Our Staff

Stella Palumbo - "Miss Stella"
The owner and founder of Stella's Dancers' Studio, she began teaching dance at age 15 and has owned and operated her own studio since she was 19. Today, more than 300 students study ballet, tap, jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop and Modern. Additionally, she founded and directs the nationally acclaimed Illusion Dance Company, which has won countless competitions and performed at area hospitals, nursing homes and community events. Stella’s Dancers' Studio has celebrated their 20th Anniversary Recital.

While encouraging the members of the company to strive for success in competitions, Stella emphasizes having fun and Learning proper technique to instill a positive self-esteem in all her students.

Trained by the prestigious Dance Educators of America she has continued her dance education by attending master classes, conventions and studying in New York at the Broadway Dance Center. Her students are going on to professional careers, including dancing with Enrique Inglesias, Lou Bega, Deborah Cox, Puff Daddy, Siegfried and Roy, Debbie Allen, performing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Super Bowl XXIX, Disney Tokyo, Walt Disney World, cruise ships, nightclubs and local theater.

Terry Catalano
It is reasonable to say that without Miss Terry, there would be no Stella's Dancer's Studio. The mother of Stella Palumbo, Miss Terry did far more than encourage her daughter's ambitions to own a dance studio. As the studio manager, she juggles a host of detail-oriented tasks for hundreds of students and teachers. Scheduling dozens of classes per week, ordering millions of sequins worth of costumes, organizing the annual recital and baby-sitting Stella's two children are just a few of the critical jobs that fall daily on her capable shoulders. 

Krysten Herrera
Miss Krysten is a native Floridian, where she received most of her dance training. Her background in dance consists of training in Classical Ballet, Jazz, Modern (Graham, Limon, Horton and Cunningham), Caribbean and African. She graduated from the University of Florida through New World School of the Arts with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts with a major in Dance. She has appeared in the following: Treasure Islands, Sirens of TI promo, Las Vegas Nevada-Travis Payne, Kenny Ortega-2003, Michael Uthoff Dance Theater-Sinfonia Danzante 2003, Media Luz-2003, Manso Dance-Original Works by Paulo Manzo de Souze, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Reunion, Gerard Ebitz, Dancing Inside/Out - Original West African Dances, Mohammed de Costa, La Corridor, Silent Voices Breath be Heard, Kristin O'Neil and many others.

She has experience teaching students from beginners to professionals and truly loves being in the classroom. She is also a personal trainer with a very strong background in anatomy, kinesiology, nutrition and physiology. She welcomes any and all questions that both students and parents have regarding ways to improve health and well-being. She is a welcome addition to our faculty.

Chris Lee
Chris Lee is an exciting and widely sought-after dance teacher and choreographer is currently enjoying his 23rd year in business. His skill and versatility in both tap and jazz/lyrical combined with a creative choreographic style have kept him both very busy and happy. He is a certified member of Dance Masters of America. His teaching credits include Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center in N.Y.C. both at the professional and children levels. He has also served as dance department chairperson at Belvoir Terrace, an internationally reputable performing arts camp in Lenox, Massachusetts. Chris also teaches master classes and judges for major dance organizations, private organizations and schools nationwide and in Canada. His students have won numerous high score awards at competitions such as
American Dance Awards, Dance Masters of America and Starquest, as well as 2 gold medals at the World Tap Dance Championships in Reisa Germany. Chris’s students have also gone on to appear in films, music videos, TV programs and on Broadway.

Debra Gonzalez
Debra Gonzalez discovered dancing at the age of 19.  She received her minor in dance from Penn State University where she was a member of the Contemporary Dance Company.  Studying dance, and performing throughout her college years and beyond, she was a member of the Pennsylvania Dance Theater, a sought after local professional modern dance company.  After graduating, she worked as their booking/stage manager while continuing to teach, take class, and perform.  Debbie has studied at Steps NYC, and with such acclaimed teachers as Anita and Frank Mastrocola, Elizabeth Limons Shea, and Carol Hatcher.  Debbie has been teaching at Stella’s Dancers Studio for more than 5 years, always instilling her love of teaching with her love of children.  She also works part-time as one of our front desk receptionists.

Kim McGuire
Miss Kim is one of our friendly receptionists. She is also in charge of accounts receivable. You will find Miss Kim to be extremely detail oriented and most helpful to all you needs. Her daughter Jessie ( a former Illusion Dance Company member) is now in college and is still dancing.

Danielle Moore
Miss Danielle has been dancing under the instruction of Stella Palumbo and her staff for over 16 years. During that time she has competed in many competitions throughout the southeastern United States with the Illusion Dance Company. At the age of 11 she performed with the Children's Ballet Theater in Cinderella and Coppelia in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with Mike Miller and Associates All American Cheer and Dance. Danielle has since continued her dance and modeling at a professional level performing in dance videos under the direction of Judy Ann Bassing (Broadway Showtunes), and Scott Benson (Smooth). She was also selected to perform in a music video with Jasmine and modeled in various jobs including the movie Random Hearts starring Harrison Ford, and the soap opera Miami Sands. She has also performed all over the world on the Norwegian Cruise lines SS Norway Farewell Tour dancing in Guy's and Dolls, Sing, Sing, Sing and Sea Legs Goes Hollywood. She is presently performing with
the local entertainment group La Mystique whom she has been working with for over 5 years. Danielle has dedicated her life to dance and hopes to have a long and successful career.

