Meet The Team
Cathy Taylor Giuliana
Cathy established the Cathy Taylor School of Dance more than 50 years ago. She has guided hundreds of young dancers as they learn to express themselves through movement and appreciate the joy of dance. Cathy began dancing and performing as a young child. She was awarded scholarships to study at the Boston Ballet School, the National Ballet Company in Washington, D.C., the Jacob's Pillow Summer Dance Festival, and received the Miss Worcester Scholarship Award. She has performed with the Movement Laboratory Dance Theatre of Boston, the Jacob's Pillow Modern Dance Co., and danced featured roles in productions of Swan Lake, Firebird, La Boutique Fantastique, Remember There is Love and L'Habenera.
Cathy graduated Magna cum laude from The Boston Conservatory of Music with a major in dance, and received her graduate degree from Boston University's School of Education with a concentration in Special Education. While doing her graduate studies she worked closely with Norma Canner, author of "....and a Time to Dance;” a book about movement and music for children with "special needs.” She also worked at the Fernald State School in Waltham, MA. and explored “communication through movement” at the Kennedy Shriver Center for children with developmental disabilities.
Cathy has taught dance at the Boston Conservatory of Music, Boston University, Northeastern University, the Beacon Hill Community Club, and the Vincent Club of Boston. Cathy is a dance specialist for Worcester Public Schools. She teaches dance at the Worcester Arts Magnet School and choreographs for the elementary school "show choir.” She is also a certified aerobics instructor.
Cathy has studied with tap legends Stanley Brown, Diane Walker and Brenda Buffalino. She was also fortunate to study under the direction of E. Virginia Williams, Finis Jhung, Norman Walker and Ted Shawn. She keeps her dance knowledge current by attending conventions and seminars across the country. She is a member of Dance Masters of America, and has judged dance competitions for Headliners and American Dance Awards.
Ms. Taylor has received numerous awards for outstanding choreography, staging, and creativity. Her students have been invited to perform in the Shanghai International Arts Festival in China, the World Dance Championships in Reisa, Germany and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Former students can be seen performing on Broadway, television, on cruise lines, in commercials and print ads, at Radio City Music Hall and with national touring companies. Cathy appreciates the many families who choose C.T.S.O.D. for their child's dance education and values the many children who enrich her life daily.
Javin Catherine Hammond
Javin has been an instructor of jazz, contemporary, modern, hip hop, ballet and tap dance for 18 years. As a young dancer, she trained at the Cathy Taylor School of Dance for 15 years and went on to further her studies at Oklahoma City University’s School for American Dance and Arts Management. While in Oklahoma, she was a member of the OCU Pep Dancers Squad and a member of the American Spirit Dance Company.
Her professional credits include Six Flags Illusion Quest (dancer/swing), the WNBA Connecticut Sun Solar Power Dance Team (member/captain), NBA-TV’s Dreaming Green—a reality television feature (dance contestant), Weird Al Yankovick's Poodle Hat Tour (back-up dancer), and Norwegian Cruise Lines Runnin’ Wild and Sea Legs Cirque (singer/dancer/ aerial) aboard the Pride of Aloha in Hawaii with Jean Ann Ryan Productions. She has served as a competition judge for Turn It Up Dance Challenge, Aspiring Dreams, and On Stage America Dance Competitions.
Javin is currently the Assistant Director of the Cathy Taylor School of Dance. Outside studio instruction at CTSOD, Javin also instructs and choreographs at Paula Meola Dance & Performing Arts (Sterling, MA). Javin’s choreography has been nationally recognized and appeared on television & live webcast specials. At the World Class Talent National Finals in Mystic, CT (July 2018) she was named 2019 National Choreographer Of The Year, her senior small group Through The Eyes Of A Child won 1st Place at the Elite Event, and she was excited to see her soloist Kristin Tagg be named National Senior Miss WCTE. She is currently the proud solo choreographer of Emma Olivier (Senior Miss OSA), Gianna Grici (ADA Dancer Of The Year), Amanda Healey (Senior Miss Turn It Up), Noah Serr (Teen Mr. OSA, ADA Teen Male Dancer of the Year), and Sophia Falconer (Teen Miss Turn It Up). She was recently honored by the OnStage America Competition as the 12 & Under top choreographer for her trio Bad Boy Good Man, and the 13 & Over top choreographer for her large group Individuality. She was recognized at the Dance Masters of New England Performing Arts Competition for High Score Solo Choreography for Gianna Grici's Before My Time. As choreographer to the 2018 Miss Dance Of New England, Javin choreographed the opening number for the 2019 DMA Title Pageant Contestants. This was a weekend spent with 57 talented young individuals--and will always remain a very special memory to her.
