Gotta Dance is proud to have a faculty of dance industry professionals who are very passionate about the art of dance. Caring and engaging, the staff is dedicated to helping each child progress through their training and reach their highest potential.
Karrie has over forty years of study in dance, including jazz, ballet, hip hop, modern, lyrical, line dance, musical theatre and Zumba. She has been teaching dance for over thirty-three years and has held entertainment positions at "Walt Disney World Resorts" and "Premiere Cruise Lines". She is a former member of "Stillpoint Dance Company" in Haverhill, MA and a former member of "Push Factor Dance Company".
Karrie lives her life's passion as the founder/owner of "Gotta Dance" Dance Studios and teaches hundreds of students per week in the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire area. She has an Associate’s Degree in Dance from Northern Essex Community College where she also instructed dance classes, and attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the field of Psychology and Physical Education.
Other accomplishments include choreographing for the Concord Players' production of "Chicago," "West Side Story," "The Scarlet Pimpernel" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", for Concord Middle School's productions of "Grease Jr.," "Willy Wonka Jr.," "Bye Bye Birdie" and for UMASS/Lowell's production of "Godspell". She also performed in the musical "The Wiz" for the Merrimack Valley Players. She spends much of her time choreographing and preparing the Gotta Dance competition team for their upcoming season.
"Dance is important to me because it's a powerful freedom of self expression! It's the purest form of who you are from deep within. It is strength, balance and passion at its finest. Dance is an inner growth and journey that few people get to experience. I am one of the lucky ones!"
Katrina Rotondi has been dancing for over thirty years and is experienced in Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet, Modern, Lyrical, Line Dancing and Musical Theater. She is also certified in Zumba and Zumba Gold. Katrina has been teaching for over twenty years at Gotta Dance as well as several senior centers and recreation departments in the area.
She has a Bachelors degree in Theater Arts with a concentration in Dance from Franklin Pierce College. Her other accomplishments include an on-stage appearance in the Concord Players productions of "West Side Story" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels". She has also choreographed for the Carlisle Middle School productions of "Into the Woods" and "Bye Bye Birdie," and the Lexington Players production of "Spring Awakening" and "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown".
When she isn't dancing (which is hardly ever), Katrina enjoys spending time with her huskies, Duncan and Comet.
"I'm not sure if the happier I am, the more I dance, or the more I dance, the happier I am. Either way, I'll be dancing! Life will always throw obstacles and curves along the way. And no matter what happens, know that when you step onto that dance floor and stage everything will be just fine. Never stop doing what makes you happy!"
Heather began dancing over 40 years and has been dancing as a student of Gotta Dance since 2006 and started teaching the youngest of dancers since 2007. She also teaches Cardio classes and Line Dancing at the studio and several senior centers.
Heather is a Billerica native and took dance classes at Dance Unlimited, Patti Nichol’s Dance Center, and Donna Miceli Dance Center studying jazz, ballet, tap, and modern. She is a graduate of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, where she holds a BA in Human Development and a minor in Dance. In college, she was a founding member of Co-Motion Dance Theater, spent a Winter Term studying theater in London, performed as Adriana in Shakespeare's "A Comedy of Errors," and performed in the dance ensemble in productions of "A Chorus Line" and "Grease."
Heather worked for many years as a Recreation Director at a retirement community and was certified as a Therapeutic Recreation Assistant. She has taken classes towards a Dance Education Certificate through Northern Essex Community College and continues to take classes in the area. She is the wife of a Billerica Firefighter and proud mother to Kelly, Joseph, and Ryan, all alumni of Gotta Dance.
"Dance is part of who I am. It is my way of communicating without words. Of bringing others along a journey with me through movement and motion. To be able to share the art of dance with our youngest dancers is a privilege that I don't take for granted. The dancers I teach fill my cup to overflowing and I am forever grateful for the opportunity."
Jay was originally a BFA candidate in acting at the University of Tennessee at the Clarence Brown Equity Theatre. He soon transferred his energies to dance and studied under such luminaries as Eric Hawkins, Murray Louis, Nanette Charless and Hector Zaraspe in New York. He was an apprentice with the International Ballet of Caracas, a scholarship student with the Boston Ballet and performed in Boston with Jassin (Jeanette Neil), the Danny Sloan Dance Company, Bay State Ballet and the Opera Company of Boston.
After a long hiatus, his recent engagements include performances with the Boston Dance Company, the Academy of Ballet Arts and soloist with Northern Ballet Theatre and Melrose Youth Ballet. Jay’s recent accomplishments include many performances with the Concord Players.
