Meet Team Grooves
Grooves Unlimited Co-Owner & Artistic Director
FutureSTEP Tap Company Director
Hillary-Marie is a tap dance artist, a visual music maker who celebrates music and dance as the universal languages of the world. One of the most accomplished tap dance artists and tap dance producers in America, she is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed soloist and at age 17 founded Jersey Tap Fest, named the Best Place to See Live Dance Performances in New Jersey by New Jersey Stage. She is also the director of FutureSTEP Tap Company, Hillary-Marie’s Sole Music Collective, Grooves Unlimited Dance Studio and iTapOnline. She has served as Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University and guest faculty at Alvin Ailey and STEPS. In 2017, she received an Individual Artist Fellowship in Choreography from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, one of their most competitive awards and is currently a Jersey (New) Moves Fellow at NJPAC (2019-2022).
A native of New Jersey, Hillary-Marie has been recognized by and featured in the New York Times, Star Ledger, Dance Studio Life Magazine, Dance Spirit Magazine and Dance Teacher Magazine. She has given a TedxTalk about her artist-entrepreneur experience and has traveled the world as a featured soloist at the Apollo Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Highline Ballroom, Copacabana, NJ State Theater, NJPAC, SOPAC, Symphony Space, Westobou Festival as well as Tap and Jazz festivals in Europe, Central America, South America, Asia and throughout the U.S. For many years, she performed weekly at Harlem’s Cotton Club as a part of Bessie-award winner Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards’ group “Sophisticated Ladies”, and previously worked with Emmy-award winning artist Jason Samuels Smith (A.C.G.I.) as well as Derick K. Grant (Rhythm Is Our Business). She has performed with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and with trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. Before his passing she performed with award-winning composer of A Chorus Line, Marvin Hamlisch, and has danced with Heather Cornell (Conversations), Roxane Butterfly (New Dance Alliance), Maurice Chestnut (Above Ground Project), Christopher Scott (W-L-U-V), Lisa LaTouche (Tap Phonics), the Boston Tap Company (Rhythm in the Night), the NJTAP Dance Ensemble, Nat Adderley Jr., and both the Princeton and New Jersey Symphony Orchestras.
Hillary-Marie’s dancing has been described as ‘like feathers with steel bones’ due to her combination of strength and grace.
Grooves Unlimited Co-Owner & Artistic Director
UNLIMITED Hip-Hop Crew Director
Shani “Virgo” Alston is a native of New Jersey whose love of Hip-Hop has brought her around the world, teaching and choreographing between Los Angeles and Bermuda.
Upon graduating from Arts High of Newark, NJ as a Star-Ledger Scholarship recipient, she went on to receive her BFA in Jazz Performance from the University of the Arts where she was acknowledged with Choreography and Outstanding Jazz Performance Awards.
With over thirty years of dance experience, Ms. Shani has made appearances in dance magazines, on networks like CBS & BET, Feature Films, Commercials and Music Videos. She also hit the Broadway stage dancing in "Cotton Club Parade" at NYC's City Center (now called "After Midnight").
Ms. Shani is a proud mother who continues to share her love of Hip-Hop as the Director of Grooves Unlimited Dance Studio, The UNLIMITED Hip-Hop Dance Crew and LIMITLESS, while choreographing for multiple music artists and dance companies in the NJ/NYC area daily.
Leanna is a native of New Jersey who has been instructing Hip-Hop, Jazz, Tap, and Ballet styles for a few years now. Leanna was a performer and choreographer for Middlesex County College’s dance ensemble and graduated from Montclair State University with a BFA in Dance. At the University, she has performed works by Earl Mosley, Bill T. Jones, Anna Sokolow, and Jose Limon. Performance credits include World of Dance NJ, Culture Crawl Festival, the Hamilton Stage, and the Paramount Theater. Recently, she received her Masters in Child Advocacy and Policy from MSU. Leanna looks forward to continuously utilize her passion for the Arts through Dance and have an impact on the youth.
Tori is a graduate of the Academy for Performing Arts in Scotch Plains with a dance minor from Kean University. Having studied under Hillary-Marie since 2015, she is a proud FutureSTEP Tap Company and Grooves Unlimited alumni. She is excited to be joining Team Grooves as she continues her education at Seton Hall University, pursuing her degree in Biology/Doctrine of Physical Therapy.
Sarina Taggart has trained in a multitude of styles including tap, jazz, street jazz, ballet, modern, contemporary, musical theatre and hip hop. Sarina has trained in these styles at many prestigious schools and programs including The Joffrey Ballet school, The Boston Conservatory and the Rockette summer intensive. Sarina has been a part of various contemporary, jazz and tap companies such as
Future Step Tap company, Flying Metals Tap troupe, Kaleidoscope dance theatre and Aries in Flight. Her most Recent Performance credits include New Jersey Tap Fest, Big Apple Tap Festival, and NJ Tap Ensembles 25th year show. Sarina received her A.F.A in the fine arts and has obtained much choreography recognition and awards at regional and national level competitions. Teaching is her love and passion and wishes to make a great impact on all her groovers!
Curator of First Impressions
Christina is co-founder and director of Resonance Tap Experience and producer of the Rock City and Steel City Tap Festivals. She travels as a guest teacher, choreographer, and competition adjudicator. With ever-evolving technology (and thanks to a computer programmer husband), she checks in with her students through virtual classroom space. Favorite performance credits include The Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers and Vee Corporation’s Sesame Street Live (national and international/Asian tours). Christina has had the opportunity to work with and teach for many studios from New Jersey to Indiana and many places in between and beyond! She is excited to bring ideas from across her experiences to the administrative side of things. Christina and her husband, Adam, have one son, Ezekiel, who wants to be a tap dancer when he grows up!