The faculty at the Dance Masters of America Teacher Training School is selected by the National Advisory Committee who goes to great lengths to find not only good teachers but more importantly faculty members who are willing to share the enormous amount of knowledge and talent they have with those in attendance. The Dance Masters of America Teachers Training School Program is a learning experience unsurpassed by any other similar program. Its unique focus on technique, teaching skills, and a nurturing of camaraderie among fellow attendees makes this a week no teacher can afford to miss. This program is highly recommended for the long established educator as well as a teacher in training.
The faculty for our Teachers Training School includes those Artists and Master Teachers who specialize in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Musical Theatre, Children’s Work, Lyrical, Musicality, Dance Notation, and Choreography.
The Dance Masters of America Teachers Training School is also supported by a dedicated team of dance education professionals working behind the scenes in establishing a strong foundation in the program’s curriculum, providing administrative support in moving the week along smoothly, answering teachers’ questions and providing help, and making the week a pleasant and learning experience for all. As such, they are continuously improving the Teachers Training School Program in the best interests of the organization and its member teachers.
Rich Ashworth began dancing early in life at the Legein Dance Academy of Performing Arts, as well as conventions and workshops around New England. After receiving a BFA in dance from the University at Buffalo, Richard apprenticed the Lehrerdance Company also performing as a guest principle for Configurations Dance Theatre and Pick of the Crop Dance Company. While in Buffalo he also performed and battled as a member of the DFC and The Future Crews. Richard then moved to Chicago to join the ranks of Chicago Tap Theatre and Chicago Dance Crash. He is a frequent faculty member of Dance Masters of Americas National Convention, Teachers Training Program, and Chapter Conventions, as well as teaching internationally in Mexico, Spain, and France.
PJ Catalano teaches and choreographs at various studios in the Detroit, Michigan area as well as judging throughout the United States and Canada. PJ is 1st Vice President of Dance Masters of Michigan, Chapter #4 and the Education - Acrobatics Chair for Dance Masters of America. She is a certified teacher with DMM/DMA and versatile in her teaching of GYROKINESIS®, Pilates, Zumba, tap, jazz, acrobatics, ballet and lyrical. PJ is a DMA Certified Examiner, Teacher’s Training School Post Graduate, and currently in the TTS Certified Masters in Dance Direction program. Her students have performed in Las Vegas, theme parks, dinner theaters, dance companies and cruise ships. Ms. Catalano was thrilled to serve as faculty for the ABT Summer Intensive, DMA Teacher’s Training School, DMA Intensive Ballet Program, and DMA National Convention.
Jill Chase is a nationally recognized master teacher and judge. She owns and operates her dance studio in Shelton, Connecticut. Jill is a certified dance educator with a Certified Master’s in Dance Direction She is an alumni of the famous Jacob’s Pillow in Lee, Mass. studying dance with Ted Shawn and Martha Graham. She is a former company member of the Ballet Society of Connecticut. Her graduate students can be seen in professional dance companies, such as, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company, Milwaukee Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance, and national touring companies of “Grease”, “Evita”, “West Side Story and “Seussical”, dancers with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and many dance majors within various colleges. Her students have danced in summer programs at the American Academy of Ballet, the New Haven Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet. Jill currently serves as, Director of Sacred Dance Choirs, Chairperson of the Shelton Youth Bureau Advisory Board, on faculty for Dance Masters Teachers Training School, Past Principal of the Teachers Training School of Dance Masters of America. Past President of the Connecticut Dance Alliance, Past President of Dance Masters Chapter #18 and #26 and National Past President for Dance Masters of America.