Javin is very thankful that teaching has given her the ability to travel the world! In 2007, she accompanied her students to Shanghai, China to perform in the Shanghai International Arts Festival. For three years she was a team coach for the United States Showdance Team that competed at the World Championships in Riesa, Germany. One of her routines brought home the International Bronze Medal in the adult group division. Javin also had the honor of accompanying students to Dallas, Texas in the summer of 2011 by invite-only as the choreographer for a jazz group that was 1 of 10 routines selected nationwide to compete in the FDC World Dance Championships.
Javin and her husband Tom are the proud parents of their three sons — Paxton Blayne (5), Wesley Knox (3), and Quinn Thomas (2).
Instructor of Tap, Jazz, Lyric, Hip Hop & Modern
Brittany has 12 years of professional experience as a dance educator, choreographer, and performer on both the east and west coasts. She received her early training from the Cathy Taylor School of Dance and went on to attain her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Dean College (2009). Brittany's choreography was showcased in several student performances at Dean and she was chosen as one of the elite company members in the genres of tap, modern, jazz and hip hop.
She was also a member and captain of the WNBA Connecticut Sun "Solar Power Dance Team" for four consecutive seasons. As a Boston Celtics Dancer Finalist, Brittany, and her sister Javin, performed at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino and were featured dancers on the ESPN reality television series "Dreaming Green." Additional performance credits include: WTNH Early Morning Show ("Solar Power Dance Team"), IDO World ShowDance Championships (Reisa, Germany), and the Rascal Flatts "Bob That Head" Concert Tour.
In 2011, Brittany traveled to Los Angeles, California to work as a hip hop dance instructor for Sky High Dance Inc. and trained with choreographers such as Nicco O'Connor, Kyle Hanagami, and Kevin Maher. While in California, she became inspired by hip hop culture and returned to Massachusetts with a renewed passion for the style. She has since developed the "Fresh Kix" after school hip hop dance enrichment program for Worcester Public Schools and surrounding areas.
Brittany teaches tap, jazz, lyric, hip hop & modern at the studio and choreographs solos and group routines for our competition dancers. Last season she was awarded for her choreography at the Dance Masters of New England Performing Arts competition for the solo, "Why," beautifully danced by Icon team member, Isabel Zukowski. She is looking forward to another amazing year of dance and can't wait to see what the future holds for her students on this incredibly fulfilling dance journey!
Instructor of Children's Programs, Modern, Jazz & Hip Hop
Valerie trained for 15 years at the Cathy Taylor School of Dance and for five years at The Performing Arts School of Worcester. She graduated from the Cathy Taylor School of Dance in 2007. During Valerie's time at the studio she was a high scoring soloist, receiving special awards for the control, strength and technique she exhibited in her performances.
She was the recipient of multiple scholarships in both pointe and ballet from Dance Masters of America and was the 4th runner up at Dance Masters of New England's Teen Miss Dance pageant. She traveled with StarPower National Dance Competition to San Antonio, Texas and Las Vegas, Nevada in 2002 and received a Shock Intensive Scholarship in 2004. After graduating from the Cathy Taylor School of Dance, Valerie furthered her dance training at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she attended dance major classes in ballet and modern. Valerie is currently in her ninth year of teaching at the studio, where she is the instructor of children's programs, tap, jazz, modern, and hip hop. Additionally, she choreographs competition pieces that are performed throughout the dance season. Outside of teaching at CTSOD, Valerie instructs technique classes and choreographs competition routines at Diane Cournoyer Dance Center (Northborough, MA).
Valerie graduated Cum Laude from The University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Disorders. For eight years she worked as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant in both public and private settings. In 2019, Valerie graduated from Fontbonne University with a Master of Arts Degree in Deaf Education and is currently employed as a teacher of the deaf in a preschool classroom at Westford Public Schools.
Instructor of Acrobatics & Adult Fitness
Olivia is a graduate of the Cathy Taylor school of Dance and has been teaching for over 8 years. She has trained at Broadway Dance Center, Jeanette Neill's Studio of Dance, and The Pulse just to name a few. In 2007, she traveled to Shanghai, China to perform in various parades and performances in the International Cultural Festival. In 2008 and 2009, she was part of the Team USA Showdance Team. In 2008, she took home the small formation, Bronze medal.
