Jill Fitzgerald earned her BA in Dance from DeSales University with an emphasis on Dance Management, and then furthered her training by studying with a variety of tap masters including Buster Brown and LaVaughn Robinson. Jill spent 8 years in Richmond, VA where she was an adjunct faculty member for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Dance Department, Business Manager and faculty member at the Richmond Dance Center, and choreographer/dance instructor for the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community. Additionally, Jill served as Assistant Entertainment Manager for Busch Entertainment Corp, at Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA where she developed the entertainment program there, and in Osaka, Japan. Jill is currently a tap dance instructor at Nardi Dance Studios in Easton, Expression of Dance in Nazareth, and Patricia Bostick Dance Center in Allentown. She was a performing member of the T.A.P. Company for 5 years and is proud to be a founding member of Tap Ties.
Amy Browne Smith received her BFA in dance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Amy has taught and performed throughout the Tri-State area independently and as part of the Young Audiences program while working with Tap Team Two & Co., Inc. She has performed in many venues including a feature performance for the New York Foundation of the Arts at Town Hall in NYC. Amy has studied extensively with many tap masters and has shared the stage with tap legends LaVaughn Robinson, Germaine Ingram, Shelley Oliver, Jason Samuels, Brenda Bufalino, and Buster Brown. She is the former Program Director of the Lehigh Valley Dance Forum, former Assistant Artistic Director of T.A.P. Company where she was also an educator, choreographer, performer, and soloist. Amy is currently serving as Director of Dance for Pennsylvania Youth Theatre where she is also an instructor. She teaches a variety classes throughout the Lehigh Valley including the Bethlehem YMCA and Art of Dance studio. Amy enjoys sharing her love of tap dance through her work as a founding member of Tap Ties.
Crystal Bartolacci is the owner/director of Crystal’s School Of Dance in Orwigsburg, Pa for the past 19 years. Crystal attended the PA Governor’s School for the Arts in Jazz Dance on a full scholarship, is a summa cum laude graduate from Rutgers University, a certified teacher through Albright College and a certified dance instructor through Dance Educators of America. Crystal was an adjunct professor at Penn State University where she taught jazz dance and choreographed for the theatre department. Crystal has studied and continues to study with a great variety of master teachers. She was a member of Nicole Hockenberry’s T.A.P. Company from 2004-2006 and is now thrilled to be a founding member of Tap Ties.
Grace Conti studied ballet from age 3 through high school. She was a founding member of the Bethlehem Ballet Co. (now the LV Ballet Guild) in 1958. After graduating from Syracuse University she received her MSW from the University of Michigan, married and raised 5 children. As an adult she studied ballet and jazz with Carol Welton Kelly and Laura Hausmann. In 1997 she pursued her interest in tap , studying with Shelley Oliver and Nicole Hockenberry. While attending many tap festivals throughout the country she had the opportunity of studying with many of the tap masters. Recently she has been certified as a Zumba and Zumba Gold instructor. She continues her study of tap with Shelley Oliver and Rochelle Haynes and enjoys dancing with Tap Ties.
Jerri Brown graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Business. She was a member of the MMC Dance Company for two and 1/2 years,
performing off-Broadway. While studying in the city, Jerri taught at the92nd Street Y and The Neighborhood Playhouse. She was the Studio Manager and Ballet Mistress at Star Maker School of Performing Arts in New Jersey where she wrote, directed and choreographed original ballets as well as competitive lyrical, tap and jazz routines for TheEntertainers Dance Company. Currently, Jerri instructs at Pennsylvania Youth Theatre, Showbiz Kidz and Nardi Dance Studios, is the choreographer for the Freedom High School Theatre Company in Bethlehem and the Dance Educator for Easton State Theatre’s Annual Acting Camp. Many of her students have gone on to do professional work for world touring companies, Cirque du Soleil, Broadway, film and television. She has taught master classes for Hunterdon County Teen Arts, Acrodanse Theatre's Junior Dance Company and choreographed for the Amwell Community Children's Theatre and Flemington Raritan Community Theatre. Jerri has judged and choreographed for dance competitions and worked with models for A Wish Come True, a costume catalog company that services dance studios across the country. She is also certified as a group fitness instructor through the American Council of Exercise, the National-Dance-Exercise Instructor's Training Association, and MMC as well as a Pilates instructor through the Pilates Institute of America.
Carol Hebert is a graduate of the Hartford Conservatory of Music and Dance and received her BFA in Dance with honors from UMASS Amherst where she was a performing member of the University Dancers. After graduation, Carol furthered her dance studies in New York City at Peridance Center, the Limon Institute, Dance Space, and performed with the Deborah Carr Theatre Dance Ensemble, Soundance, and several independent choreographers. Carol has attended many workshops and festivals throughout the Northeast including the Portsmouth Percussive Dance Festival, White Mountain Summer Dance, and Jacob’s Pillow. She has studied with many master tap teachers including Brenda Bufalino, Josh Hilberman, Pam Raff, Diane Walker, Jeannie Hill, and Nicole Hockenberry. Her Teaching credits include the New England Dance Conservatory, The Hartford Conservatory, Springfield College, Elms College, the Hartt School, Mount Holyoke College, and the school of the Hartford Ballet. Her choreography has been performed by the UMASS University Dancers, Springfield College Dancers, and the New England Dance Theatre, where she was also a performing member. Since moving to Pennsylvania in 2004, Carol has performed in National Tap Dance Day Celebrations in Allentown and Bethlehem, and in the University of the Arts 60th Annual Alumni Dance Celebration in Philadelphia. She presently teaches dance throughout the Delaware Valley, and continues her studies as a performing member of both Tap Ties in the Lehigh Valley and Tap Team Two in Philadelphia.
Melody Kline is a graduate of the High School of the Performing Arts in NYC and has studied with many dance masters including Paul Draper, Bob Audy, Charles Kelly, Shelley Oliver, and Germaine Salsberg. She was the Owner/Director of Melody’s Dance Studio in Brodheadsville, PA and continues to teach a variety of classes there. She continues to study with Rochelle Haynes and Shelley Oliver on a regular basis as well as attending master classes and workshops in NYC and beyond. Melody is honored to have received an award for her contributions to dance from the Monroe County Arts Council. Melody was a performing member of T.A.P. Company under the direction of Nicole Hockenberry from 1997-2005 and is a founding member of Tap Ties.