Barb Denny is the owner and director of Barb Denny’s Studio of Dance Arts in Lancaster, New York. She has been a convention faculty member for many of the major dance organizations and is well known as an adjudicator in both Canada and the United States. Barb is a member of Dance Masters of America where she is a core faculty member of Teacher Training School and the Student Honors Intensive Program. Barb’s students are working in NYC and LA in various projects including the touring company of Will Rogers Follies, VMA Awards, Nickelodeon, and Disney as well as America’s Best Dance Crew on MTV and Dancing With the Stars. Many of her students have competed successfully both locally and nationally while many others have chosen the teaching profession. As a dancer, she won the title of Miss Dance of Western New York and was a member of AM Dance in Concert under the direction of Beverly Fletcher and Tom Ralabate. Barb was inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame in 1999. She is well known for her unusual choreography and for her dedication and inspiration to her many students. Barb Denny is the owner and director of Barb Denny’s Studio of Dance Arts in Lancaster, New York. She has been a convention faculty member for many of the major dance organizations and is well known as an adjudicator in both Canada and the United States. Barb is a member of Dance Masters of America where she is a core faculty member of Teacher Training School and the Student Honors Intensive Program. Barb’s students are working in NYC and LA in various projects including the touring company of Will Rogers Follies, VMA Awards, Nickelodeon, and Disney as well as America’s Best Dance Crew on MTV and Dancing With the Stars. Many of her students have competed successfully both locally and nationally while many others have chosen the teaching profession. As a dancer, she won the title of Miss Dance of Western New York and was a member of AM Dance in Concert under the direction of Beverly Fletcher and Tom Ralabate. Barb was inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame in 1999. She is well known for her unusual choreography and for her dedication and inspiration to her many students.
FORMATO, LYNNE KURDZIEL
Formato, Lynne Kurdziel – is currently an Associate Professor of Performing Arts at Elon University while maintaining a busy professional career as a Director/Choreographer. A proud member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC), Lynne has over three hundred productions to her credit. In 2012, Lynne served as Director/Choreographer for the European premiere of Disney's ALLADIN at the Fredericia Theatre in Denmark, remounting it at the Royal Opera House in Copenhagen in July 2013, as well as the Scandinavian premiere of Disney's The Little Mermaid and the professional Danish Premiere of Young Frankenstein in 2014. She directed & choreographed the world premiere of Beatsville as well as productions of Chicago, Young Frankenstein, Smokey Joe's Cafe and Legally Blonde for the Danish Musical Academy in Fredericia and has twice been to Moscow, Russia, where she taught master classes in Musical Theatre. Her work has also been seen in numerous professional productions at Artpark in Lewiston NY, Tennessee Repertory Theatre in Nashville, Arkansas Repertory Theatre in Little Rock, Musicalfare Theatre in Amherst, NY, Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, NY, The Kavinoky Theatre and Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, TN. At Elon, Lynne directed and choreographed Rent, Nine, Cabaret, A Chorus Line, A Man of No Importance and The Wild Party as well as created the choreography for Kiss Me Kate, West Side Story, Carousel, Urinetown, Hair, Psycho Beach Party and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. She was a founder of Elon’s New Musical Project (now known as the MT BOX.). From 1991 to 2014 she was a sixteen-time nominee and six-time recfipient of the Buffalo New York Artvoice Artie Award in the areas of direction adn choreogrphy, recipient of the 2004 Artvoice Career Achievement Award, a 2006 Katherine Cornell Award presented to visiting artists for her choreographic work on Musicalfare's Urintown, the 2005 Milton Plesur Award for Excellence in Teaching from the University at Buffalo, the 1996 "Individual Artist of the Year" awarded by the Buffalo and Erie County Council on the Arts, ws a recipient of the elon College Excellence inScholarship Award in 2007, was inducted into the St. Joseph's Collegiate Fine Arts Wall of Honor in 2008, in 2011, along with the entire Formato clan, was inducted into the "Legends of Cradle Beach" for their many years of service to this camp for special needs children. In 2013, Lynn was names as one of the recipients of the Zodiaque Dance COmpany Directors' Award presented at Celebration 40.
