Meet the Team
Laurie Graf is the Owner and Director of Center Stage Performing Arts Studio. She bought the business from her former teacher, Ms. Frances, in 2009 when she retired. Miss Laurie danced with Center Stage since the age of three continuing to teach for Ms. Frances through college and graduate school. Miss Laurie attended Stonehill College in Easton MA where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She also has a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University in Cambridge MA. She worked in the counseling field at such places as the Norfolk County Correctional Facility, Woodward School For Girls and Step One Early Intervention Program. Miss Laurie attended the Dance Teachers Club of Boston three year dance teacher training program where she received the Elsa Heilich Kempe award given to the graduating student who displayed the highest aptitude for teaching dance. She is an active member of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston. Miss Laurie has served on the Board of Directors for two local Independent Schools: Adams Montessori School and The Woodward School. In 2018 Miss Laurie was awarded the Woman of Distinction Award from The Woodward School in Quincy. She is also a member of the Quincy Chamber of Commerce and is the co-chair for the Arts, History and Culture Committee for Quincy 400 and the Mayor’s Advisory Board.
Miss Aly started dancing at the age of 4 at the Jean Paige School of Ballet in Brookline and later, when her Mom joined the faculty, also added Center Stage Performing Arts Studio to her schedule! In high school, Miss Aly was a dedicated member of the Fontbonne Academy Drama program where she performed in many plays and musicals including having the lead role in “Little Shop of Horrors”. Miss Aly graduated as the Valedictorian of her class from Curry College with a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters Degree in Special Education. She received the Promising Educator Award while studying there. After studying dance at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio for over 9 years, Miss Aly joined the faculty in 2017. She is excited to give back to the studio by teaching dance along side her mother Miss Jacque.
Miss Ally was born and raised in Quincy, MA and has been dancing since the age of 3. Miss Ally grew up assisting classes at Center Stage and then continued her dance education at Roger Williams University. She graduated in 2020, with degrees in Physcology and Dance/ Performance Studies. Miss Ally is now a full time faculty member and director of our Hip-Hop Program, while simultaneously attending Lesley University for her Master's in Dance/ Movement Theropy. Although Miss Ally has been a part of the Center Stage family her whole life, she has been teaching at Center Stage since 2018.
Miss Britteny is a native of Brockton, Massachusetts who grew up studying at a local dance studio. After high school Miss Britteny expanded her dance knowledge through the Bachelors of Arts in Dance program at Dean College in Franklin MA. Through the school she performed and choreographed for over ten shows, studied several tap, jazz, modern, and ballet techniques, and was trained in various levels of dance composition and improvisation. After graduating in May 2010 Miss Britteny began her performance career which includes a guest performance spot with Fracture Dance Company, as well as a dancer in DJ Maverik’s “All Night” Music Video. Currently Miss Britteny is a core member of Kinetic Synergy Dance Company and performs at festivals and shows all over the New England area. She is also the director of the Lawrence High School Dance Company. Miss Britteny has been teaching at Center Stage since the 2011-2012 season.
Miss Crystal is a native of Arizona and has been teaching at Center Stage since her move to Massachusetts in 2009. She is a graduate of Arizona State University where she received a full scholarship to pursue her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance with a minor in Child Development. While in college Miss Crystal trained with many well known dance artists and received Honorable Recognition Awards for her student choreography and performance. Miss Crystal trained and performed with School of Ballet Arizona for 8 years and in the Centerdance Modern Dance Professional Company for 3 years. Miss Crystal has fitness certifications in Zumba, PiYo (Pilates Yoga), Turbokick (kickboxing) and Barre and continues to teach at gyms and fitness centers all over our area. Miss Crystal is also certified in secondary education and worked as a middle/high school lead dance teacher with a program of over 200 students.
Miss Deanna has been on the Center Stage faculty since 2007. She was trained at The Gold School in Brockton MA and quickly became a well rounded dancer in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, acro, and modern, traveling the world dancing in all styles. Miss Deanna trained at the Toronto School of Cirque Arts in Canada and performed in the Pennsylvania Ballet Nutcracker at the age of 6. In 2000 she was part of the USA Tap Dance Team that won a Gold Medal in Germany. She also won the USA Solo Dance Challenge in 2001. At the age of 19 Miss Deanna began her professional dance career with Disney Cruise Line. She was in the character and main-stage performances.
