Adriana Pierce (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, and director based in New York City. After training at School of American Ballet, Pierce began her dancing career with New York City Ballet and Miami City Ballet, continuing onto Broadway, film, and TV (2018 Broadway Revival of Carousel, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, Fosse/Verdon). As a choreographer, Pierce is equally at home creating works for ballet, theater, and film. The lack of lesbian representation in ballet led Pierce to start #QueerTheBallet, an initiative with the mission to widen the scope of classical ballet by producing queer work by queer dance artists.
Pierce created her first ballet works for the School of American Ballet’s Student Choreography Workshop, and was twice selected to participate in New York Choreographic Institute’s Choreographic Sessions. Pierce’s choreographic work features movement and partnering that allows dancers of all genders equal agency, dismantling the traditional gender dynamics of dance. Today, Pierce’s choreography has been performed by American Ballet Theatre, Carolina Ballet, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, Ashley Bouder Project, and featured in festivals and galas such as Hamptons Dance Project, Kaatsbaan Fall Dance Festival, Fire Island Dance Festival, Mainly Mozart Festival, and Adrienne Arsht Center’s Annual Gala. She has completed residencies with Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU and Bridge Street Theatre. Pierce was recognized by Dance Magazine as one of “25 to Watch” in 2022.
Pierce’s work with #QueerTheBallet has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Fjord Review and more. In 2021, the Joyce Theater presented #QueerTheBallet’s film Animals and Angels, and The New Yorker deemed Pierce’s choreography in the film a “velvet revolution.” In April 2022, The Joyce produced #QueerTheBallet’s first full evening of work at The Chelsea Factory, which featured works by Pierce and other queer artists.
Internationally recognized dancer, teacher, choreographer and co-artistic director of DoubleTake Dance. Vanessa has been trained in Contemporary, Ballet, Lyrical, Musical Theater, Hip Hop, Tap, Modern, Areal Silks and Acting. She can be seen dancing in Daniel Gwirtzman Company (now celebrating 10 years as a soloist. Some of her favorite shows include Lincoln Center Outdoors, Battery Dance, Rochester Fringe Festival…), Christy Walsh Company and DoubleTake Dance.
Recently seen as “The Queen” in the Contemporary Ballet production of “The Queen of Nöri” by Stoneworks Productions (performed in Oahu, Hawaii) and in the Fashion Magazine BAZAAR Indonesia, dancing/modeling for Fashion Designer Yinglun Zhang. And the show “Planets” as a dancer/choreographer produced by KDA (Oahu, Hawaii).
Honored with a professional development scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of Culture Vanessa moved to NYC to pursue her dance career. Credits in Spain include choreographing “Tick Tick…BOOM!” and “I Love You, You’re Perfect …Now Change” produced by Tela-Katola as well as performing with the European show “Compradores de Sueños”.
Vanessa has produced, choreographed and directed several full length shows with her dance company DoubleTake Dance along co-director Ashley Carter. Featured in Dance Informa Magazine; with shows in festivals & events such as SummerStage; Battery Dance, NY Half Marathon, Ailey Theater; Carnival, NYC Fashion Week, Higher Ground Festival, the ACLU’s 100th birthday celebration, United Palace, Webster Hall; Gerald Lynch Theater, Dixon Place, Teatro la Tea, JCE (NY),Teatro Madrid & SalaTriángulo (Spain). DTD is a proud recipient of commissions such as NY City Arts Grant, Rock that Rolls for Dancing Wheels (Cleveland, OH), HTChen New Steps (NYC); Next Step (JPAC NYC);
Other companies and choreographers include: LLMoves, BalaSole, Noir Tribe Media, Burnt Sugar, Ikada, Germaul Barnes/Viewsic Expressions, Ryan Beck, Derek Mitchell, Guillém Alonso, Gabrielle Lasner, Alan Onickel, Lynn Schwab (Tap City -Symphony Space) and Tony Waag (Career Transition for Dancers Gala at City Center) Featured in “Steel City Rhythm” workshop by RSW & associates; “DIY Nutcracker” (NY), “Rabi Thakur: A ballet on the Life of Rabindranath Tagore” (NJPAC); “The jazz Hip Hop Nutcracker” by Momentum Dance Theater: (Washington D.C ). Other shows include “Mitridate” by The Little Opera Theater in NY; “The Golden Cockerel” & “Aurora’s Wedding” with ABT at the MET, “Arrival” (Theater 80), “LOVEartJAPAN” (Raising funds for Japan and “3 for 1” by DTD with AJR Brothers.
Vanessa is a versatile performer who has worked as an actress, model and dancer for international brands and commercials like: L ́OREAL, Heineken, Ameriprise, Athleta, NYRoadRunners, Tag Heuer, Netflix “Umbrella Academy”, Yahoo, Ursus Vodka, KDDance, Lush Cosmetics/Gorilla Perfumes, El Pais newspaper, channel Tele5, Fuse TV, X-Box/Kinect (Times Square with NeYo and Lady Sovereign) Fashion Center Arts Festival, One Truth, Dru Cutler, Guerilla Toss, The Rachel Ray Show, Dropps, Smartphone Users Guide to Etiquette by Mary John Frank with Ariana deBose. Film credits include “The Ryde of Tom & Valkyrie”, & “Friends With Benefits” with Justin Timberlake (IMDB 2011)
As a dance video director, editor and dancer her latest work “Piel” has successfully premiered in the Festival “Encuentros” (Ciapas, México.)
Currently on faculty at BAE and BeFit other teaching credits include: Peridance, Joffrey, PMT, Steps, Bridge for dance in NY; Alonzo Lines in San Francisco; LeHigh Valley Alliance in Pennsylvania; Hawaii Univ, Punahou, Mid-Pac, Kailua Dance, in Hawaii; Round Rock Rep, and Tarrytown Dance in Austin; V. Ullate, Arte de Bailar, Luthier, Latelier, Ross in Spain; PAO Dance in Belgium, T- Stage in México…). Vanessa loves traveling as a teacher, judge and choreographer and is also a Pilates Mat Certified Trainer, with choreography featured in the YAGP finals.
Stacey Calvert was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina and began her ballet training at the Calvert-Brodie School of Dance, studying with her Mother and Godmother. In 1980, Ms. Calvert entered the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet—and remained there for three years. She joined New York City Ballet’s corp de ballet in 1983. In 1992, Ms. Calvert joined William Forsythe’s Frankfurt Ballet. She returned to New York City Ballet in the winter of 1993. Ms. Calvert was promoted to the rank of Soloist in 1994, dancing with the New York City Ballet for 17 years.
Stacey began teaching full time in the dance department at the University of South Carolina in 2003. She held the positions of Distinguished Artist in Residence, Associate Artistic Director for the USC Dance Company, and Director of Curriculum for the after school program at USC. Stacey is now on faculty at Ballet Academy East in New York City. She is also a répétiteur for the George Balanchine Trust as well as a master teacher.
Anne Kelly’s experience in ballet includes performing, teaching, staging, and choreographing. She trained at the School of American Ballet for ﬁve years before attending Barnard College of Columbia University. While at Barnard, she studied with Francis Patrelle, Lourdes Lopez, Kate Glasner, and Allegra Kent. She performed works by George Balanchine, Lew Christiansen, Elisa Monte, Karla Wolfangle, Daniel Pelzig, and Lila York. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English and Dance. Ms. Kelly has danced with New York City Opera in their productions of Semele, Pirates of Penzance, and Candide, and she has performed with Dances Patrelle in Is That All There Is?, Murder at the Masque, Gilbert and Sullivan, The Ballet!, and The Yorkville Nutcracker, for which she also serves as Ballet Mistress. In 2012, Ms. Kelly founded her own company K/M•D/M, which is an elegantly modern ballet company that performs to live music. As Artistic Director and Choreographer, she has produced 5 Seasons for K/M•D/M in NYC. She has been on faculty at Ballet Academy East since 2005, teaching in the Young Dancer, Primary, Pre-Professional, and Adult Open Class Divisions.
Elizabeth Walker’s ballet training began in South Carolina with Don and Patricia Cantwell in Charleston, S.C. and continued with Ann Brodie in Columbia, S.C. Following two summer courses at the School of American Ballet in New York, Elizabeth was invited to stay for full time study on scholarship at the age of 15. She received a Princess Grace Foundation-USA Award Dance Scholarship and Nancy Davis Reagan Award in 1988, and a scholarship in the name of Alexandra Danilova and the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise in 1990.
At the age of sixteen, Elizabeth was invited by Suki Schorer and Merrill Ashley to take part as a demonstrator in “Balanchine Essays,” a video series cataloguing Balanchine technique produced by the George Balanchine Trust. Elizabeth was offered an apprenticeship with the New York City Ballet in 1990 and joined the corps de ballet in 1991. Among the dozens of roles she danced, many were featured or principal roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Peter Martins, Jerome Robbins, Lynn Taylor Corbett, and David Parsons.
In June 2009, Elizabeth retired from performing after 19 years with NYCB. Elizabeth taught on the faculty of the School of American Ballet, the official school of NYCB, from 2001-2007. Since 2009, Elizabeth has served as senior faculty at the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) School of Ballet. Elizabeth joined the faculty at Ballet Academy East in 2007, teaching for the Pre-Professional Division and adult open classes.
Courtney grew up in Virginia where she received Vaganova training from Oleg Tupine and Tania Rousseau Tupine, of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. As a teenager she received a grant from the National Society for Arts and Letters which gave her the opportunity to study at North Carolina School of the Arts and Cunningham technique from Jan Van Dyke in Washington, DC. She moved to New York City on a full scholarship to Alvin Ailey where she performed as a principal dancer with their 3rd company under the direction of Kelvin Rotardier. She was also an original cast member of Alvin Ailey’s ballet “Memoria”. Courtney received a BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts for Dance under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. Along with extensive musical theatre jobs, she has toured as Elmo for Sesame Street Live! and later on she danced for Dances Patrelle performing a character role in his Yorkville Nutcracker for 24 years. She is comprehensively certified in Pilates and also has a Masters Degree in Archaeology from Hunter College.
Born in Miami, Florida, Craig Salstein began his training at the Ballet Academy of Miami at the age of eight and continued his training with the Miami City Ballet. In 1995, he was the Grand Champion of Ed McMahon’s Star Search. Salstein joined American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company in 2000 and joined the main company in April 2002, and in 2007was promoted to soloist. He is also one of a set of triplets. Salstein’s repertory with the Company includes Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, the Bronze Idol and the Head Fakir in La Bayadère, Birbanto in Le Corsaire, Gamache in Don Quixote, Puck in The Dream, the first sailor in ancy Free, the peasant pas de deux and Hillarion in Giselle, the Champion Roper in Rodeo, the Neapolitan Dance inSwan Lake, Eros and in Sylvia, the Devil in Three Virgins and a Devil and leading roles in Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, Gong, In The Upper Room, Sinfonietta and Symphonic Variations. He was an ensemble member and dance captain of the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel on Broadway. Salstein was the associate choreographer to Justin Peck for West Side Story movie directed by Steve Spielberg.
Antonio Carmena has taught dance in leading universities, ballet companies and schools thought the United States and Europe while appearing as Soloist for twelve of his nineteen years with New York City Ballet.
Mr. Carmena is a faculty professor teaching ballet for Barnard College’s Dance Department as well as teaching company class for New York City Ballet. He taught in New York City Ballet’s Outreach Program giving master classes in Australia, Ireland, France and throughout the United States. He has been a master teacher for institutions as Pacific Northwest Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Royal Danish Ballet Summer School, The School of Ballet Arizona, Ballet Hispanico, Ballet de Barcelona, the New York State Summer School, the University of Southern California’s Gloria Kaufman School of Dance, SUNY Purchase, Temple University, BODYTRAFFIC, the Marin Ballet, the Laguna Ballet, the Real Conservatory in Madrid, , Art of. Summer intensive and Stage de Danse in Liege, Belgium.
During his time at New York City Ballet, Mr. Carmena worked with the New York City Ballet Young Patrons committee for several years which is designed to bring young audiences to ballet and encourage their financial support of the organization. His enthusiasm and involvement helped the program double in size. He was immersed in fundraising goals, marketing and event planning, and the financial parameters associated with Young Patrons programs. In 2018, Mr. Carmena participated in shadowing Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal and was essentially participating in an administrative intensive with PNB’s management team. Through these experiences he has gained valuable insights into the complexity and many moving parts of every ballet company
He demonstrated ballet classes for a very popular series of instructional videos by the master teacher Finis Jhung. In addition, in 2017 The Columbia University Ballet Collaborative invited him to choreograph his first work, “Los Cuatro.” In 2019 he choreographed his second ballet for Ballet de Barcelona, “Together”, in collaboration with Marcus Salazar.
Mr. Carmena received his training at the Royal Conservatory of Professional Dance in Madrid, Spain. Awards include the Gold Medal in 1996 at the Third International Competition, Havana, Cuba; the 1997 Gold Medal at the Prix de Lausanne as well as the “Prix des Telespectateurs,” an honor voted on by television viewers of the Competition; the Grand Prix at the Seventh Eurovision Competition for Young Dancers and the “Most Outstanding Young Dancer” in the First International Dance Competition in Zaragoza, Spain.
After winning the Prix de Lausanne Scholarship, he was invited to study at the School of American Ballet, the official School of New York City Ballet. He was named an apprentice to the Company in 1998, joined the full Company the following year and was promoted to Soloist in 2006. He retired from the New York City Ballet in 2017.
Mr. Carmena’s repertoire with the Company included leading roles in classical ballets and works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, August Bournonville and Peter Martins. He originated roles in creations by Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Mauro Bigonzetti, Liam Scarlett, Susan Stroman and Douglas Lee.
He appeared as a guest artist with numerous companies in the United States and Europe including the Laguna Ballet, The Hartford Ballet, the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi di Salerno, the Festival di Spoleto, and the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater.
In addition to his dance career, Mr. Carmena is an accomplished chef. With a scholarship from Career Transition for Dancers, he studied at the French Culinary Institute, taking the “La Technique” course under the direction of Chefs Ryan Orkus and Jessica Botta. He has several videos on YouTube demonstrating favorite recipes from “The Ballet Cookbook” by ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq.
Lorna received her training at the School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theater School. She performed with many companies, including NYC Opera, Philadelphia Lyric Opera, New Haven Ballet, Bridgeport Ballet, Wolfe Trap Theater, Radio City Music Hall Ballet, The Liberace Show, and with her own company, Zawacki Ballet. She worked with illustrious choreographers, including Genia Melikova, Gemze De Lapp, Hector Zeraspe, Peter Gennaro, Tommy Andrews, and Jordan Fife Hunt. Lorna participated in The Bolshoi Project, directed by Jeff Calhoun at Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to her classes at BAE, Lorna coaches ballet dancers, ice skaters, and ballroom dancers on Long Island. Lorna’s classes focus on strong use of the core muscles, meticulous attention to footwork, and the ability to combine strength and fluidity.
Both internationally as well as in the U.S., Ashley is passionate about her work as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. Primarily trained in New York, she has studied and worked in many different styles from ballet to lyrical, modern, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, and musical theatre. She has had the opportunity to perform and/or choreograph at venues such as Jacob’s Pillow, Teatro Madrid, The Gerald Lynch Theater, The Barrow Street Theater, SummerStage, The Highline Ballroom, Webster Hall, BB Kings and the Ailey Theatre. Ashley is also on faculty at Ballet Academy East, and Joffrey in New York, various schools in Mexico and Spain; former faculty at Peridance, and has taught at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and Ballet Arts in New York City, Lines Dance Center in San Francisco, Tony Williams Dance Center and Green St Studios in Boston and Tarrytown Dance in Austin.