Cassey started her dance career in musical theater. While she attended Fitchburg State College, she was the choreographer for Lowell High School’s competing Show Choir as well as numerous local community theater productions. She also instructed lyrical classes for the FSC Dance Club and choreographed and performed in FSC’s productions of "Romeo and Juliet" and "Zorba!"" She graduated from Fitchburg State College with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and a double major in Theater. She served as choreography adjudicator for the Mill City Show Choir Festival from 2008-2010. Currently, she is a first-grade teacher in Lowell Public Schools and shares her love of dance with her students by incorporating movement into their daily routine.
Cassandra has been an instructor and choreographer at Gotta Dance for over 15 years. She teaches many styles, but she adores lyrical, contemporary, and tap. She enjoys working with serious dancers who want to grow their technique and is proud being a choreographer for the Gotta Dance Competition Team. Cassandra shares her love for dance with her daughter, Sophia.
"Unlike most dancers who start as a child, I hadn’t devoted myself to dance until my late teen years. I still love it every time I step onto a stage as much as the very first time I performed. The older I get, the more I appreciate the opportunity to call myself a dancer and an artist! Dance is a chance for me to share the creative ideas I have and see them come to fruition. I hope I keep dancing and sharing that love as long as I am able because it’s a gift I give myself!"
Liz has been dancing since she was a year and a half old and is now going on 20+ years of dancing and 8+ years of teaching. First doing recreational dance then joining an elite team to pursue a more challenging form of dance and competing in it as well. She was the lead dancer in her high school's musical in 2009 and 2010 as well as singing in the school choir. After graduating, Elizabeth was given the opportunity to choreograph for the dance team she was a part of growing up and began expanding her dance career there as well. She has won several convention scholarships at West Coast Dance Explosions, NYCDA, and Fire and Ice talent. She has also won outstanding choreography awards for large and small groups, as well as several top scoring soloist awards with her choreography.
Elizabeth has been featured in "The Visionary" a college film, G-Stars "Night Away" music video, the Kevin James movie, "Here Comes the Boom" and is a former dancer for Karina Rae and the Shooting Stars. She is always eager to learn the newest dance trends coming out and still continues furthering her dance education today.
"Dance is important to me because it has been the one constant in my life. It has given me the confidence as a woman and taught me so many life lessons. I have gained my best friends through dance, my career through dance, and my love for children. I would not be the person I am today without dance. Dance is, and will always be, my life and way to express myself!"
Alyssa was a student at Gotta Dance for 10 years. In addition to Karrie Stang Mason and the Gotta Dance staff, she has worked with several well-known instructors and choreographers and attended master classes and conventions throughout New England. Alyssa has experience in acrobatics, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, lyrical, and pointe. She is a long-time member of the Gotta Dance performance and competition teams and has achieved many awards over the years for her hard work and dedication. Alyssa has shared her talent and love for dance with the community, by performing at places such as nursing homes, senior centers, fairs and more.
Alyssa taught lessons at the Lowell YMCA and was substitute teaching and choreographing at Gotta Dance. She was also part of the teacher training program at Gotta Dance. She loves working with children who share the same passion and is very excited to be part of the Gotta Dance faculty.
"Dance is very important to my life as it allows to me put my emotions into movement. If I'm ever in a bad mood, dancing takes my mind right off it and brings me happiness. I am so lucky to have dance in my life, as it has also brought me life-long friends."
Hannah has been a student at Gotta Dance for 13 years. Along with her years of training from Karrie Garber and the Gotta Dance staff she has attended many master classes and conventions taught by many instructors and choreographers. Hannah has experience in pointe, ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, lyrical, contemporary, acro, and musical theatre. She is a member of the performance and competition teams and has received many awards and achievements throughout her years of performing and competing.
Along with dancing, Hannah has been a part of many of Billerica Memorial High School's musicals such as "Playing Favorites 2 & 3," "Sweeney Todd," and "Annie" for which she was Assistant Dance Captain. Hannah has performed at local shows with our dance teams including senior centers, nursing homes, and fairs. She is currently a member of the OnStagers, the theatre company at Merrimack College. She has also been an assistant for four years in Acro, Jazz, and Lyrical classes. She has choreographed for many theatre camps throughout the years and choreographed "Matilda Jr.", the 2023 spring musical at Marshall Middle School.
Hannah loves dancing and working with all our students who share the same passion and determination that she has for dance. She is beyond excited to be part of the Gotta Dance staff after being a student for so long.
