What is Turn It Up Dance Challenge?

About Us

Read More About our History and Values

About Turn It Up Dance Challenge

As a producer of dance competitions and conventions, we are dedicated to providing high quality, organized, and stress-free platforms for young dancers to improve as artists.

We work hard to provide first class venues, on time scheduling, and a genuine sensitivity to your needs.  We are known for having the friendliest and most helpful staff in the industry and are there to answer any questions you may have. We guarantee that you will feel at home at Turn It Up Dance Challenge.

Our faculty of judges and master teachers are first class and work hard to provide feedback that is detailed, useful and constructive. They recognize that they are working with young dancers and value the importance of the delivery of corrections in order to build confidence while assisting with improvement.

We always have and will continue to appreciate any feedback. Thank you for choosing Turn It Up Dance Challenge. We assure you that your experience will be positive and one that you will look forward to year after year.

"Thanks for a great nationals! My dancers loved every minute of it. The staff was friendly, helpful, and professional. Hope to be back next year!"

SCC Dance Company

Brooklyn, NY

"Thank you for such a great experience! After seeing that you gave out limited platinums, I was already happy but the judges’ comments put you guys first in my book. They were extremely helpful and detailed. Focused on teaching methods, technique, and performance and I truly appreciate the detailed comments that the judges left for me."

DANCE by Kristen

Collinsville, CT

"It was the first time attending your competition and my staff loved it! The critiques were so helpful & we loved it that the judges handed out the special awards. Thank you for a memorable competition weekend ? !"

Miss Tanya’s Expression of Dance

Nazareth, PA

"I absolutely love, love, love this competition!!! I have never been to a competition so organized. My students loved participating and wanted to come back this year. Thank you for making this such an amazing experience."

Re-Evolution Dance Studio

Hialeah, FL

Of the regionals we attending this year, the TIU crew worked the hardest to ensure that everyone, including the audience were engaged and had fun! The pics were amazing and the judges commentary was professional, both critical and encouraging at all levels. Thank you so much, we had a BLAST!

Main Street Dance

Peotone, IL

This was our first time at TIU. I loved everything about this competition, especially the knowledgeable judges. Their audio was by far the best we have had this season! Thank you for such a great experience!

Platinum Dance Company

Newton Falls, OH

We had a blast. Very well done by all staff and crew. Definitely will be returning next year. Organized, safe in a Covid world and professional. 5 stars all around!

Rhythm & Soul Dance LLC

Vero Beach, FL

Studios RAVE about our top notch Crew Members!

Our Crew

Learn About the Faces Behind the Magic!

Melissa 2021 1

Melissa Burns

Melissa Burns has been a long-time, motivated member of the dance industry. Growing up dancing, at an early age, Melissa had the opportunity to dance on board the Norwegian Majesty Cruise Ship, at the Olympic Stadium of Munich, Germany as well as many other cities and countries all over the world.

She then went on to receive a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Fine Arts from Stonehill College located in Easton Massachusetts. At Stonehill College, Melissa studied with such dance professionals as Valerie Robertson and Adriene Hawkins among others. While attending Stonehill College, Melissa founded and directed the Stonehill College Dance Team, which she brought to national recognition in Daytona Beach, Florida. There, her team was featured on CBS Television and received high accolades.

After graduating, Melissa taught Vagonava ballet as well as jazz, tap, hip-hop, lyrical and contemporary throughout the New England area. Melissa was also featured at the Fox Theater of Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Connecticut and at the Avalon in Boston, Massachusetts where she was a finalist with the World-Champion Celtics Dance Team.

Melissa has been highly involved in competitive and non-competitive dance her entire life. During these times she had both positive and negative experiences in the competition industry. With her passion for dance, she saw the need for a professional, yet friendly and accommodating venue for dancers to be able to compete.

Nine years ago she began a journey to fulfill this need through founding the company Turn It Up Dance Challenge, Inc. Understanding what teachers, choreographers, and students endure during practice, performance, and competition, Melissa continues, through Turn It Up Dance Challenge, to give them a competition experience they deserve.

Melissa Burns has been a long-time, motivated member of the dance industry. Growing up dancing, at an early age, Melissa had the opportunity to dance on board the Norwegian Majesty Cruise Ship, at the Olympic Stadium of Munich, Germany as well as many other cities and countries all over the world.

She then went on to receive a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Fine Arts from Stonehill College located in Easton Massachusetts. At Stonehill College, Melissa studied with such dance professionals as Valerie Robertson and Adriene Hawkins among others. While attending Stonehill College, Melissa founded and directed the Stonehill College Dance Team, which she brought to national recognition in Daytona Beach, Florida. There, her team was featured on CBS Television and received high accolades.

After graduating, Melissa taught Vagonava ballet as well as jazz, tap, hip-hop, lyrical and contemporary throughout the New England area. Melissa was also featured at the Fox Theater of Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Connecticut and at the Avalon in Boston, Massachusetts where she was a finalist with the World-Champion Celtics Dance Team.

