Instructors

Meet the Instructors of Chez Dance


AmandaAmanda Buchanan Darby 2
Darby Clouser 
MikaelaMikaela Fenton Bianca
Bianca Gatto
BrielleBrielle Gatto

 Debbie Debbie Gatto

JasonJason Gonzales

carla-hillCarla Hill

Jess LJessica LaMonaca

 

Alex PaytonAlexandra Payton
Amy
Amy Petrongolo
DaniellePDanielle Polidore RomondMichele Romond LeilahLeilah Santoro SasseMichele Sasse
KimKimberly White-Lindstedt j_williamsJah’meek Williams Gabby Gabriella Yudenich 
Guest Instructors


  • Laney Englehard
  • Rochelle Haynes
  • Barbara Sandonato
  • Jaclynn Dunn

Instructor Bios


 

Amanda Amanda Buchanan began her dance training at Chez Dance at the age of 3. She was a company member for 7 years and participated in numerous competitions, charity events, workshops and fundraisers. In 1995, Amanda was awarded highest scoring senior solo in a national competition. She was invited twice to participate in the Teen Arts Festival at Rowan University, a day dedicated to teens involved in visual and performing arts. Amanda decided to continue her studies in dance by attending Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.While attending Mason Gross she was a finalist for the DancePlus scholarship awarded annually to one student.   As a member of the DancePlus performing group, Amanda had the opportunity to perform for a variety of local events. During her time at Mason Gross, she was able to train with the American Repertoire Ballet and take many master classes at Broadway Dance Center in New York.In addition to teaching at Chez Dance, Amanda taught at Allstar Dance Academy where she helped implement a dance program for children with special needs. Amanda continues to take master classes in Philadelphia and New York. She is thrilled to be teaching at Chez Dance and is very proud of all her students.

 

 

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Darby 2

 

 

Darby Clouser began dancing at Chez Dance Studio at the age of four. Later becoming a member of the company, many years have been spent under the direction of Roseann Gatto. Throughout high school, Darby was a member of the Paul VI Varsity Dance team, performing during halftime at football games. Dancing both during the day at school and at Chez, dance has become a large part of her life. Performing at numerous competitions, games, and shows, she could not just let this part of her life go. After helping classes for years, Darby is excited for her first year of teaching. She is currently studying Speech-Language Pathology at Stockton University with a minor in Childhood Studies. Darby wishes her students good luck in the show and thanks Roe for this opportunity!

 

 

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Mikaela Mikaela Fenton started her dance training at a young age with Chez Dance, under the care of Roseann Mastrogiacomo Gatto.  While training heavily at the studio and dance program in high school, she attended Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre summer program with Anna Marie Forsythe and Martin Lofsness. Mikaela was accepted into the University of the Arts as a Dance Major, granted with a scholarship for Artistry. Currently, she studies under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield. Mikaela is being mentored by Kim Bears-Bailey, Tommie Waheed Evans, trains with Jennifer Bindford-Johnson, Ronen Koresh, Meredith Rainey, Heidi Austin-Cruz and performed in works by Katie Swords Thurman, Sidra Bell, and Tommie Waheed Evans. Mikaela is also a member of Philadanco’s D2 second company, under the direction of Donald T. Lunsford, and founder of Philadanco!, Joan Meyers Brown. Being with the company for a year and a half, she has performed works by Francisco Gella, Donald T. Lunsford, Jeroboam Bozeman, and Lamar Baylor. Mikaela also performed with Philadanco’s first company in their 2015 season “XMAS PHILES” at The Kimmel Center, choreographed and created by Danny Ezralow. Also, she performed in a conjoined show with Pennsylvania Ballet’s Second Company, #2GetherWeDance, under the direction of Francis Veyette. Mikaela looks forward to a life long career of performing and is overjoyed to be teaching back home at Chez, the studio that taught her everything.

 

 

