Who We Are

At Breaking Ground Dance Center we believe that every child possesses a gift that is ready to be opened. Our staff looks forward to helping our students open and develop their own unique gifts at their own pace. With our focus on personal growth and self-esteem, there is no limit to what a child can achieve!

How do we do it? We do it by offering Westchester families exceptional technical training in a positive and energetic environment. Our dance studio focuses on instilling skills such as dependability, punctuality, responsibility, respect, and teamwork.

At Breaking Ground Dance Center the quest for excellence is ongoing. Both students and teachers alike constantly strive to reach new levels and accept all challenges that arise. In our dance studio, the definition of “quality dance education” is constantly evolving and our teachers excel towards setting the standard.

We are proud to be Westchester’s premiere dance studio, offering our families a diverse schedule, including classes such as ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and so much more! At Breaking Ground Dance Center, our top-notch faculty assists us in servicing youth ages 6 months to 18 years of age. We are currently accepting new registrations and are confident that we have an option that is perfect for your child.

Meet Our Dream Team!

Marissa Giacobbe- Owner & Director

Ms Marissa has served over thousands of families in Westchester County over 17 years.  She attended Manhattanville College where she received a performing arts scholarship and earned a degree in Psychology and Dance.  After graduating college, Marissa taught for over 30 dance schools in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York before opening her own at the young age of 23. Her choreography has earned her prestigious awards from NRG Dance Project, American Dance Awards, Revolution Talent Competition and Nexstar Dance Competition. Her students at BGDC have gone on to dance in college programs and professionally across the country.  Marissa’s leadership and savvy business mindset has led BGDC to win the Best of Westchester: Best Dance Studio, Best Party Place, and Best Business Person awards.  BGDC was most recently awarded Best Dance Studio in 2021.

Robin Cambria- Office Manager

Ms Robin is a former art teacher and muralist who came to BGDC as a dance mom when the studio first opened in 2004. In 2008, she joined BGDC as Office Manager and has been a loving and dedicated part of our management team ever since. Miss Robin also has a passion for all things Disney and was even a cast member where she learned the art of great guest service. Whether it's a registration question or Disney trivia question, you can count on her to have the answer! Other fun facts- Ms Robin has a BFA Art Education, is a NYS Certified Art Teacher, former owner of Blue Eyes Designs, and is the mom of 2 girls and 2 dogs.

Laurel Higa- Operations Manager/Instructor

Miss Laurel has been with BGDC for 7 years and is our Operations Manager. As O.M, she manages the day-to-day life of the studio and is involved with marketing, information distribution, protocols & procedures, and maintaining client relationships, to name a few. She is also an instructor in our Beautiful Beginnings, Core, and Intensive Programs. Laurel was born and raised in Hawai’i. She attended Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY and graduated Cum Laude with a B.A in Dance & Theater, with a concentration in Dance Therapy & Minor in Psychology. Laurel has experience dancing professionally for concert artists and performed at renowned venues such as the New York City Center, Jacobs Pillow, & The Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre. In addition to teaching dance, Laurel is also a Group Fitness Instructor. In 2014 she graduated from Baruch College with a M.A in Arts Administration.

Stephanie Deere- Staff Manager/Instructor

Miss Stephanie has been with BGDC for 7 years and is our Staff Manager. As Staff Manager, she takes part in the hiring process and leads our staff in curriculum training. She is also an instructor for our Boppin Babies, Spin & Sparkle, Beautiful Beginnings, and Core Programs. Stephanie grew up dancing in Los Angeles, California. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of California, Irvine with her BA in Dance and a minor in Business Management. Stephanie moved to NYC in 2012. In 2013, she founded her own contemporary dance company, MachineHDance. Under her artistic and executive direction, Stephanie’s company has performed at various festivals in the tri-state area, including Dance Astoria, and Take Root.