Joy Guarino is an Associate Professor of Dance at SUNY State teaching a variety of studio technique classes, dance history, dance education, and choreography. Her choreography is accented by the use of design elements and mixed media. enjoys working creatively with professionals and studetns and has presented her choreogrpahy internationally. Professor Guarino has developed courses, conducted research, and presented internationally on kinesthetic learning, dance/movement integration, she is committed to finding creative and practical ways of designing and implementing meaningful children's arts programs. Introduced to the arts at a very yourn age, Ms. Guarino evolved into an active member in the WNY arts community as a performer and choreographer of dacne and musical theatre. Her passion guided her career path and she earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from Temple University. Upon graduation , she joined the faculty at Russell Sage College in Troy, NY. She has perfromed and choreographed for dacne and theater companies based in Philadelphia, Buffalo, and in the Capital District where she also became actively engaged in NYS Arts Education. Wne she returned to Western, NY, she continued to work as a teacher, dancer, and choreographer and became incolved both personally and as a mentor for her students in the entensive arets-in-education community. Ms Guarino hold a NYS Teacher's Certification in Dance. Her advocacy for children and association with regional non-profit arts organizations led her to several positions as a dance and youth development professional. She continues to enjoy working with artists and students all over the world; achieving extnsive knowledge and experience in the field.
She had developed courses, conducted research, and presented internationally on kinesthetic learning, dance/movement integration, and youth developement. Joy earned the master's of Fine Arts degree in dance from Temple University. When she returned to Western New York, she continued to work as a teacher, dancer, and choreographer and her advocacy for children and association with regional non-profit arts organizations led her to several positions as a dance and youth development professional. As a practicioner, consultant, and mentor for her students, she is mommitted to finding creative and parcitcal way of designing and implementing meaningful children's arts programs. She continues to enjoy working with artists and studetns all of New York State; achieving extensive knowledge and experience in the field. She holds a New York State Teacher's Certification in Dance.
Shelley Hain has earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and holds a Master of Arts in Humanities from the University of Houston at Clear Lake City, Texas. Currently Ms. Hain is on the faculty at SUNY at Buffalo in the Theatre and Dance Department instructing classes in Jazz, Contemporary Modern technique and Creative Movement as well as the Health and Physical Education Department at Niagara County Community College. Shelley Hain is also proud to be on faculty for the Dance Masters of America Teacher Training School and SHIP program and conducting classes for the American College Dance Festival. Besides her teaching responsibilities, Shelley has shared her dance knowledge with countless elementary and high school students as a teaching artist with the Western New York Institute for the Arts in Education. Shelley Hain's most recent choreography can be seen in Zodiaque Dance Company, SUNY at Buffalo . Other companies crediting her work are Buffalo Ballet Theatre, Dance Designs, Buffalo Dance Festival as well as musicals for the Alleyway Theatre, Buffalo Jewish Center, Elmwood Franklin School, Mount St. Joseph 's Academy, In Good Company and Shakespeare in the Park. Shelley has performed with Floorplay Contemporary Dance Theatre, Nouvelle Dance Ensemble, Zodiaque Dance Company, and Dance Collective, Texas. Ms. Hain has also performed locally while studying with David deMarie, Tom Ralabate, Eugenia Smith, Geraldine Hoffman, and at Dance Masters of America conventions throughout the United States. Throughout her professional career, Shelley Hain has had the pleasure of choreographing, performing, judging and adjudicating for many creative artists and dance companies locally and internationally.
Suzi Hayes has been involved in the dance field for over 25 years, as a teacher, dancer and administrator. She began her training with Hella Schmidt, a former soloist with the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia, and has also studied with Gus Giordano, Beverly Fletcher, Tom Ralabate and Barb Denny to mention a few. Suzi is a member of Dance Masters of America and a faculty member of Teacher Training School. Suzi has adjudicated for many competitions in both Canada and the United States as well as coordinated the administrative responsibilities. Some of her former students have gone on to perform on tour with Footloose and teach on the DDG Workshop circuit throughout the US. Suzi has worked closely with Darrin Henson, choreographer for Brittany Spears and N’Sync, scheduling workshops, private seminars and adjudicating auditions for video and movie projects along with other performer/choreographers such as Jordan Knight and Dave Scott. Suzi Hayes has been involved in the dance field for over 25 years, as a teacher, dancer and administrator. She began her training with Hella Schmidt, a former soloist with the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia, and has also studied with Gus Giordano, Beverly Fletcher, Tom Ralabate and Barb Denny to mention a few. Suzi is a member of Dance Masters of America and a faculty member of Teacher Training School. Suzi has adjudicated for many competitions in both Canada and the United States as well as coordinated the administrative responsibilities. Some of her former students have gone on to perform on tour with Footloose and teach on the DDG Workshop circuit throughout the US. Suzi has worked closely with Darrin Henson, choreographer for Brittany Spears and N’Sync, scheduling workshops, private seminars and adjudicating auditions for video and movie projects along with other performer/choreographers such as Jordan Knight and Dave Scott.