In 2012, Olivia was picked from over hundreds of dancers to be a part of the Boston Urbanity Summer Intensive in which she continued her contemporary/modern dance training. She has also been a part of the Boston Community Dance Project; directed by Sarah- Katarina Jerome. The summer of 2014, Olivia danced for the Solar Power Dance team, where she danced for the WNBA Connecticut Sun Basketball team at Mohegan Sun. She is now working as a Registered Nurse as chemotherapy infusion Nurse at The Cancer and Wellness Center at Saint Vincent Hospital. Olivia is a certified instructor in Acrobatic Arts. Olivia teaches acro and adult fitness here at the studio. This past summer Olivia gave birth to her first baby, Jack Stephen. She is looking forward to the season ahead.
Instructor of Tap
Charlie has been a dance educator for many years. Until recently was a faculty member at Dean College and he is still teaching at several dance studios in MA and RI. He has taught master classes at Beantown Tap Festival, The Greater Brockton Dance Alliance, and more. Charlie has performed in Las Vegas, on numerous TV shows and has choreographed many regional musicals.
Instructor of Tap
Kelly began her training in Western MA at the Hackworth’s School of Performing Arts, and started teaching while she was attending Boston University. Focusing in tap, she has taught up and down the east coast and Canada for almost 20 years, choreographing, judging, and performing in many different venues. She is a founding member of “Off Beat,” a company created and directed by her former student Ryan P. Casey, as well as starting her own company, “CounterpoinT,” an all-female group based out of Norwalk, CT. You can also see her and her choreography in the award-winning movie “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench” directed by Damien Chazelle (La La Land).
In 2006, she was a cast member of “Imagine Tap,” created and choreographed by Derick Grant and Aaron Tolson. She has been a faculty member and judge for Tap 2 You, Dance Masters of America, American Dance Awards, Tapademics and Kids for Kids. She has taught at Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, and Peridance in NYC. Other past performances include the Cape Dance Fest, Inside Out at Jacob’s Pillow, NYC Tap Festival, Break the Floor, Clara’s Dream: A Jazz Tap Nutcracker - performing with Drika Overton, Josh Hilberman, and Brenda Buffalino, Tapestry - produced by Dance Inn Productions, and others. Her own annual event, Tap it Up, is a one day workshop held every October in Stratford, CT. Believing that you never stop being a student, she continues to take classes and workshops to improve both her dancing and her
Instructor of Ballet & Pointe
Brett studied Classical Ballet technique under Wayne Stewarte [Royal Ballet] and Stephanie Moy [Boston Ballet] with English/French styles. Brett Leigh studied extensive barre technique before being cast in the International Broadway tour of West Side Story. Brett Leigh played both the roles of Riff and Action.
Brett Leigh continued the study of barre technique in companies throughout the world including Tokyo, Singapore, Paris, Rotterdam, Dresden, Berlin, and Switzerland. He has danced in ‘Coppelia’, 'The Nutcracker’, ‘Cinderella’, and appeared for the Anna Sokolow Dance Foundation performing ‘Rooms'. He played Mungojerrie in a Chicago run of “CATS”, the lead male dancer in ‘Chicago’, Tommy Djilous in ’The Music Man’, as well as straight plays throughout the US.
Brett Leigh is a member of the Actors Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild playing roles in “The Social Network” (Academy Nominated, Golden Globe Winner), “Gone Girl” (Academy Nominated), and has appeared on television in the 'Young & the Restless', Lifetime television, and CBS network. Brett is a juror for the European Independent Film Festival (ECU) selecting films to screen at the event in Paris during May of each calendar year.
Meryl "Mez" Gendreau
Instructor of Hip Hop
Meryl began dancing at the age of three, but really began her journey in 1999 when her mother, Mary Gendreau, opened The Loft Dance and Movement Studio. With her focus in Modern dance, at the age of seven Meryl began training and performing. In 2002 she performed Parsons Etude at the Newport Flight of Steps Festival with dancers from Island Moving Company, Providence Ballet, Arabella Dance Company, and Fusionworks. The choreography was taught by Robert Battle of the David Parson’s Dance Company, now director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. During this time Meryl also studied under Julie Adams Strandberg of Brown University and co-founder of the American Dance Legacy Institute.
Meryl discovered her love for Hip Hop when she began working and training at The Talent Factory Performing Arts Centre in 2008. From there she began to travel and study independently at conventions such as Monsters of Hip Hop, The Pulse, Jump Dance, and NYCDA, and attended two months at Urban Dance Camp in Lörrach, Germany, and one month at The Beat Camp in Novalja, Croatia. While in Croatia, she was selected by choreographer, Duki Tran, to perform in a concept video alongside him. Currently Meryl is directing, training, and choreographing for three competitive Hip Hop Crews and traveling to studios around New England to teach workshops. She is also working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Dance on a performing arts scholarship at Roger Williams University.
