Alexandra loves to spread her knowledge of dance and performance to the new generation of dancers. She has competed in local NY dance competitions since she was 15 years old, winning platinum, high gold, and gold. She was a member of the Archbishop Molloy H.S. Dance Team and choreographed many hip-hop and jazz routines for the Archbishop Molloy H.S. Dance Team and Club. Alexandra has participated in the Rockette Experience, Tremaine Dance Conventions, CT & NY Salsa Congresses. Alexandra was an instructor of a hip hop cardio based dance fitness class called The Vixen Workout in NYC and currently assists in a dance fitness class – Killer Moves in NYC. She teaches intermediate & advance hip hop and assists in advance/competition lyrical and jazz under Greg Sinacori, former Alvin Ailey II dancer. She is super proud of her students and always challenges them to be the best they can be.
Alycia Bendenoun is honored to be a new teacher’s assistant faculty member of Jorday Rivera’s Dance Studio. Alycia has been dancing with JRDS since age 3. She has studied various forms of dance at JRDS including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Salsa, Acrobatics, and Break Dance. Alycia was a member of the inaugural JRDS mini competition team that won several awards, including a national dance championship. She also competed with the JRDS Salsa team at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, NY. This past year Alycia was accepted to The Core Program at Peridance Capezio Center in New York City. At Peridance Capezio Center, she committed herself to rigorous Ballet training several days per week and performed Ballet routines in The Nutcracker and The Pre-Professional Spring Showcase. Recently, she performed with the JRDS Salsa team at The New York International Salsa Congress. JRDS holds a special place in Alycia’s heart. She aspires to share her passion for dance, and love for this establishment with JRDS’ next generation of young dancers.
Amaris is a young talented dancer who has been dancing at the studio for seven years. She has done a summer intensive with professional dance company teachers from Ballet Hispanico. She was the captain of the sugar and spice mini team when she was only nine years old. She has been dancing for seven years, competing for three, and assistant teaching for three years. She is quick with musicality and choreography which is why she won the Inferno Improv Competition. She learned her solo in a matter of weeks and was able to win a Platinum. She is the youngest member of our faculty team. The children she teaches absolutely love her, and she absolutely loves all of her
students. She wants to pursue dance as a career as a performer, choreographer, and designer. She loves being a part of the JRDS family and looks forward to instilling her passion and love for dance to our babies.
Chelsea Polanco is a 21 year old college senior who has a passion for movement and working with dancers. She enjoys the nurturing experience of choreographing and also the vulnerability of performance. Chelsea began her training at Jorday Rivera’s Dance Studio with styles such as salsa, bachata, and street jazz. She the furthered her training in modern and contemporary dance after starting at Hunter College. She has had the opportunity to work with artist such as Brenton Rude and Kranium and has been featured on a television series by VICE. Chelsea teaches salsa lessons to children and adults while trying to pursue a career in dance.
Cordé Young has been dancing for 10 years. He has studied and trained in all styles of dance at Ultimate Dance Academy under the direction of Anthony Borello. He has won numerous titles at competitions and currently holds the national title of Mr. United States Tournament of Dance. Cordé has performed in many well known venues such as Madison Square Garden, The Wall Street Theatre, US Open, Citifield, and the Avalon Theatre in Los Angeles. He has also done work in TV and film such as Get on Pointe (Awesomeness TV), Jenga Tetris: Commericial (Hasbro), Unforgettable: Drama Series (CBS) He has been an assistant for Tremaine Dance Conventions since 2016 and asis still currently apart of the Tremaine Performance Program.
Jorday Rivera has a clean, energetic style of dancing. She concentrates on various styling techniques from other forms of dancing and combines them into one, which is apparent in her dancing and teaching style.
As a teacher, she pays close attention to detail. She drills her students on a number of different steps, paying close attention to execution and technique. If a student is struggling, she gives that student additional help during breaks or after class. Jorday loves teaching and her goal is to have all of her students walking away feeling good about themselves.
In her styling class, women learn the techniques on how to execute various steps. Each styling technique is broken down into eight counts with each step. Jorday emphasizes the importance of styling in her class because the first thing people see when you are dancing is your “styling.”
Overall, Jorday has proven herself with her many years of experience to be an excellent dancer and instructor. In efforts to share all of her experiences with her students, she displays a number of photographs from different events that she has participated in on what she likes to call her “Wall of Fame.” She takes pride in what she does and passes that attitude onto her students.
Kayla Maria began her dance training with Salsa at Jorday Rivera’s Dance Studio when she was 9 years old. She has dance knowledge in Street Jazz, Hip Hop, Dance Hall, and other Commercial Styles. She wants to become the first limb different dancer to go on tour with major artists such as Beyoncé and Chris Brown. Kayla Maria took her first heels class at Broadway Dance Center and had a passion for it since. She has trained under Shirlene Quigley, Chris Gayle and many more. Kayla Maria hopes to share her passion for dance through Teaching and Concepts.
