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Cindy Domino – Artistic Director, Classical Ballet & Modern

Artistic DirectorOriginally from Pennsylvania, Cynthia began her training with the Bucks County Ballet in Doylestown, PA. She holds a BFA from Adelphi University in Dance Performance, an M.Ed. in Dance Education from Temple University and Supervisor Certification from Rowan University. Her 13 year professional performing background is diverse. She has performed with the Bermuda Civic Ballet, Dance Company Elite, the West Virginia Dance Theatre Company, with repertory ranging from original modern dance works, to the classics of Paquita, Swan Lake Act II, Coppelia, Les Sylphides, Hansel and Gretel, Giselle, Le Grande Pas de Quatre and many, many Nutcrackers. Her commercial background includes musicals, television, commercials, movies and revue shows in Bermuda, Canada, California, Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City.

Cynthia is the Artistic Director and one of the original founders of Cygnus Creative Arts Centre, a non-profit Art Centre located in Egg Harbor Township, NJ. Cygnus is dedicated to offering classes for all ages and levels in the Visual and Performing Arts. The Art Centre began with 80 students and expanded into a new 11,000 square foot facility in June 2008. The Centre services over 500 students county wide in the visual and performing arts.  Cynthia receives yearly funding from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts, through the Atlantic County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs to bring in guest artists from the Pennsylvania Ballet, Buffalo Inner City Ballet, and various College programs that afford professional programming for the Art Centre.

Kelly Harris – Classical Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary

Kelly is a HeadshotProfessor of Dance at Atlantic Cape Community College and is the Public Relations Director for Cygnus. Kelly performed in the U.S. and Europe with Broadway musicals and touring companies including 42nd Street, American Tap Dance Orchestra and American Dance Theatre of Miami.  Ms. Harris has her dance degree from New World School of the Arts, Bachelors from Boston University and Masters in Communications from Kent State. She choreographed many productions such as Grease, Footloose, Swan Lake and Don Quixote. Kelly instructed over 4,000 students many of whom went on to dance with companies including the New York City Ballet and performed in the films Center Stage and Rock of Ages. She currently has students at AMDA, Boston Conservatory, University of the Arts and Alvin Ailey. Kelly also worked as a freelance writer for Dancer Magazine and is on the board of directors for the Harris Conservatory of the Arts in Pennsylvania. Kelly is a member of the “Conseil International de la Danse”  – The United Nations of Dance, recognized by UNESCO and was invited to chair and speak at the 49th United Nations International Council on Dance Research in Athens, Greece. She is also on the Editorial and Content Advisory Board for the National Association for Gifted Children and regularly publishes in the magazine “Parenting for High Potential.”  She is the author of Dance Education for Developing Creative Potential: A Guide for Parents and Teachers available on

Michele Rose Peterson –  Creative Dance, Jazz, Tap

danceMichele is a graduate of the Richard Stockton University of New Jersey with a BA degree in Dance. Ms. Michele was a professional dancer for eleven years in Las Vegas Michele. She also toured Japan with professional dance companies. She brings her knowledge of performance, classical jazz technique, creative dance and tap to Cygnus. Ms. Michele has been teaching students for decades and her choreographic credits include numerous musicals, pageants and tap ensembles.


Allison Platt – Classical Ballet, Contemporary and Creative

AllisonAllison is a graduate of Stockton University with a B.A. in dance and a concentration in studio operations. Allison also attended Montclair State University for 2 years pursuing her B.F.A. While at Montclair, Allison studied various techniques of modern dance including Limon, Taylor, Horton and Graham, as well as Laban Movement. Allison worked with choreographers including Rebecca Stenn, Lauren Putty and Jae Hoon Lim of Koresh. She was a featured soloist in 2010 at the American College Dance Festival under the direction of Henry van Kuiken, and advanced to perform in the gala of selected performers. In 2011, Allison was member of the Philadelphia “Soulmates” and made many appearances at events throughout Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and surrounding areas. Her choreographic works include various pieces at Stockton as well as Cygnus recitals and local musical performances. Allison is currently teaching at contemporary, ballet, modern, creative dance and private lessons at Cygnus. She is thrilled to be a part of this Cygnus family, where her love of dance, choreography, and teaching originally began.

