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-Instructor

Cathy Finne-Instructor-Artistic Director MS Team 1014

Cathy Finne is a native to Neptune Beach where she attended high school at Fletcher High and graduated at the top of her class. She  then attended the college at Jacksonville University where she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Dance. While at JU Cathy was awarded such honors as Jazz Dancer of the Year and Choreographer of the year. After graduating college, Cathy moved to Orlando where she was employed at Walt Disney World.

Cathy is certified through Dance Masters of America to teach Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip hop, Tumbling and Musical Theater. She brings over thirty years’ experience to the dance industry, and after receiving training from world renowned choreographers such as Frank Hatchett, Joe Tremaine, Karen Hebert and Gus Giordano, Cathy is now teaching at LaVilla Middle School of the Arts. She continues her training during the summers by traveling to New York & Los Angeles to study with the country’s leading dance professionals. Cathy is an award winning dancer and choreographer; she has won numerous awards all over the country. Cathy is proud to lead her team of well-rounded dance students in a positive, uplifting, family environment as they each nurture the love of dance.

 

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.

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.

Heather Olmez-Instructor

Heather Olmez started dancing at the young age of 3. She began dancing with Miss Cathy Finne at the age of eight and eventually joined Studio 1014 Dance Elite.

Heather has studied a wide variety of dance techniques over the years such as ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, modern, and more. At the age of 13 in Los Angeles, California, Heather was accepted to the Tremaine Dance Apprentice Company and has traveled all over the United States as well as Innsbruck, Austria. She traveled with Tremaine for 6 years as an Apprentice, Company Member, and Alumni. Heather spent many summers traveling abroad to further her dance training. At the age of 15 she spent a summer in New York training at the esteemed Joffrey Ballet School with a scholarship.

She has been recognized locally and nationally at many dance competitions. Heather now enjoys participating in Cinderella Pageants so she can be a positive role model in the state of Florida. In 2014 she was crowned the Cinderella State Woman and went on to compete at the International Pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For the past 7 years Heather has been a teacher at Studio 1014 and she enjoys teaching children of all ages but excels in teaching children as young as 18 months! Giving the gift of dance to even the tiniest dancer is her passion. Heather is excited to join the staff at Mazza-Smith Dance, Inc.

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.

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