Natalia Gayott has been dancing at Jorday Rivera Dance Studio since the age of three. Throughout her years in the studio, she has participated in all the annual dance recitals, attended in fundraising event/ performances, and also competed on the JRDS National Competition Team. She has performed in various dancing styles such as classical ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, tap, and hip hop. She attended Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, under the performing dance program, trained by her instructor, Carmen LaRosa. She has done various performances at Cardozo High School and under the phenomenal foundation, Dancing Dreams, to perform for children with physical and medical challenges. She continued her training by enrolling in BAM Fall Insider Dance Program, collaborating with the Mark Morris Dance Company. Natalia also continues her passion by taking outside classes at Broadway Dance Center. She has completed the Martha Graham Winter Intensive 2019 season. She is currently continuing her studies as a Merit Scholar, at York College, in pursuits of earning her degree in Physical Therapy, and children education.
Natalia constructs her class by allowing her students to fully express themself through movement. She creates a free space for expression and believes it is important for her students to dance like nobody’s watching. She stretches the importance of the elements of dance (Time, Space, and Energy), and dance safety by creating lesson plans to prevent injuries. Natalia is also CPR verified, to create and maintain a safe environment at Jorday Rivera Dance Studio. Her lessons incorporate many study guides in order for her students to continue to progress and grow as dancers. She believes all her students will flourish and hopes that one day they will be able to give the gift of dancing to another individual.
Natalia has a great passion to always give back to her community. She also was an intern at the Queens Hospital Center in the psychiatric unit for young children. She currently teaches dance at Commonpoint Forest Hills under the Community Based Services for Individuals with disabilities. Natalia is also Zumba certified for adults and also in Zumba Kids. Her future endeavors are to open a safe zone for all children, making her center another place to call home.
Instructor & Front Desk
Nicole Alvarez started dancing at the age of 8 at Jorday Rivera’s Dance studio where she trained in salsa and hip hop. She later went on to be trained in ballet, contemporary and jazz at Broadway Dance Center. She attended dance conservatories and music camps. She become a dance member of Army on its toes, sponsored by the Salvation Army. Nicole has performed all around the US and outside the country like Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and Canada. In 2016 she enrolled at Hunter College as a BA Dance major. Nicole is very passionate about choreographing. She was the divisional dance leader for the Creatives art department in the Salvation Army. She has choreographed for plays, musicals, outreach events, concerts, music camps and conservatories. She recently show cased her latest choreographic projects in Peggy theater title “Behind your back”.
Quran Chamberlain is a proud New York native who began his training as a dancer very young. His ambition was/is to be a versatile artist and work diligently to reach all of his goals. He humbly thanks his professional years of training to Alvin Ailey, Devore Dance Center, Broadway Dance Center, and as of 2 summers ago Rhapsody James under Motivating Excellence season 5 program. Qurans versatile skills have blessed him with representation under MSA talent agency for 3 years now, granting him with endless opportunities in a striving and blossoming career as a performer in both the commercial and concert dance world. He’s toured with recording artist Kat Deluna, performed with Forces of Nature and Balance Dance Theater, contracted on cruise lines as entertainment, and his most recent proud accomplishment was performing live at the MTV VMA’s this past August. Qurans goals are to continue to explore himself as an artist and share his god-given gifts on stage and off to the beautiful people of the world.
Shayna “Miss Kisses” Wheatley is a 27-year-old Eclectic professional dancer and Zumba instructor from Queens, NY who is signed to a dance Agency in NYC. She fell in love with dancing at a young age by teaching herself how to dance from watching music videos, learning from her cousin and attending an after-school program. Although her love for dancing started from a young age, she started to take it seriously in High School and college. She graduated with an associate degree and realized she wanted to make dance a full-time career. In 2011, she started to make her way in the entertainment industry by booking her first job as a principal dancer in Kat Deluna’s video “Drop it low”. Since then, she’s been blessed with various opportunities that have gotten her to where she is today.
Miss Kisses is oriented with excellent dancing skills that have taken her very far in her promising dance career. Being a passionate and hardworking individual, she has successfully worked her way on imprinting her brand and talents in the entertainment industry. She’s worked with Various Artist and brands such as Cardi B, Vma’s, Keke Palmer, Wynter Gordon, Rob Base, Astr, Konshens, Kat Deluna, Lil Mama, Inas X, Rome Fortune, Gap, and Adidas. As she is fully pursuing her passion for dancing, she is also impelling exploring her modeling and acting more.
Shoshana started her love for dance at the age of five. Staring with Martha Graham technique, classical ballet, tap, jazz, African dance, Haitian dance and Flamenco. She found her life’s passion when she discovered the rich Middle Eastern rhythm’s on her visits to Israel/Palestine. With little children drumming in the streets, she fell in love. Shoshana saw her first belly dancer in 1979 at the famed Grecian Cave in NYC. What was to come next was Shoshana’s dream come true.