She can be seen working alongside artists such as Ricky Martin, NeYo, Lady Sovereign, Nicki Minaj, Cam’ron and Mila Kunis, for companies like Pilobolus, Derek Mitchell, Daniel Gwirtzman, Hanna Q Dance, Germaul Barnes/Viewsic Expressions, Ruddur Dance, Momentum Dance Theater, Variations Theatre Group, the Little Opera Theatre of NY, Moochaloo and Balasole, and for brands such as Nike, Athleta, Nokia, Ursus Vodka, Microsoft, Heineken, Yahoo, Ameriprise, the Rachel Ray Show and Lush Cosmetics. She has been seen off-Broadway in shows like West Side Story and 3 to 1. She was invited to Madrid to teach at the Association of Dance Professionals and choreograph for Spanish recording artist Nuria Elosegui. Ashley performed in Sia’s music video “Soon We Will Be Found”, in Central Park Summerstage, in a Boost Mobile commercial, danced in a feature film with Justin Timberlake, and is credited with choreographing independent feature film “The Ride of Tom and Valkyrie”. She has performed with the European show “Compradores de Sueños”, premiered the Legendary Dance Project at the Museo del Barrio and has completed her fourth season of New York City’s Summerstage. Recently, Ashley was featured in the original dance film “Here We Go Again” (dir. Nathan Cohen), has performed two seasons as Fritz/Rat King/Russia in “DIY Nutcracker”, danced in “The Barber of Seville” with the Amore Opera, and worked on a production of “Peter Pan” for Broadway Asia.
Ashley has choreographed several full-length shows for the company DoubleTake Dance (www.DoubleTakeDanceCo.com) that she co-directs with Vanessa Martínez de Baños, and is very proud of DoubleTake’s performance in the City Parks Summerstage festival, Battery Dance Festival, Carnival Choreographer’s Ball, etc. Additionally, with the company, she is credited with directing/choreographing a benefit for Japan and the latest commercial for Fuse TV and Dropps laundry detergent; and routinely traveling to the West Coast, Europe and Mexico to teach contemporary workshops. Recent credits include choreographic commissions for the world-renowned Dancing Wheels Company, HT Chen’s NewSteps, JPAC’s Next Stage Residency, and the Montclair Performing Arts program; choreography for the new musical “Dragula”, and was also a choreography grant recipient from Eryc Taylor Dance.
Brigid Boden was born in Ireland and is a member of The Royal Academy of Dance. She began her training at the age of 4 years at The Leinster School of Ballet, Dublin, and later at The Hammond, Chester, England. Ms. Boden danced with the Dublin City Ballet Company, Ireland before moving to The Dance Theatre of Harlem, New York where she was awarded a full scholarship to train under the guidance of Arthur Mitchell, Karl Shook and New York City Ballet’s infamous Tanaquil Le Clercq.
Ms. Boden danced in New York for several years before returning to Ireland to open up her own ballet school. She taught in small towns throughout the countryside, allowing students access to ballet classes which would have been unavailable to them. Ms. Boden’s school was hugely instrumental in the development of Ireland’s thriving interest in ballet today.
Upon her return to the US in 2006 Ms. Boden became a full faculty member at The Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica, where she taught for 14 years. She also introduced and developed their successful pre-pointe program. During this time, Ms Boden managed the dance department at the international French School, Le Lycee Francais in Los Angeles. Ms. Boden has helped in the training of countless dancers, many of whom have joined major companies, including: The Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Boston Ballet, The Mikhailovsky Theatre, St Petersburg, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Ms. Boden has taught master classes at
The Paris Marais Dance School, Paris
The School of Russian Ballet, Spain
The National Ballet Conservatory, Malta
Armour Dance Theatre, Miami
The Pineapple Dance Studios, London
Throughout the pandemic, Ms. Boden offered live ballet classes on Instagram @learnballetathome. She also wrote, directed, and produced the acclaimed educational ballet video for children, Learn Ballet at Home.
Ms. Boden is a guest teacher at Ballet Academy East.
Elizabeth Portnoy trained at Ballet Academy East, LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, and Studio Maestro. Elizabeth has performed with Dances Patrelle, New York Theater Ballet, K.M/D.M, and Dramastics. She taught in the Young Dancer Division at BAE for 10 years. She graduated from Hunter College with a Masters in Dance Education. Elizabeth has been teaching barre fitness since 2015. She teaches at Equinox Gym and is CPR certified.
Gonzalo Garcia is a principal dancer with New York City Ballet. Born in Zaragoza, Spain, Mr. Garcia began studying ballet at the age of eight at Maria Avila’s school. In 1995, he attended the summer session at San Francisco Ballet School. Following this session, Mr. Garcia participated in the Prix de Lausanne, becoming the youngest dancer to receive a gold medal. He then returned to the School to resume his studies and was selected by Helgi Tomasson, Artistic Director of San Francisco Ballet, to perform in a world premiere ballet created especially for the 1996 Spring Student Showcase. Mr. Garcia joined San Francisco Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in March 1998. In 2000, he was promoted to soloist, and in 2002 to principal dancer.
Mr. Garcia was invited to perform Balanchine’s Ballo della Regina with New York City Ballet as part of the company’s Balanchine Centennial Celebration in 2004. Mr. Garcia joined New York City Ballet in October 2007 as a principal dancer. At San Francisco Ballet, Mr. Garcia’s featured roles included Balanchine’s Apollo, The Four Temperaments, “Rubies” from Jewels, Prodigal Son, Square Dance, Symphony in C, Tarantella, and Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux; William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude; Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering, Dybbuk, Fanfare, Glass Pieces, and Other Dances; Helgi Tomasson’s Giselle (Albrecht, Pas de Cinq), Romeo and Juliet (Romeo, Benvolio), Sleeping Beauty (Bluebird, Pas de Six), Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried, Pas de Trois, Neopolitan), and Mr. Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov’s Don Quixote (Basilio); and Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia and There Where She Loved.
In addition, Mr. Garcia created the roles of Nutcracker Prince in Mr. Tomasson’s Nutcracker and Aminta in Mark Morris’s Sylvia, and originated a role in Mr. Wheeldon’s Continuum. Mr. Tomasson coached Mr. Garcia in Balanchine’s Divertimento from ‘Le Baiser de la Fée’ as part of the George Balanchine Foundation Video Archives.
photo: Erin Baiano
Miles Fusco earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from The Juilliard School of Music where he was a scholarship student of the renowned artist/teacher, Adele Marcus. As a concert pianist, he performed as soloist and chamber musician on four continents, and toured under the auspices of Columbia Artists concert management. He made formal recital debuts at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York, The Wigmore Hall in London, and the Salle Pleyel in Paris. He has played in Alice Tully Hall, Philharmonic Hall, Town Hall, and Carnegie Hall. He was appointed Steinway Artist by Henry Steinway III, the last member of the Steinway family to head the famed piano makers.
Miles brings a special expertise to dance, having been Company Pianist for American Ballet Theatre for 12 years, where he worked with such artists as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Cynthia Harvey, Cheryl Yaeger, Susan Jaffe, Fernando Bujones, Rudolph Nureyev, and Margot Fonteyn. He toured with Gelsey Kirkland, Patrick Bissell, Cynthia Gregory, Kyra Nichols, Allegra Kent, Wendy Whelan, and Natalia Makarova. He personally worked with choreographer Alvin Ailey, as well as Twyla Tharp. He has worked with Berlin Ballet under Rudolf Nureyev, National Ballet of Canada, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and The Kirov.
Miles plays company class for both American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet. He also plays at Ballet Arts for Craig Salstein, and at Manhattan Youth Ballet for Debra Wingert, Daniel Ulbricht, and Ashley Bouder.
In her book, “the Magic of Dance, Dame Margot Fonteyn wrote, ‘Miles Fusco cares about the dancers, and makes magic for us.’
Ashley has been a professional performer and dance educator in New York City for over a decade. Originally from North Reading, Massachusetts, Ashley received her early training at The Boston Ballet School and earned a BFA from The Boston Conservatory. She has performed throughout the world in various Broadway Touring Productions and dance companies. She has been a member dance collaborative AlmaNYC for over a decade. She has served as the dance captain for the touring company of West Side Story and most recently was seen in Christopher Wheeldon’s International Tour of An American in Paris. Ashley has toured the US, Canada, Asia, and Europe; most notably performing at the historic Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France, The National Theatre in D.C., and New York’s Radio City Music Hall. As a stage performer and actress, Ashley has performed in Flashdance The Musical, The Music Man, Oklahoma!, The Prince of Egypt and The New York Spring Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes. On television, Ashley has made several appearances on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, including performances with JLO and Paul Rudd. In addition, Ashley continues to perform with the artistic swimmers, The Aqualillies, as seen in Glamour Magazine. Ashley is a proud member Actor’s Equity Association. With over a decade of experience as an educator, Ashley has been on faculty at Ballet Academy East, Northeast School of Ballet, and Long Island City School of Ballet. As a guest artist, mentor, and educator, Ashley has taught master classes throughout the country and loves sharing her passion for movement and expression.
Mackenzie Fey began her ballet training at age four at the Performing Arts School of Central Pennsylvania and attended summer intensives at American Ballet Theatre in New York and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School. In 2012 she moved to New York City to attend Ballet Academy East. While at BAE, Mackenzie had the opportunity to perform in many new works by choreographers such as David Morse, Charles Askegard, and Emery LeCrone. Following graduation from BAE, Mackenzie was a member of the Colorado Ballet Studio Company for the 2014-15 season. From 2015-2017 Mackenzie was a part of the Graduate Program at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She performed in George Balanchine’s Serenade, Harald Lander’s Etudes, and Michel Fokine’s Les Sylphides with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, as well as Giselle and The Nutcracker with the main company. During her time at PBT, she was also a teacher in their Children’s and Student Divisions, as well as their Adaptive Dance Program from its inception. From 2017-2019, Mackenzie was a company member with Avant Chamber Ballet in Dallas, Texas, where she performed new works by Michelle Thompson Ulrich, Katie Cooper, and Fernanda Oliveira, as well as George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco. In Dallas, she also was also a teacher at Park Cities Dance and Hathaway Academy of Ballet. In 2019, Mackenzie returned to New York and is thrilled to be a faculty member at Ballet Academy East in the Young Dancer Division.
Stephanie Chun received much of her early training from Moscelyne Larkin at the Tulsa School of Ballet, Interlochen, Boston Ballet and Margaret Gray (formerly of San Francisco Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet). Stephanie danced professionally with multiple contemporary ballet and modern companies in New York, and her dancing in Remy Charlip’s “Twelve Contra Dances” was declared radiant by The New York Times. Stephanie has led master classes and workshops at schools and universities across the country, and she had the honor of helping Asian-American choreographer, H.T. Chen set his work on students at New York’s LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. She has also appeared on The Kennedy Center’s “Arts Across America”.
In addition to her position as Head of Ballet Academy East’s Children and Teen Division, Stephanie also teaches in BAE’s Adult Division and is an Adjunct Professor at NYU Steinhardt teaching ballet to non-dance majors. Stephanie is an ABT® Certified Teacher in Pre-Primary through Level 5. When she is not teaching, Stephanie is a class pianist at American Ballet Theatre and Juilliard.
Stephanie holds a BA in Government from Dartmouth College and an MFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Nina Chong-Jimenez began her dance training in NYC and attended the Ballet Hispanico school and Joffrey Ballet School Trainee Program on scholarship where she also performed with the JBS Touring Company (performing Gerald Arpino’s “Birthday Variations”) and studying under Francesca Corkle. After graduating with honors with a B.F.A in Dance Performance from Belhaven University, she was hired directly from school by Rennie Harris, and went on to perform excerpts and repertory such as “100NAKEDLOCKS” with Rennie Harris Puremovement. Since then, she has performed in the companies of H.T. Chen & Dancers, Michael Mao Dance Company, Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, IKADA, LaneCo Arts (serving as a company member and rehearsal director), FINI Dance Company, Carolyn Dorfman Dance, and more. She has taught internationally and also in conjunction with FINIDance NY, and strives to instill in her students technique with a purpose and artistry in an engaging class environment.
A principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, Maxim Beloserkovsky received his dance training at the Kiev Ballet Institute. In 1990 he danced as a leading soloist with the National Opera of Bulgaria where he remained for one year. From 1991 to 1994, he was a principal dancer with the National Opera Ballet of the Ukraine, and toured with them to numerous countries, including France, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Egypt, Japan, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S.
He performed most of the major roles in the classical repertory: the Prince and Bluebird in Sleeping Beauty; Prince Siegfried and the Pas de Trois in Swan Lake; Albrecht in Giselle; Ferhad in Legend of Love; and the Pas de Deux from Le Corsaire, Don Quixote and La Sylphide. In 1993, Mr. Beloserkovsky was honored by the President of the Ukraine for outstanding artistic achievement. After joining American Ballet Theatre in 1994, Mr. Beloserkovsky was made a soloist in 1995 and was appointed principal dancer in 2000, following a brilliant season in which he was repeatedly cited for his superior artistry, “(adding) virtuosity to his pure classical style.” (Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times.) His performance as Basilio in Don Quixote was a triumph: “The last Don Quixote of the season … had (partner and wife) Irina Dvorovenko and Mr. Beloserkovsky in a stunning display of integrated artistry and technique, a truly flawless and exciting performance.” (Kisselgoff, The New York Times.) Ms. Kisselgoff’s review of his 1999 Don Quixote hailed his performance as “perfect, and danced in sublime harmony and with breathtaking stylistic unity.”
Mr. Beloserkovsky’s Siegfried in Ballet Theatre’s new Swan Lake also brought critical acclaim: “To see Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky step into the leading roles of Swan Lake was to see two outstanding dancers outdo themselves and enhance a 19th century classic with a splendid and mature performance.” “It is up to the principals to bring depth to the plot through their dancing. This is what Ms. Dvorovenko and Mr. Beloserkovsky did with unusual technical polish.” (The New York Times). Jennifer Dunning, reviewing Etudes in The New York Times, cited Mr. Beloserkovsky for his “forceful Russian-style attack, mixed here, characteristically, with a winning clarity of line and shape.” Equally confident in both classical and contemporary works, Mr. Beloserkovsky brings graceful dignity and elegance to his many roles.
His repertoire with ABT includes Basilio and Espada in Don Quixote, Prince Desiré and Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, Siegfried in Swan Lake, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Albrecht in Giselle, Jean de Brienne in Raymonda, Oberon in The Dream, the lead in Theme and Variations, Conrad and Lankendem in Le Corsaire, Camille in The Merry Widow, Colas in La Fille Mal Gardée, Lensky in Onegin, Misgir in The Snow Maiden, James in La Sylphide, Franz in Coppélia, the Cavalier in The Nutcracker, Aminta in Sylvia, and the Prince in Cinderella. He has also danced leading roles in The Leaves are Fading, Lilac Garden, Dim Lustre, Brüch Violin Concerto, Mozartiana, Symphony in C, Symphonic Variations, Les Sylphides, Etudes, Apollo, Pas des Déesses, La Bayadère (Act II), and Variations for Four, as well as Sylvia Pas de Deux, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and Paquita.
His athleticism and style have also earned him leading roles in important contemporary works: Twyla Tharp’s Push Comes to Shove, The Elements and The Brahams-Haydn Variations, Nacho Duato’s Without Words and Remanso, Natalie Weir’s Hereafter, Mark Morris’s Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, Jiri Kylian’s Sinfonietta, John Neumeier’s Spring and Fall, Christian Spuck’s Le Grand Pas de Deux, Stanton Welch’s Clear, Peter Quanz’s Kaleidoscope, Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels, and Jerome Robbins’s Afternoon of a Faun. Mr. Beloserkovsky has appeared as a guest artist with numerous companies, including the Hamburg Ballet, the Finnish Ballet, the Rome Opera Ballet, Verona Ballet, the Universal Ballet, and with Stars of the Bolshoi Ballet, and has been a guest with Asami Maki and at the National Theater in Tokyo. He has also appeared in several videos and television arts programs, including the PBS broadcast of the opening of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, partnering his wife, ABT principal dancer Irina Dvorovenko, in the Swan Lake Act II Pas de Deux. He has been featured on the cover of Dance Magazine, Japanese Dance Magazine, New York Dance Fax, and Pointe, as well as in articles in People, Dancing Times, Dance Review, Gotham, Good Housekeeping, and Talk. With his polished technique and confident stage presence, Mr. Beloserkovsky easily meets the technical challenge of both the classical and contemporary repertory, making him one of American Ballet Theatre’s most versatile dancers. He and Ms. Dvorovenko are the proud parents of daughter Emma Galina, born in March 2005.
