Let's get up and dance!























Maria Neri

Founder / Artistic Director / Coach / Choreographer / Performing Artist / Actress

Founder and Artistic Director of Universal Dance Studio, Maria has been dancing for over 35 years. She’s from NYC and is now in Montreal helping Artists and everyday people to achieve their dreams.

Maria began her career at Fred Astaire Dance Studios. She is a certified professional earning her Masters in both American Style Ballroom, Latin, Theatre Arts, Cabaret and show dancing.

Maria expanded her horizons from the Ballroom world  and trained in other forms and styles of dance, Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Lyrical and Theatre at the world renowned Dance School “Broadway Dance Center” in NYC.

She has competed at a national/International level.  She was the Fred Astaire Eastern Canadian Champion in Theatre Arts for 5 consecutive years, undefeated. She competed in the United States, placing in the top 3 in Exhibition Cabaret Show Dancing.  Maria competed at the world competition Classique de Quebec in Exhibition Cabaret placing in the top 6 winners.  She was chosen by both American and Canadian judges to represent Canada at the “Winter Gardens World Competition in Blackpool, England, where she won 5th place in the world out of 14 countries.

Maria has worked in musical productions on the cruise ships.  She and her partner were the resident dance team opening and closing shows for all celebrity acts with Royal Caribbean and Holland American Cruise Lines.

Maria studied Acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and Stella Adler Conservatory among many other prestigious   Institutes for Film and Drama.  She studied Improv Comedy at Second City in NYC.

She has worked in many films & TV shows as a featured dancer, stand in and background actress

.She is a woman of many talents and skills.  However, what newcomers notice first is her kind and humble welcoming demeanor to her students old and new, coming from all walks of life. Maria loves teaching beginners and believes that everyone can learn to dance, they only need to be taught.

Randolph Graham

Instructor, Salsa, Bachata, Tango, Kizomba

Randolph is an ’s versatility makes him an invaluable part of Universal Dance Studio. At a Friday Social Dance, you can find him teaching a class, running the DJ booth, or doing some photography and videography to capture the magic of the night.

He started dancing in 2016, and advanced to become a teacher only a year later. His dancing specialties are Argentine Tango, Bachata, Salsa, and Kizomba. You can see his fantastic photography work around the studio and online. It would be his pleasure to share his dancing skills with you!

Remo Di Marco


Dual fellow in international and American style, examiner and coach, Remo is a world-class adjudicator and choreographer with 39 years of experience. He has been teaching for 26 years, full time in social and competitive dance studios, training amateurs and professionals. He has competed for many years achieving finals.

Jonathan Tremblay

Instructor, Salsa, Bachata, Hustle

Jonathan is a dance teacher with over 18 years of dancing experience and 15 years of teaching experience. He focuses on Hustle, Salsa, and Bachata, but he is also proficient in many other dance styles.

Jonathan is an experienced instructor who is dedicated to helping his students learn and improve their dance skills. Whether you are a beginner looking to try something new or an experienced dancer looking to refine your technique, Jonathan is the perfect dance instructor for you!

Denis Tremblay

Instuctor,  Rock 'n Roll, Salsa, Swing, Acrobatics, Performer and Coach

Denis has over 40 years' experience in various styles of dance, from Ballroom, Latin & Club Style dance, body movements & conditioning. He also has many years of experience in Jazz, Aerobics & Body conditioning. His specialties are Rock 'n Roll, Salsa, Swing & Acrobatics.
His credits are the following just to mention a few:
-5 gold medal at World Salsa Summit
-Choreographer at Academie de danse Strazzero
-Performer in Provincial, National & American congress for over 10years
-Over 20 years of training in Argentine Tango

Vijay Punyamanthula

Zumba Bollywood Mix

Vijay's prowess in the realm of Bollywood dance is not the extent of his talents; he's a certified Zumba fitness instructor with a commendable six years of experience. His journey, shaped by his dedication and skill, has seen him inspire and guide thousands in the world of dance while also delving into the fitness arena. As a published author and a proficient full-time social media manager, Vijay's adaptability across various fields showcases his versatility and creativity. At Universal Dance Studio, he is a great addition to our team, infusing our space with his vibrant energy and passion for dance. Vijay’s expertise promises to captivate and elevate the dance experience for anyone.


Assistant Dance Instructor

Vincenzo became a student of Universal Dance Studio in 2018. He has learned all the dance styles and continues his education in dance. He has been training with his coach Maria working towards becoming a professional dance teacher since 2020.  He is dedicated and is now assisting Maria with private lessons and choreographies for wedding couples.

Vincenzo is the perfect instructor to help beginners start taking their first steps on their dancing journey.

His passion is performing, and you will always see him dancing all styles of dance in various showcases and exhibitions that best demonstrate his strengths taught by his mentor Maria.


Executive Assistant Director

Sonya brings 13 years of excellent customer service experience to Universal Dance Studio. She provides everyone with a warm, friendly greeting at the door, and a welcoming atmosphere for all to enjoy. She will answer all your questions and requests in a timely manner. She is a people person, problem solver and great communicator. She has been with the studio since 2021.

Sonya has 3 years’ experience in Ballet-Jazz .  She is passionate about all styles of dance.  Sonya is continuously working on all all dances. She is presently part of the Universal Dance Studio’s teacher training program and can also provide dance instruction to all our clients.  Sonya is Maria’s PROTÉGÉ.

Specialized Teachers

Rachel Santos

Founder - Cadance Jazz & Pilates

Cadance provides you with a fun, inclusive, no pressure atmosphere in which to move and express yourself. Whether you are new to dance/Pilates/fitness, used to do it and want to get back into it, or have been moving all your life, Cadance has a place for every BODY!

Rachel, Cadance's Artistic Director and teacher, has been dancing since age five and has been performing in musical theatre since age 13. She has studied many styles of dance and has also choreographed for ice skaters, roller skaters, and for the musical theatre stage. In 2003, she graduated from San José State University in California with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance with a minor in Musical Theatre.

In 2004, Rachel made the move from California to Montreal and Cadance was born when she began teaching jazz classes in 2006. She loves teaching and choreographing for her jazz classes - from beginners to advanced dancers. A few years after starting Cadance, she added Pilates to her teaching roster, having earned comprehensive certifications in both contemporary and classical Pilates.

Tim Ruddy

Planet Yoga

Tim has been practicing yoga for 33 years and teaching for 28 years.

He has traveled to study yoga in India 7 times. Tim teaches with alignment and foundation as the core of his teaching. He is certified in the Iyengar tradition. He is one of the Senior teachers in Quebec and runs teacher training courses. Wednesday Mixed Level (not beginners) 6-7:30 PM at Universal Dance Studio.

Currently, he does not offer beginners classes but you can start your group with a minimum of 5 people (max 10) for $25 per person (fee capped at $150.).


When invited onto the dance floor, something magical happens an unspoken language that is universal and understood by all. Though everyone is an individual and different in their own special way, dancing unifies people so they can be more at one with the world and everyone in it.It is the communication of the soul! Dance is an art, a sport and a social activity that everyone should have to stay connected with the human spirit. It is the one thing that can not be replaced by technology.It is inevitable that positive changes will take place in both you and your life. Everyone around you will notice the change. Dancing is that powerful!


Our mission is to change the face of dancing bringing people together one step at a time in a unique environment, promoting education and individual growth, while realizing the magic and beauty of dance.


Our vision is to bring happiness to everyone through the magic of dancing “One step at a Time” in an environment where we believe everyone is YOU-nique.