Our highly-skilled, caring, and professional staff has many years of dance and teaching experience. Our staff is committed to providing the best dance experience for the professional dancers and performing artists of the future.
Sekou O’Huru – Drum Teacher
Sekou was born and raised in New York City. With a musician father and a mother who is a dancer, he learned the arts at an early age. At the age of four, Sekou was already learning to play the Djimbe drum and by the age of five he was performing on stage. By the time he turned twelve he was teaching drum classes at the ifetayo Dance School in Brooklyn. From 1992-1995 Sekou attended the Julliard School of Music and attended William Paterson University as a music major.
Sekou is a member of the El Shabazz Djimbe Orchestra and he has toured around the world with Batoto Yetu Children’s Africian Dance Company. In addition to Sekou’s elaborate resume he is proud to perform and instruct within various organizations such as Alvin Ailey Arts and Education, Broadway Dance Center and last but not least Five Star Dance Center.
Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards has been apart of almost every major Tap movie or show that has appeared in the history of tap dance since the 80’s. Accolades include an Astaire Award for Best Performance in After Midnight on Broadway, Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance, The Hoofer Award from The American Tap Dance Foundation, Best Actress nomination in the lead role in the award-winning Independent film “The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang”, and appearing as the cover story for Dance Magazine. In addition Mrs. Sumbry-Edwards continues to appear as a special guest for shows and festivals around the world. She was elected to the Advisory Board as the Tap Advisor for Dance Magazine and the official Tap Spokesperson for Capezio along with her family, with features in their international advertising campaign. Mrs. Sumbry- Edwards was also the private tap instructor to the iconic Michael Jackson over the course of 11 years.
Dormeshia’s career includes acclaimed runs on Broadway and off-Broadway in shows such as Black and Blue, the Tony Award Winning Bring In Da’Noise, Bring In Da’Funk, International Tour of Bring in Da’Noise, Bringin Da’Funk (dance captain/principal dancer/understudy to the lead role), and Imagine Tap! (featured soloist). Other performances include the national tour of Wild Woman Blues and Debbie Allen’s SAMMY (the life and times of Sammy Davis Jr.). Film credits include “TAP” with Gregory Hines, Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled” (Assistant Choreographer), and “The Rodgers and Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty”. Choreography credits include Michael Jackson’s music video “Rock My World”, Apollo Club Harlem (tap choreography) and the Sophisticated Ladies which is featured weekly at the world famous Cotton Club in NYC. She was spotlighted in a commercial for Tops, featured on MTV’s hit television series MADE and had a leading role in After Midnight on Broadway. Dormeshia has been and continues to be revered as one of the most dynamic performers in the industry today.
Kalena Brown was born in Bronx, NY and raised in New Jersey. She is an Alumni from Penn State University with a dual degree in Dance and Psychology (BA). She began dancing at the age of 5 years old. She attended Five Star Dance Center during her early childhood years. She was a part of the Repertory Company at Center for Modern Dance (CMDE) in Hackensack, New Jersey. In 2010 she attended the NYU Tisch Dance Program for high school students called Dancemaker. During the summer of 2012, she attended the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Professional Division Summer Intensive Program where she studied with some of the most prestigious choreographers and teachers such as Keith Alexander and Quenia Ribeiro. Kalena was apart of the Afi-Mojah Dance Company at Penn State where she danced and performed around Pennsylvania. She was a member, fundraising chair, and choreographer of Ambitions Dance Organization at Penn State. Also during her years at Penn State, she attended the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) where she networked and took dance classes to broaden her horizons of dance. Kalena is currently a dancer at the dance company, Forza Malizia Dance Company in NYC where she performs different genres of dance.
Kalena wants to pursue a career in dance therapy and open a studio where she is able to practice dance therapy and teach. She attributes her knowledge of dance to her opportunity to attend various intensives where she has studied West African Dance, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and modern dance. Working with this company, Kalena plans to continue to grow as a dancer, dancer teacher and as an individual and continue to pursue her passion and goals. She wants to give back to children and people to foster self-confidence, discipline and enrich their physical and mental health.
LEANNA BARNES – Hip Hop, Jazz, African, Tap
Leanna has been dancing since the age of three. She began taking classes at Five Star at the age of seven. She’s a graduate of Teaneck HS where she was enrolled in the Dance Academy, a member of the Terpsys and Dance Ensemble. Currently on Staff at Five Star Dance Studio along with Terpsys, Dance Ensemble, and the after school dance team at Hackensack Middle School keeps her very busy. Leanna loves giving back to the community and loves working with children. Dance is not what she does, it’s who she is. Her love, passion and gift for dance, inspires her to help others find theirs.
ALLISON WILLIAMS FOSTER – CEO of I STYLE MODELS MANAGEMENT – BALLET, MODELING
ALLISON began dancing at the age of 4 under the tutelage of Arthur Mitchell and Karl Shook. She was one of the first 12 students to start The Harlem School of the Arts. Harkness Ballet, NY School of Ballet, Dance Theatre Of Harlem, were the foundation for Allison’s dance career. At age 9, Allison was a principle ballet dancer for the Harlem School of the Arts, resident Dance Company. Ms. Williams Foster worked at the MET at the age of 9, as an Usherette for Opera Divas, Marian Anderson and Shirley Verrett. Allison Joined AFTRA (American Federation of Radio and Television Artists) at age 11, for her vocals on the theme song of “SESAME STREET”. By the time she was 13 yrs old she joined Tony Award Winner George Faison’s dance company, “Universal Dance Experience”, alongside Debbie Allen and was the youngest member of the company. At age 15 Allison was co-founder and principle dancer of Kinetic Energy Dance Company, with the late Kevin Austin Hunt. During her career she has worked with many established choreographers.