Jessyca LaSure – West African Dance

Jessyca LaSure HeadshotJessyca has her BFA from the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). She is a graduate of Charter Tech Performing Arts where she majored in Dance.  Prior to her college career, Jessyca studied ballet, tap, jazz and modern at Cygnus for over 10 years. She was a member of the Cygnus Contemporary Dance Company, Imagine Dance Theater and also performed with the Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Theater.  In 2016 she won the International Black Dance Conference Award. She is also a two time recipient of the New Jersey Governor’s Award in Dance.


Ashley Hulek – Ballroom

Ashley (2) Ashley graduated the Southern New Jersey Performing Arts Academy at Gloucester County Institute of Technology High School. She went on to study at Towson University Dance Department where she performed with Townsho Dance Company and received a BFA in dance performance.  She perfored in review shows in Atlantic City and for various local dance companies.  She also toured the East Coast and Europe as a magician’ assistant. Ms. Hulek has been teaching dance professionally for many years.



Kevin McCaffertyActing

drama2Mr. McCafferty is a Temple University Theater graduate with extensive experience both on and off stage.  He has been featured in numerous productions including starring roles in Jean Genet’s The Maids and Edwin Sanchez’s Icarus.  Mr. McCafferty spent a number of years working in New York’s Off-Broadway community where his technical experiences included: an acting/directing internship at the prestigious Ensemble Studio, A For Adultery at Theater Row, and Teresa Rebeck’s The Scene at Second Stage starring Patricia Heaton and Tony Shaloub.  Additionally, Mr. McCafferty was the Facility Coordinator for NYC’s New World Stages where he was credited on over 40 Off-Broadway productions such as Rock of Ages and Alter Boyz.  Mr. McCafferty’s directorial credits include: Rodgers’ and Hammersteins’ Cinderella, Footloose, Guys and Dolls, and The Wizard of Oz. Regionally, Mr. McCafferty has worked with companies including: Margate Players, The Eagle Theater, The Ritz (in Oaklyn), and Haddonfield Plays & Players. In EHT, he currently holds the titles of Fernwood Auditorium Site Supervisor, Alder Ave Middle School musical director, and stage crew supervisor for the high school musical.


Natalia Matijasic – Classical Piano

Natalia Matijasic PhotoNatalia Matijasic is a conservatory trained pianist, having graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. A classical pianist who has trained since age 4, she graduated from the Performing Arts High School in Manhattan. As a recording artist Natalia has performed a vast repertoire of chamber and solo piano pieces concentrating on the works of Contemporary and Impressionist composers. For many years she served as pianist for the Dance Program at Stockton University. At the Manhattan School of Music Natalia was trained in the Dalcroze Method, a method of music learning through movement. She specializes in teaching piano to young children at Cygnus.

Danielle Mendez – Classical Piano, Theory and Composition

Dani MendezDanielle Mendez is a graduate from Fordham University Lincoln Center where she studied music theory and composition.  Although she is a classically trained pianist, Danielle plays and composes a range of musical styles.  At the age of nineteen, she was a featured artist in both The New York City Jazz Record and Hot House magazine.  In May 2014, Danielle won the Opera Center of America’s Young Composer’s Competition and her classical composition featured in a performances by the Canadian Adaskin String Trio at the National Opera Center in New York City.  Danielle has experience in private lesson instruction for piano theory and technique along with composition instructions for single instrument ensemble.

Fred Rushmore  – Drums & Percussion  

FredFred Rushmore comes with a background that is quite diverse, beginning with a variety of ensemble experiences during his college days at West Chester University. After graduation he set out on the “Rock Club” circuit and then the “Road Band” gigs playing mostly Hotels. In the summer of 1984 he arrived in Atlantic City and very soon there after joined the David Grayson Show Band. After a year or so of hopping between casinos and hotels he decided to settle down into the Atlantic City Casino scene. After more than a decade of Casino Gigs, teaching privately and working as a substitute teacher in the public schools, Fred Rushmore made the transition into the world of the public school classroom. His 1st fulltime music ed. Position was in Manahawkin at Stafford Intermediate School. Two years later he returned to Mays Landing where he has taught Elementary Band at the Hess School for more than a decade. In January of 2003, out of a community need for Symphonic Band Literature, the Hamilton Township Community Band was born. The band is an intergenerational band comprised of students age 12 and adults up through their 70’s. For the most part the goal of the H.T.C.B. is the pursuit of Symphonic literature; however the band has also spent time with a variety of Jazz, Pop & Show music. In addition to his daily “gig” of teaching Elementary Band at the Hess Educational Complex in Mays Landing, Fred continues to teach privately at Cygnus Creative Arts in Egg Harbor Twp. and plays professionally on weekends with a variety of contractors in and out side of the Casino Industry.