Michael Lambert is from Buffalo, NY, where he received his BA in Dance and Visual Communication from the University at Buffalo. Michael currently teaches at Walh Performing Arts Studios in Buffalo, NY. He has taught Master Classes and judged for many organizations including Interdanza in Monterrey, Mexico, Rhythm Dance in Canada, Starpower, Indiana State Dance Championships, and several Chapters of Dance Masters of America in addition to the Student Honors Intensive Program (S.H.I.P.), Teachers Training School (T.T.S), and DMA National Conventions. His performance credits include: Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Seas, Walt Disney World, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruise lines, and alongside Olympic Gold Medalists in the “Azure” Underwater Shows at the Silverton Casino in Las Vegas. He was invited to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage series and at the Jazz Dance World Congress. He has appeared on “Live! With Regis and Kathy Lee” and performed at a special event in Miami featuring Faith Hill. Michael was also the model for the male dancer icons that decorate Disney’s Pop Century Resort in Orlando, Fl.
Terrie Legein is the National Area Vice President for the Northeast Region of the U.S. and Canada for Dance Masters of America, Inc. She is currently the President of Dance Masters of New England, Chapter 5 and also holds membership with the Dance Teachers Club of Boston and several local business organizations. Terrie is a Nationally Certified Examiner in all dance disciplines for Dance Masters of America and Dance Teachers Club of Boston. She is currently Co-Chair of the DMA National Membership Committee and the National Open Scholarship Chairperson. In 2000 Terrie was awarded the “Bachna Scholarship for Leadership and Dedication to Dance Education” from DMA’s Teacher Training School in Buffalo, NY where she now serves on faculty as a Tapmaster. She continues her dance education in the Certified Masters in Dance program at TTS annually. Terrie is celebrating her 34th anniversary as Owner / Director of Legein Dance Academy of Performing Arts in Coventry, RI. She appears as a guest teacher for area workshops and conventions and as a judge/adjudicator in the US and Canada. Many of Terrie’s students have moved into the professional world of dance as teachers and / or performers, including Richard Ashworth, Hip-Hop guru and Tapmaster and author of the Hip-Hop Syllabus for DMA. Mrs. Legein has worked extensively with many theaters groups in RI including the Warwick Players, the Valley Players, URI, the Pawtuxet Valley Theater Group, RISE on Broadway and various high schools in our state. Choreography credits include: Fiddler on the Roof, The Fantastics, Oliver, Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Cabaret, Amahl and the Night Visitor, Scrooge, Cinderella, High School Musical and more.
Tracy Navarro was born and raised in Western New York and holds a B.F.A in dance performance from the University at Buffalo. While attending U.B. was crowned Miss Dance of WNY. Professionally she has danced with Gus Giordano’s Jazz Dance Chicago (2nd company) where she studied with and performed the choreography of Gus and Nan Giordano, Randy Duncan, Harrison McEldowney and Mia Michaels to name a few. She was also a member of the faculty at Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Center where she choreographed and taught the Giordano technique. Tracy was also in the Las Vegas Company of “Footloose” the musical at the Rio casino. Most recently she was seen on the National tour of “Chicago” the musical where she played several roles and also served as dance captain. Presently, Tracy is teaching, adjudicating and choreographing throughout the world. She is faculty for Dance Masters of America’s Teacher’s Training School on both the East and West Coasts, as well as Mexico. She has won numerous awards for her choreography including the American Dance Awards Diamond and Solo Choreography Awards. She is also an adjunct faculty member at the University at Buffalo, teaching classes and providing choreography for majors in Musical Theater and Dance, and recently began her own pre-professional dance company Infinity Dance Project, Inc.