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Bianca Bianca Gatto has been dancing at Chez Dance Studio since the age of two. During that time she was a member of the company for nine years under the direction of Roseann M. Gatto. Throughout her years at Chez, Bianca has won numerous competitive awards such as “Poetry in Motion” and the “Most Intense Dancer” awards. At a dance convention in New York City, she won the Tremaine Dance Scholarship and received the “Studio Dancer of the Year” award. Bianca has performed at many different venues, including Universal Studios, Magic Kingdom, Downtown Disney, Merriam Theatre, Drake Theatre, Philadelphia 76ers, Harlem Globetrotters, and the Garden State Dance Festival. She has also performed and choreographed for numerous senior citizen homes, a show in honor of the 9th and 10th anniversary of 9/11, for the Terry Myers Showcase, and for the “Everybody Loves Italian” Festival in Atlantic City numerous times. In 2003 and 2004, Bianca danced the lead Pulchinelle in the Nutcracker with the professional ballet company, Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Theatre. She was also a member of the modern dance company, Enso Ensemble directed by fellow teacher, Michele Sasse. In 2011, Bianca graduated with honors from the University of the Arts, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Jazz Dance. She was also awarded Most Academic by her graduating peers. Since 2011, Bianca has been a featured product model on the QVC Channel and most recently, was a featured clothing model for the Fan Treasures Commercial on ESPN. In March of 2015, Bianca won the Viewer’s Choice Harlequin Scholarship for her choreography of the Platinum Award winning dance, “No Trace.” One of Bianca’s proudest accomplishments was during this past 2015-2016 competition season, where her choreography for the Platinum Award winning dance “Elephants” won the “Impact Award”, which invites the students of the dance to attend Nationals for free. For the third time, Bianca choreographed for the Downtown Disney, now Disney Springs, performance in Orlando, FL, most recent being March of 2016. She also choreographed many audition dances, where her students got accepted to Colleges such as the University of the Arts, Saint Joseph’s University, and Rowan University. In July of 2016, Bianca co-choreographed and was one of the featured dancers in singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata’s music video called “Nobody.”  Currently, she is contracted through Center Stage Entertainment working and dancing for various events and venues in Delaware and Atlantic City. This is Bianca’s 11th year as a teacher at Chez Dance, and we are delighted to have Bianca on our teaching staff. She would like to take this opportunity to say how proud she is of all of her students, and to thank all of the students and parents who have supported her in the past. She will never forget their kindness.

 

 

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 Brielle

 

 

 

Brielle Gatto began her training at Chez Dance Studio under the direction of Roseann Mastrogiacomo Gatto.  She has won numerous competitions and special awards.  Brielle is a two-time recipient of the Tremaine Dance scholarship in New York City and was a member of the Jr. 76ers Dance Team.  She also performed as Clara in the Nutcracker for two consecutive years with Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Theatre.  Brielle has performed at the Merriam Theatre, with the Harlem Globetrotters, at Rowan University, Universal Studios, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Downtown Disney, Citizens Bank Park and many other places throughout the Delaware Valley. Brielle graduated from the University of the Arts in 2013 with a BFA in Jazz Dance.  She was also a member of Enso Ensemble under the direction of Michele Sasse and is contracted through Center Stage Entertainment working and dancing for various events and venues.  Since graduating, Brielle has been featured numerous times as a QVC product model. After two years on the Philadelphia Dream Team, Brielle recently completed her first year on Luvabulls Dance Team, where she made many appearances for promotions and fans, while performing at the games. She also danced during the 89ers games at Delaware University. Brielle also got the chance to perform alongside rap singer Busta Rhymes in Philadelphia. For the second time, Brielle choreographed for our performance in Disney Springs, Orlando, most recently being in March of 2016. We are so proud of her accomplishments and wish her luck in the future!
 

 

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Debbie Debbie Gatto was six years old before taking her first dance class, and she quickly caught up with the dance world.
A talented dancer and quick study, she began her dance teaching career after winning the title of “Miss Marlton.” After placing first in the talent event in the Miss Burlington County Pageant, she was offered her first teaching job at a local dance studio. Debbie has served as both judge and choreographer in several Miss America pageants.   She has been a guest instructor at the Dance Masters of America, Professional Dance Teachers Association and the International Dance Techers Association. “Show me a tap shoe and I’ll make it tap.” Debbie believes in a very regimented style of teaching that leaves each student who passes through her class with a very strong understanding of what makes a dancer the best performer they can be…repetition, repetition, repetition. It is Debbie’s insistence that all dancers have a solid foundation in the basic rudiments of tap. This insistence has led her dancers to unwavering success. During her thirty years of teaching, her students have won over 200 first place awards in various dance competitions, many of them dancing to original choreography by
Debbie herself. She is especially proud of her Junior and Senior Tap Ensembles for being awarded Critics Choice Award at the New York City Dance Alliance Regional Competition in 1999 and 2003.  In 2003, Debbie served as Artistic Director of Jazz Unlimited Tap Ensemble. Before joining the staff at Chez Dance she owned and operated her own studio.   Debbie has trained some of the most outstanding young performers in the Mid Atlantic Region. Under her direction, Shane Rutkowski became one of the “Netherlands Kids” and performed in Amsterdam for the Queen of the Netherlands. Debbie is thoroughly enjoying teaching with the Chez Dance staff and her students. She wishes them the best of luck in the show.
 

