About Us

This is center dedicated to spread the performing arts in kids and adults of all ages.

Our MISSION at UPA is to show to the community what the performing arts are and create conscience in our students that we are new Yorkers and we live in the capital of theater and arts in general, the big musicals, to cultivate in the kids the joy and love for the performing arts.

To show our students a way to express themselves through dance, singing, acting and any art that could be performed on a stage. To create a healthy fun environment full of creativity where our kids could find and develop their skills to the top through discipline and hard work.

About the Director:

Mandy McNeely is originally from Ashland, Kentucky where she studied dance with the June Conn School of Dance under instructors Maria Whaley and Cari Rucker. She has extenive training in ballet, tap, and modern dance. She danced with the Ashland Youth Ballet Company for five years as a principle dancer and studied with the Louisville and Lexington Ballet Companies during the summers. She received dance training from Master Teachers with the Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, and the Southeast Regional Ballet Association and Dance Masters of America.  Mandy attended Georgetown College in Kentucky where she earned a degree in Communication Arts with a concentration in Theater, and she earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Carson-Newman College. Mandy assumed the role of Director of Turning Pointe Perfoming Arts in the Spring of 2008.

Assistant Director:

Kathy Fulweiler-Weems brings a lifetime of dance experience to Turning Pointe.   She owes her strong ballet foundation to the training she received under  ballet mistresses Irma Witt O’Fallon and Victoria Bolen at the Knoxville School of Ballet Arts.  She attended numerous master classes in both ballet and jazz presented by nationally recognized dance  professionals such as Joe Tremaine. As a teen, she was a founding member of Knoxville Metropolitan Dance Theater and the youngest in its first company ranks where she performed both ensemble and solo roles.  Later while attending the University of Tennessee she continuned her dance studies while adding theater classes and costume design to her arts resume.  She graduated with a B.S. in Textiles, Merchandising and Design, and left East Tennessee and her dancing shoes behind for several years.  Upon her return to the area in the mid 1990’s, she pulled her dance bag back out and joined “City Dancers,” a Knoxville based contemporary dance company.  She trained and performed with City Dancers and danced in collaborative pieces with Circle Modern Dance company for several years.  Durning this time she also went back to school and earned a M.A. in Teaching.  She has been employed as an elementary teacher by Jefferson County Schools for the past nine years.  She joined the staff of Turning Pointe last year. 

Mandy McNeely is originally from Ashland, Kentucky where she studied dance with the June Conn School of Dance under instructors Maria Whaley and Cari Rucker. She has extenive training in ballet, tap, and modern dance. She danced with the Ashland Youth Ballet Company for five years as a principle dancer and studied with the Louisville and Lexington Ballet Companies during the summers. She received dance training from Master Teachers with the Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, and the Southeast Regional Ballet Association and Dance Masters of America.  Mandy attended Georgetown College in Kentucky where she earned a degree in Communication Arts with a concentration in Theater, and she earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Carson-Newman College. Mandy assumed the role of Director of Turning Pointe Perfoming Arts in the Spring of 2008.

Assistant Director:

Kathy Fulweiler-Weems brings a lifetime of dance experience to Turning Pointe.   She owes her strong ballet foundation to the training she received under  ballet mistresses Irma Witt O’Fallon and Victoria Bolen at the Knoxville School of Ballet Arts.  She attended numerous master classes in both ballet and jazz presented by nationally recognized dance  professionals such as Joe Tremaine. As a teen, she was a founding member of Knoxville Metropolitan Dance Theater and the youngest in its first company ranks where she performed both ensemble and solo roles.  Later while attending the University of Tennessee she continuned her dance studies while adding theater classes and costume design to her arts resume.  She graduated with a B.S. in Textiles, Merchandising and Design, and left East Tennessee and her dancing shoes behind for several years.  Upon her return to the area in the mid 1990’s, she pulled her dance bag back out and joined “City Dancers,” a Knoxville based contemporary dance company.  She trained and performed with City Dancers and danced in collaborative pieces with Circle Modern Dance company for several years.  Durning this time she also went back to school and earned a M.A. in Teaching.  She has been employed as an elementary teacher by Jefferson County Schools for the past nine years.  She joined the staff of Turning Pointe last year. 

Assistant Director:

Lily Urzua, Born and raised in Mexico city, Lily started training gymnastics when she was 4 years old, for the next 8 years she mixed it with dance and other sports, when she was 10 years old she got into the National Conservatory of Music of Mexico to study transversal flute, 8 years later she got into UNAM(Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), the biggest college in Mexico where she studied Veterinary Medicine getting involved and working with horses, breeding and training dogs for dog shows, at the same time she was training figure skating and drama, she became part of the college’s ballroom dance company where she performed several times.

In 2005 she started working for Club Med in Ixtapa, Mexico as show producer, Choreographer, being in charge of the daily shows of the resort, creating, choreographing and teaching dance to the staff and guests of the resort as she was getting involved with circus training flying trapeze and aerial. With this company she worked in different locations like Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Cancun.

In 2010 she moved to Montreal, Canada where she trained contemporary dance, Hip hop and circus willing to move to New York where she always wanted to live.

In 2011 she went back to club med Cancun for 6 months and it was there where she finally got the motivation and took the decision to move to NY, on 2012 she took her suitcase and traveled to NY…… HOME!

She started working for the dance studio that a few months later would buy in partnership with Roberto Vargas Leon and that named under her family’s name. URZUA Center of performing arts is where Lily shares and teaches her passion and knowledge with her students that have become her family.