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Learn more about the amazing people behind Jazziak’s Dance School in Boylston, MA. Take the time to read the biographies of our talented and dedicated dance teachers!

Jessica Bourque

Owner and Lead Instructor

Jessica Jasiak Bourque began dancing with Dawn's School of Dance in Northborough at the age of 4. During her 14-year stay there, she acquired skills in jazz, tap, ballet, and lyrical dance. She also served as the captain of the jazz company for 3 years. In addition, she also competed in several local and national competitions including Showstoppers in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Jessica continued to study dance at Jo-Anne Warren Studios in Worcester and New England Dance Quarters in Amherst, MA. She further gained skills in salsa dance and studied intensively with the dance majors at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas in the fall of 2001. In December of 2003, she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance School Management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Today, Jessica continues to be active in the community, having choreographed for the Boylston/West Boylston Pop Warner Cheerleading as well as serving as choreographer for the Berlin/Boylston Regional Acting and Voice Organization (BBRAVO) since 2011.

Alyson Avoglia

Alyson began dancing at the age of 3 and trained with the Cathy Taylor School of Dance for 14 years. She has competed locally and nationally in competitions such as Dance Masters of America, Headliners, Starpower, and American Dance Spectrum. She was a lyrical dance soloist for 6 years and also performed with the Indianapolis Ballet Company's production of the Nutcracker.

Alyson then went to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from Bentley College, where she was a member of the Bently Dance Club. She has continued taking classes throughout the area in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and yoga.

Colleen Burkhardt

Irish Program Director

Colleen Burkhardt learned to dance from Michael Smith at the Michael Smith Academy of Boston. She started dancing at the age of 5, but she did not learn Irish step dancing until she was 12. This brought the opportunity for Colleen, along with her brother and sisters, to compete at the Irish festivals "Feis" and "Oireachtas."

When Michael Smith relocated his dance school back to Boston, Colleen began her training with Mary McInerney. When her daughter Shannon was born, Colleen took a break from dancing until Shannon was 4 years old. When Shannon was 4 years old, she also started taking lessons from Miss McInerney. This gave Colleen the chance to help with her daughter's Irish step classes and the many programs they participated in including the March Madness.

Heather Christensen

Heather began dancing at a small studio in New Jersey when she was 4 . At the age of 5 she began her lessons with Joan Sheary, where she continued to dance throughout Elementary and High School. During those years she danced with a company that trained intensively in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern and Lyrical dance. This also brought opportunities for her to compete in local and national competitions such as Dance Masters of America and Star Power, and to participate in dance workshops in New York City, Boston and Orlando. In 2001 Heather graduated from Nichols College with a degree in Psychology. She has since taught preschool as well as youngster dance classes at a local studio. 

Marissa Ferron

Marissa began her gymnastics training at the age of 4. She trained at Gymnastics Learning Center in Shrewsbury MA and was a member of the Junior Olympics team. At 12 years old Marissa decided to pursue dance. She competed with a local dance studio in various styles of dance including jazz, lyrical, hip hop and acro. In high school, Marissa was a varsity cheerleader and went on to compete at the national level.

After graduating high school, Marissa received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Worcester State University, then went on to receive her Masters of Education in School Guidance from Cambridge College. Marissa has trained under many dance professionals including Rhee Gold, Julie Kay Stallcup, and Pam Simpson.

Andrew Howarth

Andrew Howarth began his desire for dance at age 6 with the Mary McInerney School of Irish Step Dance, where he studied for 5 years, and competed at Feiseanna and Oireachtais . He then chose to pursue training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, and Musical Theater at the Jo Ann Warren Studio in Worcester, MA where he competed Regionally and Nationally and achieved the National Title of “Teen Mr. Dancers Inc 2010” at the Dancers Inc National Competition in Hershey, PA. Andrew then trained with the Patti Eisenhauer Dance Center in Franklin, MA, where he received training in Vaganova Russian Ballet from Russian Ballet Master Zhanat Baidaralin and also competed Regionally and Nationally. While at Patti’s, he was casted the role of the Nutcracker and Prince in her Production of “The Nutcracker”. He was a dancer and choreographer for the Non Profit Dance Organization “Stylized Movement”, principal dancer, choreographer and promotional model for the Dance Company “Shadows - Dance Art Experience” where he was also honored to have been Assistant Producer for the dance company’s first showcase. Andrew also performed and choreographed for “DCW - Dance Company Worcester”, where he was also a rehearsal director for the company. He performed with the Project Movement Dance Company in the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra “Holiday Pops” Concert.

