Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio
Tradition...with an EDGE
Studios in Warwick, Cranston, Smithfield, RI
Winner BEST Dance School in RI, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Staff Bios
CDDS Staff are CERTIFIED and proud to be members of these amazing organizations:
Megan Amalfitano has been a CDDS dancer for 18 years, and staff member for 5 years. She is a former Company Member and Southern Rhode Island Youth Ballet Soloist.  She graduated from the prestigious Dance Teachers Club of Boston Teacher's Training Course and has attended the Hip Hop Intensive at the DanceLife Retreat Center.  Megan is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a degree in Youth and Development and is the Art teacher at Immaculate Conception School.
Miss Megan teaches Preschool, Primary, Acro, Hip Hop, Level 1, 2, 3 and 4!

Phylicia (Denson) Proulx  was a Carolyn Dutra Dancer for 16 years and has been a staff member for 3 years.  She is a former  CDDS Company Member and Southern Rhode Island Youth Ballet Soloist, notably the Sugar Plum Fairy!  Phylicia is a graduate from Bryant University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. She is currently  the Purchasing Manager for Pet Food Experts.
Miss Phylicia is an Office Staff Member and teaches all levels of classes!

David Dixon
David has coached competitive gymnastics with the Ocean State School of Gymnastics for nearly a decade. During that time he graduated from Rhode Island College with a B.S. in Community Health and Wellness, and went on to become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  We love David's enthusiasm, knowledge and energy and are SO happy to have him on our team!
Mr. David teaches all levels of Acrobatics!

Blair-Victoria Dutra is the Studio & Accounts Manager for the three Carolyn Dutra Dance Studios and Co-Director of Dance For Art, Inc.  She has been with the Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio from the womb, and is a former CDDS Company Member, dance captain, and Southern RI Youth Ballet Company Member.  She is a current member of the National Dance Education Organization and Dance Alliance. Blair-Victoria pursued her educational career receiving a Masters of Social Work from Boston University and a B.A. in Psychology from Roger Williams University.  She is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, which acknowledges the completion of a 200hr yoga teacher training with a Registered Yoga School and Karma Kids Children's Yoga Teacher Certified. Blair-Victoria is the proud daughter of Miss Carolyn and honored to be a bigger part of the family business.
Miss Blair is now a certified POUND Pro Instructor!
Miss Blair teaches Kids, Dancers, and Adults Yoga is is the Company Liason!

Juliette de Roxas is the Studio & Production Manager for the three Carolyn Dutra Dance Studios and has been teaching dance for 20 years.  Juliette is a Certified Instructor with Rhythm Works Integrative Dance. RWID provides inclusive dance classes created specifically for kids and adults with individual learning differences and other special needs. She is a former Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio Company Member and Southern RI Youth Ballet Company Soloist.  Juliette is a Certified Coach and Evaluator for Dance Proficiency Requirements for RI High Schools, Graduate of Providence College & Former Captain of the Providence College Dance Team.  Juliette is a member of, and certified to teach by, the Dance Teacher’s Club of Boston, has attended the Dance Teacher Conference in NYC and the DanceLife Retreat Center Conferences in Massachusetts. Recently, Miss Juliette was awarded by the Ronald McDonald House of Providence Women’s Leadership Awards for being an influential women in the community who make a positive impact and demonstrate exceptional leadership.
Miss Juliette teaches Mommy and Me, Preschool, Primary, Acro, Level 1 Hip Hop!

Diana Doorley is a former CDDS Company Member and Southern Rhode Island Youth Ballet Member.  She is a graduate of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston, Dance Education Training Course and is currently a student at Providence College majoring in History and Secondary Education.  DIana is a member of the Providence College Dance Company and loves continuing to learn and perfom.  Diana knows all the in's and out's of our CDDS studio life and we are so happy she is a part of our team!  You can find Diana in the office or in the studio sharing her love of dance!
Miss Diana teaches Preschool, Primary, Acro and more!

Tara Gragg received her early training in her hometown of Flint, MI at the Flint School of Performing Arts. She went on to graduate from the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in Ballet. During her time with Oklahoma Festival Ballet, OU’s performing company, Tara had the opportunity to perform featured roles in works by renowned choreographers and was fortunate to participate in an international tour to Shanghai, China. Since graduation, she has danced with City Ballet of San Diego, Tulsa Ballet, and Grand Rapids Ballet; her professional repertoire includes ballets by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, August Bournonville, Paul Taylor, and Lew Christensen.  She was also a founding company dancer with NomadicLIMBS, a summer dance collective based in Milwaukee, WI from 2011-2012. In 2012, Tara moved to Chicago and performed with many companies in the city including Chicago Repertory Ballet, the Ruth Page Civic Ballet, and Aerial Dance Chicago; she also appeared as a featured solo dancer and aerialist in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Richard Wagner’s Parsifal. Tara began dancing with Island Moving Company in the summer of 2014.
Miss Tara teaches Company Level Ballet!