Ron Mortillite – Drums & Percussion

Ron Mortillite Mr. Ron taught for many years at Music Central and is an accompanist for the dance degree program at Stockton University.  Mr. Ron has an extensive professional background in both performance and teaching.  He is happy to now be a part of the Cygnus Faculty. Mr. Ron is still actively performing thought the tri-state region with professional music groups.  Please call (609) 272-1199 to schedule your private with Mr. Ron today!


Ed McCabe – Guitar  

guitarEd McCabe is a professional band musician and has performed with Borzoi, New York Rock Ensemble, Walt’s Garage, Trilogy and Ed Manion of the South Side Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. He is a New York City session player with Lifelong Records and plays a wide range of styles to include: rock, jazz, contemporary, acoustic styles to name a few. Ed is a knowledgeable guitarist with 30 years of successful private lesson instruction and is experienced in repair and setup of string instruments and associated electronic equipment.

Anthony Reo – Strings, Brass, Woodwind

Anthony ReoAnthony Reo’s musical experience started when he was 10 years old.  He began taking lessons on the drums, then guitar.  In high school, he played with various local bands and in college studied guitar with two jazz greats Harry Leahy and Wallace Richardsons.  He took private lesson for flute, classical guitar, and studied string bass with Chris White.  He graduated with a B.S. in Music Education from Rutgers University. His teaching experience includes private lessons at Music Central where he taught violin, piano, saxophone, cello, banjo, flue bass and guitar.  He also teachers theory and composition. Mr. Reo loves teacher and some of his students have gone on to be accepted to prestigious programs such as The Berklee College of Music.

Emily Putiri – Voice

Emily PutiriEmily is a graduate of Eastern University where she studied classical vocal technique and had extensive classical vocal training. During her years in college she earned a position in Turning Point which is the most elite and challenging vocal ensemble the university offers. She has toured up and down the east coast including places like New York City and Boston as well as internationally in places like Paris, Quebec City, Toulouse, and Montreal. Although she is classically trained, she has sung in a variety of different groups such as gospel and jazz and has even soloed numerous times for these groups. Her diverse musical experience, passion for teaching, and years of experience as a vocal instructor have led her to excel in her field both professionally and with her students.



Steve Gibson – Visual Arts 

SteveSteve Gibson is an artist/ painter whose technical abilities fuse ideas from traditional oil painting, with that of automotive paint application.  He has a BA in Fine Art from Flagler College in St.Augustine, FL. He also holds studio classes in traditional approaches to drawing and painting.  His fine art efforts have been recognized by curators from both The Philadelphia Museum of Art as well as The Whitney Museum of Art with selections into group exhibitions in both Long Beach Island and New York City. His experimental nature, combined with a colorful and versatile work history make his pieces both highly original at their core as well as masterful in their execution.His automotive work has been recognized by  Airbrush Action Magazine and Airbrush Step By Step Magazine (Germany) where he has been a contributing writer.   He maintains a commercial studio in Marmora, NJ and is married with two kids and a pug.

Christine A. O’Brien – Visual Arts

Christine Chris OBrienO’Brien is a painter and graphic designer who owns her own art company, Design It. At a very early age, she knew she wanted to become an artist. She took private and group lessons before attending Richard Stockton State College. There she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts, majoring in Graphic Design.  She has been teaching children’s art classes at local creative art centers for over 15 years. Centers include the Noyes Museum of Art, Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, and Ventnor City Arts Center. Personally, her artistic interests include oil painting, oil pastels, and photography. August 2014 she had her first solo art show at Village On the High in Millville and regularly enters local shows. Christine owns her own company, Design It, specializing in signs, murals, art parties, and fine art. She has also been at Margate Community Church Nursery School since 1998, working as an assistant teacher. She lives in Egg Harbor Township with her husband and two daughters.

Michele Pasciullo – Visual Arts

Michele P. ArtMichele studied Graphic Design at Cumberland County College but found her true passion creating mosaics in 2008.  There was something about the hands-on experience of moving the little pieces of tesserae into a design that was so satisfying and therapeutic.  Inspired by the natural beauty of the coast and the feelings it evokes, Michele combines bright colors and interesting materials like glass and mirror to make happy vibrant designs.  She has displayed and sold her work at many venues around South Jersey as well as online.  You can visit some of Michele’s online work at Purple Lotus Mosaics

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