Maria Quezada originally established the dance studio on Ridge Road, Monmouth Jct., NJ. Initially the studio was run as a partnership under a different name. Some may remember the studio as Galaxy of Dance, South Brunswick. Within less then two years of opening, Maria became the sole proprietor and shortly after moved to the location she is in today. "The studio name was carefully thought out, I wanted to incorporate something personal into the name. I ran a contest in the studio and the ideas flooded in. It was late one night, when “ Dance on Q” popped into my head” The letter “Q” has double meaning. It represents the “Q” in Quezada, our family last name, while suggesting to dance on the cue of the music. The play on words was perfect in every way. The votes were unanimous and the name became official.
Dance on Q was known to be “small but mighty.” It all started in a one room studio which was perfect to start off. Soon the studio’s popularity increased and one room was not suitable for the demand. Fortunately, there was a vacant spot less than a mile away. The location was large enough to accommodate the proposed three room build out. The build out took 6 months. In October of 2007 we moved into the location we now call home.
Throughout the last 13 years the dance studio has flourished. DOQ has been fortunate to be part of a wonderful community that has attracted students from as far as Pennsylvania to families from neighboring towns and, of course, from South Brunswick. We have established long lasting relationships with our dancers and their families.
At Dance on Q we are always looking to enhance the lives of our dancers, and we are proud when our impact spreads beyond dance. It is always gratifying when alumnus reach out to let us know about their successes ranging from being able to confidently walk into an interview or acing a public speaking class. We have had students make popular college teams, and one that traveled across the globe to teach dance. We have graduates actively auditioning for popular college dance teams and working in the professional dance circuit. We often hear things like, “my experience at DOQ, made all the difference” and “I attribute many of my successes to Dance on Q".
Looking back at DOQ’s beginnings and its 13 year trajectory, like any other business, we have had our highs and lows. But the focus of our program has never wavered. Our high standards continues to be evident as our dancers continue to reach new heights.
Meet our Directors, Faculty and Office Staff
Artistic Director and Owner
Maria Quezada grew up in New York City where she received her dance training in multiple dance styles. She's a graduate from Berkley Business College where she studied Business Management. She also attended Rutgers University as a continued education student where she redirected her focus to Psychology.
She is a presently The Artistic Director and Owner of Dance on Q Performing Arts Center. Maria teaches dancers ranging from ages preschool – adults. Her first love is choreography, at a very young age she began to create dance pieces. "At 8 years old I was choreographing for talent shows for myself and others. Who knew where it would all lead". As time passed her work gave her notoriety within the Hispanic community. She was sought out to choreograph traditional, folk and contemporary pieces for showcases, "Quinceaneras" and Sweet Sixteen’s.
Over the years creative pieces in contemporary, jazz and hip hop have earned her multiple top choreography and technique awards in the competition circuit. She is passionate about proper technique and is relentless in her efforts to develop technically sound dancers. She has had overall top scoring numbers at both the regional and national level year after year. She has claimed "National Champion" title in both junior and senior divisions multiple times. Maria has also had the opportunity to choreograph for Off Broadway presentations in New York City, including venues like Manhattan Center. In addition, to teaching and choreographing, Maria is a sought out adjudicator in the national competition circuit.
In 2012 under Miss Maria's tutelage, one of DOQ's dancers was casted on a popular dance show on LifeTime TV. The dancer's technical training was noted as one of the reasons for the casting. Post filming, Maria travelled with her dancer nationwide along with other cast members from the show. As the co creator of the Ultimate Dance Tour, Maria showcased multiple pieces choreographed exclusively for the tour. She also taught master classes and hosted Q&A's as part of the of the show. "It was an incredible experience to be part of this project and travel with such young talented dancers. My greatest satisfaction came from creating a channel by which these dancers could share their talent and experiences with other young people."
Miss Maria has a great interest in child development, as well as community activism. Her background and passion in these areas brings a unique perspective to dance. She brings innovative ideas on how to teach dance and instill a sense of worth, confidence and community values. The studio participates in many local and national community service projects, including: Race for the Cure, Alex’s Lemonade, Kidney Cancer Walk, WomanSpace, The Soup Kitchen Project, and Costumes for a Cause (canned food drive).
Maria promotes the dance training experience at Dance on Q as an opportunity to gain “Life Skills through Dance”. Her goal is to inspire dancers to be the best version of themselves, on and off the dance floor.
Maria enjoys spending quality time with her family. She's passionate about dance and loves partnering with her husband, of many years. She enjoys traveling to places where the weather is warm and where she can enjoy relaxing on the beach. Her favorite late night snack is ICE CREAM. Maria is a twin with a boy. They were not only birth partners but dance partners too. Competing in multiple circuits. Miss Maria is a first generation American that speaks fluent Spanish and is immersed in her Caribbean culture. Her parents immigrated from Cuba and Dominican Republic. In the future Maria would like to retire by the beach and get to travel the world.
Karen has been working at Dance on Q for over 13 years and has been the hub of communication between the teachers, students, parents and Miss Maria. Karen brings with her organizational skills and business knowledge from the workforce where she held different roles with AT&T Communications. The love of the students and seeing them blossom into young adults and dancers has always been at the heart of why Karen remains actively involved in Dance on Q. Karen is married to her husband Ron for 35 years and has two adult children, Katie (also a Dance on Q Faculty Member) and Stephen. Karen lives in North Brunswick with her family and three dogs, Mikey, Kylie and Sully. She enjoys travel, crafts and spending quality time with her family.