 

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Jason Jason Gonzalez started dancing at the age of thirteen only studying hip hop dance. After performing in the Garden Sate Dance Festival, he wanted to pursue different styles of dance. He then started training at different schools in the South Jersey & Philadelphia areas. In 2014, Jason graduated from the University of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Performance. After graduating, he danced with Eleone Dance Theatre for their 2016 spring season and in the Dumbo Dance Festival in New York under Annielille Gavino Kollman’s Malayaworks. For the 2016-17 season he will be the assistant choreographer for the Eagles Cheerleaders. Jason is very excited to be working with the students at Chez Dance, and congratulates them on all of their hard work!

 

 

 

 

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carla-hill Carla Hill has been a member of Scull and Bones Dance Company for the past 6 years. She is a local dance educator and performer. Her dance training primarily consisted of classical ballet, jazz, and modern dance which started at Gwen Bye Studio in Philadelphia and continued at Chez Dance Studio until she attended college. She also has a background in Latin and ballroom dance styles. She holds a BFA in Dance (2005) and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (2009) from Temple University. She has performed in the Philly Fringe Festival, the Philadelphia Rocky Dance Awards, at Show Up and Dance New Jersey, the Etc. Performance Series, and the Inhale Performance Series. She has taught off and on in the South Jersey and Philadelphia areas. She continues to take classes at various dance studios and master classes in the Philadelphia area. She hopes to continue to perform and expand on her skills as a performer and teacher so that she may offer her students the most rewarding experience.

 

 

 

 

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Jess L Jessica LaMonaca has been dancing since the age of three at various studios in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York. She has been in numerous musicals and shows, as well as three different competition teams.  She grew up attending Cab Calloway School of the Arts as a dance major for 6th-12th grade. She has been with the Philadelphia 76ers as a member of the Dream Team for three NBA seasons. The Sixers have given Jessica the opportunity to back up dance for multiple recording artists, travel to China, and participate in the 2015 NBA All-Stars event. She has been assisting and teaching since she was twelve years old. She loves Chez and has had a blast during her first year teaching here!

 

 

 

 

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Alex Payton Alexandra Payton was introduced to dance at the age of three. Her training included hip-hop, tap, ballet, gymnastics, modern/jazz and pointe. As a special education teacher, Alex has found a balance of infusing both academic and dance instruction by cultivating energy and enthusiasm into her classrooms. The love and passion she has for dance continues to be the driving force of molding her dancers to discover their own passions and desires to excel.  While growing up as a member of the Jazz Unlimited Dance Ensemble of Marlton, NJ, Alexandra studied under such talented choreographers as Billy Angell, Meghan Braun, Molly Misgalla and Carryl Slobotkin, and attended master workshop classes taught by Dan Karaty, Desmond Richardson, Dave Scott, Laurie Ann Gibson, Paula Abdul, Gil Stroming, and Chris Judd. Alexandra went on to attend Shippensburg University and became apart of the In-Motion Dance Troup that took a national title at the Reach the Beach Competition in VA. Since graduating, she went on to perform for the Philadelphia KiXX, became Captain of the Philadelphia “Soul”mates in 2011, and was chosen as the representative for the Philadelphia AFL Dream Team that performed at the Arena Bowl XXVIII in Phoenix, Arizona. She was also featured in a Sports Illustrated article covering the Dream Team journey. In 2010, Alexandra also became a certified Zumba® Instructor and choreographed for the Aqua String Band, who earned 4th place in the Mummers’ Day Parade.  While in 2012 she became a prospective dancer for the Philadelphia 76ers, she decided to continue her focus and attention on educating her students in the studio. Her desire is to teach and be taught by every dancer that walks into her classroom. As a means of keeping up with the ever changing styles, Alexandra continues to travel around the tri-state area to further her knowledge and understanding of movement.  She received her Master’s Degree in Special Education in the fall of 2009, and is currently applying to receive her PhD in school psychology. Although she teaches during the day, dance continues to be her first love and a priority in her life. She looks forward to working at Chez Dance Studio and inspiring her students to tap into their creative side and express the passion that they, too, have for dance.

