MEET OUR STAFF

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LIZ FANNING, DIRECTOR

Liz Fanning launched Great South Bay Dance in 2009, initiating an after-school dance instruction program at St. Martin of Tours School and a summer dance program at Amityville Village Beach. She initiated additional dance programs subsequently at the Town of Babylon’s Tanner Park in Copiague and at public libraries across Long Island. She is certified by Dance Educators of America.

Her various programs grew and proved popular with dancers and their parents alike, prompting numerous requests for additional classes in a studio. In response, Ms. Fanning opened the Great South Bay Dance studio in Amityville in 2012.

She and the studio staff have since developed an extensive curriculum focusing on rigorous, disciplined dance technique; and the personal growth, achievement, and joy of each dancer.

In 2014, at the request of a dance parent, Ms. Fanning also developed a class she has since conducted and choreographed for young dancers in wheelchairs who are nevertheless able and exhilarated to participate with other dancers in a dance class and dance performance.

Since late 2015, she has served as president of the Amityville Chamber of Commerce. In spring 2017, she was appointed to the Suffolk County Citizens Advisory Board for the Arts, which recommends arts grants awarded by the Suffolk County Legislature.

Ms. Fanning was raised in Amityville, New York, where she attended St. Martin of Tours School. During her high school and college years, she worked summers at Amityville Village Beach as an instructor and then as supervisor of the sailing program.

Long after starting her dance lessons at age 4, Ms. Fanning discovered the joy of dance and her calling as a dance instructor while attending Boston University, where she majored in anthropology and minored in business.

Ms. Fanning performed with a Boston dance company and began teaching dance in Boston during her final years at BU. After graduating and returning home, she secured positions with numerous dance schools across Long Island, teaching ballet, hip hop, jazz, and tap. At Long Island Academy of Dance, Ms. Fanning choreographed numerous hip hop competition dances that won overall high scores. From 2005 to 2009, she studied carefully the distinctive dynamics and strengths of each school at which she taught, in preparation for the dance programs and dance studio she anticipated establishing.

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DOROTA SZTABINSKI, OFFICE MANAGER

Dorota Sztabinski has been a Great South Bay Dance mom since 2010, when both of her daughters started dancing at the St. Martin of Tours after-school dance program and then at the studio.

Mrs. Dee has served as dance studio receptionist since August 2016. Her patience and caring nature have proved invaluable for the demanding work. Her attention to detail and excellent communication skills are instrumental when attending to needs of dance students and their parents. Mrs. Dee has an associate degree in nursing (ADN).

Mrs. Dee’s favorite dance quote, from Martha Graham, is “Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body.”

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AMANDA BAYNE, INSTRUCTOR

Since Amanda Bayne was a little girl, she has been passionate about the performing arts. Amanda has received training from numerous dance studios throughout Long Island since she was 5 years old. Whether it was summer intensives, master classes, competition teams, or performances, Amanda has always loved learning new choreography and styles of dance from various instructors. These instructors included former Broadway performers, acting and singing coaches, and professional dancers. Amanda has been trained in the dance genres of classical ballet, American ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, contemporary, hip-hop, break dance, and musical theater.

 

In addition to her training, Amanda has experience as a dance teacher at multiple studios on Long Island. She was also given the opportunity to choreograph for her peers in her High School’s dance ensemble. During her three years in the Lindenhurst Dance Ensemble, Amanda improved both her technique and choreography skills while working with a diverse group of dancers. After high school, Amanda continued to pursue her passion for dance by taking dance classes at Nassau Community College, and sharing her technique and choreography with her dance students on Long Island.

 

Outside of the dance studio, Amanda is the mother of two little girls and an ENL teacher in the Amityville School District

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STACEY CHIESA, INSTRUCTOR

Bio coming soon!

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MICHELLE HESSE, INSTRUCTOR

Bio coming soon!

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GABE MESHACH, INSTRUCTOR

Bio coming soon!