Instructor of Ballet & Pointe
Kristy grew up in southern New Jersey, where she started studying ballet and other forms of dance at an early age at the South Jersey Ballet School. Upon high school graduation, Kristy entered the Ailey School/Fordham University joint BFA program, expanding her studies to include Horton, Graham, and other modern techniques. Ms. DuBois danced in the corps de ballet for the Richmond Ballet from 2004 to 2006 with repertory including a "Wilis" in Giselle and corps de ballet in Balanchine’s Valse Fantasie.
Kristy then danced with Island Moving Company, based in Newport, R.I., for five years where she originated roles in works by Colin Conner, Scott Putman, and Michael Bolger, as well as the role of “Lucy” in Island Moving Company’s critically-acclaimed Dracula. Kristy has been a guest artist with the Spindle City Ballet and Connecticut Concert Ballet dancing as the "Sugar Plum Fairy" in The Nutcracker and various other Principal roles. In June 2011, she was named a Finalist in the Sibiu International Ballet and Contemporary Dance Competition in Sibiu, Romania for her performances of the grand pas de deux from both Don Quixote and Sleeping Beauty as well as an original contemporary ballet pas de deux by Kelly Ann Sloan. Ms. DuBois joined Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre located in Cambridge, MA in the Fall of 2011. Ms. DuBois quickly rose through the company ranks and performed Soloist and Principal roles in many of Mr. Mateo’s original ballets. Since September of 2015 Kristy has been dancing in Rhode Island with Festival Ballet Providence and as a frequent guest artist with Providence Ballet Theatre. Her repertory with Festival Ballet Providence includes demi-soloist roles in George Balanchine's Serenade, corps de ballet in George Balanchine's Rubies, "Four Swans" in Mihailo Djuric's Swan Lake, and "Marzipan" in The Nutcracker. Ms. DuBois spends many nights a week teaching ballet and pointe to students throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. She has been Director of the Ballet Program at Live, Love, Dance Studio since 2012. Ms. DuBois' focus as a teacher is to provide students with a safe, healthy, and positive environment to learn proper ballet technique. She believes that dance is an amazing tool to teach children discipline, grow self esteem, learn the joy of dancing, and provide a safe outlet for emotions. Kristy is looking forward to her first season on faculty at the Cathy Taylor School of Dance.
Pre-Ballet, Children's Tap & Jazz
Sue began her dance training at age 3 with Dolores Magwood, in Worcester, MA. In her elementary years, she studied under Sally Masterson and it was there her relationship with Cathy Taylor began. When Cathy Taylor opened her own studio Sue followed and later became Cathy’s Assistant. In High School Sue opened Sue Scheffler’s Dance Studio in Auburn and continued teaching for 15 years. During that time Sue furthered her dance studies with Marlene Francis, Walter Fields and Eleanor Thompson. Through the years that followed Sue taught dance at Charlotte Klein Dance Centers, Putnam Dance Center and Laurene Aldorisio’s Dance Expressions.
Sue is currently teaching at Charlotte Klein Dance Centers and Cathy Taylor School of Dance. Throughout her dance journey, Sue has been certified by Dance Masters of America, was a member of Dance Teachers Club of Boston, as well as the Worcester Ballet Society. In addition to her love of dance, Sue entered the fitness world in the 1980’s where she became certified in Aerobics, Yoga, Pilates, Nutrition, and Personal Training. For the following ten years, Sue was the Aerobics Director at Worcester Athletic Club (currently Worcester Fitness). Sue has developed a Master Class: Nutrition and Conditioning for Dancers which she teaches throughout Massachusetts. In 1973, Sue’s love of learning led her to Anna Maria College where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Secondary Ed with a minor in English. Twenty – three years later she earned a Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Health. Sue is proud of the fact that in 1998, she also became a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), an honor only 6,000 students accomplished throughout the United States. Sue has always found volunteerism to be very fulfilling and in 2010, she volunteered at Summit Montessori School in Framingham as C0 – Chair of the Parent Organization. Two years later, she was honored to receive the Maria Montessori award for Excellence in Volunteerism. Sue taught Creative Movement classes to handicapped children at the Our Lady of Mercy Center, Worcester and holds those memories close to her heart. Sue is currently serving her third year as a member of the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Northbrook Senior Center, which is the fund – raising component of the Center. Sue also became the Outreach Director at Dance Expressions: organizing, choreographing and producing holiday shows at various Senior Centers, Skilled Nursing Facilities and Rehabilitation Centers throughout Metro west, spreading the joy of dance to the senior populations. Sue resides in Northborough with her husband Bob. They have two children and two grandchildren. Sue is delighted to have reconnected with Cathy Taylor this year!
