Ballet, Pointe, Combo, Musical Theatre, Company Director
Sheryl Linfante graduated Cum Laude, with a BFA in Dance, from Wright State University, whose programs are affiliated with the Dayton Ballet School and the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. She was the youngest member accepted to the Northern Ballet Theatre Dance (Formally Granite State Ballet) in Nashua, New Hampshire, where she trained and performed with the company under the direction of Doreen Cafarella. She was also accepted to the prestigious Burklyn Ballet Theatre in Vermont, where she extensively trained with Angela Whitehill, David Howard, Arthur Leeth and many other leading ballet professionals. Professional Performance Credits include The Nutcracker (Clara), Sleeping Beauty (Energy Fairy), Don Q, La Bayadère, Nine, Into the Woods, Cabaret, and Beauty and The Beast. Sheryl has performed throughout the country in many venues including the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Choreography credits include The Wizard of Oz, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, Grease Jr. and Bye Bye Birdie as well as many award winning concert pieces throughout New Jersey. Sheryl has also has traveled across the country as an Adjudicator and Convention Teacher for the dance competition, Dancer's Inc.
Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Company Choreography
Erin McNerney has been teaching dancers of all ages for over 15 years. Throughout her career she has worked with notable industry professionals such as Gil Stroming, Jose de la Cuesta, Sheila Barker and Tracey Morgan from Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. Professionally, Erin has performed with Holland America Cruise Lines, numerous theme parks throughout the U.S., industrials, commercials and Off-Broadway. Most recently, she was the Assistant Choreographer/Dance Captain for the Center Drama Theatre Company and was a 2012 New Jersey “Perry” award nominee for ‘Best Actress” for her role as Phyllis in 42nd Street. Erin has also been a staff member of Dancers Inc. for over 8 years, judging regional and national competitions all across the country. She has had the pleasure of directing and choreographing for Hershey Theme Park, as well as many dance studios in the Tri-State area. Erin was a Professor of Jazz at Wagner College in Staten Island and on staff at Red Bank Regional High School Performing Arts School. Erin’s unique style and enthusiasm have repeatedly brought her and her students national acclaim, most recently being the Access Broadway 2013 Nationals Critics Choice Award. Her “energetic” approach to teaching continues to inspire all her dancers and Ocean Dance Force is honored to have her on staff.
Hip Hop, Company Choreography
Alexis Pellegrino is super excited to be kicking off the 2015-2016 season at ODF! She began her dance training at the age of 3. Throughout the years, Alexis has studied many forms of dance including Hip-Hop, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Musical Theatre, Ballet, and Contemporary. She has been fortunate to study under some very notable people in the industry including Wade Robson, Cris Judd, and Jose De La Cuesta. While receiving her degree in Business Managament from Monmouth University, Alexis continued to perform in productions of Cabaret, Evita, and Gypsy. This year, Alexis has broadened her horizons in performance as she has also added music to her repertoire. She spent the beginning of the year performing with an 80’s tribute band and now focuses her musical outlet on her own band Lex Rex and the Dragons. Alexis is very passionate about teaching dance and very excited to see her students grow artistically this dance season!
Modern, Company Ballet
Stephanie Fagen Urbina grew up in Manasquan, NJ where she began dancing at the age of 2. She studied at Diane Fay Dance Gallery and Ocean Center East through high school. Stephanie is forever grateful for the amazing teachers she had as a child: Miss Fay, Miss Lauren and Mr. Dan were the biggest and best influences on her and inspired her to pursue dancing further. While in high school, Stephanie was selected as one of 12 dancers in the state of New Jersey to attend the Governor’s School of the Arts and she also studied at the Joffrey Ballet School. She continued studying dance in college and majored in Modern Dance Performance at The University of The Arts in Philadelphia where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. While in college, Stephanie performed the works of Momix, Milton Myers and Martha Graham at the Merriam Theater. She also performed throughout Prague under the direction of Lynn Barr. Upon graduating, Stephanie moved to NYC where she performed throughout the city at StepsNYC, Carnegie Hall and Teatro La Tea. Having a love for fitness, Stephanie became a master instructor at Physique 57 and she also appears in their workout DVDs. Stephanie has served as a clothing ambassador of Lululemon and Splits 59. In 2012, Stephanie returned to her love of teaching dance and opened her first dance studio in Westchester County, NY. Having moved back to Monmouth Coutny with her husband and two children, Stephanie is thrilled to share her passion for dance at Ocean Dance Force.
Tap, Company Assistant Director
Caitlin Roman has been dancing since the age of four. She is skilled in many of the dance disciplines from Acro to Ballet. Over the course of her dance career, she has danced competitively throughout New Jersey and other parts of the Northeast, performed in community events, and participated in fundraisers. She has been working at Ocean Dance Force since 2007, first as a teaching assistant and, starting in 2013, as a teacher. Caitlin currently teaches all levels of tap and is very honored to have been named the Company Assistant Director. In addition, she has run summer dance camps at ODF and the Algonquin Arts Theatre. She will be graduating from Georgian Court University in 2016, where she is an English and Education major and a part of the University Honors Program. Caitlin loves being a part of Ocean Dance Force.
Lyrical, Jazz, Company Ballet
Alex Volper began dancing at age 3 and has not stopped since. She started in local theater at age 4 when she appeared in Sleeping Beauty as a Royal Child. Alex has appeared in local performances including Aladdin, The Nutcracker, Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat, and Oliver. She continued performing in area theater and was nominated for a NJ Perry Award in 2012 as Supporting Actress in a Musical for her part as Lorraine Fleming in 42nd Street. She always loved dancing and performing and continued with lessons in tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical and voice for 15 years. Alex has studied in the re-Professional program at Steps on Broadway, the American Academy of Ballet summer program at SUNY Purchase, NY and at Broadway Dance Center. She has studied under Kat Wildish, Jose DeLa Cuestra, Dan Barris, and Erin McNerney. Alex began working as a dancer and performer at Six Flags-Great Adventure in 2009. She is currently employed at Great Adventure as an Entertainment Supervisor and park choreographer. Alex was nominated twice for the Performer of the Year and once for Supervisor of the Year in the Great Adventure Golden Carousel Awards. Alex began dancing at Ocean Dance Force at age 6 and is happy to still be there teaching and helping kids Dream Bigger.
Tara Pinnella is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College in NYC, where she received a BA in Acting and a Minor in Musical Theatre. During her time there, she had the opportunity to study along side and in Master Classes with, Donna McKechnie, Hal Prince, Stephen Sondheim, Marvin Hamlisch, Broadway Casting Director Andrew Zerman, and Tony Nominee Melissa Hart. Tara has worked in film and television in addition to performing in many regional theaters throughout the country. Her most recent credit being West Side Story at the Boheme Opera House, directed and choreographed by Graham Lustig and the American Repertory Ballet. Tara teaches Master Classes in NYC alongside her husband Chris Pinnella. She is excited to return to ODF for her second year of teaching!