Shane Farrell is a native of Rhode Island and his dancing has taken him to such places as New York City all the way to Los Angeles, CA. At the age of seven he began taking acrobatics classes and eventually furthered his training in all areas of dance.  Shane has trained with the Brae Crest School of Ballet and has danced with the State Ballet of Rhode Island where he had the opportunity to perform in such ballets as Coppelia, Walpurgis Night, The Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle.  He is a graduate and scholarship recipient from the Dance Teachers Club of Boston and has also appeared on several TV shows including MTV's MADE, as well as being a semi-finalist in Las Vegas for the hit FOX TV show "So You Think You Can Dance" in 2007.  Shane can also be seen dancing alongside Richard Gere in the film Hachi. Aside from performing, Shane is also a choreographer. Some of his choreographic works include Island Moving Company, America's Junior Miss Pageant, Providence College Dance Team, as well as various dance studios and ballet schools throughout New England. Currently, he is a company member with the Island Moving Company in Newport, RI.
Mr. Shane teaches Company Level and Adult Ballet!

Rachel Ferrara is a member and scholarship recipient of National Dance Education Association (NDEO) and Rhode Island Dance Alliance.  Rachel is a graduate of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston, Dance Education Training Course, received an award for the Greatest Aptitude for teaching dance, and the Caitlin Ledwell award as Faculty Choice.  She is a former CDDS Company Member and Southern RI Youth Ballet Member.  She is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a degree in Youth Development. Rachel was the recipient of the Paulette Harwood Ballet Scholarship at the 2015 DETC, the highest written and performance scores in Ballet.  Most recently, Miss Rachel received her Acrobatic Arts Certification Primary-Level 6.  She received a perfect score on her written exam.
Miss Rachel is now a certified POUND Pro Instructor, licensed Zumba Instructor and a member of the Dance Teacher's Club of Boston!
Miss Rachel teaches Mommy and Me, Preschool, Primary, Level 1, 2, 3, 4, Hip Hop, Acro, Zumba, Pound and Company

Heather Howard is a former CDDS Company Member as well as a former member of the Southern Rhode Island Youth Ballet. She is a graduate of UMASS Amherst where she received her Bachelor's degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and competed and performed as a member of the UMASS Dance Team. She also danced with the WBNA Solar Power Dance Team. Heather has returned to Rhode Island after 7 years abroad in the United Arab Emirates where she held various customer service management positions, most recently in the studio manager role at a boutique yoga, Pilates and dance studio in Abu Dhabi. She is thrilled to be back to share her love of dance as a part of the CDDS team!

Chryssa Mitchell  is a Certified Instructor with Rhythm Works Integrative Dance. RWID provides inclusive dance classes created specifically for kids and adults with individual learning differences and other special needs. She is an instructor at the Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio, a former Carolyn Dutra Company Member, former member and soloist with the Southern Rhode Island Youth Ballet Company, and was accepted into the prestigious Pennsylvania Ballet School Summer Program. She has successfully completed the Dance Teachers Club of Boston’s certified dance instructor program and received the award for highest Ballet scores, written and performance, in her graduating class. She is an Early Childhood Educator with a bachelors degree from Wheelock College, Boston, MA and has completed coursework in the Special Education Masters program at Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. In continuing her dance education, Chryssa has also attended the “8 and under curriculum” and “ballet intensive” workshops at the DanceLife Retreat Center, Norton, MA.
Miss Chryssa is  a licensed ZUMBA instructor!
Miss Chryssa teaches Mommy and Me, Preschool, Primary, Level 1, 2 and Preparatory! 

Jenna Mixner is a Dean College alumni and is very excited to continue her journey as a staff member at Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio. Jenna started dancing at the age of 3 under the direction of former Radio City Music Hall Rockette, Carolyn Dutra in Warwick, Rhode Island. After high school she decided to pursue a career in the dance field and continued her education at Dean College where she earned her Bachelor’s in Dance Performance and Choreography. With the help of Miss Carolyn, she was awarded the Dance Teacher’s Club of Boston Dean College scholarship worth $70,000. During her time at Dean, Jenna choreographed more than 10 of her own pieces to be shown on the stage, as well as assisted in producing a show her senior year. She has also performed in original works by Bill Evans, Kristina Berger, Jeremy Howes, Todd Shanks, and more in Dean College’s Dance Company.
Aside from teaching at CDDS, Jenna is an Assistant Coach of the Braintree High School Junior Varsity Dance Team as well as a teacher at another dance school and Massachusetts.

Kayleah Pensalfini has a background in dance having studied at studios in RI.  She is a graduate of Rhode Island College with her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Dance Performance.

Natalie Phelps is a former student and instructor at the Diane Kelley Dance Studio in Massachusetts.  She trained in many forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, improvisation, and hip hop under instructors such as Diane Kelley, Katy Spreadbury, Sheri Nikitas, Mary Grace McNally, and Karin Tremblay.   She danced competitively receiving numerous special awards for stage presence and authenticity.  Natalie continued dancing at Providence College as a member of the PC Dance Company, performing within the school and in the community.  She is currently a teacher at Achievement First Providence Academy Middle School in Providence.

Christie Staudt has been with the Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio for over 20 years!    A teacher for the past 10 years, she is a former CDDS Company Member and Southern Rhode Island Youth Ballet Soloist.  She is a former Member of the WNBA Solar Power Dance Team, performed on stage for Rascal Flatts and is Graduate of CCRI.  Christie is a versatile teacher, instructing all levels from Preschool to adult!
Miss Christie teaches Preschool, Level 1, 2, 3, 4 , Preparatory and Pee Wee Company!

Debbi Armenti - Bio coming soon!