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 performed, 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.

Kelly D. Hunter

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

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!

James Chianese

James Chianese (Musical Theater Director, Instructor and Vocal Coach)
A native to Florence, NJ and a former student of Alisha Cardenas, James co-directed musical theatre camps for Rising Stars Summer programs and completed directing his 3rd musical at CNJBT. He is currently a music major at Rowan. He has directed shows such as The Little Mermaid, Willy Wonka and Frozen. He has performed leading roles in such shows as Hairspray, The Little Mermaid, Rent, High School Musical 2 and The Addams Family.

Ali Jans

Ali has been training in ballet and other dance forms for almost twenty years. She grew up a military kid, stationed in the U.S. and abroad, presenting opportunities to work with many world-renowned instructors and choreographers. She trained for three years in Italy at the feeder school to Teatro alla Scala in Milan. While in Europe she performed The Nutcracker with the Croatian National Ballet and Don Quixote with the State Ballet of Georgia (Europe). Some of her favorite performed roles were Sugar Plum Fairy and Dewdrop in The Nutcracker and Cinderella in Once Upon A Ballet, all with the Wichita Falls Ballet Theatre. Ali spent two years attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City as a dance major where she worked with a variety of choreographers including Nilas Martins and Cleo Parker Robinson. She is currently earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management. Ali is thrilled to be a part of the CNJBT family and is excited to teach the next generation of students.

Emma Landis

Emma Landis, (Pre Ballet and Adult Ballet)
Emma started her dance career at the School of Dance in South Jersey where she trained in ballet, jazz, modern, and tap. She then joined the Central NJ Ballet Theater her senior year of high school. Here she has performed in the Nutcracker as the arch angel, a waltz of the flowers demi soloist, a snow flake demi soloist, and a part of the spanish corps de ballet, as well as the corps de ballet in Sleeping Beauty. She is currently double majoring in Psychology and Dance Performance at Rider University. Here she performs in the Rider Dance Ensemble every semester and in the dance departments spring showcase. She is also taking various classes at the Princeton Ballet School for her major along with her other dance classes on campus. She is very grateful and excited to be teaching so many wonderful students here at the CNJBT!