About Our Faculty
Our Talented Teachers and Staff
Co-owner/ Artistic director/ Choreographer/Coach
Kristina Caksa is a teacher, choreographer, and co-owner of Allied Performing Arts Center. Her training began in Riga, Latvia at the age of 5. She began with ballroom yet at 12 years old she transitioned to ballet, jazz, modern, and hiphop at a private dance school named LaLi. Soon, Kristina began to travel around Latvia competing, performing, and taking home numerous prizes. At age 18, she auditioned for the “Royal Olympic” cruise line’s dance team and was picked to be one of six dancers by Jan Rogers Entertainment. She toured around the world with this cruise line for four years and became the lead, team captain dancer in her third year of touring. In the United States, she began her teaching career in 2006. Kristina created a special interactive dance program for young children alongside many Zumba programs for adults. In 2012, she became co-owner of Allied Champions Dance Center and in 2017, she became co-owner of Allied Performing Arts Center. Yearly, Kristina produces, directs, and choreographs dance show productions based on cinematic movies from Disney and Pixar. Over the years Kristina has created numerous regional, national, and international champions with her intricate form of training and award winning choreography.
Co-owner/ Choreographer/ Teacher
Ballroom & Latin devision
Natalia Stepanova grew up in Kerch, Ukraine, where at age 7 she began her dance career at the Ballroom Dance Studio "Rhythm". She received a BS in Dance Art and Stage Productions from the National University of Art in Kiev, Ukraine.
Natalia received an MFA with Honors in Drama, Art and Dance at the University of Art and Tourism, Ukraine. Natalia owned the dance studio "Inspiration" in Kerch, Ukraine, as well as worked as a choreographer in Havana, Cuba. She taught in the City School of Ballroom Dance "Olympia" Gatchina, Russia;
Shostacovich School of music and Art and Dance, New York, New York,
"Arthur Murray” Dance Studios, New Jersey.
From 2004 to 2012 she was the owner of "Alluring Ballroom" Dance studios at Spotswood, New Jersey and East Brunswick, New Jersey.
From September 2012, she became a co-owner of "Allied Champions Dance Center" in East Brunswick, New Jersey. From 2017, she became the co-owner of Allied Performing Arts Center.
Natalia is very versatile dancing, Ballroom and Latin, Rhythm and Smooth, Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Folk Dance and Theater Arts.
Natalia has been in the dance industry as a working professional for 37 years. During this time she has taught, choreographed, and coached around the world. Besides coaching USA champions, she aspires to lead by example through her teaching and her practice and hopes her students recognize-just as she did-that the possibilities of what you can accomplish are endless with consistent practice.
Acro/ Gymnastics/ Flexibility Coach/Choreographer/ Dance Teacher
Lauren Potter started her dance and acrobatic journey at 4 years old. Lauren started competing at the age of 13, where she began to train more seriously in various styles such as ballet, jazz, contemporary, acrobatics, modern, and hip hop. Lauren grew her passion for acrobatics while training in gymnastics, tumbling, and cheerleading. Lauren was also a part of her high school dance program and performed at various venues and sporting events. Lauren then started choreographing at 16 years old for dance competitions and her high school dance team. Her choreography has won choreography awards and overall placements. Lauren was picked to be a soloist in her dance program as well as headlined a student choreographed show. Lauren is now a senior at Stockton University where she is majoring in Dance and Elementary Education. At Stockton, Lauren is continuing to grow her dance education while studying ballet, modern, jazz, dance composition, and pedagogy amongst well accomplished faculty. Lauren is also a part of the Stockton Dance Company where she performs different modern/jazz works in front of large audiences. Lauren loves to teach and inspire the future of dance through positivity, motivation, and high expectations.