Michele Ralabate holds a B.S. in Physical Education and Sports Management from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is certified in STOTT Pilates® both in the mat and reformer systems. A former elite level gymnast, she has received numerous titles for both high school and college gymnastics including: New York Empire State Games participating in the 1984 Olympic Trials, New York State High School State Champion, and Super 7 Athlete of the Week sponsored by WKBW, TV, Western, New York. In 1994, she was all-around national champion winning her pro-status for the International Federation of Body Building and winning her first pro debut in body building. In 1996, she began competing at the professional level in Pro-Fitness. Michele’s activities in dance extend to producing and choreography for the World Power Lifting Organization with featured performances at Hard Rock Live, and The Peabody Hotel in Florida. Michele is in the Guinness Book of World 2000 Record holding the youngest and shortest title to step on stage at the Ms. Olympia Contest. Today, she is a sought-out personal trainer and exercise science educator. Michele presented Pilates classes for the National Teachers’ Training School and Student Honors Intensive Program (SHIP) hosted by Dance Masters of America at University at Buffalo in July 2010 and 2011.
Tom Ralabate, is Professor and Chair in the Department of Theatre & Dance at University at Buffalo, where he also serves as the artistic director of Zodiaque Dance Company. A former United States Latin Ballroom Dance Champion, he was the American representative with his sister Kip, to the World Latin Dance Championships. He is currently the National Chair of Education Strategy for DMA and was awarded the 2009 DMA Member of the Year. Previously, DMA honored him with the prestigious Ivy Hall Foundation Award, first awarded to Gene Kelly. DMA has established an educational scholarship in the name of Thomas Ralabate. In 2006, he received a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Scholarship and Creative Activities; and in 2007, he was honored in New York City by Dance Teacher Magazine, at their annual summer conference, for distinguishing himself as an outstanding educator in higher education and advocate for dance.
Leanne Rinelli is a Rochester, New York based dance artist and educator. She received her BFA in Dance from the University at Buffalo and her MFA in Choreography and Performance form SUNY Brockport. In addition to teaching in the dance program at SUNY Buffalo State, Rinelli serves as core modern dance faculty for Dance Masters of America, inc. and is a Pilates and barre fitness instructor. She has performed with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II (Dayton, Ohio), Janet Reed and Dancers (Buffalo, NY), the Bill Evans Dance Company (Rochester, NY), and STREAMROLLER Dance Company (San Francisco, CA). As and independant artist, Rinelli has performed and taught extensively, both in the United States and abroad. She have presented her choreography with Dance-Forms Procutions in Croatia, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, and Guatemala. She has taught comtemporary technique and salsa dance in Western, NY and in California at the International Dance Festival Silicon Valley. Rinelli's passion for salsa dancing motivated her to study in Havana, Cuba on a professional research visa with Metamovements Latin Dance Company of Boston. Rinelli's approach to modern dance emphasizes ease and efficiency of movement as well as individual expreeivity. Her classes explore the body's full movement potential, from small gestures to expansive, sweeping combinations. Rinelli enjoys gathering inspiration from her dance role models as well as from her experience in social and world dance forms to craft her unique creative voice. Students can expect to be challenged with enjoyable phrase work that takes them into and our of the floor and encouraged to find their own artistry.
RING, KERRY ANN
Kerry Ann Ring, originally from Buffalo, New York, earned her BFA in dance from the University of New Mexico and her MFA in choreography and dance performance from Mills College in Oakland, California. She has performed as a company member with the Nevada Dance Theatre, Delta Festival Ballet, the Santa Fe Opera, Bill Evans Dance Company, and Molissa Fenley and Dancers. She trained in the Cecchetti Method under the direction of Norma Gelose and has studied at the Joffrey Ballet School, National Academy of the Arts, as a “Young Artist” scholarship recipient for the American Dance Festival, and the Paul Taylor School. Three of Kerry’s choreographic works have been chosen for the American College Dance Festival’s Gala Performance. Kerry has performed in new works by Donald McKayle, Robert Moses, Nathan Trice, and Ma Bo; and has performed historical works by Paul Taylor and Jose Limon. She has also had the opportunity to perform locally with Elaine Gardner’s Pick of the Crop, Buffalo Contemporary Dance, Nimbus Dance, and Neglia Ballet Artists. Kerry is a member of the Cecchetti Council of America and has completed certification through Grade VI as both student and teacher. She was certified in Hatha Yoga through the temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago in 2010. In addition to her work as choreographer and freelance performer, she also teaches numerous dance courses at D’Youville College and Canisius College. Kerry is on faculty at the University at Buffalo and teaches courses in ballet technique, modern dance technique, Mind/Body Integration and regularly choreographs for the Zodiaque Dance Company and Zodiaque Studio Dance Ensemble. Kerry has had numerous articles published in Dance Studio Life magazine and is considered "Core Faculty" for the Dance Masters' of America ballet program.
