Meet the Staff
Debbie began dancing at the young age of 2 ½ and has continued her passion for the arts from then until today. Growing up, she played “dance teacher” with her younger siblings and cousins every weekend and directed a variety of performances and small shows. Debbie knew the path to her career early on - and she set out to follow her dream.
From age four, Debbie not only danced 2-4 times per week at Lori Danne's Dance Studio, performed and competed in the sport of baton twirling all over the country from Notre Dame University, Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas, Chicago, Massachusetts and New York. Ranked 7th in the World for Show Twirling in 1984, Debbie was also crowned the Connecticut State Champion.
Debbie attended Southern Connecticut State University, majoring in Theatre & Dance. She graced the stage in many college and community theatre musicals including Carousel, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, played supporting actress Nellie Grove in "George M Yankee Doodle Dandy", and her favorite accomplishment playing a young version of Judy Garland in a re-make of Born in a Trunk.
A former New Haven, CT Dancing In the Streets performer and member of the SCSU Dance-Theatre Company, Debbie studied all forms of dance with a focus on modern & ballet with CT Ballet instructor, Brian Lewis, and voice and musical theatre & tap under the direction of Phylis Grande who was a protege of Martha Grahm back in the 1960s and Paul Elkin of the original CATS Broadway Cast. Debbie was given the opportunity to work with choreographers & famous dancers such as Twyla Tharpe, Honey Coles and James Mitchell and worked on numerous projects with the New Haven Arts Council. She was also a featured performer for Elite Model Management’s Look of the Year where she performed alongside the late Christopher Reeves and Christopher Adkins as well as Andrea Evans, the first Tina from the Soap Opera All My Children. Debbie was also a Tap Captain for Macy's Tap World Record for the most tap dancers. She taught "hundreds" of people to dance the same number for weeks on end and was part of the World Record Breaking event!
Âs Debbie continued teaching dance and baton twirling throughout the southeastern Connecticut region. She taught for the Monroe Recreation Department, Newtown Recreation Department, Valley Dance and Gymnastics Center, Rita Tottenham School of Dance, Stratford Academy of Dance, Dance Etc. of Newtown, and Stratford Center for Performing Arts. Choreographed and/or directed musicals for ST Ann's School in Milford The Wizard of Oz, St Marks School in Stratford, CT Alladin, Stratford Recreation Dept. Cinderella, Laurelton Hall & Fairfield Prep GREASE and so on....as well as hundreds of her own productions with the ShowBIz Kidz of CT theatre co.
During her early twenties, Debbie was the founding director of the Sheehan School of Dance in Bridgeport and opened her very first studios in her early 20's, with thriving dance studio in the Monroe and Newtown areas. Students went on to perform at Disney World, Hershey Park, and participated in numerous National Dance Competitions until she closed in 1994 to move & raise her two small children, 23 months apart. Her own 3 children were signed with a NYC agency and appeared in many National Campaigns including, Nickelodeon, Bazooka Bubble Gum Babe Ruth Little League, General Electric, Graco Maclearan & Six Flags Great Adventure.
After her children went to elementary school, Debbie then expanded her career as a judge and choreographer for many children pageants, local pageants, dance competitions including Stagestruck Dance Competitions. She served as the Miss Fairfield County pageant director for the Miss America Organization. Debbie's students perform at many of the Miss Connecticut fundraisers and local community events. She continued by studying dance at the world famous Broadway Dance Center in Manhattan. She studied under Charles Kelly, Frank Hackett and Germaine Salsberg, alongside fellow classmate, Brooke Shields.
Debbie's studio was one of the first in Connecticut to provide students a triple-threat education in singing, dancing, acting to enhance their musical theatre education and make strong performers. People traveled from all parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties to participate in this style of performance education. Her students have won many regional and national dance titles throughout the years as well as many pageant titles. Students have also gone on to grace the stage and film of BIG, Les Miserables, Broadway's American Doll Theatre, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Downtown Cabaret Theatre, Bridgeport Theatre Company and in movies such as School of Rock with Jack Black.
Debbie is also the proud director of GLAM JAM, LLC a company that promotes anti-bullying in the dance & fashion communities.