 

 

 

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Amy Amy Petrongolo has long been a familiar face at the Chez Dance Studio, having been affiliated for thirty seven years. First having danced at age six, Roseann Mastrogiacomo Gatto has been her principal teacher throughout. While attending a Tremaine workshop with the Chez Dance Company in New York City, Amy received a scholarship from Serge Rodnunsky Arts Center, Studio City, CA. In the summer of 1992, Amy was chosen as a scholarship student with the Philadelphia Dance Company. Amy is a graduate of the University of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Modern Dance and Dance Education. During her time at the University she has performed at the Merriam and Drake Theatres in Philadelphia. She is very happy to have received a scholarship to attend the University, where she furthered her education. Amy has also taught for Gloucester Township Summer Stage where she choreographed the stage production of “Jungle Book.” Amy has long shown her dedication in becoming a dancer and choreographer. She started a program called Mommy and Me at Chez Dance with great success. Amy has also choreographed for the Chez Dance Company to perform at the Philadelphia 76ers, the halftime show at the Globetrotters and for the sixth time in Orlando, FL. She is extremely happy that the girls did such a wonderful job.  She is an excellent instructor and is thrilled with her students. We are delighted to have Amy as a member of the Chez Dance staff.
 

 

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Danielle P Danielle Polidore spent most of her life cheering, dancing and doing gymnastics. She graduated from Paul VI High School in 2004.  Danielle is a graduate of Stockton University, where she obtained a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education as well as a Bachelors Degree in Literature.  Currently, she is a teacher for Monroe Township Public Schools.  Danielle has coached competitive gymnastics for eight years.  Prior to having her daughter in November 2014, she worked at Rainbow Gymnastics in Sewell, NJ.  Danielle is so thankful to be part of the Chez Dance Family.

 

 

 

 

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Romond Michele Romond trained as a young girl at Chez Dance Studio. She went on to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts of Dance with a focus in Modern Dance from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1998. While attending the University of the Arts, Michele performed in many concerts at the Drake, Merriam and Kumquat Theatres in Philadelphia.  Michele is a part of fellow teacher Michele Sasse’s modern dance company, Enso Ensemble.  As part of Enso, she has performed in and choreographed for the Philly Fringe Festivals, Frankford Arts Festival and other Enso productions. In addition to performing, Michele has been teaching and choreographing in the South Jersey area for years. Her work ranges from musical theater to night club cabaret.  Michele co-choreographed with fellow Chez Dance teachers on the music video and production of Rachael Yamagata’s music video called “Nobody” from her new album.

 

 

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Leilah Leilah Santoro began dancing at Chez Dance at the age of five and remained a student of the studio for seventeen years. As a Chez Dance Company member of nine years, Leilah participated in many performances at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. She also performed in a number of local events and competitions including the Tremaine Dance Convention in New York City and the National Dance Showcase in Atlantic City. Leilah has also participated in various University of the Arts performances at both the Merriam and Drake Theaters. In June of 2003, Leilah graduated from Chez Dance as a senior company member to attend Temple University. Considering her passion for dance has always been a major part of her life, Leilah joined Temple’s Diamond Gems Dance Team where she performed for the university’s football and basketball teams at both Lincoln Financial Field and the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. During this time, Leilah also danced professionally with the Gemini Dance Projex modern company under the artistic direction of Jeanine Shoemaker. With this company, Leilah performed in multiple performances at the Drake Theater, Kimmel Center for Performing Arts in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Arts Bank and was a guest artist in the Garden State Dance Festival in Collingswood, New Jersey. In 2007, Leilah transferred from Temple to attend Rutgers University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in General Science. Leilah has performed with the professional modern company Enso Ensemble under the direction of Michele Sasse.  She continues to take classes in New York, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City to further her dance background. Leilah received her Associate of Science of Nursing from Gloucester County College and has become a registered nurse. This is Leilah’s thirteenth year teaching at Chez Dance and she is very excited to share her extensive dance background with her students.

 

