Ballet Academy and Studio in Bordentown, New Jersey

Our Talented Team

The CNJ Ballet Theatre is a dance school that offers a wide variety of classes in a friendly, positive and fun environment for ages 2 1/2 to adult. The theatre is also home to the CNJ Ballet Theatre’s Pre-Professional program. The Pre-Professional program is for the serious dancer that wishes to gain a strong foundation in classical/contemporary ballet as well as other dance forms.

The CNJ Ballet Theatre is located in Beautiful Bordentown, NJ and is an academy that focuses on the traditional ballet idiom. The school is near Chesterfield, Hamilton, Hamilton Square, Trenton, Princeton, New Egypt, Yardville, Florence and Columbus, NJ. The CNJ Ballet Theatre offers a wide variety of dance classes for ages 2 1/2  and up. Feel free to call and/or visit the studio at 609.424.3192. We look forward to providing the community the very best in dance instruction and performance.

Alisha Cardenas

Alisha Cardenas (Artistic Director) originally hails from Atlanta, GA. Her training includes the Georgia Ballet, The Bravo Dance Centre and The Kennesaw School of Dance. Cardenas was accepted and attended the Cobb County School of Performing Arts majoring in Dance and minoring in Drama/Theatre. After high school, she was accepted to the University of Georgia’s performance company The UGA Ballet Ensemble. While attending The University of GA, she danced the role of Myrtha and Demi-Soloist from the romantic ballet Giselle, was a member of the Corps de Ballet and danced many of the companies repertory pieces. Past mentors include, Marina Levasheva from the Georgia Ballet and Bravo Dance Centre, Janet Robertson and Joan Buttram from the University of Georgia and Mary and Karen Rau from The Kennesaw School of Dance. Cardenas also attended the Second City and The Improv Olympic in Chicago, where she preformed, produced and choreographed numerous shows in the Chicago area. Students that she has trained have gone on to programs such as The American Ballet Theatre (ABT), Joffery Ballet NYC, The Rock School for Dance Education, The Rockettes Summer Intensive, American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), Towson University Dance Major program, Kennesaw State University Dance Major Program, Stockton University Dance Major Program, The Bolshoi Summer Intensive. Her students have also received high scores and praise  at the Philadelphia Youth America Grand Prix, including Top 12.  She is excited that her dream of becoming a director and owner of a school that stresses the fundamentals of ballet is coming true, and looks forward to meeting and training all her wonderful students.



Linda A. Lucuski (Resident Choreographer, Rehearsal Mistress, Ballet Instructor), known professionally as Linda Merrill, was a Principal Dancer with the Empire State Ballet, a Soloist with Buffalo Ballet Theatre, Buxmont Ballet Theater and Pamela Ayling Dance Company and danced in the Corps de Ballet of the Princeton Ballet Company; now known as American Repertory Ballet.

Linda studied ballet with David Howard, Imogen Wheeler and Noreen Sopwith, formerly Royal Ballet of England; Barbara Sandonato and Alexei Yudenich, formerly Pennsylvani Ballet Company; Andrew Pap at University of the Arts, and Phyllis Papa and Virginia Griffee, formerly American Ballet Theater.  She also studied choreography with Leonide Massine and jazz with Luigi.

Ms. Lucuski has staged a variety of ballets, including “Les Sylphides”, “Giselle”, “The Nutcracker”, and has choreographed for multiple ballet and opera companies, including “The King and I”, “Hansel and Gretel” and “Die Fledermaus”.  She has taught ballet, pointe and character dance for many dance schools and at the dance department at Rutgers University.

Ms. Lucuski holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance from Rutgers University, a Master’s of Fine Arts Degree in Ballet from the University of the Arts and has furthered her education with a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from Hahnemann University.  She has received certification in Dance Medicine at the Harkness Center for Dance Medicine at NYU Langone and also Dance for Parkinson’s Teacher training at the Mark Morris Dance Company.

