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Rising Stars Studio of Dance

Learn.Achieve.Improve.Grow!

The Faculty

We love what we do

and it shows!

Mallory Chesler Horowitz, Director & Teaching Artist

     Miss Mallory has been studying dance for over 30 years. She is a graduate from Montclair State University where she received a B.F.A. degree in dance with a concentration in ballet and modern techniques. While at Montclair, she worked with many choreographers and performed pieces choreographed by Sean Curran, Donna Sco, Kim Whittam, Lisa Grimes, Lonne Morreton, and Nancy Lushington to name a few. Mallory is currently the choreographer for the STARS award winning competition team. Many of her dances have received Platinums, high scores and even received the golden ticket to the World Dance Championship. Miss Mallory has also received many choreography awards for her work. She also choreographs for high school musicals, her most recent work being“Pippin” "Beauty and the Beast” ,“The Sound Of Music”, "The Wizard of Oz" and "Bye,Bye Birdie". Mallory was honored by Who’s Who Premier International for outstanding professionals in the dance industry for 2008-2009 and selected as Executive Professional of the year in 2009-2010. Mallory is also a proud member of National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts for over 10 years and Dance New Jersey. She also has been involved with children’s outreach programs such as “Literacy Programs of NJ- Arts Come to Life”. Mallory feels very lucky to be able to impact children in a positive way through her love of the performing arts and is looking forward to a wonderful season!

Miss Morgan Markowski, Teaching Artist

Miss Morgan began her formal dance training at the age of three, studying ballet, modern, tap, jazz, lyrical, and hip-hop. She later stumbled across Irish-Step Dancing, which she quickly grew to love, and has since traveled the country competing at both the regional and national levels. Morgan is a recent (2012) graduate of Muhlenberg College (in Allentown, PA) with a B.A. in both Dance and Business Administration/Marketing. While at Muhlenberg, she had the invaluable opportunity to study under Karen Dearborn, Charles O. Anderson, Corrie Cowart, Shelley Oliver, Heidi Cruz, and Patti Bostick, continuing both her technical and academic dance training, while performing in many faculty and student choreographed concerts. Morgan also choreographed several pieces of her own, the most recent of which was Celtic; Knot, a fusion of modern and Irish-Step Dancing featured in Muhlenberg’s Dance Emerge. In 2011, Morgan was selected to study in Arezzo, Italy at the Accademia dell’Arte, where she furthered her study of ballet and modern composition, while expanding her dance palette to include tarantella and other dances of the Mediterranean. Morgan is so excited to join the Rising Stars family, and is looking forward to sharing what she has learned with the next generation of young dancers

Miss Alyssa Kemper, Teaching Artist

Miss Alyssa is a well-rounded dancer, having studied ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, contemporary, musical theatre, and hip-hop. Growing up, she danced with her studio’s Competition Team and Ballet Company, and was awarded with talent-based scholarships at many dance conventions, including Tremaine Dance Conventions and New York City Dance Alliance. Alyssa attended the New York City Dance Alliance summer intensive, and also spent time studying with Classics Dance Theatre Company’s “An Invitation to Dance” program. She was featured as a Contortionist and Dancer in the world premiere production of I TRE COMPAGNI with Encompass New Opera Theatre. Alyssa was also an active participant, performing and serving as Treasurer, in the Women’s Choir, Concert Choir, and Show Choir at her high school. Alyssa went on to study dance at Point Park University for two years, and eventually graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communication. She works as a Brand Manager for a major retail company and in her spare time remains active in the NJ theatre community in featured dancer roles and often serving as Dance Captain. Miss Alyssa is very excited to be joining the RSD family!