She has had the honor of Studying with masters such as Serena Wilson, Ibrahim Farah, Elena Lentini, Yousry Sharif and Valarie Camille. Her career has followed an exciting path performing at the famed Club Ibis, Club Darwish, Egyptian Gardens, Rockefeller Center, Town Hall, Cami Hall, Cedars of Lebanon. She has performed for Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, James Conn, Gloria Gainer, and the Royal family of Saudi Arabia. She has traveled to perform and teach in Egypt, Israel, Panama and all over the US. She teaches from the heart with purpose and passion!
Born in Ecuador from Colombian parents, studied Latin Jazz and Latin rhythms from an early age in Ecuador. Where she performed in different stages, local TV programs and was part of the Artistic Figure Skating Ecuadorean Team. Studied Music with major in Violin and played for the Youth Guayaquil Orchestra in 2010. In 2017 graduates in Dance Performance (Certificate IV) in Melbourne, Australia, and Bachelor in Marketing. She was also part of the Artistic roller skating State Australian team. In New York, she gets licensed to teach Zumba Kids and Zumba Strong and starts teaching Latin Rhythms, Hip Hop, Jazz and Choreographies for Sweet 15s and Weddings.
Stefanie Roper was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She was raised in Orem, Utah where she attended her first dance class at the age of 18. As a 2015 graduate from Utah Valley University with a BFA-Ballet, her performance experience includes Cultural Envoy, Repertory Ballet Ensemble, Utah Regional Ballet, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company and Ballet Hispanico Dos. She became the executive producer of a local company called Latino Legacy for 3 years, choreographing as well as dancing contemporary and Latin folklore. While in college, Stefanie trained and performed professionally in Bollywood, African, Polynesian, Latin, ballroom, ballet, Modern, hip hop and jazz dance. With her diverse dance background she has had the opportunity to tour around the world performing in schools and theatres in China, Australia, Fiji, Mexico, Canada and all over the United States.
Tiffany Rivera is Director and Founder of Mambo’s Finest Take 2, a not-for-profit children’s dance company born February 2003. Her mission as the founder is focused on enhancing cultural awareness through dance, establishing positive and supportive life-long peer relationships as well as empowering children with the necessary skills to understand and appreciate the importance of education.
Having studied numerous forms of dance, Tiffany is flexible, has excellent speed, and the ability to grasp material quickly and execute it flawlessly. She is often complimented as a “Natural.” She swiftly accelerated in dance class, becoming a member of several well-known dance teams and became an instructor, a choreographer and, ultimately, a director of her own dance company. Tiffany has performed with numerous famous artists such as the late and great Tito Puente and Celia Cruz, in a variety of venues, including Madison Square Garden. Tiffany has also participated in various Congresso’s de la Salsa all over the world.
She has spent the last five years as an instructor in Jorday Rivera’s Dance Studio, a well-known dance studio, owned and operated by older sister Jorday Rivera. She has developed a reputation as a disciplined instructor with a “Can-Do” attitude. The success of the two sisters as dance instructors has lead to the creation of a professional adult dance team appropriately named “Mambo’s Finest”.
Tiffany passion for dance, love of children, and background as a peer counselor at a local community house fueled her desire to give back to the community. This led to the creation of “Mambo’s Finest Take 2”, her first solo endeavor.
Belly Dancer & Mini Belly Dance Instructor
Zavivah began studies in Middle Eastern Dance, also known as Belly dance, five years ago. Since the age of four, dance has always been a part of her life. On a whim when looking for an avenue for fitness, Zavivah decided to try a belly dance class. That one class sparked a love for the dance and a deep desire and passion to learn more. Zavivah continued taking lessons while researching all she could about the dance. She has taken her knowledge and zeal for this art and transformed it into a stage presence that illustrates dynamic self-expression and unique interpretation. She revels in telling her story while making a piece of music come alive through movement.
Driven by the freedom of expression and freedom of spirit that dancing can manifest, Zavivah has dedicated herself to the study of the Middle Eastern Dance art form through studying with notable teachers and Master instructors such as Kazja, Tava, Nourhan Sharif, and Layla Mary. She continues to study and attend workshops in order to foster personal growth in the dance and to offer her students the best of her knowledge and skill.
Well versed in established dance show formats, Zavivah can deliver eloquent performances using an array of props which include candle tray, sword, veil, fan veils, and zills.
Belly Dance & Mini Belly Dance Instructor
Zuri has been involved in the creative and performing arts since childhood, but came to dance as an adult, beginning with the Latin dances. She has found a home in belly dance .
As music is her profession, Zuri incorporates her solid knowledge of timing and musical interpretation into her performances. Her show formats can range from traditional to a fusion with Caribbean and/or Latin flavor depending on client venue and preference.
When teaching, her knowledge of group dynamics, body mechanics, and different learning styles helps each student to reach their fullest potential. Zuri also has training as a pre/post-natal health and fitness group instructor, and welcomes the opportunity to work with women who want to stay fit during their pregnancy.
Zuri is also the owner of Cocoabelly Dance Services, LLC. Cocoabelly offers custom, handmade costumes for dancers of all shapes and sizes, make up services for dancers, and performers and props for your special event.