A word from Emma Portner...
My name is Emma Portner. I am a professional Choreographer & Dancer who has worked far and wide across the dance industry. I am only 23 years old but my few years as a professional have already shown me more than what my eyes should have ever seen. I have worked with Justin Bieber, Major ballet companies, Netflix, on the West End etc. I am writing this, not to tell you how much I have done, but to explain how opposite Z Artist Group Founder Joelle Cosentino is from the many bad experiences I have had thus far as a professional.
Joelle is the person I turn to when I need advice, support, and consoling when the rest of the dance world has pushed me into a place of pain. Joelle is the type of person that can speed up the process into meeting your better-self. Joelle is a light, and anyone who knows her ... knows her heart. Her students come before anything, and I know that first hand.
Joelle has been a mentor of mine since I was about 14 years old. She was first brought into my world as an extremely wise/diligent competition judge, and then she became an inspiring teacher to me, and then an employer, and now ... a lifelong friend. I have watched her teach, to learn how to become a better teacher myself. I have sat in her passenger seat as she talks ... not about herself ... but as to how I can improve! and to be asked what I am feeling!?
Joelle is completely selfless in that way. She is the person to ask about your feelings first. She is brilliant, loving, kind, hardworking, trustworthy, talented and there are little, to no, other mentors in my life that have been able to run with me as far as Joelle has. Her students are blessed to have had her in our lives. I know I speak for many.
I have known Joelle for many years, first as my daughter’s dance teacher and mentor, and most recently through our working together in her dance and training programs. As a dance instructor and choreographer, she took my daughter from being a dancer to an artist, and throughout the process she fueled her passion for her craft and helped to shape her view of an artist’s place in the world. She is a creative force and her choreography is original, evocative, powerful, sometimes shocking, and always beautiful. As a partner in past and present dance training programs, I have witnessed first hand Joelle the businesswoman and utter force of nature. Joelle, quite simply, gets it done. She has a passion for the world of dance and the world at large. She thinks big, and she makes it happen. She works harder than anyone I know, and she is tenacious in accomplishing her goals. I am proud to call her a friend and a partner.
—Mary Amsterdam, Executive Director, Z ARTISTS GROUP
Training under the guidance of Joelle Cosentino has been a transformative experience for our daughter, both in her technical skills development and artistry. Her unique ability to engage and motivate serious dancers and understanding of physiology and anatomy particular to each student helps identify and target areas for strength development. Joelle’s distinctive choreography and the passion she brings to her work, are brought to life through her students, and are breathtaking to watch. Joelle’s unparalleled work ethic and determination to provide the very best opportunities possible has resulted in amazing performance experiences for our daughter. Finally, her caring nature helps motivate her dancers to become the best versions of themselves both as people and artists. Joelle is always available to lend a listening ear, provide helpful, insightful critiques, and recommend training opportunities designed to bring out individual strengths of each dancer. We are deeply grateful for Joelle's personal investment in our daughter.
-Karen and Christopher Westrick
Joelle Cosentino is truly one of the most talented humans I have ever encountered! Her talent, combined with her work ethic, make her a force. Her innovative choreography is otherworldly. My daughter has been training with Joelle for 8 years. Joelle, by far, has been the most influential teacher in my daughter’s life. She has a way of bringing out the best in dancers and pushing them to new limits. The training Joelle provides is on another level. She instructs impeccable technique and also incredible performance quality. I have full confidence that Joelle is preparing my daughter to go and be a force herself in the professional dance world!
Our daughter has trained with Joelle for approximately the past five years; four of them within a dance studio setting in NJ and this past year with Joelle's comprehensive pre- professional training program out of NYC. Joelle motivates, guides, pushes harder than anyone has ever pushed our daughter to find things within herself she never knew existed. Although proper technique is the cornerstone of her approach, Joelle wants more. She wants aspiring dancers to find their OWN style, their OWN voice...to develop as artists. We followed Joelle from the traditional studio setting because we believed in the potential of her vision and she has far surpassed our expectations. Within this past year our daughter has performed on Broadway, on national television, alongside industry professionals and for world renowned choreographers. How much more could an aspiring young performer ask for???