Melissa has been highly involved in competitive and non-competitive dance her entire life. During these times she had both positive and negative experiences in the competition industry. With her passion for dance, she saw the need for a professional, yet friendly and accommodating venue for dancers to be able to compete.

Nine years ago she began a journey to fulfill this need through founding the company Turn It Up Dance Challenge, Inc. Understanding what teachers, choreographers, and students endure during practice, performance, and competition, Melissa continues, through Turn It Up Dance Challenge, to give them a competition experience they deserve.

Courtney Tagliaferri, General Manager/Client Relations Turn It Up Dance Challenge

Courtney Tagliaferri

Operations & General Manager

PHONE: 617-283-8811
EMAIL: courtney@turnitupdance.com

Our General Manager, Courtney Tagliaferri, joined the Turn It Up team after years of working as a retail professional but is no stranger to the world of dance. She spent much of her childhood, including high school, attending dance competitions and conventions around the United States as well as abroad. Although a Massachusetts native Courtney attended college in Florida and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising. After a successful career in retail she felt something was missing and felt inspired at the thought of providing such a motivating platform for dancers of all ages. Her experience in customer relations and business operations combined with her passion for dance make her a perfect fit for the Turn It Up Dance Challenge team.

Elizabeth Girczyc, Office Director & Registration, Turn It Up Dance

Elizabeth Girczyc Afonso

Web, Systems & Tabulation Manager

PHONE: 617-283-8811
EMAIL: elizabeth@turnitupdance.com

Elizabeth Afonso, also known as Liz, joined our team in 2013 upon graduating college from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. Liz started dancing at the age of three and continued until she was 18. Her favorite styles include tap, hip hop, and acro. Aside from dance, Liz was heavily involved with cheerleading and won many league, regional, state, New England, and National championships with her high school team. Liz lives with her husband Matt and their miniature poodle Calvin and enjoys spending her time off cooking and spending time outdoors. Over the years, Liz has worn many different hats at Turn It Up but she looks forward to taking on her new role as the Web, Systems & Tabulation Manager!

Alyana Trammell – Scheduling & Event Coordinator, Turn It Up Dance

Alyana Titus

Event & Awards Manager

PHONE: 617-283-8811
EMAIL: alyana@turnitupdance.com

Alyana Trammell discovered a love for dance at the age of 3 when her Mom decided to enroll her in a tap class at a local studio in Connecticut. Alyana quickly became enthralled with the craft and began training in all styles, while also competing at the regional and national level. After graduating high school, Alyana moved on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from Fitchburg State University. While in college, Alyana continued dancing and choreographing for the university’s dance club and surrounding community. Alyana was introduced to Turn It Up Dance Challenge in 2014, where she has been able to create countless memories working as a crew member. Alyana is excited to be following her passion in the competitive dance industry and is looking forward to continue growing with Turn It Up Dance Challenge!

Joelle Headshot (2)

Joelle Bellmund

Media & Production Manager

PHONE: 617-283-8811
EMAIL: joelle@turnitupdance.com

Joelle Bellmund started dancing at the age of 11, finding her love of Hip Hop at a friend’s dance birthday party. Her studio’s performance team in Clearwater, Florida offered amazing opportunities to open for chart topping artists such as Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, T-Pain, and more! While Hip Hop was always her passion she studied all styles, and went on to teach Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, and Hip Hop while in High School and College. Joelle graduated from the University of South Florida in 2014 with a degree in Public Health Sciences and started a career in disaster relief with the American Red Cross. A year later she was approached with the opportunity to return to her childhood dance studio as the Director of Operations. This began Joelle’s journey back to the dance world and she could not be more grateful for it! It quickly became clear that behind the scenes, figuring out what made studios/conventions/competitions tick, was where she was meant to be. As a former studio Director Joelle has an excellent understanding the registration process on both sides which makes her the perfect liaison for our clients. Joelle is incredibly excited to be part of the Turn It Up Dance Challenge family and can’t wait to see all of you at this seasons competitions and conventions!

IMG_3579

Stephanie Silva

Travel & Scheduling Manager

PHONE: 617-283-8811
EMAIL: stephanie@turnitupdance.com

Stephanie started her dance journey at the age of 3.  Her passion is in tap dancing, but she has studied in all styles. She has had the opportunity to perform throughout the years including at The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC and Magic Kingdom in Disney.
In 2009, she graduated from the Dance Education Training Course through the Dance Teachers Club of Boston organization, where she went on to teach dance for 4 years.  

Stephanie graduated from Johnson & Wales University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management.  Though her career led her to the hospitality industry, she has never lost her passion for dance, and has even taken some dance classes as an adult.  Stephanie is happy to be a part of the Turn It Up Dance Challenge team! 