Andrew is a certified active member of Dance Masters of America, Inc - New England Regional Chapter 5. He has been teaching and choreographing at various dance studios and colleges locally and throughout New England. Andrew and his students have achieved numerous choreography, overall, and high-score awards at the Regional and National competition levels. Andrew loves to exhibit his artistry through movement and choreography. His choreography has been showcased in benefit performances such as “Move for the Movement” to support the American Cancer Society and “Dancers at Heart for Kids at Heart” to support Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as various dance festivals throughout New England. Aside from taking his dance classes, Andrew’s students attend conventions and master classes as well as auditions and then go on to perform in various productions and showcases. His students have trained intensively at world renowned dance companies such as the American Ballet Theatre, SUNY Purchase and The Gold School. Recently, one of Andrew’s students had been invited to perform and compete at the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) in February 2019 and will be training at the American Ballet Theatre summer intensive in Tampa, Florida.

Barbara Barry Ostromecky

Barbara Barry Ostromecky has been dancing since the age of 2. Growing up she studied dance under Mindy Kay McGovern and went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the Boston Conservatory where she trained in Cecchetti & Vaganova ballet styles and Limon modern. She has studied under many famous instructors including Luigi, Edward DeSoto, Joe Tremaine, Rhee & Rennie Gold. She has performed on tv, commercials, theme parks, & dance companies in Boston and Dallas.
Recently, she has taught and performed at the Majestic Theatre in Boston for the TD Bank Wow Awards, choreographed several musicals for Worcester County Light Opera and other area theater companies. Her "Jazz It Up" dance team performed in Walt Disney World for Magic Music Days. She also was the founder of the dance team at St. Peter-Marian High School. Barbara has been teaching & choreographing in the Worcester area for more than 20 years.


Her students have gone on to perform as performers in Walt Disney World, Disneyland, cruise ships, Nickelodeon, Miss Massachusetts pageants, as Patriots Cheerleaders, and in Broadway musicals.

Sarah Richardson

Sarah started her passion for dance at the age of 2 with Diane Kelley Studios in West Boylston, MA, where she participated in jazz, tap, ballet, and, modern dance at the recreational and competitive level. Sarah also spent 11 years cheering with Pop Warner and served as Varsity Cheer Captain at Wachusett Regional High School in 2003, where she led her team to win many championships.

After high school, Sarah started coaching and choreographing for Pop Warner as well as middle and high school cheer teams. Sarah continued taking dance lessons with CCS Dance Academy in Holden, MA. She also trained with some amazing choreographers from Monsters of Hip-hop, SHOCK intensive, and Nappy Tabs.

In 2009, Sarah began dancing with Dance Company Worcester, where she was named DCW Choreographer. In 2012, Sarah became the choreographer and creative director for the new dance company, Twisted Techniques. Sarah continues to choreograph with many local dance schools, high schools, and fitness facilities.

Heidi Verock

Heidi Verock started dancing at the age of 3, learning tap and ballet from Mrs. Healy's Dance School in Boylston. At the age of 9, she began Irish step dancing under the direction of Michael Smith of the Michael Smith Academy in Worcester. Here, she studied reels, jigs, slips, hornpipes, and ceili dances.

At the age of 13, Heidi, along with her sister Colleen, won the privileges to compete in the Oireachtas with a chance to compete in Ireland. When the Michael Smith Academy relocated back to Boston, Heidi continued studying through private lessons with the Mary McInerney School of Irish Dance. She has competed and performed in many shows and feiseanna throughout the states of MA, RI, and ME.

Kimberly Mann

Kimberly Mann began dancing at the age of four at Dance Progression’s in Worcester Massachusetts, where she took ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, and pointe. Growing up she competed in both regional and national competitions.

Kim attended Worcester State University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in both occupational therapy and psychology. During this time Kim was chosen to be on the Worcester State Dance Team where she performed in competitions, including one at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. During her time in college she also taught dance at Dance Progressions for four years. After college she taught Judy A Herman’s School of Dance, and Creative Edge Dance Academy.

Kim has experience in teaching ballet, pointe, tap, jazz and lyrical. Kim has taught kids from ages three to eighteen. She also has experience in teaching adult classes. Kim is extremely passionate about dance and loves teaching it to others.

Russell Clarke

Russell Clarke was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. He was trained at the Royal Ballet School in London. During his time at the Royal Ballet School he performed with the Royal Ballet Company in productions that included The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. Russell joined Ballet Arizona in 2007 and performed principal roles in Don Quixote, Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, Twyla Tharp’s The Golden Section, George Balanchine’s Movements for Piano and Orchestra, La Valse, La Sonnambula, The Four Temperaments, and Ib Andersen’s Play, 1052, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mosaik, Symphonie Classique, and The Nutcracker. Russell received critical acclaim for the role of the Poet in George Balanchine’s La Sonnambula and was praised by the New York Times for the role of Phlegmatic in Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments.

Russell originated a principal role in Andersen’s Diversions, which was seen on the Kennedy Center Stage in June 2010. In Russell’s final season with Ballet Arizona he originated the principal role in Ib Andersen’s world premier of Cinderella, which received critical acclaim. Russell was the director of the
Community Dance Academy at Walnut Hill School for the Arts for the past four years while teaching for The Boston Conservatory part time. He is thrilled to be joining Boston Conservatory at Berklee as an Associate Professor.

If you wish to learn more about our seasoned instructors, call us today at 508-869-0026!