top of page

Joan Christensen

Executive Artistic Director

Joan Christensen has been the Executive/Artistic Director of Joan Lynn Dancer Center and Company for 35 years. Prior to opening Joan Lynn Dance Center, she was the Assistant Teacher to Ron Fucci of Ronnie’s Dance Workshop in North Haven for 15 years, for a total of 50 years of dance experience.


Joan has taught all styles of dance, including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, musical theater, and aerobics. Joan has had a lifelong love of dance, and has studied many different styles and techniques throughout the years, with much emphasis in Jazz and Tap. She studied extensively in New York City under such notable teachers as, Charles "Chuck" Kelly, Judy Bassing, Luigi, Wayne Cilento, Patty and Leslie Lockery and continues to further her knowledge with the vast, digital dance available online.


Joan has a love for the theater arts and musical theater dance. She has choreographed many local productions across Connecticut, for high schools, and area theaters. For the past 20 years, she has been the principal choreographer for the Whitney Players, a local theater company under the direction of Cindy Simell-Devoe. Most recent productions have been Young Frankenstein, Shrek the Musical, West Side Story, Matilda, Anything Goes, Godspell, to name but a few.


Together with Cindy Simell-Devoe, Joan runs a 2-week musical theater camp in the summer. The camps' main focus is for children and teens who want to further their studies in acting and musical theater. Joan also runs a summer intensive for JLDC dancers.

As a performer, choreographer, director and teacher, Joan’s priority has always been to keep the performing arts alive and well in our community, and to give her students a strong base to build vital careers in the Arts.

David Christensen

Associate Artistic Director

David has been with the Joan Lynn Dance Center and Company as Director of Tap and Musical Theatre since 2012. He holds his B.F.A. in Musical Theatre performance from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee where he was assistant choreographer to Michael Susko in their production of 42nd street. In 2012 he was a featured dancer in a piece choreographed by Aaron Tolson at Broadway Dance Center in NYC. David has written multiple shows which have been featured at various theaters around the country including Pittsburgh CLO, Casa Mañana, Joe's Pub and 54 Below in NYC, the Children's Theater of Cincinnati and the Bloomington Playwright’s Project among others.


Tammi Wells

Assistant Artistic Director

Tammi has been with Joni since the age of three: first as a student, then an assistant, then a teacher and now as an Artistic Director. Tammi helped to create the Joan Lynn Company Dancers Performing Group. She has been an integral part of connecting with various charities and setting up performances. Tammi enjoys teaching all levels.

Tammi began her love of dance at age three under the direction of Ms. Joan. She evolved with the studio from a student to an assistant and she has been a teacher for the last 23 years. Tammi helped to create the original Joan Lynn Performing Group which danced at charitable events and raised money for a variety of causes.  She was an integral part of transitioning the group into a competition team. Tammi currently resides in North Haven with her four sons.  She has been a school social worker with the New Haven Public Schools for the past 14 years.  Tammi enjoys educating her dancers on controversial topics and current events, and then integrating them into her routines. She sees a new dance as an opportunity to not only learn choreography but also to reach a new emotional space.  She teaches many subject areas but has a special love for contemporary.   of dancers and especially loves lyrical. Tammi has a strong background in child development due to her career as a Social Worker with the New Haven Public Schools.


Amber Richetelli

Amber has been dancing with the Joan Lynn Dance Company since the age of 2. She then decided to further her studies at Hofstra University in Long Island where she graduated with a B.S. in Dance Education. Amber has worked as an assistant, teacher, and choreographer and is well versed in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, and modern. She has performed in works by Maxine Steinman, Rachel List, José Límon (restaged by Pablo Ruvalcaba Tovar), and Anita Feldman. Amber is also the recipient of the New York State Dance Education Association Undergraduate Award. 


Amber was President of the Dance Education club on campus, T’DAA (Teaching Dance as Art) as well as Hofstra’s chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts. Amber was also Lead Teacher of an integrated creative dance class for adults with varying abilities. 


Melanie Moore

Melanie has been part of the JLDC family since she was 4 years old and began teaching full time at the age of 18. She graduated from Quinnipiac University with a Master's Degree in Journalism and worked in the television industry for many years before landing on her final career in digital marketing. 


She has also worked in the fitness industry for many years as a certified Zumba instructor bringing her love and passion for dance to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Alyssa LeCuyer

Alyssa has been a part of the JLDC family for 20 years. She started as a student at the age of 8 and was one of the early members of the original JDC Performing Group. Throughout her High School career, Alyssa was an assistant for many classes here at the studio. She began teaching in 2015 after graduating from Southern Connecticut State University with a Communication Disorder Degree. Throughout high school and college, Alyssa worked as a nanny. Ever since she was young, she always had a passion and love for children. After graduating, she worked as an ABA Therapist with children between the ages of Preschool and Third Grade. Alyssa teaches Ballet, Tap, and Jazz to our younger students. She resides in Wallingford with her husband and two young boys.


Vincent Ianniello
Director of Hip Hop

Vincent has been working at Joan Lynn Dance Company for the last 15 years. Teaching all ages and levels, Vin has trained multiple dancers who have gone on to receive their degrees in dance as well. Vin has trained with a variety of industry professionals in NYC, as well as bringing guest teachers to JLDC, including Dancer/Choreographer/Producer Matt Steffanina.
As a musician and actor, Vin has been featured in many productions and venues throughout the area, most recently playing the role of Pharaoh in the Whitney Players 
production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Vin has choreographed all of the JLDC Competition Team Teen Hip Hop numbers, many of them winning First Place and Judges Awards at regional and national events.

