Alyssa “Aly” Ross is a graduate of Hofstra University where she received a Batchelor of Science in Dance Education. Aly coordinated and choreographed many dance based events and organizations such as Danceworks Productions and Hofstra’s Dance Marathon. Her choreography credits include: Hofstra University; Danceworks Productions (“Heads Will Roll!”), Student Repertory (“Ice Crystals”), Hofstra’s Main Stage Musical (Into the Woods), Theater NextDoor’s Competitive Dance Company, Aspire PAC, Dance Theatre of NJ and Broadway Theater Workshop. Aly has also been the Director of Performing Arts for White Pines Day Camp at the Wayne YMCA where she directs and choreographs throughout the summer and will continue this position during the year. Aly’s dance training includes Hofstra University, Dance Theatre of NJ’s Competition Company, Boston Conservatory Musical Theatre Dance Intensive, and Stepping Out School of Dance. She has had the privilege of working with famous choreographers in Dana Foglia (Beyoncé), “Willdabeast” Adams (Step Up 6, Usher, T-Pain, Madonna, SYTYCD, Disney Channel), Al Blackstone (SYTYCD, Freddie Falls in Love) and Andy Blankenbuehler (In the Heights, Hamilton: An American Musical, SYTYCD) to name her favorites.
Cassandra Barckett (Dance Instructor) is currently a Junior at William Paterson University majoring in Communications with an Emphasis on Theatre and Comedy. She is a theatre performer and a dancer and she is part of a theatre group that she has been with for 5 years called the Rosetta Lenoire Musical Theatre Academy also known as Amas Musical Theatre in New York City performing Off-Broadway. Credits with them include Jesus Christ Superstar(Simon Zealotes), Hair(Jeanie), Urinetown(Little Becky Two Shoes), Gypsy(Danty June), Fame(Iris Kelly), Guys and Dolls(Miss Adelaide), 9 to5(Candy Striper), and The Music Man(Maud) also got an award called the Ozzie Davis Leadership Award for showing leadership and a student who is willing to learn. Other favorite shows include Footloose(Vi Moore), Beauty and The Beast(Ensemble/Wolf/Utensil), Urinetown(Senator Fipp/Josephine Strong), Ghost(June/Passerby/Nun/Poltergeist Dancer), Pippin(Player/Featured Dancer), and The Wizard of Oz(Dorothy Gale). She is a graduate from Passaic Valley Regional High School where she was in Choir for all four years and got the choral award for excellence in leadership, did drama club where she performed in two Christmas shows Elf(Ensemble/Featured Dancer), Christmas in the Land of Oz(Dancer/Ensemble), and The Wedding Singer(Ensemble). She has been dancing for 14 years at 5-6-7-8 Dance Studio in Totowa, NJ since she was 4 and has been singing since she was 6. One of her dreams was to be a dance teacher and she is so thrilled to be teaching at Theatre Next Door & Dance Life Academy!
Alissa Dorey (Dance Instructor) is currently a student at Hanover Park High School. In school, she performed in various productions including Annie as Tessie, Legally Blonde as Margot, and Aladdin as the Genie! Alissa has also helped direct various shows such as Cinderella, Aladdin, and Into the Woods. Furthermore, Shes been a part of many Theatre Next Door & Dance Life Academy’s productions such as The Little Mermaid where she played Sebastian, the Wizard of Oz where she played Dorothy, and Peter Pan as Wendy. Other shows she was in include Footloose, High school Musical, and Glee.
Alissa has been dancing for 14 years. 12 of those years were at Dance Life Academy and she is so excited to be passing down all the skills she learned from the amazing teachers there to the equally as amazing students she is lucky enough to meet every year! When Alissa was 9 she started doing competitive dancing. She has won many awards and loves going back to the competitions every year to see her students compete like she once did. In addition to dancing Alissa also sang for many years competitively. She recently got to take a masterclass with a singer from the Broadway show Hamilton.
Beside singing and dancing Alissa participates in and coaches competitive cheerleading. She has been cheerleading for 11 years and has been coaching for 5 years. In 2015 and in 2018 Alissa was lucky enough to be a cheerleader in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Alissa fell in love with the art of singing, acting, and dancing at a young age and hopes to help her students feel the same way!
Laura is a classically trained singer of 20 years. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from William Paterson University with a Vocal Performance degree in 2005, received her New Jersey Music Teacher's Certification in 2012. Laura completed her Masters Degree in Teaching December of 2015. Her research included in-depth focus on the adolescent changing voice. Laura gained expertise and further understanding of the physical and emotional aspects of young singers (males and females) going through vocal change, and applies that knowledge in the studio. She has traveled and performed around the world in countries including Italy, Tanzania, and Switzerland. She has trained with Juilliard professors including Mr. Daniel Ferro, Mr. Robert Kopelson, and Bruno Rigacci in the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program in Chianti, Italy. Laura has also trained with professionals in a performance-based music program for emerging artists called Opera Works, run by Ann Baltz in Los Angeles, California. She currently enjoys teaching students in piano and all areas of the voice and loves to perform all musical genres.
Victoria Strata is a New Jersey native and has been dancing since the age of three. She is a Summa cum laude graduate from Montclair State University in May of 2019, where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in dance in just 3 years. She has performed in MainStage works by Jessie DiMauro, Christian Von Howard, Nancy Lushington, Kathleen Kelly, Earl Mosley, Abby Zbikowski, and Maxine Steinman. Strata has also studied with other renowned artists and choreographers at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Intensive in Los Angeles, California, at VIM VIGOR’s Intensive in Summit, New Jersey, and at the Movement Invention Project in Manhattan, New York. After graduating, she had the wonderful opportunity to train with the Limón Dance Company as a part of their professional training program under the director of Kathryn Alter and Collin Conner. She performed restaged works of Limón’s masterpieces such as A Choreographic Offering, and Psalm. Victoria was given a scholarship to attend the program, and after a short time of training, I was invited to participate in company class with the Limón Company dancers weekly. Victoria has most recently been hired as a dancer and collaborator for the artist Reza Farkhondeh.
Krystle Lyn Tomlinson
Krystle Lyn Tomlinson is thrilled to be joining the “Theatre Next Door” team this year! Krystle started a youth theater group in NJ at the young age of 14 and has directed various musicals such as 'Circle Of Friends', 'Annie', '13', 'Mary Poppins', ‘Matilda’ as well as many showcases/cabarets/revues. Krystle is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. She started her theater journey as a child performer and some of her favorite credits include: Amateur Night at the Apollo, 'Crickett and the Little Girl Power'(TV Pilot ; Keesha), Hairspray(Lil Inez), The Wedding Singer(Tina Turner Impersonator), Cool Yule Winterfest at Kings Island(OH) & Carowinds(NC)(Lead Singer/Dancer), Sunset Party Mix at Kings Dominion(VA)(Lead Singer/Dancer) and most recently Chicago at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse(NH)(Annie). Aside from performing herself, Krystle is a former Dance Teacher at “Dancers Pointe” and teaches Musical Theater in the Essex County school districts. She has a true passion for teaching and she can’t wait to meet all her students!