Dance Instructors

Tessa Antolini
Ballroom Instructor

A champion Ballroom and competitive West Coast Swing dancer, Tessa Antolini has been sharing her passion for partnered dancing with students across New England since 2009. Formerly a nationally-acclaimed theater, film and television actress, with degrees from conservatories in Boston, London, and Los Angeles, Tessa began studying dance and music at the age of 2. She is known for bringing a sense of humor and a deep interest in the physics of dance to her teaching. She is passionate about giving the “average Jane & Joe” the opportunity to learn to move to music! Tessa opened Forte Dance in June 2014 and is thrilled to bring her expertise in West Coast Swing, Social, and American Smooth & Rhythm to dancers in the greater Boston area.

Current classes: Beginner West Coast Swing; Intermediate West Coast Swing; Private Ballroom Dancing Lessons

Johara Cusick
Bellydancing Instructor

Johara has been sharing the art of belly dance in the Boston area for over 15 years. She has performed her innovative blend of Middle Eastern cabaret, folkloric, and American fusion dance at halls and festivals across Turkey, Greece, Brazil and the United States. As the artistic director of Snake Dance Theater, Johara has produced full scale theatrical shows since 2001, drawing on her knowledge and training in yoga as well as multiple dance forms (i.e. west African, Afro-Latin, Romani, Hip-Hop). Johara studied Middle Eastern and fusion dance with some of the world’s most prestigious teachers including Morocco, Mahmoud Reda, Yousry Sharif, Yasmina Ramzy, and Suhaila Salinpour.

Johara holds a Master’s degree in ESL Teaching, a certification in yoga instruction, a degree in Jazz vocals, and training in world percussion.

Current classes: Belly Dancing

Doug Kolakowski
Contemporary Instructor

Doug Kolakowski is an actor, dancer and choreographer who trained and performed in Sarasota, Florida prior to moving to Massachusetts to attend The Boston Conservatory. While in Florida, Doug worked as an apprentice with the Moving Ethos Dance Company and performed in Cinderella with the West Coast Civic Ballet. Since moving to Boston, Doug has performed in various roles with Project Movement, Luminarium Dance Company, and Speakeasy; he has also worked behind the scenes as a choreographer with Emerson College Theatre Company and Stage Door studios. While attending school, Doug instructed in Florida at Mysticals Dance Company and West Coast Civic Ballet, and at Urbanity Dance and the New England Movement Arts International Summer Ballet Intensive in Massachusetts. Currently, Doug is a recurring performer with the American Repertory Theater.

Doug has an Associates in Arts Degree from the State College of Florida, and is presently studying jazz, lyrical, and contemporary dance as a BFA candidate for Contemporary Dance at The Boston Conservatory.

Current classes: Adult Contemporary and Jazz; Youth Contemporary