Bailey Sicuranzo- Intensive Program Coordinator/Instructor

Ms. Bailey has been with BGDC for 5 years and is our Intensive Program Coordinator. She is also an instructor for our Spin & Sparkle, Beautiful Beginnings, and Core Programs. She is originally from Buffalo, NY and grew up dancing at Time To Dance (her mom’s dance studio) and Greater Niagara Ballet. She was a competitive dancer and won many scholarships to dance conventions like NUVO, NYCDA, and Jump. In addition to dance, she did gymnastics and was part of the USA Gymnastics Club. Bailey was one of the top 5 gymnasts in New York State during her time there. Bailey moved to NYC in 2013 and studied at Peridance Capezio Center and Steps on Broadway. Since joining the BGDC team, we have been able to see Bailey get engaged, married, and become a mom to a beautiful baby girl named Olivia! She is back for our 17th season and is ready to see her students again.

Christina Manno- Merchandise Manager/Instructor

Miss Christina has been with BGDC for 5 years and is our Merchandise/Costume Manager and Social Media Coordinator. She is also an instructor for our Spin & Sparkle, Beautiful Beginnings, Core, and Intensive Programs. Christina began her own dance training in Westchester County, NY. She graduated from Manhattanville College with a B.A. in Dance and Theatre with a concentration in Dance Therapy and minor in Psychology. After college, Christina danced professionally with the Gotham City Cheerleaders, the professional dance team in support of the New York Football Giants. In addition to teaching dance at BGDC, she is currently the Head Coach of the Pace University Dance Team in Pleasantville. Recently she got engaged and plans to get married in Fall 2022!

Sofia Herrera- Weekend Office Assistant

Miss Sofia is from Westchester, NY, where she has been dancing since the age of 3 performing and competing in various styles. She currently attends Sacred Heart University, and has continued her dance studies as a member of the SHU Dance Ensemble where she has both choreographed and performed. Sofia is also an alumni of Breaking Ground and is beyond grateful for the opportunity to work alongside her former dance teachers. You will see her on the weekends in the office!

Sarah Angelico- Instructor

Miss Sarah is joining BGDC for her 2nd year and is an instructor for our Beautiful Beginnings, Core, and Intensive Programs. She is originally from Boston, Massachusetts but moved to NYC where she graduated from Pace University with a BFA in Commercial Dance. She has performed at Interlakes Theater in New Hampshire where she was in La Cage Aux Folles, Evita, Showboat, and Newsies. She has most recently assisted and performed for Karla Garcia, a NYC based choreographer known for her role in Hamilton.

Steven Blandino- Instructor

Mr. Steven has had connections to BGDC for quite some time, choreographing for our Intensive Program and teaching guest classes. Steven will officially be joining us this year, working closely with our Company & Ensemble groups in the Intensive Program. Steven has a BFA in Commercial Dance from Pace University, with a focus in Choreography. Steven is also on faculty at Steps on Broadway, Pace University, Broadway Dance Center, and Peridance Center. As a dancer/performer, he has appeared in CATS National Tour, West Side Story at Houston Grand Opera & Weston Playhouse, Sleeping Beauty Dreams at The Beacon Theatre, Newsies, Mamma Mia!, & Shrek at Tuacahn Center of the Performing Arts, as well as ads for Johnson & Johnson.

Gabbie Burgess- Instructor

Miss Gabbie has been with BGDC for 4 years and is a senior instructor for our Beautiful Beginnings, Core, and Intensive Programs. Gabbie grew up in Dracut, MA. She has a B.A in Dance from Hofstra University. Gabrielle has studied outside of Hofstra with Doug Varone and Dancers, Keigwin + Company, the Hofesh Shecter Dance Company, and at the Bates Dance Festival. She has danced with The Moving Architects, Salvatore Larussa Dance Theatre, the Chamberlin Collective, Joan Bradford and Collaborators, and kamrDANCE.

