History of Reflections

Reflections in Dance was founded by Doreen Angarano in 1983. A native New Yorker born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Doreen began dancing when she was 9-years-old. She attended a local dance studio and later studied at Alvin Ailey’s. Her passion became clear by age 15, when she began teaching dance to neighborhood kids and became her high school’s resident choreographer.

She attended Dance Educators of America where she became certified to teach all areas of dance, anatomy, and musical theater arts. In 1983, Doreen and her husband Mike opened their first dance studio – with that, Reflections In Dance was born! Doreen’s passion for her craft flourished and the studio was immediately successful.

After the first Reflections location had been open for ten years, Doreen and Mike decided to expand. Doreen asked her assistant Nicole Donlon to join her as a partner and co-owner of a new Reflections studio on Staten Island.  In 1997, the thriving studio expanded to its third location, also on Staten Island.

In August of 1999, Doreen and Mike (and by then, their four children) relocated to California to support their son Michael’s acting career. Nicole managed the New York studios from day-to-day and Doreen commuted several times a year. The arrangement proved successful, but Doreen missed her role in the studio. In 2001, with the support and enthusiasm of her New York team, Doreen opened Reflections West in Woodland Hills, California. It was official, Reflections in Dance was the first (and only) local studio to spread from “coast-to­-coast!” Having now competed nationally for 30 years with multiple studios, Reflections holds hundreds of awards and titles. Our teachers continue to train and are leaders in the field of dance.

Kristen Karasek, Doreen and Mike’s oldest daughter, directs Reflections West alongside Doreen. In 2010, Kristen founded the charity “Dance For a Cure” to leverage the support of the dance community and help raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis. Kristen’s leadership has inspired Reflections students, parents and teachers alike to participate in various charity events and fundraising initiatives. Thanks to Kristen, giving back to those less fortunate is embedded in the foundation of Reflections.

As Reflections continues on into its third decade, still with two main locations in Staten Island, NY, and Canoga Park, CA, we are grateful and humbled for the wonderful families we’ve met and the lifelong friendships we’ve made. We are proud to say many of our alumni students now work professionally and several of Doreen’s students have businesses (including some dance studios!) of their own. The Reflections family spans generations – some of Doreen’s first students now have their own children dancing at Reflections.

Our mission is to continue learning, loving, growing and sharing our passion for dance with each and every student, inspiring them to be the best version of themselves. We encourage our dancers to believe in themselves, and support them as they learn life lessons. We prepare them to leap into the world with grace, self confidence, sportsmanship, and friendships that will last a lifetime.