IMG_5814

Michelle Slahor

Client Relationship Manager

PHONE: 617-283-8811
EMAIL: michelle@turnitupdance.com

After receiving her bachelors degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Michelle went on to pursue a career in medical simulation where she was fortunate enough to discover her love for production and all that goes on behind the scenes. From ages three-12, Michelle studied and competed in ballet, tap, and jazz. She’s had many hobbies over the years however her love for dance has never waned. Recently she’s ventured into the Latin world of dance, having taken lessons in both salsa and bachata. Michelle is so excited to join the Turn It Up team in a position that allows her to pursue her passion for people, operations, and all things dance! She can’t wait to meet you 🙂

IMG_5910 (1)

Meaghan Ward

Travel & Scheduling Manager

PHONE: 617-283-8811
EMAIL: meaghan@turnitupdance.com

After years of playing sports and taking local dance classes, Meaghan Ward started dancing full time at a local Massachusetts studio at the age of 9. She continued to dance and take part in competitions until she went to college. Meaghan enjoyed not only being on stage but also working backstage at other shows as well. While she enjoyed all styles of dance, her favorite styles include modern, pointe, and hip hop. After years of performing and competing, Meaghan decided to pursue a career in entertainment. She graduated from Pace University in New York City in 2021 with a degree in Arts & Entertainment Management. During her college career Meaghan took part in the Disney College Program and assisted with the opening of Walt Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge in 2019. Meaghan is excited to be back in the dance world and is looking forward to her new role of Travel & Scheduling Manager!

IMG_6058 b&w

Nikki Gyftopoulos

Event & Merchandise Manager

PHONE: 617-283-8811
EMAIL: nikki@turnitupdance.com

Nikki Gyftopoulos aka Nikki Gyfto has been a part of the dance industry in many facets, including dancer, teacher, choreographer, creative director, studio owner, adjudicator, and more. She first joined Turn It Up Dance Challenge as convention faculty, and continued her journey as a national dance team choreographer and competition adjudicator. She now joins the Turn It Up headquarters team to combine her passions of dance, marketing, and event management. From her choreography around the nation, she has received over 50 choreography awards, and most recently was awarded the Industry Dance Awards 2021 Best Performance of the Year. In addition to teaching and choreographing, Nikki is co-owner of Thr3e Live Dance Complex, an industry-level studio in Rhode Island, offering drop-in classes for all ages. She is the creative director of the hip-hop crew LIV3LIHOOD from Providence, RI, which has danced with New Kids On The Block and been awarded Prelude New England 1st Place Champions 2018 and 2019 and World of Dance Boston 2nd Place 2019. Nikki holds a BA in Public Relations and a dance minor from Hofstra University and completed her MBA in marketing at Providence College.

Want to be Part of the Turn It Up Dance Challenge Family?

Join Our Team

We're Always Looking For Great People to Join Our Team!

If interested, please fill out the section below, and a Turn It Up Dance Challenge member will contact you.

Photographer: Capture apx 40 images of each routine. There can be up to 600 routines per weekend. This is a perfect fit for someone with action shot or dance photography experience and who has the stamina to shoot for long periods of time.

Production Team (Sound, Lighting, Video): Responsible for loading in all technical equipment. During the show, capture live footage or work as sound tech monitoring, with detail, music volume, and other technical aspects of the show to ensure a polished production.

Judge or Master Teacher: Must have proper teaching or performance credentials and have a passion for working with young dancers.

Backstage Director: Responsible for communicating and checking in dancers, keeping the show on time, and keeping organization backstage.

Merchandise Sales: This person would remain in the foyer of the event communicating and selling merchandise. The ideal candidate would have some sales or retail experience.

Tabulator: Monitor all tabulation equipment and ensure that each score is accurate. Must be attentive to detail and have strong organizational skills.

Show Director: Most times this position is hired from within. This candidate must be a strong leader, organized, and have strong communication skills.

Emcee: This person is responsible for announcing each routine and hosting our awards ceremony. The ideal candidate would be an upbeat, energetic, clear speaking voice, have impeccable customer service skills, and a passion for what they do.

Truck Driver: Drive 26’ box truck to locations and assist in load in and load out. CDL is required.

 

*All jobs require weekend travel (Friday-Monday).
*Must be available for mandatory training January 2021.

  • Accepted file types: jpg, pdf, doc, docx, pages, , Max. file size: 10 MB.
  • Max. file size: 50 MB.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Turn It Up Dance Challenge’s Core Values

  1. Deliver exceptional customer service.
  2. Believe that honestly is the best policy.
  3. Dedicate yourself to quality, integrity, and professionalism.
  4. Treat your team with respect.
  5. Be enthusiastic & passionate.
  6. Be open to change and innovation.
  7. Commit to excellence.
  8. Embrace responsibility.
  9. Be the change you seek.
  10. Be humble.