Kiley received her early training from schools in the local Danbury, Connecticut area and Broadway Dance Center before continuing on to study dance on scholarship at Dean College. In 2017, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Dean College with degrees in dance studies and athletic training, and most recently completed her Master of Science in Dance Science and Education at The University of Edinburgh in 2019.
Kiley has six years of professional experience as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer and specializes in ballet, jazz, contemporary, and lyrical techniques. Highlights from her career thus far include guest lecturing at The University of Edinburgh, dancing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, dancing with singer Flo Rida, and publishing her first book. She is also a certified PBT (Progressing Ballet Technique) instructor, and has been training in classical Pilates for over 10
As a teacher, Kiley draws heavily on both her dance and science backgrounds to educate about proper alignment and technique, while creating and positive and supportive environment for her dancers to thrive in. She is an active member of NDEO (National Dance Education Organization), IADMS (International Association for Dance Medicine and Science), and PAMA (Performing Arts Medicine Association), and is always trying to expand her knowledge on dance
so that she can provide her students with the best education possible. She is looking forward to a wonderful year of dance with the dancers of C.T.S.O.D.!
Instructor of Ballet
Azamat was born in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. He started his studies at age 10. In 2007, Azamat was awarded a Presidential Scholar “Personnel 21st Century” for “Creative achievement in the Performing Skills”. Later he was invited by Altynai Asylmuratova to study in Saint Petersburg, Russia and graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in 2010. He then joined Moscow City Ballet under the direction of artistic director Victor Smirnov. In 2012, Azamat was selected by Julia Moon to join Universal Ballet in South Korea. He also continued to dance with the Kyrgyz National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. In 2013, Azamat was invited to join The Russian National Ballet by Artistic Director Sergei Radchenko. He has toured with The Moscow City Ballet in the United Kingdom, Ireland, China, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Taiwan, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Cyprus, Russia and with The Russian National Ballet in the USA. In 2014, Azamat joined Island Moving Co. in Newport, Rhode Island as a Principal Dancer to focus on his contemporary style. Azamat has appeared as a guest artist with Kyrgyz National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, Russian National Ballet, Charleston City Ballet and Ballet Idaho. This is his second season with Festival Ballet.
Instructor of Jazz and Contemporary
Kaitlyn Salisbury is a native of Rhode Island and grew up dancing at Atwood Performing Arts Center, Festival Ballet Providence and The Gold School. In 2012, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. Kaitlyn has performed with companies including Synthesis Dance Project under the direction of Tracie Stanfield, traveled around the country performing as a principal dancer with Arch Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Sheena Annalise, and worked with Amit Shah and his company Mystic India: The World Tour. She discovered Nijawwon Matthews’ work in New York City and knew she found her place. She performed in his first full length work REVEAL along with other shows as a member of XY Dance Project.
Kaitlyn has been a dancer/aerialist for three years now, traveling around the world on Royal Caribbean ships including Quantum of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas and most recently Ovation of the Seas. One of her proudest accomplishments is the creation of MOVE: The Initiative, a dance intensive she created with her dear friend Rory Freeman, that takes place twice a year in the New England area.
Meg Norton trained at the Cathy Taylor School of Dance for 16 years. She was a class assistant, a top scoring tap soloist, and a member of the competition team. She has held the title of Teen Miss Headliner and received tap scholarships from Dance Masters of America. She has returned to the studio to assist the competition tap classes for the past eight years. Meg continued dancing as a member of the Holy Cross Dance Ensemble, where she choreographed for the tap and jazz classes. Meg is a math teacher at Burncoat High School in Worcester. She is currently choreographing the children's musical "Kamp Kaos" with the Barre Players Theater. Meg has performed with numerous community theater groups in the central Mass area. She is currently rehearsing for Stageloft Repertory Theater’s June production of Legally Blonde, where she will be playing Elle Woods.
Morgan trained at the Cathy Taylor School of dance for 15 years where she always competed in tap and graduated from the Cathy Taylor School of Dance in 2015. She has recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Plymouth State University where she majored in Early Childhood Studies and minored in Child Welfare and Family Studies. While studying at Plymouth Morgan was a member of the Plymouth State Dance Team for the 2016-2017 dance season. While a part of the dance team Morgan competed with the team in hip hop and took additional classes in tap and hip-hop. As a recent graduate, Morgan works in Early Intervention where she aids children ages birth to three with developmental delays. Morgan is new to the staff and is looking forward to teaching children’s programs at the studio.