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Our Team

​Our team is composed of dynamic individuals who have a passion and dedication to dance and the expressive arts. Each team member is a specialist in their field. Our continued success depends on every member of the team from the back-end to the front lines of our studio spaces. We will continue to exercise passionate and motivated people that work alongside our students and their families every step of the way! Our team is the primary reason our students and families recommend Step By Step. 

We are always looking to expand our class schedule to include additional programming. If you are interested in joining our team, offering a specialty workshop, or learning about our internship opportunities, please send your resume and cover letter to pamelacaira@stepbystepinc.com


Staff Pic

Valerie Amaral

(She, Her, Hers)

Valerie Amaral has loved music and dance for as long as she can remember. Refusing to leave the house without wearing a tutu, she began taking dance classes at age three. Valerie joined Step By Step as a student in 1999, taking Hip-Hop classes. She quickly became a classroom assistant under the direction of Pamela Caira. Between 2005-2009 Valerie was the Step By Step Office Manager in addition to teaching preschool classes, Kinderdance, tap, jazz, and hip-hop. She has a BA in Corporate and Organizational Communication from Framingham State University. As Communication Coordinator, her goals are getting the world to sing and dance together. 

Demetra Chastang

(She, Her, Hers)

Demetra has had a passion for performance arts her entire life, beginning her study of dance at age three. She joined the Step By Step family in 2012, and currently serves as the studio Office Manager and Director of the Next Step Dance Company. Her students have been honored at dance competitions and performance showcases, winning overall and specialty awards for choreography, technique, costuming, and concept. Always seeking to provide additional performance opportunities, Demetra’s students have traveled and performed in Walt Disney World, NYC Fleet Week, Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting Spectacular, pregame for the Boston Celtics, and at halftime for the Harlem Globetrotters. Community-based performances are her favorite, notably the Boston Marathon tribute “Beat As One” music video

She is grateful that Step By Step has given her the opportunity to work with numerous charitable organizations including Dancing with the Waltham/Newton Stars, the Andrea Rizzo Foundation, Christmas in the City, and the Boston Firefighters Burn Foundation. She loves watching her students grow into confident young adults. The studio is her home away from home and she truly appreciates her Step By Step family. She currently teaches jazz, contemporary, and musical theatre.

Amanda Dragani

(She, Her, Hers)

Amanda Dragani is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, adjudicator and media creator located in the Boston area. She grew up immersed in the competition circuit and continued on to study dance collegiately. Amanda graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance concentrating in Dance & Media. This prestigious program was under the direction of Katie Langan. While at Marymount, Amanda studied under Nancy Lushington, Alberto Del Saz, and Francois Pender in a variety of styles, with tap as her main focus. She also was able to vigorously train at both Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway with various professionals including: Keenan Cooks, Chio, Ryan Daniel Beck, Charles Renato, Sarah Reich, and Derick Grant. Upon graduating, Amanda began teaching both recreational and competitive dancers in the New England area as well as touring nationwide with dance competitions.  Alongside her competition-based work, Amanda coordinates social media and marketing efforts for dance-related businesses. Most recently, she has become a member of Drumatix Tap Company and performs at events coordinated throughout New England.

Ricardo Foster Jr

(He, Him, His)

Born and raised in Boston, Ricardo has been involved with the entertainment industry for over 20 years. Using his special talents as a dancer, choreographer, performer, actor, comedian, stunt coordinator/choreographer, and singer with his love for education, Ricardo has had the opportunity to teach every level of schooling, from elementary to college. Due to his involvement with highly recognized projects and being showcased on different platforms of entertainment, Ricardo has been dubbed a world-renowned choreographer while continuing to be a devoted school teacher. While using comedy, simple physical analogies, and a story-like premise behind all his classes, he looks for his students to find a new appreciation for themselves as well as the subject he is teaching.

Mikaila Gnerre

(She, Her, Hers)

Mikaila found an early love of dancing in toddler ‘Mommy-and-Me” classes at her local rec center. From there she went on to train at a studio and later entered the competition world for several years. Since graduating high school, Mikaila has taught dance for studios, YMCAs and choreographed for the Lesley University Dance Team. Currently a senior in college studying Social Work and Expressive Art Therapy, Mikaila is excited to learn and grow during her time with the studio in hopes of sharing her love for the sport.

Tracy Martocchio

(She, Her, Hers)

Tracy Martocchio is a Boston native with a passion to move. Her love for movement and exploring the body’s physical capabilities started long before her dance training did. As a small child climbing trees and the 30-foot mountain in her suburban backyard were her happiest moments. Tracy started her dance training at what some might call the late age of sixteen. She trained in a pre-professional program in Medford, MA at The Dance Heaven. Her raw talent combined with her unwavering dedication to perfect her art form granted her accepted into Dean College’s Dance Program where she earned her BA in Performing Arts, 2014. After college Tracy moved to Miami, FL where she began her teaching career at the prestigious dance studio of In Motion Performing Arts Center. She taught and performed in South Florida regularly for 3 years and relocated back to Boston in 2017. Her versatile training allows her a wide range of genres she can teach in the classroom. Such as Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, acrobatics and Hip-Hop. Currently she is teaching at several studios in the Boston Area as well as a company member of Rainbow Tribe, Inc.


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Waltham, MA 02453
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