life lessons through their dancing, and that they are there at the studio to have fun and express themselves.

Marcus Rogers

At the age of 15 and 16 he won 2 Tremaine Dance Convention Scholarships in NYC and Chicago. He receiving full scholarship training with the Joffrey Ballet School, Peridance Center, and Manhattan Youth Ballet. His professional credits include dancing all over the United States in the national tours of Sesame Street Live, Bear in the Big Blue House, internationally touring Europe with Jean Ann Ryan Productions on the Norwegian Dawn as the male swing/dance captain in brand new shows including a show produced by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. He has performed many principal roles with the Northeast Ballet Company including Arts In Education program with “Stories That Dance”, the lead role of “The Nutcracker” and the high flying lead Russian Premier dancer at Proctors Theatre, and has also been featured for numerous years on WRGB CBS’s “Melodies of Christmas” dancing this part. He was an in-house and guest teacher for The School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet, another company he danced for including dancing principal roles tour of “The Nutcracker” and was guest artist with “Mother Goose.” He has also worked as a guest artist, teacher and choreographer for the Saratoga City Ballet, Schenectady Light Opera Company, Park Playhouse, SPAC Classical Kids Arts In Education School Tours, Art In Motion Dance Academy, Premier Dance Performing Arts Center, The Albany Theatrical Dance Company, Proctors Broadway Summer Dance Camps, The National Museum of Dance, NYU, SLOC, CRC Irish Dance Camp, Spotlight Management, WMHT, WRGB CBS, FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance Season 7, So You Think You Can Choreograph, and Albany Dance & Fitness. On the collegiate level, he has taught at Rennselaear Polytechnic Institute, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and also served as Assistant Director of Dance at Union College from 2008-17, where he was on faculty for a program that has a DANCE MINOR and taught technique classes as an adjunct professor teaching tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical, broadway, and choreography classes. While at Union, he also taught yearly Musical Theatre Dance/Vocal Workshops, and created a new credited course, Yoga Dance He is an experienced, certified Yoga Instructor, and received his 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training Certification in 2014. He is also a judge for pageants, dance competitions and an affective choreography & technique coach, serving as a mentor to young dancers. A passionate person and teacher, he has produced professional dancers who have gone onto dance in College Programs, National Tours, Broadway Shows, Television, Movies and Dance Companies. In 2018, he produced and Directed his first ever rendition of “The Nutcracker” for his company, Marcus Rogers Dance Company. He is eternally thankful to every teacher he has ever taken from who has helped him to develop his talent, blessed for all of his students through the years who have fueled his passion for teaching and sincerely grateful to anyone who has ever helped him along the way in his journey in becoming a better , dancer, teacher and most importantly, human being.

Jennifer Manino

Jennifer began her life-long love of dance at the young age of 5. Attending private schools such as Walnut Hill and later a graduate of The HARID Conservatory. Mrs. Manino also studied at renowned schools such as: The Joffrey Ballet School in NYC, Pacific Northwest Ballet, School of American Ballet and Boston Ballet. Her professional career began touring for the Broadway show Cinderella which took her to over 20 cities throughout the USA. She then joined Columbia City Ballet where she danced soloist and principle roles. After two years at CCB, she went back to NYC where she began performing for The Metropolitan Opera Ballet. During that time, she attained a degree from New York University. After eight seasons dancing with the MET, she began teaching for various schools in NJ & NY including the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC. She also taught for Miami City Ballet School in Florida for 3 years. She has over eight years of teaching experience, teaching students from age 2 to adult. Jen, her husband and three energetic children live in the Saratoga area. Founder of Story Dance Studios (storydancestudios.com), she began teaching and creating her classes in September of 2018. She is excited to be joining the faculty at The Dance Department.

Erica Connell

Erica just completed her first year as a dance instructor. She started dance at the age of 2 at Cindy's Academy of Dance and at the age of 5, she began attending Elenor's School of Dance in Colonie. She has maintained her dance skills by attending continuing education tap classes and has taken adult lessons at various local studios throughout the years. Erica strives to create a fun, yet challenging environment where the dancers can grow together.