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Sasse Michele Sasse is happy to be teaching at Chez Dance Studio where she studied as a young student, danced as a Senior Company member and first began teaching. She graduated in 1993 from the University of the Arts with a BFA in Modern Dance.  At the University of the Arts, she was a recipient of the Pulaski Dance Scholarship and was recognized by the faculty as “Outstanding Performer In Modern Dance.” Michele has established herself as an accomplished performer, choreographer and instructor. She made her debut in New York City performing in the Off-Broadway play “Sisters Dance” under the direction of Maja Lorovic. She worked for many talented choreographers including Henning Rubsam of Sense Dance, Robert Battle and Patricia Kenny of the Parson’s Dance Company and Peter Pucci of Peter Pucci Plus. In addition, Michele has performed for Blue Moon Enterprises at New York City’s Symphony Space, the Akzent Theater in Vienna and the Nederlands Theatre in Holland in the Modern Dance Musical “Listen to the Colors.” She toured with Peter Pucci Plus in Colorado, San Diego, Dubai (U.A.E.) and Thailand and was a company member of Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends based in New York City. Michele’s performances with Isabel have been seen in New York, Toronto, Athabaska, Winnipeg, San Francisco, Mexico and Germany. Michele’s own choreography has been graciously recognized throughout New York and Canada in many dance festivals and she has taught in several studios throughout New York including The Ballet Arts of Forest Hills, The Sandra Cameron Dance Center, and Queens Dance Academy. Michele also directed and choreographed the children’s program for the Isaac Chauncy Public School in Glendale, NY.  Michele has served as an adjunct faculty member at Rowan University’s Department of Theatre and Dance and is the founder and artistic director of Enso Ensemble. Michele  co-choreographed and was one of the featured dancers in singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata’s music video called “Nobody.”

 

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Kim Kimberly White-Lindstedt has been teaching at Chez Dance for the past sixteen years. She began her dance training here at the age of eleven studying ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance. Kimberly graduated from the University of the Arts with a BFA in Dance Education concentrating in Modern Dance. She graduated with honors and was the recipient of many awards including the Promising Artist Scholarship, Outstanding Student Teacher, and the National Dean’s List.  Kimberly has performed at the Merriam and Drake Theaters in Philadelphia, The Danny Kaye Playhouse in New York City, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and also on WPVI’s Puerto Rican Panorama. She again received another privilege when asked to perform with Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project as a community cast member. She became involved in outreach activities with public and private schools in the tri-state area through Connections Dance Company, Delaware Valley Institute for the Arts, and Delaware Institute for Arts in Education. Kimberly was nominated for Who’s Who in America’s Women and was very excited about that honor. Currently she teaches mommy and me, ballet, jazz, modern and creative dance here at Chez. Kimberly also is a substitute teacher in the public school districts.
 

 

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Jah'Meek Williams Jah’meek D. Williams, is a native of Brooklyn, NY.  He began dancing at the age of eleven at his Church St. Paul’s Community Baptist Church where he joined a Youth Dance Group called V.O.P (Vision of Praise) under the direction of Serina Young and Deborah Barton. In 2006, Jah’meek attended Purelements Evolution in Dance under the direction of Lakai Worrel, Kevin Joseph and Dina Wright Joseph. In 2008, he began dancing at Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn under the direction of Jamel Gaines were he trained in Ballet, Modern, African, Jazz, and Hip Hop. Jah’meek has performed all over New York City with Creative Outlet.  In 2010, Jah’meek graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. He is C0-Founder and Director of JAH’KEV Productions. Jah’meek attended University of North Carolina School of the Arts as a Contemporary Major. He joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2011. Jah’meek graduated from The University of the Arts with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance. He is also a member of the Philadanco Dance Company.
 

 

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Gabby A native of southern New Jersey, Gabriella Yudenich began her dance training at the age of seven, with the Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet. She also trained under the guidance of her mother, Barbara Sandonato, who was the first dancer hired to be a member of the Pennsylvania Ballet in 1963. Ms. Yudenich attended the School of American Ballet under full scholarship for two years. She also completed summer sessions at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Ms. Yudenich performed with Pennsylvania Ballet in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew before becoming the first member of Pennsylvania II, the Joyce and Herbert Kean Trainee program. She became an Apprentice in September 2003 and was promoted to the Corps de Ballet in September 2005. She has performed in many classical and contemporary ballets including Christoper Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Matthew Neenan’s Carmina Burana and many pieces from the Balanchine repertoire. Her lead roles include Myrta in Giselle, Lilac Fairy and Precious Jewels pas de trios in Sleeping Beauty and Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker. Ms. Yudenich was promoted to Soloist for the 2007-2008 Season. In addition to being a Soloist with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Ms. Yudenich teaches at Chez Dance Studio and is a guest teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Central New Jersey Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet, Saint Louis Ballet School and the Performing Arts School of Central Pennsylvania. Ms. Yudenich is a true product of Pennsylvania Ballet history. Her mother, Barbara Sandonato, was a star member of Pennsylvania Ballet throughout the 1960’s and early 1970’s, and her father, the late Alexei Yudenich, was also a leading member of the Company during that time. In 2013, Gabriella decided to retire from the Pennsylvania Ballet, yet she’s still remains a staple dancer its history.
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