ABC Faculty
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Director/Instructor - Amy Burns-Cuozzo 


    Miss Amy has been dancing since the young age of 3, studying with her mentor and friend, Andrea (Kozak) Wakeman who directed the Dance Arts Centre in Sidney, NY for over 20 years. Miss Amy then went on to study dance and performing arts at Dean College in Massachussettes, receiving an Associate of Arts degree with a concentration in dance.  While at Dean, Miss Amy was very involved in the dance program and was a member and soloist of the Dean Dance Company.  When she returned home, with encouragement from Miss Andrea, Miss Amy prepared to take her exams to gain membership in the prestigious Dance Masters of America, a worldwide dance instructor organization.  Miss Amy tested in both Jazz and Ballet, receiving a 97 in jazz and a 99.9 in ballet.  Being a member of Dance Masters of America was very important to Miss Amy, as they represent the type of teacher Miss Amy would strive to be.   Along with teaching and beginning a modern dance program at the Dance Arts Centre,  Miss Amy also attended SUNY Oneonta to receive her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, with a special interest in special needs students.  Miss Amy not only has years of experience teaching dance, but also working with students with special needs.  Miss Amy enjoys working with all of her students and takes pride in being able to offer them a solid foundation in dance, along with giving them opportunities to be active in their communities and encouraging them to be role models for others.  Miss Amy has won numerous high score & choreography awards, as well as the Community Pride Award and the Rotary Vocational Service Award for her dedication to the community and her students.  ABC Center for Performing Arts received the "Business of the Year" award in 2019 from the Sidney Chamber of Commerce.  Miss Amy continues her dance education each year through workshops and teacher seminars.  Miss Amy is also a choreographer for the Tri-Town Theatre in Sidney, the Afton Community Theatre and the Oxford Colorguard.  

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Makenzie Cuozzo - Instructor

 

     Miss Makenzie has been spending most of her time dancing since a very young age, as she spent most of her time watching her mom, Miss Amy, teaching and dancing.  From the day of her first class she was hooked, just like her mom.  Miss Kenzie studied dance at ABC for 15 years, and was an assistant for a few years, and then an instructor for her remaining 3 years.  Miss Makenzie is another great role model and supportive of her fellow dancers and her students.  Miss Kenzie has won choreography awards and  special awards, along with many awards for her performances.  Miss Makenzie also spent time studying music and theatre.  She performed many NYSMA solos, scoring some perfect scores, performed in All County Chorus and Swing Choir, and in the  All State Chorus, and Women's Choir. Miss Makenzie also performed with the Drama Club, having lead rolls in both plays and musicals.  Makenzie attended SUNY Potsdam and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 3.9 average in 2017.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in dance and theatre.  Makenzie was named a Department Scholar in both dance and theatre.  She was also awarded the K. Dunkley Scholarship for Performance and Creative Excellence in Dance.  Miss Makenzie was inducted into both the Phi Kappa Phi National Academic Honor Society and the Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society.   A member of the SUNY Potsdam Dance Ensemble, during her senior year she served as president.  Miss Makenzie both danced and choreographed for a number of dance performances at SUNY Potsdam, including faculty and student concerts, as well as the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane performance.  She also served as stage manager for a piece in the spring 2016 Senior Choreographer’s Concert, and directed and performed in several play festivals.   Miss Makenzie will graduate with her Master's Degree in Special Education in January and is currently teaching as an LTA at Unadilla Valley. Miss Makenzie is also a choreographer for the Oxford Colorguard.    

