CMG Dance Project

ABOUT US

Cinderella once said:

"A dream is a wish your heart makes..."

...and for this Cuban-American girl, the dream of owning her own dance studio came true!

At CMG, dance is truly our passion. It’s not simply teaching steps to dancers, but sharing in the history and culture of this art form’s origins. We want to instill a genuine love of dance and inspire our students to be the best versions of themselves - on and off the dance floor.

CMG Dance Project
CMG Dance Project flamenco

Faculty

6T3A7370.jpg

Director & Master Teacher

CRISTINA M. GARCÍA

Cristina Michele Garcia, who most often goes by Cristy, began dancing when she was four years old. She trained for the following 16 years under the tutelage of Oneida Quevedo at Oneida's Dance Studio in Guttenberg, NJ. Here she studied an array of dance forms, including Flamenco, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Afro-Cuban, Tango, and Hip-Hop. She competed both regionally and nationally with her studio. She graduated from the academy in 2006, and was a faculty member on staff for over 10 years. While in college at the University of Pennsylvania, Cristy was a member of two companies- Penn Dance and Onda Latina. It was at Penn Dance, Penn's first performing dance company, where Cristy dove into modern and contemporary dance while learning about how to innovate with choreography and create expressive performances. Through her time at Onda Latina, Cristy immersed herself in her favorite Latin dance styles, including salsa, mambo, bachata, samba, and merengue. She served as the company's artistic director for over a year and performed with Onda Latina at the 2009 New York Salsa Congress. Additionally, Cristy, along with some of her closest dance friends, began their own dance company, Ritmo y Pasion, back in 2008. She received her Dance Educators of America Master Teaching Certificate in 2012. In the same year, while pursuing her MBA at IESE Business School in Barcelona, she was provided the opportunity to take her dancing internationally, where she performed and competed in Europe. Cristy has performed around the world, including a most recent performance on Broadway. While she truly enjoys performing, her true love is storytelling through choreography.

6T3A7405.jpg

Ballet, Acro

REANA GARCÍA

Lawyer by day, dancer by night, Reana has been dancing since the age of two. She studied all forms of dance, from Ballet to Afro-Cuban at Oneida’s Dance Studio. As a student, Reana won a full scholarship for the Dance Educators of America ballet seminar and won the Ballet Award in her graduating class. Reana also trained with the New Jersey Ballet and performed in their annual Nutcracker production. While attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Reana continued to train in the styles of Jazz and Modern dance. From the age of ten to fourteen, she cheered competitively at Star Athletics and trained in gymnastics. In college, she cheered Division 1 for the University of Massachusetts. Following college, Reana coached cheerleading at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island. Although, the road has had its twists and turns, one thing remains true: her passion for dance.

6T3A7409 copia.jpeg

Hip-Hop

VERONICA JULIANO

Veronica started her dance career at a young age and instantly fell in love with the style of Hip-Hop. The adrenaline and dance movement of Hip-Hop led her to many wonderful opportunities in her dance career. She has taught beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of Hip-Hop to children and adults of all ages for over 10 years. Veronica competed in America’s Best Dance Crew on MTV and did two consecutive dance tours in China with Rhythm City Entertainment. While a member of Rhythm City Entertainment for 8 years, she performed as a back-up dancer for reggaeton artists like J Balvin, and opened for Pitbull at the Megaton. She has toured across the United States and has been invited to perform several years at the famous World of Dance tour. Veronica has also done numerous TV performances on MTV and BET. Her excitement and passion for dance will show all over the dance floor. Her focus as a teacher is to help understand the movement of hip-hop, the style, and the energy. She loves to have fun while teaching and being able to share her style of choreography to others.

6T3A7397 copia.jpeg

Ballet

JESSICA PICHARDO

Jessica began dancing when she was five years old at the North Bergen Recreational Dance Program.  After four years of training, Jessica’s loving mother saw her passion and enrolled her in Oneida’s Dance Studio where she studied Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Flamenco, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Musical Theatre, Afro-Cuban, Hip-Hop, Tango, and Salsa. Here she competed in many regional and national competitions, including Dance Educators of America. Jessica graduated in 2006 with high honors in all forms of dance and was subsequently invited to the TG Gordon Dance Company.  While honing her craft, Jessica developed a passion for the art of teaching; she has taught Jazz, Tap, Flamenco, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Musical Theatre for over 10 years. Some of Jessica’s proudest accomplishments include competing in America’s Best Dance Crew Season 2 with her dance crew “SHHH!!,” receiving her Dance Educators of America Master Teaching Certificate, auditioning and making it to the top 10 for the Nets Dance team, auditioning and making it to top 30 for the Christmas Spectacular, and winning multiple best choreography awards at National competitions for Musical Theatre and Flamenco productions. Jessica loves performing and showing off her talents but, more than that, she enjoys teaching and watching her creativity come to life through her students’ talent.

tempImageForSave.jpg

Jazz, Hip-Hop

ALEXANDRA 'COCO' ROQUE

Alexandra started her dance career at the age of 4. She is a college graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a degree in General Biology. She has trained in many genres from Ballet to Pom Jazz to Afro-Cuban. Growing up, she competed both, regionally and nationally. Her competition experience began at Oneida’s Dance Studio in Guttenberg, NJ. In high school, she was on Varsity for the Paramus Catholic Dance Team for 4 years, winning National Titles in Myrtle Beach, SC. Alexandra was a member of the Creative Edge Dance Academy Elite Competition Team. In college, she spent her first two years as part of the Penn State Altoona Dance Team. She was appointed President of the dance team and was responsible for choreographing and teaching performance to routines for half-time shows for men and women’s basketball games. Alexandra was then selected out of 86 dancers to become a member of the all girls hip-hop team known as Whiplash at Penn State. She was then selected as the team's Finance Chair for THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Raising awareness for childhood cancer only intensified her dedication to the team, where she organized fundraisers and events to increase donations. She taught at MindBodyArt School of Dance in State College, Pennsylvania for 3 years, focusing on contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, and technique. Alexandra aims to encourage her students to become independent, strong, and motivated individuals inside and outside the studio. 

