Faculty Bios

Michelle Puopolo


Michelle is a native of Stoneham, MA and has been teaching and choreographing for many years. She began dancing at an early age, studying at the Dance Studio of Wakefield, and then finishing her training at Dance Track in Wakefield, MA. Michelle graduated with a BA in Dance and Minor in Business from Dean College in Franklin, MA. Michelle has worked with guest artists such as Mia Michaels, Maurice Hines, Derrick Grant, Geo Hubela, Mandy Moore, Germaine Goodson, Jaime Salmon, and more. During her time at Dean she trained with professional faculty members such as Jill Silverman, Nailah Randall-Bellinger, Kelly Peters, Jean Wenzel, Joan Palladino, Jil Matrisciano, and Bob Thomas to name a few. She directed the “Coffeehouse Cabaret” performance at Dean, has performed in the musical “My Favorite Year,” and was a member of the elite Dean College Dance Company and Dance Team. She was also producer for the Dance Complex’s Shared Choreographer’s Concert in Cambridge, MA. Michelle is trained in all styles of dance including Pedagogy, Kinesiology & Anatomy, Dance History, Dance Composition, and Dance Film History. Miss Michelle teaches beginner through advanced levels of Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Pointe, Hip Hop, and all Creative Movement & Kindermoves levels. Michelle’s certifications include CPR/First Aid and Mat Pilates through Peak Pilates. She attends multiple training conferences each year including DanceLife Teacher Conference, Dance Teacher Summit, The Pulse, and the DanceLife Retreat Center with Rhee Gold. She also spends the summers training and taking class in New York City at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway to stay current. Michelle is a certified member of the Dance Teacher’s Club of Boston and Dance Masters of New England teacher organizations.

Lauren Leahy

Lauren is a native of Reading, Ma. She has been dancing since the age of 4 and finished her training at LaPierre School of Dance in Reading, Ma. Lauren graduated with an A.A. in Dance and an A.S. in Early Childhood Education from Dean College. She went on to further her studies at Lesley University and graduated with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education.  She graduated in December of 2013 with her Masters in Early Childhood Education. While at Dean College, Lauren was a member of the Dance Team, performed in "Coffeehouse Cabaret," The Dance Team show, Showcase and the "The Dean Dance Extravaganza." Lauren worked with guest artists including Jay T. Jenkins, Maurice Hines, AC Ciulla, Derrick K. Grant, Mia Michaels, Sam Fiorello at LaPierre School of Dance, and many more. Lauren also has attended many teacher training conferences in New York City such as The Pulse and Dance Teacher Summit. Ms. Leahy teaches Kindergarten at the Sumner G. Whittier School in Everett, MA. Lauren is certified in CPR/First Aid. Lauren is excited for another great season at East Coast Dance Center!

Melanie Burnell

Melanie has been dancing since the age of 2. She trained at LaPierre School of Dance in Reading, MA. She later joined J&D Dance Academy of Reading/Woburn, where she became a member of the Hip Hop dance team. The J&D Hip Hop team traveled to Orlando, FL for nationals. In 2005, Melanie became the Hip Hop director at Candy’s Dance Academy in Beverly, MA where she taught a variety of ages for 5 years. There she managed all the levels of Hip Hop classes, created an adult program, and choreographed for their competition teams. She has taken many master classes through the Monsters of Hip Hop Conventions, and teacher training workshops such as Dance Teacher’s Club of Boston. Melanie has her Associates degree in Business from Middlesex Community College, and is CPR/AED certified. Melanie also stays current by training at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, learning from the industry’s best!

Alexa DeLuca

Alexa Is from Reading, Ma. She has been dancing for 16 years. A graduate of Keene State College, she recently received her BA in Dance Education Specialization. She started her dance training at Lapierre School of Dance in Reading, MA where she trained in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, hip-hop and contemporary. She continued her passion for dance in college by participating in "An Evening of Dance" for three years, the competitive hip-hop KSC Dance Team where she was on the Executive Board two years in a row, and ACDA (American Collegiate Dance Association). Alexa competed with the Keene State College Dance Team for four years at UDA Nationals in Orlando, FL. In 2016, her choreography was selected to be in Keene State's "An Evening of Dance" show. Alexa was also a member of the 2015 Lowell Spinners Dance Team. She has worked with William Siegh, Marcia Murdock, Candace Salyers, Sam Fiorello, Yanira Castro, Kate Weare, Adele Myers, Polobolus, and more. Alexa is so excited to start her teaching career at East Coast Dance Center! 

Cheryl Carroll

Cheryl is the Office Assistant for ECDC! She hails from Wakefield, MA with three children and three grandchildren! She graduated from Newbury College with a BS in Legal Studies. She is a former Trust and Estates paralegal and is currently an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay. She also serves as Co-President of Wakefield /Lynnfield Chamber of Commerce! When younger, Cheryl trained with and taught dance for Virginia Lee of Stoneham. She also trained in ballet and pointe with Thomas Armour of Miami Ballet Company in Florida.

If you have any questions regarding the dance programs here, your account or tuition, please email the office at eastcoastdancecenter@gmail.com.

Juliann Landers

Juliann is a resident of Stoneham, MA and has three fast growing boys! She spent her childhood and teen years training in Ballet & Pointe, as well as beginner Tap. Her absolute favorite is Pointe! She co-assists and leads Pre-Ballet and Creative Movement classes with Michelle here at ECDC and loves being a part of the dance world!