Vivian Chang is looking forward to being a part of the office staff again this year. As a parent of a Dance on Q dancer for the past five years, she has a greater appreciation of all the hard work and dedication that the DOQ staff and dancers have.
Outside of assisting at DOQ, Vivian has worked as a pharmacist for Walgreens for the past 20+ years. She has been married to her husband, Alex, for 17 years and they are proud parents of three beautiful children, Kyle, Kaitlyn, and Aidan. Vivian enjoys vacationing with her family and friends, especially in Orlando, watching her kids' activities (dance, soccer, baseball...), and spending time with family and friends...creating wonderful memories.
Vivian is excited for all the dancers and how great Season 13 will be this year. Go Dance on Q!! Work it!!
Hip Hop, Tap Instructor
Katie Romanchik has been at Dance On Q for over 13 years. She trained at the studio from the age of 12 until her graduation from high school. Katie continued her journey at DOQ as a member of the teaching staff. For the past 9 years she has assisted and taught in multiple styles, however, her passion lies in tap and hip hop. As a choreographer for the competition team, Katie has created pieces that have earned her multiple choreography, technique and entertainment awards. Miss Katie also teaches master classes in the tristate area.
Katie is a graduate of The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor's Degree in History and Secondary in Education. After graduation, Miss Katie began her teaching career with temporary teaching positions in several school districts as well as a private school. She is now a full time educator in the public school system. “Because of dance and my teaching experience, I was inspired to pursue academic education as a career. I love to make meaningful connections with the students. I look forward to inspiring my dancers and hopefully impacting not only their dance training but their personal growth.”
Miss Katie is an avid reader who loves to escape into the stories and characters of the books she reads. In her downtime, Katie loves to do outdoor activities and travel!
Miss Jen has been dancing 15 years and has been a working teacher and choreographer for the last 7 years with an emphasis on ballet, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, contemporary, and musical theater. She began teaching private lessons at the age of 13. Miss Jen was a competitive dancer for 8 years with Adam's Dance Company located in southern New Jersey. While competing, she won many first place overalls and top scores across the tri-state area. It was then that she knew she wanted to continue her career in dance.
After graduating from high school, Miss Jen joined a performance based company located in Philadelphia. Performances included, Philly Fringe Dance Festival, Dance Fest at the Pennsylvania State Capital, Dancers for Dimes and performing at the Ella Fitzgerald Theater in Virginia.
After attending Montclair State University and receiving a degree is sociology, Miss Jen began teaching dance full time. In 2012 she founded and directed the competition team, of Element Dance Company. The company had outstanding success under her directorship. They received special awards and top overall recognition. She directed the company until 2015, at which time Jen began choreographing for multiple studios in the metropolitan area. Jen recently choreographed for a High school team competing at the National level with a successful outcome.
In addition to teaching technique and choreography, Jen travels with a talent production company working as a backstage manger along the east coast.
When Miss Jen isn't in the studio or working on choreography ideas, you can find her exploring NYC or Philadelphia looking for new adventures. Most of the time those adventures include finding the best sushi spots and live music! Jen is looking forward to working on ballet with the DOQ students again this year. "I'm looking to enhance their strengths and sharpen their areas of weakness. It's going to be a great year! "
Acro, Ballet Instructor
Jacquelyn Oathout is a Rider University graduate where she majored in Dance and Psychology. Before her college years she trained at Joann's school of dance in Elizabeth. Jackie trained technically and started to compete at the age of 9. She began her teaching experience as an assistant teacher at the age of 14.
Miss Jackie participated on the Rider Dance Ensemble and the Rider competitive Dance Team. The ensemble showcased their talent throughout the year. As a collegiate spirit team, the participants performed on the court and field during home games. Miss Jackie remembers the team's excitement when they were invited to perform on the popular tv show MTV.
Jacquelyn plans to go back to school to get her masters in dance and is looking forward to pursuing a career as a dance movement therapist.
On her free time Miss Jackie is a certified freelance makeup artist. She has gotten the opportunity to work for the company Bare Minerals where she has been able broaden her makeup artist experience. Miss Jackie loves teaching dance and has been a dance educator for the past 3 years. She loves performing all dance style and enjoys teaching Acro and Hip-Hop. Jacquelyn is an all around adventurous person, she considers herself fearless and perseverant.
Miss Jackie is excited to begin her second season teaching at DOQ. Miss Jackie admits she may play hip hop music in her ballet class to break the routine. However, Leotards, buns, stretched legs and pointed toes are a requirement, no matter what her musical choice for class is.
Miss Kruti grew up in New Jersey and began exploring dance at the age of 6. Kruti's training consists of Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Lyrical and Bharatnatyam and Kathak.
In 2007, Kruti was accepted and attended the prestigious Governor's School of the Arts program at TCNJ. Kruti was also the sole recipient of the New Jersey Honored Dance Excellence Award. While pursuing her dance training, Kruti graduated Rutgers University with a major in Evolutionary Anthropology.
Kruti Shah captured the attention of audiences and artists across the globe as a top-10 finalist on an Indian reality dance series called Just Dance in 2011.
Kruti Shah returned to the United States to fuel her creative ingenuity behind Mystic India: The World Tour, a Bollywood dance spectacular. With Mystic India, she toured the world as a Principal Dancer, Choreographer, and Assistant Director. All in the while, serving as chief Indian choreographer for Bollydoll, the extravagant LA-based live musical directed by Amrita Sen.
Miss Kruti is a firm believer in formal academic and performing arts education. She aims to inspire and encourage her students through her own passion, experiences, and knowledge. She is excited to join the DOQ faculty!