Ms. Lucuski currently choreographs and coaches dancers at Central  New Jersey Ballet Theatre and evaluates and treats dancers with injuries as a Physical Therapist and Rehab Director for the University Medical Center of Princeton; Outpatient Rehab facility at the Hamilton Area YMCA.


Danielle Hernandez (Private coach and substitute instructor) is a graduate of Broadway Dance Center’s prestigious Professional Semester program in New York City. She studies under numerous NYC-based teachers and choreographers including Newsies Associate Director Ricky Hinds and international teachers and choreographers Jim Cooney, Tracie Stanfield, Al Blackstone, and Justin Boccitto to name a few. She also studies privately with acting coach Bronwen Carson and vocal coach Bettina Sheppard. Danielle is a part of Synthesis Too, the apprentice company of Synthesis Dance Project and ALMA Dance Company. Her theater credits include featured dancer in Hairspray, Annie, Mary Poppins, and Romeo and Juliet the Rock Musical. Danielle danced on both Good Morning America and Life According to Ben Aaron on LXTV-NBC. This past summer Danielle had the opportunity to shoot a commercial airing on Cartoon Network for Hasbro’s Britney Spears Twister Dance Rave! Most currently, she performed with the cast of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark in the BC-EFA’s Gypsy of the Year.


Kelly D. Hunter (Advanced Jazz and pre ballet) Born and Raised in the Atlanta Metro area Kelly started her dance training at Rhythm Dance Center in Marietta, GA. She was then accepted into the dance program at Pebblebrook High School for the Performing Arts and graduated in 2000. While at Pebblebrook she trained in ballet, modern, and jazz. She has also had many opportunities to perform throughout the Atlanta Metro area after being chosen to be part of an elite group of performers. Kelly was given the chance to travel to New York City each year to work with many choreographers in the city.
After graduation, she majored in Jazz Performance dance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. While at University she studied many diverse techniques from Ballet and Jazz to Africa and Hip Hop. She earned the Blumenthal Prize for Service to the School of Dance.
She graduated from U of Arts in 2004 and shortly after accepted a position with Royal Caribbean International as a Production Dancer for three years. Most recently Kelly concluded a three year contract in Bermuda where she taught ballet, pointe, modern and jazz to students ages 4 to adults and to the Bermuda High School for Girls.
Kelly currently teaches ballet and jazz in the Central NJ area.


Stephanie Maher ( Beg contempoary,  Beg Tap, Adult Ballet and Ballet 1)  trained at Stewart Johnson Dance Academy for 15 years. Stephanie’s background includes ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip-hop, choreography, and improvisation. After high school, Stephanie went to mercer county community college to major in dance with a minor in liberal arts. She studied there for 3 years and performed and choreographed in their dance showcases. Stephanie still performs and choreographs for the mercer dance ensemble showcases as an alumni. Stephanie then transferred and graduated from Stockton university with a bachelor’s degree in dance studio operations. While at stockton university, Stephanie was in the dance company and danced on the stockton alstarz dance team. As a dance teacher, she is excited to be a part of the cnjbt family!


Toleu Mukanov (Partnering, Guest Artist and Ballet all levels)  was born in Kazakhstan, Asia. He received his early training at the Almaty Choreographic College and then continued on to the Kyrgyzstan Ballet School. In 2002, he was a gold medal recipient at the International Ballet Competition in Crimea, Ukraine, and in 2006 he received a silver medal at the Almaty Ballet Competition. He has had the opportunity to dance with Astana Ballet in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan’s Opera and Ballet Theatre, Moscow’s Russian Ballet Theatre and the Russian National Ballet Company. Mr. Mukanov has performed in a variety of roles including: Basilio in Don Quixote, Golden Idol in La Bayadére, Ali in Le Corsaire, James in La Sylphide, Franz in Coppélia, Jester in Swan Lake, Blue Bird inSleeping Beauty, Beast in Beauty and the Beast, and Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.He was a freelance dancer from 2014-2016 for Roxey Ballet along with Charleston City Ballet. In September of 2016, he joined Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota. He joined ARB in 2017.