Mr. Kelly was recently the Resident Director for the Asia and Paris tour of the Broadway musical ‘An American in Paris’. He had the pleasure of also taking care of the U.S. tour, as well as the Broadway company. This is the third Tony Award winning choreographer he has had the opportunity to work alongside.
Sean is a former Principal dancer and Ballet Master for Houston Ballet. He continues to be a Guest Ballet Master with the company. He danced the leading roles in the company’s full length classical ballets- such as Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Manon, and others. In addition, he had the pleasure of dancing a very mixed repertoire including works by Ben Stevenson, George Balanchine, Christopher Bruce, Paul Taylor, Jiri Kylian, Glen Tetley, and Stanton Welch, among others.
Additionally, he choreographed 2 Ballets for Houston Ballet.
Sean has been involved with numerous musical theater shows. He was in the Broadway company of Twyla Tharp’s “Movin’ Out”. He was also on the tour where he was both a swing and Dance Captain, eventually serving as a Resident Director. He was the Resident Choreographer for 3 companies of “Billy Elliot, the musical”. He was also a swing and Dance Supervisor on “Swing the musical”.
He has worked regularly with Diablo ballet over the years where he was a frequent Guest Artist and choreographer.
Sean was the Associate Director of Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance’ where he toured extensively internationally.
Sean staged “Movin’ Out” in London on the West End. He was asked by Mr. Stevenson to set his “Cleopatra” on both the Boston Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. He recently staged a Christopher Bruce piece for Sarasota Ballet, and Mr. Bruce’s timeless ‘Ghost Dances’ for Houston Ballet.
Sean won Best Partner at the International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland.
Sean is also a freelance teacher.
Meena grew up in Boxford, MA and has been dancing for 18 years. She trained competitively in many styles including contemporary, ballet, tap, jazz, and more. In the summers, she would travel to attend summer intensive programs including ChuThis, Steps On Broadway, and Urbanity Dance. She has had the opportunity to dance in Destiny Rising at the Joyce Theatre, The Fred and Adele Astaire Awards, and Boston Contemporary Dance Festival.
Meena moved to New York at age 18 to further her dance education at Marymount Manhattan College. She is currently a junior on track to get her B.F.A. in Dance with a Modern concentration and her B.A. in Business. Through the college, she has been able to perform original works by Pascal Rioult, Katy Pile, Tami Stronach, and more. Meena began working at Ballet Academy East as a SummerDance counselor in 2021, and is excited to continue working in the Young Dancer Division.
Kirsten Kauffmann grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where she began dancing at the age of 3. She trained in various styles at the Movement Arts Center and has also completed training programs with Millennium Dance Complex, Big Muddy Dance Company, School of Missouri Contemporary Ballet, and Peridance Center. She is currently pursuing her BFA in dance at Marymount Manhattan College.
Originally from Plainfield, IL, Alexa trained since the age of 2 at Inspire School of Dance in Naperville, IL. She is currently pursuing her BFA in Dance along with a minor in Psychology at Marymount Manhattan College. She has performed across the United States at various theaters including The Joyce Theater, The NYU Skirball, and The Auditorium Theatre in Chicago where she was a part of the Dance For Life event. Additionally, Alexa has worked with and performed repertoire by Pascal Rioult and Twyla Tharp as well as original works by Jennifer Archibald, Darshan Singh Bhuller, Hanna Brictson, Anthony Morigerato, and Alberto Del Saz.
Sarah Jannsen grew up in Boulder, Colorado where she began her training and teaching at the Colorado Conservatory of Dance. She then moved to New York to attend Marymount Manhattan College. In 2018, she earned a BFA in Dance, with a Ballet concentration, and a BA in Business, with a Leadership concentration. Sarah began at Ballet Academy East through assisting the Summerdance program in 2016. She has enjoyed watching her students grow up and loves working in the Young Dancer, Primary and Enrichment divisions. Outside of Ballet Academy East, Sarah is a Fitting Specialist at Gaynor Minden and she dances in various freelance projects.
Sydney began her dance training at age three in Atlanta, Georgia. She attended Dance Arts Centre under the direction of Jeff Boss and Jamie Wardrop. She was also a member of the professional dance company, Gotta Dance Contemporary throughout high school. Sydney moved to New York in August 2019 to attend Marymount Manhattan College. She will graduate in May 2023 with a B.A. in Dance with a concentration in Teaching Dance Arts and a B.A. in Business with a concentration in Media and Arts Management. Sydney joined the Ballet Academy East staff in 2020 and is excited to be working in the Young Dancer Division!
Amos Machanic, Jr. (Miami, FL) is currently a Teaching Artist with Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs. Mr. Machanic also teaches at The Ailey Extension, Ballet Academy East, and for the American Ballet Theater Kids Summer Intensive Program. Mr. Machanic studied dance at The New World School of the Arts and continued his training at The Ailey School where he was a fellowship recipient. Machanic was a member of Ailey II and Joined The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1996. During his 15 years with the company, Amos had the pleasure of traveling and performing across the globe. In 2010, he performed at the White House tribute to Judith Jamison and now enjoys being a freelance artist and teacher.
Julie has trained at North Carolina School of the Arts, Pennsylvania Ballet School, and Joffrey Ballet School, among others. She teaches a ballet class based on alignment, strength, and fluidity. Her performing credits include National tours of both Movin’ Out and SWING!. Companies include Dances Patrelle, Donald Byrd/The Group, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Manhattan Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, and North Carolina Dance Theatre. She has been teaching at BAE since 2009.
Cleo began dancing at age 6 at Suncoast Academy of Dance in Palm Harbor, Florida. She was a member of their performing company, Art In Motion, for 10 years, and joined the faculty at Suncoast in high school. She holds a B.F.A. in Commercial Dance from Pace University with concentrations in choreography and pedagogy. Pace Commercial Dance brought Cleo the opportunity to train with – and perform original works by – renowned teachers and choreographers such as Mandy Moore, Jessica Hendricks, Lauren Gaul, Rhonda Miller, and Jason Samuels Smith, as well as the chance to perform excerpts from Agnes de Mille\’s Rodeo, staged by Paul Sutherland, and José Limón\’s Psalm, staged by Jonathan Riedel. As a participant in the inaugural Pace Performing Arts Los Angeles Intensive, she studied dance and choreography for the camera, working closely with Emmy-nominated choreographer Mandy Moore and renowned choreographer & videographer Jerry Evans.
Performance credits include the 2015 and 2017 Park Avenue Armory Gala (Larry Keigwin), A Letter to Cancer (Rachel M. Hettinger, Metaphors&similes Dance), My Love (Mike Esperanza, Peridance Capezio Center 2017 Gala), The Attraction of the Pedaling Ankle (Jaclyn Walsh, Pushing Progress Showcase 2016), and In Violent Circles (Rite of Spring)(Jonathan Riedel, world premiere).
Kaileigh began her dance training in her hometown of Acton Massachusetts when she was 3. In 2017, she graduated Muhlenberg College with a B.A. in Dance and a B.S. in Biology. While studying at Muhlenberg, she performed with many artists such as the Shapiro and Smith Dance Company, Cristina Perrera, Shelly Oliver, Susan Creitz, and Jeffery Peterson.
Kaileigh moved to New York and began teaching the Pre-Ballet classes at Ballet Academy East in 2018. You can also find her behind the front desk as one of our Front Desk Administrators.
Darla Hoover was trained at the renowned Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary and completed her studies on a full scholarship at the School of American Ballet. In 1980, after choreographing a solo for her in the New York City Opera production of Bourgeois Gentilhomme, George Balanchine invited Ms. Hoover to become a member of his New York City Ballet. From 1980-1991, Ms. Hoover appeared as a featured soloist in ballets such as Balanchine’s La Valse, Chaconne, Harlequinade, Ballo della Regina, as well as Peter Martins’ Eight Easy Pieces, Rossini Quartets, Sonata di Scarlatti, and Jerome Robbin’s Fanfare. Upon retirement, a full schedule of guest appearances throughout the United States and Europe further expanded her repertory experience.
Ms. Hoover now focuses her attentions on teaching and staging ballets, including positions as the Artistic Director of Ballet Academy East’s Pre-Professional Division in New York City, and Artistic Director of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, where she also directs a nationally recognized Teachers Workshop that instructs fellow dance educators on the syllabus and methodologies developed by Marcia Dale Weary. Ms. Hoover guest teaches all over the world, and has been invited to share her successful techniques at distinguished companies such as New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, New National Theatre Tokyo, and Royal Danish Ballet.
As a répétiteur, Ms. Hoover regularly stages works for the George Balanchine Trust. Recent stagings at major ballet companies such as the Stanislavsky Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, New National Theatre Tokyo, and Dance Theatre of Harlem have included George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Raymonda Variations, La Source, Serenade, Scherzo à la Russe, Divertimento No.15, Valse Fantaisie, Concerto Barocco, Allegro Brillante, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Stars and Stripes. Ms. Hoover was invited to stage George Balanchine’s Raymonda Variations at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. This performance marked the first time the esteemed Academy had ever performed a work by Mr. Balanchine.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA), Charles began his dance training at the age of five with Loyce Houlton and the Minnesota Dance Theatre. He continued his studies in Minneapolis until the age of 16, spending one summer at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, in 1983. Mr. Askegard joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in 1987, and was promoted to soloist in 1992. His repertoire while at American Ballet Theatre included leading roles in Giselle, La Bayadere, Manon, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Etudes, Voluntaries, The Rite of Spring, Symphonic Variations, Rodeo, Fall River Legend, The Other, The Red Shoes, Le Corsaire Pas de Deux, and Apollo.
In 1997, Mr. Askegard left ABT to join New York City Ballet as a soloist. He served as Principal Dancer from 1998 until 2011. In 2002, he appeared in the nationally televised Live from Lincoln Center broadcast, “New York City Ballet’s Diamond Project: Ten Years of New Choreography” on PBS, dancing in Them Twos. And in May of 2004, he appeared in the Live From Lincoln Center broadcast of “Lincoln Center Celebrates Balanchine 100,” dancing in Vienna Waltzes. In addition to his appearances with New York City Ballet, Mr. Askegard has been a guest artist with The Dutch National Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet Etudes of South Florida, Bavarian State Opera Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Philippine Ballet Theatre, The Daring Project, and the Stars of American Ballet. He performed the leading roles opposite Barbie in the “Barbie” 3-D animated videos, dancing in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and the Twelve Dancing Princesses.
He can also be seen in the documentary Ballet, directed by Fred Wiseman. Since joining New York City Ballet, Mr. Askegard has danced featured roles in works by several key choreographers of the 20th and 21st century, including George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, Apollo, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (Fourth Movement), Concerto Barocco, Coppélia (Frantz), Cortège Hongrois, Firebird, The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, “Diamonds” from Jewels, Ivesiana, Kammermusik No. 2, Liebeslieder Walzer, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Monumentum pro Gesualdo, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Orpheus, Robert Schumann’s “Davidsbündlertänze”, Scotch Symphony, Serenade, Stars and Stripes, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Swan Lake, Symphony in C, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 (Theme and Variations), Union Jack, Vienna Waltzes, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Western Symphony, Who Cares?, Peter Martins’ Barber Violin Concerto, Fearful Symmetries, Morgen, Naïve and Sentimental Music, The Sleeping Beauty (Gold), Swan Lake (Siegfried and Russian), The Waltz Project, Harmonielehre, River of Light, Swan Lake, Them Twos, Thou Swell and Viva Verdi, Jerome Robbins’ The Four Seasons (Fall), Glass Pieces, In Memory of…, In the Night, Ives, Songs In addition to Eliot Feld’s Intermezzo No. 1, The Unanswered Question, Organon and Robert La Fosse’s “Rockin’ in Rhythm” from Duke!, Helgi Tomasson’s Prism (2000 Diamond Project ballet), and Christopher Wheeldon’s Carnival of the Animals. Charles Askegard is the Associate Artistic Director of Minnesota Dance Theatre.
Cynthia Birdwell is originally from Houston, Texas, and began her training at the Asbury School of Dance. She then joined the Margo Marshall School of Ballet, and was a member of their student company. Cynthia attended High School of the Performing and Visual Arts as a Dance major, and spent her summers at School of American Ballet.
Cynthia took a break from ballet and pursued a successful modeling career. She has been on the faculty of the BAE Pre-Professional Ballet Division since 1998.
Olga Dvorovenko is a former principal dancer and ballet mistress with the Ukrainian State Academic Dance Ensemble. She was honored by the President of the Ukraine for outstanding artistic achievement. She is a faculty member at American Ballet Theater Studio Company and JKO school. In 2002, Olga was invited by ABT to dance the role of “Madame” in Antony Tudor’s Offenbach in the Underworld, and in 2006 the role of “Madam” in Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon. She has been a faculty member at BAE since 1998.
Jenna Rae Lavin is originally from Queens, New York. She began her ballet training with Mme. Gabriela Darvash and Jody Fugate. She later graduated from the School of American Ballet where she studied with such teachers as Alexandria Danilova, Antonia Tumkovsky, and Stanley Williams. Ms. Lavin began her professional career at 17 when she was invited to join the Chicago City Ballet, under the direction of Maria Tallchief. Ms. Lavin also danced with the Atlanta Ballet, directed by Robert Barnett, for seven years.
Her principal and soloist roles with the Atlanta Ballet include: Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, The Four Temperaments, Serenade, Tarantella Pas de Deux, Minkus Pas de Trois as well as Le Corsaire Pas de Deux, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker. Ms. Lavin was a principal dancer with the Nashville Ballet where she danced Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the title role in Giselle, and principal roles in the company’s contemporary repertoire. Other professional affiliations include the Los Angeles Ballet, under the direction of John Clifford. Ms. Lavin spent eight summers as a member of the Chautauqua Ballet Company, under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, where she performed principal roles in ballets by Balanchine, Bonnefoux, and Clifford. She is a former soloist with Edward Villella’s Miami City Ballet, where she danced principal roles in many ballets including Divertimento #15, Jewels, Pas de Dix, Raymonda Variations, Valse Fantasies, Western Symphony, Glinka Pas de Trois, The Nutcracker, and Who Cares?. Ms. Lavin has worked with numerous choreographers, creating principal roles in ballets by Alonzo King, Lisa de Ribere, and Stanton Welch, to name a few. In the summer of 2003, Ms. Lavin performed in Casablanca, a collaboration between Warner Bros. and John Clifford’s Los Angeles Dance Theater.
Ms. Lavin has been teaching ballet to young dancers throughout her career. She has been on faculty at BAE since 2003 teaching in the Pre Professional Division. Ms. Lavin has also choreographed over 20 ballets for BAE. She is married to Cornel Crabtree and they are the proud parents of three boys – Sky, Grayson and Cooper.
Joseph Malbrough is a former principal dancer with Chicago City Ballet, Ballet Chicago, and L’Opera de Lausanne. He also performed with Makarova and Company, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Fort Worth Ballet. Joseph is a former ballet master and teacher, Jeunne Ballet in Lausanne, Switzerland. He has taught at BAE since 2005.
Tara Mora was raised in Queens, New York. Her ballet training began with Donja Joseph at Studio E School of Dance and continued, on scholarship, with The School of American Ballet, and at LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts. Ms. Mora has enjoyed a professional career dancing in ballet companies throughout the United States including The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Carolina Ballet, where she was a founding member, Cincinnati Ballet, and Alabama Ballet.
Among the highlights of her fourteen year career was the opportunity to perform soloist and principal roles in Balanchine classics such as Serenade, Square Dance, Who Cares?, Monumentum/Movements, Diamonds, Concerto Barocco, and Scotch Symphony. Ms. Mora has also had the pleasure of dancing soloist and principal roles in the work of esteemed choreographers Lynn Taylor-Corbett, Robert Weiss, Kirk Peterson, Christopher Wheeldon, Wes Chapman, and Roger Van Fleteren. She is thrilled to be a member of the BAE faculty.
