The Velocity Team

At Velocity, our team consists of a variety of trained and experienced teachers.

We have teachers with over 25 years of teaching experience who work alongside young teachers to provide a solid foundation of dance education and creativity.  

Our teachers have a combination of experience that includes:   

  •     professional teaching certifications
  •     collegiate studies of dance pedagogy
  •     dance company experience
  •     dance team performance and choreography
  •     musical theater performance and choreography
  •     collegiate cheerleading
  •     show choirs
  •     off-Broadway productions
  •     music videos 


Kelly Gagliardi-Dieguez (Artistic Director)Kelly has been teaching dance for over 25 years. Kelly studied music, tap, ballet and pointe locally and then went on to study tap and jazz while in college. At a very young age Kelly began her dance training with her mother, Joan Distin Gagliardi.  She furthered her dance studies at Broadway Dance Center, NYC, Woodpeckers, NYC, Alvin Ailey, NYC, pre-professsional programs in Gainesville, FL and with various master tap, jazz and hip hop artists. Kelly incorporates musicality into her dance classes.  Kelly studied music at CT Music Company and learned musical improvisation while playing trumpet in a Jazz ensemble with the late Sonny Costanzo.  Kelly holds a BA in Communications and Theater Arts and is a graduate of the American Tap Dance Institute. She has choreographed and performed in many local and regional theater productions, pageant troupes, show choirs and dance teams.  Prior to opening Velocity Dance Works, Kelly had taught in a variety of dance programs, that included recreational dance, competition dance, and pre-professional programs.  Her students have won pageants, dance competitions, gone on to perform professionally, dance in college and even have become dance teachers themselves.  In 2015, Kelly  joined The Raw Fest Hip Hop for Hunger initiative and was a judge for the The Raw Fest II battle.    

Kelly opened Velocity to bring a dance program to Central CT that focused on the artistry of dance and would give students of all skill levels an opportunity to learn in a comfortable environment.  Some of Kelly’s Velocity alumni are now members of their college competitive dance teams and ensembles in which they also are choreographers.  

Tap Dancing "Outside the Box"

Kalee Brunelle

Kalee is a graduate of Fairfield University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative and Professional Writing.  When she was five years old, Kalee chose to dance because she thought she was going to learn how to move like Brittney Spears. Almost immediately, she felt at home on the dance floor. The music brought her spirit to life.  Kaylee danced  on a competitive level for 12 years.   While at Fairfield, she was a choreographer and performer with the Dance Ensemble.  Most recently Kalee was the president of the 60+ member ensemble.  “ I am also holding onto my passion for dance by bringing my experience to the Velocity Dance Works team as a new tap, hip hop, and jazz instructor. I am so thrilled to embark on this new journey, and I cannot wait to see what this year has in store!”


Sara Monroe

Sara Monroe, classically trained in Cecchetti ballet since age 3,  began her dance experience  at Marcia Murphy's School of Dance .  With her roots in ballet she later explored Jazz, Broadway, Lyrical, and Hip Hop. Inspired by her high school dance teacher, Kelly Gagliardi, she soon discovered her love of choreography.   Sara is a graduate of CCSU with a BA in Communications.  Sara has been teaching for nine years and has continued her dance education at various workshops and training opportunities in New York City.  Sara’s choreography focuses on creating a story with her unique interpretation of music. Technique is essential, however breaking the standard mold is unique.  "Velocity is not just a dance studio to me, it is a place to express yourself artistically, with friends, without judgements, and in a fun, safe, healthy way. The fact that I get to do it with our amazing students is just an added bonus. I wouldn't trade it for anything."

Kaylee Sisco

Kayley received her BFA in dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Kayley is originally from Southington, CT. She received her dance training from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts under the direction of Linda Burns and intensives including, Paul Taylor, Gallim Dance, Complexions, and the MoveShop. She's performed works by Sidra Bell, Trisha Brown, Andrea Miller, Randy James, Keith Thompson, and John Evans. Her choreography has been performed in numerous student concerts while at RU. She is Zumba certified and is a current member of Joe Monteleone and Dancers based in NYC.

Kylie Noble

Kylie has been assiting with the Velocity Hip Hop program for the past few years. Kylie is currently studying culinary arts in college and continues to dance wherever and whenever she can.  Kylie began her dance studies as a ballet student, and continued to study jazz, contemporary and jazz funk with Velocity while in high school.  Kylie has a natural freestyle ability she loves to share with our students.

 Joan Distin Gagliardi

Joan has taught all forms of dance for many years.  Joan studied dance at the Jack Stanley School of Dance in New York City.  She has perfomed in many dance productions and has been fortunate to have shared the stage with Gene Kelly, Merv Griffin and the Step Sisters. While in New York city she was fortunate to assist Gene Kelly at a national convention and later made the final selection for the New York City Rockettes. Joan opted to return to New Britain, CT and open her own school. Joan was the owner/artistic director of Distin's Dancing School and the Director of the NB YWCA dance program for many years. Joan is known for her "light footed" tap dancing and shares her experience teaching our youth. 

Andrew Mattei

Andrew is a street dancer who hails from Bristol, CT.  Andrew joined the Velocity Team and Student Dance Crew "Max V" in 2014.   Andrew can be seen at many regional Hip Hop Battles such as "Battlefest", and was an inspiration behind the origination of a new battle based in CT, "TheRawFest".  Andrew also has performed with the New Britain based crew "District 13". In 2015 Andrew made a level 1 callback for So You Think You Can Dance, and we hope to see him audition again in 2016.  Andrew began expanding his technical training with Velocity this year, and hopes to bridge the gap between street vs. stage.








Eric Beltrami      


Eric Beltrami is a dancer, choreographer and dance instructor from Wolcott, Connecticut. With his training rooted in an expansive musical theater background, he has gained a holistic understanding of the art of performance, as well as the mechanics of production. Eric has theater training, as well as extensive modern and jazz technique training, from his education at the Waterbury Arts Magnet School, along with three years of collegiate level choreography education. Eric has trained with Velocity Dance Works for over six years in the styles of ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, jazz funk, lyrical and most extensively in contemporary dance. He now serves as a dance instructor for Velocity Dance Works and a choreographer for the senior dancers and crew at the studio. Eric has choreographed for three choreography workshops, two musicals, as well as having performed in musicals and various dance showcases. Eric currently trains at Broadway Dance Center and through various master classes. Eric seeks to hone the dancer's innermost passion and ability through the development of confidence, derived from an innovative and open-minded approach to choreography and training.


 Monica Malek

(Bio coming soon)


Jen Valerio

Jen is a graduate of the University of New Haven.  

(Bio coming soon) 


Alison Bogatay (Guest Master Teacher / Ballet, Contemporary)

(Bio coming soon)




Chloe Ciccone (Bio Coming Soon)

Lauryn Noble: (Bio Coming Soon)