Our Team of Dance Instructors

Dance Express has recruited some of New York's most accomplished dance instructors, each of whom brings their own personal approach to the dance floor. See below who they are:

Jaime Azcona - Owner/Director

Jaime began dancing at age two. At age five, she performed her first of many featured solo routines, which continued through elementary and high school. As a freshman at Lawrence High School, Jaime introduced tap dancing as part of the annual Sports Night Gala, a tradition which continues to this day. As a freshman at Molloy College, Jaime became the youngest choreographer and director of the Molloy Kickline Team in the college's history.

Jaime graduated Molloy with a B.Ed., decided against pursuing academic teaching, and founded her first dance instruction studio in the Summer of 2001. Eighteen years later Dance Express is a well known Long Island success story. Students come from Manhattan to Bayshore, and all points in between, to study with Jaime and her excellent staff.

Jaime teaches introduction to dance, ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop at Dance Express as well overseeing all studio operations. She's performed with the Radio City Rockettes, Half Time at Nassau Coliseum for the New York Dragons, and Madison Square Garden for the New York Knicks, She has studied with world renowned choreographers Brian Freedman, Marty Kudelka, Darren Henson, Brain "Footwork" Green, Debbie Dee and her mentor, the wonderful Frank Hatchet.

At most times during studio hours, you can find Jaime multitasking with her three beautiful girls right by her side.  She thanks her loving and supportive husband for making her dream a reality.

Patricia Hart - Director/Office Manager/Instructor


An accomplished stage and television performer and a successful veteran of the pageant world, Trish DeRosa Hart has been in the entertainment industry for over two decades. As a child she played Julia Scott on the ABC soap opera “The Edge of Night”, and as a teenager appeared on the CBS soap opera “As the World Turns. She was Miss New York 1996, and was third runner-up at the national level. Trish has worked throughout the United States as a choreographer and production manager for numerous live shows and competitions. She also enjoyed serving as the Dance & Theater Director at Camp Tioga in Thompson, PA for many years. Trish now enjoys her summer’s home on LI teaching dance. Over the years, Trish has taught many of the country’s top child actors and models, who have appeared in national magazines, commercials, TV shows and movies. Trish majored in Special/Elementary Education at L.I.U. Post. In her free time, she enjoys shopping, traveling and spending time with her family and friends, especially her husband Nick and twins Nicky & Julia.


Serge Aly - Instructor


Serge "Push-Push" a.k.a "Power Surge"
Aly - with nicknames given to him by world-reknowned dancers Don "Campellock" Campbell and Victor "Glyde" Alicea of the Dynamic Rockers, it is quite evident what type of dancer and teacher Mr. Aly is.


Mr. Aly has been involved in New York's underground Hip-Hop and House scene since the early 80's. He began dancing at the age of 10. His skills include Campbellocking, Popping-Boogaloo, Hip-Hop and House. In his 36 years of dancing, Mr. Aly has performed at underground clubs across the the U.S., and in major venues such as Turner Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia and The Hippodrome in London, England.


He has taught at many schools, camps and workshops — New York's own Hip-Hop Shop, Peri Dance and the UCPA. His patience with students seeking to improve their skills or move into improvisation, has earned him the respect and endorsements of many well-known and highly respected Hip Hop dancers, choreographers and teachers.

Lori Shapiro - Instructor


 Lori has been dancing since the young age of 3 studying tap, jazz, pointe, modern,  and hip-hop. She comes to Dance Express with many years of experience as a competitve dancer as well as choreographer, winning numerous high scoring awards for both dance and choreography at some of the biggest dance competitions such as Starpower, Starbound, and Footloose National Dance competitions. She has had the privilege to study with such names as Phil Black, Gil Stromming, Mike Minery, Sheila Barker, Mia Michaels, and Frank Hatchett to name a few. Lori has more than 30 years teaching experience at many dance studios throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties - starting out as an assistant teacher at the age of 13 in her hometown of Howard Beach, Queens. This will be her sixtenth season at Dance Express and she is thrilled to be a part of the wonderful "Dance Express family". 


Francesca Carillo - Instructor


Francesca Carillo-Vaccino is a dancer and choreographer from New York. She was a member of MadCap Contemporary Dance Company and has trained extensively with Complexions Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. Film credits include "At the Top of the Pyramid" and most recently "Don Peyote" She has also performed the role of Velma Kelly in a Broadway fundraiser at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, NY. In addition to her performing credits Francesca has taught and choreographed at studios throughout New York. She has also worked with recording artists choreographing live performances and tours.


Miss Twist - Instructor


Colleen AKA Miss Twist, specializes in Breaking, Hip Hop, and House dancing.  Driven by rhythms and music, she early expressed her creativity and developed a unique style.   Her skill has earned her recognition from the professional community and she became a successful choreographer/dancer that has performed, competed, and choreographed around the world.  Miss Twist has worked with numerous artists including Missy Elliott, Will Smith, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, and many others. She was featured in a few films such as Step Up 3D and the award-winning Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey.





Krista O'Leary - Instructor



Krista O'Leary has spent the last 21 years of her life dancing.  She started with tap and ballet at age 2 and continued her love of dancing throughout her childhood.  She danced on a traveling competition team from the ages of 10-12 years old and then joined her high school kickline team from 13-18 years old.  She was the captain on both jounior varsity and vasity during that time.  Krista has recently graduated from Binghampton University in May 2018 where she studied Integrative Neuroscience on a pre-physician assistant track and recieved a Bachlors Degree of Science.

Miss Krista has been teaching at Dance Express's Summer Dance Camp for the past 5 years and now that she is back on Long Island, she is happy to be able to be there all year long!




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