Deserea Byrd, B.A. Dance: Studio Operations
In 1998, Deserea Lachelle Byrd began her dance education in Ballet, Hip-Hop and African under the instruction of BettyAnn Guyton with the NJBC Liturgical Dance Team of Rosenhayn, New Jersey. In 2001, Deserea became head teacher/choreographer of the NJBC Liturgical Dance Team. For the next three years, she performed in and choreographed dances for various summer mission trips to Reynosa, Mexico, Buff Bay and Orange Bay, Jamaica.
In 2002, Deserea performed as an actress, singer and featured dancer for the HRHS Backstage Players Theater Company (Give My Regards to Broadway, My Fair Lady, Footloose) before becoming its choreographer from 2005-2008 (Grease, Bye Bye Birdie, Guys and Dolls, Once On This Island). As a member of the RSCNJ Dance Company, Deserea performed for Henry Van Kuiken (Arcadia 2011) and Andrea Michaels (Higher Ground 2010, Love Shack 2011, Old School 2011) as well as debuting many original works (Behold The Lamb and The Sacrifice 2009, Wild Child, Ebb & Flow and Phoenix Rising 2010 ).
Deserea made a brief return to HRHS Backstage Players to Choreograph Aida (2011), then returned as teacher and choreographer for NJBC Liturgical Dance Team until 2013 when she began a dance ministry in Millville New Jersey. During this time, Deserea began to teach dance at All That Dance Studio of Hopewell New Jersey, where she performed briefly with OMNI Professional Dance Company, under the leadership of Meredith Shaw.
From 2017 to 2020, Deserea became a missionary with YWAM Tyler Texas, where she ran the daily studio operations for MCMC Studio, a creative and performing arts ministry. During this time, Deserea participated in the creation of ministry related films, stage production and design, costume design, writing and recording original music, and teaching and performing dramas and dances for children through adults in Texas, Mexico, South Korea, and other parts of Eastern Asia.
Today, she continues to educate dancers in Hip-Hop, Ballet, Lyrical, Modern, Jazz, and West African styles at All That Dance Studio. Deserea is always exploring and growing in her love for the Arts and invites her students to join in the journey and have fun along the way.
Dominic has been studying, choreographing, and performing stage combat for nearly 20 years. Areas of specific focus are unarmed, knife, single sword, Smallsword, quarterstaff, sword and shield, longsword, rapier and dagger, and theatrical firearms.
He has served as fight choreographer for several theaters in South Jersey including The Ritz Theater Co (Romeo & Juliet, Peter and the Starcatcher), OBSP (The Who’s Tommy), Cumberland Players (Extremities, The Curious Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Sweeney Todd), and For The Whim Productions (Twelfth Night, MacBeth).
His certifications include: SAFD Intermediate Actor Combatant, SAFD Theatrical Firearms Safety Certification, SAFD Basic pass in
Sword and Shield, Rapier & Dagger, Singlesword, Knife, Broadsword. SAFD Recommended pass in Unarmed, Quarterstaff, and Smallsword. He also recently passed his certification to become a LudoSport Form 1 instructor.
Olivia Cruz, B.F.A Dance
Olivia is excited to be back teaching for the Levoy Theater and Education Center! Cruz has had the pleasure of teaching and choreographing multiple styles of dance throughout the east coast. Her works on the Levoy stage include OBSP’s Productions of The Spongebob Musical and Elf the Musical.
Previous endeavors include performing in Playhouse Stage Company’s “Head Over Heels”, for Walt Disney World Entertainment, and as a dance double for Steven Spielberg’s recent film adaptation of West Side Story. Cruz studied Dance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she obtained her BFA. She looks forward to continuing to share the art of dance and choreography with multiple audiences to come! @olivia_antoinette
Natalie Donisi, B.A. Psychology & Theatre: Musical Theatre
Natalie has worked with theatre students ages 3-18 in various roles such as a the choreographer and assistant director for the Grand Theatre’s summer camp, a children’s enrichment teacher for Acting Bugs, the musical choreographer at Williamstown High School.
On the stage, you may have seen her in shows across South Jersey such as Mamma Mia (Road Company), Elf (Levoy Theatre), and Heathers (Rowan University). Natalie Looks forward to working with new students this fall and fostering an environment for creativity and learning!