Francis Patrelle serves as the Artistic Director for Dances Patrelle. He holds a BFA from The Juilliard School. Mr. Patrelle is a former resident choreographer at Berkshire Ballet, a part of the faculty of Manhattan School of Music, and former chairman of the dance division at USDAN Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. Mr. Patrelle has choreographed on such illustrious dancers as Cynthia Gregory, Merrill Ashley, Judith Fugate, Lourdes Lopez, Jennifer Ringer, John Meehan, Donald Williams, Peter Boal, and Jock Soto. As resident choreographer, Mr. Patrelle has encouraged and guided the development of many young choreographers. Francis Patrelle has been a faculty member at BAE since 1979.
A native of Cali, Colombia, Juan Carlos Peñuela began dancing at the age of 12 with Incolballet, a ballet-centered secondary school. His teachers included artistic staff from the National Ballet of Cuba and several Russian ballet academies. After Mr. Peñuela\’s graduation in 1986, Gloria Castro invited him to become a soloist with Columbia\’s National Company, Ballet de Cali. During the seven years he was with Ballet de Cali, he danced throughout South America, Europe, and the Caribbean Islands. His repertoire consisted of leading roles in contemporary works as well as classical pieces, including the principal male in Les Sylphides, Colin in La Fille Mal Gardée, and Franz in Coppélia.
In 1993, Mr. Peñuela moved to the United States to join Ballet Arizona in Phoenix, where he danced several pieces by artistic director and choreographer Michael Uthoff, and also created roles in new ballets by Violette Verdy and Helgi Tomasson. In 1996, he joined Dance Theater of Harlem, where he performed in many of George Balanchine’s works, including The Four Temperaments, Agon, Allegro Brillante, and Bugaku, as well as a variety of contemporary pieces.
Mr. Peñuela then joined Pennsylvania Ballet in 1998-2004. He was featured in several roles in The Nutcracker, and in Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Great Galloping Gottschalk. Most notably, he received critical praise for dancing the role of The Moor in Josè Limon’s The Moor’s Pavane. He also performed in new works such as Jeffrey Gribler’s Cricket Dances, Meredith Rainey’s Slight Shifts, and Matthew Neenan’s Sfrenato.
Juan Carlos then worked as a freelance dancer, ballet master, and répétiteur based in New York City, working with various companies and schools all over the US and abroad. He has rehearsed & staged full-length ballets such as: Giselle, Don Quixote, Paquita, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella, Walpurgis Nights, Diana & Acteon, Flower Festival in Genzano, Les Sylphides, Spartacus, Carmen, Raymonda, and Le Corsaire, as well as works created by choreographers Chiara Ajkun, Meredith Rainey, Gloria Castro, and Diane Coburn Bruning, to name a few.
Juan Carlos is currently the Ballet Master of Ballet Hispanico Company in New York City as well Senior Ballet Master for the School of Dance. He teaches company classes at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Alvin Ailey School. Mr. Peñuela is faculty member of Joffrey Ballet School and Marymount Manhattan College, both in New York City.
Cheryl Yeager received her early training at Maryland School of Ballet, performing with the Maryland Youth Ballet. She went on to receive scholarships to study at both the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre School. Cheryl joined American Ballet Theatre in 1976, was promoted to soloist in 1981, and then became a principal dancer in 1986.
During Cheryl’s eighteen years at American Ballet Theatre, she performed leading roles in all the great ballets including Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Coppélia, Cinderella, La Bayadère, Giselle, Études, La Sylphide, Raymonda, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, Firebird, Gaite Parisienne, Graduation Ball, Flower Festival, Bournonville Pas de Trois, La Fille Mal Gardée, Napoli, Grand Pas Classique, Le Corsaire, Diana and Acteon, Anthony Tudor’s Leaves are Fading, Undertow and Fandango, Merce Cunningham’s Duets, Twyla Tharp’s Push Comes To Shove and Bach Partita, Frederick Ashton’s Rendez Vous and Les Patineurs, George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Donizetti Variations, Apollo, Bourrée Fantasque, Harliquinade, and Sylvia Pas de Deux.
Cheryl originated leading roles in ballets including Twyla Tharp’s Brief Fling, Clark Tippet’s Bruch Violin Concerto, Lynne Taylor Corbet’s Great Galloping Gottchaulk, and Michael Smuin’s Peter and the Wolf. Cheryl has toured throughout the world with Alexander Godunov, Rudolph Nureyev, Peter Boal, Julio Bocca, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. She has been seen on television and video in Live From Lincoln Center: Raymonda, Giselle, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, and Billy the Kid, as well as Baryshnikov with Twyla Tharp, Baryshnikov’s Nutcracker, and Don Quixote with Julio Bocca. Cheryl is a summer faculty member at American Ballet Theatre and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.
She is also a well known private teacher and coach. Cheryl has been a much-loved senior faculty member in the Pre-Professional Division at Ballet Academy East since 2002.
Nicholas Ade is from Los Angeles, CA. He trained at San Francisco Ballet School and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He danced with the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) from 1996-2006 under Francia Russell, Kent Stowell, and Peter Boal. While with PNB, Ade performed leading roles in George Balanchine\’s The Four Temperaments and A Midsummer Night\’s Dream; Ronald Hynd\’s The Merry Widow; and Kent Stowell\’s The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. He has also been featured in Balanchine\’s La Valse, Prodigal Son, Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements, and Who Cares?; and Peter Martins\’ Fearful Symmetries. He originated featured roles in Val Caniparoli\’s Torqueand Nicolo Fonte\’s Almost Tango and Within/Without.
Ade joined Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet as school principal in 2012, prior to serving as principal of the Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s Francia Russell Center, PNB’s Eastside School, under Artistic Director Peter Boal from 2006 through 2012. Ade also serves as permanent guest faculty at Ballet Academy East in New York City under artistic director, Darla Hoover and founder and director, Julia Dubno. He has taught throughout Europe and North America, including the Iliev Foundation in Bulgaria. Ade has also taught at Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet, Utah Regional Ballet, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He also has been on faculty at several national and regional festivals for Regional Dance America (RDA). Ade’s relationship with RDA has also extended into adjudicating in 2010; as well as serving as host to the Craft of Choreography Conference (CCC) and Summer Intensive from 2007-2009 and has been on the faculty of the CCC from 2004 through 2009. He has served as host of PNB\’s Eyes on Dance and Discover Dance outreach performances and has been Project Coordinator for PNB\’s NEXT STEP (formerly Choreographers\’ Showcase) since 2005. In November 2014, Ade was appointed chief executive officer of CPYB.
Photo Credit: Joel Thomas Photography
Stacy Caddell was born in Norfolk, Virginia, where she began her dance training at the age of 5. She later attended the School of American Ballet, where she was invited to join the New York City Ballet by George Balanchine and was eventually promoted to soloist.
In 1991, Stacy joined Twyla Tharp’s dance company. She toured with Ms. Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov in the full evening production of “Cutting Up.” Stacy later assisted Ms. Tharp at American Ballet Theatre on “Known By Heart,” and also assisted Ms. Tharp at the New York City Ballet on “Beethoven’s Seventh.” From 2002-2005, Stacy served as the Dance Supervisor on Twyla Tharp’s Tony Award Winning Broadway show “Movin’ Out” and was also instrumental in staging its first national tour.
She has performed on PBS on four separate occasions. Stacy’s choreographic credits include the play “A Drama You Can Dance To,” the short film “Central Park,” The HBO series “The Sopranos,” the opera “Aida,” and three ballets for Ballet Academy East where she is currently a guest faculty member. Stacy travels nationally and internationally staging the works of Twyla Tharp. She also works for the George Balanchine Trust staging George Balanchine’s ballets. She has been a guest teacher at the Royal Danish Ballet and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. Stacy lives in New York City.
A lifelong advocate for the arts, Alan Hineline delivers a rare blend of business acumen and artistic expertise with a proven track record of motivating organizations to achieve their artistic and strategic missions.
As Chief Executive Officer of Ballet San Jose, Hineline led all aspects of the organization’s mission fulfillment – working closely with trustee and artistic leadership on strategic initiatives, board development, financial stewardship, institutional marketing and fundraising campaigns, and artistic programming. Hineline served as CEO for Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) from 2009 to 2014. His strategies to expand the CPYB profile and develop financial support of the organization’s mission put CPYB on a path toward long-term sustainability and viability for future generations of students and audience members. Previously, Hineline lead Ballet Philippines, in Manila, as Chief Operating Officer and Artistic Director. In his role, he oversaw a complete rebranding of the organization including repertoire expansion, artistic development of the company artists, and a heightened institutional profile.
Hineline returned to the CPYB faculty with a broad range of international teaching credentials. He is a sought-after choreographer/ballet master and has created more than 25 works for Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. His body of work can also be seen in the repertories of American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Pennsylvania Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and The Juilliard Dance Ensemble, among many others.
Hineline sits on the national advisory board of Regional Dance America. He is the founder of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s choreographic initiative, ChoreoPlan. Among his many awards is the Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography from the Choo-San Goh and H. Robert Magee Foundation, as well as multiple National Choreography Awards from Regional Dance America.
Ms. Aharon began her training in Syracuse, New York, and continued her studies at Princeton Ballet, CPYB, NYSSSA affiliated with NYCB, and BAE. She attended the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, performing works by George Balanchine, Betti-Jane Sills, and Stephanie Tooman. While at Purchase, she was selected to perform a piece choreographed by Stanton Welsh in collaboration with American Ballet Theater studio company.
Ms. Aharon realized her passion for teaching when she was given the opportunity to assist classes at Ballet Academy East in 2003. She is currently a senior faculty member of the school and is also delighted being one of the Ballet Masters for Dances Patrelle’s “The Yorkville Nutcracker”.
Savannah Joy Cobb is originally from North Carolina, where she began serious ballet training at the age of nine under Galina Panova. At the age of fourteen, she began doing summer programs, including the Joffrey Ballet Intensive, CAMP: Common Art Mutual Passion, and David Parsons Intensive/Choreography Lab, as well as working on a site specific piece by Mark Dendy at the Museum of Modern Art.
While growing up, she traveled up and down the East Coast performing, where she won many titles at Conventions/Competitions including the Future Star Award Winner for Dance Spirit Magazine. In 2011 she moved to New York City to train in Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester, where she was able to perform for Glamour and Details Magazines’ End of the Year Celebration, as well as for New York City’s Choreographers Canvas. Savannah then chose to work as an entertainer at Hershey Park before beginning school at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Since then, Savannah has been in many works created by Dwight Rhoden, Douglas Becker, Roni Koresh, and Sidra Bell. During school she was lucky enough to travel to France, perform in RAW: Artists of Philadelphia, World of Dance, and The Capezio Ace Awards.
In 2016 her short film, Àme, was an official selection of the Philadelphia Screendance Festival. Having graduated with honors, Savannah has now had the opportunity to dance for Broadway Cares with DRA, Destiny Rising at the Joyce Theater, and has been involved in Project 4 5 20 with Pushing Progress.
Sarah Feliciano trained at Eliot Feld’s Ballet Tech New York City Public School for Dance under the direction of Christine Sarry and Daniel Levans. While attending the school, she was given the opportunity to perform at The Joyce Theater. Sarah graduated from Dean College with her Bachelors Degree in Dance with a minor in Psychology in 2015.
She graduated Summa Cum Laude, and was a member of the Golden Key and National Society of Leadership and Success. While at Dean, she trained with Boston Ballet’s Laura Young and performed ballets such as Don Quixote, Napoli, Tarantella, and Coppélia. Sarah has worked at Ballet Academy East’s Summerdance since 2011, and joined the Young Dancer Division faculty in 2015.
Amanda Johnson is originally from North Carolina. She received a BFA in Dance Performance from Oklahoma City University. She performed with the American Spirit Dance Company before moving to New York City in 2012. Amanda has been a member of the BAE faculty since 2013 and was appointed as Principal of the Young Dancer Division in January, 2020. In addition, Amanda also teaches Dance Cardio within the BAE Adult Division.
Anne Kelly’s experience in ballet includes performing, teaching, staging, and choreographing. She trained at the School of American Ballet for ﬁve years before attending Barnard College of Columbia University. While at Barnard, she studied with Francis Patrelle, Lourdes Lopez, Kate Glasner, and Allegra Kent. She performed works by George Balanchine, Lew Christiansen, Elisa Monte, Karla Wolfangle, Daniel Pelzig, and Lila York. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English and Dance. Ms. Kelly has danced with New York City Opera in their productions of Semele, Pirates of Penzance, and Candide, and she has performed with Dances Patrelle in Is That All There Is?, Murder at the Masque, Gilbert and Sullivan, The Ballet!, and The Yorkville Nutcracker, for which she also serves as Ballet Mistress. In 2012, Ms. Kelly founded her own company K/M•D/M, which is an elegantly modern ballet company that performs to live music. As Artistic Director and Choreographer, she has produced 5 Seasons for K/M•D/M in NYC. She has been on faculty at Ballet Academy East since 2005, teaching in the Pre-Ballet, Primary, Pre-Professional, and Adult Open Class Divisions.
Yuki Kittaka received a BFA and MFA from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has performed with Ei Kasahara Ballet Company and Chubu Festival Ballet Company in Japan. Yuki has been a faculty member at BAE since 1998.
Caitlin trained in Ohio at Sharrons School of Dance and Cleveland City Dance Academy, and is a former Miss Dance of America (DEA). She received a BFA in dance from Marymount Manhattan College. Professionally she has danced with Eidolon Ballet and 277 Dance Project. Caitlin has taught at BAE since 2005.
Meaghan Maxwell holds a BFA in Dance Performance from Ohio State University. She has performed with Eidolon Ballet and JT Lotus Dance Company. Meaghan has been teaching at BAE since 2008.
The founder and director of Ballet Academy East, Julia Dubno began her ballet studies at the age of eight with Edwina Fontaine. She later studied with Francis Patrelle, Dick Andros, and Richard Thomas, and subsequently attended the Juilliard School where she studied with Hector Zaraspe and Afredo Corvino, as well as other noted teachers. Early in her studies at Juilliard, she realized her true interest was in teaching and administration. In 1978, she was asked by her mentor, Christine Fokine, to run the Fokine Ballet School.
That experience led to opening Ballet Academy East in a brownstone on East 79th Street with one small studio in 1979. Today the school has five spacious studios and a world-renowned faculty, and continues to flourish. As director of the school, Julia Dubno continues to oversee the day-to-day operations and is in close contact with the faculty in order to be kept abreast of all areas of the school.
Wendy Amos teaches Body Conditioning based on the principles of Joseph Pilates. She received an MA from the Teachers College at Columbia University. Wendy is a former student and company apprentice with Dance Theatre of Harlem. She has been a faculty member at Alvin Ailey American Dance Center since 1977, a faculty member in Anatomy and Kinesiology at Marymount Manhattan College since 1997, and a faculty member at BAE since 1996.
Shirley Bassat studied with Vickie Sheer, Harry Asmus, Barbara Fallis, Richard Thomas, and Dick Andros. She danced with Elena del Cueto, Dover Ballet, and U.S. Terpsichore. Shirley has taught at New York School of Ballet, Harkness Dance Center, Bronx House Music School, BOCES in Syocset, Usdan, and is currently teaching at 92nd St Y. Shirley has been teaching at BAE since 1989.
Maximilien Baud trained at the School of American Ballet for 10 years under the guidance of Peter Martins, Jock Soto, Peter Boal, Olga Kostritzky, and Andrei Kramarevsky. While a student, he performed with the NYC Ballet and was part of the original cast of two world premieres: Organon by Elliot Feld and Scenes de Ballet by Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon.
Mr. Baud began his professional career with the Carolina Ballet under Robert Weiss. There he would work with choreographers such as Lynne Taylor Corbett, Robert Weiss, Damian Woetzel, and Christopher Wheeldon. In 2005, Mr. Baud joined the Pennsylvania Ballet under the directorship of Roy Kaiser and would perform principal roles in ballets by Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, George Balanchine, and many more. In 2009, Mr. Baud had the opportunity to work on the Oscar-nominated film Black Swan, by Darren Aronofsky. In 2010, he joined the national/international tour of Billy Elliot the Musical performing the role of Older Billy, and was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Best Supporting Performer in a Musical. He was in the ensemble of the national tour of Flashdance the Musical (based on the iconic 80’s film) under the directorship of Tony Award-winning choreographer, Sergio Trujillo. Maximilien has reprised his role of Older Billy in regional productions of Billy Elliot with the MUNY, North Carolina Theater, and the North Shore Music Theater company.