Maddison Clay- Instructor

Miss Maddison has been with BGDC for 5 years.  She is a senior instructor for our Intensive Program.  Born and raised in Queensland, Australia, Maddison began dancing at the age of three.  Maddison has completed her Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 2 examination with distinction alongside her training during highschool.  After being accepted into The Ailey School at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre she moved to New York City in 2012.  Since then she has danced professionally with CoreDance Contemporary, Delineation Dance, Asterial Dance, The Collective, and most recently Animus Movement.  She also travels throughout the USA judging regional and national dance competitions with Revolution Talent as well as choreographing and teaching masterclasses under the Star Dance Alliance companies.

Skylar Delphinus- Instructor

Miss Skylar is new to the BGDC Dream Team this year.  Skylar originates from Queensland, Australia where she worked with Queensland Youth Ballet and Ballet Theatre of Queensland.  She’s been on Australian tours for Fast Love: George Michael Tribute Concert, Simply The Best: Tina Turner Tribute and numerous children's live stage shows for Nickelodeon and ABC. Skylar has traveled abroad doing commercial dance work for various pop artists around China and Macau, performed in Bollywood films & music videos, events in India, held a scholarship for Arteles artist residency in Finland and an internship with the Forsythe Contemporary Company in Italy.

Luiza Karnas- Instructor

Miss Luiza is new to the BGDC Dream Team this year.  She has a M.F.A in Performance and Choreography from SUNY The College at Brockport, NY, and graduated from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS (Brazil) with a degree in Dance Education. She is part of kamrDANCE company.  She is thrilled to be part of the BGDC team and to keep sharing her passion for dance.

Rachele Perla- Instructor

Miss Rachele is joining BGDC for her 2nd year and is an instructor for our Core & Intensive Programs.  Rachele received her foundational training at Boston Ballet School. She graduated Cum Laude from Fordham University with a BFA in Dance from The Ailey School and is working to complete her Masters of Education in Childhood/Special Education at Fordham University.  She is currently a dancer with New Chamber Ballet.  Rachele has trained internationally in ballet, contemporary ballet, modern, and improvisation techniques and currently teaches dance at multiple studios throughout NYC. 

Dan Ramos- Instructor

Mr. Dan is joining BGDC for his 2nd year and is a Hip Hop instructor for our Core Program.  Dan was born and raised in Connecticut and trained at the Connecticut Dance Conservatory where he received a full scholarship.  After graduating high school he decided to pursue concert dance in New York City.  He was accepted into Pushing Progress: a contemporary training program.  He joined Team Leggoo (based in Connecticut), where he began to train in more commercial dance styles.  He trained with the company for 2 years before he ventured back into NYC. He was then accepted into the Professional Semester at Broadway Dance Center.  Most recently, Dan was named Dance Captain and Dr. Fright in the show Dead Man’s Party at Six Flags Adventure in NJ.  Go check him out this Fall!

Erica Ratkovicz- Instructor

Miss Erica is joining BGDC for her 2nd year and is a Ballet instructor for our Core and Intensive Programs.  She began her principal training at an early age with The Timothy Draper Center for Dance Education. She has performed numerous soloist and corps de ballet roles along with Joffrey Ensemble, Boston Ballet, Hartford Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet.  She is also an alumna company member of The Rochester City Ballet.  Erica is currently an instructor at Broadway Dance Center Children & Teen Program in NYC.  She has been presented with Choreographer and Entertainment Awards from Nexstar, Beyond the Stars, Groove, and Headliners competitions.

Blake Stanley- Instructor

Mr. Blake is joining BGDC for his 2nd year and is a Ballet instructor for our Intensive Program. Blake received his formal education at the Indiana Ballet Conservatory, as a full scholarship student. In addition to his training, he was mentored by emmy winning contemporary choreographer Mia Michaels who is known for her work on So You Think You Can Dance, multiple broadway musicals, movies, & tours with singing artists. Blake is certified in T Spheres Injury Prevention Techniques and works with students who attend prestigious performing arts schools (LaGuardia Arts, Frank Sinatra, Mark Twain), and pre-professional companies (Alvin Ailey, Joffrey, Ballet Academy East). Some of his students have gone on to be accepted into NYU-Tisch, Marymount Manhattan College, Pace University, and the Juilliard Summer Intensive.