About Us

              Owners’ Story

Sunshine Dance Center, Established 1972

Founder, Miss Sheila Tetreault was born in Scotland where she was trained in and taught Dance. She moved to the United States where she continued her training in Connecticut and New York, and, she founded Sunshine Dance Center in 1972 in Waterbury, Connecticut. Miss Sheila taught all that a Sunshine Dancer tells a story through choreography and a love for dance that shines, all become part of Sunshine Dance Center family, where classes are taught with focus and discipline and a measure of fun.


In 2019 she changed roles of ownership and gifted the studio to two Sunshine students she’s personally trained since the age of three Jacqueline CroweDowns (Miss Peaches) and Emily Summa (Miss Emily.)  Miss Sheila passed the torch the best way she knew her legacy would continue and grow to new heights.  Sunshine Dance Center has been winning awards nine years in a row as the best dance studio in Waterbury area. 




Left to Right,

Emily (Dunn) Summa (Miss Emily),

‘Sheila (Thomson) Tetreault (Miss Sheila) and

Jacqueline (Crowe) Downs (Miss Peaches)




Then Student

Emily Dunn

at Sunshine Dance Center

since Age 3

Sunshine's Co-Owner/Directors

Emily Dunn Summa


Jacqueline Crowe Downs 

Then Student (on right)

Jacqueline Crowe

at Sunshine Dance Center

since Age 3

Emily has graduated from:
Chase Elementary School, Waterbury, CT
Wallace Middle School, Waterbury, CT 
Crosby High School, Waterbury, CT 

Central Connecticut State University with:

Bachelor Science Education

Masters Education (M. Ed)

Emily is an Elementary School Teacher at Gilmartin Elementary School in Waterbury, CT

Emily has won Teacher of the Year at Gilmartin Elementary School in 2018

Emily has a daughter, Aubrey, Age 15.

Like her Mom, Aubrey has been a dancer at Sunshine since Age 3. We are proud to say Miss Aubrey has been on Sunshine’s staff as a Helper for the past 5 years. You can meet her here…Sunshine’s Miss Aubrey


Jacqueline has graduated from:

The Master’s School, West Simsbury, CT

Sacred Heart High School, Waterbury, CT

Anna Maria College, Worcester, MA, with:

Bachelor Science Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement
Bachelor Arts Psychology
Masters Science Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement
Masters Arts Counseling Psychology 

Jacqueline began at Sunshine at Age 3 in Miss Nancy’s class and at Age 4 transferred to Miss Sheila’s classes where she remained thru and past college. Jacqueline simultaneously took Classical Ballet from Ages 6 thru 11 at The Master’s School in West Simsbury. Jacqueline simultaneously trained in Gymnastics beginning at age 4 at Olympics-Level Gyms in Simsbury, Cheshire and Stamford, CT and in Worcester, MA. At Arena Gymnastics in Stamford, CT she competed regionally to Level 8, where Level 10 is Elite and Olympics Training. She became a Gymnastics Coach at several Gyms in CT and MA.  She created a Dance, Cheerleading, Acro Program in College as Coach/Instructor and took team to Nationals in its infancy. Jacqueline was a national competitor for USA-Wildcats All-Star Cheerleading in Watertown, CT.  Jacqueline is married to Shane Downs and they have a son, Jackson, Age 10, a daughter, Savannah, 8, both whom started at Sunshine at Age 2. 

And in between...

…there was always back and forth to Sunshine from Grammar School, High School and College.

Circa 1989

Circa 1999

Circa 2015

Celebrating 50 in 2022

Miss Emily 1st Row Left

Miss Peaches 1st Row Right

Miss Emily 2nd Row Far Left

Miss Peaches 2nd Row Far Right

Miss Sheila 3rd Row Center

Miss Peaches 1st Row on Left

Miss Emily 1st Row on Right

Miss Sheila 3rd Row 2nd from Left

Miss Emily 4th Row on Left

Miss Peaches 4th Row on Right

When our Moms registered us at Sunshine as 3 year-olds, it was because it was already a well-known fact that Sunshine Dance Center is the best dance studio in Waterbury, Connecticut and all surrounding towns. 

A fairy tale that came to life for two little girls that never stopped mastering their craft and their love for Dance, believing in Sunshine Dance Center. And in themselves.







(Miss Peaches)
1st Row Center



Emily Summa
(Miss Emily)

2nd Row Far Right

And then we moved into from 2 dance studios on 54 Monroe about a mile away to 451 Meriden Road where we expanded into 3 studios

Where we


Teach Dance...

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, 
Pointe, Hip-Hop, Acro
and Fitness for
All Generations

with Discipline, Focus, Caring

and a Measure of Fun! 

Valuing Knowledge, Integrity, Community ®

Thank you for ...

...being part of
our Sunshine Dance Family!

We hope to pass on our integrated approach

to help students gain great advances in Dance…

Because integrating hard work

while having fun is everything!


Sunshine Dance Center, LLC

Established in 1972

Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Acro and Fitness