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 Montclair 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.



Janel Brown.jpg

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.


Nancy Macasieb (Catawba, NC) is a graduate of the BFA dance program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to college, she began dancing at Betty’s School of Dance in Statesville, North Carolina. Nancy was self-educated at home as well as trained, performed, and interned at The Green Room Community Theatre in Newton, North Carolina. In 2013, Nancy Macasieb was invited to choreograph for The Green Room’s Shakespeare in the Park production A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She was also nominated to perform her piece Ingénue, in 2015, for the UNCG Faculty Dance Concert and the ACDA Mid-Atlantic Conference at Towson University, Maryland.


Stephanie Rankin is a dancer, choreographer, educator, and arts administrator in the Philadelphia area.  She has received her Master's in Arts Administration at Drexel University, and has a Bachelor's in dance performance/ choreography and in communications from Hope College in Holland, MI. She has assisted in setting 'sur la table' on University of Richmond dancers, participated in a 5 month intensive program with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Israel, created a flash mob for Fairless Hills, PA's Relay for Life, and has danced with Mikella Bryant and Dancers, Femme Collective, and at the Kimmel Center for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. Most recently, Ms. Rankin taught a week long residency and set a piece on dancers at Kofa High School in Yuma, AZ and is currently on staff at Step II Dance Center in Levittown, PA. Ms. Rankin believes that dance can be used as a universal language that can create and connect communities.

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