Michelle Koutsoubelis
Artistic Director – Tap/Jazz/Ballet/Lyrical/Acrobatics/Acting/Voice

Michelle started at Cathy’s at the age of five as a student of Miss Cathy Dooley, the Studio Founder. Most of her teachers were Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. She is certified to teach by the Dance Masters of America. She has studied many disciplines; most notably Rhythm Tap with legendary Gregory Hines, Charles “Honi” Coles, Brenda Bufalino, Savion Glover, Henry LeTang, and Ted Levy, to name a few. She continued to study jazz with Larry Post, Michelle Assaf, Richard Pierlon, Frank Hatchett, musical theatre with Ann Reinking, ballet with David Howard, acrobatics with Charles Kelley and Maria Molnar, as well as African Dance. Michelle received a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Fordham University (Rose Hill). In addition to her love of dance she is an actor and singer who has trained extensively at the world famous Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and HB Studios. Michelle has performed Off-Broadway and on Television and Film, and choreographs for Cathy Dooley’s Original Florida Follies annual extravaganza. All the proceeds from the shows go to children’s charities. She is humbled to be giving back to her teacher and to children in need. She recently received the “CHARLES “HONI” COLES Award of Excellence and The Christopher Santora Guardian Angel Award. Michelle is grateful to have a successful career at what she loves most and strives to make a difference in the lives of every dancer she teaches! Her hope is to inspire them to be the BEST THEY CAN BE!

Spiro Pavlakos
Assistant Artistic Director – Jazz/Ballet/Modern/Tap/Lyrical/Theatre Dance

Spiro marks his 38th year at Cathy’s this season. He started dancing at the age of 14. Spiro then started his formal training at Steps in New York City with renowned dance instructors in an array of genres. He went on to study at the Broadway Dance Center and Peridance. Under the tutelage of renowned dance instructors as Joseph Lanteri, Daniel Tinnazi, Patricia Wilcox, Denise Webb, Susie Taylor, Cecilia Marta, Michelle Kadison, Natasha Baron, Slam, Karl Barbee, David Everett, David Storey, Finis Jhung and Peter Schabel. Spiro has used his unique styling and individuality in a way that has enhanced his teaching career and has engendered a generation of young dancers under the aegis of Cathy’s Dance Studio. He has danced to every form of music from Tchaikovsky to Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra. He is a dancer and choreographer extraordinaire. Spiro is proud to be able to dedicate his life to dance and is committed to giving back to the local community and all the dancers at Cathy’s.

Jessica Nieto
Ballet/Modern/Jazz/Hip Hop/Tap/Acrobatics

Jessica started dancing at Cathy’s at the age of two. She is a graduate of The Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. In addition, she has studied at Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and the American Ballet Theatre Chelsea Piers (Acrobatics/Gymnastics). Jessica has been cast in choreography by a Radio City Music Hall Rockette and has performed at The American Ballet Theatre (REFLECTIONS), New York City Ballet/Lincoln Center (THE HUNT), Metropolitan Opera House (RODEO) and City Center (SWAN LAKE/RODEO). She holds a B.A. from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is honored to be part of the Cathy’s Studio dance program and Staff. She looks forward to being able to share her love and devotion of dance with other students at Cathy’s Dance Studio.

Shayna Mejias

Shayna started dance classes at the age of 6 and began her studies at Cathy’s at age 8. Her love of dance followed well into her 20’s where she is pursuing her Masters Degree in dance education at Hunter College; where she’s taken extensive ballet and contemporary dance style training. In addition to her college dance courses, she’s explored numerous choreography tools that she is looking forward to bringing to our dance studio. Shayna has taken various classes around New York City including, west African, Horton, folkloric style and gymnastics. Shayna believes that there is always something new to learn and explore in dance and with our bodies natural movement. Shayna hopes to enrich her students love of dance and nourish the individuality each student was born with. As a graduate of Cathy’s Dance Program, Shayna developed a distinctive performance style that she passes on to her students, and she always makes her classes fun and exciting!

Ashley Doran

Ashley began dancing at Cathy’s Dance Studio at the age of three and has continued dancing at the studio for thirty consecutive years under the tutelage of a variety of instructors. She has accomplished twenty-five years of perfect attendance during her time at Cathy’s Dance Studio, as well. Though dancing is one of her passions, Ashley holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Marymount Manhattan College as well as a Masters in Biological Sciences from CUNY Hunter College. She also holds certification as a New York State Licensed Clinical Laboratory Technologist, obtained through Saint John’s University. When not at Cathy’s Dance Studio, Ashley works as a Hematologist in a Clinical Laboratory for one of the top rated hospitals in New York State. She also volunteers her time and energy to Girl Scout Troop 6417 in Astoria, Queens. Ashley enjoys sharing her love of dance with all the children and young adults she works with as well as teaching them that any goal is obtainable if one works hard enough to achieve it.

