Samantha A Zaleski-Owner, Director
Samantha is excited to introduce the local dance community to a preparatory program for students pursuing the many opportunities the dance world has, beyond high school graduation. Technical development is top priority at Essential Elements Dance Studio. Samantha believes in instilling proper technique and revisiting the essentials in weekly Progression classes at the studio level. Further exposing the focused company dancer and supporting her individual creative outlet through performance opportunities and competitions. EEDS provides the complete contemporary dance experience through an organized series of Master Classes, In House Speakers and hands-on audition exposure and opportunities. Samantha hopes to bring an fresh perspective to the dance studio environment through the Essential Elements, which are key to all young dance students.
Samantha studied at Denville Dance Arts center for 15 years under the direction of Cara and Lyn Prester. Through her competitive dance training she was afforded many performance opportunities, in addition to regional and national competitions. She performed with The Oak Ridge Boys, The Drifters, The Charlie Daniels Band and Mary Wilson of The Supremes. Additionally, she studied at Broadway Dance Center with Frank Hatchett and many others. At DDAC, she received the no nonsense education etiquette that she shares with her students today. It was due to that experience, her lifelong goal to open a studio and create a home away from home for young dancers was born. After attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Samantha pursued a performance career and performed briefly with Carol Baskingers Dance Designs at prestigious venues such as Sardis in Manhattan with stars like Rosie Perez and Carol Burnette. During this time she performed at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. She credits her teaching style and focus to the years she was blessed to work with Robin Horneff at her studio in Waldwick, NJ (RHPAC). Robin's entire demeanor and approach to the business of dance education remains an inspiration and support to Samantha.
Miss Zaleski spent five years in Arizona where she was the co-director of the student dance company, Powerforce Dancers, her students performed at Disneyland regularly. There, she first experienced the diverse layers of the West Coast dance community. This is where Samantha feels she came alive as a dancer and choreographer. She was reinvigorated as a dancer at Phoenix area conventions and classes at The Edge where the LA influences brought an exciting new layer to her primarily NYC-based dance education. This is where her passion for Lyrical and Contemporary was born! She won numerous awards for her choreography at competitions in the Valley of the Sun. She spent the last ten years educating young girls at Colts Neck Dance and Performing Arts Academy, as the Director of the Competition Dance Company. Her competitive level classes were well attended and instilled the importance of technical focus and proper training. Here, Samantha was blessed to be surrounded by good-hearted women that shared every aspect of themselves and their gifted passion with their dedicated students. Many young dancers have been afforded opportunities through a strong technically based studio experience in her no nonsense style classes, such as Modeling for A Wish Come True Costumes, acceptance into summer programs at ABT in Manhattan and University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and even an appearance on the television hit SMASH! Her students have gone on to attend college dance programs and dance teams all over the country. Many of her recent graduates are currently studying with dance companies and programs at University of the Arts, Bucknell University, BYU, Wake Forest University, Cornell University, West Virginia University and University of Arizona.
Additionally, Samantha's students pursuing theater careers have had received stellar performance credits. One received two 2013 Count Basie Awards for outstanding Actress, and another performed this role of Nikki Bottom in Midsummer's Night Jersey in Scotland in the summer of 2013. She also has students currently dancing with Alvin Ailey and Parsons in Manhattan.
Samantha looks forward to sharing her passion with the next generation of students and affording them a well-rounded contemporary dance experience. Ever blessed with the love and support of her special family members, guardian angel, and friends, Samantha eagerly embraces the new endeavor as EEDS director and owner. Together, with the encouragement from her husband and two children, she is again reinvigorated to share her journey with every family at Essential Elements Dance Studio.
Amanda Esposito, Essential Elements Ballet Director, Season One to Present.
Amanda Esposito proudly returns to the Monmouth County area as Samantha Zaleski’s own protege. She has been on staff as Ballet Director at EEDS since the school’s inception in 2013 following her BS from Cornell University. She has danced for Rioult Dance NY, Ballet Hispanico and Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and has performed works by Robert Battle, William Forsythe, Ray Mercer, David Parsons, Pascal Rioult, Pedro Ruiz, Matthew Rushing, Paul Taylor, Eduardo Vilaro, William Whitener, and others. Ms. Esposito has toured nationally and internationally with the smash-hit Broadway show The Illusionists and has most recently served as the European run Dance Captain. She was the 2013 recipient of the Judith Jamison Scholarship. TV credits include Limitless (CBS), Tricked (iTV).
