Jane and Tom Karaty both grew up with a love for dance and performing. Influenced by so many of the great historical musicals and performers, Donald O’Connor (Tom’s idol), Shirley MacLaine, and anything with Fred Astaire, there was no doubt they were headed for the stage.
Moving to New York City, Jane worked at the Latin Quarter for a year before hitting the road with HELLO DOLLY, starring Mary Martin. Six months later she joined the Broadway company with Ginger Rogers, Betty Grable and Martha Raye. Jane then made her way to Puerto Rico where she appeared as a back-up dancer to Diosa Costello. The other back-up dancer being Goldie Hawn, pre LAUGH IN!
Tom appeared in the Broadway production of WEST SIDE STORY, as Snowboy, followed by the original company of MAME, as a dancer and in the role of Junior Babcock. He was a regular on the PERRY COMO SHOW, alongside Michael Bennett, was the lead in the off-Broadway production of CINDY, and performed in countless industrials and nightclub acts. Tom’s theory behind performing and entertaining is based on his favorite performance in history... Donald O’Connor’s “Make ‘Em Laugh.”
Tom and Jane met in 1962, and let’s just say the rest was history. Four years, and countless productions later, they were married and retired from the Broadway scene. Together they raised five children while Tom went to work as a stockbroker for 23 years. However, the day would come when they’d put those dancing shoes back on...
In 1988, IN THE SPOTLIGHT was born. They had missed dance and wanted to get back to doing what they loved. It was always their intent to offer a high quality dance program, make it fun, and let the dancers BE THE BEST THEY CAN BE! During the past 20 years, they are very proud of all the dancers that have passed through their studio, all of the accolades IN THE SPOTLIGHT has received, and all of the dancers that have gone on to have successful careers in the entertainment business. They couldn’t have done it without their daughters, Candice and Alexis, and their son, Dan (SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE).
Tom and Jane would like to thank Joe and Julie for this prestigious award. They are very proud to have been chosen as Teachers of the Year for 2008-09. Thank you, and LET’S DANCE!