After years of performing with Disney, Miss Deanna returned home to college to get her Bachelor of Science Degree at Johnson & Wales University.
Miss Erika is a native of Quincy and began dancing at Center Stage at the age of 4. She attended Dean College in Franklin MA where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance with a concentration in Dance Education. She has studied under world renowned choreographers and teachers such as Joan Phelps Palladino and William Evans. Her favorite genre of dance is tap! During her time at Dean, Erika published a book about the important foundation a child needs to succeed in later life. Erika is a member of Kinetic Synergy Dance Company and has been on the faculty at Center Stage since graduating from Dean in 2017.
Miss Jacque started dancing at the age of 7 at the Jean Paige School of Ballet in Brookline. Miss Jacque is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance with a Ballet Concentration. She is a member of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston and has served on numerous committees and held many positions within the organization. Miss Jacque graduated from the Dance Education Program which was formally known as the Teacher Training Course, winning the Audrey Wilson Award for over-all highest score for both written test and performance. Just 8 years later she co-chaired the program for DTCB, the youngest member ever to do so. Miss Jacque has been teaching at Center Stage since 2000.
Miss Julia is the newest addition to our team, and we could not be happier to have her back. She began her dance career with us at the age of 10 and has just graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Miss Julia graduated in Spring 2022 with a degree in Dance Education and Disability Rights, while also balancing being the President of the UMass Dance Company. Center Stage is lucky to have Miss Julia run our Summer Dance Program for kids and adults as well as private lessons.
Miss Molly began dancing at the age of 3 with us and was a captain of the Braintree High School Dance Team, where she and her team won 8 championships. Miss Molly had the opportunity to attend the Rockette's Summer Intensive Program in New York City three years in a row, and even auditioned to be a Rockette in 2017. She continued on to The University of New Hampshire, where she studied and performed Jazz, Tap, and Ariel Dance. Miss Molly graduated in 2020 with a Psychology major and a Dance minor. Molly is now a part of our faculty and we are happy to have her home!
Originally from England, Miss Rachel trained professionally at The Urdang Academy in London's West End in Professional Dance (Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary and pas de deux). After graduating Miss Rachel enjoyed her career as a Professional dancer on Cruises, and worked her way up to Dance Captain with Lead roles such as Flash dance, Dirty Dancing and special Adagio couple. Alongside this Miss Rachel had the honor of training with the Radio City Rockettes for two years in the invitation only Summer Training and had the honor of performing in London's O2 arena with artists such as Post modern jukebox. Alongside teaching Dance, Miss Rachel also instructs Barre and Cardio classes, loves to run and walk her Beagle puppy Benny (with husband too!)
Miss Rachel joined the Center stage family in 2019. She enjoys sharing her passion for dance and working closely with these amazing young pre-professional dancers. 'I'm excited to watch and encourage each child flourish and grow at Center Stage!"
Miss Sandy has been teaching dance and yoga with us since 2009. She grew up in Connecticut where she graduated high school as a dance major at the Greater Hartford Academy for the Performing Arts. Miss Sandy went on to complete her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the Boston Conservatory where she graduated with honors and was the recipient of the Ruth Ambrose Award for Dance. Currently, Miss Sandy co-directs Dances by Isadora Boston a company dedicated to preserving the work of modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan through workshops, performances, as well as the creation of new work inspired by Duncan. Dances by Isadora Boston's recent performance and teaching credits include the Jacobs Pillow Inside Out Festival and the Isadora Duncan International Symposium in London. She has also performed with several modern dance companies in the Boston area, including Daniel McCusker, Lorraine Chapman, and Kelli Edwards. Miss Sandy is a 200 hr YTT certified yoga instructor, and uses elements of yoga in her dance classes to keep dancers strong and flexible, and alleviate performance anxiety through meditation and breathing techniques.
Denise began collaborating with Center Stage in 2010 as the owner of the local dance store, GAFS, Girls Apparel for Sports. She supplied Center Stage and many other local studios with all their dance apparel needs during her 17 years as owner but like so many small businesses, GAFS was forced to close during COVID. After two years in retirement we pulled Denise back into the dance world and opened Center Stage Dance Boutique right at the studio. Her goal is to provide our dancers and families with a place that will meet all their needs that is convenient, affordable and has great customer service! We are so grateful to have Denise on board!