Miss Danielle Portera- McCaig, Teaching Artist


Danielle was born in New York and raised in central New Jersey, where she began her dance studies. Danielle has always enjoyed dancing and performing since the age of three. She has studied and is experienced in all forms of dance: Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip- Hop, Modern, Pom, Contemporary, and Musical Theater. Danielle graduated from Seton Hall University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration concentrating on Sport Management with a minor in Accounting. Danielle attended Middle School of the Arts for one year and High School of the Arts for 4 years studying modern and jazz dance. At the age of 15 she began choreographing for the East Brunswick Young Adult Charity Players (EBYACP). This organization helps raise money for a Special Needs Programs within East Brunswick by producing community theatre shows. Danielle was an executive board member and choreographer for 10 years with EBYACP. Throughout high school, Danielle was a member of the East Brunswick High School Dance Team for 3 years and captain for one year. She also was the choreographer and president for the East Brunswick High School Drama program for one year and a member for 4 years. During her time at Seton Hall University, she was a member of the Seton Hall University Dance Team for 4 years and Captain and choreographer for 2 years. Danielle helped pave the way for the school to recognize dance as a sport and the ability to perform at basketball games and sporting events. After college she performed with the New Jersey Hawks Minor League Football Team the Hawkettes Dance Team for 3 years, the New Jersey BullDawgs, Diamond Dawg Dancers for one year, and the Somerset Bears Dance Team, Bearfoot Dancers for 5 years, Choreographer for 5 years and Director for 3 years. Danielle was a part of the USA Cheerleaders for a season and she was also on the first season of the Gotham City Cheerleaders team (formally known as The Unofficial Dancers of the New York Giants). She also has choreographed for the Carteret High School Drama Program and has for the past 10 years.

Some of her other accreditations include performing on the Wendy Williams Show, performing on CBS, FOX 5, and WPIX 11 News, performing at the Maxim Pre-Super Bowl XLVI Party, performing in “You Down With JPP” music video, dancing for the Gotham City Cheerleaders (formally known as The Unofficial Dancers of the New York Giants), and performing in Super Bowl XLVIII Pepsi Halftime show with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. She also has choreographed for the Carteret High School Drama Program and has for the past 10 years. She received honorable mention for Best Choreography with Carteret Drama Program for the Papermill Playhouse Rising Star Awards. Danielle has also received top overall performances and choreography awards at various dance competitions.

Danielle loves to teach and share her passion for dance. She has taught competitive and recreational hip hop, Pom, and Jazz for the past 11 years. Danielle finds nothing more rewarding than sharing the love of dance with her students. She loves to see her students grow to their full potential and is excited to share her knowledge and passion with all the students at Rising Stars Studio of Dance!

Nik Palivado, Teaching Artist

Nik began dancing at a young age with his church's traditional Serbian Folk Dance group, Dukati, where he learned, performed and eventually choreographed professional and traditional repertory for 20 years. As an adult, he trained and performed with the dance programs at Middlesex County College, Montclair State University and Raritan Valley Community College. Nik has performed with the Nikki Manx Dance Project, T.MAJ Dance, for Freespace Dance, at several Dance NJ events, at the Koresh Showcase Series and is currently dancing with Luminarium Dance Company and The Kennedy Dancers. He Produces and Directs dance concerts with Main Street Theatre Company Community Theatre and at the UCPAC'S Hamilton Stage with the Rahway Arts + Business Partnership.

Melody Shanley, Teaching Artist

Miss Melody is a graduate of Montclair State University with a Bachelor Degree in physical education with an emphasis on dance. She received her dance teacher certification from Dance Educators of America. Dancing since the age of three, Melody continued her dance studies with Patricia Walcoff-McCusker, studio owner past president of the NJ Dance Theatre Guild now NJ Dance Theatre Ensemble. Miss Melody is a previous studio owner for over 29 years. She is a board member of Associated Dance Teachers of NJ and a member of Dance Educators of America. Miss Melody has an extensive gymnastics background and has won many state and national titles. Miss Melody specializes in early childhood dance education. Miss Melody enjoys being a part of the high-quality education her students achieve under her direction.


Miss Schuyler Van Allen, Teaching Artist

Miss Schuyler has been formally dancing since the age of six. As a child, she studied ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical. When she was ten, she began taking acro classes and discovered a talent for it. She competed on the floor exercise for her high school gymnastics team from 2008 to 2011. She was co-captain of her team and competed in two sectional championship competitions. Schuyler also acted and danced in many musical theater productions throughout her high school career. Following high school, Schuyler worked as an assistant teacher at a preschool while attending college. In 2016, Schuyler graduated from Kean University and now works as a public school third grade teacher. Schuyler loves teaching at Rising Stars! Seeing her students’ passion and excitement to learn gives her so much joy!

