About

Since 1985, the Mazza-Smith Dance, Inc. has provided quality instruction throughout the Jacksonville area.

Our Satellite programs are held throughout the greater Jacksonville area and St Johns County.

Our Studio Location is located in Neptune Beach, Florida 1459 Atlantic Blvd. 32266

We invite our studio parents to view our classes on our closed circuit television and see their growth and progress.

We are proud to provide quality dance education in a positive learning environment. While our classes are exciting and edgy we remain consistent with classical dance techniques. We are the only dance studio in our area to accept dancers as young as 18 months old.

Our program is designed to make dance a very special experience – fun and educational. Our emphasis is on our relationships and character building as well as rhythm and movement. We offer the opportunity for our students ages 18 months and up to gain confidence and learn valuable life skills such as teamwork, respect for others, self-expression, music appreciation and the exciting art of dance.

We believe “It’s so much more than dance!”

Instructors

Sherri Mazza-Director

 

Sherri Mazza is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. She was introduced to dance at the age of two and a half (2 ½) by her  loving mother Marilyn (Mazza), who was also a Master Tap instructor of 40 years,  learning from the great of the great tap instructors in New York City and who was also invited to be a June Taylor Dancer.

Mrs. Sherri Mazza’s training began at the Bagley School of Dance in Jacksonville, Florida where she received fine technical training in dance along with Musical Theater.

At the age of eight (8) she began training at the Nice School Of Dance in Orange Park, Florida to continue studies and later instruct from ages 15-17 there.

Growing up, Sherri was Member of Starlight Company and had the opportunity to dance with the accompaniment of the Starlight Symphonette, a part of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. During her teen years she became a member of Jacksonville Ballet Theater under the instruction of Dulce Anaya, a Prima Ballerina at one time with the Stuttgart Munich Opera. As an adult, Sherri became a member of Jacksonville Concert Ballet for a very short period until she realized Directing a Studio and Team was too time consuming.

Her studies in dance include the following instructors: Dulce Anaya, Lisa Nice Longworth, Debra Peters, Marilyn Mazza, and nationally with Al Gilbert, Joe Tremaine, Frank Hatchett, Jonie Lather, Janice Barringer just to name a few.

During her years of training Sherri has had the extensive opportunity to train in New York City on numerous occasions and has spent many years training at the New York Dance Summit as well as continuing education accross the country for dance and business.

Mrs. Mazza opened Mazza-Smith Dance in 1985 with Shannon Tempio as a mobile onsite studio. Sherri is a bit of a pioneer and this business model was the first of its kind.  Others have attempted to duplicate the program, but have not come close to Mrs. Mazza’s business model. Sherri and Shannon opened the  1st studio in Ortega-Fairfax in 1987 with a small loan from Sherri’s  parents and stayed in that location for twenty (20) years.  During that tenure Sherri was Performance Team Director for seven (7) years.  The team was successful and to its credit the Team was awarded 1st place over the years. Many of the Mazza-Smith students have gone on to dance professionally.

Mrs. Mazza is very happy to once again be back at a studio location and add wonderful staff to our Dance Family in addition to offering classes throughout the Greater Jacksonville area and St Johns County.  The majority of the staff are former Directors of their own studio! Mrs. Mazza can say with great confidence that she is very proud of the incredible staff she has!

 

Shannon Tempio (Smith) -Co-Founder

Vicki Gevara-Instructor

Instructor

Victoria Giles Gevara is a native of Jacksonville Florida and began her dance training at the age of three (3) with Robert Conine. Dance was a passion and love instilled then that is still alive today. One of Miss Vicki’s passions is sharing her love of dance and bringing joy and confidence to her students. She danced with many local great and highly qualified teachers as well as dance greats such as William Martin Viscount, Joe Tramaine, Frank Hatchett, Al Gilbert, Joan Lather and many more. Vicki started teaching dance at 16 for the Duval County School System’s after school community education program.

After graduation she owned and was director of Victoria’s School of Dance, Satellite Dance Studio and A Time to Dance.  To the credit of her technical training as an Instructor several of her former students have proceeded to dance professionally. Vicki has been on staff with Mazza Smith Dance for five (5) years and is dedicated to helping  bring her students the joy dance has given her.

Daryl Smith DeBolt

Daryl Smith DeBolt began her dance training at the age of ten (10) at the Nice School of Dance in Orange Park, Florida under the care of Lisa Nice Longworth.  At the age of fourteen (14) she auditioned for the Jacksonville Ballet Theatre under the instruction of Dulce Anaya and became a Junior Member of the company in 1979.  Mrs. DeBolt studied at Florida State University as a member of the Dance Department and graduated with a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree from the Oklahoma City University in 1987 majoring in Dance and having taken several music courses.  In addition to her dance training, Mrs. DeBolt sings and plays piano.  Mrs. DeBolt has instructed dance for thirty (30) years in the Orange Park and Jacksonville, Florida area having worked at:  Nice School of Dance, Bambi Phillips School of Dance, Marta Jackson School of Dance, Village Dance Center, Jacksonville Christian Arts Center, Shoshannah Arts, Legacy Dance, East Coast Ballet, Miss Felicia’s Dance School and now with Mazza-Smith Dance.  She has trained under the following instructors of dance:  Lisa Nice Longworth, Marilyn Mazza, Jo Rowan, Lisa Poole, Kate Levitz, Anthony Morgan, Clifford Schuleman, Richard Sias, Maria DeBaroncelli, Carveth Osterhaus, Angela Blackledge, Noel Parenti, Rhonda Miller, Debra Belue, Lori Miller, Mindi Mende, Laurie Byrd, Rhonda Stampalia, and Betty Swenson.  Mrs. DeBolt has worked as a Choreographer and Instructor of Dance in a variety of Dance Mediums including:  Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Modern and Contemporary.  Mrs. DeBolt’s passion is imparting her knowledge of dance to children and adults, choreographing for the Church in Liturgical Dance, nurturing the minds and hearts of those who love dance and continuing to educate herself in the field of Dance.

