Mrs. Michelle Kovitch-Maskas

Owner/Director/Dance Instructor

Meet the Staff
2022 - 2023

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Styles: ALL STYLES

You can find her Monday through Thursday.

 Michelle began her dance journey at the age of 8, where she studied all styles of dance. During her dance training, she attended competitions and workshops, taking classes from some of the biggest names in the industry including Frank Hatchett, Mia Michaels, Joe Lanteri and more. Upon completion of highschool. Mrs.Maskas continued her education at PennState obtaining a business management degree and graduated with the highest GPA in her class. She also continued her dance training by attending Dance Masters of America and Dance Educators of America’s Teachers Training Programs. Both organizations are known for requiring teachers to testtheir dance knowledge before becoming a member. She is a proud member of DEA, has served four years as a director on the GLRDM board and was recently appointed President of Dance Masters Chapter 46. She trains recreational and competitive level dancers to enjoy the art of dance and all it has to ffer. She has also become a certified Acrobatic Arts instructor. When not dancing, Michelle loves to spend time with her husband, Jeremy, three children, Merilee, Jaxon and Miles. She greatly enjoys camping, swimming and relaxing with friends.

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Styles: Musical Theatre, Hip Hop, Tap, Competitive

You can find her on Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays

Miss Klase is an ASADA 2009 Alum & a 2013 Graduate of Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts, where she earned a BA in Acting and a minor in Broadcasting. Since graduating, she has worked as a performer/choreographer in the Pittsburgh area. In addition to her numerous performances in theatre and film, she has had spots with Nickelodeon and MTV, was a performer in Walt Disney World and is a fitness instructor. Miss Klase enjoys spending time at home with her husband, Craig,  Golden Retriever, Jovie, cat, Sidney and became a mom to baby boy, Dean,  in July 2022.

Mrs. Klase Licata

Studio Administrator/Dance Instructor

Styles: Competitive (All Styles)

You can find her on Tuesdays/Thursdays.

Miss Richelle grew up in Greensburg where she fell in love with dance. She began dancing at age 3 and has continued her studies in all styles of dance. Richelle graduated from La Roche College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management and Marketing with a minor in Performing Arts. She has attended DMA Teacher’s Training School.  This is Richelle’s seventh year with ASADA but she has been teaching for ten years. She is a member of DMA #46 and DEA. She loves instructing younger dance enthusiasts with the same passion she enjoyed while growing up. 

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Miss Richelle Palarino

Dance Instructor

Styles: Competitive (All Styles)

You can find her on Mondays/Thursdays.

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Styles: Gymnastics, Tumbling

You can find her on Monday through Thursday.

Miss Jaclyn is in her 16th season as the gymnastic instructor at ASADA. She trained for many years with the Kiski Valley YMCA where she won numerous awards as a gymnast. Several of her students have won gymnastics scholarships with Great Lakes Regional Dance Masters. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two children, Isabella & Emmett, along with her husband, Shane. 

Mrs. Jaclyn Stefaniak

Gymnastics Coach

Miss Maura has been dancing since the age of 2 and quickly moved into competition dance, winning numerous awards, titles and scholarships. In high school, she attended the pre-professional program at Point Park University for 2 years and most recently attended Seton Hill University as a dance choreography major. She has participated in countless workshops, intensives and master classes and learned choreography from top choreographers. Maura is a well-rounded dancer but has a special passion for jazz and contemporary. 

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Miss Maura Jump

Dance Instructor

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Styles: Ballet,  Pointe, Technique

You can find her on Mondays/Tuesdays.

Miss Renee has been dancing since the age of 4. She received her training at Bodiography Center for movement under the direction of Maria Caruso, where she began her baccalaureate studies through the College Preparatory Dance Program at La Roche College. During her summers, she attended intensive programs at Bodiography as well as Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and she began to invest in fitness pursuits by becoming a certified instructor of the Bodiography Fitness and Strength Training System. Renee is a trainee with Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, serves as a teaching artist with the company’s affiliate studios in the region and is working to complete her BA in dance at La Roche College.

Miss Renee Simeone

Dance Instructor

Miss Corinne is from Morgantown, West Virginia and recently graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a minor in dance.  She is pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh.  Corinne has attended intensive dance programs at Goucher College, Florida State University, Ballet Met, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and the Martha Graham School.  She has performed master works such as Martha Graham's Celebration and excerpts from Ohad Naharin's Deca Dance.  In her physical therapy studies, Corinne plans to work mostly with dancing doing Performing Arts Physical Therapy.

Styles: Ballet, Competitive

You can find her on Tuesdays.

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Miss Corinne Zeni

Dance Instructor

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Miss Sarah Dietsch

Dance Instructor

Styles: Jazz, Modern, Competitive

You can find her on Wednesdays.

Sarah Dietsch was born and raised in Warren, PA and began her dance career at Linda Dies’ Dance Unlimited (now Molly Dies Dance Unlimited) where she danced for 15 years, 9 of which she competed with Molly Dies Dance Express Company. She completed her BFA in Dance with a dual concentration in Performance and Choreography and Business Administration at Slippery Rock University in May 2021.  She has been in repertories set by SRU faculty including Jennifer Keller, Jesse Factor, and Lindsay Viatori. She has also worked with guest artists including Manasvini Ramachandran and Francine Ott.  She began her teaching career as a teacher’s assistant at the age of 12 and has since taught students from ages 3-19. When she isn’t dancing or teaching you will find Sarah behind the counter at your local Dunkin’ or playing with her two kitties Charlie and Lily.

Guest Choreographers

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Miss Alicia Pociask

Miss Alicia grew up dancing, singing and acting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She attended Point Park University, receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance and a Minor in Theatre Arts. Alicia has worked at Hershey Park, Cedar Point, Paramount King's Dominion, Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, performed in many industrials for the Pittsburgh Steelers and was a video tracked dancer for the Pepsi Corporation. Alicia spent her last five performance years traveling the world as a dancer with Holland America Cruise Line. Alicia spent 8 years as a resident show supervisor, choreographer and director for the Emmy Award winning production company, RWS Entertainment Group, where she choreographed 5 mainstage production shows for Holland America Cruise Line, was associate choreographer for STEP ONE Dance Company and directed and choreographed 3 mainstage shows for Azamara Club Cruises. In 2015, Alicia had the honor of assisting Al Blackstone for the workshop, Crazy In Love, an original short musical written by Kooman and Dimond. Alicia is extremely passionate and invested in the education of young performers. She travels around the country as a guest teacher, choreographer and judge. Currently, she resides in Brooklyn, NY and is also the Owner/Director of bold dance project.

Front Desk

Mrs. Kathy Beacom

Miss Kathy worked in the medical field for several years before coming to work for A Step Above Dance Academy. She has now been working the Front Desk at the studio for 14 years and it is truly the job she loves. When she's not at the studio, she enjoys sewing, crafting and spending time with family and friends. 

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