Donna is the Founder and Director of J-DAPA. She has studied tap, jazz, lyrical, ballet, acro, hip hop, and ballroom, starting at the age of 8 years old. Donna comes from a large family and her love of dance and acting often proved too great of an expense for her parents. Because of this, she was often forced to quit her performance classes as a child. Donna vowed that one day she would offer affordable dance classes so that children with family financial hardships would have the opportunity to experience the art of dance, singing, and acting. Donna has studied with Theresa Landry, Fran Golombiewski, Jeremy Anderson, Elaine Colenieri as well as many master classes from various artists over the years. When she isn’t teaching dance she enjoys directing and doing choreography for J-DAPA’s musical plays.
Aubrey TellierExecutive Administrator
Aubrey is a Johnston Senior High School Alumna with a bachelor’s degree in IT with a concentration in Software Development from Southern New Hampshire University. She has been involved with J-DAPA since its start and is the designer of our official logos! Aubrey runs our Instagram and other social media with Alexis, oversees the J-DAPA website along with Matthew, sets up all ticketing through Tututix, and is the face behind most of the responses to emails, messages and other forms of customer service. She is also responsible for all of our video and audio editing as well as the graphic design of J-DAPA’s signs, playbills, t-shirts, and other promotional materials.
Brieanna TellierLyrical, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Musical Theatre
Brieanna is a jazz, tap, acro, lyrical, and hip hop teacher as well as the choreographer for J-DAPA’s musical productions. She has been dancing for over 25 years. Brieanna began as a dance teacher’s assistant around the age of 8 before moving on to take over her own classes around age 14. Brieanna is a graduate of Johnston Senior High School and holds a bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island College in Elementary and Special Education. When she isn’t teaching or performing with J-DAPA you can find Brieanna working as a competition choreographer and first grade teacher in Johnston, RI.
Allie CatanzaroPre Peewees
Aubrey is so excited to be teaching acting class J-DAPA! She is a proud Graduate of both Providence College and The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where she earned her BA and MFA in Acting respectively. Aubrey has performed across New England and in New York City. Her favorite types of performance are interactive and children’s theatre.
Jennifer Tilley FreemanAcro, Lyrical, Jazz, Tap
Jennifer Tilley Freeman
Jennifer is a Rhode Island native, currently working as a dance educator and musical theatre director with various organizations. She began her dance training as a young child and grew up performing in showcases and competitions. Since completing the Dance Teachers’ Club of Boston’s Dance Education Training Course in 2003, Jen has had the pleasure of teaching hundreds of students. She continued her training at Rhode Island College and was fortunate to work with talented artists and choreographers while performing with the college’s dance company and in musical theatre productions. Professional performances include Providence’s Modern Movement Festival, “Up to Speed” choreographed by Nathan Andary, Open for Dancing’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” choreographed by John-Mark Owen and “In Full Flight” with Heather Ahern’s Aerplaye. “Parasite/gHost,” a collaborative project that combined body prosthetics, music, dance, and video, was performed in 2016. Jen is a veteran dance instructor with experience teaching all ages at schools and studios in RI and MA, including Dance with Energy, Riverside Dance Center, the Portsmouth Abbey School, Rocky Hill School, St. Philomena’s School, Just Dance!, Twinkle Toes Dance Studio, and RI Dance Alliance’s Chance to Dance. Since 2013 she has been part of the creative team at Arts Alive! Barrington. She has had the pleasure of directing and choreographing many shows including Lion King, Seussical, Willy Wonka, Wizard of Oz, Aladdin, Shrek, and Pinocchio. In 2014 she was a dance artist in residence at Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts. She has received awards for her jazz, contemporary, and tap choreography. Jen is passionate about her craft and is fortunate to share it with young performers.
Danielle Grilli-MarzanVoice, Music Director
Danielle is a Rhode Island native and graduate of the University of Rhode Island where she obtained her Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance Danielle has performed full operatic roles such as Josephine in HMS Pinafore, Rosalina in Die Fledermaus, Gianetta in the Gondoliers and has performed many operatic scenes with roles such as Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Fiordiligi in Così Fan Tutte, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Marie in Daughter of the Regiment, and First Lady in The Magic Flute. She has performed with the Warwick Symphony Orchestra as the soprano soloist in the Schubert’s Magnificat and Handel’s Messiah Part I. She has also performed as the soprano soloist for Faure’s Requiem, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Sparrow Mass, and Rutter’s Magnificat in various choirs. Danielle is the music director for J-DAPA as well as Art’s Alive in Barrington. Danielle teaches voice classes with J-DAPA in the fall and spring sessions.
Serena is an alumna of Smithfield High School and a graduate of Hofstra University with a BA in Criminology. She has been performing since she was 4 years old with community theaters around Rhode Island. She also has experience writing, directing, teaching, and stage managing with Kat’s Dance Centre and Performing Arts and with J-DAPA. Serena currently teaches acting classes at J-DAPA and is excited to share her passion for performing with others!
Dave is thrilled to be back teaching acting at J-DAPA, his first theatre home going back 15 years! He has performed in theatre’s around Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Florida, and New York. Dave is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a Bachelor of Arts degree specializing in Theatre Performance.
Kyle WeaverHip Hop
Kyle is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a degree in Music. He has been teaching hip hop professionally throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts since 2004. Over the years he has coached hundreds of students that have gone to regional and national competitions, and Kyle’s choreography and his dancers have won many top awards including the Young Choreography award in 2005 at ADA, as well as numerous 1st and 2nd place highest overall score awards regionally and nationally. Kyle enjoys guest teaching master classes and dance intensives and is currently teaching hip hop at several studios where he shares his passion, unique perspective and intricate style with many aspiring dancers, teachers, and choreographers.
Behind the Scenes
Matthew EisemannTechnical Director
Matt recently graduated from Rhode Island College with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Computer Science. He has worked with J-DAPA since 2015, and appeared in several of its musical productions before starting to take on a more technical role. He has served as the lighting designer for J-DAPA’s productions of Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, Matilda, and Elf JR, as well as all dance recitals since 2019. Since 2018, Matt has worked alongside Aubrey to maintain the company website and was responsible for two re-designs, in 2019 and 2023. When he’s not working with J-DAPA, Matt works as a Digital Producer for AAA Northeast and as a stagehand and lighting designer for organizations around RI through his employment with Advanced Production and Design. Most recently, Matt was one of the stage managers for J-DAPA’s production of Elf JR and appeared as Dennis in The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong!
Alexis GuglielmoSocial Media Director, Assistant Dance Teacher
Alexis has a BA in Mass Media & Communication, and a BA in Science Secondary Education. Alexis works as a science teacher at Davies Career and Technical High School teaching biology, general sciences, and chemistry. Her dance education began at TLCPA at 2 years old and she began to dance with Donna Tellier at 13. With J-DAPA, Alexis has worked as a dance teacher, makeup artist, and set designer, as well as performed with the company in countless recitals and productions. Alexis is currently in charge of content creation as well as running J-DAPA’s social media accounts alongside Aubrey. Fun fact: Alexis is the artist that painted the giant murals in our studio!
Marla is J-DAPA’s doggy mascot! She is a Standard Poodle who was born on March 29th, 2011. When she isn’t spending time at J-DAPA’s studio, Marla loves playing fetch with her tennis balls and frisbee!