Lisa Grimes, Executive Director

Lisa has been on the faculty of Montclair State University's Dance and Theater department since 1999 where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is the Managing Director of Freespace Dance, a professional Modern Dance Company and is on faculty at Raritan Valley Community College. Her background in arts administration includes working with Dance Theater Workshop, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Jodi Kaplan and Associates. Lisa was a teaching artist for Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania Dodge Dance Initiative, and has been a member of Dance USA and NDEO.


Cristina Marte, Managing Director 

Cristina Marte received her B.F.A. in Dance from mMontclair State University. Post college graduation, she performed with NYC-based dance companies such as Underground Dance Project and Phoenix Rising. Cristina found her true passion in dance when settling into her position as a dance educator for the Ocean County Vocational Technical Schools Performing Arts Academy where she took part in developing the dance curriculum and built the rigorous dance program. To further her dance knowledge, she received her M.A. in Dance Education from New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Cristina broadened her teaching range by joining the faculty of Montclair State University as an adjunct professor, as well as developing and teaching a full time dance program in Jersey City Public Schools for grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. She was a member of the State Model Curriculum Writing Team for Dance responsible for developing model curriculums for grades Kindergarten through high school. Cristina holds a teaching certificate in the state of New Jersey, is a member of the National Dance Education Organization, has been a board member of Dance New Jersey since 2007 and is excited to embark on her new journey as Managing Director of Dance New Jersey.



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Janel Brown, Event Intern

Janel Brown is thrilled to be a part of the Dance New Jersey team. A passionate performer, she has studied and competed with Susie Karlik's Dance Sensation (Union, NJ) for ten years. Janel is an alumna of Oak Knoll School (Summit, NJ), where she was a long-standing member of the dance collective and served as Dance Captain and Assistant to the Choreographer in several theatre productions. She has taken classes at Movement Research's MELT Intensive and Carolyn Dorfman Dance’s NJ SummerDance intensive, and she participated with Dickinson College in the American College Dance Association's Northeast Conference. Janel's internship experiences include Paper Mill Playhouse, Donna Uchizono Company, and Carolyn Dorfman Dance, and she is currently also working part-time as an office assistant for Carolyn Dorfman Dance.


Arica Zentner is very excited to be working as an Administrative Assistant Intern for Dance New Jersey focusing on Special Events and Membership Communication for the organization. Originally from New York, began her semi-professional dance and choreography career in New Jersey in 2010. She has worked with many choreographers in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. Arica graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in May 2017 with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts/Dance Arts with a minor in Technical Theatre Management. She performed as a member of the IUP Dance Theater and worked as a Costume seamstress and Administrative Assistant for the Theater department office. She also graduated in the spring of 2015 with her AFA in Dance at Raritan Valley Community College. She has studied with artists Holly Boda-Sutton, Joan Van Dyke, Sabatino Verlezza, Lisa Grimes, Lees Hummel, Loretta Fois, Randy James, Maureen Glennon and many others. She has also studied abroad in Florence Italy in 2014 with the Florence Summer Dance Program.


Emily LeBoeuf, Communications Intern

Emily is very excited to be joining the Dance New Jersey team as the communications intern. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Media & Communication from Muhlenberg College. Starting at age 3, Emily comes from a strong competitive background, training in ballet, modern, and jazz. At Muhlenberg, she’s performed in numerous dance concerts, including a restaging of Donald McKayle’s “Songs of the Disinherited”. Over her 4 years, she has had the opportunity to choreograph seven works for various productions. Emily has previously worked as the Video Production Manager in the Theatre and Dance Office at Muhlenberg and continues to work part time for the National Dance Showcase talent competition. As the Communications Intern for Dance New Jersey, Emily posts all social media, creates the email blasts, and is in charge of all event submissions. Originally from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, Emily hopes to continue her studies, choreographic, & performance talent across the state.  

Dance New Jersey is a service organization committed to advocating the excellence of dance and dance education in the state.

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