Spyridon Pavlakos

Owner/Artistic Director/Teacher

Spiro Pavlakos, who grew up here in Astoria, started dancing at Cathy’s Dance Studio back in the 1980s. Spiro went on to train at Steps in New York City, Broadway Dance Center, and Peridance Center, under the tutelage of renowned dance instructors Joseph Lanteri, Daniel Tinnazi, Patricia Wilcox, Denise Webb, Susie Taylor, Cecilia Marta, Michelle Kadison, Natasha Baron, Slam, Karl Barbee, David Everett, David Storey, Finis Jhung and Peter Schabel.

Spiro has used his wonderful choreography and dance skills to train generations of young dancers in Astoria for many years now, at Cathy’s, at Callina’s School of Classical Ballet, and at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, where Spiro is frequently a guest choreographer. Being able to own and run Cathy’s Dance Studio is a dream come true and a labor of love for Spiro, who has dedicated his life to youth, to dance, and to Astoria.

Jessica Nieto-Saraiva

Assistant Artistic Director & Manager

Jessica started dancing at Cathy’s at the age of two. She is a graduate of The Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. In addition, she has studied at Alvin Ailey and the American Ballet Theater Chelsea Piers (Acrobatics/Gymnastics).  Jessica has performed at The American Ballet Theater (REFLECTIONS), New York City Ballet/Lincoln Center (THE HUNT), Metropolitan Opera House (RODEO) and City Center (SWAN LAKE/RODEO). She holds a BA from John Jay College.

Mariana Kerrigan

Assistant Artistic Director & Teacher

Mariana began dancing at Cathy’s when she was 5 years old and has studied dance at Broadway Dance Center, Peridance Center, and Steps on Broadway. Mariana has been teaching dance to children and adults for many years at both Cathy’s and at Callina’s School of Classical Ballet.

Additionally, Mariana is a Dance Vendor with the NYCDOE as well as a NYCDOE middle school special education teacher.  She choreographs and coaches shows at various NYC Public Schools. Mariana holds a a BA from Hunter College and MS from Touro College .

Jessica Guerra 

Instructor: Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern

Jessica Guerra studied at Callina's School of Dance in Astoria for over 25 years. She was a teacher there for over 15 years under the direction of Callina Moraytis and assistant director Spiro Pavlakos.  Additionally, she has trained with various instructors from Broadway Dance Center, Alvin Ailey, Dance New Amsterdam, and Peridance Center in ballet, contemporary, Horton, modern, tap, jazz, hip hop and theater. Jessica has also performed at Astoria Manor for the Ronald McDonald House charity, and at Merce Cunningham Center for the Performing Arts.  Jessica holds a B.A. from Fordham University and currently works in Hospital Administration.


Effie Misoulis

Executive Director

Effie Misoulis grew up in Astoria NY, went to Queensboro Community College, and is currently a District Admin for FedEx.  She has been supporting Cathy's Dance Studio and attending Cathy's Shows for over 30 years.  Effie is working with Spiro to help with managing many of the behind-the-scenes business and marketing aspects of running the studio.

Alicia Sammarco-Reyes

Guest Instructor: Tap, Jazz, Ballet

Alicia began dancing at the age of 10 at Callina's School of Classical Ballet.  She has been teaching dance for 14 years at Callina's and now at Cathy's.  She also teaches Zumba and CrossFit, and creates choreography for Sweet 16s. Additionally Alicia teaches Spanish for the NYCDOE at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. Alicia holds a MA from Touro College and a BA in Spanish and Dance from Queens College.

Kirsten Killeen

Instructor: Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Hip Hop, Modern

Anna Guerra

Instructor: Contemporary Jazz, Musical Theater, Street Jazz, Latin Fusion, Gymnastics/Acrobatics, Hip Hop

demi .jpeg
Demi Remick

Demi Remick is a YoungArts Gold winner, Dance Magazine’s Top-25-To-Watch and a Capezio Athlete. Demi tours worldwide as the tap dance soloist with Postmodern Jukebox, at venues like the Sydney Opera House, and is currently a featured soloist at Company XIV in Brooklyn. Demi has danced for Caleb Teicher & Co, Dorrance Dance, Jason Samuels Smith, Bill T. Jones, Lisa LaTouche and Monica Bill Barnes. Demi teaches at Broadway Dance Center, has a 200hr Yoga Certification, ACE Personal Trainer Certificate, and earned her BFA in Dance from SUNY Purc hase Conservatory of Dance.

Senior Tap Instructor


Anabel, Natasha, Paulina, Scarlet, Ericka, Gabriella, Nicole

Our wonderful TAs assist our teachers with classes, work 1 on 1 with students who need help, and help the studio run seamlessly.