We are proud to have with us at

Sunshine Dance Center 2023-2024:

Meet Sunshine Founder

Miss Sheila!


Meet the founder of our dance studio… Sheila Thomson Tetreault


Hello Everyone! I began my early dance studies in my homeland, Scotland, where I studied Dance. I was a champion Highland Dancer for the West Coast of Scotland. Emigrating from Scotland to the United States, seeking to study dance training with New York’s finest Master Instructors, I studied with Al Gilbert, Joe Tremaine and Luigi Faccuito, just to name a few. 


Al Gilbert

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”   three simple pictures convey meaning more effectively than words. He was a master at tap and jazz and I am grateful to have studied with him.

Al founded American Jazz Dancers' Savoy Ballroom where he championed jazz dance’s complex history of cultural integration. Al illuminated its evolution from African traditions to its present incarnation as dynamic, vibrant and multi-veined.

Joe Tremaine

Joe opened his own studio in the 1970’s, “Joe Tremaine Dance Center. Tremaine Dance Conventions and Competitions has been Joe Tremaine’s passion for the past 34 years. Each year, tens of thousands of dancers and teachers from around the world attend 24 regular tour stops to participate in master classes with top professional choreographers from Los Angeles and New York.


At his annual National Finals event in Orlando, Tremaine and his team educate through choreography and honor innovators and legends in the field of entertainment and dance. Past honorees include legendary entertainers Ann-Margret, Mitzi Gaynor, Debbie Allen, Kenny Ortega, Dick Van Dyke and Paula Abdul. Joe Tremaine is known as the dance studio to the stars.

Male Entertainers taught by Joe:

Jackie Gleason | Jerry Lewis | Ed Sullivan | Gene Kelly | Milton Berle | Tommy Tune | Bob Hope | Art Carney | Jack Benny | Bobby Darrin | Bruce Vilanch | Doug Henning | Richard Thomas | Alice Cooper | Sonny Bono | Hal Linden | Alan Alda | Hinton Battle | Johnathan Winters | Robert Alda | Kenny Rogers | Sal Mineo | Louis Armstrong | Guy Lombardo | Joel Grey | Leslie Nielsen | Danny Devito | John Wayne | Gary Collins | Lee Greenwood | Gregory Hines | Zero Mostel | Regis Philbin | Gavin Macleod | Jeff Goldblum | Darren Mcgavin | Lorne Greene | Raymond Burr | Dick Clark | Greg Evigan | Donny Osmond | Robert Goulet | Barry Manilow | Bobby Van | Harvey Korman | Barry Williams | Fayard Nicholas | Savion Glover | Hoagy Carmichael | Ricardo Mantalban | Michael Crawford | Sergio Mendes | The Smothers Brothers | Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass | The Osmonds; 


Female Entertainers taught by Joe: 

Cameron Diaz | Christina Applegate | Selma Blair | Paula Abdul | Helen Hunt | Liza Minelli | Barbara Eden | Raquel Welch | Ann-Margret | Joey Heatherton | Connie Stevens | Jane Russell | Debbie Reynolds | Pert Kelton | Michele Lee | Jane Powell | Cybil Shephard | Cyd Charisse | Sheila Macrae | Carol Burnett | Diana Ross | Lorna Luft | Penny Marshall | The Kessler Twins | Goldie Hawn | Renee Taylor | Rhea Perlman | Jane Kean | Nancy O’dell | Meredith Vieira | Catherine Bach | Tina Louise | Julie Newmar | Valerie Harper | Carol Lawrence | Melissa Gilbert | Georgia Engel | Shields And Yarnell | Vicki Lawrence Cher | Elizabeth Berkley | Joely Fisher | Dorothy Hamill | Anne Baxter | Dorothy Provine | Ruth Warrick | Nanette Fabray | Imogene Coco | Caterina Valente | Barbra Streisand | Margaret Hamilton | Barbi Benton | Mary Tyler Moore | Olivia Newton-John | Dame Margo Fonteyn | Cindy Williams.

Luigi Faccuito

Luigi, seen by a talent scout, was asked to audition for MGM's On The Town, starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. Miraculously, as he was still working out his paralysis, he got the job and started an 8 year dance career in over 40 films, such as: An American in Paris, Annie Get Your Gun, Singin' in the Rain, The Band Wagon and White Christmas. A Scene from White Christmas, Choreographers Robert Alton and Gene Kelly became his mentors. They and others such as Hermes Pan, Eugene Loring, Le Roy Prinz, Nick Castle and Michael Kidd, put him to work with Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Mickey Rooney, Donald O'Connor and Danny Kaye, among others. Luigi was taken to NYC to perform in the Broadway show Happy Hunting with Ethel Merman and Fernando Lamas. He went on to dance and assist choreographers Alex Romero, Onna White and Lee Scott, on three more Broadway shows before dedicating himself to sharing his dance method. He opened his school, "The First World Jazz Centre."

"A good teacher knows how to prevent injuries," Luigi says. He stresses the importance of using the body properly, telling students to "Take your time - feel what you're doing." He also says, "If you keep doing things right long enough, they'll get better right. But, if you keep doing things wrong long enough, they'll feel right -- wrong." The world has recognized Luigi's artistry by bestowing upon him many major awards and by inviting him to give master classes throughout North and South America, England, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan and South Africa. He has served on the faculty for the Harkness Ballet School, High School for the Performing Arts, Sarah Lawrence College, NYU, Metropolitan Opera House and the Joffrey Ballet School. His method is taught today by not only himself, but by his students in schools and colleges all over the world.

Champion Highland Dancer for the West Coast of Scotland

Founder, Sunshine Dance Center

Waterbury, Connecticut In 1972

Today, my favorite art form is Tap.

I keep my tap shoes dusted off

by teaching Adult Tap to the

Hot Tamales on Monday nights...

...as one of my Master Instructors,

Al Gilbert, says,

“Dance Always”

As these master instructors made their mark in the global arena of dance, my training under them encompasses the way dance was taught ever since I established Sunshine Dance Center on Bank Street in Waterbury, CT. I expanded studio space moving Sunshine to Hamilton Avenue and expanded again remaining in the East End of Waterbury, onto Monroe and with new owners onto Meriden Rd. All remaining with my easy access to RT 69 into Naugatuck, CT, where I built my home with my husband, best friend and business partner, Nick Tetreault. While Nick’s passion and life’s work is real estate appraising, he’s often been my right-hand man and referred to as Mr. Nick at Sunshine.


As Founder, Owner and Director of Sunshine 1972 through 2019, I passed my many art forms learned directly from these world-renown Master Instructors to all my Sunshine Instructors and literally thousands upon thousands of students throughout my tenure. Including Jacqueline Downs (Miss Peaches) and Emily Summa (Miss Emily), I have personally taken nearly all of my Sunshine Instructors to Master Classes and Workshops in New York City throughout my years as Owner.


 In 2019, after great thought and consideration, I felt my Sunshine legacy would live on and expand to great heights by my choosing Sunshine’s current Owners and Directors with whom I’ve personally trained since they were Age 3. Having watched them transform through the ‘ranks’ as Helpers, Assistants and becoming Teachers; I chose them as exemplifying the finest symmetry between choreography and instruction passing on the art forms of many dance masters studied, while mixing in their own uniqueness in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Hip-Hop, and additions in Acro and Fitness. All with discipline, focus, a measure of fun and a flair for theatre.  

I am proud to say Sunshine remains the most comfortable, beneficial and caring ‘doors’ a student may ever walk through.

Love, Miss Sheila 💛