Larraine Susa is the owner and director of her own studio in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. She has taught and judged for all major dance organizations in the United States and Canada. She is active in the Dance Masters of America National Organization where she directed the Miss Dance of America Scholarship Competition, is a faculty member of the DMA Teacher Training School, Student Honors Intensive Program, and is the author of DMA’s Jazz Manual. In 2008, Larraine was named as the Dance Masters of America Member of the Year. Her students have been seen on cruise ships, music videos, the Nickelodeon channel, the Oscar and Tony award shows and international productions in Europe, South America, and Japan. Her students have also performed as members of the Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Company, the Rockette Christmas Show, appeared in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, and were original cast members in the Broadway productions of Will Rogers Follies, Fosse, Oklahoma, Movin’ Out, Come Fly With Me, and the touring companies of Cats, Dancin’, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, A Chorus Line, Saturday Night Fever, The Producers, and Chicago. Larraine has produced many National title winners including Miss Dance Olympus, Miss Acrobat of the United States, American Dance Awards Female Dancer of the Year in 1996 and 1998 and American Dance Awards Junior Dancer of the Year 2000, Petite, Junior and Teen Miss Dance of America, Mr. Dance of America three and Miss Dance of Americas.
Butch has been a member of Dance Masters Of America, Inc. since 1977. He has taught every genre of dance and began teaching at the age of 15 for Past National President Joan Wine. Butch has taught for Marjorie Sellers for the last 39 of Mrs. Sellers 79 years of teaching, and his own studio celebrated its’ 23rd anniversary this year. As well as being a Past President Of Ohio Dance Masters, Chapter 16, he has served on the National Board as an Area Vice-President, Director of the Master Dance Scholarship Competition, Director, Delegate and many other offices. Butch was the recipient of the Member of the Year Award in 2002. He has judged on the state and national level for DMA, DEA, OHIO and Alabama’s Junior Miss Pageants, Encore Talent Competitions, and many state preliminaries for the Miss America Pageant System. Butch has been choreographer for the Miss Ohio Pageant and many local musicals, specials, variety shows and pageants. Many of his students are now in professional dance venues and dance related careers. Butch has extensive study under outstanding tap instructors such as: Jack Stanly, Charles Hughes, Judy Ann Bassing, Ronn Daniels, and Charles Goddertz just to name a few, and is extremely excited to have been added to the tap faculty of DMA’s Teachers Training School Program. The highest accolade Butch has ever received or will ever hold, is serving Dance Masters Of America and its membership as the National President.
WADDELL, ELIZABETH DI STASIO
As director and owner of the Royal Academy of Ballet, Elizabeth brings professional experience to her students. Elizabeth began her career, at the age of nine, under the training of Ginger Burke, founder of the Royal Academy of Ballet. She continued her training at Mercyhurst College, the Boston Ballet, the Hartford Ballet, and the University at Buffalo, where she received her Bachelor of Arts. Elizabeth has performed with the Hartford Ballet, the Eglevsky Ballet of Long Island; the Cygnus Contemporary Dance Company, of New Jersey; and the Mercyhurst College Dance Ensemble. Locally, Elizabeth has performed with the Pick of the Crop, the Chautauqua Regional Ballet, the Thomas Dance Collection, the Buffalo City Ballet, the University at Buffalo’s Zodiaque Dance Company and the Greater Buffalo Opera Company. Elizabeth’s credits include principal roles in Coppelia, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Balanchine’s Serenade and Swan Lake. Elizabeth was also the Ballet Mistress for the children performing in the Moscow Ballet’s, the Pittsburgh Ballet’s and the BalletMet’s Nutcracker. Elizabeth is the founding Artistic Director of the Greater Buffalo Youth Ballet, a not for profit youth ballet company, where she has set and choreographed many original and classical ballets. Among these are Danse Macabre, Peter and the Wolf, Toy Shop Fantasy, Three Wishes, Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Cinderella, Firebird and excerpts of La Bayadère, Don Quioxte, and the Nutcracker. Elizabeth is often noted as one of the youngest women to be crowned Ms. Buffalo in the Ms. America Scholarship Program. Elizabeth has also taught ballet at the University at Buffalo’s Theatre and Dance Department for the past 17 years and has been on the faculty of DMA’s Teaching Training School Program and Student Honors Intensive Program.
