We have an incredibly dedicated and talented staff at Positions Dance Studio. Each instructor is highly skilled and educated in their field and has extensive experience working with a variety of age groups. The entire staff takes great care in creating age-appropriate classes where each student receives individualized instruction and attention.
Miss Kelly - Owner & Director
Kelly Peckholdt is proud to be the owner and director of Positions Dance Studio. She began dancing at Positions at age 3 and loves every second of directing a dance school that is so special to her. Kelly holds a BA in History Education from Siena College and an MA in Education from Hofstra University. In addition to dancing, Kelly is a NYS certified Social Studies teacher in grades 5-12 and a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer, and health coach. During college, Kelly studied ballet at the School of the Albany Birkshire Ballet and modern with Ellen Sinopoli, choreographer of the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company in Albany, NY. She continues her dance education in Manhattan as frequently as time allows. Miss Kelly is looking forward to another exciting dance season!
Miss Jillian - Artistic Director
Miss Jillian holds an MA in Educational Theater from New York University, an MA in Communications from Hofstra University, and a BFA in Theater Arts Performance with Minors in Dance and English from Hofstra. Additionally, Jillian holds certification from American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum as well as Yoga and Zumba certifications from multiple fitness organizations. Jillian has taught and performed across the world, including venues in Italy, Austria, and Walt Disney World. She continues to work on stage and screen and has been seen on networks like USA, NBC, Cartoon Network, Starz, Discovery ID, and hosting for Radio Disney. She has also worked behind the scenes in casting offices such as ABC Primetime and has worked on PR for Broadway shows like Hair and Spider-Man. This is Jillian’s eighth year of teaching at Positions, and she has loved every minute of it.
Miss Dominique - Marketing Director
Miss Dominique started dancing before she could walk, and with every step her passion for the art has grown! Dominique studied Kinesiology and Dance at Temple University, giving her the ability to understand how the body moves and allowing her to bring this connection to the dance floor. She has taught and performed through out the east coast region, and continues to perform today. Dominique may be seen in nationally televised commercials, music and fitness videos, and local advertisements. Additionally, Miss Dominique is an experienced personal trainer, certified Piloxing and Zumba instructor, and master fitness/wellness coach for a health and exercise program. With her new role as Director of Business Development, Miss Dominique is excited to start another successful year full of leaps and turns!
Miss Meredith was bitten by the ballet bug at the tender age of 4 and has yet to be cured! Her lifelong career has included studies with Andre Eglevsky at the Long-Island based Eglevsky School of Ballet, Christine Neubert at The Children’s Ballet Theatre at Carnegie Hall, The American Ballet Theatre Company’s open division, and with Colin Worth of The National Ballet of Canada. After receiving her B.A. from Hamilton College (double major in Dance and English Literature), Meredith was awarded an 18-month teaching fellowship at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she worked to establish a comprehensive theater arts program for the prestigious primary/secondary school. Her daughter’s interest in learning to dance brought Meredith to Positions Dance Studio more than twelve years ago and she has been with us as a ballet and tap instructor for more than 10 of those years. Currently Meredith also serves as the co-director and co-choreographer for the Babylon United Methodist Church’s Liturgical Dance Group, and rumor has it that she has been spotted as a mouse in an occasional local performance or two of the perennial holiday favorite The Nutcracker. When not teaching dance or being a mom, Miss Meredith also serves as Director of Consumer Product Safety for a Manhattan- based major toy and children’s products company.
Miss Jeanine has been teaching for 8 years at Positions Dance Studio. This will be her 9th year, and she loves teaching our toddler classes! Miss Jeanine was instrumental in developing our tumbling curriculum for toddlers, a class she started in 2014. She has been dancing and performing since the age of 4. One of her favorite experiences was performing with the Terpsichorean Dance Company at SUNY Oneonta, where she was a choreographer and a board member.
Miss Stephanie hails from Erie, Pennsylvania. She made her New York debut at age 14 in the Seymour Barab 2-person opera, "Passion in the Principal's Office," with the After Dinner Opera Co. performing at Peter Norton Symphony Space. She also auditioned and earned placement in the Rockette Summer Dance Intensive at Radio City. Stephanie is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Boston Conservatory with a BFA in Musical Theater with a Dance Emphasis. Stephanie was cast in numerous productions there, including "West Side Story," "42nd Street," and "Sweet Charity." Summer stock experience includes Ulla in "The Producers" and Virtue in "Anything Goes" at New London Barn Playhouse. Stephanie has performed with Royal Caribbean International, the New York City Fringe Festival, and in "Weaker People: A Dangerous Notion," originating as a Broadway Benefit held at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. She completed the North American Tour of "Scooby Doo Live!" as Daphne and the first National Tour of "Nice Work if You Can Get It" as Jeannie Muldoon. She was recently seen in the world premiere of "Ever After" at Paper Mill Playhouse.
Gabrielle Striano has been dancing since the age of 4 years old. She danced with Ovations Dance Academy and Ovations Repertory Company for 14 years. In those 14 years with Ovations Repertory Company she performed in the Production of The Nutcracker. She studied Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap and Lyrical. At the age of 15 she changed studios and her dance concentration to Dance Competition. She danced competition with Kovacs Studio of Dance until the age of 18 years old. Gabrielle has also danced with Joffery School of Ballet in New York City, in their Summer Intensive Dance program for 2 years. Upon graduating from High School she moved to New York City to further her dance training at The Broadway Dance Center. She received her certification at Broadway Dance in Ballet and Contemporary. She returned to Long Island to pursue her career as a dance teacher. She is very excited to join the staff at Positions Dance Studio!
Annie Castellano has been dancing for the past twenty six years and has studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, and lyrical. She received most of her dance training from various studios on Long Island including Ballet Long Island and Kelly's Dance Studio. Annie has performed in numerous musicals and has also competed in numerous competitions throughout the island and country. Her most recent competition was in San Antonio, Texas, in 2010, where she performed with Dance With Time of Killeen, Texas. While studying childhood education at St. Joseph’s College, she continued her dance studies through college level courses for modern dance. Annie continued her education and now holds a BA in Psychology from Argosy University as well as a Special Education Transition Certificate from Seton Hall University. She was in pursuit of a Master's Degree in Counseling from Seton Hall University and has done two internships in the field of mental health, but she recently put her mental health education/career on hold to focus on her true passion, teaching. Annie is a preschool teacher at St. Joseph's Nursery school and is extremely excited to be on staff at Positions this year!