Ms. Esposito’s background in music (she is a graduate of the music program at The Juilliard School, Pre-College Division) medicine, adolescent and young adult psychology, and professional dance experience allows her to provide a truly comprehensive approach to her classes. Uncommonly, Ms. Esposito began teaching while performing professionally herself as is therefore able to combine practical in-studio experience, artistic voice, and her own systematic training. As Ballet Director, she brings her own training in both Cecchetti and Balanchine techniques and her knowledge of Vaganova and Bournonville methodology to the studio. With a focus on alignment and injury prevention, she challenges her students’ cognition and mental processes as much as their physical and emotional experience.
Elliott Bradley, Tap Program Director, Season Four to Present.
Elliott Bradley (Tap Director) has been teaching for the past 3 1/2 years at EEDS.
Elliott is originally from North Carolina where he began dancing competitively and started performing in musicals at the age of 8. After high school, he attended Oklahoma City University where he graduated summa cum laude with his BFA in dance performance. A few highlights of Elliott’s stage, tv, & performance credits include performing in the ensemble and as a swing in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes in NYC for four years, touring internationally in West Side Story (A-Rab), We Will Rock You (Dance Capt./Swing), and working with Tommy Tune as a featured dancer on the inaugural Holland America's Oosterdam. Favorite regional credits include Kiss Me Kate (Paper Mill), Crazy For You (Ogunquit Playhouse), High School Musical (US Tour) Anything Goes, 42nd Street, and Annie Get Your Gun (Sacramento Music Circus). Elliott's television/commercial credits include performing with Cobra Starship for the MTV VMA's, and the rock legends Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen.
As a teacher and choreographer he has worked for 18+ years for competitive studios across the country. Elliott served as head of the dance program for NHS Arts Academy, and he is an award winning choreographer for their musicals. He has been a guest artist for 2 years in Europe at Cologne Dance Center and has taught masterclasses in Italy and Germany. He also served as an adjunct dance faculty member for University of FL. Elliott is on faculty with several conventions/competitions including Artistic Dance Exchange & Man In Motion. He is so excited and inspired to continue to share his passion, knowledge, and love for dance with the EEDS family.
Alan Robert, Hip Hop and Acro. Season Seven
Alan j. Robert is originally from Reunion Island (french territory) he started breaking at a young age and traveled through Europe winning various dance battles with his dance crew. He moved to New York City 12 years ago to pursue a career in the dance industry and was fortunate enough to be trained by Rhapsody James and other renown teachers and choreographers. His credits includes Madonna's music video "Gimme all your Luvin ", ‘Beatstock’ ( Real housewives of New Jersey Melissa Gorga) with Criss Judd, ‘Man in the Mirror’ World Tour a Michael Jackson tribute, to name a few of his career highlights.
Alan is thrilled to teach at EEDC and to help shape the students into the future of this industry.
Elliott Bradley and Samantha Zaleski
Jason Warley celebrates 20 years in dance education with a cover and featured story in the upcoming August 2014 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine. His training began under jazz dance legend, Frank Hatchett, and subsequently at Lehman College, Broadway Dance Center, and The Ailey School.
Jason's professional performing opportunities led him to work with such celebrated choreographers as, Peter Pucci (former principal dancer with, Pilobolus), Edward Morgan (former principal dancer with, The Joffrey Ballet), Slam (former principal dancer on Madonna's,“The Blond Ambition Tour”), Brian Thomas (Emmy nominee for Michael Jackson's 30th Anniversary special), and Tony Award winning choreographer, Jerry Mitchell. Early in his career, he did world tours with recording artists, Shannon, Le Click and the Backstreet Boys.
As a choreographer, Jason's works include productions of Ragtime, Dreamgirls, Dreamgirls-in-Concert, Smokey Joe's Cafe, and Singin' in the Rain. He has also choreographed a 2000 world tour for 80's pop Diva, Shannon.
Jason has served on the sub-faculty at the world acclaimed Broadway Dance Center in New York City, covering classes for such popular teachers as, Frank Hatchett and Sheila Barker. He has led master classes and workshops throughout the United States and Japan and has been on faculty for Dance Masters, Groove National Dance Competition & Conventions, Inferno Dance Competitions, Associated Dance Teachers of New Jersey, the National Association of Dance & Affiliated Arts, and just joined the convention tour for Turn It Up Dance Challenge (competition & conventions).
Mr. Warley is the owner of Man In Motion, a network of male dance professionals offering services related to master classes, workshops, choreography, and more. (www.ManInMotionNYC.com)