We are extremely proud of the outstanding and diversified "Nardi Faculty". These accomplished dance educators are fully committed to inspire, challenge and offer new experiences to each dance class they teach, while always keeping our studio fresh and on top of the dance industry. Their artistic and unique styles of teaching allow our students exceptional training and the gift of artistry. Please review the list of dance instructors below to see their bios and professional back round.
Assistant Dance Directors
Mary Jo Moninghoff (Alumni 2003)
Mary Jo received her training at Nardi Dance Studios. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, pointe, theatre, and hip hop for 14 years. Mary Jo received her BA in Dance Education and Performance from Cedar Crest College in January of 2008, focusing in the genres of ballet, jazz, tap, and modern. During her time at Cedar Crest College, Mary Jo choreographed several pieces for the Performing Arts Department, as well as performed in numerous dance pieces. She was Dance Company Manager her senior year, and was also Secretary of Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre sorority. In May of 2007, Mary Jo received her Zumba certification, and now teaches Zumba at various venues. Mary Jo was also a member of the Precious Metal Dance Team (Lehigh Valley Steelhawks) for five years and danced professionally at the PPL Center for the Steelhawks' home games. In addition to teaching, Mary Jo has choreographed for Warren Hills Regional High School 2009-2014. Shows include: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Moby Dick! The Musical, Legally Blonde The Musical, Godspell, and Once Upon a Mattress. Mary Jo still continues to study dance at Broadway Dance Center in New York City as well as various venues in the Lehigh Valley. Last summer she attended the Dance Teacher Summit in New York City. This past year at Nardi’s, Mary Jo helped organize our 3rd Annual Choreography Showcase, had fun with three different Nardi birthday parties, and went to New York City to see the Rockettes with some of her students. She also attended four competitions with our new Performance Company and had the pleasure of working with our moms and dads on Mommy, Daddy and Me. Mary Jo is currently Assistant Director at Nardi Dance Studio.
Arenda Pagats (Alumni 2007)
Arenda has been dancing for 25 years and teaching professionally for 9 years. She has learned many dance forms throughout her childhood and while furthering her dance education including Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical and Modern. She is currently the Assistant Director at Nardi Dance Studios, Owner/Director of Grand Jeté Studio of Dance, Tap Ties Dance Company Member, Dance Coordinator for the Precious Metal Dance Team (Lehigh Valley Steelhawks) and a Blue Status Presenter with Younique Cosmetics. When she's not busy in the studio she likes to spend her free time with her husband and family and taking classes. She can be seen taking community classes, conventions and workshops in the Lehigh Valley, NYC and New Jersey including Jump Dance Tour, 24/7 Dance Convention, Big Apple Tap Festival, The Dance Teacher Summit and Tap Ties Festival Classes just to name a few. Some accomplishments Arenda has made includes an Annual Youth Dance Clinic that hosts over 100 children ages 3-18 for a one day event that she's been organizing for 7 years. She also has now won multiple special awards with our Performance Companies for her choreography.
Jill earned her BA in Dance from DeSales University with an emphasis on Dance Management. She has furthered her training with dance masters: Buster Brown, LaVaughn Robinson, Shelley Oliver, Germaine Salsberg, and Diane Walker. Jill’s additional dance experiences include: being a faculty member for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Dance Department, Richmond Dance Center, Assistant Entertainment Manager for Busch Entertaining Corporation Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA, and Osaka, Japan. Jill has shared her diverse dance experience with: T.A.P. Company, Cedar Crest College, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Third Coast Rhythm Project in San Antonio, TX, Lehigh University and Moravian College. She is currently a performer and founding member of "Tap Ties", a community based professional tap company that celebrates National Tap Dance Day. Jill has been at Nardi Studios for fifteen years.
Morgan Hammerstone (Alumni 2012)
Morgan Hammerstone graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with her BS in Mathematics and MS in Mathematics Education. She currently teaches high school math. Morgan grew up studying dance for fourteen years at Nardi Dance Studios, and was also a cheerleader all through high school. She furthered her dance training and fulfilled her competitive edge as she became a member of the Saint Joseph’s University Dance Team. Being a member of the SJUDT, Morgan dedicated countless days and hours for practices, workout sessions, guest appearances, school events and competitions. Morgan has performed at SJU men’s and women’s basketball games, Phillies’ games, events at the Philadelphia Art Museum, and has taken countless master hip-hop classes with many respected and well-known choreographers and master teachers. Morgan’s greatest accomplishment as a member of this team is that she is a 3X UDA College Division I National Champion (Hip Hop: 2014, 2015 Pom: 2015). She has also received second and third place in the competition. These competitions are among the most elite Division I college teams. To prepare for such a high level of competition and to become successful, Morgan has learned and stresses the importance of not only hard work but also working together as one group, to be at your very best.
