Tessa was certified by AFAA and started teaching aerobics classes at the age of 15. She has a B.S. in Exercise Physiology and has taught many fitness classes like Pole Dance, Pilates, Dance, Step, Kickboxing and Weight Lifting. She has been a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine –Health Fitness Instructor (ACSM-HFI) and National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
She was introduced to pole dancing in 2012 and has continued her passion to inspire people to achieve their fitness goals in a brand new fun way.
Tara Faulkner-Catalina is the Artistic Director at Jo-Ann’s Dance Studio. She teaches ballet, pointe, and moderne dance, and she is the Director for the the ballet and moderne productions. Tara has been teaching at the studio for 31 years. She derived her moderne training at The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York City. At our studio, she developed her own moderne dance program, incorporating the technique that she learned at the Graham School, and she combined that with other moderne techniques to come up with what the studio calls a “Graham-Based” moderne program. She has been teaching this program at the studio for the past 25 years. Tara also is the Co-Director of the studio’s newest program, Vertical Freedom, where she teaches Pole Fitness, Pole-Ates, Vertical Barre, Yoga/Pilates Flow, Pole Choreography, and she is also a certified POUND instructor.
Tara was the director of the “Dance and Movement” program at The Center School in Somerset, where she tailored a program to teach students with special needs. In addition, Tara has been the school’s choreographer for 11 of their spring musicals. She has also taken on the role of Advisor for the Dance Ensemble, and spring musical Choreographer at Watching Hills Regional High School. Tara is a certified Pilates Mat and Pilates Reformer instructor, and is also certified in Barre and Stretch classes. She is a Group Training Instructor at Jersey Strong Gym in Edison, NJ,and she holds several Mossa certifications for classes such as Group Active, Group Centergy, and Group Power.
Donna started pole dancing in 2013, after her sister in law surprised her with a bachelorette party at a pole studio. She immediately fell in love with it and has been pole dancing ever since. Since that time Donna has endorsed the pole Industry, as she loves the strength and confidence she has gained. Donna has recently started her pole career teaching Intro to Pole under the guidance of Tessa and Tara. She is very excited to have the opportunity to share her love of pole and teach the foundations to others.
Alexander Catalina was born and raised at Jo-Ann’s Dance Studio. She spent most of his life taking moderne, jazz and hip hop classes at the studio. When he was not in the studio, Alex could be seen on the stage, appearing in many musicals such as Grease, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, The Wizard of Oz, and Beauty and the Beast. Alex teaches our combination ballet/tap classes for our younger students. He has been an instructor for the past 2 years. Alexander has been an assistant instructor for the past 5 years. Alex assist’s with our moderne, jazz, preschool and combination classes. Alex has also worked at The Center School as the Assistant Choreographer for the past 3 years. He has helped choreograph Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, and The Wizard of Oz. Alexander is also a certified POUND instructor, and teaches the class through the studio’s Vertical Freedom program. He enjoys taking classes in Pole and the aerial arts through Vertical Freedom.
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