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.
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.
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.
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.
KRISTAL GILBERT – BALLET, TAP, AFRICAN
Kristal Gilbert began dancing at the age of two at Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center and then DeVore Dance Center in Queens New York. She’s been blessed to accompany her mother (Lorna Mack) on this journey of opening a dance studio and has been with Five Star Dance Center since it’s inception in 1994. She was one of the original members of the Performing Workshop that traveled throughout the tri state for performances and competed in competitions. Trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern and African dance, she is also the Administrative Assistant of Five Star. Kristal was the Captain of of the Paramus Catholic High School Step Team where she graduated and then Dominican College with a BA in Science.
SHATINA (THOMAS) EDWARDS – AFRICAN
Shatina (Thomas) Edwards born in Queens, New York started dancing at the young age of two years old. Her journey began at the Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center in Jamaica, Queens, New York where choreographer/dancer Ben Vereen, choreographer/dancer Michael Peters and Baba Chuck Davis of the African American Dance Ensemble and New York based DanceAfrica and other greats call HOME. Her dance training at “the Studio” consists of African, ballet, jazz, modern and tap.
While fulfilling her dream to become a dancer, she furthered her training by applying and graduating from Fiorella H. LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts (aka Fame). Straight out of high school she began dancing for Reggae Classic Ini Kamoze and Hip-Hop Legends KRS One and LL Cool J.
During her 40+ years of dancing she has been trained by great dancers and choreographers such as Kevin Iega Jeff, Artistic Director of Jubilation Dance Company to Obediah Wright, Artistic Director of Balance Dance Theatre. She owes her West African Dance training and knowledge to Master Drummer and Dancer M’Bemba Bangoura and Master Dancers Malang Bayo, Mouminatou Camara, Assane Konte, Youssouf Koumbassa and Marie Basse Wiles just to name a few. She is a former member and has performed nationally and internationally in countries such as Jamaica, WI, Monterrey, Mexico and Toronto, Canada with Tri Shades of Gold Dance Company, Harambee Dance Company, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company, G’Bossikolo Dance and Drum and Maimouna Keita West African Dance Company. She has appeared at The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Dance Africa, the United Nations, Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, The Apollo Theatre, International Arts Festival, and Bronx Zoo Summer Activities as well as at numerous colleges, universities and churches. Shatina has served as the Assistant Director and principal dancer with KowTeff African Dance Company along with, committee member and principal dancer with Umoja Dance Company, NJ.
My name is Gabriel Roxbury. I actually started my journey with Five Star when I was five years old. I was introduced to the arts and fell in love with African instruments. Since then I’ve worked on my art form and joined African drum and dance groups including Harambee Dance Company and Bambara Ensemble Company. I have had the opportunity to perform at various venues around the country including Ghana, Africa. Drumming is my passion and I am happy to be back where my foundation began