Jackie Moyer grew up dancing and acting in the Lehigh Valley. She continued her dance education at DeSales University, where she received a B.A. in dance in 2007. While at DeSales, Jackie trained with many reputable dance artists such as Trinette Singleton, Lynne Mariani, Tara Madsen Robbins, Tim Cowart, and many more. She was cast in many main stage dance productions at DeSales, as well as a couple main stage musical theater productions. Most memorably, she was cast as “Anita” in West Side Story in 2004. Since graduating from DeSales, Jackie has been teaching and choreographing locally. Most recently she had the pleasure of teaching at Dynamix Dance Center, until it’s closing in 2015. At Dynamix, Jackie proudly taught most advanced level technique classes, and choreographed for the studio’s competition team, for which she earned several 1st place awards and choreography awards. Jackie has also been lucky enough to begin her professional dance career right out of college. She has danced with ContempraDance Theatre in Philadelphia, and Melange Contemporary Dance Company in Pottstown, with whom she has had the privilege of performing both nationally and internationally. Currently, Jackie is a dancer and choreographer for DanceEthos Performance Company, which is based in the Lehigh Valley. Her choreography with this company has been performed in the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, and New York. Most recently, her choreography was presented at the well renowned Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater in Manhattan. Along with being a company member with DanceEthos, Jackie continues to work with various freelance dance artists in the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, and New York. Jackie is thrilled to become a faculty member at Nardi Dance Studios! She looks forward to cultivating a thriving, creative, hard-working, sweat-inducing environment in her classroom!
Graceanne Ruggiero (Alumni 2012)
Graceanne studied dance intensively at Nardi Studios for twelve years, training in Ballet with Carol Sarik and in tap with Jill Fritzgerald. She has been an assistant and substitute teacher for the last four years. She graduated in 2016 from Muhlenberg College, where she studied Environmental Science and Secondary Education. While in college, Graceanne was heavily involved in the dance program, continuing her dance training with teachers such as Karen Dearborn, Heidi Cruz-Austin and Trinette Singleton from the Joffrey Ballet. She performed in many student and faculty-choreographed works and was a member of Muhlenberg’s high caliber tap ensemble under the direction of Shelly Oliver. In her final college performance, she danced as a soloist in a classical ballet piece. Graceanne is an extraordinary dancer and teacher, and we are proud to have her on our faculty.
Carol received her early training at the Princeton Ballet and the Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts. She performed professionally as a member of the Shore Ballet and Carolyn Dorfman Modern Dance Company. Her educational training continued at the Royal Ballet School in London. She operated her own school in Jamesburg, NJ for over 17 years. Carol is also affiliated with the Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Carol has been at Nardi Studios for fifteen years, and is our lead ballet teacher and advisor for many of our ballet programs which also includes our Pixie Scholarship Program. This program has helped serious students to get additional ballet training and advance their dance education.
Eden is a performer, choreographer, and dance educator originating in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is a recent graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in dance, accompanied by two minors in entrepreneurship and family, youth, and community sciences. Her performance credits range from her hometown stretching along the east coast to as south as central Florida. She has been selected to represent honorary faculty members in main stage productions throughout her college career as well as staging multiple dance works of her own. Eden continues to train under some of the most influential dance masters in the business in New York City, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Orlando, FL, and beyond. With years of teaching experience, Eden continues to spread her passion for dance throughout the Lehigh Valley, tri-state, and surrounding areas. While growing up in the Lehigh Valley, she has had the opportunity to work with many local studios, patronize artistic productions, present choreography in local venues, perform in numerous productions, and compete in the area as a title holding soloist. Eden’s enthusiasm and love for her craft keeps her work at a cutting-edge level that pushes dancers and herself to raise the bar constantly. She is ecstatic to return to the tri-state area and assimilate back into her deeply loved dance family. ______________________________________________________________________________________
Melissa graduated from Cedar Crest College with a B.A. in Dance and a B.A. in Theater in 2010. Upon graduating she began dancing professionally for Monarch Dance Company under the direction of Tabatha Robinson-Scott. With MDC she has performed at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, The Manhattan Movement and Arts Center and various venues in the Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley area. In 2014, Melissa was promoted to Assistant Director. In 2015 she helped to create Mariposa, a high school apprentice program with Monarch Dance Company. Melissa has served as a choreographer for many musicals at the Pennsylvania Playhouse in Bethlehem including, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Drowsy Chaperone, State Fair, Annie Get Your Gun, The Music Man and this summer's Big, the Musical. Melissa was also a guest choreographer for In Motion Dance Company in Chester, NJ. Her piece, Amour Propre was performed at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater and Carnegie Hall. In 2013, Melissa's work, The Marlborough Set was selected to be performed at the Emerging Artist Showcase at the Spring Up Dance Festival. In 2014, her piece, Swamptronica was also selected. Melissa has been on the faculty at Nardi Dance Studios, East Coast Dance Connection and the Pennsylvania Youth Theatre where she serves as a choreographer for the Mosaic Dance Companies and worked as the Education and Outreach Coordinator. Melissa is also the choreographer for Whitehall High School Theater Company. During the day, Melissa works in Member Services for the JCC in Allentown.