Mr. Baud has had the opportunity to teach at numerous dance studios around the country, as well as coach the young Billys from Billy Elliot. Currently, he is on the staff at The Joffrey Ballet School. He helped co-create the Joffrey Ballet School Musical Theater Summer Intensive, where he holds the position of Associate Director. He also serves as a teacher and an adjudicator for Sheer Talent, the international dance competition. While teaching, Mr. Baud enjoys enriching the lives of dancers through discipline and a passion for the arts.
Marina Bilterijst is originally from the Netherlands and received her BFA in Dance at Codarts, Rotterdam. In the Netherlands, Ms. Bilterijst danced with Scapino Ballet Rotterdam before moving to New York in 2013. In 2014, she received the Steele Pilates Mat Certification with Teri Lee Steele and has been teaching Pilates since then at several locations throughout New York City.
Currently, Ms. Bilterijst is a dancer with Nimbus Dance Works, where she is also an instructor at the Nimbus’ School of Dance. At the moment, Marina teaches Pilates group classes as well as private sessions on both mat and apparatus. Over the past two years, Marina has broadened her Pilates knowledge by taking continuing education workshops for the stability ball, foam roller and pre/post-natal.
Her classes are based on the Pilates Principals, incorporating the classic Pilates exercises and a constant introduction of new variations within these exercises. Every class starts with proper breathing techniques to prepare you for an intense workout using your deeper abdominals in each exercise.
Enrique Brown is a theatrical performer, director, choreographer, and producer. He also travels the country teaching ballet, jazz, and theater dance. He began his training in Dallas, and continued with numerous instructors all over the nation, including schools like the Houston Ballet Academy and Virginia School of the Arts.
Enrique proceeded to spend four seasons with Ballet Oklahoma as a principal/soloist dancer. From there, Mr. Brown went on to become an actor/singer/dancer in many Broadway, national touring, regional, and stock productions. He was last seen playing multiple characters in the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid at The Lunt Fontaine. Other Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man (where he performed the role of Tommy Djilas), and Oklahoma!.
He can also be seen dancing in the film titled “Across the Universe,” directed by Julie Taymor. Enrique is the founder of Brown Productions, a theatrical production company based in New York City. It is dedicated to developing and mounting Broadway and West End musicals and plays for the commercial theatre.
Cornel Crabtree was born in Tripoli, Libya. He began dancing at fourteen and trained under full scholarship at both the San Francisco Ballet School and the School of American Ballet. Former teachers include Anatole Vilzak, Stanley Williams, Alexandria Danilova, Andrei Kamarevsky, and Gabriella Darvash, with whom he trained extensively.
Mr. Crabtree was a member of New York City Ballet for ten years, where he danced principal roles in a wide variety of ballets, such as Balanchine’s Serenade, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jewels, Vienna Waltzes, The Nutcracker, and Jerome Robbin’s Dances at a Gathering, In the Night, and Goldberg Variations, to name a few. Mr. Crabtree has performed on television in Bournonville Dances, which was telecast as part of PBS Dance in America series, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream Live from Lincoln Center broadcast. He was also invited to the Stars Shine for the Acropolis in Athens, where he danced Black Swan Pas de Deux. In 1989, he danced the title role of Oscar Wilde in the premiere of the Irish National Ballet’s production of “Oscar,” choreographed by Domy Reiter-Soffer.
In 1990, he danced Swan Lake at the National Theater in Taiwan. From 1990-92 he was a principal with Miami City Ballet, where he performed in Balanchine’s Bugaku, Square Dance, Glinka Pas de Trois, Jewels, Scotch Symphony, Concerto Borrocco, Pas de Dix, and Stars and Stripes Pas de Deux, as well as Petipa’s Sleeping Beauty. Mr. Crabtree has appeared as a principal quest artist with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Festival Ballet Providence, Ballet Austin, and The Daring Project. With these companies he performed in Paquita, Romeo and Juliet, Carmen, Esmerelda, Flower Festival, and La Sylphide. From 2000-01 he was a principal with Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, where some of his repertoire included Flemming Flint’s The Lesson, Ashton’s Monotones, and Arpino’s Kettentanz. A few of the new ballets created on him were Lambros Lambrou’s Byzantium, Remembrances, The Rite of Spring, and Stanton Welch’s Orange.
In 2004 he performed John Clifford’s Casablanca, which premiered in Beijing. Mr. Crabtree has performed the roles of Slavemaster/Solo Dancer for the Broadway and National tour productions of Phantom of the Opera. Mr. Crabtree has been on faculty at Marymount Manhattan College, Broadway Dance Center, Ballet Arts, and Fieldston School of Ethical Culture.
Amanda is originally from North Carolina. She received a BFA in dance performance from Oklahoma City University, where she also performed with the American Spirit Dance Company. In addition to ballet, Amanda is also a licensed Zumba instructor.
Lisa Lockwood danced with the American Ballet Theatre for ten years, subsequently with Feld Ballet, and was an original cast member of Phantom of the Opera. The choreographers she worked with personally include Anthony Tudor, George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Natalia Makarova, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Glen Tetley, Eliot Feld, and Sir Kenneth McMillan.
She currently teaches at Ballet Academy East and Steps on Broadway in New York. She has been a member of the faculties of Broadway Dance Center, Ballet Hispanico, and Alvin Ailey, and is an in-demand guest teacher at many international institutions such as the Metropolitan Opera, The Royal Ballet School (Denmark), Kaatsbaan Dance Center (New York), Juilliard, Joffrey Ballet, and Edmonton Ballet. Additionally, she teaches and coaches private students who are motivated to bring their ballet proficiency to the highest possible level.
Don Paradise trained with Mme Maria Swaboda, Leon Danielion, and Anotole Vilzak at the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and is a former principal member of PACT Ballet in South Africa. He worked with Roland Petit, Françoise Adret, and Frank Staff, and is a former member of Ruth Page International Ballet. Don has been a faculty member at BAE since 1989.
Angelina is an experienced yoga and pilates professional, drawing from both modalities and her dance background to give insightful and challenging classes that synchronize movement and breath. Trained as a power vinyasa yoga teacher, she also studied restorative yoga and children’s yoga, bringing aspects of deep restfulness and playfulness into her core-centered classes.
Her yoga path has also included journeys into Ashtanga and Anusara yoga, and has been guided at different times by the wisdom of Rodney Yee, Cyndi Lee, and Charles Matkin. Her training in pilates has been through Power Pilates and the countless hours of practice needed to support her dance. Whether in yoga or pilates, Angelina strives to teach her students how to move intelligently and find the balance between effort and surrender.
Ginger Thatcher has taught ballet for Norwegian National Ballet, Steps on Broadway, Cleveland Ballet, Houston Ballet Academy, Joffrey New School, Minnesota Ballet, USDAN, PeriDance, University of Michigan, Oakland University, Rutgers University, and BAE since 2002. Ginger’s choreography credits include: Billy The Kid, Pinocchio, Verb Ballets, “Swing” for Maine State Music Theatre, Wild Women of Planet Wongo for the NY Music Festival, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg for Two River Theatre Company, the film “Far From Heaven,” and Maury Yeston’s new musical, “Hans Christian Anderson” for Maine State Music Theatre.
Other New York credits include: Syncopation (Stamford Theatre Works), Big (Gateway Playhouse), The Lucky Chance (Jean Cocteau Rep., NYC), The Winter’s Tale and Othello (NYC Shakespeare Project), Barrio Babies (Amas Theatre Group NYC), and TV’s As The World Turns. Broadway Credits, as Associate, Assistant, and Resident Choreographer include: The Red Shoes, Carousel, Big, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Oklahoma!, A Year with Frog and Toad. Other Credits: PBS Othello (San Francisco Ballet, ABT), The Red Shoes (ABT, National Ballet of Canada), A Brahams Symphony (ABT), and Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame (Berlin), all with Lar Lubovitch. She has also worked on “But Not for Me” (Martha Graham Dance Company) and “Take Five” (PNB), with Susan Stroman.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Ana Luisa Baptista currently performs with Ballet for Young Audiences. She is a certified Pilates instructor, trained by Peter Roel, Phoebe Higgins, and Susan Moran. She is a faculty member at Vaillancourt Studio since 1994, a faculty member at Pilates Shop/Yoga Garage Inc., and a faculty member at BAE since 1994.
Born in Florence, Italy, where she started ballet classes at Daria Collin’s School, Ms. Seravalli joined the Joffrey Ballet shortly after her arrival in the U.S. She then moved to American Ballet Theatre, where she spent the next eleven years, attaining the rank of soloist. After leaving ABT, Ms. Seravalli joined the faculty of the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College where she taught, staged, choreographed, rehearsed, and took on other academic responsibilities.
She was invited to Taipei, Taiwan, to work with the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and the National Institute of the Arts. In that same year, she was also invited to teach at the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts. She has returned to teach at both institutions many times. Ms. Seravalli has been visiting ballet mistress for Ballet Philippines in Manila, where she rehearsed, staged, and taught classes for the school as well as for the company, with whom she went on a National Tour throughout the islands. Ms. Seravalli was also invited as a guest teacher and ballet mistress for the Ballet Municipal de Santiago and as a visiting teacher at its school.
In addition, she has returned many times to her home country to teach, stage, and consult. Ms. Seravalli has received a SUNY Research Foundation Grant to travel to the former Soviet Union to develop methods for adapting Russian classical training for American dancers. She received a Fulbright Fellowship to Chile, which allowed her to return to Ballet Municipal de Santiago. She has traveled throughout Chile and neighboring countries, giving seminars and master classes. Ms. Seravalli has worked with Guangdong Modern Company in Guangzhou, China, and was invited to teach at the University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts and at the Queensland University of Technology’s dance program in Brisbane, Australia. Ms. Seravalli was featured in Dance Magazine in an article entitled “Rosanna Seravalli: Teacher’s Wisdom.” Ms. Seravalli has choreographed and taught master classes for the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, and has been invited to teach at the school of the Houston Ballet and in Nagoya, Japan.
She is currently a member of the faculty of American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive Program in New York City, and is certified from levels Preliminary through Five in ABT’s National Training Curriculum. In addition, she teaches regularly at a number of schools in New York City and throughout the country. In the fall semester of 2014, Ms. Seravalli was on a leave of absence from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase to accept an invitation to work in Taipei, Taiwan, where she taught at the Taiwan National University of the Arts (TNUA), gave master classes to Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s school, and taught, choreographed, and staged for the Lan Yang Youth Catholic Center in both Taipei and Luotong. In January, 2015 Ms. Seravalli returned to her position as Professor of Dance at Purchase College.
Courtney Conner received a BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She has danced with Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre Workshop and performed in the national tour of Sesame Street Live!. Courtney is a member of Dances Patrelle and has been a faculty member at BAE since 1992.
Jamie Rae Walker began her ballet and Graham-based modern dance training at age eight in Levittown, Pennsylvania and later she performed with the Princeton Ballet, now American Repertory Ballet. In 1991 she began training at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and in 1992 was awarded a scholarship by Violette Verdy at the Northeast Regional Dance Festival. Jamie Rae joined Miami City Ballet in 1994 and performed principal and soloist roles in Balanchine and Taylor dances until 2000.
In 2001 she received a scholarship to attend The Taylor School and was part of the original cast of Twyla Tharp’s Broadway show, Movin’ Out. Jamie Rae joined Taylor 2 in fall 2003, and became a member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company in summer 2008. Jamie Rae has been teaching the modern classes within the BAE Pre-Professional Division since 2011.
Kevin Carpenter began his piano training with Lee Rickaway in Brazoria, Texas, and studied voice with Catherine Wafford and Katherine Ciesinski. He has sung with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Austin Lyric Opera, and the Houston Masterworks Chorus. He was a music associate at First United Methodist Church of Austin, Texas, and on faculty with Ballet Austin for seven years before moving to New York in February of 2010. Kevin can now be heard in New York City at Ballet Academy East and Steps, as well as in cabaret clubs around Manhattan.
Michael Cherry has been associated with Ballet Academy East as a staff pianist for more than 20 years. He has also served as Company Pianist and Soloist for Dance Theatre of Harlem from 1996 through 2004. He has also extensively performed as a piano soloist for The Limon Company. He has recorded five CDs of Music for Ballet Class. Michael holds a Masters Degree in Composition from the Manhattan School of Music, and was a recipient of the BMI Young Composers Award.
Coty earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Jacksonville State University in Classical Piano Performance, with a minor in Art. He then completed his Master’s Degree in Jazz Composition and Vocal Jazz at North Carolina Central University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He was invited to perform in the 2012 Fiji International Jazz and Blues Festival, as well as international jazz festivals in Canada and South Africa, and in 2015 crafted a nation-wide concert/workshop series in conjunction with the US Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
In addition to his jazz experience, Coty is heavily involved in musical theater, having worked on several regional and Off-Broadway productions. Some professional credits include Allegro, Ragtime, West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, Songs for a New World, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
His passion for creative collaboration has led him to the dance world, where he is often found accompanying ballet classes at Steps on Broadway, Ballet Academy East, and the Joffrey Ballet School. He is also the principal company pianist with Dance Theatre of Harlem, with whom he has had the pleasure of touring to Austria, Italy, Canada, and Israel.
Originally from Richmond VA, Jessica Anne Cox received her Bachelor of Music from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. Prior to moving to NYC, she was an accompanist with American Repertory Ballet’s Princeton Ballet School. She is an actress and singer and has appeared in a variety of productions in the tri-state area.
Amanda is originally from North Carolina. She received a BFA in dance performance from Oklahoma City University, where she also performed with the American Spirit Dance Company. In addition to ballet, Amanda is also a licensed Zumba instructor.
Whitney Gardner is a pianist and piano teacher in New York City. In addition to being a gifted ballet accompanist at BAE, she is a dedicated piano teacher and the founder/artistic director of *In The Pocket NYC: a Co-op of Teaching Musicians* (www.inthepocketnyc.com).
Whitney studied at Carnegie Mellon University, earning both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Music in Piano Performance.
Barbara Gayny studied composition as a scholarship student with Lee Kraft at the Aaron Copeland School of Music. She has been playing piano for Ballet Academy East for 25 years. Barbara has also worked with the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Elliot Feld, Joffrey II, New York University, Princeton University, City University of New York, and the 92nd Street Y. Barbara was the Polish translator/lyricist for Pope John Paul II’s musical play, Jeweler’s Shop, performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the United Nations. She performed and recorded with composer Mieczslaw Litwinski’s ensemble in the the mid-to-late ’80’s.
Barbara’s vocal music has been performed and recorded by Libana on Night Passage, Sbanachie label, and Singing the Stories of the West, Hal Leonard Publications. Barbara has performed with her husband, nationally acclaimed singer/songwriter and western entertainer Ernie Sites, in the US and Great Britain, including the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah. Barbara’s focus is on integrating music with dance, storytelling, and audience participation in a variety of musical styles. Her primary instrument is piano, but Barbara also loves to sing and play the vibraphone and riqq, the Arabic tambourine.
Mikhail Golubitskiy holds a masters degree in music from the Gnessin Musical Institute in Moscow. After graduating he worked as a professor and conductor in Ufa (Russia). Since moving to the New York in 1993, Mikhail has been a ballet accompanist at many ballet schools including Ballet Academy East, Peridance, Steps, Broadway Dance Center, American Ballet Theatre and Long Island University.
Ludmilla Halfen, pianist and piano teacher, is a St. Petersburg Conservatory graduate. She toured with the Moscow State Concert Association, Mosconcert. Ms. Halfen was a faculty member of Bela Bartok School of Music and Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. She played for Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center summer program for 16 years, and has been a faculty member at BAE since 1990.
Colleen has been a ballet accompanist for the past five years. She received her extensive classical training in Canada and did her jazz studies in New York. Colleen is currently an accompanist with Ballet Academy East, the 92nd Street Y, and Mark Morris Dance Group.
Tomoko Kawaguchi is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music. In addition to her classes at Ballet Academy East, Ms. Kawaguchi has worked with notable ballet masters from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and The Juilliard School. Her repertoire is versatile, ranging from classical music to ragtime. Ms. Kawaguchi loves accompanying character classes, and has been playing for Ms. Olga Dvorovenko’s character class at BAE for the past 3 years.
