Our Team of Dance Instructors

Dance For Joy has recruited some of Brielle's most accomplished dance instructors, each of whom brings their own personal approach to the dance floor. See below who they are:

Kimberly Houli
Owner and Artistic Director
Instructor: Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary


Kimberly graduated from the Performing Arts program at Howell High School and is a 2006 scholarship graduate of Point Park University (Conservatory for the Performing Arts) with a BFA in Dance Pedegogy. She has studied ballet with Peter Merz, Jay Kirk and Susan Stowe; Jazz and contemporary dance with Ron Tassone, Douglas Bentz and Pearlann Porter.  While at Point Park, she was also the Captain of the university soccer team which has allowed her the opportunity to incorporate some of her athletisism into her dance training.  She has performed professionally with the Sebastian Sextet Dance Company, based out of Montclair, NJ and The Pillow Project based out of Pittsburgh, PA. She became the owner of DFJ in 2007 and has been spreading her passion of dancing to students ever since! 


Coreen Ward

Assistant Director

Instructor: Ballet/Pointe and Lyrical


Ms. Cory was born and raised in Ft. Worth, Texas. In TX, Cory was trained as a competitive gymnast, winning TX state champion and Pepsi Jr. Olympics. At the age of 15, she traveled to NY for the Joffrey Summer Program. 


After performing as a professional ballet and modern dancer in TX, Cory moved to New York to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.  Since then, she has booked film/television credits and performed in numerous productions including, “Pippin”, “Joseph…”, “Sweet Charity”, and many more. She worked as a back up dancer for a solo artist and toured nationally. 


Cory taught in the youth program at Broadway Dance Center, was on the  judge's panel for Ticket to Broadway and Starlight Dance Competitions.  She also worked as an Assistant Casting Director in New York City for over 4 years.  Casting talent in commercials, movies and independent shorts.


Cory is now a PMA certified pilates instructor, choreographer, and dance teacher for Dance for Joy and is proud to be a part of the DFJ family.

Jessica Totaro

Instructor: Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Choreography


Jessica Totaro is a 2010 graduate from Rutgers University with a BFA in Dance from Mason School of the Arts where she studied Modern, Ballet, Improvisation and Choreography. While in school she worked with guest artists Mark Morris. Sam Pots, Stuart Loungeway, Wallie Wolfgruber, and Molly Poerstel. She studied under professors Randy James, Reagan Wood, John Evans, Sherrie Alban, Paulette Sears, Kimani Fowlin, Jeff Friedman and Christian Von Howard.


Jessica is a current performer in the Musical Theatre-Modern influenced company, Derling Dance Arts Inc as a dancer, musician and vocalist.  She is also a current dancer in the New Jersey Hip Hop Company The ReDEF Movement. From 2006-2011 She was an Assistant Creative director for the New Jersey high school touring acapella group, The RocknRoll Chorus, under the direction of Joe Cantaffa. She was also a singer in the acapella group CNote where she was a featured soloist and vocal percussionist.


Jessica’s goal as an instructor is to not dictate but to guide her students into finding their individuality through the form of movement. With her strong background in Modern, Improvisation and Choreography she believes that the connection and combination of learned technique with learned improvisational movement is a formula for a well rounded, individual dancer.  She believes that the most successful dancers and artists are those who can share real dance experiences with their students. Jessica encourages her students to work hard, be kind, seek out the real world of dance and challenge themselves everyday inside and outside the studio. 

Kathleen Pearlburg

Instructor: Ballet, Pointe, Pre-Pointe


Kathleen Pearlberg joined the DFJ teaching staff in September of 2013 and has been a wonderful addition to our DFJ family! Ms. Kathy was a former dancer with the NJ Ballet Company and is a certified personal trainer (ACSM) and group exercise instructor.  She danced professionally for 15 years and has 30 years of teaching experience.  She is excited to share her passion and knowledge of dance to all her students at DFJ. 

Emily Olman

Instructor: Ballet, Jazz, lyrical and Tap


Emily Olman grew up dancing at Dance For Joy.  She has had the opportunity to spend two summers at Point Park University on scholarship and was accepted into the Julliard summer program in 2012. She is currently studying as a dance major at Gorgian Court University on a full dance scholarship! Emily's love of dance radiates to her students as she teaches.  Emily will graduate Gorgian Court University in 2016 and aspires to dance professionally and be a part of the professional ballet community. 

Dana Ingram

Instructor: Tap, Contemporary and Jazz


Dana Ingram graduated from Point Park University with a BFA in Dance with a jazz concentration as well as a minor in Art History in 2005.  Prior to college, Dana studied with such notable educators as Mike Minery, Shelia Barker, Wade Robson and Frank Hatchett.  She had the opportunity to perform works by famous choreographers including Robert Battle, Bill T. Jones and Doug Bentz.

For the past six years, Dana has been teaching and choreographing at numerous studios and colleges.  She has worked with a number of children and adolescents ranging in age from three to eighteen, teaching the fundamentals of dance and creative movement expression.  Recently, Dana was Assistant Choreographer for the Broadway cast of The Lion King in a piece for Defying Inequality; A Broadway Benefit.  Dana continues to dance, choreograph and educate the youth of the dance community.


John Barella

Instructor: Hip Hop


John barrella is a hip hop / street dance educator, choreographer, company director and event coordinator from central NJ. John specializes in the instruction of hip hop dance culture,freestyle and choreography in the styles of locking, popping, breaking, street jazz and more. At the age of 14, John was accepted into the "school the arts" in East Brunswick where he spent his 4 high school years learning modern dance and ballet. Aside from traditional classes, he also attended annual courses in human anatomy, improvisational techniques, teaching dance to children, choreography techniques, musical theatre and theatre . In college, John studied childhood education and small business management to round out his dance career training.