Linda Surrency

Linda Surrency grew up in Jacksonville Florida dancing under the direction of Buddy Sherwood.
Linda’s studies include the National Association of Dance and Affiliated  Artists (N.A.D.A.A.) , Dance Masters of America, Hollywood Connection,  Tremaine, Broadway Dance Center, Dance Makers, Dance Troupe, Dance  Caravan, Applause Talent, Celebration Talent, Encore, Jump, Showtime  Dance Challenge, Dance Caravan, and Fusion.
She began teaching for The Buddy Sherwood School of Dance in 1976 and the Duval County School  Board. She opened the World of Dance in 1979 and operated the studio for 38 years till recently selling it in 2017. Linda studied early childhood education and business at FCCJ and went on to study with Dance Masters of America’s Teachers Training School & Certified dance  education at the University of Buffalo. Linda is the former choreographer of the USFL Jacksonville Bulls Cheerleaders. She is a former member of the Artistic Dance Association, as well as the National  Association of Dance and Affiliative Artist. (N.A.D.A.A.)

 

Kim Connelly

 

Kim Connelly is a Jacksonville native and graduate of the University of Florida. At the age of four she began training as a competitive gymnast before discovering her passion for dance. Her love of dance knows no boundaries, as she has studied ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, hip hop, tap, acrobatics, musical theatre and multicultural dance. She was selected to perform in the Nutcracker, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Jaguars Inaugural Half Time Show, Miss Jacksonville Pageants and other events around the U.S. In addition, she won Miss Bishop Kenny, was voted Most Talented and was a member of the University of Florida Dazzlers Dance Team. She’s also had the opportunity to be a choreographer and judge of dance competitions and team auditions around the southeast. She started teaching dance in 1994 and is excited about joining the Mazza-Smith staff. Kim is passionate about helping young dancers find the song in their hearts, the beat in their feet and the joy of dance.

 

Jeanie-Lee Joy Raney

Jeannie – Lee Joy Raney (Jeannie) was raised by her father in San Diego, California.  She began her dance training at the age of five (5) at a small dance school in Spring Valley, California.  At the age of eight (8), her father enrolled her in “Sherry’s Dance and Drill Team”, a competitive parade team that incorporated military basics, cheerleading, and comprehensive knowledge of a variety of dance forms.  She competed from ages ten (10) through fourteen (14) on both studio teams at her local dance school and furthered her studies of ballet and tap training.  During this four year window, she was exposed to jazz, lyrical, contemporary forms of dance and took an interest in acrobatics and tumbling.  This is where she found her true love and passion.  Jeannie continued to dance during her High School years at her High School, leaving the studio environment where she continued to train, perform and compete.  This program was rigorous in content, including several after-school practices and yearly shows where she began to blossom in her choreographic skills.  She was recognized as one of the brightest and talented students with a standard of excellence in her work ethic and dance product.  She began to teach and choreograph on the heels of both her training in this program and the recognition she received.  From this point on she furthered her dance training in the following dance styles:  Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, and Modern making her a very versatile dancer and instructor.  She has danced with:  K. O. Dance Company, San Diego State University, Peter Kalivas, Eric Sage, and many more as a guest student and performer.  Jeannie began to intern with the Company of  Visionary Dance Theatre after being recognized by the Artistic Director and furthered her studies for a three (3) year period of time.  She added to her studies the dance styles of African Dancing and Commercial Musical Theatre while continuing her studies in Hip-Hop and Contemporary Dance Styles.  She proceeded to perform with the Company and assisted in acting as one of the costume mistresses and choreographer for the younger students in the school.  This opportunity both challenged and polished her skills as an instructor of all styles of dance.  To her credit, she was chosen to perform for a National Jeep Renegade Commercial featuring her pointe work as a ballet dancer in 2015 exposing her to the commercial industry of dance.  In addition to her vast performing career, Jeannie has studied dance on the college level.  She has since married and is the proud mother of their young son.  Jeannie’s husband’s career has brought her to Jacksonville and to Mazza – Smith Dance School making her a wonderful addition to our professional team.

Amy Groeschel-Instructor

Amy Groeschel started dancing at the young age of 3 with the Mazza-Smith Dance Studio. Her first instructor was Shannon Tempio and after moving to the studio from daycare, Sherri Mazza became one of her instructors. She eventually joined the Mazza-Smith Performance Team. Amy has studied a wide variety of dance techniques over the years such as ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop and modern. During her summers she attended numerous dance conventions with the studio. After graduating from Edward H. White High School, Amy started attending the University of North Florida and attained her Bachelor’s in English and minor in Education. During this time she also taught for Mazza-Smith at various satellite schools. She also choreographed several pieces for students participating in pageants. In 2010, she began teaching at Sandalwood High School. Over the past 8 years there, she has been the choreographer/sponsor for the Sandalwood Dance Team and has been the Director for the Miss Sandalwood Pageant. In 2016, Amy attained her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Florida. Amy is beyond thrilled to get back to teaching dance at the studio for the Mazza-Smith Dance, Inc. family.

Our Mission

To provide every child the opportunity to explore the art of dance, be self motivated, excel in personal growth and use these tools to become happy productive adults.

D.A.N.C.E

  • Dedication, Determination, and Discipline
  • Attitude, Assurance and Academics
  • Nurturing, nutrition, and courage to never give up
  • Confidence, creativity and caring
  • Expression, exuberance and empowerment