Rich Klessig has been a dance accompanist for over 20 years. His ballet “Don Juan” has been performed by Ballet Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, and he has an album entitled “Quiet Jazz for Solo Piano.” Mr. Klessig holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from the Berklee College of music in Boston, and currently plays piano and percussion for Ballet Acadamy East, Alvin Ailey, and the 92nd Street Y.
Eleonora Marder was born in Moscow, Russia. She is a graduate of the Academic Music College of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and The Gnesins Russian Academy of Music. Her professional career as an accompanist began when she was 17 years old at a vocal studio. It continued at Novosibirsk Conservatory, where she worked with both instrumentalists and vocalists. Eleonora was a head pianist at the Samarkand Opera Theater in Uzbekistan. Upon her return to Moscow, she worked as an accompanist at The Gnesins College for over 15 years. Her career in ballet accompaniment began in 1995 at Dance Adventure in Greenwich, CT. Eleonora has accompanied ballet classes at Ballet Academy East since 2001, as well as at The Juilliard School, Ballet Arts, and City Center.
Joan Matthews has a BA in Music from SUNY Empire State College. She accompanied for a number of schools in London while living there for several years. Joan has been filling the BAE studios with her beautiful music since 1992.
Lali Mirry was born in Tbilisi (now Republic of Georgia). She graduated from the Georgian State Conservatory, and received her M.D. at Livonian State Conservatory (Vilnius, now Livonia). Lali was a soloist with the Georgian State Philharmonic. She has been living in New York since 1994, and has accompanied classes at BAE since 1996. Lali has also accompanied dance classes at the Juilliard School, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Tech, and City Center.
Renee Ong is a composer, orchestrator, and pianist from Singapore. As a dance pianist, she performs with dance companies and pre-professional schools like Dance Theatre of Harlem, Singapore Dance Theatre, New York Theatre Ballet, Harlem School of The Arts, Ballet Tech Public School, Ballet Academy East, and Singapore School Of The Arts. She also music directs musical theatre and collaborates with independent filmmakers.
Mary Beth has been a ballet accompanist with BAE since 1990. She has also worked at New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, School of American Ballet, Eliot Feld Ballet, Steps, Broadway Dance, Eglevsky, Alvin Ailey, Ballet Arts, and The Metropolitan Opera. Mary Beth was a scholarship student at The Oberlin Conservatory, where she received her degree in Piano Performance. She also studied with Herbert Stessin and Nadia Reisenberg from The Juilliard School.
Douglas Schultz (Pianist, Composer) began his association with dance at Bard College, his alma mater, as both a class pianist and performer. His first accompanying position upon his arrival in New York, more than 25 years ago, was at Ballet Academy East, a position he gladly holds to this day. During his years in New York, he has been on the music staff of American Ballet Theatre, was guest Company Pianist for Dance Theatre of Harlem, and held the title of Company Pianist for the Joffrey Ballet preceding their move to Chicago.
He has also been on the staff of many major New York dance schools, including the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham schools. He currently works at Ballet Academy East, Adelphi University, and is a senior pianist at Steps Studios, where he accompanies Wilhelm Burmann, David Howard, and Nancy Bielski, among others. In addition, he has composed and recorded extensively for ballet and modern dance, creating both original ballets and music for ballet class. His class music is recorded under his own label, Cynosura Sound.
Rosanne Soifer was born in New York City. Her music career encompasses many areas, including composing, arranging and production, and playing piano. She has lectured extensively on music business and life skills at the Institute of Audio Research (IAR) and the School of Audio Engineering (SAE Institute), and is now an adjunct at Touro College, all in NYC. Her music career began when she was fifteen, playing in a local youth dance band, and for dance classes and talent shows.
She received a BS in Music from Indiana University’s renowned School of Music. Rosanne has worked as an accompanist for American Ballet Theater, and continues to play at many professional studios, schools, and college dance departments around the New York City area, including Ballet Academy East, SAB, Marymount Manhattan, Steps, and Peridance. She also works as a music director in the field of Jewish music. Other work experience includes dinner theater, single engagements, and as a road musician based in Nashville. In the 1980\’s, she was the first female business agent hired by Musicians Local 802 in NYC. In 1994, Rosanne Soifer and Steve Danenberg arranged and published the CHANUKAH SUITE for pops orchestra. It continues to receive numerous performances each year by over 30 orchestras around the country.
Their pops vocal piece PUT OUT THE DARKNESS was premiered by the Tacoma Symphony and chorus in 2007. Her articles have appeared in many music industry publications such as Sound & Video Contractor, The Music Paper, and Pro Sound News. She also wrote the book Music In Video Production, published by Focal Press. Rosanne is a member of Musicians Local 802, ASCAP, and National Music Publishers Association. She lives in NYC.
Benjamin Bradham, born in Greensboro, North Carolina, is a Juilliard School graduate with extensive background as a concert performer. Benjamin’s long involvement with the dance world includes frequent requests from international professional companies to play for company classes. Among these are American Ballet Theatre, Mark Morris Dance Group, Ballet Hispanico, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Les Ballets Trocadero de Monte Carlo, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and others.
Michael Kooman is a composer and pianist living in NYC. As a writer of musical theater, he won a Jonathan Larson Grant in 2010, and was the first recipient of the Lorenz Hart Award in 2011 (along with his collaborator Christopher Dimond). Michael is currently under commission from the Kennedy Center.
His musicals have been workshopped or performed at the American Conservatory Theater, ASCAP, Disney Musical Theater Workshop, The Williamstown Theater Festival, London’s Ambassador Theater, and the 2011 NAMT Festival of New Musicals. In 2011, Michael released an album of his music, Out of Our Heads: the music of Kooman + Dimond, on iTunes, which features some of Broadway’s biggest stars. As a pianist, he accompanies at NYU, Alvin Ailey, Rosie’s Theater Kids, and Ballet Academy East.
Sofiya Leavsie graduated from the Belorussian State Conservatory. She held the position of Head of the Theory Department at the School of Arts in Belarus. After moving to the USA, Sofiya studied composition at the Juilliard School. She accompanied ballet classes at the Usdan Center for Performing Arts, where she was very lucky to meet Francis Patrelle, who brought her into the world of dance. Currently, Sofiya has accompanied classes at Ballet Academy East since 1995. She also plays for classes at American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Tech, Cedar Lake, The Juilliard School and Hunter College.
Annie Lebeaux has been a professional pianist since 1970, when she graduated from Boston Conservatory in her native New England. In addition to serving as musical director for over 60 regional shows, she’s had a wide range of experience both behind the scenes and as a performer. Some favorites include 5 years with the New York Renaissance Faire, touring with orchestras, playing Broadway shows in Europe, 9 years performing on the Delta Queen Steamboat, and 5 years performing on the American Orient Express train. For the last several years she has been playing for ballet, finally using the classical music she learned at the conservatory so long ago.
A celebrated figure in dance accompaniment, Steven Mitchell has accompanied and performed with some of the most esteemed dance institutions. He is currently the ballet rehearsal pianist for the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
Steven holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Houghton College, NY, a Master of Music in Piano Performance, and a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX.
From 1992-1998 he was a staff pianist for Boston Ballet Center for Dance Education; while there he performed as soloist and with Boston Ballet Orchestra. From 2000-2002 he held the position of Company Pianist for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre; from 2000 – 2004 he held the keyboard chair for the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra.
In the 2010 and 2011 seasons, he was the rehearsal pianist for Dutch National Ballet, the Netherlands.
He was class pianist for the Columbia Pictures film Center Stage, his music can be heard in the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and he was also heard during the ballet class scenes of the TV series Flesh and Bone on the Starz network.
In New York City he has played for most of the major companies and schools, and he holds a special place in his heart for Ballet Academy East and its director Julia Dubno.
Danielle Cortier received a BA in Dance and Dance Education from Ball State University, where she was a member of Ball State Dance Theatre. Company credits include being rehearsal director and dance captain for Eidolon Ballet in Concert, and Mariana Bekerman Dance Company. She has done works by Jen Medina with Common Thread Contemporary Ballet, performed with The Puppeteers Cooperative at Lincoln Center “Out Of Doors,” and even danced behind Twenty One Pilots on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” She has danced in the NYC Fringe Festival and several choreography showcases.
Danielle is currently Assistant Choreographer and dancer for Keiko Fujii Dance Company based in Osaka, Japan. She has taught at BAE since 2008, and is also our Birthday Party Coordinator.
Benjamin Houghton has been a pianist at BAE since 2010. He graduated from Westminster Choir College. In addition to being a pianist, he is also a dancer, singer, and actor.
Jamie Salmon has over 35 years of experience as a professional dancer and educator. Her training began with Melissa Hayden, Dana Kennedy Paul Mejia, Juan Anduze, and continued at North Carolina School of the Arts, School of American Ballet (sponsored and mentored by Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon), Joffrey Ballet NYC, and with Finis Jung and David Howard. Jamie’s performing career has included Joffrey Ballet Concert Group and extensive industrials, regional theater, commercials, and film.
Jamie’s class is dedicated to the physical, mental and artistic development of the dancer, whether novice or professional. Jamie shares her passion for ballet with her students in a positive and nurturing environment, emphasizing clean technique, proper alignment, kinesthetic awareness and musicality, while using imagery and hands-on physical corrections throughout the class.
Roni Mahler is a former ballerina who was trained by the renowned Madame Maria Yurieva Swoboda. Ms. Mahler performed principal roles with American Ballet Theatre and the National Ballet of Washington (D.C.), after beginning her career in her teens with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. For over three decades, Roni was the Artistic Associate of Dennis Nahat\’s internationally-acclaimed Ballet San Jose in California, where she taught, coached, and performed “character” roles. A native of New York City, Ms. Mahler\’s teaching credits include Ballet Academy East, The Alvin Ailey School, The Juilliard School, The Joffrey School, Ballet Tech, and School of Dennis Nahat\’s Ballet San Jose. Roni is a former tenured Assistant Professor and director of Dance at Kansas State University, where she initiated the KSU Dance degree program. Kansas State has since honored her with the Roni Mahler Ballet Studio and, for fifteen years, presented an annual award in her name.
Roni choreographed for Cynthia Gregory and Fernando Bujones during their City Center season in New York, and created “Ballet Movement for the Athlete,” a fitness program she customized for the Cleveland Browns. Her 6-DVD collection “The Complete Guide To Teaching Ballet” enables dance teachers to explore training methods for all ages. A certified Pilates instructor, Roni is the author of numerous ballet class CDs and a stretching DVD for flexibility and range of motion. Each year, Ms. Mahler is invited by the prestigious Rancho La Puerta Spa in Tecate, Mexico, to return as a Specialty Presenter for its Ballet Week.
A graduate of Moscow Conservatory College (Russia), Ms. Bazilevskaya was the musical director of Ballet Hispanico for seven years, as well as Gelsey Kirkland Ballet for six years. For over twenty years she has worked as an accompanist with professional dance companies such as Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, American Ballet Theater, SAB, Juilliard School, Les Ballets Trockadero, Ellison Ballet, Steps, and Ballet Academy East. Olga also is an accomplished piano teacher and has developed a unique music workshop for dancers.
Concerts: NY Philharmonic, Cincinnati Pops, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Boston Pops, and NY Pops. Recordings: The IT Girl, Follies, Tokio Confidential, Setting Standards, Suite of Dances from West Side Story. TV: The Muppets (EMMY nomination), The Sunshine Boys, Martha Stewart’s Christmas. Film: Unzipped, Suspicion. Theater: The Boy Friend, I Hear Music!. Ballet: Suite of Night Waltzes, Morgause.
As publisher/editor for Sondheim, Kander & Ebb, Corigliano, Maltby & Shire, Wright & Forrest, and others, Mr. McKibbins has released over 100 editions. Composer-In-Residence at U. Bridgeport, MacDowell Colony Fellow. B.Mus., M.Mus., Manhattan School of Music.
Janice Kelly is a 200-hour RYT through Pure Yoga in NYC and has over 10 years of yoga training and experience. She first took a Bikram yoga class to supplement her ballet training, and soon realized her yoga practice was going to be much more. She found the meditation exercises that helped her into challenging poses were just as empowering and effective in conquering the challenges of everyday life.
Janice honors the integrity of traditional yoga teachings while making them practical in today\’s world. Her class is centered around the vinyasa technique of breath and fluidity between poses. She teaches yoga for inner peace, strength, joy, a quiet mind, and the highest self.
Before teaching yoga, Janice worked as a technology investment analyst at a hedge fund, as well as a professional Broadway and ballet dancer. Janice is also the founder of ShapeDate, which currently provides a full list of dance class schedules, studios, and instructors in NYC.
Ayako began piano lessons at the age of three. She attended the Soai Conservatory of Music in Osaka, Japan and received her classical piano training from Motoko Nakata. Later she studied composition with a leading Japanese composer, Osamu Katsuki.
Ayako has lived in Japan, Russia, and the U.K. and has collaborated with number of filmmakers, photographers, dancers, and theatre directors. International festivals have selected some short films in which her compositions were featured.
Her passion for music and art brought her to New York City in 2016, and since then she has been accompanying ballet and vocal classes in Manhattan.
As an avid dance enthusiast for many years, Ayako is literate in the technical aspects of ballet and is thoroughly familiar with the vast ballet repertoire. She enjoys dancing herself, and takes ballet classes and dances the Argentine tango.
Valerie Cortier began her training in South Bend, Indiana, at Flint’s Dance Studio, and also trained at Joffrey Ballet Summer School. She received a BFA in dance from Webster University, and has performed with several companies including: Eidolon Ballet, Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, The Puppeteers Cooperative at Lincoln Center’s “Out of Doors” Festival, and Webster Dance Theatre. She has also performed in the NYC Fringe Festival and several choreography showcases in NYC. She has been a member of the faculty at BAE since 2004.
Anne Kelly’s experience in ballet includes performing, teaching, staging, and choreographing. She trained at the School of American Ballet for ﬁve years before attending Barnard College of Columbia University. While at Barnard, she studied with Francis Patrelle, Lourdes Lopez, Kate Glasner, and Allegra Kent. She performed works by George Balanchine, Lew Christiansen, Elisa Monte, Karla Wolfangle, Daniel Pelzig, and Lila York. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English and Dance. Ms. Kelly has danced with New York City Opera in their productions of Semele, Pirates of Penzance, and Candide, and she has performed with Dances Patrelle in Is That All There Is?, Murder at the Masque, Gilbert and Sullivan, The Ballet!, and The Yorkville Nutcracker, for which she also serves as Ballet Mistress. In 2012, Ms. Kelly founded her own company K/M•D/M, which is an elegantly modern ballet company that performs to live music. As Artistic Director and Choreographer, she has produced 5 Seasons for K/M•D/M in NYC. She has been on faculty at Ballet Academy East since 2005, teaching in the PreBallet, Primary, PreProfessional, and Adult Open Class Divisions.
Katie Ross grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and moved to New York City to attend Marymount Manhattan College, where she received her B.A. in Dance with a Body, Science & Motion concentration and Neuroscience minor. Katie received her 200 hour yoga teaching certification at Inhale Pittsburgh and enjoys teaching yoga for the adult division at BAE. She also loves assisting children\’s ballet classes and greeting all the teachers and students as a front desk administrator.
Both internationally as well as in the U.S., Ashley is passionate about her work as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. Primarily trained in New York, she has studied and worked in many different styles from ballet to lyrical, modern, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, and musical theatre. She has had the opportunity to perform and/or choreograph at venues such as Jacob\’s Pillow, Teatro Madrid, The Gerald Lynch Theater, The Barrow Street Theater, SummerStage, The Highline Ballroom, Webster Hall, BB Kings and the Ailey Theatre. Ashley is also on faculty at Ballet Academy East, and Joffrey in New York, various schools in Mexico and Spain; former faculty at Peridance, and has taught at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and Ballet Arts in New York City, Lines Dance Center in San Francisco, Tony Williams Dance Center and Green St Studios in Boston and Tarrytown Dance in Austin.
