130 Dolson Avenue
Middletown, NY 10940
professional instruction for children, teens & adults
To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.
Hopi Indian Saying
An alumnus of the prestigious High School of Performing Arts (profiled in the film “Fame”), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Scholarship Recipient, Miss Claudia attended New York University and continued her studies with many of the top national dance educators and as a member of Charles Moore Dance Theatre.
Miss Claudia’s dance training began at the age of seven with ballet, and includes years of professional level study and performance in Horton, Graham and Dunham modern dance techniques, jazz dance, advanced classical ballet, character dance, floor barre and dance therapy for children and adults challenged by special needs. Miss Claudia holds certifications in Pilates, Hatha Yoga, Personal Training and Autism Movement Therapy.
As a dance instructor, Miss Claudia has trained a number of dancers who have gone on to dance professionally in New York City and throughout the world. Many of her graduates have been accepted into professional college training programs around the country including the following all located in New York City: Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS), The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (both the Scholarship and Summer Intensive Programs), Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, The Julliard School, The Joffrey Ballet School, Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet and Steps On Broadway..
Throughout her career, Miss Claudia has performed at numerous venues including NYC’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Town Hall, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Jacob’s Pillow, Henry Street Settlement and NYC’s Dance Mobile.
Passionate about teaching dancers how to take care of themselves and prolong their careers, Miss Claudia is the Founder and Artistic Director of Sunshine Dance Ensemble.
Miss April began her training with the New Paltz Ballet Theater at age three. Through age eighteen, while with the company, she studied both ballet and jazz with instructors who previously danced with the Houston Ballet, New York City Ballet, The Hartford Ballet and the Radio City Rockettes. As both a child and teen Miss April’s extensive dance experience has included various roles in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. An avid and accomplished swing dancer, she has trained with some of the most influential Lindy Hoppers in the world. Miss April is currently a member of The Big Apple Lindy Hoopers and The Lindy Hop All-Stars, two New York based swing dance companies that perform monthly throughout the country. She is also affiliated with Chester’s Cool Cats & Kittens Performance Group. Both an actress and vocalist she has performed in several musical theater productions. Miss April is also a certified Zumba Instructor and has performed Hip Hop/Zumba routines at WNBA Pre-Game and Half Time Shows at Madison Square Garden. Miss April holds associate degrees in both Human Services and Early Childhood Education, K-12 Dual Certification in General & Special Education, Autism Movement Therapy Certification and a Bachelor’s Degree in Disabilities Studies.
Miss Alyssa began training gymnastics at the age of six.From ages twelve to seventeen, she was a competitive gymnast, where she developed strength and artistic abilities that led her all the way to level 10 (the highest level of skill). Miss Alyssa went on to study at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. While continuing her education, Miss Alyssa joined the Rutgers Division I Swimming and Diving team as a diver, even though she had minimal knowledge of the sport. Miss Alyssa used her experiences as a gymnast to assist in her development as a diver which resulted in rapid acceleration to participation the highly competitive Big Ten Conference. By her Junior and Senior years of college, Miss Alyssa was able to maintain incredible scores as a diver in the 1-Meter and 3-Meter springboard events. Miss Alyssa became a Team Captain, consistently placed top 3 in competitions, broke records, and was a two-time Honorable Mention, All-American Athlete in the 3-Meter event. This top sixteen finish in the Division I NCAA National Competitions led to Miss Alyssa’s various accolades, including: Rutgers Junior Female Athlete of the Year (2016) award, NCAA Woman of the Year (2017) nomination, and the Rutgers Headly-Singer and Werblin awards (2017). Her extensive background in gymnastics and love and dedication to the sport of diving is what propelled her to become so successful and are the same skills and expertise that she brings to her role as Acro Instructor at Sunshine Dance Studio. Miss Alyssa graduated from Rutgers with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Economics and continues her passion for stunting by sharing her extensive knowledge of the joys of gymnastics and how it applies to Acro movement. As Sunshine’s Acro Instructor, she enthusiastically incorporates elements of gymnastics and diving into dance, while maintaining a safe environment.
Michael “MJ” Edwards Jr
MJ joins the Sunshine Team just as he begins his first year at the prestigious Julliard School in New York City. Originally a resident of Middletown, MJ began his dance training at Sunshine Dance Studio under the direction of Miss Claudia. MJ went on to receive scholarships at Steps on Broadway, American Ballet Theatre, MOVE(NYC), French Academie of Ballet, and The Juilliard School Summer Dance Intensive. MJ attended LaGuardia High School (featured in the film “Fame”) until sophomore year before leaving to study with the San Francisco Ballet School, once again on scholarship. At the San Francisco Ballet School MJ performed with the company in many of their ballets including the Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty. MJ has achieved multiple awards such as the San Francisco Ballet School 2018-2019 Choreographic Fellowship, where he had the opportunity to choreograph on the students of the San Francisco Ballet School and have his piece “Constant Search” performed in the schools 2019 Spring Festival Showcase. MJ is also a 2019 YoungArts Winner in Modern/Contemporary, as well as a 2019 Meringoff Family Foundation Valedictory Prize Winner. More recently MJ has been abroad studying with Batsheva Dance Company’s 2019 Summer intensive and Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s 2019 Summer Intensive in Israel. MJ is currently a member of the class of 2023 at The Juilliard School.
Miss Emily began studying ballet at age 4 and danced until age 18 at Dancer’s Studio. Her technical training also includes jazz technique. She was a member of the Warwick Ballet Theater and performed with the company for several years. As an adult she studied Horton Technique and immediately fell in love with it.
As a teen, Miss Emily studied ballet at the Briansky Summer Intensive in Saratoga Springs, New York and continued taking ballet classes in college at University of Vermont, where is obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She is a Licensed Master of Social Work with a Master’s Degree from Fordham University.
In her career as a social worker, Miss Emily has ten years experience working with children and families with the majority of her time spent working with children in foster care. Miss Emily brings a unique blend of artistic and practical experience to her work at Sunshine Dance Studio: “I’m very passionate about our Adaptive Creative Movement classes. I know how much dance helped me throughout my childhood and adolescence. Dance has always been physically and emotionally therapeutic for me. It’s also social and fun! Children with special needs are often denied the opportunity to participate in dance classes for a variety of reasons. It has been a joy and an honor to provide these students with the ability to have a fun, safe, creative outlet to express themselves.”
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Classes are highly interactive and gently structured to enhance your child's trust in his and her own creative expression. Dance techniques are integrated in age appropriate ways so that children have fun and enjoy the process of learning.
We offer high quality dance and fitness instruction for the absolute beginner to the professional level in a fun, safe, non-competitive atmosphere. With Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Tap, Ballet, Zumba, Pilates and Yoga - there’s something for everyone!