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Dance Faculty

 

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Andrea Donza
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR               Mrs. Andrea bio page

Andrea has been dancing since the age of two. She was born in Rochester, New York in 1972 to Jeanne Ann and Joseph Tornabene. Andrea and her family, along with her older sister Tricia, moved to Cape Coral, Florida in 1977. That same year, Andrea began dancing at Robin Dawn Academy of Performing Arts. She attended and graduated from Cape Coral High School in 1990. Andrea studied jazz, tap, ballet, acrobatics and lyrical at the Robin Dawn Academy and was a member of the Robin Dawn “Showstoppers” competitive dance team. They traveled all over the United States performing and competiting regionally, as well as nationally.  Competition was a big part of Andrea’s dance career growing up. She won numerous awards and scholarships in dance and gymnastics. At age fifteen, Andrea traveled all over the United States with Danny Hoctor’s Dance Caravan. She was one of the two youngest members of this elite dance group to be invited to attend. The dancers visited twelve different cities across the USA performing, assisting, and demonstrating for master teachers in workshop classes. In 1982, she attended and performed at the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee and in 1985, she was invited by the United States Government to entertain in Guadalajara, Mexico.
After graduating from High School, Andrea attended Edison Community College on a two year full tuition paid scholarship. After completing one year…Andrea decided to give up the second year of her scholarship to move to Oklahoma City to attend one of the top ranked dance universities in the nation, Oklahoma City University. Andrea received her Bachelor of Science degree in Dance Management. Andrea is one of the few teachers in Southwest Florida to have this degree. While in college, Andrea was an instructor for Applause Dance Studio in Oklahoma City. Also while at college, she auditioned and was the only student hired from the school to work at the Texas based Opryland theme park called “Fiesta Texas”. Andrea was the lead dancer and dance captain for the San Antonio-Fiesta Texas show called “Rockin’ at Rockville High”.
After graduating college, Andrea returned home to Cape Coral and was hired as the Dance Artistic Director for Cypress Lake Middle School, a school for the creative and performing arts in Lee County. Andrea was the director of dance for six years and is certified to teach K-12 with the State of Florida. While at Cypress, Andrea developed a performing dance group called “Ovation’s Dance Company”. The group has performed locally for Fort Myers and competed in Florida representing the magnet school in Lee County. In addition to teaching at Cypress, Andrea was also enormously involved in choreographing and co-managing the Robin Dawn Academy’s company, “Legends”.
Andrea has studied with numerous master teachers from all over the United States including Mia Michaels (FL), Charles Kelly (NY), Joe Tremaine (LA), Joe Lanteri (NY), Judy Bassing (NY), Dana Michaels (FL), Jo Rowan (OKC) and Lynn Crammer (OKC)to name a few. Andrea is a recognized teacher in today’s dance world. Her students have won numerous awards at local, state and national competitions.
In 1999, Andrea and her husband Tony decided to open up a studio in Port Charlotte, FL called Universal Dance Academy. They both have worked very hard to create the facility that has been going strong for 16 years! They are proud and blessed with the elite reputation that Universal has gotten over the years. In year two, they built the first building that Universal Dance Academy called their own. Growing faster than every expected…a second building was built housing 18,000 sq feet of Dance, Gymnastics, Tae Kwon Do and Preschool classrooms.
While directing Universal Dance Academy, Andrea also was hired and directed North Port High School’s Dance program in the 2002-2003 school year. Andrea was also asked to be the coordinator and host school for the Russian Moscow Ballet “Nutcracker” for two years.
Andrea is a certified teacher with both Nationally recognized organizations, Florida Dance Masters and Dance Masters Of America, Florida Ch #2. She has taught for both organizations as a master teacher for local conventions. Andrea was the DMA Nationally Certified Examiner and was the Examination Chairman for Dance Masters of America, FL Ch. #2. Andrea has judged for regional and National dance organizations and beauty pageants such as Dance Masters of America, Hall Of Fame and Starpower.  Andrea and Tony are also the owners of Universal Learning Center, a VPK Preschool. Andrea currently holds her Director’s Credential for Early Learning Child Care in Florida and VPK Credentials and qualifications.  Andrea and Tony have been married for 13 years and are the proud Parents of two beautiful children, AJ (10) and Ava (7)…two of the greatest accomplishments in their life!
Andrea currently is the director of dance at Woodland Middle School’s brand new dance department!
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DSC_0806Ms. Stephanie Goerl/ Tiny Tots, Tap and Jazz