By age 18, she toured with Van McCoy & The Hustle Dancers, opening for The Four Tops, Natalie Cole, Shirley Bassey, and Faith Hope and Charity to name a few. In 1977, The Grammys were Satellite from Lagos Nigeria for Stevie Wonder’s “, Songs in the Key Of Life.”, in which Ms Williams Foster was on tour. Allison made her “Broadway” debut in the original Broadway hit, The Wiz as the “Tornado Eye”. Guys and Dolls, Mahalia, Dancin, Pippin, Sing Mahalia Sing, Spider Woman, DreamGirls, Sweet Charity, Jelly’s Last Jam. Performances with Michael Jackson, Stephanie Mills and Liberace’ are a few of her stage accomplishments.
She has appeared in both radio and Televison commercials, choreographed an episode of “The Cosby Show”, “The Wiz” touring company, Ntozake Shange’s Betsy Brown and the DreamGirls revival. Allison has modeled for campaigns such as Dark N’ Lovely Hair products, a recurring role as a singer on “One Life to Live”, as well as many radio voiceover commercials.She has been a featured dancer in Music videos with recording artists, Cameo and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
Her Background vocals are recognized for artists such as, Neyo, Chrisette Michele, Change(Luther Vandross) Christopher Williams, Jeff Redd, Me’Lisa Morgan, Bobby Brown, Rick Brennan, Randy Muller of Brass Construction and GQ (Rahiem LaBlanc) traveling both nationally and internationally appearing before the King of Morroco by request as well as the Inauguration of President Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. She currently is a featured vocalists with New York City’s major bands, “The Stingers” and “SkinTight”.
NATASHA DAVIS – BALLET, TAP, AFRICAN, JAZZ
Natasha Davis started dancing at the age of 7 at Five Star Dance Center. After a short break, she later returned to join Five Star’s Performing Workshop and gained training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, African, and Modern. At the age of 16, Natasha was the offered the opportunity to teach her first dance class as a student teacher at Five Star, Beginner Tap. This is where she discovered her passion for sharing the arts with the youth. She continued to study dance at Five Star and student teach until she graduated from high school and moved on to college. Natasha attended Virginia Commonwealth University to study the field of Forensic Science. Even though she did not select a major in the arts, she continued to practice her craft and joined the Ebony Quest Dance Group. In addition, she taught several workshops as a freelance instructor at the Fairfield Art of Dance in Iowa. While Natasha enjoyed her endeavors in Virginia, she grew homesick and returned to New Jersey to finish her studies at William Paterson University of New Jersey where she earned a degree in Applied Mathematics. While studying at WPUNJ, Natasha joined the Emancia Modern Dance Group of NY, under the instruction of Marcia Warner, and performed for two seasons. Natasha currently works in the field of Market Research, but continues to share her love of dance with the world. In addition to her work at Five Star, she volunteers with the Englewood Junior Cheerleaders and provides freelance dance instruction and choreography as requested.
BRIAN K. HAWTHORNE – MODERN
Brian K. Hawthorne is a Dancer, Choreographer, Dance Educator and Playwright. He began dancing at the age of 14 at The Independent Dance Theatre and received his formal training in Classical Ballet & Modern at The Juilliard School in Lincoln Center, NYC. Brian has performed and choreographed around the world, including countries as far as, Canada, Germany, Italy, Rotterdam & Spain. He has worked with several singing artists, dance companies, institutions and churches. He was a company member of Jubilation!, former Co-Director of The Allen Liturgical Dance Ministry at The Greater Allen Cathedral of New York, Performing Arts Director at The Queens Police Athletic League NYC, and has performed off-Broadway as Joseph in “Nativity, A Life Story”.Brian’s primary love of Performing Arts is that of being a teacher and doesn’t measure his accomplishments by his own works but rather that of the accomplishments of his students whose achievements span the globe. He has taught students at several Schools of Dance in the Tri-State area such as The Independent Dance Theatre, Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center, The DeVore Dance Center, The Artist Collective, Tap Dance Only, InnerVisions Theater Arts Center, and now proudly adds the Five Star Dance Center to his resume and eventually its’ students to the list of prestigious performers of the professional World of Dance!
DOMINIQUE JAMES – HIP HOP, TAP
DOMINIQUE JAMES was born and raised in Englewood, NJ. I began my dance career at Five Star Dance in Teaneck, NJ where I trained in modern, jazz, hip-hop, tap, and African dance at the age of 9 for four years. I then moved on to receive two years of training in hip-hop at the Harlem School of Arts in Manhattan, NY. In high school I danced with the Teaneck Terpsichoreans for 2 years. Amid graduating from high school, I received my Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from St. Lawrence University where I spent 4 years training in ballet, jazz, and modern. I taught 2 years of beginner ballet for middle school and high school girls in the community. I choreographed in jazz and hip-hop for my school’s Dance team and Hip-hop dance club, Graceful Movements. I am now a member of The Synergy Project, located out of Bergen County NJ.
JULISSA CRUZ – BALLET
JULISSA CRUZ grew up taking ballet at Bergen Dance Center at the age of eleven. I also went to Teaneck Public Schools and went through the dance classes there as well. I went on to dance with Blade Dance Entertainment and professionally worked with them for a year. I have a strong passion for all forms of dance but my strength is in ballet and modern dance. I have performed in many ballet company theatre productions that include The Nutcracker and Swan Lake. I was also under the tutelage of Pamela Devore as a teenager. I performed with Teaneck Terpsichoreans for three years. My passion is dance and my goal is to help strengthen the young ladies of today.