Caitlin Geisser, B.F.A Musical Theater
Caitlin is the current Artistic Director for Triple Threat Workshop, and has spent her entire life onstage, and the last nine directing and teaching. Caitlin currently serves as a guest artist for the Drama Department at GCIT, and is Wildwood Catholic Academy’s newest theatre director for Grades 4-12. She is also the Artistic Director of Education at The Levoy, and will be directing Disney’s The Little Mermaid here at The Levoy this spring! Some of her favorite directorial projects include Almost, Maine (The Gabriel Project with Cumberland Players), The Drowsy Chaperone (The Jubilee Directing Lab), 13: A New Musical, Spring Awakening, Bright Star, A Chorus Line, Ragtime, Little Women (all TTW) and Disney’s Frozen Jr (Levoy Theatre). Professionally she has directed The Spitfire Grill, and assistant directed Dogfight, Ragtime, Little Women and The Last 5 Years at the Eagle Theatre in Hammonton. Some of her favorite onstage credits include: Lucy (Bright Star), Ali (Mamma Mia), Logainne Schwartzy (Spelling Bee), Charity (Sweet Charity), and Kitty (The Drowsy Chaperone). www.caitlingeisser.com
Sean began his stage combat career in 2007, teaching and directing scenes of theatrical violence in dozens of productions through the Philly and South Jersey area as well as local Ren Faires and festivals. His theatrical credits include MacBeth, Les Miserables, She Kills Monsters, Assassins, and Extremities among many others.
He has a background in multiple martial arts and training with the Society of American Fight Directors, having completed coursework in all SAFD disciplines including Theatrical Firearm Safety. Sean is also a professional whip cracking instructor and choreographer, having trained cast members to use a whip in shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Peter and the Starcatcher.
Rachel Maselek is an NJ based actor and teaching artist, who graduated in 2022 from Fairleigh Dickinson University earning degrees in both Musical Theater and Public Relations. She has recently been seen onstage at the Broadway Theater of Pitman in Into the Woods (Narrator), Something Rotten, Bright Star (Florence), and Beauty and the Beast (Silly Girl). Other favorite acting credits: The Children’s Hour (Martha), First Date (Lauren/Grandma Ida) and A Little Night Music (Petra). In addition to performing, Rachel trained as a teaching assistant for Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Acting at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and has taught comedic acting and improvisation at the studio at Mainstage Center for the Arts. While spending her time auditioning and working on her skills, Rachel is very excited to share her love of acting with the students at the Levoy!
Ivanette Morris-Yearsley is a lifetime local Lenni-Lenape Native American and Indigenous Artist with 25 years of experience making Native Jewelry including earrings, necklaces, and appliques among other indigenous crafts. Ivanette has a lengthy history of making Tribal Regalias, Ribbon and Jingle Dresses, and Women’s and Men’s Traditional pieces for her family, friends, and tribal associates.
Yareli Urbina has always been transfixed on the beauty of self expression through dance. She learned at a very young age that dancing was her ticket to a life of significance. As time went on she became nearly obsessed and delved into the middle eastern culture. At the age of 14, under top notch Philadelphian instructor, Valerie Rushmere, Yareli began her bellydance training.
She has also trained in tribal fusion bellydance, Egyptian style bellydance, Jazz, ballet, salsa, samba and much more. She has performed at Rakassah East annual festivals, World Cafe Live, Atlantic City casino events, & much more. In 2011, Yareli also toured the South east & west coast with well known Squidling Bothers Circus Sideshow.
Walter is currently the vocal music and drama director for the Commercial Township School District. During his 21 years at Commercial, he received Teacher of the Year during both the 2003-2004 and 2016-2017 school year. His productions and students have received awards and recognition at the Bucks County Playhouse Theatre Festival, the New Jersey local and state Teen Arts Festival and the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star awards. During his 30 plus years in education, Walter is very proud to have had the privilege to teach students who are now published playwrights, artistic directors, choreographers, actors, and teachers of Theatre Arts.
A graduate of Rowan University, he also studied at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey where he was a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir who performed with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Walter is a passionate advocate for Arts Education for both children and adults. He currently serves as the Artistic Director of The Off Broad Street Players which is the resident theatre company of the Levoy Theatre. Walter recently received the NJACT Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to New Jersey Community Theatre.
JOIN US THIS WINTER! We have an amazing new lineup of classes for students of ALL AGES to enjoy.
Each class is offered once a week for an 8-week session from January 16, 2023 through March 11, 2023.