Kathleen O’Donnell Vega
Miss Kathleen, a native New Yorker grew up a stones throw away from Manhattan, where she trained on scholarship at the Broadway Dance Center and Steps 74. Here she learned from many great teachers like Frank Hatchett, Chris Chadman, Henry Le Tang and Finis Jhung, to name a few. This is also where she began teaching at the age of 16 and started performing professionally at 17.

Since then she has worked in many aspects of the dance world such as: Performing,
Casting, Choreographing, Commercials, Cruise Ships( Royal & Norwegian) , Dinner Theater (Grease, Guys & Dolls, Anything Goes, Sweet Charity & 42nd St.), Industrials, Video, National Tours (Dirty Dancing), Judging and of course more teaching including master classes. Along the way, Kathleen has had the pleasure of working with the amazing Bob Fosse, Ben Vereen, Debbie Allen, Bill Medley and many others. Some of her past students have gone on the perform on Broadway, Radio City Music Hall, Macy's Day Parade's, Pro Bowls's dance & music videos, teaching, Las Vegas and more. Over the years, Kathleen has received numerous awards for her choreography and teaching.

She is currently celebrating five wonderful years at Stella's, while she also continues to judge competitions, cast & choreography for ADC Productions and raise her son Dylan.

Judy Ann Bassing
Judy Ann Bassing is an international artist in great demand as a Choreographer/Director &teacher. Recipient of six Los Angeles Drama-Logue Awards for outstanding choreography and directing and a San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award for the production of "Sugar" presented at the Lawrence Welk Theatre. France, Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, England, Yugoslavia, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Czech Republic are countries where she choreographs, directs and teaches. While in Essen, Germany choreographing "Company", Judy directed and choreographed Gala for the President of Germany, She recently choreographed "Me and My Girl” at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, starring Bruce Adler, Tony nominee for “Crazy for You”. Theater credits include: “Nunsnse”, “Funny Girl”, “Cabaret”, “Sweet Charity”, “Peter Pan”, “Man of La Mancha”, starring Doug Carfare, “She Loves Me”, "Panama Game", Singing in the Rain", “The Unsinkable Molly Brown", "Promises Promises", "Oklahoma", starring Tony nominee Alice Ripley, "Hello Dolly", "Guys and Dolls", "l do, I do" starring Richard Kline of the TV series "Three's Company" and Belle Calaway, "Bells are Ringing", "Dames at Sea", "Anything Goes". Industrial credits are: Merrill Lynch, 'Dance in America”, and M & M Mars. Television: BBC '”Special on Dance", Scotland. "Production Numbers" European International Sports Competition. Judy recently choreographed "Crazy for You" in Las Vegas and was the choreographer for the opening number for the "1999 World Ski Cup Championships". Judy just returned from Prague, she was one of the guest artists invited to participate in workshops and performances celebrating American National Tap Dance.

Rebecca Nunley-Masel
Miss Rebecca is from Lexington, KY where she grew up as a competitive dancer studying all dance forms with a special emphasis on Ballet. She won numerous local, regional and national awards including “Ohio’s Female Dancer of the Year” (American Dance Awards), “Miss Dance of Ohio” (Dance Masters of America), and was 3rd Runner-up in the Miss Kentucky Scholarship Pageant (a preliminary to the Miss America Scholarship Pageant) and performed in many local and regional theatre productions. She attended the University of Kentucky on a full academic scholarship and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. After spending 2 years as a full-time dance instructor at her home studio in Lexington, she moved to New York City to pursue her dance dreams. She was quickly hired by famed jazz instructor, Frank Hatchett, as a class and convention assistant. She met a lifetime goal when she had the honor of becoming a Radio City Rockette performing in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. She is now mom to daughter, Alexandra, and son, Spencer, and joins our staff as a Ballet Technique specialist.

Carly Dowling
Miss Carly began her early training at the age of three under the direction of Sandra Lee in Kansas City, Missouri. Upon moving to Florida, Carly continued to study jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, lyrical, and modern at Kim Cole Dance Studio. Carly was quickly picked up for the studio's competition team and proceeded to travel around the state of Florida dancing at competitions and conventions. Through master workshops and dance conventions like Tremaine, West Coast Dance Explosion, NYCDA, and Dance Teachers Web Expo, Miss Carly has had the opportunity to receive training from Joe Lanteri, Dmitri Roudnev, Doug Caldwell, Kelley Peters, Steve Sirico, and many others.

In 2010, Carly graduated from Florida State University with a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Special Education, a Bachelors Degree in Exceptional Student Education, and a Minor in Psychology. While in Tallahassee, Carly danced with Seminole Dance Force and the Tallahassee Titans (Arena Football). Carly also taught jazz, hip hop, tap, and young children's classes at The Performing Arts Center of Tallahassee for 6 years. Carly's passion and background in education  and dance make her classes a memorable experience for all who take them.



9470 Griffin Road
Cooper City, Florida 33328
(954) 434-8401

Family Owned & Operated for 23 years

About Us  | Our Staff | Class Schedules |  Guidelines | Recitals/Competition  |  Contact Us | Company



© 2000 Stella's Dancers' Studio, Inc.. All rights reserved.

updated 10/08/04