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Our Faculty


"Miss Tamra" Saric

Miss Tamra, owner and director of the Lathrop School of Dance, has been with the school for 35 years and part of the faculty since 2003. She has her Advanced Teacher Certification from Dance Educators of America in Level 1 Tap, Jazz, Ballet, and Modern. Miss Tamra attended Western Connecticut State University, where she received her BBA in Marketing with a minor in Management. 
In addition to teaching our 9 month Ballet, Tap & Jazz combo classes, hip hop and 4 week adult Tap classes, Miss Tamra started and is the Director of the very first LSOD Dance Team, now 11 years running!
Outside of dancing at LSOD, Tamra enjoys choreographing dances for Faith Church’s Christmas and Easter productions. She has taken classes with Tremaine and Dance Olympus in NYC, and studied Tap, Jazz, Ballet, and Modern in West Palm Beach, FL summer 2018! Summer 2021 & 2022 the faculty took virtual classes from the Dance Teacher Network Conference and Break the Floor with amazing teachers including Mandy Moore - she is FANTASTIC!
"To me, dance is about enjoying music and movement, having fun and letting loose. Our dance school is a safe and fun environment full of joy and laughter - and I'm so happy to be a part of it all these years. I am so thankful to God for this life I have – my husband Marko, my daughter Mila, my son Luka, my friends and family, and this Lathrop family – I’m very blessed!"

"Miss Julielle" Topolski

"Miss" Julielle has been "Miss" Tamra's right hand 2019-2021, teaching and assistanting classes, posting on our Instragram & Facebook, as well as editing all our music (just to name a few things!) She has been dancing at Lathrop since 2008 and has been part of the faculty since 2015. At Lathrop she has taken classes in tap, jazz, ballet, line dance and was part of the dance team which she became captain of. She has attended multiple Tremaine conventions in NYC and took classes in ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop with them. She has continued to teach at the studio while earning a degree in Business Administration.


"Miss Julielle" Topolski

"Miss" Julielle has been "Miss" Tamra's right hand since 2019, teaching and assisting in classes, posting on our Instagram & Facebook, as well as editing all our music (just to name a few things!) She has been dancing at Lathrop since 2008 and has been part of the faculty since 2015. At Lathrop she has taken classes in tap, jazz, ballet, line dance and was part of the dance team which she became captain of. She has attended multiple Tremaine conventions in NYC and took classes in ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop with them. Outside of Lathrop, she is "Miss T" working as a teacher at Wesley Learning Center!


"Mr Matthew" Ames

Matthew Ames is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and works as an active aging coach and human movement specialist. With 32 years of dance experience, including 22 teaching, coaching, and choreographing. Matthew brings more than dance knowledge to classes; he also provides an extensive understanding of biomechanics and kinesthetics.

Classically trained in Ballet and other fundamental dance styles, Matthew has performed with the major ballet companies in NYC and Pittsburgh and appeared Off-Broadway as an actor and dancer. He has also performed with the touring cast of Dancing with the Stars as part of their intermission entertainment. This training and performing experience has allowed him to help students excel in their preferred disciplines and inspire dancers of all levels to shine on and off stage.

Mathew's competitive spirit and dedication to his craft led him to a successful career as a ballroom dancer. Competing professionally in various styles such as Smooth, Rhythm, Latin, Theater Arts, and Show Dance, he has left a mark in the dance world. His achievements include 2nd place in the 2011 NASSPDA Championships in American Show Dance and American Smooth Championships, a testament to his skill and commitment. Matthew not only succeeded on the dance floor but as an instructor as well being ranked by the most prominent international dance franchise as one of their top teachers for three consecutive years, culminating in the "Winners Circle Award" given only to the top 3 instructors internationally each year.

"Miss Noreen" Wilpiszeski

"Miss Noreen" has over two decades of experience teaching ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and acrobatics in a recreational setting for dancers ages 2 through adult.

