Meet The Director
Heather Van Arsdel
Heather’s love of dance began before she was born. Her mother was a professional dancer of the Joffrey Ballet School and Radio City Music Hall “Corps de Ballet” before opening her own studio in Titusville, Florida. Heather studied and embraced every dance form there -- from ballet and jazz to tap and gymnastics. By her teen years, Heather was commuting long hours to The School of Performing Arts and Southern Ballet Theater. With all of her hard work paying off, she ended up working as a dancer for Walt Disney World, parading down Main Street in the Electric Light Parade and dancing in front of Cinderella’s castle in Mickey’s Christmas Spectacular all before college.
Heather attended New World School of the Arts College in Miami where she earned her Associates Degree in Arts in Dance and shortly after found herself at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC. Throughout her college years, she studied many diverse dance forms ranging from Martha Graham, Musical Theater Styles (Cabaret, West Side Story), African and Contemporary. While working full-time and auditioning, Heather managed to land several gigs -- most notable as a dancer in a Bollywood movie shot on location in NYC that screened in India and choreographed for Jerry Seinfeld’s “Bee Movie”. Consumed by all that NYC has to offer, Heather found herself seeing countless Broadway shows and heading to Madison Square Garden where she first saw the New York Knicks City Dancers which inspired her to audition for the next season. Out of 500 eligible dancers, Heather booked one of sixteen coveted spots on the team for the 1998 season.
From 1998-2004, Heather was a Knicks City Dancer for the NBA as well as a Liberty Torch Patrol dancer for the WNBA. In her second year, Heather was promoted to co-captain of the Knicks City Dancers. During her years on the team she was a featured vocalist singing the national anthem at MSG before games, got to meet the President of the United States, was seen on the David Letterman show and can be found as a Knicks Dancer on “Sex and the City”. Heather also spent time with the Knicks outreach program taking dance and hip hop to inner-city schools in Harlem and the Bronx. Through her love of teaching kids, Heather coached and choreographed the Elite Knicks City Kids Dance Team from 2000-2013 which was made up of 16 dancers aged 6-14. As the program continued to build under Heather’s direction, they were invited to perform at NBA All-Stars Games and featured on WB11 Morning Show, MSNBC, Fox and Friends and The Today Show among many others. Heather’s choreography and coaching with the Knicks led her to be the sole choreographer on set for the premiere episode of the 2012 season for NBC’s Hit Show, 30 Rock.
In 2011, Heather opened Center Stage Dance Studio, excited to guide and train the next generation of dancers. She was asked to help create the Westchester Knicks Dancers for the the Westchester Knicks G-league and opened up that opportunity to Center Stage Dancers, creating a Westchester Knicks Kids Dance Team that allowed young dancers to travel and perform at home games for the 2015-2017 seasons. Throughout the years Heather has continued to coach and choreograph for the China Hoops Dance team and a senior dance team called “The NY Pacemakers” who have recently been selected to travel to LA and audition for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”.
The Cecchetti Method Ballet, Primary through professional