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REBECCA KENDER, INSTRUCTOR

Rebecca Kender has been Irish dancing since 2005. She started as a competitive dancer and now tours with a professional company. Ms. Kender is currently the Lead Dancer for Rhythm in the Night: The Irish Dance Spectacular, and the company’s Christmas show, Carol of the King. She joined the company in 2017 and has performed in venues across the US, including a week-long residency at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Fla. 

Ms. Kender has competed in prestigious Irish dance events in Ireland, England, and across the US, such as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Oireachtas and the North American Irish Dance Nationals in solo and Ceili competitions.

Ms. Kender was ranked third in the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Region competition and qualified to represent the US in the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 World Championships. She has competed in the All-Ireland Championships, the Great Britain Championships, and the Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne (World Championships) in Boston, Montreal, London, and Scotland. 

Ms. Kender loves sharing her passion and knowledge of Irish Dance with all of her students. 

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ASHLEY PICO, INSTRUCTOR

Bio coming soon!

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VITA SNIPP, YOGA INSTRUCTOR

Vita has been practicing yoga for over 15 years. It wasn’t until her first prenatal yoga class that she fell in love with yoga beyond the physical aspects.  She signed up in hopes to simply bond with her baby and prepare for childbirth. Although nothing can truly prepare one for the impact of parenthood, that prenatal yoga class gave Vita more than she ever could have imagined. The experience changed her life and prompted her to pursue a career in yoga.

 

As her children grew from inside her body to the outside world, her yoga journey has evolved from prenatal & post natal to baby-and-me & kids yoga. She completed Breathe N Flow's RYS 200-hour yoga teacher training as well as their 85-hour prenatal yoga teacher training. Additionally, she went on to obtain a 95-hour kids yoga certification with Kidding Around Yoga.

 

In Vita's classes, you can expect her to assist you in deepening your practice, whether you're looking to build physical strength, increase flexibility, or foster a sense of inner calm and peace. Through simple movements, positive intentions, and a little fun, Vita is honored to share her love of yoga and all of its benefits with you. 

 

Vita believes that yoga is for everyone. Her practice inspires and reminds her to be fully present in each moment, on or off the mat. She is truly grateful for the wisdom she has gained from her teachers. She considers herself a forever student of the practice, believing we never stop evolving and growing.

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JENNIFER SUDOL, INSTRUCTOR

teacher, choreographer and dancer is a graduate of the Cultural Arts Center. She received her B.F.A. from Adelphi University under the direction of Norman Walker. Jennifer went on to work with Carmen deLavallade and Regina Larkin on a demonstration of the Horton modern dance technique and the works of Joyce Trisler as an educational reference for the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.

 

Jennifer has worked with various independent choreographers and has been a featured dancer in film and for dance companies such as the Fedicheva Ballet and The Bare Bones Dance Project. Her innovative choreography has been showcased for production companies, concerts and dance and theatre programs where she has staged ballets, operas and musical theatre works. For over fifteen years she taught technique class at the Long Island High School for the Arts, helping students achieve their goals for college and the professional dance world.

 

Many of her talented students are gracing the stages performing with dance companies here and abroad, on Broadway and in television and film productions. Jennifer has established herself as a well known teacher, coach and dance mentor for the Long Island area.

JENNIFER DRAGO, RECEPTIONIST

Jennifer has been a member of the Great South Bay Dance Staff since 2018, but a dance mom of the studio for much longer. 


Jennifer started on the stage at the age of 8 and never looked back. She attended the Long Island Performing Arts Center for nine years and went on to become an instructor of Musical Theater there as well. Along with those productions, she was also heavily involved in local community theaters. 
 

For the last eight years she has enjoyed watching all four of her children discover a love of the arts and performing. Getting a front row seat to watch them blossom into confident individuals has been incredible. Working at the studio has afforded her the opportunity to really get to know the students and develop deeper relationships with all of the dance families. Playing even the smallest part in their journey to appreciating the arts, in all their forms, is something she will always been thankful for.

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ARLINE GARBARINI, RECEPTIONIST

Arline Garbarini has staffed the desk since the studio’s opening in 2012. “Mrs. G,” a retired English professor, was an active arts patron and she served as minister of cultural arts for her young granddaughters, one of whom later became a dance teacher, choreographer, and studio director.