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Phyllis Nordberg - Instructor

     Miss Phyllis began dancing at the young age of 5 with Pat Burke and Jackie Avery.  When she was 11, she began dancing with Miss Andrea Wakeman when she opened the Dance Arts Centre in Sidney.  Although she took many classes, her passion was always acrobatics.   At age 12 she became an assistant teacher for Miss Andrea and at age 14 she was teaching classes with Miss Andrea once a week in Owego, as well as at her Sidney studio.  In 1979 she studied with the Syracuse Ballet.  At the age of 23, she passed her Dance Masters of America exams to become a certified instructor.  Miss Phyllis continued dancing and teaching until after having her third child, when she chose to be a stay at home mom.  During her time off, she continued to perform as a special guest in various recitals.  In 2013, Miss Phyllis returned to dance with her long time friends at ABC Center for Performing Arts.  Since returning to dance, she has helped Miss Amy with various classes and in 2017 took over teaching the acrobatics program, as well as teaching beginner ballet and tap and some solos.  Miss Phyllis also works full time at the Sidney Federal Credit Union. 

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Tracy Graney - Instructor

     Miss Tracy was one of the original students to study at the Dance Arts Centre, under the direction of Miss Andrea Wakemen, for 20 years prior to opening her own studio.  For 11 years, she was the successful owner and artistic director of the Cooperstown Academy of Dance.  Miss Tracy had earned her certification by test to teach dance through the International Teachers of Dance, Inc. (ITDI) and the Dance Masters of America, Chapter #8 for the arts of ballet and jazz.  For the past 5 years she has been enjoying dance again with her kindred spirits from childhood under the direction of close friend, Miss Amy.  Miss Tracy has judged both dance competitions and local fairs.  A past board member of the Tri-Town Theatre, she choreographed and performed in various shows.  Miss Tracy earned her degree as an RN through SUNY Delhi and is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse.  She is currently working towards her Case Management Certification and Bachelors in Nursing.  Miss Tracy's passion is ballet in the dance arena and she enjoys choreographing classical ballet to unconventional musical styles.  Miss Tracy believes every person should learn in a structured, yet fun and creative forum, concentrating on the student as an individual.

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Colleen Cole Finch - Instructor 

 

     Miss Colleen also began her training with Miss Andrea and other teachers at the Dance Arts Centre, as well as Miss Amy, for more than 10 years.  She earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education and Program Administration from Cazenovia College.  With a continued passion for performing arts, some of her elective course work focused on music, acting, and film.  She has extensive training and experience working with young children, ages birth-5 years, and their families, including the I Am Moving, I Am Learning (IMIL) model that has an emphasis on early and ample opportunities to stimulate & challenge the sensory, perceptual, and motor development of young children.  With her solid knowledge of child development and passion for dance, Miss Colleen begins to build a solid foundation, excitement, and love for dance with many of our youngest dancers.  She continues her education through trainings, workshops, and seminars.   

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Brandi Clark - Substitute Instructor

 

     Miss Brandi is an ABC alumni who trained with Miss Amy for several years.  Prior to her training at ABC, Miss Brandi studied at the Dance Arts Centre, under the direction of Miss Andrea Wakeman.  During her time at ABC and DAC, Miss Brandi was an excellent assistant, helping to teach dancers of various ages.  After high school, she studied Early Childhood Education at SUNY Cobleskill.  Once she was done with college, Miss Brandi returned to ABC as an instructor, and has been an integral part of ABC ever since.  She also works as a teacher-aide at the Greenlawn Elementary School in Bainbridge.  Miss Brandi has a friendly and caring personality and a positive attitude that she brings to each class.  She has won several top score awards for her Musical Theatre choreography and won overall high score at nationals.  Miss Brandi grew up traveling with Miss Amy and Miss Andrea to Dance Master's of America workshops and values the standards and code of ethics set by the DMA organization.  Miss Brandi has also been a choreographer for the Afton Community Theatre.

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Skylar Clark - Substitute Instructor

Miss Skylar is 22 years old and currently a graduate of SUNY Oneonta with a bachelor's degree in Childhood Education. She began her dance career at ABC Center for Performing Arts at the age of two. She became a part of the Performance Team at age seven and is one of the original members of Metamorphosis Dance Company. Miss Skylar is very excited for the opportunity to share her passion for dance with others!