We believe in the power of dance to MOVE and INSPIRE a community.

ASBURY PARK DANCE FESTIVAL brings WORLD RENOWNED DANCERS AND COMPANIES to the Jersey Shore for performances and master classes to support ARTS ED NJ and their mission to make Arts Education available to Every Child, Every Day, Every School MORE INFO


Michelle Fleet

A native of the Bronx, New York, Michelle Fleet began dancing at the age of four under the tutelage of Lee Aca Thompson, she continued her training at Ballet Hispánico, while attending Talent Unlimited H.S. Michelle Fleet earned her B.F.A from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase Collage. Ms. Fleet joined Taylor 2 in 1999 and made her debut with the Paul Taylor Dance Company in 2002. During her 18 year tenure with the Paul Taylor Dance Company Ms. Fleet performed in 72 works in over 90 various roles choreographed by Mr. Taylor. Described in the New York Times by Gia Kourlas as “Strong and musically sensitive, dances as if movement is melting off her body.” Ms. Fleet has been featured in commissioned works by Larry Keigwin, Doug Elkins, Doug Varone, Brian Arias, Margie Gillis, Pam Tanowitz and Kyle Abraham. She has also performed in works by Bill T. Jones, Merce Cunningham, Kevin Wynn and Corbin Dances. In 2019 Ms. Fleet was honored as a Bronx Dance Icon, she has been highlighted in Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, Self, Elle, TimeOut and other notable publications. In 2006 Ms. Fleet earned her M.B.A in Business administration from NYIT. As an entrepreneur Ms. Fleet is founder and CEO of Suri & Caya Fiber Art Designs. Michelle Fleet is also a co-founder of the Asbury Park Dance Festival.


LauraHalzack_headshotLaura Halzack

Growing up in Suffield, Connecticut, Laura Halzack began her dance training at the age of four with Brenda Barna.  She furthered her training at The School of the Hartford Ballet and studied at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in History from the University of New Hampshire in 2003.  She then studied at the Hartt School and at The Taylor School before joining the Paul Taylor Dance Company 2006. During her 13 year tenure in the Paul Taylor Dance Company Mr. Taylor created 16 works on Ms. Halzack, and cast her in 67 of his other works, in over 80 different roles. Ms. Halzack has also performed with the Amy Marshall Dance Company, Syren Modern Dance, in Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels, and in the original works of Larry Keigwin, Doug Elkins, Lila York, Doug Varone, Bryan Arias, Margie Gillis, and Pam Tanowitz. Dance Magazine has highlighted Ms.Halzack in its “On the Rise” and “Behind the Curtain” series, and featured her on its February 2018 cover. Recently retired from PTDC, Ms. Halzack is now a freelance dancer, teacher at the Taylor School, a collaborating artist with @studiothreeny, and a co-founder of the Asbury Park Dance Festival.


MichaelTrusnovec_headshotMichael Trusnovec

Hailed by the New York Times as “one of the world’s most luminous dancers,” Michael Trusnovec grew up dancing on Long Island, graduated from the Long Island High School for the Performing Arts, and earned a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University. For over two decades, Michael was a Principal Dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, creating more than 25 roles with Mr. Taylor, and premiering new works by choreographers including Pam Tanowitz, Larry Keigwin, Margie Gillis and Doug Varone.  Additionally, Mr. Trusnovec was Associate Rehearsal Director, and now serves as the Director of Worldwide Licensing and as a repetiteur of Mr. Taylor’s dances.  Michael was honored with a 2018 Dance Magazine Award, a 2006 Bessie Award, and in 1992 he was a YoungArts awardee and Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He serves on the Board of Directors of Dance Films Association, and is a co-curator for the 2020 Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center.  He is also a National Reviewer and Dance Mentor for YoungArts, and is a co-founder of the Asbury Park Dance Festival.  Michael continues to teach and perform around the world, appearing most recently with New York City Ballet during their  2020 Lincoln Center winter season.


NJCarbone_headshotVJ Carbone

New Jersey native, Vj Carbone is a seasoned public relations executive with over 18 years experience working with film studios including Bleecker Street, Amazon, and Roadside Attractions.  He is currently a Vice President of Publicity at Focus Features spearheading campaigns on award winning films including Brokeback Mountain, Darkest Hours, Moonrise Kingdom, Won’t You Be My Neighbor and Downton Abbey.  In addition to his work in film publicity, he has worked extensively in the non-profit sector as Director of Special Events for organizations including Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the Roundabout Theater Company, He co-founded Asbury Park Film initiative with Marilyn Schlossbach presenting free movies on the beach every summer since 2008.



The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

16 Mount Bethel Road Suite 202, Warren, NJ 07059
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The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.