Susana Blanco
Hip Hop/Street Jazz/Musical Theatre/Ballet/Contemporary/Lyrical/Latin Jazz/Pilates

At the age of 10, Susana started her dance studies in Madrid (Spain). She studied with world famous dancers & instructors in London, Rome, Paris and New York. In 2013, she completed her Dance degree at the European University of Madrid (Spain) in Choreography, Teaching and Fitness for Dancers. She received a certificate of excellence in the International Student Visa Program at Broadway Dance Center (New York) in 2014. Professionally she has danced in Television and on stage in the Musical ensemble of “Lope de Vega Musical”, “La Fuerza del Destino”, and “Cabaret”. She was a Cheerleader with the Real Madrid basketball team. In New York, she was as a member of the Urban Dance League (Hip Hop) and performed in the Highline Ballroom and danced with Maria Torres (Latin Jazz), Sheila Barker (Jazz) and Ashlee Dawson (Fusion) dancing in Carnival, Symphony Space and Madison Square Garden. Susana started teaching at the age of 18 and loves to work with children & adults alike. She is glad to be back and looking forward to sharing her passion for dance with a 3rd generation of dancers at Cathy’s.

Nina Chong (Sub)
Ballet/Modern/Jazz/Hip Hop/Tap/Acrobatics

Nina Chong holds her B.F.A. in Dance from Belhaven University in Jackson, MS and has recently returned from Israel where she spent five months with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company performing repertory and original works around the country. She was a scholarship recipient at Ballet Hispanico and the Joffrey Ballet School Training Program, and has performed works by and worked with artists from such notable companies as Limon Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Group, the Joffrey Ballet Touring Company, The Royal Ballet, Neos Dance Theatre, Ad Deum Dance Company, Rihanna, Rennie Harris (choreographer of “Home” and “Exodus” for Alvin Ailey), Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, and Batsheva, Rennie Harris Puremovement and DalioArts. She is currently a member of the Michael Mao Dance NYC Company. Nina is excited to still be a part of this innovative and inspiring staff, and always looks forward to being able to come back home to Cathy’s Dance Studio as a guest and substitute teacher

Melissa Ungureanu
Acrobatics/Ballet/Tap/Jazz/Modern and Hip- Hip

Melissa discovered passion for dance at the age of 7 and has been with us since. In addition to her studies here at Cathy’s Dance Studio, she continued her love of dance in her Junior High School and followed with accepting her admission to The Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. Melissa then studied at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Martha Graham School for Contemporary Dance, Battery Dance Company, New York City Ballet and Paul Taylor Dance Company. She has also been trained in Acrobatics/ Gymnastics all over NYC but mainly at Chelsea Piers and Elite Gymnastics Inc. Not only is dance an important part of her life but so is working with children. Melissa is currently a preschool teacher and will be pursuing her Masters Degree in Childhood Education/ Special Education. For Melissa, Cathy’s has always been her “second family” and is proud to be a part of our staff. She looks forward to working hard this year and getting to know your kids even better.

Joséphine Remy (Sub)
Hip Hop/Commercial Dance/Musical Theatre/Drama/Voice/Ballet/Contemporary

Born and raised in Switzerland, Joséphine Remy moved to New York City in 2014. Since 8 years old she has been devoted to the street style of hip hop and also commercial dance (heels, street/jazz, etc.) She has performed with many Swiss/French artists (Solange la Frange, Mokobé, Rketo) and in many shows (Dance Delight, Cergy original floor) in Switzerland and in Europe. She has won awards in Hip Hop Competitions & Battles… She was the Swiss Hip Hop Champion and first place in the SDK Battle in Europe. She opened her own School named K-Unik in Switzerland with her best friend Mamadou Kalombo. She received a Two Year Certificate program in commercial dance at Peridance Capezio Center (Hip Hop street styles/commercial dance/theater dance/acting/voice/ballet & contemporary). In New York City, she had the chance to work with few famous choreographers as Shirelene Quiquley (dancer for Chris Brown, Beyoncé, Missy Elliot) and Tweetie (dancer for Jay-z, Nicky Minaj). Her goal is to share her experience as a performer and choreographer in commercial dance and especially the culture of hip hop.


Our Fall Season runs from September.
Registration is accepted throughout the year, and can be completed in person, over the phone, or online.