Meet James & Tia Brockington

James and Tia Brockington are the co-owners and founders of the Tia Russell Dance Studio. Commonly known as TRDS, they founded the organization over together in 2013. Celebrating 10 years in business, James and Tia’s journey has consisted of faith in God, perseverance, and a commitment to excellence. Both James and Tia are New Haven natives educated by New Haven Public Schools growing up in single-parent households with humble beginnings.

James graduated from Hill Regional Career Magnet High School with a concentration focus on business and Tia graduated from Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet School with a concentration focus on dance and performing arts. James’ previous job experiences, education, and management skills prepared him for a career in entrepreneurship, overseeing the operations, marketing, and management needs of the business.

Tia’s focus is on the creative direction, having served youth in the New Haven community for over 25 years as an influential dance instructor and mentor. Tia oversees instructors, lessons plan and curriculum, productions and creatives, and overall artists development, growth, and talent at TRDS.

As a married couple and partners in business, James and Tia are purpose-driven individuals with a passion and dedication for advancing and exposing performing arts to inner city youth in black and brown communities.

About Tia Russell Dance Studio

The Tia Russell Dance Studio (TRDS) is a for-profit arts education program and dance studio in CT servicing the greater New Haven Area founded in 2013. The primary focus for TRDS is to expose and educate students from the inner city and various financial backgrounds to a professional dance education and overall professional development.

TRDS is celebrating 11 years in business offering various styles of dance such as Ballet, Jazz, West African, Hip Hop, Tap, Modern, Lyrical, and Acro Dance for beginner and experienced performers.

Ballet is mandatory for all students under the age of 18. TRDS is known for various styles of dance; however, Ballet is the foundation of dance, and we believe each student should have a strong foundation. Our students do well in the other styles of dance offered at TRDS because Ballet is the foundation.

But the Tia Russell Dance Studio is about much more than dance. Students audition for acting roles, engage in leadership training, and are provided with social and life skills through weekly classes and monthly group meetings. There is a genuine love and concern for the well-being of our students and their growth. TRDS is a proud black-owned business and offers an experience that lacked in the New Haven black and brown communities.

Aside from school activities, there weren’t many activities for young children, preschool age, to enjoy with their parents. TRDS offers a Dance With Me class for students ages 18 months-2.5 yrs. which offers the opportunity for young performers to bond with their parents and share an experience that promotes love, family and togetherness.

When you look at TRDS as a whole, you’ll see a place where every child is taught about endless opportunities and a safe place that families trust. We contribute part of the rapid growth of TRDS to trust earned by our students, families and community.

TRDS was established to create a professional dance business that will develop performers and give each dancer an equal opportunity. Our motto is, “Developing Dancers, Creating Legends”. TRDS is a business that meets each student and their individual ability and develops their technique and skill.

Each of the classes offered at TRDS is divided by levels, ability, and maturity. Each student receives the necessary attention they need to grow and develop dance skills at their individual pace without pressure and intimidation. TRDS is a fun environment and classes ages 8 and under have themed weeks with fun activities. Our preschool age classes incorporate fun activities throughout each class that promotes learning through playing and dancing. Each monthly lesson is themed, and students participate in a monthly dress up day based on the monthly theme. Contact us to learn more or enroll in one of our dance classes today.

Meet the TRDS Staff


Ms. Darriah, Assistant Director

“Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality. Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.”


Ms. Robyn, Instructor

37 years of dance instructional experience

“We can’t always choose the music life plays for us, but we can choose how we dance to it.”

Preschool Ballet, Jazz, Tap & West African

Ms. Jocelyn, Instructor

“You define your own life. Don’t let other people write your script.”

Preschool Ballet, Jazz, Tap & West African

Ms. Earron, Instructor

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”- Dr. Seuss

Acro Dance

Mr. Paris, Instructor

“Don’t let anyone ever tell you the sky is the limit! Because beyond the sky are moons, stars, and God’s miraculous heaven. So, reach for the heavens!”

Hip Hop, Jazz & West African

Ms. Val, Instructor

“Instead of trying to build a brick wall at once, place a brick each day. Eventually, your wall will be complete.”


Ms. Christina, Instructor

"A smile and a positive attitude can take you a lot more places than a frown and an 'I can't."

Ballet & Hip Hop

Ms. Leslie, Instructor


Miss Camille, Junior Instructor

“Don’t be afraid o make mistakes. As long as you try, the outcome will be beautiful.”

Ballet & Hip Hop

Miss Mariah, Junior Instructor

"Just because you're struggling, doesn't mean your failing. You may not be there yet, but you're closer than you were yesterday".

Hip Hop

Miss Tamia, Junior Instructor

"It doesn't have to be perfect, nobody's perfect. As long as our students are happy, I'll be happy."


Miss Alysha, Junior Instructor

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Operations Assistant

Ms. Cherise

Operations Assistant

Ms. Karla

Operations Assistant

Ms. Jahnaya

Operations Assistant

Ms. Tamiko

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Operations Assistant

Ms. Nay

Operations Assistant

Ms. Diamond

Operations Assistant

Ms. Lavette