-The Roque Family
We have known Joelle for about 3 years now. The minute my daughter and her met, they both knew there was a connection. Joelle appreciated a good hard working dancer and Rebecca loved being under the direction of an instructor who had a vision, who believed in her, and who encouraged her to be the best that she can be. Joelle helped Rebecca grow and blossom as a dancer and sparked her love for the arts to be greater and bigger than any way it had been presented to her in the past. Rebecca sees Joelle not just as an educator but also as a mentor and as an example of a strong woman. Joelle’s strength and position through difficult times has made young girls like my daughter understand that a woman can stand strong and accomplish anything she puts her mind on even when things are complicated. That is Joelle to my daughter, and that mentality and attitude can only help a kid understand success and failure are part of life. Joelle has always supported my daughter and all the kids that she is around. She is a real warrior and we are grateful that our daughter gets to work and train under her direction.
I have known Joelle for over 10 years and she has taught both of my daughters, Summer and Skye Sheldrick. My daughter Summer has had INCREDIBLE success as a competition dancer, but the greatest success my daughters have taken away from their training is an incredible network of friends. Joelle promotes a sisterhood among "her kids" and they know that they "have each other's backs" no matter what. My daughters have learned to live life from their hearts and to calmly breath in the face of adversity. My children speak kindly of everyone, and never take themselves too seriously- I think we all could agree that Joelle's sense of humor and ability to put comedic spins on things have helped my daughers' perspectives on life. Summer and Skye have built resumes under Joelle that other young dancers can only dream about: working with Mia Michaels, Nappy Tabs, on TV and on Broadway stages to name a few. My daughters spend time each week on philanthropy- they have learned to think of others as well as themselves. This type of training has made me proud, not only as a dance mom, but as a real mom- and that's what I am first.
-Leanne Lavada (Sheldrick)
My daughter is so fortunate to have Joelle Cosentino as her mentor and dance teacher! Joelle genuinely knows her craft and the science and artistry which creates it. She is ambitious and tenacious for all the right reasons and her heart is huge. Joelle is deeply passionate about what she does in the art of performance as well as instilling the idea in her students that you are on this Earth to do more than just for yourself. Because of Joelle's expertise and knowledge in dance training along with her understanding the importance of developing today's youth to have compassion and social responsibility, my daughter is growing into a well rounded individual/artist. For these reasons I am so proud and honored to have Joelle Cosentino as my daughter's teacher. I wouldn't have it any other way!
Joelle is very passionate about dance as an art form. Her creativity and artistic talents are conveyed through her choreography. The movements bring the music to life and are visually satisfying. Joelle gives the same passion to her dancers. She is totally committed to each one and knows their strengths as well as what each needs in order to develop. Joelle’s training program will not only provide an emphasis on ballet but other genres of dance, as well to ensure the dancers are prepared for both collegiate and professional dance endeavors.
Joelle has been such a positive force in Olivia's dance instruction. She pushes the dancers to be the best they can be, yet individualizing her teachings to best fit each individual dancer. She takes the time to really get to know each student and help mold them into THEIR personal best! She is also very well connected in the dance community. She has given her students opportunities that they could only dream of at such a young age. She has given Olivia, at the young age of 16 , the opportunity to dance at the Chita Rivera awards, to dance at the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade, and to perform at the Guggenheim, having invited Nigel Lithgoe to come see her and the other dancers perform! Opportunities Olivia would not have had elsewhere.
We were first introduced to Joelle when my daughter, Stephanie, began training with her last year. Stephanie was ready to take her training in a different direction, as she aspires to train as a professional dancer. As a teacher, Joelle is the perfect fit for my daughter. She pushes Steph each day to work on her corrections and challenge herself as a dancer, while also forming a connection with her and taking a vested interest in her life. Joelle puts the students needs above her own and has a creative way of both teaching and choreographing. Since beginning her training with Joelle, I can confidently say that my daughter has grown exponentially as both a dancer and a person and considers Joelle one of her dance mentors.