TEACHERS & STAFF
MJ Dance Center is taught by an award-winning group of teachers who bring a wide range of professional performance and choreography experience to the studio. Many of our teachers are even former MJ graduates themselves!
Owner, Artistic Director, & Teacher
Miss Ashley grew up at MJ Dance Center and went on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. While residing in Philadelphia, she spent four years studying with pillars of the northeast dance community, such as Molly Misgalla, Wayne St. David, Scott Jovovich, Andrew Pap, Brian Sanders, and Ronen Koresh. In 2006, Ashley became a proud faculty member at MJ Dance Center and was named Artistic Director in 2010. Miss Ashley's most recent accomplishment was being awarded dance educator of the year in 2015 by Groove National Dance. Her choreography has won some of the highest awards on the regional and national level. She is excited to share her life-long passion with the current and next generation of dancers and proud to carry on Miss Jeanne's, Miss Gwendel's and Miss Barbara's vision and legacy of the studio for another 75+ years at MJ Dance Center.
Asst. Director & Teacher
Miss Sarah was a graduate of Miss Jeanne’s School of Dance Arts and became a faculty member in 2009. She is also a fifth and sixth grade mathematics teacher and a member of the dance faculty at Arts Academy Charter Middle School in Allentown. Sarah graduated from DeSales University in May 2010 with her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and received her Elementary Education Certification in May 2012. During her time at DeSales, she had the opportunity to perform in various works in both the Emerging Choreographers and Dance Ensemble Concerts, including Twyla Tharp’s The One Hundreds. She attended the American College Dance Festival in both Missoula, MT and Akron, OH. Sarah was president of XTE, the dance honors society. Outside of DeSales, she has performed around the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia areas, and also choreographed the Lehigh Valley Charter Arts’ productions of Gypsy, The Sound of Music, and Chicago.
Recital Dancer Program Director & Teacher
Miss Nicole began dancing at Miss Jeanne's School of Arts at the age of three. She graduated from DeSales University in 2016 with a B.A. in Dance and Business Administration. Nicole continued her education at DeSales University and in 2020 received her Masters of Business Administration. During her undergraduate studies at DeSales, Nicole was the Student Manager of six productions in the dance department, including the Emerging Choreographers Concert and the Dance Ensemble Concert. She also was awarded The Jeanne Meixell Award in Dance Arts for her contributions to the dance department and high academic standing. Nicole performed in the Informal Dance Concerts and the DeSales University Dance Ensemble Concert. She has also danced at the Walt Disney World® Resort as a parade leader for Dance The World Events. Nicole is currently the Dance Events Manager for Dance The World Events (World Class Vacations). In her role, Nicole plans and organizes dance events at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida, in New York City, and Nashville, Tennessee. Nicole has choreographed parade routines for the Dance The World parades at the Walt Disney World® Resort and for Times Square performances for Dance The World Broadway. Miss Nicole joined MJ Dance Center as a faculty member in 2014 and loves to be able to share her love of dance in the same place that started it all!
Director of Social Media & Communications & Teacher
Miss Megan danced her early life Miss Jeanne’s before graduating from West Chester University with a BS in exercise science and minors in athletic coaching and dance. Miss Megan started her dance career as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleading squad in 2014. Megan was also a member of the West Chester University dance team where she competed nationally in jazz and hip hop. In addition to performing, Megan has also choreographed for Allentown Central Catholic dance team as well as floor routines for gymnasts in the Lehigh Valley. Megan is very excited to be back teaching at her home studio alongside the faculty members that inspired her to continue on with her dance education.
Mary has been part of the Miss Jeanne’s “Family” since 1988. She shared 17 years of dance with her daughters, Kristin and Janelle, as they learned their love of dance from Miss Jeanne, Miss Barbara, and Miss Gwendel. Feeling fortunate that her daughters lives were influenced by these amazing women, Mary continued to come back year after year to help with recitals. In 2007 Miss Barbara took Mary under her wing and her journey began as the Receptionist, Office Manager and current Studio Manager! She not only runs the desk, she shares in the passion of all of our dancers that she once shared with her own daughters!
Miss Sarah P
Sarah Parker is a devoted force in professional and pre-professional dance education throughout the United States. Founding Artistic Director of professional dance company Continuum Dance Theater and Executive Director of the national, arts production company EVOLVE Productions, Parker holds her dual BA, BS in Dance Performance and Education and Business Management/Entrepreneurship from Point Park University.
