Leading Ladies 2023


Though she didn’t know it at the time, when a young Nicole Bibby earned a top score auditioning for Dance Artistry’s company and received a photographed prize with the words “Today’s Dream Is Tomorrow’s Re- ality,” her future career was already set in motion. This spark helped light the fire to eventually open her own dance studio.

DEFYING GRAVITY SCHOOL OF DANCE, which opened in 2008 with 25 students, is the product of a lot of family support. After Nicole obtained a marketing degree from Salve Regina University, her husband Jeff motivated her to carry out her dream. Jump- ing into action, Nicole’s mother Gina Giusti helped her find the original location in Cran- ston, and her dad and brother Jeff and Jef- ferey Giusti – both contractors – turned the vacant unit into her dream studio. Sister Brit- tany Iafrati taught classes alongside Nicole.

Now, with 160 students and having relo- cated to East Greenwich (which allows Ni- cole to be closer to home and her two kids Juliana and Jeffrey), Defying Gravity School of Dance boasts numerous regional and

national dance competition and choreogra- phy awards. Nicole and her dancers also get involved in charitable causes. “It’s important for us to give back to the community and spread our love for dance.” She also cred- its her success to sister-in-law Jamie Gius- ti (office manager) and instructors: Grace Bressner, Lauren Difede, Talia Laurito, Jodi Lyn-Papa, Aliya Land, Katie Murphy, Teresa Pearson, and Karen Pare.

Nicole was the Salve Regina University Dance Club President and earned several regional and national dance title winnings. Through her skilled instruction and chore- ography, Nicole helps students chart their own bright futures in dance. This year, she launched an All Out Performance event, alongside her former dance teacher Kelly Cannone, providing dancers with feedback before entering competition season.

“I think the most rewarding thing is see- ing my young students grow into beau- tiful young adults when they graduate,” says Nicole. “We are all one big family at Defying Gravity.”

816 Middle Road, Unit 4, East Greenwich, 401-919-5252,


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