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Spiro Pavlakos, Co-Owne and Artistic Director, Cathy' Dance Studio Astoria NY

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, Office Manager & Teacher

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, Administrative Coordinator & 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 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.


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.


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

Kirsten began studying dance at Astoria School of Fine Arts at the age five. She later continued her dance training at Callina’s School of Ballet and then here at Cathy’s Dance Studio. Additionally, she has trained at Broadway Dance Center and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. Kirsten attended St. John’s Preparatory School where she was a four-year dance team member and three-year dance captain. During her time in high school, she performed at various events such as the Columbus Day Parade, Central Astoria’s Cultural Exchange Festival, Ninth Avenue International Food Festival, Long Island City Springs, and LIU Post’s Dance Conference. She is currently studying English education and dance at Hunter College. 


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


Scarlett, Natasha, Paulina, Francesca, Georgia

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

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