Debbie's dance studio was chosen in 2011 for the filming of a new Dance Show which was filmed at the Dance Nationals Event DanceXplosion in Wildwood, NJ. Her studio was not chosen for the original show as there "was not enough drama" in the studio. Studios that were chosen were Reign Dance in Pittsburg, PA and Stars In Miami Florida.
Her school was also featured on the front cover of a local magazine expressing the intense training of competitive dancers in the mist of reality TV.
Debbie has given her students and her instructors the opportunity to work and meet some amazing dancer & reality stars including, Maddy Ziegler, Mackenzie Ziegler, Nia Sioux, Sophia Lucia, Lilly Ketchman, Stacey Ketchman Photography, Elliana Walmsley, and the ever popular JoJo Siwa!
HALEY STARTED HER DANCING CAREER AT THE AGE OF 3, AT DANCE DIMENSIONS. STUDYING UNDER DANCE MASTERS OF AMERICA PRESIDENT, DODY FLYNN. HER FOCUS OF STUDIES IS BALLET, TAP, JAZZ, CONTEMPORARY/ LYRICAL, MODERN, FOLK, HIP HOP, MUSICAL THEATRE, VOICE, AND ACRO/CONTORTION. HALEY ALSO STUDIED AT THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF BALLET IN NEW YORK CITY FOR SIX YEARS. THERE, HALEY TRAINED UNDER MIGNON FURMAN, RENOWNED INTERNATIONAL BALLERINA AND ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF DANCE. BY AGE 5, HALEY TRAVELLED AROUND THE COUNTRY TO COMPETE AT VARIOUS DANCE COMPETITIONS, BECOMING A HIGH SCORING PERFORMER. SHE COMPETED NATIONALLY FOR OVER TEN YEARS, BEING KNOWN FOR HER LEVEL OF ENTERTAINMENT SHE BROUGHT TO THE STAGE. HALEY WAS ALSO FEATURED ON DANCE UNLIMITED MAGAZINE IN 2009. HALEY HAD MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO PERFORM IN DIFFERENT PARADES (LABOR DAY) AND RADIO CITY HALL. THROUGHOUT HER TRAVELS, HALEY WENT ON TO TRAIN UNDER RENOWNED DANCERS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS SUCH AS MIA MICHAELS (SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE JUDGE/CHOREOGRAPHER FOR PRINCE,MADONNA, GLORIA ESTEFAN, ETC), ALANA NIEHHOFF (RADIO CITY ROCKETTE), TOM RICHARDSON ( CHOREOGRAPHER PARTNERED WITH SHELLY MASENIOR), AND ALEX WONG (SNIPER IN ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST OF NEWSIES). HALEY PARTICIPATED IN THE WELL KNOWN “THE NUTCRACKER” FOR 8 YEARS, HER ROLES INCLUDING HEAD FLOWERBUD AND CLARA’S BEST FRIEND/ HEAD PARTY GIRL. HALEY HAS CHOREOGRAPHED FOR NUMEROUS SHOWS AROUND NEW ENGLAND INCLUDING “HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING” AND “ PETER PAN”. SHE ALSO CHOREOGRAPHED FOR SCHOOL HIP HOP TEAMS IN CONNECTICUT. HALEY’S SON, BRIGHTON, IS A PROFESSIONAL MODEL AND ACTOR. HALEY AND HER SON HAVE WORKED WITH TOMMY HILFIGER, JET.COM, AND EBLENS. BRIGHTON IS ALSO BEING FEATURED IN A NATIONAL COMMERCIAL DEBUTING SOON. HALEY HAS BEEN WORKING AT THE BIZ SINCE 2015. THERE, SHE TRAINS STUDENTS IN THE PERFORMANCE ARTS, CHOREOGRAPHS COMPETITIVE ROUTINES, SCREENWRITER FOR THE MUSICAL THEATRE COMPANY, AND HELPS DIRECT ITS SHOWS. WITH THE BIZ, SHE HAS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK AND CHOREOGRAPH FOR "DANCE MOM" STARS LILLY KETCHMAN, AREANA LOPEZ, AND WORLD RECORD HOLDER SOPHIA LUCIA.