Kolby Matusovich

Kolby  has been a part of the Joan Lynn Dance Center for the past 21 years, both as a student and as a member of the faculty. She has studied a wide variety of subjects during her time as a student of the Joan Lynn Dance Center, such as ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, hip-hop and lyrical, but her true passion in life is tap. Kolby was also an inaugural member of The Joan Lynn Dance Company, and it’s predecessor, The Joan Lynn Performing Group.

She has been an attendee at The Big Apple Tap Festival in Manhattan, New York, where she learned from some of the leading names in the tap dancing world, such as Professor Robert L. Reed, Anthony LoCascio, Ray Hesselink, Germaine Salsberg, Avi Miller and Ofer Ben. She has also taken many tap classes at the pre-professional level at Broadway Dance Center, during her time as a student at Marymount Manhattan College. She also performed at the collegiate level in a tap number choreographed by one of her college professors. Kolby has also worked closely with Lanene Charters from the original Broadway production of Mamma Mia.

Kolby has been a proud member of the faculty of The Joan Lynn Dance Center for the past six years, and can always be seen teaching tap classes from ages 8 to adult in her signature pink and black tap shoes.

Victor Trevino

Mr. Trevino is the Founder and Artistic Director of Ballet Eloelle/Les Ballets Grandiva, Men in Tutus, and Men in Pink Tights. He has created various works for the company including Romeo and Juliet, Le Petite Nutcracker Suite, Spartacus, Swan Lake Act II, Bolero, Near the Middle Somewhat Below, Love Wrongs, Peridot, Minkus Gala, Pocahontas Pas, Dracula, The Changing Room, and he has staged numerous classical duets and solos as well. Beyond Les Ballets Grandiva his creations include The Adventures of Little Red Riding Hood, Peter and the Wolf, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Mr. Trevino also was an original member of Ballet Florida under Marie Hale and danced with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo for ten years.  He is currently working with Joan Lynn Dance Company, a community-based dance school in Hamden, Connecticut; Males on Pointe, a project for dancers in South America, and has been the performance coordinator and liaison for Palm Beach Atlantic University's dance department in Florida as well as an adjunct professor. He has studied under many of the world’s leading ballet teachers including David Howard and Wilhelm Burman. Victor's extensive career as a Ballerina includes most of the great female leads such as Odette, Odile, Giselle, Kitri, Aurora, Sugar Plum Fairy, Juliet, and Carmen. Mr. Trevino still enjoys the laughter of a live audience and is thrilled to be able to contribute to the dance communities around the globe.

Kathy Popielarczyk

Kathleen Popielarczyk is a Connecticut based dance educator holding her BS in Human Resources from the Southern New Hampshire University. She received her early dance training at Gloria Jean’s Studio of Dance under the direction of Gloria Jean Cumming. She serves on faculty at Gloria Jean Studios of Dance and Joan Lynn Dance Company teaching students of all ages. Outside of dance, she has a special interest in inclusive programming including coaching youth sports for athletes with and without disabilities. Kathy integrates her passion for education, inclusion and dance creating a welcoming environment for all her students to grow and develop. 

Makayla Johnson

 Makayla Johnson is  20 years old and I has been dancing for the last 7 years. She  enjoys other genres of dance, but has a special love for tap. She enjoys working with children and has  been assisting at the Joan Lynn Dance Company since high school. She also works at a daycare and attends school to be a licensed practical nursing in hopes of becoming a neonatal or pediatric nurse soon.

Bradley Ellis

Bradley is excited to be joining JLDC co-teaching a Musical Theatre Class. He is currently the Founding Artistic Director of The Magnolia Theatre in Hamden. You may see him in working backstage at many JLDC productions or as Mother Ginger in the annual Nutcracker production. Bradley most enjoys being on stage with his two daughters.

Sharon Monnes

 Sharon Monnes is a lifelong lover of the performing arts and has been a Theatre Arts teacher for 15 years at the middle school level. In this role, she has directed several musicals including Seussical Jr., Into the Woods Jr. and The Wizard of Oz. She regularly runs after-school clubs focusing on the topic of improvisation and sketch comedy. Her passion for theatre is driven by seeing the positive effect that it can have on the self-esteem of young people and the community-building aspect of putting on a production. Apart from teaching, she loves baking, hiking and spending lots of time with her family.

Sheri Bonanno

Sheri Bonanno has been teaching dance in CT and the surrounding New England area for the past 33 years. Her early training came from Sharon DiCrosta at the Dancer’s Studio. She then received her BA in Dance from DeSales University. Sheri performed with the Muhlenberg Summer Theatre and The Anita Feldman Dance Company. She is certified by Dance Masters of America and is a member of DMA Chapter 18.  Sheri’s students and choreography have won numerous awards on the state, national and international stages. Her teaching experience includes teaching children ages 2 through adult in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, and acro with an emphasis in tap. She also continues to work as an assistant coach/choreographer for the American Dance Collaborative which is a group of dancers who represent the United States at the World Tap Dance Championships.

Jacqui Montano

Jacqui found her love for dance as part of the JLDC family beginning at age three. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, and pointe through her senior year of high school. She then attended Hofstra University where she became a member of the Dance Team, competing regionally and nationally.  Her senior year she was named Captain and helped lead the team to their highest placement in history at the time at the UDA College Dance Team National Championship—2nd place! In 2012, Jacqui became the Head Coach for the Branford High School Dance Team for 10 years. Under her reign, the team competed in jazz and hip hop and acquired 15 State Championship titles, 8 Regional Championship titles, and ranked amongst the top 10 at the National Dance Team Championships. Over the years Jacqui has returned to JLDC to help clean competition routines and judge company auditions. This is Jacqui’s first official year as part of the JLDC staff, teaching conditioning and technique to the company students.

bottom of page