Meet the Staff
Passion. Experience. Commitment.
Our team of dedicated, professional, and experienced instructors is ready to help students of all ages and skill levels reach their full potential. We are committed to high-quality instruction and 1:1 personal attention to ensure every dancer gets the most out of their time with us. We succeed when our students succeed, and we cheer them on every step of the way.
Elise Gaudino, Founder
Elise Gaudino has been teaching dance in the Greater Rochester area for 35 years, with 25 of those years running Visions Dance Studio, Inc. She began her training at local studios, and worked her way up to competitive dance, while also studying at workshops and convention classes across the East Coast. Elise performed for a year at the Walt Disney World Park in Florida as a dancer and character performer. Starting as a dance major at SUNY Brockport, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, a minor in Sociology, while also earning a place in Psi Chi, the National Honor Society for Psychology. Elise also spent two years at RIT as a graduate student in the School Psychology program. During her time in college, Elise worked part time as a childcare provider, learning firsthand about developmental norms of young children. Elise used her college education and years working in childcare to develop her dance curriculum, which has always allowed for all levels of children and dance, both typical and atypical. Elise continued to study dance locally during her teaching years, but also made trips to Steps on Broadway in NYC. Her students have won numerous awards over the years, and some now have careers in the arts, including performers and teachers.
By 2010, Elise was diagnosed with grade 4 brain cancer, and her chances of survival were slim. She beat the odds by teaching dance every day and running her studio.
By 2022, Elise’s health deteriorated to the point that she knew she had to change her pace and asked her colleague Kate Bissinger to take over as Director.
Kate Bissinger, Director
Kate Bissinger has over 30 years of professional dance training, choreography, and performance experience. She is certified by Dance Educators of America (DEA). Kate has been affiliated with Visions Dance Studio for over 25 years as an instructor and performer, and most recently as a guest artist. Kate has studied with various artists including Susanna Newman, Randy James, Clyde Morgan, Santo Giglio, Kista Tucker and Jeanne Palmer-Fornarola. As a dance major at SUNY Brockport, she enjoyed the opportunity to study Fagan technique with principal dancers of Garth Fagan Dance. Performance credits include Binkabi Dance (of Rochester), Kista Tucker’s “Facet V" and "Snow," as well as other touring/performance groups, and her choreography won an award at the Western NY Dance Championships. Kate’s students have gone on to study dance at the university level, performed locally and regionally at various venues, and pursued careers as professional dancers.
She holds a B.S. in Organizational Management from Roberts Wesleyan University, and a M.S. in Human Development from the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester. Kate is honored and excited to continue the long-standing tradition of fun, quality dance instruction for the Visions Dance Studio family.
Shannon Cassidy, Instructor
Shannon is an alum of Visions predecessor, Nancy Figenscher Studio of Dance. Shannon has taught dance in the Rochester area for over 25 years, bringing her unique style and energy to every class she teaches.
When she's not teaching, Shannon works in elder care and is pursuing her degree in Nursing.
Lisa Tytler, Instructor
Lisa is a proud Visions alum. She grew up in Churchville, NY and began her dance training at the age of 4. She has danced at various studios including Visions Dance Studio, Michelle Bushner’s School of Dance and Perinton Dance Company, where she performed in a variety of competitions including Star Power and Star Bound. After high school, Lisa took a variety of dance classes at The College of Brockport and was trained to teach dance under our founder, Elise Gaudino. Lisa has been teaching dance at Visions Dance Studio for the past 10 years with an emphasis on preschool creative movement, ballet, lyrical, and tap.
Lisa is a graduate of SUNY Brockport. She is certified to teach childhood education grades 1-6 and holds a master's degree in literacy (birth-6), is trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for schools (TCIS). When Lisa is not dancing, she is a special education teacher in the Churchville-Chili School District.
Erin Ford, Instructor
Erin started dancing at Visions 21 years ago and has been assisting classes and teaching for just over a decade. As a kid, her love for dance began with ballet, and quickly grew to include a variety of other styles. Erin is honored to have the opportunity to introduce students to dance and foster that same appreciation in her students.
A graduate of Nazareth University, Erin holds a master's degree and license in Social Work and currently works as an Outpatient Medical Social Worker. When she isn’t at work or in the studio, you can find Erin taking yoga classes, training for a marathon (against her better judgment), or cuddling with her cat, Captain.
Megan VerSchneider, Instructor
Megan is a Visions Dance Studio alumni and is proud to share her passion for dance as a teacher at Visions. After dancing at Visions through high school, she went on to dance in college at SUNY Geneseo. Megan graduated with a BSEd from Geneseo in Childhood and Special Education with a concentration in Dance. She earned her Master's degree from Nazareth College in Literacy Education. Megan is a certified teacher in Childhood Education, Early Childhood Education, Special Education, Literacy, and Dance.
Currently, Megan is a Special Education Teacher in Rochester City School District, teaching 2nd graders with autism. She began in the RCSD in 2011 and taught elementary performing arts for 3 years and elementary reading for 8 years before switching to special education. When Megan is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three year old son.
Chloe Schadt, Assistant Instructor
Chloë started dancing at Visions at that age of five years old under the instruction of founder, Miss Elise Gaudino, and continued taking classes up until graduation. She began assistant teaching at the age of 13, which is when she knew she wanted to become a dance teacher. When offered a dance teacher internship by Miss Elise, she readily accepted.
When Chloë isn’t working as a teacher in training, you can find her writing novels, singing along to Broadway musicals, golfing, or curled up on the sofa with a book and one of her two cats. Chloë encourages children and adults of all ages to dance, as it builds confidence and poise, and it’s tons of fun!