leah speck

Owner / Creative Director / Tap, Jazz & Combo Instructor / Competition Team Choreographer 

Leah’s dance training began at the age of 3 at Betty Jean’s Dance Studio. Leah studied tap, jazz & lyrical under Darlene Eirish-Schofield & ballet/pointe under Ms. Mary Ribble for over 15 years. Leah was a member of Betty Jean’s traveling competition team for 9 years, where she received numerous awards & recognition. Leah’s love for teaching dance & choreography began at the age of 14 when she became a student teacher. She continued to teach various classes at Betty Jean’s, including choreography for the competition team until she graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes high school in 2000. Leah took her love for dance and desire to learn new styles & technique to NYC where she trained under Frank Hatchett & Mia Michaels at Broadway Dance Center for 2 years. Leah moved to Boston, MA in 2002 to study Business Management at Suffolk University where she continued to study dance at the Jeanette Neill Dance Studio. Leah taught for 2 years at K&M Dance Studio in Norwood, MA & performed as a member of the Lady Wolfpack Dance Team for the Manchester Wolves Arena Football Team in Manchester, NH. After Leah graduated from college, she moved back to Dutchess County, where she resides now with her husband Jeremy & their children Annabel, Lincoln & Camden. It has been Leah’s lifelong dream to open her own dance studio and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the local economy & have a positive influence in children’s lives through her love of dance.       

emily guerrette

Manager / Artistic Director / Competition Team Director / Competition Team Choreographer / Bookkeeper 

Emily began dancing at Betty Jean’s Dance Studio at the age of 3. She studied tap, ballet, jazz and lyrical under various instructors for over 7 years. Emily was a member of Betty Jean's competition team for 5 of those years and received numerous awards in group dances as well as solos, duos and trios. Recognized for her talent in ballet, she attended Estelle & Alfonso's to study Russian balletpointe and gymnastics. During her time there she participated in halftime performances at Michie Stadium & holiday performances at Eisenhower Hall, both of West Point Military Academy. Emily took her love for the arts to Sage College of Albany where she studied the fine arts, to include painting, sculpting, drawing, printmakingpaper making and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic DesignEmily graduated in May of 2011 and had her senior project featured at the Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition in the Opalka Gallery.  Emily has immersed herself in the artistic design & branding of Queen City Dance.  She hopes to spark a love for the performing & fine arts in the students of QCD for many years to come.    

meet the qcd Instructors!

jaimee dimarco

Rhythm Tap Instructor & Competition Team Choreographer 

​Jaimee’s dance training began at Betty Jean’s Dance Studio where she studied tap, ballet, jazz, and lyrical. Jaimee’s passion for tap and choreography began under the instruction of Darlene Eirish-Schofield. Jaimee was a member of Betty Jean’s award winning competition team for 10 years. As a recipient of the 2002 Starpower Senior Tap Champion Award, she toured with StarPower’s PowerPak and performed in Ocean City, MD and Orlando, FL. Under the instruction of David Rider, Jamiee was introduced to tap history, tap masters and improvisation. Jaimee ventured into New York City for further training and studied at Broadway Dance Center, Steps and Fezils with Savion Glover, Mike Minery, Andrew Nemr and Gil Stroming. Jaimee participated in Gil Stroming’s “Break the Floor” for 6 consecutive years. As an undergrad at Boston University she became a dancer, choreographer, and President of “BU on Tap.” Jaimee was selected in 2007 to be a company member and shortly after, Dance Captain of Sean Fielder’s “Boston Tap Company”. After moving to Washington, D.C. for graduate school, she became a company member of MetroTAP, an all women’s company featured across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Jaimee has been teaching at studios throughout the Hudson Valley since she was 14 years old and looks forward to spreading her love of tap at Queen City Dance!

aaron antonio labbay jr.

Hip Hop Instructor & Competition Team Choreographer 

Aaron started dancing at the age of 3 at Anita-Jeans Dance Studio in Marlboro, NY. His first opportunity at choreography was in the 3rd grade, where he choreographed a dance for the moving up ceremony for the entire graduating class of Middle Hope Elementary. Searching for a creative outlet in High School, Aaron started the Marlboro High School Hip-Hop Dance Team. Aaron was captain of the dance team & lead choreographer for all four years of High School.  Performances included pep rallies, school dances all over the district & various community events. Aaron is known for his “L.A.” style of choreography & brings out the best in his students by insisting that everyone perform with personality and individuality. 

Agon "Toast" Mizelle

BBoy / Breakdance Instructor 

Agon has been breaking since the 90's, and has participated in BBoy communities across the country from the east to west coasts. He resides in the Catskills where he teaches, performs, and competes at events. Agon is looking forward to sharing his love for breaking with the Hudson Valley and inspiring dancers with his passion for the arts. 

Jackie soranno

Contemporary / Lyrical Instructor / Competition Team Director & Choreographer 

Jackie began dancing at the age of 3 at Yanarella School of Dance in Beacon, NY. She studied there for 14 years, taking Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip-hop, Modern, Acro, and Baton. In 2011, she attended SUNY Cortland and joined the Cortland Dance Company, where she danced and choreographed for college girls at a variety of levels. Her choreography for their competition team scored 1st Place in the Lyrical and Musical Theatre categories this past February, and has been nominated for best choreography throughout an entire competition. Jackie graduated SUNY Cortland with a BS in Community Health, but hopes to pursue a career in dance.

BETH Christensen

Ballet / Pointe / Tap, Jazz & Combo Instructor

Beth has been dancing her whole life, and is thrilled to be teaching at Queen City Dance! Originally from California, she holds her BA in Dance from California State University at Long Beach, with a concentration in Ballet and Modern. Prior to moving to New York, Beth was the Education Director at Playhouse Merced, where she created and directed a pre-professional Conservatory program for students ages 6-18. While at the Conservatory she also taught Jazz at Merced College & Ballet/Pointe at a local dance academy. Once in New York, Beth continued teaching ballet, tap, jazz & creative movement, while also choreographing and costuming for Off-Broadway shows. With her true love being teaching students, she also choreographed the Spring Musical for 5 seasons at Friends Seminary--the oldest co-educational private school in Manhattan. As a new resident of the Hudson Valley, Beth is excited to work with all of the wonderful dancers, families and staff at QCD. Here's to a season full of dance, growth and fun!