Bill Thomas has performed in concert works such as: The Green Table (K. Jooss), Don Quixote/ Pas de Deux (after Petipa), Galena Summit (K. Posin), and Polenc (M. Simms) among others. He has performed and gained entrance into dance companies such as: Off-Track Dancers (St. Louis), Webster Dance Theater (St. Louis), The Thomas Dance Collection (Director/Choreographer) (Buffalo), David Puszh Dance Company (Chicago), Joel Hall Dancers (apprentice) (Chicago), and Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theater (apprentice) (NYC). His musical theater credits include: Anything Goes w/ Chita Riveria(AEA), The Unsinkable Molly Brown w/ Ann Reinking(AEA), Sesame Street Live (AEA)(National Tours) and The Black Musical Review. As an independent/ freelance artist he has performed at: La Mama E.T.C. (Off Broadway-NYC)/US, The International Theatre Festival of Barranquilla/ Columbia, The Toronto Fringe Festival/ Canada, and The International Festival for Arts/ Argentina, among others. His choreography has been seen at/on: Ailey Citigroup Theater, Thelma Hill Performing Arts-Kumble Theater (LIU-Brooklyn), The Thomas Dance Collection(Director/Choreographer), Buffalo City Ballet, Danse4Nia Repertory Ensemble (also Ballet Master), Philadanco II, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Choreography Showcase, International Theater Festival/ Mexico City, Danco On Danco Choreography Showcase, Zodiaque Dance Company, Orchesis Contemporary Dance Theater, Danza Una/Costa Rica, Buffalo Dance Festival, and Hampton University, among others. Mr. Thomas’ teaching credits include: Philadanco, Rochester City Ballet, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Danse4Nia Repertory Ensemble, Buffalo City Ballet, Montgomery County Community College, Conservatory and School of the Arts in St. Louis, Empire State Ballet, National University of Costa Rica-Heredia, American Academy of Dance, Dance Masters of America Teachers Training School, Florida A&M University, The Black College Dance Exchange, The French-English School in Barranquilla, Colombia, Losdenmedium Danza in Costa Rica, Amsterdam Dance Center in the Netherlands, Instituto de Danzas Espanolas & Ballet Folklorico in Argentina, and formerly at S.U.N.Y. @ Buffalo where he was Head of Ballet, Associate Professor & Director of Dance. Mr. Thomas’s training includes: Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Dance Theater of Harlem, John Barker’s Vaganova Teacher Training Seminar, Broadway Dance Center, Jacob’s Pillow, Hubbard Street Dance Studio, and with master teachers such as: Finis Jhung, Madame Darvash, Madame Lavinia Williams, among others, and studied choreography from luminaries such as: Bessie Schonberg, Phyllis Lamhut and Vera Blaine. He has adjudicated for organizations such as NAACP ACT-SO, Winners Talent Showcase Nationals, and Links Inc. International, among others and as a panelist for organizations such as the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Cultural Arts Fund (Philadelphia), and Buffalo/Erie Arts Council. He also has teaching awards from the University at Buffalo and the A.K.A. Sorority and holds a B.A. in Dance (Ballet Major) from Webster University Conservatory in St. Louis, Missouri, and an M.A. in Dance(Choreography/Pedagogy) from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where he received the University Fellowship and Teaching Fellowship.