Our teachers believe that every student is an individual and as such develops within their own capability.  Our goal is to help each student reach their full potential by leading them through a carefully designed curriculum.  This curriculum trains the students' bodies in dance technique and engages their minds in a life long appreciation of the art of dance.  We provide students with a caring and nurturing environment as they pursue a progressive program of study in their dance education.  Through this study, our students enjoy health benefits and build self-esteem and respect for others.

1107 Farmington Ave  Kensington  CT  860.829.0703


Maria Pagliaruli DeConti, ACUSA Artistic Director and Owner Est. 1989

Maria is a graduate of the Hartford Conservatory of Music and Dance and serves as National Vice President of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Artists (NADAA). Maria is a Qualified Member with Cecchetti USA (CUSA) and is on the East Coast Committee.   She has been rehearsal mistress at CUSA's International Summer School and continues her studies toward licentiate. Maria's students have successfully passed their Cecchetti Ballet Examinations from beginner levels, through professional levels.
Maria has taught master classes throughout Connecticut and was previously on the faculty of University of Hartford. She has studied with unique and talented dancers such as Betty Seibert, Savion Glover, Debbie Dee, Diane Walker, Richard Gladstone, Claire O'Donnell, Frank Hatchett, and Bob Rizzo.
Angelina Tordonato
Associate Teacher
Esther Erickson - Acrobatics
Associate Teacher
Esther is a graduate of Naugatuck Valley Community College with an Associate's Degree in Fine Arts and Certificate of Dance. Esther has been dancing since the age of five, and competing in dance since the age of nine, As an adult, Esther was chosen to perform with Earl Mosley's Diversity in Dance Professional Modern Company. She participated in the USA World Showcase televised talent competition and was awarded First Place in the Adult Dance Category. Esther has been on the Dance Step faculty for 3 years.
Karen Donahue Rossignol
Associate Teacher
Karen is a member of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts, Greater New England Chapter. Karen's varied dance career includes, passing Cecchetti exams Grade One through Five, Dance Educator for New Britain High School Physical Education department and as an adult studied, choreographed and danced with Kiva Dance Collective. Karen choreographs and directs liturgical dance with her group Moving in the Spirit.
Dance Step Staff
Teaching Philosophy
Angie Tordonato is a graduate of Dean College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is currently on the board of the https://www.nadaa-gne.com/ (NADAA).
Angie began her dance career at the age of 12 and now shares her passion and love for dance where it all began - here at Dance Step. She has been teaching for 17 seasons. Angie studied and passed To expand her knowledge and skills, Angie has taken classes with extraordinary dancers such as Debbie Dee, Ted Levy, Diane Walker, Corey Hutchinson, Bob Rizzo, Keith Leonhardt, Frank Hatchett, Kelly Bollack, Caitlin Grey, and Savion Glover

Jon , is 26 years old and has studied dancing since the age of 16, under Dancette Pratts. Jon studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, salsa and hip hop. He took a liking to hip hop early in his dance career and never turned back!  Jon worked with recording artists such as Pysche of Sound, Jay Saint and Alexa Ayaz. Although he loves being on stage, teaching is his passion.  He loves teaching children how to move and listen to music in different ways.  Dance is his life, and his goal is to make sure children have fun, learn, and give them a foundation not only in dance; but also give them a sense of confidence that will carry throughout their lives.

Jon Merced
Associate Teacher