She can be seen working alongside artists such as Ricky Martin, NeYo, Lady Sovereign, Nicki Minaj, Cam\’ron and Mila Kunis, for companies like Pilobolus, Derek Mitchell, Daniel Gwirtzman, Hanna Q Dance, Germaul Barnes/Viewsic Expressions, Ruddur Dance, Momentum Dance Theater, Variations Theatre Group, the Little Opera Theatre of NY, Moochaloo and Balasole, and for brands such as Nike, Athleta, Nokia, Ursus Vodka, Microsoft, Heineken, Yahoo, Ameriprise, the Rachel Ray Show and Lush Cosmetics. She has been seen off-Broadway in shows like West Side Story and 3 to 1. She was invited to Madrid to teach at the Association of Dance Professionals and choreograph for Spanish recording artist Nuria Elosegui. Ashley performed in Sia\’s music video “Soon We Will Be Found”, in Central Park Summerstage, in a Boost Mobile commercial, danced in a feature film with Justin Timberlake, and is credited with choreographing independent feature film “The Ride of Tom and Valkyrie”. She has performed with the European show “Compradores de Sueños”, premiered the Legendary Dance Project at the Museo del Barrio and has completed her fourth season of New York City\’s Summerstage. Recently, Ashley was featured in the original dance film “Here We Go Again” (dir. Nathan Cohen), has performed two seasons as Fritz/Rat King/Russia in “DIY Nutcracker”, danced in “The Barber of Seville” with the Amore Opera, and worked on a production of “Peter Pan” for Broadway Asia.
Ashley has choreographed several full-length shows for the company DoubleTake Dance (www.DoubleTakeDanceCo.com) that she co-directs with Vanessa Martínez de Baños, and is very proud of DoubleTake\’s performance in the City Parks Summerstage festival, Battery Dance Festival, Carnival Choreographer\’s Ball, etc. Additionally, with the company, she is credited with directing/choreographing a benefit for Japan and the latest commercial for Fuse TV and Dropps laundry detergent; and routinely traveling to the West Coast, Europe and Mexico to teach contemporary workshops. Recent credits include choreographic commissions for the world-renowned Dancing Wheels Company, HT Chen\’s NewSteps, JPAC\’s Next Stage Residency, and the Montclair Performing Arts program; choreography for the new musical “Dragula”, and was also a choreography grant recipient from Eryc Taylor Dance.
Ashten Banister is an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer and writer. She graduated from Rider University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater and recently received a certificate of completion from The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in England for an Acting for the Camera Short Course. She has worked professionally at Park Playhouse in Singin\’ in the Rain, and at Arundel Barn Playhouse in A Chorus Line, Legally Blonde, My Fair Lady, and 8-Track Sounds of the 70\’s. Her favorite roles in college were Cassie in A Chorus Line and Dorcas in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. www.ashtenbanister.com
At just five years old, Elisabeth enrolled in ballet school in New Jersey; this started her love affair with dance. She holds a degree in Dance Education and has performed and taught for the Hartford Ballet, Princeton Ballet, and Mercer Ballet. She continues to perform annually in Dances Patrelle’s The Yorkville Nutcracker as “the Dutch mom”. With a strong foundation in dance, Elisabeth was inspired to share her passion with others through teaching ballet, Barre Fitness, and yoga.
Elisabeth is part of the exhale founding team, Miraval’s Senior Director of Mind Body Fitness/Yoga, and co-author of the Barre Fitness book. She oversees exhale’s and Miraval’s mind body fitness/yoga programs, teacher trainings, exhale Barre Certification program, exhale Yoga Teacher Training, and retreats while teaching a robust class schedule. As a member of exhale’s founding team, she leveraged 20+ years of teaching to co-create the company’s highly publicized exhale Core Fusion and exhale Barre Fitness program along with continually developing the exhale Barre Teacher Training program.
Lacey Thomas, 28, born and raised in New York, began her dance training at the Dance Theatre of Harlem School under the direction of Artistic Director emeritus Arthur Mitchell at the age of three. Although Lacey trained primarily in ballet, she also studied modern, jazz, tap, and African. With the efforts of becoming as versatile as she could, Lacey joined the Lincoln Center Children’s Choir Division at the age of 10. Here is where she performed in major televised operas such as Porgy and Bess, Macbeth, Hansel and Gretel and others. While a full-time student at the City College of New York, Lacey received her graduate certificate from the Professional Training Program at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Lacey continued her professional training with the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble in 2009 to later join Charlotte Ballet II. There, she performed in major ballets such as Balanchine’s Western Symphony and Jean-Pierre Bounefoux’s Cinderella. She soon became one of the featured ballerinas in the Black Ballerina Documentary shown on WLNYH Network.
Ms. Thomas has performed as a guest artist for various companies and events such as the Albano Ballet Company in Hartford, CT, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Dancing Across the Universe – The Waltz” and others. After starting her own open hip hop classes for all ages, Ms. Thomas was presented the opportunity to become the first Hip Hop instructor at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Ms. Thomas always had a strong passion for choreographing Hip Hop. Among other accomplishments, Lacey has also become the first hip hop instructor of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet School. Lacey leads the dance department at Urban Academy Laboratory High School. With her efforts to branch out as a professional hip hop dancer/choreographer, Ms. Thomas formed her own Hip Hop-based dance company, LEGACY, in 2018. LEGACY has since gave young dancers a platform to train intensely and share their talents as versatile dancers. Lacey is thrilled to lead a LEGACY of her own.
Linda Gelinas was a principal dancer and Dance Captain with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and has been recognized in the Metropolitan Opera archives, as having danced the most principal roles in the history of the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. She performed with Edward Villella and Dancers, The Eglevsky Ballet, Alexander Godunov and Friends, The Pavlova Celebration Tour, The Nureyev-Joffrey Ballet Tribute to Nijinsky, The Boston Repertory Company, and more. Performing works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille, Edward Villella, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Christopher Wheeldon, Mark Morris, Doug Varone, Alvin Ailey, Carmen De Lavallade, Bob Fosse, Robert LaFosse, Sean Curran among others.
Ms. Gelinas is the rehearsal director for the New York Dance Project. She teaches company class at the Metropolitan Opera, is on the faculty at the Juilliard School, Steps on Broadway, the Steps Youth Program and is a teacher and choreographer for the Hong Kong International Summer Program. She teaches company class for both Armitage Gone! Dance and Mordance. She also choreographed and taught for both the Miami City Ballet and the Joffrey Summer Intensives and was ballet mistress for the Festival Company at the Chautauqua Institution, under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. She has taught at New York University, Indiana University, the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Manhattan Youth Ballet, Broadway Dance Center, Ballet Arts, and Columbia Performing Arts Center. Ms. Gelinas has been a guest teacher at multiple schools throughout the USA.
She was the resident choreographer, and movement coach for the Marcello Giordani Young Artist Program and the Opera Children’s Chorus at the Crested Butte Music Festival. There, she choreographed Carmen, Magic Flute, L’Elisir d’Amore, Hansel and Gretel, Barber of Seville and Pirates of Penzance.
Ms. Gelinas received her formal training at the Joffrey Ballet School and the Boston Ballet School. She is also a certified Pilates instructor and a graduate of the New York Film Academy.
Broadway:Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler, An American In Paris, On The Town (2014 Revival OBC), Billy Elliot The Musical (Older Billy/Scottish Dancer OBC). Off-Broadway: Silence! The Musical (Dream Lecter), I Married An Angel. National Tour: Come Fly Away (Sid), The Phantom Of The Opera 25th Anniversary Tour. Regional: Chicago Lyric Opera: Oklahoma! (Dream Curly), TUTS Houston: Jerome Robbins’ Broadway(Monotoney Soloist).
Stephen started dancing at Shade Sisters Dance Studio, a neighborhood dance studio at the age of 3 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He went on to The Center for Theatre Arts where he enjoyed taking classes in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, and Musical Theatre. He then went on to study ballet under Roberto Munoz at The Point Park College Conservatory. While studying with Munoz he refined his ballet technique and was accepted into The School of American Ballet in New York
City. At The School of American Ballet Mr. Hanna trained with Stanley Williams, Andre Kramerevsky, and Richard Rapp. He performed in various ballets in the school\’s annual Workshop performances. A Midsummer Night\’s Dream, The Four Temperaments, Rubies, Valse Fantasie, Divertimento No.15, and Symphony in Three Movements by Balanchine. Pas de Six from Napoli choreographed by Bournonville staged by Stanley Williams and Christopher Wheeldon\’s Danse Bohemien. In 1997 he received the Mae. L. Wein award for outstanding promise and became a member of New York City Ballet.
While at New York City Ballet he was promoted to the rank of soloist in 2004 and in 2005 was promoted to the rank of principal dancer. He danced principal roles in Balanchine\’s A Midsummer Night\’s Dream, Agon, Brahms Schoenberg Quartet, Chaconne, Concerto Barocco, Cortège Hongrois, Diamonds, Divertimento No. 15, Emeralds, The Four Temperaments, La Valse, Liebeslieder Walzer, The Nutcracker(Cavalier), Robert Schumann\’s Davidsbundlertanze, Serenade, Stars and Stripes, Symphony in C(2nd movement), Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2,Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3(Elegie), and Western Symphony. In Robbin\’s 2 and 3 Part Inventions, Dances at a Gathering, Fanfare, The Four Seasons, Glass Pieces, The Goldberg Variations, I\’m Old Fashioned, Interplay, Les Noces, and Piano Pieces. In Martin\’s Fearful Symmetries, Les Gentilshommes ,Octet, Swan Lake(Prince Siegfried, Benno), and The Sleeping Beauty(Gold, Blue Bird, Wolf). Richard Tanner\’s Ancient Airs and Dances and Soirée. In Albert Evans\’s Haiku and in Boris Eifman\’s Musagete. Mr. Hanna also appeared in the film Centerstage during his time with City Ballet.
In 2008 he made his Broadway Debut in Billy Elliot The Musical as Older Billy/Scottish Dancer. The 10 time Tony winning production was directed by Stephen Daldry and choreographed by Peter Darling. In 2009 he returned to New York City Ballet where he was a guest artist for the 2009/10 winter season. In the spring of 2010 Stephen returned to Billy Elliot The Musical and stayed with the show until it closed in Jan of 2012. The following week Mr. Hanna joined the national tour cast of Twyla Tharp\’s Come Fly Away in the role of Sid. After eight months he returned to New York and joined the cast of Silence! The Musical where he played the role of Dream Lecter. Playing Dream Curly in Oklahoma! was next at The Chicago Lyric Opera. He had the opportunity to learn the original Agnes De Mille choreography from Gemze DeLappe who worked closely with DeMille and was a member of the first national tour of the show. He then went to perform in Spoleto, Italy where he partnered Alessandra Ferri in her return to the stage
in The Piano Upstairs.
Back in New York he went on to dance with Ballet Next and Intermezzo. With these companies
Mr. Hanna danced ballets by Brian Reeder, Mauro Bigonzetti, and Claudia Schreier. In December of 2013 he took part in a Dance Lab for the show On The Town choreographed by Josh Bergasse. The summer of 2014 he reprised the roles he played on Broadway in Billy Elliot The Musical at Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine. In the fall of 2014, Mr. Hanna landed back on Broadway in the revival of On The Town directed by John Rando. Stephen had the pleasure of performing in The Macy\’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and The Tony Awards with the cast of the show. When On The Town closed he joined the Broadway cast of An American In Paris until it closed in Oct of 2016. In 2017 l appeared again on Broadway in Hello, Dolly! Starring Bette Midler. After finishing his run at Hello, Dolly! he was lucky enough to work with Susan Stroman on a lab of The Beast in the Jungle written by Scott Thompson with music by John Kander. He
made his Carnegie Hall debut in Candide directed by Gary Griffin and choreographed by Josh Bergasse. Recently he performed in I Married An Angel at City Center Encores.
In 2010 Mr. Hanna started studying acting at The Barrow Group. He enjoys this new exploration of expression and has studied with Dani Super, Nick Demos, and Matt Newton. He has since appeared on television in Pose, Forever, Momsters: When Moms Go Bad, Boardwalk Empire, and All My Children. And the short film Fourth Position.
Born in Brest, Belarus, Anya began her ballet training a the age of 8 at the Brest State Choreography School. After graduation, she performed professionally for 10 years before coming to New York. Inspired by Susan Moran, Anya studied the Pilates Method in great depth and in 2011 was certified through Power Pilates NYC, where she taught and studied with master teachers. Anya has been teaching at the Jazz Summer Program at the Joffrey Ballet School since 2011. In 2014, Anya continued her movement education and graduated from Pure Yoga with a certification in Vinyasa yoga. In 2018, she joined the faculty of Ballet Academy East, where she is teaching Yoga and Pilates.
Anya is as passsionate about Pilates and Yoga as she is about ballet; her immense training enables her to understand the body and encourage her clients to progress. She approaches each client as an individual and is able to help people of all ages improve in stregth and flexibility. Anya likes to nourish and challenge her students, and most importantly, guide them to access their full potential. She believes that everybody, from an athlete to an artist, can practive Pilates or Yoga. Movement not only helps connect mind and body, but also brings the benefits of mindfulness to different aspects of our life.
Former professional ballerina and entrepreneur Rachel Hamrick, is originally from Williamsburg Virginia, where she began her classical ballet training with Sandra Balestracci. At 12 years old she was accepted as a scholarship student to the Kirov Academy of Ballet where she trained with Adrienne Dellas, Nickolai Morozov and Alla Sisova.
Upon graduation, she danced professionally all over the world for companies such as the Dutch National Ballet, Hungarian National Ballet, Universal Ballet in Seoul Korea, Orlando Ballet, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. Her career was disrupted due to injury and she became certified in Pilates and yoga and began working with clients of all ages and flexibility levels to help increase their range of motion, strength, and anatomical awareness. She has taught ballet to all ages for over a decade and works with private students, coaches for YAGP and has taught for schools and events such as Dance Teacher Summit, Danza In Fiera, STEPS on Broadway, Academy Of Dance Arts, Greenwich Ballet Academy to name a few.
Rachel is the inventor and former CEO of the Flexistretcher®, which she created out of a personal need to help her own flexibility and strength while dancing professionally. She spent over 10 years building the Flexistretcher brand and now is focusing all of her time on expanding her training programs. Through her extensive experience, she has created the Hamrick Method which utilizes active flexibility techniques for optimal results in mobility and functional strength. This program combines ballet, stretch, and pilates into a full-body lengthening and strengthening class. While the Hamrick Method is tailored for improvements in classical ballet technique and focusing on injury prevention, Rachel has developed many levels and sculpted different classes to be beneficial for all ages and ability levels. She works with dance schools, conducts master classes, trains private clients and leads teacher courses with over 100 teachers certified in her method.
Mark trained as a classical dancer with Dame Sonia Arova at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and pursued a dual major of music and dance at Birmingham Southern College. Mark performed on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as a Principal Dancer with the Scottish Ballet. Upon his return to the United States he conducted or was production pianist for Broadway, off Broadway, National Tours “Phantom of the Opera” “Les Miserables”, “Gypsy” (with Tyne Daly), “The Fantasticks”, “Little Shop of Horrors”, “Evita”, “A Chorus Line”, “Sweeney Todd”, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”. In 1994 Mark was casting assistant for the Tony Award winning revival of “Carousel” (directed by Nicholas Hytner). as well as the highly acclamed Broadway PRoduction of Mathew Bourne\’s “Swan Lake”. Before leaving New York Mark was production pianist for Columbia Pictures movie “CENTERSTAGE”. He also worked as pricipal pianist for American Ballet Theater with Mikhail Baryshnikov and the New York City Ballet.
In Florida Mark has been Musical Director for Francis Wilson Playhouse for the past 6 years. Shows include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, No, No Nanette, Annie Get Your Gun (revival), Forum, Sideshow, Bells Are Ringing, Man of LaMancha, Monky Business and Oliver! (Lary Winner). Other shows include, Joseph…Dreamcoat, Carousel, Oklahoma, And the World Goes Round, Footloose, You\’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (revival).
