About

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

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

Our Studio is located at 1459 Atlantic Boulevard, Neptune Beach, Florida 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 interactive, we remain consistent with classical dance techniques. We are one of the only dance studios 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

McKenzie Malone

McKenzie Malone – Instructor

Pam Ephrem

Pam Ephrem – Office Manager and Instructor

Rachalyn Hudson

Rachalyn Hudson – Instructor

Rachalyn Hudson has been dancing since the age of five and has studied all styles of dance, even ballroom dance.  She has trained with many professionals, including Alexander “Sasha” Ivanov, Vida Vongsay, Tommy Alexander, Jerome DeVito, Zachary Venegas and Dejan Tubic.  Rachalyn has participated in many dance competitions and was excited to win First Overall Senior Soloist at the 2014 Showstopper Dance Competition.  After graduating from Christ the King School and then Bishop Snyder High School, she attended Mount St. Mary’s University, where she was a member of the Mount St. Mary’s Dance Team, performing at basketball games, school events and dance competitions.  Since earning a degree in Political Science with a minor in Communications, she has been teaching dance and is excited to join the Mazza-Smith Dance family.

Heather Hudson Collins

Heather Hudson Collins – Instructor

Heather Hudson Collins began studying dance at the age of five and earned Highly Commended on all of her exams of The Cecchetti Method of Ballet.  In high school, she embraced her love of ballet at the Montgomery School of Ballet under the instruction of Royal Ballet dancers Julian and Diana Greene.  She also attended summer intensives at the Duke Ellington School of Performing Arts and tap workshops from the great Gregory Hines.  Her love of dance did not stop at ballet.  She has also competed in International Style Ballroom and was a member of the University of Maryland Dance Team.  To further her understanding of the body and its movements, she majored in Health and Human Performance and received a certificate of dance studying under Alcine Wiltz and Alvin Mayes.  She has performed with Broadway director, choreographer and dancer Diane Hamilton.  Heather has been instructing dance since the age of 18 and has taught at multiple studios in Maryland and the Northeast Florida area.

Sherri Mazza

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.

Sherri’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, she began training at the Nice School Of Dance in Orange Park, Florida, to continue studies and later became an instructor.

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. Sherri was also a member of Jacksonville Concert Ballet. 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 at the New York Dance Summit as well as continuing education across the country for dance and business.

Sherri Mazza opened Mazza-Smith Dance in 1985 with Shannon Tempio as a mobile dance studio at various school locations.  Sherri is a bit of a pioneer and this business model was the first of its kind.  In 1987, Sherri and Shannon opened the first brick and mortar studio in Ortega 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 and won several First Place awards over the years. Many of the Mazza-Smith Dance students have gone on to dance professionally.

Sherri is very happy to once again be back at a studio location in addition to offering classes throughout the Greater Northeast Florida area. Many of the staff are former Directors of their own dance studio and bring a lot of experience to the team. Sherri feels fortunate to work with such a talented group of staff members and dancers.

Vicki Giles Gevara

Vicki Gevara – 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 – Instructor

Daryl Smith DeBolt began her dance training at the age of ten at the Nice School of Dance in Orange Park, Florida under the care of Lisa Nice Longworth.  At the age of fourteen, 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, Daryl sings and plays piano.

Daryl has instructed dance for thirty 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.  Daryl’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 – Instructor

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 until recently selling it in 2017.  Linda studied early childhood education and business at FSCJ and went on to study with Dance Masters of America’s Teachers Training School and 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.

 

Kim Connelly

Kim Connelly – Instructor

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 Dance staff.  Kim is passionate about helping young dancers find the song in their hearts, the beat in their feet and the joy of dance.

 

Mazza-Smith Dance Instructor

Stephanie Motley – Instructor

Stephanie Motley is a Jacksonville native and graduate of Jacksonville University.  She has studied ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, hip hop, tap and acrobatics.  She has performed in the Nutcracker, Miss Jacksonville Pageants and won Most Talented in the Miss Bishop Kenny Pageant.  She was also a Jacksonville Jaguars ROAR Cheerleader and represented the Jaguars on the USO-NFL Tour of Europe where players and cheerleaders visit troops overseas.  Stephanie started teaching dance in 1996 and is thrilled to share her love of dance with the students of Mazza-Smith 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