The Motion Arts Approach

 

At Motion Arts, we say that dance is for everybody! We believe that dance has the power to transform a child’s life by teaching them confidence, responsibility, empathy, and perseverance. We provide dance education that is challenging, exciting, rewarding, and most of all, fun!

Our faculty is comprised of professionals who are passionate about sharing their love of the arts. All faculty have been selected for their areas of expertise, which gives our students access to focused, cutting edge material. Each class is structured to provide encouraging, supportive instruction with a low student-to-teacher ratio.

As students progress, they may choose to join our Motion Arts Performance Company (MAPC), which provides older dancers with opportunities for community outreach and more intensive training. To be eligible, dancers must be entering at least 6th grade and have experience in ballet or modern. MAPC dancers are committed to bettering themselves as both individuals and collaborators, and defining their personal artistic voice.

We are a noncompetitive studio that places high value on technique, anatomy, and artistry. We craft dancers who are free to express their most authentic selves and connect deeply with others - this is truly the power of dance. 

 
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Alexa Astarita
Owner


Artistic Director

Alexa was born and raised in Essex County, NJ. She has had extensive training in jazz, ballet, modern, hip hop, and partnering over the past 20 years, beginning under the direction of Kathy Costa-McKeown. Alexa earned her BA in dance and media/communications from Muhlenberg College, where she choreographed seven dance pieces. She also completed a specialized teaching practicum with a focus on children’s jazz and creative movement, and a fieldwork study teaching children in the Allentown school district. Her performance credits include Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Disney World, The London 2012 Olympics, the Bethlehem SteelStacks, Convergence: Community Harmony Through Dance, and works by prestigious artists including Olasebikan Freeman, Corrie Franz Cowart, David Parker, and Jeffrey Peterson. In August 2017, Alexa spent two weeks training and performing with Amalgamate Dance Company and Damage Dance in Piobicco, Italy. She continues her own dance education by attending classes in NYC, for she believes that a dancer never stops learning! Most recently, Alexa completed the Intensive Teacher Workshop at the Martha Graham School.

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Amanda Cuoco

Amanda currently resides in Montclair, New Jersey and is originally from El Paso, Texas. Amanda graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso with a BFA in Ballet Performance. Amanda began teaching ballet at the age of 18 at Champion Studios in El Paso, Texas under the direction of Andree Harper and continued to teach ballet at various studios throughout Texas under the direction of Neil Hess. Amanda has also taught at The School at Steps in New York City and various studios throughout New Jersey. She has performed with Ballet of the Americas, Ballet El Paso/UTEP Ballet, Lone Star Ballet, El Paso Opera, El Paso Symphony, "Viva El Paso!", Shakespeare on the Rocks, El Paso Salseras, UTEP Dinner Theater, Amarillo Little Theater, West Texas A&M Ballet, & "TEXAS!" Outdoor drama. Amanda has performed in productions such as Sleeping Beauty, Scaramouche, The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Canival of the Animals, Samson and Delilah, Sweet Charity, Chicago, Cabaret, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Full Monty, Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo & Juliet, & Rodeo. She is vibrantly passionate about ballet, fitness, and dance in general. Amanda wears many hats when it comes to the arts and some may even call her a "Jill of all trades."

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Marie DiNorcia

Marie is a New York City based performer, working in both the musical theatre and commercial industries. She is a graduate of Muhlenberg College and Broadway Dance Center’s Summer Professional Semester. In NYC, Marie has worked with Joshua Bergasse on “Celebrating Jerome Robbins” aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum; Kathleen Marshall on “Front And Center: Building a Broadway Dance Ensemble” at New York City Center; and on a commercial promo for Abigail Mentzer Designs’ dance skirts; among other performances and projects. She recently returned from a run of “The Music Man” at the Asolo Repertory Theatre as the featured dancer Zaneeta, directed by Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun.

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Mark Salud

Mark was born and raised in New Jersey. He was exposed to dance at a young age from line dancing at Filipino parties and watching artists dance in music videos. As a freshman in high school he joined ?uintessence, a dance crew that fused hip-hop & tinikling, a traditional Filipino folk dance. Upon entering Rutgers, he joined the collegiate hip-hop team RAPS Dance Troupe and danced/co-directed the team for 3 years. After a brief stint with FR3SH Dance Company, Mark went on to dance with and co-direct The Society for 6 years, which gave him the opportunity to perform at competitions and showcases all around New Jersey, New York, and Boston as well as teaching workshops in the Tri-State area. Mark currently teaches hip-hop at various studios, co-runs CreativExchange (a community focused organization that hosts dance workshops and intensives) and owns and operates CineGang (a video production company based in New Jersey).

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Kelly Seylaz


Studio Manager

Kelly was born and raised in Chatham, NJ where she began her dance education at the age of 5. She continued dancing through all her school years and her passion for dance has never faded. Currently, Kelly is studying Elementary Education and American Sign Language at Kean University. Kelly is so excited to be back in the dance world and she can’t wait to help Motion Arts run smoothly for all its incredible students!