"Dancing has always been a passion of mine. When I first started at six years old, I knew it was something I wanted to keep doing for the rest of my life. Because of dance, I have a passion to perform and tell a story to those watching. Dance has always been a safe space for me. If I am having a bad day, I go to the studio and have all my friends and instructors there that help me forget I was having a bad day in the first place. I am thankful for dance for giving me amazing friends, memories, and a second home."
Katie has been dancing for nearly 40 years and has trained in various forms of dance including tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, clogging, ballroom, swing, and Irish. She has 15 years experience in tumbling and is certified as an Instructor through USA Gymnastics.
Katie has choreographed many theatrical productions, including Concord Players' "Funny Girl", "The Producers", and "Spamalot"; Windham Actor's Guild's "Guys and Dolls" and "Fiddler on the Roof" as well as "West Side Story", "Anything Goes" and more for other local theaters. She has performed on stage in many musicals and is active as a performer and choreographer with Voices of Hope, a non-profit organization that raises funds for cancer research through theatrical performances.
Katie has been an instructor with Gotta Dance since 2018. She can also be found teaching tap, ballroom and swing dance to adults through various community recreation programs around the area. She has degrees in Psychology and Accounting (her non-dancing day job), and enjoys sharing her love of the arts with her two daughters, Maya and Leah.
Jamie has been dancing for over 21 years. She found her passion for dance once she started taking classes at Gotta Dance over 16 years ago. Jamie has also been a a substitute teacher for many classes throughout the studio over the past several years. She has participated in various dance conventions and was on the competition team for approximately five years. One of her favorite styles of dance is Jazz but she definitely enjoys all forms of dance.
Jamie is very passionate and hardworking when it comes to her work and dance. She has been a preschool teacher for 7 years and has such a big heart for small children and seeing them grow and smile. Jamie is beyond excited to be part of the Gotta Dance family.
Jamie attends Grand Canyon University where she is earning her Bachelors degree in Early Education. Once she finishes her degree she plans on working in the public school system and furthering her education and knowledge.
Alexis has been dancing for around 15 years between dance class and theatre settings. Though she didn’t seriously devote herself to dance until high school when she started classes at Gotta Dance. Alexis has experience in tap, musical theatre, jazz, lyrical, ballet, and has also been a member of the competition team. She has also subbed and assisted classes at the studio. Alexis usually works at a daycare but has also worked teaching dance and theatre at a couple of local summer camps. She has even choreographed for the Dramatically Incorrect Theatre Group and Dance Company’s summer camp production of Beauty and The Beast Jr.
Alexis attends Middlesex Community College where she is close to earning an associate degree in Theatre and a certificate in Arts Administration. At MCC, Alexis is the president of the Theatre Appreciation Club and a member of their improv club. Alexis loves to be on stage and has participated in productions of Seussical the Musical, Matilda, Radium Girls, Annie, and many more. And if she’s not on stage, you can probably find her in the lighting booth!
Caroline was a student at Gotta Dance for 15 years. In addition to Karrie Mason and the Gotta Dance staff, she has worked with several well-known instructors and choreographers and attended master classes and conventions throughout New England. Caroline has experience in ballet, tap, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop and jazz. She was a long-time member of the performance and competition teams. Caroline has performed at local shows with our dance teams including senior centers, nursing homes, and fairs, and enjoys sharing her passion for dance with others.
Caroline graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.S. in Early Childhood and Special Education and a minor in dance. She is a special education teacher at The New England Center for Children and pursuing her Masters in Special Education at Simmons University. She loves working with children and sharing her passion for dance. She can’t wait to be back teaching at the studio she calls a second home.
Elaina started her dance education as a toddler and have continued for 20 years and counting. She has studied a variety of styles including ballet, pointé, jazz, Broadway jazz, tap, modern, contemporary, musical theater, and hip hop. Her education has come from a variety of different choreographers and teachers from across the world. She performed with Dance Prism Ballet for 8 years as a cast member and 2 years as an apprentice. During her time with Dance Prism Ballet, she was a part of their pointé core for 6 years. After graduating high school, she continued studies at the University of Maine where she was heavily involved in their dance department. Elaina completed credits in dance composition and choreography. She choreographed pieces independently and for UMaine Hip Hip club throughout her 4 years and had pieces in the semester showcases. While at school she taught ballet and pointe at Releve Dance Center for 2 years and choreographed 10 dances in her time there. As a former Gotta Dance student, she's so excited to be back!