​About Us


     The Performing Arts Workshop​ is the product of a lifetime spent in the studio, on the stage and behind the scenes. It began with the belief that a quality arts education should be accessible and meaningful. Our programs engage people of all ages in arts experiences designed to build self-esteem, develop creative expression and promote healthy living. 


     Our arts educators are highy trained and experienced professionals who truly wish to share their talents and have a positive impact on the lives of others. Please scroll down to learn about our incredibly gifted faculty!

Meet Our Team


B.A., Dance / K-12 Education, Marymount Manhattan College

Member, International Dance Entrepreneurs Association

Member, International Association for Dance Medicine & Science


     Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Jaime Gong holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College, with a concentration in K-12 Dance Education. She has trained under, and worked with, some of the finest artists in the dance field for over 33 years, concentrating her studies on jazz, ballet, tap, modern, ballroom dance, and acrobatics. Early in her career, extensive work as an intern/assistant to master teachers at New York City's Harkness Dance Center and STEPS on Broadway helped to strengthen Jaime's knowledge of effective teaching techniques. Now a seasoned dance educator, Jaime has taught classes and led workshops in private studios, theaters, public institutions, public schools and private educational facilities throughout New York and New Jersey for more than 22 years.

     As a performer, Jaime was privileged to dance in works staged by Cassandra Pfeiffer, Merle Holloman and Joao Carvalho during her time at Marymount Manhattan College; and has since performed works choreographed by Roberta Mathes at the Bergen Performing Arts Center; as well as Karen Arceneux, Jeffrey Bynum and Noibis Licea at the Ailey Extension. She was an original cast member and featured dancer in “Katonga: Tales from the Heart of the Jungle”, a musical theater production choreographed by Abdel Salaam (Founder and Artistic Director, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre), directed by Chase Senge (Senior Show Director, Walt Disney, Co.) and produced by Don Frantz (Associate Producer, “The Lion King”).  She also appeared as a featured dancer in productions of "Pippin" and "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying", directed by Robert Ellman at the Joseph Anzalone Theatre in Brooklyn, NY; the "Citrus Bowl Halftime Show" in Gainesville, FL; and "Nickelodeon Weinerville Live!" at the Westbury Music Fair in Purchase, NY.

     As an educator, she has taught dance for the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE); Broadway Bound Dance Center in Valley Stream, NY; several private schools throughout northern New Jersey; as well as New York City's famed Neighborhood Playhouse Junior School. Noteworthy accomplishments include piloting a school-wide dance program at Public School 251 in Brooklyn, NY and facilitating a community dance program for the Mill Basin Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Other credits include appearing as a guest artist for a series of 'Introduction to Dance' workshops for the NYCDOE and 'Dancing for Physical Fitness' workshops for the New Jersey Department of Education.

     Jaime transitioned into the field of arts administration as Education Assistant at New York City Center (NYCC), where she participated in the coordination of dance and musical theatre programming inspired by mainstage performances, reaching thousands of New York City public school students each season. She also held the position of Merchandising Director for the  United States Tournament of Dance Inc.; and prior to founding Performing Arts Workshop, Jaime enjoyed two terms as Director of the Summer Program at The Neighborhood Playhouse Junior School.

     Jaime has drawn on all of her experience to become the dancer/educator she is today.  She is inspired and humbled by the incredible artists she has the honor of collaborating with, and as her career evolves, her artistic view and pedagogic approach evolve, as well. Her students are guided, mentored and encouraged, whether they are in pre-professional training or dancing recreationally while working toward other goals. Jaime’s personal mission is to create an environment where all students can thrive, promoting the values of discipline and determination that are essential to achieving success in any endeavor.


Jaime Gong

JB Pic Cent Pk headshot edited sans text

     Jacquie Bird has enjoyed a lengthy and fulfilling career as a triple threat, appearing on Broadway, film and television.  Currently a master-teacher/choreographer as well as a singer, writer and the designer/creator of SilkWire Jewelry, she has worked in close association with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City for the past 12 years as their choreographer extraordinaire.  She has been the director/choreographer for their fundraising galas at Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall for the past 10 years, the chorister roster growing to over 425 young singers ages 7-18 along with guest artists such as Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty, Lester Lynch, BeBe Winans, Norm Lewis, The New York Voices and Mandy Gonzalez.