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Heather McKeown

Heather McKeown is a dance artist, performer, choreographer and instructor, as well as a certified holistic heath coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a 200 hour certified Vinyasa Yoga instructor, and a visual artist. She is a dancer/performer with The Parker Project, a contemporary modern dance company based in CT, and she is growing her own business/brand Heather Corwyn LLC, consisting of educational and coaching programs and courses for self-confidence, body acceptance and food freedom.


Heather offers her own yoga, mediation and paint classes online and in person, and she is a freelance visual artist working mostly in acrylics.

Her dance training consists of ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary partnering and contact improvisation. She trained at Muhlenberg College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Dance Choreography. During that time, she studied abroad at the Accademia del' Arte in Arezzo, Italy working closely with Nomad Dance Academy, Wagner Moreira and Helena Fernandino and other international artists. She has studied under and worked with many dance artists such as: Larry Keigwin, Nicole Wolcott, George Jones, and Karla Garcia.

Heather is a huge advocate for holistic health and nutrition and spreading love, joy, and balance to all. Check out her personal website here:


"Miss Megan" Lamontagne

"Miss Megan" Lamontagne not only has a passion for dance but for teaching as well. Her beautiful ballet background has really inspired our students. She has been dancing at Lathrop School of Dance for 25 years and plans to continue for many more! Megan has danced in a variety of recitals and performances including The Nutcracker Ballet by the Danbury Music Center, for 10 years.
Megan is currently enrolled in nursing school. She and her husband Justin enjoy spending time with their two children!
"Teaching dance, especially ballet, is a stress reliever for me and hopefully for all my students because I try to make it fun!"


"Miss Megan" Sajovic

“Miss Megan” Sajovic has been dancing with us for 19 years. She is a 2013 graduate of Syracuse University with a B.A. in English and Textual Studies and Secondary English Education, and recently finished her M.S. in Inclusive Special Education (Generalist 7-12) degree through Syracuse University. She is in her fourth year as a special education teacher at DHS and third year as a volunteer assistant coach for DHS varsity softball.


Megan became certified in Zumba Basics 1 in September 2010 and since has also become licensed in Zumba Core, Zumba Toning, Zumba Gold and STRONG by Zumba. "One of the main reasons I love Zumba is that it's entirely up to you for the whole hour! You can modify steps to scale it back or make it as intense as you want to make the class fit just for you AND there are absolutely no wrong moves! If you can play Simon Says, then you can Zumba, it's that easy! Plus it's a social activity so you're doing it with friends, which certainly adds to the fun!”

"Miss Emily" Wight

"Miss Emily" has been dancing at Lathrop since she was 3. She is a junior at Newtown High School, and this is her third year as faculty. She is taking Ballet, Jazz, and Tap classes. Miss Emily also likes to bake sweet treats and make people laugh with her dad jokes.


"Miss Melissa" Baines

"Miss Melissa" is an upcoming senior at Brookfield High School. She has been dancing at Lathrop for 8 years, and joined our faculty in 2023. She is also a 3 year captain of the Brookfield High School Dance Team, and loves performing.

"Miss Lillian" Padilla

"Miss Lillian" is a sophomore at Newtown High School and has been dancing since she was 2 years old. In her free time, she likes to listen to music, play guitar, and teach at Lathrop! She always looks forward to the recital in June and can't wait to be back in the fall.


"Miss Lilly" Wasilnak

"Miss Lilly" is a kind and dedicated assistant teacher for our ballet, tap & jazz combo classes. She has been taking dance at Lathrop since 2010, joined the faculty in 2018, and graduated this year from NHS. "Miss Lilly" takes classes in tap & jazz, hip hop, ballet, and has also taken contemporary modern and dance team at Lathrop. 

"Miss Theresa" Carcaldi

"Miss Theresa" Carcaldi has been dancing with Lathrop for 17 years. She’s taken classes in tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary modern, hip hop, and line dance, and she was dance team captain her senior year of high school. She is a graduate of Marist College, where she continued her dancing and even choreographed dances. She is ecstatic to be back with her dance family at LSOD! Theresa teaches many classes including Parent & Me, Jazz Funk, Hip Hop, to name a few!

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