IMG-1885.JPG

Ballet

ERIKA SANT'AMBROGIO

Erika started her dance career at the age of 2 at Broadway Flair Dance Co. in Union, NJ. She joined the New Jersey School of Ballet in Livingston, NJ at the age 8 where her Ballet skills flourished while still training in multiple genres including Tap, Contemporary, Jazz, Character, and Modern. Erika also became an All-Star Player with The Paper Mill Theatre School and started vocal training at the Calderone School of Music. At the age of 13, Erika attended summer intensives with the Eglevsky Ballet and Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet. She performed with the NJB Company in their productions of Hansel & Gretel, Beauty & the Beast, Cinderella, and The Nutcracker. Erika joined the NJB Junior Company in 2003, traveling for their many performances, specifically their Nutcracker seasons from 2000 – 2007. She gained her first soloist role with NJB in Hansel & Gretel in 2001, performing as the Fox in a pas de deux and then the coveted role of Clara in The Nutcracker in 2004. During this time, Erika was chosen to dance the duet role of the Manu girl with The Kirov Ballet from Russia at The Metropolitan Opera House in the summer of 2002 while The Kirov was touring overseas. Erika is a graduate of Muhlenberg College, with a double major in Dance (studying Modern, Ballet and Jazz) and Neuroscience, finishing with a Bachelor of Science. She then went on to obtain her Masters at Seton Hall University and now works as a Physician Assistant in Emergency Medicine. Erika enjoys teaching and coaching students on the principles of Ballet and educating them on how these techniques create a strong foundation for all genres of dance.

6T3A7420 copia.jpeg

Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Acro, My Dancer & Me

MEREDITH TESTA

Meredith began her dance training at the age two. By the time she received her B.A. in Dance and Anthropology from Muhlenberg College, she had studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip-Hop, and Modern dance. Her choreographic works include Sinternet!: The Musical and the CheckIt! Dance Festival in Central Park. She has performed in the Six Meters Improvisational Dance Ensemble and productions for CheckIt! Dance, Indecorous Theatre Company, Snapped Productions, West Hudson Arts and Theatre Company, and The Secret Theatre. She has taught Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Creative Movement to students of many ages and also works as an SAT tutor.

IMG_7704.JPG

Jazz, Tap

NATASHA TYJER-MÉNDEZ

Natasha began taking dance classes at Gloria Frances School of Performing Arts at the age of 8.  Two years later, she was accepted to the school’s competition team - The Dance Edition - where she competed regionally and nationally, winning numerous awards and scholarships.  While attending the University of Pennsylvania, Natasha was a member of Arts House Dance Company and Onda Latina. Arts House gave Natasha the opportunity to try her hand at choreographing different styles of dance, including Tap, Jazz, and Hip-Hop. Onda Latina introduced Natasha to the world of Latin dance, something she had never experienced before.  In 2008, she and some friends founded Ritmo y Pasión. The group was invited to perform in New Jersey and Miami. As a full-time teacher, first in Newark, then in Jersey City, Natasha brought her love of dance to school. Not only would you find her students dancing in class, she also founded and coached dance teams that performed at basketball games and concerts.  Currently working as a Math Teacher Coach in Orange, NJ, Natasha looks for every opportunity to infuse her love of dance to others.

unnamed.jpg

Ballet, Lyrical, Flamenco

ISABELLA ZAPATA

Isabella started her dance studies at the young age of 6. After a trip to Spain, she fell in love with Flamenco and begged her mother to find classes for her in the New Jersey area. At age 9, Isabella started her Flamenco studies at Oneidas Dance studio where she also trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Salsa, and Afro-Cuban. Isabella earned her Ballet Bar Certification from Dance Educators of America with High Honors. She attended Muhlenberg College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. Her studies focused on a plethora of Modern Dance Techniques and Ballet while also becoming an expert in Dance History. In 2011, Isabella attended a Flamenco internship in Sevilla, Spain under Rocío Albenis. Isabella has taught at multiple dance schools and recreation centers across New Jersey for the past 10 years. She is passionate about educating students on becoming convincing performers with strong technique. You can find her taking class at Peridance (NYC), ODC Dance Commons (CA), or with Xianix Barrera (Flamenco Artist NYC). Isabella is excited to be a part of the CMG family. Now let’s dance and win some trophies!

6T3A8198.jpg

Salsa

LUIS A. RIVERA SÁNCHEZ

A native of Puerto Rico, Luis began his dancing career at his grandparents' Christmas parties, where his aunts taught him the basics of salsa and merengue at a young age. In high school, he held lead roles in every school play and participated in numerous talent show performances, including choreographing salsas, tangos, and bomba routines with his colleagues and friends. While in college at the University of Pennsylvania, Luis joined Onda Latina, Penn's premier Latin dance troupe where he also served as Business Manager and Vice President. His experience in Onda Latina allowed him to explore his love for Latin styles, but more importantly his passion for choreographing. After college, Luis taught Salsa to students of all ages for 5 years. He also joined Ritmo y Pasión dance company, founded in 2008. While completing his MBA at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Luis led his school's salsa team to victory at MBAT 2013 (Europe's largest gathering of MBA students) in Paris. While Luis enjoys the art of performing, his passion lies in teaching life lessons to younger generations through the common experience of dance. CMG Dance Project is the perfect place to continue this mission.

INTERESTED IN JOINING OUR TEAM?

CONTACT US

Thank you! We'll be in touch with you soon.