A native of the Lehigh Valley, PA, and proud alum of Miss Jeanne’s School of Dance Arts, Parker gained early experience training and performing in New York City including performing for Mia Michaels in Mia LIVE! and at the 2002 Élan Awards honoring Ann Reinking, returning the following year as Assistant Stage Manager (Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC). Furthering her training with pursuits in Los Angeles, California and Paris, France, Parker honed her passion for dance artistry, technique and production quality through prolific choreographic and directorial endeavors.
As a dance educator, Parker has spent an 18+ year tenure instructing and choreographing work at nationally esteemed dance institutions, colleges and top ranking competitive studios. In addition to directing and instructing for six seasons of her flagship EVOLVE the INTENSIVE summer dance intensive, she has served as choreographer and faculty member or master class instructor for renowned facilities including the Western Pennsylvania Performing Arts Company, Mahoning Valley Ballet Company, Van Dyke and Company, Albright Dance Stars, Dance Alloy, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Point Park University, Slippery Rock University, Cedar Crest College, Pittsburgh’s Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) High School, Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange’s SpringUP Dance Festival and New York City’s Broadway Dance Center. Parker’s former students have gone on to perform on Broadway, in national tours, with professional dance companies and on television including SYTYCD and globally televised award shows.
Continuum Dance Theater, Parker’s professional dance company, founded in 2011, has performed in venues nationwide including the City Center in New York City (NYC), the Little Haiti Cultural Center Theater (Miami, FL), the New Hazlett Theater, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Grey Box Theatre, August Wilson Center Theater, Pierce Theater, Carnegie Museum of Art, David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Mattress Factory Museum, Three Rivers Arts Festival (Pittsburgh, PA), Touchstone Theater, ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, Samuels Theater, Lipkin Theater (Lehigh Valley, PA) and the Sherman Theater (Stroudsburg, PA) to name a few.
Sarah is thrilled to be returning to Miss Jeanne’s School of Dance Arts to instruct ballet, pointe and set choreography for the 2016-2017 season.
Molly B. Misgalla was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She graduated with a B.A. in dance (cum laude) from Point Park University where she trained with Douglas Bentz, Judith Leifer-Bentz, Jodi Welch and the late Ron Tassone. While at Point Park she was a swing for the Pittsburgh Playhouse Production of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall. After graduation Molly danced with the site specific modern –based Mary Miller Dance Company and with the Philadelphia based-jazz dance company “Waves” under the direction of (Israel born) Shimon Braun. She performed in the feature film “Living Out Loud” starring Holly Hunter, Inatoriso Cabaret Show in Tokyo, Japan and in numerous industrial and commercials for companies such as Glaxo Smith- Kline. Molly is a Philadelphia-based teacher and choreographer renowned for her innovative jazz/contemporary technique. Her style blends a solid dance foundation: showcasing her characteristically bold yet fluid use of movement through unique interpretation of music, and spacing.
She has taught at The University of Arts, Philadelphia’s High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, The Rock School for Dance Education, DeSales University, Jacksonville University, Metropolitan Ballet (just to name a few). Molly was an artist in residence at Ecole de Ballet and Just Move Dance in Luxembourg. She also has taught master classes in Luxembourg, Paris and London as well as studios and conventions throughout the U.S. Molly has her MFA in Choreography from Jacksonville University/White Oak.
Kristin has been studying dance since the age of 3. Her love of dance brought her to study at DeSales University, earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Dance with a minor in management. She was given the opportunity to work with wonderful artists from throughout the tri-state area. Kristin has also had the opportunity to perform works by Trinette Singleton, Charles Weidman and Sydney Skybetter to name a few. She was an assistant for the Radio City Rockette Experience. Some of Kristin’s theatre credits include Camelot, Guys and Dolls, You Can’t Take it With You, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Kristin has also performed on Holland America Cruise Lines, worked on a SAG film, and performed in Las Vegas.Kristin currently resides in the Lehigh Valley with her husband and is pursuing her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Specialization in Dance Movement Therapy at Lesley University.
Madison is a recent graduate of DeSales University with a BA in Dance and a minor in business administration. During her time at DeSales she had the pleasure of performing works by notable artists, such as Trinette Singleton, Angela Grossman, Joshua Peugh, Austin Diaz, Johnathan Campell, and a historical reconstruction by Sean Sullivan of “Concerto Grosso” by Jose´ Limo´n in the DeSales University Dance Ensemble concerts. She has also had the opportunity to create works for both the 2015 and 2016 Emerging Choreographers Concerts. Outside of DeSales Madison has had the opportunity to perform works in concerts, such as Evening of Duets in Philadelphia, Translate Dance Festival in NYC, The American College Dance Association Festival in Kent, Ohio, and Ten Tiny Dances here in the Lehigh Valley. She is excited to continue growing in her craft and sharing the art of dance with future generations.