In 1997 Mark was inducted into the national registry of “Who\’s Who” for excellence in the field of Dance.In Florida, Mark was the Artistic Director of the Bay City Ballet, a pre-professional dance academy that provides the highest form of training in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Theater Dance. Back in New York, Mark is on staff at Hunter College, Marymount Manhattan College, American Ballet Theater, Manhattan Youth Ballet.
Emma Pajewski of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, started her dance training with Beth A. Walter before joining Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School under the direction of Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall. After attending The Ailey School on scholarship for one year, she began her studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she earned a BFA in Dance. Emma has had the pleasure of performing the works of Selina Chau, Carlos Dos Santos, Lydia Johnson, José Limón, Jeremy McQueen, Erick Montes, Earl Mosley, Kyle Mullins, Jamie Erin Murphy, Alan Obuzor, Vita Osojnik, Pedro Ruiz, and Christian von Howard. In 2015, she performed in Karole Armitage’s On the Nature of Things at the American Museum of Natural History. Emma is a former company member of the Lori Belilove\’s Isadora Duncan Dance Company and a current company member of Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance. Emma is a Power Pilates certified Pilates instructor and is thrilled to be a part of the BAE community at the front desk and in the class room.
Petra Love was born in New York, N.Y. and began dancing at age three. She received her training at Ballet Academy East, The School of American Ballet and Miami City Ballet. She spent summers training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Boston Ballet. In 2017, she spent her final summer at the Miami City Ballet School before moving to join Miami City Ballet School’s Pre-Professional Division and was also hired as a company apprentice.
Christopher Charles McDaniel is originally from East Harlem, New York, and is a Dancer, Teacher, and Choreographer. He began his ballet training at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and went on to train at Ballet Academy East and Boston Ballet. He is also a graduate of the famed Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. Upon graduating at age 17, Christopher signed his first professional contract with the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble, and toured nationally with them for 3 seasons. In 2010 Christopher accepted a contract to join the Los Angeles Ballet where he danced for 5 seasons. During his time with LA Ballet he helped create multiple outreach programs, and became a teacher for a host of dance institutions including Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, and Los Angeles Ballet School. He also served as a regular company class teacher at LA Ballet and Lula Washington Dance Theatre. Christopher choreographed his first professional ballet on the dancers of Los Angeles Ballet, and found a true passion for making ballets that are both challenging and fun for the dancers. After moving to San Antonio and becoming a soloist for Ballet San Antonio, Christopher choreographed small works for students at the Connally\’s Dance workshop, and the Ballet Conservatory of South Texas. In the spring of 2016 he made a ballet, “Grazie Amelle,” for The dancers of Ballet San Antonio, which got a standing ovation and wonderful reception from the company’s directorship. In the fall of 2017 Christopher returned to NYC to join the Dance Theatre of Harlem company, and is currently in his second season. While dancing for DTH he simultaneously serves on the faculty of Ballet Academy East, and appears as a regular guest artist with Dances Patrelle, and Long Beach Ballet
Amanda Edge was born in Texas and began her dance studies at Ballet Austin. Her training continued in Brazil, at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and at The School of American Ballet. In 1991, she joined the New York City Ballet, where she danced for 15 years. Amanda was an original cast member in Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular, and she performed with Phantom of the Opera on Broadway for 7 years. She was in the original Broadway cast of Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away, and when the show moved to Las Vegas, she served as the production\’s dance captain. Amanda has a B.A. in Arts Administration from Fordham University, and she was on faculty at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet from 2015-2018. She thanks Julia and Darla for the opportunity to teach and choreograph at Ballet Academy East.
Cassidy McAndrew began her training at age five in Stamford, CT. She was first cast in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® in 2003 and danced the role of Marie in 2006 and 2007. In 2009, Cassidy performed in American Ballet Theatre’s production of Le Corsaire, and, at age 11, began training at Ballet Academy East in New York City under the direction of Darla Hoover. While there, Cassidy had the opportunity to perform principal roles in ballets choreographed by Jenna Lavin, Margo Sappington, Alan Hineline, Matthew Neenan and George Balanchine.
After graduating BAE in 2015, Cassidy joined Charlotte Ballet as an apprentice for the 2015/2016 season. While there she performed George Balanchine’s Valse Fantaisie, original works by David Morse and Mark Diamond, and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s Nutcracker. She was also mentored by Patricia McBride for the principle role in George Balanchine’s Tarantella. Cassidy joined Pennsylvania Ballet as a member of PBII for the 2016/2017 season. She was promoted to apprentice and then to corps de ballet for the 2019/2020 season. Since joining the company she has danced in works by Angel Corella, Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Ben Stevenson, Sir Kenneth MacMillion, Alexandr Ekmen, and Helen Pickett.
Ariel Rose began his training at Ballet Academy East in New York City. He also studied at the LaGuardia High School for Music and Art and the Performing Arts, and at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. As a young dancer, Rose received an honorable mention in the National YoungArts program. Upon graduating, Rose went on to Boston where he performed extensively with Boston Ballet II as well as with the main company. While there, he originated a role in Jorma Elo’s One Concerto. He then spent three years dancing with the Richmond Ballet where he performed works by many contemporary choreographers such as Ma Cong, Val Caniparoli, William Soleau, Salvatore Aiello and Jessica Lang. He joined Miami City Ballet’s corps de ballet in 2013. In 2010, Rose performed as a guest principal with Ballet Municipal in Lima, Peru, dancing the role of Franz in Alicia Alonso’s Coppélia. In 2015, Rose was selected to participate in the Resident Fellows choreographic program with the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University, an international institute for scholars and artists of ballet and its related arts and sciences. In the summer of 2017 some of his choreography was performed at the Joyce Theater in NYC and at Jacobs Pillow in Becket Massachusetts. Rose has choreographed two ballets for Ballet Academy East.
Hope is a ballet dancer, instructor and choreographer. Born in Taiwan, she studied with Chiou-O Chiang and completed her training with Ballet West Academy and Royal Danish Ballet Summer School. She graduated from Taipei National University of the Arts with a Fine Arts degree in Dance and Dance Education. Upon graduation she performed with several dance companies internationally before moving to New York City. Since then she has performed with New York Theatre Ballet, Ballet des Amerique, Ballet Deviare, Upstate NY Ballet, and Lydia Johnson Dance Company among others. Currently she is a freelance artist who lives and works in NYC.
Hope is a highly dedicated ballet teacher with over twenty years experience teaching classical ballet to children, teens and adults. She completed the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) Teachers Workshop 2017 and is certified in the following teaching methods: American Ballet Theater National Training Curriculum Pre-Primary to Level III, Progressing Ballet Technique Teachers Certification and 200 Hours Teaching Certificate for YOGA ALLIANCE® RYT®. Hope is an enthusiastic teacher who currently teaches throughout the tri-state area and relishes the opportunity to introduce ballet to anyone who wants to learn more about it. Her other interests include vegan cooking, traveling and volunteering at animal sanctuaries in Upstate New York.
In addition to BAE, Bill Waldinger is a regular faculty member at The Joffrey Ballet School, Broadway Dance Center (regular guest artist), New York Film Academy, Molloy College\’s CAP 21 Musical Theater Program and the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. He has also taught at The Manhattan Ballet School (Director of Jazz), the contemporary company Cora Dance (Director of Ballet), and Hamilton Dance (Director of Ballet). Bill frequently travels the world as a guest teacher, teaching both Ballet and Jazz. Most recently he taught for the Irish National Youth Ballet and the Phoenix Performing Arts College, both in Dublin, Ireland. In addition, he has developed absolute beginner “Dance Classes For Singers” at The Singers’ Forum. Certified by Luigi to teach the Luigi Jazz Technique, Bill has been interviewed and taught on camera for the recently released feature film Uprooted, The Journey of Jazz which chronicles the history of Jazz Dance. He has taught Luigi Jazz workshops for the New Rising Sun Dance Project at DANY Studios/Joyce SoHo and has coordinated workshops bringing together the techniques of Luigi and Matt Mattox with classic musical theater choreography.
As a performer, Bill has appeared in musical theater, concert dance, commercials, music videos, television and industrials. Highlights include regional and Off-Broadway productions of A Chorus Line (Paul in the first regional production), Carousel (Carnival Boy), Kismet, Drood, Oklahoma! (Dream Curly), A Funny Thing…, Guys and Dolls and Godspell. He was a company member of The David Storey Dance Works and the Labyrinth Dance Theater. He has danced in commercials for Time-Life, music videos for the group Fila-Antoine, was a featured dancer on the television show Soul Alive and appeared in videos for the Theater Dance Workshop.
Bill began his dance training with the legendary jazz master Luigi and studied ballet under Gabriella Darvash, Dick Andros, David Howard, Dorothy Lister and Douglas Wassell.
Austin Walker is an internationally recognized modern drummer that doubles on world percussion and is based out of New York City. Austin moved to NYC in 2005 from Massachusetts to attend the Manhattan School of Music. There he studied with faculty drummer John Riley, while achieving a Bachelors and Masters in Music. Austin has performed and conducted as a musical director for the Jose Limon Dance Company. Austin maintains an active and busy life in the arts and music scene of New York City. He is currently a faculty accompanist for Ballet Academy East as well as the 92Y.
Justin Sherwood is an international dancer and choreographer. His training at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London, England, which encourages individuality and innovation in its curriculum, has shaped Justin’s extremely versatile and eclectic career. He is a recipient of the Choreographic Award of Prominence by the Central St. Marten’s School of Art and Design and Cochrane Theatre in London, and he has choreographed critically acclaimed productions both across the U.S. and in places as far away as Hong Kong and Albania.
As a performer, he is in his ninth season with the Metropolitan Opera, having appeared in numerous productions on their stage. Highlights include working with some of today’s best Film and Broadway directors like Julie Taymor, Robert LePage, Anthony Minghella, and Mary Zimmerman. In addition to his ballet and contemporary experience, Mr. Sherwood is also a gifted gymnast who has performed with crossover companies, incorporating elements of acrobatics and dance.
As an educator, Justin is an ABT® Certiﬁed Teacher and has completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7, as well as Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. He teaches at many recognized dance schools and resident companies, including New England Academy of Dance, Princeton Dance and Theater Studio, and Marymount Manhattan College.
Jackson Rincon-Rodriguez is originally from Bogota, Colombia. He is a professional dancer with over a decade of experience in multiple styles of latin dance. He has been a licensed Zumba instructor and member of the Zumba Instructor Network since April 2016.
Becka Vargus graduated with honors from Brown University. She has performed and toured with Taylor 2, Maffei Dance Company, Avodah Dance Ensemble, Martita Goshen’s Earthworks, Vencl Dance Trio, Sue Hogan, Lincoln Center’s Little Orchestra, and in many reconstructions for the American Dance Legacy Institute, including the film of Sophie Maslow’s “The Village I Knew.” She was also seen in the off-Broadway production of “Phenomenon.” She is a dance teaching artist for Lincoln Center Institute and has been on the faculty at Ballet Academy East since 1997.
Originally from Los Angeles, Breanna Bartley is an actor, singer, and dancer who has performed Off-Broadway, regionally, and on tour. Breanna studied dance at Pasadena Dance Theatre and Classical Ballet Academy in California. She holds a BA in Ethnomusicology from Barnard College, Columbia University. Breanna is a member of Actors’ Equity, and has been with BAE since 2011.
Danielle began her dance training at Interlochen Arts Academy. She studied dance under the direction of Cameron Basden along with artists in residence Patrick Corbin, Christian Burns, Denise Vale, Thang Dao, Helen Starr, Erik Newton, and others. At IAA, she participated in the initiation year of their exchange program with Singapore School of the Arts in 2012.
In 2016, she graduated magna cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College with a B.F.A in Modern Dance. She was member of the Marymount Manhattan Dance Company and is currently a member of NSquared Dance. She began assisting classes at BAE in 2014 and is delighted to be a teacher for the Young Dancer Division.
Jamie Thiessen hails from beautiful Southern California, where she studied Musical Theatre and Dance at the University of California, Irvine. She moved to New York in 2008 and has had the privilege of dancing and touring around this country, and parts of Asia. She performed with Disney Cruise Line, Sesame Street Live!, and various regional theaters throughout the midwest. Favorite credits include “Marvelous Wonderettes,” “Carousel,” “Cabaret,” and “Pageant Princess.” Jamie can also be spotted performing annually in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Jamie joined BAE in 2013, teaching in the Pre-Ballet Division, in addition to adult Zumba classes.
Christina Marushok began her training under the direction of Sarma and Larry Rosenberg at the Anaheim Ballet School. During her time there, she performed ballets including The Talisman, Ondine, The Humpbacked Horse, and competed in Youth America Grand Prix. She also had the opportunity to train with Jillana, former New York City Ballet principal dancer, and perform Serenade by George Balanchine. Christina is currently working toward her Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies at Marymount Manhattan College, and has performed work by Bill T. Jones, Nacho Duato, Sidra Bell, and Drew Jacoby.
Marissa Frey grew up in York, Pennsylvania, where she began her dance training at Greater York Youth Ballet under the direction of Lori Pergament. As a former member of Regional Dance America, she has earned many scholarships.
She has worked with choreographers such as Jessica Lang, Laszlo Berdo, Luis Fuentes, and Yesid Lopez. In 2009, she graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in dance. She has performed works in premiere venues, including The Ailey Citigroup Theater, The Beacon Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse Square, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Tenth Anniversary Dumbo Dance Festival, and Stage 48.
Marissa has been a company dancer with Janusphere Dance Company, DeMa Dance Company, Yesid Lopez Contemporary Dance: The Collective, Neville Dance Theatre, Eglevsky Ballet, and is currently dancing with Ballets with a Twist. Marissa is also a ballet teacher at Long Island City School of Ballet and Ballet Academy East.
Kiersten Foster began her training under the direction of Lisa Maietta-Rybacki and Nanette Michele at Dream Makers Performing Arts in the Bronx, New York. She later trained at Fordham High School for the Arts under Bethany White. Ms. White extended Kiersten several performance opportunities, such as singing and dancing behind Paramore for their Self-Titled Tour and Z100’s 2013 Jingle Ball, both at Madison Square Garden, as well as dancing behind Twenty One Pilots on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”
Kiersten is currently working toward her Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies at Marymount Manhattan College and has performed work by Fernando Carrillo, Catherine Cabeen, and Jessica DiMauro.
Carla Foster began dancing at the age of 3 under the direction of Penni Greenly at her local dance studio, Southern Dance Theatre, in Boynton Beach, FL. For 13 years she trained with ABT® Certified Teacher, Julie Bravata, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. At the age of 12, she was accepted into Miami City Ballet’s summer intensive, training under the direction of Edward Villella.
The next year, she moved to Boca Raton, Florida, and studied under the direction of Dan Guin and Jane Tyree at Boca Ballet Theatre. She also trained for a short while under the direction of Colleen Smith at Palm Beach Ballet. In 2013 she spent her summer studying with the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, FL, and in 2014 she attended Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Summer Intensive in Seattle, WA. After her successful summer at PNB, Carla was invited back as a professional division student for the 2014-2015 Season.
She has performed in many productions including Serenade, Paquita, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, and both Balanchine and Stowell’s versions of The Nutcracker.
Julia Ferra trained at the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, under her coaches Natasha Zieger and Mariaelena Ruiz, performing classical roles including Giselle and Chopiniana as a participant in the Youth America Grand Prix. Julia has attended several summer training programs, including the Joffrey Ballet School, Miami City Ballet, The Bolshoi Ballet, Ballet Austin, and RIOULT Dance NY on scholarship. Julia graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in 2016, honored with the Golden Key in BFA Dance: Ballet Concentration.
Her performance experience includes original works by Anthony Ferro, Elena Comendador, David Flores, and Jae Man Joo. She currently teaches for the BAE Young Dancer Division, is a guest Teaching Artist with RIOULT Dance NY, and is on staff at SLT NYC.
Valerie Cortier began her training in South Bend, Indiana, at Flint’s Dance Studio, and also trained at Joffrey Ballet Summer School. She received a BFA in dance from Webster University, and has performed with several companies including: Eidolon Ballet, Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, The Puppeteers Cooperative at Lincoln Center’s “Out of Doors” Festival, and Webster Dance Theatre. She has also performed in the NYC Fringe Festival and several choreography showcases in NYC. She has been a member of the faculty at BAE since 2004.