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 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.
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.
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.
Esira is a dance professional who uses various styles of dance performances to spread positive and soulful messages to her audience and dance students. She is a classically trained dancer with over 15 years of dance, coaching and choreography experience. She has performed around the world and was cast in Walt Disney World's spectacular, "Celebrating the Seasons." Esira has danced for Catherine McPhee and filmed by ABC. Her most memorable performances were experienced aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines ship, Freedom of the Seas, where she was featured in 3 production shows including: "Once Upon a Time," "Marquee," and "Now You See It." As a young artist she received training from Montclair State University and the American Academy of Ballet. Throughout her youth Esira competed as a soloist and group dancer at regional and national competitions, where she obtained multiple platinum awards and special award recognitions .
Ms. Caylia received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Montclair State University performing works by Jessie Dimauro, Kim Whittam, Kathleen Kelley, Christian von Howard, Lori Katterhenry, Earl Mosley and Camille A. Brown. She was recently featured as a dancer in Red, A New Musical in the show's New York premiere; an original by Lawrence Dandridge. Currently Ms. Caylia is pursing her Masters degree in Public Media with a concentration in Strategic Communication at Fordham University.
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.
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.
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!