Hip Hop/Breakdance/Street Jazz/Funk
Choreographer/ Dance teacher
Mikey D’Astoli is a Teacher/Choreographer who is signed to Clear Talent Group agency. He started dancing at age 13 with a strong focus on Hip Hop styles such as bboying, popping, house, locking, vogue, waacking, and street jazz/industry styles. Performances include opening up for American Idol’s “Jax”, The Red Hot Chili Peppers 2017 Tour, The Cartoon Network Anti-Bullying Tour, Monsters of Hip Hop, The PULSE, Sybarite, Carnival, and many more. Mikey has been featured on Tv commercials such as “Bop it Tetris”, “Juicy Drop Pop”, and “Jenga tetris” as a dancer and actor. You can find him in music videos for artists Jax(LA LA Land), The Red Hot Chili Peppers(Go Robot), Niki & Gabi (Hair Tie), and Vita Chambers(What If). He can also be seen in the Netflix series “The Get Down”(Directed by Baz Luhrmann), where he plays the role of ‘Crash’. A principal dancer in the Feature Film “Going in Style”(Directed by Zach Braff). Also he is featured in TBS series “The Last O.G.”, “Total Request Live” on MTV and more. Mikey's NYC training consists of classes such as Hip Hop and Contemporary at studios Broadway Dance Center, Peridance Capezio Center, and EXPG and hundreds of underground dance battles and events. He has used what he learned throughout the years to derive his own unique style. Mikey has been traveling and teaching all around the states for years and works to better and inspire the upcoming and present community of dance however he can.
Teacher, Choreographer , Assiastant
Alisa has trained at Allied her whole life. She has recently traveled to Paris, France to win the title of IFDPA World Group and Solo Champion in 2019. To continue, Alisa is Miss National Teen Inferno Dance of 2018, winning both solo titles with self choreography. Additionally, she is a Killer B assistant for the Ballroom Project. In the ballroom industry, she is an Ohio Star Ball Open Level Junior Champion, Blackpool Dance Festival Team USA Representative, and National Junior Open 2nd Runner-Up. She has received multiple choreography awards alongside numerous regional, national, and international titles for her choreography at Beyond the Stars, NRG Dance Project, IFDPA, Inferno Dance, and Thunderstruck. Although she trains in all styles, she is known for building her own mixed style of International Ballroom Latin with Hiphop/Jazz: Latin Fusion.
Laura Clemente began dancing at the age of 3 years old and then shortly moved onto competitive classes, all while training in the state New Jersey. Her various styles include: Ballet (Vaganova Method, Balanchine Method), Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre, and Pointe. She has performed and choreographed numerous shows throughout Six Flags Theme Parks before attending Hofstra University on Long Island, NY. There she studied Dance and Marketing, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Dance Education. While attending school in NY, Laura continued her training in Manhattan at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. Her dancing continued outside of school, as she performed at various events throughout New York City for different performers. Once moving back to New Jersey, she began studying and incorporating Yoga and Meditation into her classes. She believes this helps dancers focus on their bodies in a positive light and helps prepare for any style.
Music and Voice Teacher
She received her music Education in
Smolensk music college Saratov state conservatoire
Rita was a Saratov theater of choral music- soloist. She enjoy teaching kids piano and voice classes. Her work exspirience include :
Shostakovich Music school (Brooklyn)
Music and art academy (Matawan NJ)
Art Teacher / Receptionist
Melike love working with kids, she is local East Brunswick teacher, she have experience working with kids from Kindergarten to high school students.
Contemporary/ Lyrical / Jazz/ Funk
Tara is currently a professional working dancer and choreographer in the Tristate area. She is trained in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, and HipHop/Foundation styles. Tara has danced with Jennifer Lopez for her VMA Vanguard Performance at Radio City, and her Live Concert on The Today Show. As well as with BTS on their “Love Yourself” tour stop in NYC. Most recently she has performed with Julianne Hough during her performance on NBC’s 2020 New Years Eve special. Tara has been recognized for her own choreography at competitions and got selected to showcase her work at the 2019 Young Choreographers Festival in New York. Currently signed with Clear Talent Group.