Lead Dance Instructor
Andrea has been dancing since the age of two. She was born in Rochester, New York in 1972 to Jeanne Ann and Joseph Tornabene. Andrea and her family, along with her older sister Tricia, moved to Cape Coral, Florida in 1977. That same year, Andrea began dancing at Robin Dawn Academy of Performing Arts. She attended and graduated from Cape Coral High School in 1990. Andrea studied jazz, tap, ballet, acrobatics and lyrical at the Robin Dawn Academy and was a member of the Robin Dawn “Showstoppers” competitive dance team. They traveled all over the United States performing and competing regionally, as well as nationally.
Andrea’s first trip to New York City to study dance, participate in competition and begin her performing arts education was at the age of nine. Every summer since, was spent traveling to New York to train at the Broadway Dance Center to expand her arts awareness and education.
During her high school years, Andrea was a member of the Cape Coral High School Marching Band. She was the captain of the drill/dance team called “SeaStars”. Competition was a big part of Andrea’s dance career growing up. She won numerous awards and scholarships in dance and gymnastics. At age fifteen, Andrea traveled all over the United States with Danny Hoctor’s Dance Caravan. She was one of the two youngest members of this elite dance group to be invited to attend. The dancers visited twelve different cities across the USA performing, assisting, and demonstrating for master teachers in workshop classes. In 1982, she attended and performed at the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee and in 1985, she was invited by the United States Government to entertain in Guadalajara, Mexico.
After graduating from High School, Andrea attended Edison Community College on a two year full tuition paid scholarship. After completing one year…Andrea decided to give up the second year of her scholarship to move to Oklahoma City to attend one of the top ranked dance universities in the nation, Oklahoma City University. Andrea received her Bachelor of Science degree in Dance Management. Andrea is one of the few teachers in Southwest Florida to have this degree. While in college, Andrea was an instructor for Applause Dance Studio in Oklahoma City. Also while at college, she auditioned and was the only student hired from the school to work at the Texas based Opryland theme park called “Fiesta Texas”. Andrea was the lead dancer and dance captain for the San Antonio-Fiesta Texas show called “Rockin’ at Rockville High”.
After graduating college, Andrea returned home to Cape Coral and was hired as the Dance Artistic Director for Cypress Lake Middle School, a school for the creative and performing arts in Lee County. Andrea was the director of dance for six years and is certified to teach K-12 with the State of Florida. While at Cypress, Andrea developed a performing dance group called “Ovation’s Dance Company”. The group has performed locally for Fort Myers and competed in Florida representing the magnet school in Lee County. In addition to teaching at Cypress, Andrea was also enormously involved in choreographing and co-managing the Robin Dawn Academy company, “Legends”.
Andrea has studied with numerous master teachers from all over the United States including Mia Michaels (FL), Charles Kelly (NY), Joe Tremaine (LA), Joe Lanteri (NY), Judy Bassing (NY), Dana Michaels (FL), Jo Rowan (OKC) and Lynn Crammer (OKC)to name a few. Andrea is a recognized teacher in today’s dance world. Her students have won numerous awards at local, state and national competitions.
In 1999, Andrea and her husband Tony decided to open up a studio in Port Charlotte, FL called Universal Dance Academy. They both have worked very hard to create the facility that has been going strong for 12 years! They are proud and blessed with the elite reputation that Universal has gotten over the years. In year two, they built the first building that Universal Dance Academy called their own. Growing faster than every expected…a second building was built housing 18,000 sq feet of Dance, Gymnastics, Tae Kwon Do and Preschool classrooms.
While directing Universal Dance Academy, Andrea also was hired and directed North Port High School’s Dance program in the 2002-2003 school year. Andrea was also asked to be the coordinator and host school for the Russian Moscow Ballet “Nutcracker” for two years.
Andrea is a certified teacher with both Nationally recognized organizations, Florida Dance Masters and Dance Masters Of America, Florida Ch #2. She has taught for both organizations as a master teacher for local conventions. Andrea is a DMA Nationally Certified Examiner and is the Examination Chairman for Dance Masters of America, FL Ch. #2. Andrea has judged for regional and National dance organizations and beauty pageants such as Dance Masters of America, Hall Of Fame and Starpower.
Andrea and Tony are also the owners of Universal Learning Center, a VPK Preschool. Andrea currently holds her Director’s Credential for Early Learning Child Care in Florida and VPK Credentials and qualifications.
Andrea and Tony have been married for 15 years and are the proud Parents of two beautiful children, AJ (12) and Ava (9)…two of the greatest accomplishments in their life!