Our Staff

Owner/Director Nicole Cermenello-Fera has been dancing since the age of 3. At age 15 she was accepted into the prestigious "Fame School" Fiorello LaGuardia High School as well as Alvin Ailey School of Performance Arts. She chose Fiorello LaGuardia High School where she was trained in Ballet, Martha Graham technique as well as many other techniques of Modern Dance. Nicole studied Classical Ballet at The Joffrey Ballet. She has performed at Madison Square Garden and Disney World. At 19 years of age Nicole left New York to sign a contract with Barry Manilow's Production Company, Stiletto Entertainment where she performed all over the world on Holland America Cruise Line. Nicole's love for dance has brought her to this new exciting chapter in her life. After teaching and choreographing for other studios, she is fulfilling her dream of opening her own studio where she can pass on her love and talent to others.
Instructor Amanda Barron has been part of the Staten Island dance community for 18 years. She started dancing at the age of two and is now a devoted teacher at Grounded Dancers Inc. She is trained in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Modern dance. At age 25, Amanda is a graduate of the College of Staten Island and has recieved her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education and her Master's Degree in Special Education. In addition to teaching Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Creative Movement and Hip-Hop to students ages 2 - 13, she also volunteers as a cheerleading coach for children ages 9-12 for St. Charles School Debs Cheerleading. Amanda has a strong passion for dance and education and loves to share it with all her students.
Instructor Melissa Birnbaum has been dancing since age 2. Since, she has trained and competed in styles including jazz, hip hop, contemporary, lyrical, ballet, and tap. She joined the Grounded Dancers Inc. community in its first year open; here, she was able to learn from many prestigious instructors within the industry who helped her grow into a well-rounded dancer. Upon graduating high-school, Melissa attended the University of Connecticut and served as a 2-year captain and 4-year member of the nationally recognized UConn Dance Team. As a member and leader of this team, she was able to represent the university at all home football and basketball games, and was fortuned the opportunity to dance at places including Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, Fenway Park, Tropicana Field, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Gilette Stadium, and Mohegan Sun Arena. One of her favorite experiences with the team was dancing behind country-singer Brad Paisley. In addition to athletic appearances, she traveled with the team to Daytona Beach, FL yearly to compete at NDA Nationals in both jazz and hip hop, leading the team to its highest placement in program history. Melissa is so excited to be back at Grounded and looks forward to teaching her students the positivity, persistence, and performance quality she learned while dancing here herself!
Instructor Maleek Washington was born in the Bronx, New York, and at seven years old was introduced to dance at Broadway Dance Center and the Harlem School of the Arts. After attending Laguradia High School for Performing Arts, Maleek continued his education at The Boston Conservatory while performing with the Commonwealth Ballet and working with Complexions. He attended Jacob's Pillow for 2 consecutive years and has collaborated with CityDance Ensemble, touring to over 8 countries with them. Recently Maleek attended SpringBoard Danse where he was able to join Jose Novas's Company Flak for a season of European tours. In addition, he has interacted with choreographers such as Azure Barton, Helen Pickett, Michael Utoff, Milton Meyers, Yuriko Takata, and Tim Rushton of the Danish Dance Theater. Maleek has performed for the Metropolitan Opera. Most recently he was chosen to instruct this Summer at The Joffrey Ballet. Maleek is also now on staff at Broadway Dance Center in N.Y.C.
Instructor Joseph Fierberg, originally from West Hartford, Connecticut, is a Manhattan based Musical Theatre performer and teaching artist. Joseph has traveled the world with the national and international tours of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and Elf The Musical. He has also been featured in several productions in various elite regional theatres across the country. In addition to performing, Joseph is frequently a guest artist with the West Hartford Summer Arts Festival as well as the annual production of Pops 'n Jazz at his alma mater. Joseph received a B.F.A in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University. He is thrilled to be teaching dance at Grounded Dancers!
Instructor
Matthew Liotine was born and raised in Tottenville, Staten Island. He started studying dance at different studios on Staten Island and the age of 13. He went on to study voice and dance at LaGuardia High School. After graduating with his endorsement in voice and dance he attended Montclair State University in New Jersey for Musical Theatre. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with his BFA in Musical Theatre. While at Montclair he worked as a dancer at various summer stock theaters including The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and The Lake Dillon Theater. Upon graduating Matthew worked as a dancer on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas in Saturday Night Fever. Matthew absolutely loves teaching and relaying all of the knowledge he has gained throughout his years of dancing. He looks forward to inspiring the next generation of dancers and applying all the passion he has for this powerful art form.
Instructor Erika Barbella Erika began dancing at the young age of 2 and has been trained competitively in all genres including tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, lyrical and hip-hop. She has trained under many professional artists within the industry at both dance conventions and master dance classes. Erika strives to bring success to all of her students both recreationally and competitively. In her most recent achievements she has been recognized both regionally and nationally for her award winning choreography. Her choreography has won judges awards and highest scoring routine.She is currently studying for her Masters degree in education. Erika believes it is important to build confidence among her dancers so they will succeed within the dance industry as well as become independent young individuals.