From his early teens, John studied under various hip hop artists and was recruited into Wildstyle hip hop crew in 2004. From there, he learned his basic hip hop techniques and to this day gets his training from sessions with various crews and hip hop artists, as well as regular NYC classes. 

John is the creator and director of "The ReDEF Movement ", a set of hip hop crews that actively showcase and battle in the hip hop community. Within his crews, and as an individual, John's work and performances have been featured in and out of state in various NY festivals, half time shows for the NY Liberty and NY Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Monsters of hip hop, Battle for Your Life, Unity 2009, and much more. Recently, Johns crew has won multiple statewide battles and he was a featured dancer in the music video, "HSKT". Currently , John is owner of hip hop dance convention, "Soul Sessions" and is collaborating with a member of the New York City Breakers for a performance tour on the history of hip hop. 


Johns classes are designed to teach aspiring dancers the fundamentals of hip hop dance as a freestyle art and techniques to master choreography. His goals are to inspire people to be artists and push themselves creatively and positively both in and out of dance no matter what the obstacles are. 

Colleen Bennett

Instructor: Modern, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary


         An advocate of the arts, Colleen continues to influence lives with the creativity and artistry of dance education in the public and private realm. Colleen completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, as well as pioneered an entirely new education program for the state of New Jersey while studying at Montclair State University.  The Dance Education Bachelors program created at MSU, including a Standard Teaching Certificate K-12, will help to change and improve the education many students receive about the arts in the public school system.  While teaching dance full-time at the public and performing arts high school level, Colleen has also heightened her professional resume as well. She has had the pleasure of working personally with some of the finest artists in the New York City Area; such include:  Bill T. Jones, Denise Vale, prodigy of the Martha Graham Dance Company, Sebastian Smeureanu of Pilobolus Dance Company, Joao Mauricio of Paul Taylor Dance Company, Maxine Steinman of Maxine Steinman and Dancers and the Limon Dance Company and Institution, Donna Scro Gentile of Freespace Dance and Sean Curran Dance Company, Maureen Glennon of Moe-tion Dance Theater, Kim Whittam and Company, JT Jenkins, George Smallwood of Robert Battle’s Battleworks Dance Company, Nancy Lushington and the  May O’Donnell technique, Lynn Grossman of the Israel Ballet, Austin Ballet Company, and Radio City Ballet Theater, and Caitlyn Trainor of Sean Curran Dance Company, as well as many others.  She looks forward to her career as she continues to pursue her passion as a dancer and educator. 



Krista Morton

Instructor: Ballet, Tap, Modern


Krista has 15 years of dance instruction. Thirteen of those years were spent as a student at Dance For Joy. She has been a student apprentice at DFJ for 7 years, a substitute dance instructor for 3 years, and assists in coordinating birthday parties for the studio. Krista is the former director of Agape Arts Center, where she taught various styles to a variety of ages, and organized their spring recital.


For the past 6 years, Krista’s choreography has been featured in the musical production of “Christmas on Silver Pond”, as well as ensembles and fundraisers for Agape FaithWorks.  She brings countless hours of performance experience through several leads in musical productions, and her experience with RockNRoll Chorus, a national a capella touring group.


Being a certified Kinesiology taping practitioner, she has experience handling dance-related injuries and has used this knowledge to help several injured dancers in various studio settings. Among her experience with handling injuries is a 65 hour internship under Dr. Travis Spader, PT, at Active Physical Therapy.


Beginning in the fall of 2016, Krista will be studying dance at Georgian Court University. She aspires to further develop her skill, in order to better her teaching techniques for her future students.  While at GCU, Krista will be studying to be a Pilates instructor, and holistic health minor.


Krista believes it is important to not only share the technique, but the joy of dance with others. She looks forward to teaching whenever possible, and encourages her students to perform for an Audience of One.  She looks forward to helping each student find what dance truly means to them. 

Sara Martorana
Instructor: Lyrical, Jazz 
Sara has a true passion for education. In the dance world, she has been teaching and choreographing for over 15 years. She specializes in jazz and contemporary, and has taught a variety of ages and levels.  She trains her students to focus on the fundamentals of the art, while expressing themselves as creative individuals.  In addition, Sara has been a middle school teacher for nearly a decade. She truly strives to be the best educator she can be, whether that be in the classroom or in the dance studio.
As a dancer, Sara studied with some of the most noteworthy dance educators of our time. Some include Mike Minery, Shelia Barker, Frank Hatchett and Jason Parsons.  She has assisted Al Blackstoneand was a dancer in the Capezio ACE Award winning piece "Brown Eyed Girl".
Sara continues to dance while educating her students.  She believes that dance education is like any education... it is never ending.  The best teachers continue to seek knowledge for the benefit of themselves, but more importantly, for their students.

Address and Contact

Dance For Joy
1025 Highway 70
Brielle, NJ 08730
Phone: 732 223-5336

Email: danceforjoyNJ@gmail.com (Please Note email is the best and fastest way to reach us )



Dance For Joy Studio Brochure
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Fall Schedule 2017-2018
DFJ Schedule 4 Rooms Sheet1.pdf
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Tuition Schedule
Adobe Acrobat document [24.8 KB]
Parent/Student Handbook
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Studio Hours:


Office Hours and Registration:

Monday-Friday 4-8:30pm

Saturday 9-11am




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