     The Brooklyn native enjoys guiding aspiring performing artists and has taught and choreographed in Japan, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Hong Kong, the Dominican Republic, Canada, Bermuda and is a frequent guest in Bogota, Colombia at the Misi Escuela Teatro Musical and Colegio Rochester.  Domestically she has taught for numerous dance studios as well as organizations such as Dance Masters, Dance Olympus and Showstoppers. Jacquie has been a part of the faculties of Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (Theatre Department’s M.F.A. program); Lehman College; Steps on Broadway; Ballet Arts, and at the Broadway Dance Center, where she was a long-time assistant to the legendary Frank Hatchett and sometimes subs for Sue Samuels’ Broadway Jazz classes at the Broadway Dance Center and the Peridance Capezio Center.  

     Jacquie has also served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Hope College and was a guest teacher/choreographer at Stephens College, the University of Las Vegas and has been guest lecturer of Swing Dance at Hofstra University and at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts since 2009.

     Jacquie holds a B.F.A. from the Leonard Davis Center for the Performing Arts at City College and for more information or to contact visit her site at www.jacquiebird.com


Jacquie Bird


     Sophie Moyer, originally from Sunbury, Pennsylvania, is a dancer, choreographer, and dance educator based in NY & PA. Growing up, Sophie studied intensely at the Moyer Institute of Dance in ballet and jazz, as well as at summer intensives with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Pennsylvania Regional Ballet. Sophie went on to receive her BA in Dance with a double major in Sociology from The George Washington University, graduating with honors in dance and with nominations for both choreography and performance excellence awards. Most recently, Sophie was on the faculty and staff of Joy of Motion Dance Center and Born 2 Dance Studio in the Washington metropolitan area. Currently, Sophie is the Competition Team Director and choreographer at the Moyer Institute of Dance where she teaches and choreographs in the styles of ballet, contemporary, modern, and jazz, and she is on the faculty of Mariann's School of Dance in Paramus, NJ. Sophie continues her own training by attending classes, workshops, and intensives and has recently completed intensives with Pushing Progress Contemporary Dance. Sophie’s classes focus on technique, strength, musicality, storytelling, self-confidence, and the development of a personal and unique voice to share through dance. 

Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, In-School Enrichment

Sophie Moyer


      Sierra Stacy graduated from Wright State University with her BFA in Acting/Musical Theatre emphasis in 2013 and moved to New York City shortly after to perform and teach. She was greatly inspired by her mother, a director, voice & acting teacher, from a young age and was led to find her own passion for the performing arts. She attended the Youth Performing Arts School where she graduated in 2009. She also received formal ballet training from the UofL Dance Academy and Governor’s School for the Arts. She is trained in Ballet/Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Lyrical, Musical Theatre, Viewpoints, Alexander Technique, Voice and Drama. With over twenty two years in training of voice, acting, dance, and musical theatre she has enjoyed sharing her passion with her students for the past ten years!

        She has choreographed Off-Broadway in Little Shop of Horrors, and the original musical Kids Around Town. Her choreography has also been seen on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Disney World Stages. She also teaches at the Broadway Bound Intensive for Classic Melodies Performance Institute in Louisville, KY as the head of Dance Faculty and Musical Theatre. 

Some of her favorite performance credits include: Audrey “Little Shop of Horrors” (Off- Broadway),Cinderella “Into the Woods”, Belle “Beauty & the Beast”, Roxie “Chicago”, Flaemmchen “Grand Hotel”, Sandy “Grease”,Les Miserables, Happy Days, Phantom of the Opera, 42nd Street, Hairspray, Funny Girl, Mary Poppins and Anything Goes.

Ballet, Pointe, Tap & Jazz

Sierra Stacy


     Ariel Rebecca (Rivka) Grossman founded Ariel Rivka Dance in 2008. Born and raised in New York City, she trained at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and the Joffrey Ballet School under direction of Gerald Arpino for ten years. She earned a B.S. in Dance, with honors, and a Minor in Women’s Studies from Skidmore College. Upon graduation, Ariel was commissioned to set a work on Skidmore dancers. Ariel was named one of Jersey (New) Moves Emerging Choreographers in 2016 and was invited back to the 2017 festival for being a standout past grant recipient.