Stephanie has been with Universal for 6 years. She is a native of Charlotte County and a graduate of Port Charlotte High School in 2002. In the beginning Stephanie learned instruction by assisting her teachers and choreographing numerous musicals and caberet shows for the school’s drama and music departments. After graduation Stephanie moved to the Tampa area and studied dance at Hillsborough Community College focusing on ballet and modern. While attending school, she worked as the head dance instructor for Mosaic Dance Studio in Brandon and developed their ballet, tap and lyrical curriculum. In late 2004, Stephanie partnered up with Extreme Youth Sports and became their dance director. She developed classes for ages 2 and up to teach in local venues all around Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. Shortly after she opened “To the Point Academy of Dance” in Carollwood with Extreme’s director. Early 2006 Charlotte County called Stephanie and her husband back to follow his dream of being a police officer and becoming first time parents to their daughter Rebekah. In 2008 she welcomed her second child Alex into this world. Shortly there after Stephanie received her Bachelors degree from Florida Gulf Coast University. This summer she will be working with a grant program and the Cultural Center to bring dance and the arts to the children of Charlotte County.
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DSC_0115Alexandra Scarsella- Saturday Tiny Tots
Alexandra Scarsella, “Miss Alex”, has been dancing since she was three years old under the tutorage of Joan Wine. After moving to Florida at the age of 14, she continued her dance training at Robin Dawn Academy in Cape Coral, FL, before heading to the University of Central Florida where she earned her B.A. in Political Science. Alexandra was Miss Dance of Florida 2005, and a featured dancer in Break The Floor in its run at the New York City Fringe Festival. Alexandra was also the winner of the Gold Medal at the North American Tap Dance Championships; and subsequently, the Gold Medal at the International Tap Dance Championships held in Riesa, Germany. Alexandra has been teaching tap, jazz, ballet and lyrical for 12 years, and has a passion for passing on her love of dance to her students, big and little!
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chris lee headshot Christopher Lee- Tap, Jazz, Competition Team
Chris Lee…an exciting and widely sought-after dance teacher and choreographer is currently enjoying his 25th year in the business. He is a certified member of Dance Masters of America. His teaching credits include Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center in N.Y.C., both at the professional and children’s levels. He has also served as dance department chairperson at Belvoir Terrace, an internationally reputable performing arts camp in Lenox, Massachusetts. Chris also teaches master classes and judges for major dance organizations, private organizations and schools nationwide and in Canada.
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Richie L pic 2Richie Lucibello – Jazz/ S.E.B. (Spiritual Energy Ballet)  Richie’s training began with the Cecchetti Ballet technique and extended to jazz and musical theatre. With a BFA degree in Dance, he has appeared in several musicals including RENT (Angel), Damn Yankees (Feature- Eddie), and A Chorus Line (Bobby), and most recently as Mr. Mistoffelees in Cats, produced by CPS at SUNY Postdam. His choreography credits include Evita at the Warner Theatre in Torrington, CT and several musicals at Pace University. Richie also played the leading role, as The Roper, in the historic Agnes de Mille Ballet, Rodeo.  He is currently on staff at several studios in the metro NYC area.  At Dance Cavise, Richie is thrilled to introduce his unique class: SEB. Spiritual Energy Ballet, which combines classical Ballet technique with yoga and Pilates to provide an intense workout.