Instructor
Amber McCrink was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She found her love for dance at Performers Edge Dance Academy, where she trained in various styles such as jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary, lyrical and hip hop. Throughout the years, she attended many competitions and conventions where she won numerous scholarships, titles, and overalls. She attended The Hollywood Summer Tour in 2015, where she was first exposed to the commercial dance industry, had the privilege of taking master classes with prestigious choreographers, and was a featured dancer in J. Graces music video. Amber became a Prodigy All-Star for Artistic Dance Exchange under Juan Borona, where she assists the ADE faculty, and performed TOKYO's piece "Falling Slowly" in Castellon, Spain. Amber studied at LaGuardia High School, where she earned her Chancellors Endorsed Diploma of the Arts, NY State Regents Dance Diploma and was indicted for the Lee Theodore Award. She found a love for concert and modern dance, specifically Graham and Horton, under names such as Blakeley White-McGuire and Greg Sinacori. She assisted Greg Sinacori in the Horton technique at BOUNCE. She was a part of the LaG Ensemble, and has performed the piece “RUN", by Greg Sinacori, in multiple festivals and Earl Mosley's Winter Repertory Showcase. For the LaGuardia Graduation Concert, she took part in the first ever recreation of "Revelations" performed outside of the Ailey Company. She has performed in pieces created by Dwana Smallwood, Maleek Washington and Vincent Harris. Amber is a company member of Unique Soulz created by Megz Alfonzo from So You Think You Can Dance season 12. Amber is also a company member of Michael Susten and Co. Amber is currently training in various styles of dance at Broadway Dance Center, Gibney Dance, and Step's on Broadway while pursuing a business degree in college.
Instructor Julia Krueger began her dance training in Traverse City, Michigan at age 13. Julia was already a competitive gymnast when she began her dance training. Julia has been trained in many genres such as Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Hip Hop and Jazz. Julia was a part of Company Dance Traverse and trained under Betsy Carr, Marjorie Randazzo, and Melinda Baker. After graduating High School she signed a contract with Barry Manilow's Production Company Stiletto Entertainment where Julia performed all over the world on Holland America Cruise Line. She is currently a senior at Western Michigan University, double majoring in Dance and Exercise Science. Julia has worked with Eddie Ocampo, Jason McDowell, Nelly Von Bommel, Peter Chu among other artists. During the summers she is an instructor for Grounded as well as assisting at Interlochen Arts Academy. Julia is also the Dance Captain for a professional Theatre Company called Miracle Productions.
Guest Instructor Sean Rozanski began his training under the direction of Jodi Fera and Michelle Ferraro in Queens, New York. He went on to study ballet and modern at LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts in New York City. In 2005, he was chosen to represent the United States of America at the Beijing International Cultural Arts Festival in China. It was a once in a lifetime experience that he will never forget. Later, Sean received his BFA in Jazz Dance Performance at the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, PA. He received the Outstanding in All Dance Styles and Outstanding Jazz Dance Performance awards. Sean has had the privilege to work with choreographers such as Roni Koresh, Molly Misgalla, Wayne St. David, Donald Lunsford, Christine Cox, Scott Jovovich, and Gary Jeter. During his time at UArts, he has done numerous workshops at Koresh Dance Company and performed as a dancer in the 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Parade in Philly, under Robbie Mackey's direction and choreography. Sean is currently touring with Chicago's Giordano Dance Company.
Guest Instructor Adechike Torbert was born in Brooklyn, NY began studying dance at the age of 6. Inspired by his older brother to take up dancing, his mother enrolled him in classes at the Restoration Dance Theater where he was introduced to West African, Tap and Afro-Caribbean dance. While there he had the opportunity to join "The Young Hoofers" which was a tap troupe consisting of his two brothers and four other young men. While with the Hoofers Adechike was fortunate enough to study under the tutelage of Buster Brown, Jimmy Slyde, Savion Glover and Gregory Hines. Adechike continued to hone his skills and was later accepted into Fiorello H. LaGuardia High school also known as "The Fame School". During his Junior year he was accepted into the Alvin Ailey School with a full scholarship. Upon graduation he was accepted to The Boston Conservatory. While there he had the opportunity to perform in various classical works. In 2010 Adechike auditioned for FOX's So You Think You Can Dance and was chosen as one of their "Top 11" during SYTYCD's seventh season. He fought his way through the competition and went on to secure a spot in the Top 4. Since then he has had the opportunity of performing on Saturday Night Live, The Ellen Show and Dancing With The Stars. He recently made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award Winning Musical "Fela!" and has been a featured special guest with the iconic troupe; "The Blue Man Group." He's also had the pleasure of working with recording artists; Nicki Minaj, Queen Latifah, Natasha Bedingfield and Jennifer Hudson. His talents have taken him to various parts of the world such as, South Africa, Belarus and Amsterdam. Most recently he worked on Season 2 of the NBC hit musical SMASH as well as the feature film Something Whispered, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. Adechike specializes in Contemporary Dance but is "a power house in many styles."