     Ariel Rivka Dance (ARD) is a critically acclaimed all-female contemporary dance company led by married choreographer/composer team Ariel Grossman and David Homan. ARD is committed to creating work with new music that explores emotionally driven movement. Collaboration and accessibility are the heart of ARD, producing shows that expose our audiences to quality artistry in an inviting way. In 2018 ARD traveled to Boston, Houston, Cleveland, Baltimore and Nebraska, and performed at BAM Fisher and the Battery Dance Festival. With tours scheduled in 2019 to Atlanta and Memphis ARD will also perform in the Tisch Summer Residency Festival Performance Series.

Ballet & Tap

Ariel Grossman


Michelle is a Brooklyn native, having studied dance from the young age of 3. She received a BA in Dance and Media at Hunter College in New York City in 2014. For the past ten years, she has been training and performing professionally. After many years in the concert dance industry, Michelle turned towards the commercial scene and trained closely under the iconic choreographers Luam Kezflegy,  Rhapsody James and Dana Foglia,  to name a few. After signing to Go To Talent Agency, Michelle moved to Los Angeles, where she continues to teach and perform professionally. Merging her knowledge of marketing and dance, Michelle began Brandi.d. by Michelle, a one-stop-shop for marketing and branding for dancers and small businesses.


She still thinks of PAW as her home, attributing a great deal of her success to her mentor, Jaime Gong. 

Social Media Manager

Michelle Stroffolino

Calvin Yim Headshot.jpg

Calvin Yim, born in New York City, began his training as a BBoy during his early teen years. Wanting to emerse himself in the Hip Hop community, he trained at the popular grounds of Palisades Park's Made in Hip Hop, in which he recieved guidance from Yusang- the organization’s Founder- as well as NBK Studios in Jersey City, and popular training grounds in New York City.Calvin has organized events for Nyack High School and Clarkstown North High School. He was also a talent camp counselor for Woodmont Day Camp; has taught and held BBoy sessions at Chodae Church; and further grasped effective teaching techniques as assistant instructor to Jonathan Cha- member of Floor Obsessions Crew- during his tenure at New York Sports Clubs.Calvin maintains his presence on the BBoy scene as a fierce competitor in battles such as ‘Harlem's El Barrio's Finest’, Bergenfield's ‘Step Up or Get Smoked’, and New York University's ‘RU Breaks’. He believes that no matter the battle, the true challenge is to win the fight within yourself to keep on going!

Hip Hop

Calvin Yim


Maria is a professional dancer from Guayaquil, Ecuador. She has trained in all disciplines of dance and competed in dance across South America and the United States from the tender age of 8. At the age of 19, Maria received acceptance to the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City where she received a full scholarship.


Now as a Graduate from a professional program, Maria has worked with recognized choreographers around the world who have helped shape her career and develop her strengths as a classical, commercial and contemporary dancer.


Maria also furthered her training and performance with the Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company in New York City when she attended their famous summer intensives, as well as receiving the "Complexions Experience" for 2015, thanks to an alliance between the Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company and the Joffrey Ballet School of New York City.


Maria is also an accomplished choreographer and teacher instructing workshop classes all over Ecuador. She is the owner of a new and upcoming dance workshop company in Ecuador “New Age Dancers”. She presented her first, full work, an evening of Contemporary Dance works choreographed, produced and directed by her called "STAGES" at the Martha Graham Studio Theater in 2017.


Maria Also received a certificate of completion from the New York Film Academy in 2016 for filmmaking, foreseeing a new and upcoming plan projects as a Dance Filmmaker; and is certified in Digital Marketing and Photography.


Maria is currently signed with CESD talent agency and resides in New York City, where she continues to grow as a dancer, artist and person, helping others inspire for professionalism.

Ballet, Jazz, Tap & Hip Hop

Maria Castellano-Gomez


Past Staff

We have welcomed many gifted performers and teachers to our family of good people who only wish to do good things! When significant opportunities in the field or life changes occur, we understand when team members have to move on...but they know they are always welcome to come back, any time!

196 Morgan Street, Ground Floor Jersey City, NJ 07302

Located between Grove St. & Marin Blvd. PATH to Grove St.; Less than1 minute walk.

info@performingartsworkshop-nj.com  |  Tel: (201) 424-3075

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Ricci DiGirolamo