Miss Alexis Lyon, Teaching Artist

Miss Alexis Lyon has been dancing since the age of 3 1/2 with ballet, tap and jazz. At the age of 9 she started competing regionally and nationally solo and groups in lyrical, tap, jazz, modern, and hip. After High School, Alexis graduated from Rider University with 2 degrees; Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts with a concentration in Dance and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. While in college her dance classes were at the American Repertory Ballet's Princeton Ballet School where she took many classes from professionals and with professionals. She had the opportunity her senior year to not only work in the business office but substitute teach for both ballet and tap for adults. Since graduating from college in 2007. Alexis has been working full time and taught Tap for ages 5-18 both recreational and competitive for 6 years.

Miss Kaitlin Geoghegan, Teaching Artist

  Miss Kaitlin Has been dancing since the age of 2. She is experienced in Musical Theater,Jazz,HipHop, modern,Tap,Ballet,Contemporary and Lyrical. She has performed in different community theater productions around NJ since the age of 10 eventually moving to production staff in Directing,Choreographing, Stage managing and much more. After graduating HS kaitlin continued her dance training at Raritan Valley Studying with Lorreta Fois , Sabatino Verlezza , and Lisa Grimes .She currently sits on the Board of Trustees at Villagers Theater in Franklin NJ as Fundraising chair along with working with their Kidsvill program as a Director and Choreographer. Kaitlin has had her choreography performed at the American College Dance festival as well as the Raritan Valley traveling company and many concerts as well. Kaitlin is also the Assistant director of a preschool and works with children from the age of 6 weeks to 5years . She is so excited to bring her love of dance and theater to the next generation and keep this passion going!

Gianna Bovino, Teaching Artist

Miss Gianna has been dancing at Rising Stars for 12 years. She has experience in Contemporary, lyrical, acro, jazz, tap, ballet, musical theatre, and hip hop. She has also been competing for 5 years. Throughout her years of competing she has received many judges awards for power and strength. She also competed at NADAA where she received High Score 13-15 age division, TOP SCORE division and Highest Scoring routine of the competition! Miss Gianna plans on attending Raritan Valley Community College to study dance and business. She will later transfer to Montclair State University to continue her education. She excited to be teaching along side Miss.Schuyler in acro classes this year and can’t wait to see all my students grow and work towards more skills! She is so excited to be teaching this year at Rising Stars!

Miss Nancy Dow, Teaching Artist

Nancy Dow received her ballet training in New York City. She graduated with honors in Dance from Smith College. Injuries precluded a full performing career, but Ms. Dow loved to teach. She completed courses in ballet teacher training with Don Farnworth, and taught at his school in New York City. Nancy has expertise with all levels of ballet students, from five-year olds through adult professionals. She taught for ten years in Manhattan, and has taught extensively in Central New Jersey. Throughout her career, Nancy has directed, created and revamped ballet programs. Dancers from the Paul Taylor and Jose Limon dance companies took her classes. Former students went on to dance with New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Nancy Dow is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 7/partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Nancy was also featured in the July 2015 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine.

Sensei Dan Levatino,Karate Teaching Artist

     Sensei Dan Levatino has been teaching at Rising Stars for 7 years. Currently he is a 4th degree black belt and has been studying karate since 1993 with San Lung Mui. Sensei Dan started teaching children and adults in 2001 and his passion of the art shows in his abilities of his students.

     Sensei Dan is an expert in San Lung Tao (the way of three dragons) which is a combination of Jujutsu, Kung Fu, Shotokan, Ninjutsu and tae kwon do. Students of San Lung Mui at Rising Stars partictpate in tournaments where they have won medals in sparring and weapons katas. He has also been recognized by his peers recieving the prestigious award for outstanding dedication to Martial Arts in 2011 from Action Martial Arts magazine hall of honors. Sensei Dan is excited to continue to work with the students at Rising Stars!

Student Assistant Teachers 20/21


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