Director, JCC Dance School and the Westchester Theatre of Dance
Kristen McGrew received her early training in Tennessee under master teachers such as the world renowned Anna-Marie Holmes. She has danced with professional companies Eglevsky Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theater, Bravo Dance!, Tennessee Festival Ballet and Ballet Theater of Pennsylvania. Ms. McGrew has worked as a guest artist throughout the Eastern U.S. and performed across the country, dancing principal roles in the classics and world premieres. Her resume includes classical, contemporary and modern works. She was the Ballet Mistress at Eglevsky Ballet for ten years under the directorship of Ali Pourfarrokh before becoming the Artistic Director of Nomad Contemporary Ballet. Ms. McGrew has taught at the Ailey School, and master classes and workshops in Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Long Island, New Jersey and New York. She has had her choreography presented at Dixon Place for Translate (voices of dance), the Latin Choreographer’s Festival, APAP, Rhode Island’s Great Friends Dance Festival as well as residencies at the Joffrey Dance Center and the Far Space in NYC.
Assistant to the Director
Jane Summer was born In New York City. In 1976 Ms. Summer named her first great dog Alonso after the Cuban prima ballerina Alicia Alonso. A graduate of Kirkland College (BA) and Goddard College (MFA), her most recent publication is Erebus, a documentary book-length poem.
Catherine Barribal Ballet
Catherine received her early training in Norwalk, CT, after which she was invited to attend professional training at the Royal Ballet School in London. As a professional dancer, she performed a wide range of roles for Ballet Etudes Repertory Company, Connecticut Ballet Theater, New England Dance Theater, Staten Island Ballet and the New Jersey Ballet. Ms. Barribal performed with the Alexander Roy London Ballet Theater and has also been active with television, modeling and industrials and co-founded a dance/model company in London. She has choreographed for the Westchester Theatre of Dance, Staten Island Ballet, New England Dance Theater, and was also Ballet Mistress for Staten Island Ballet. Ms. Barribal is the founder and Artistic Director of Classics Dance Theatre Company.
Melissa Bartucci Ballet
Melissa Bartucci is a current member of the Ballet Faculty for The Ailey School and a guest instructor for Columbia University’s Columbia Ballet Collaborative, Adelphi University, and The Ballet Garden School in Tokyo, Japan. She continues to further her knowledge of dance pedagogy by attending the annual Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Teacher’s Workshop, which focuses study on the Teaching Syllabus© developed by Marcia Dale Weary, one of the nation’s leading instructors of classical ballet. Ms. Bartucci trained at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York under a full scholarship and danced with Ballet West, Eglevsky Ballet and Staten Island Ballet as well as performed in the opening ceremonies of the XVII Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.
Gina Bergamini Children’s Ballet
Ms. Bergamini has taught dance throughout Westchester, specializing in Early Childhood Arts. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Manhattanville College, where she studied early childhood education. As a performer, Gina has danced with the Dalia Carella Dance Collective and Altagracia’s Caribbean Rose Dancers in NYC, was part of the Westchester component of the Company Thoughts in Motion, and danced for seven years at the New York Renaissance Faire and was active in regional, community and children’s theater. Ms. Bergamini is trained in modern/contemporary, jazz, ballet and World Dance. Ms. Bergamini is also a singer and has taught general music for Education through Music in the Bronx since 2015.
In Loving Memory of Gina Bugatti, 1951 – 2018
Ms. Bugatti studied at the National Academy of Ballet and Harkness House NYC, becoming a member of the Harkness Ballet Co., also dancing with the Joffrey II Co. She was invited to dance as Principal with the Ballet de Caracas and Ballet Nuevo Mundo, where she toured nationally and internationally, working directly with choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, John Butler, Hans Van Manen, Judith Jamison, Elisa Monte and Carlos Orta. Ms. Bugatti later served as Rehearsal Director/Ballet Mistress and Artistic Associate Director with Tina Ramirez of Ballet Hispanico as well as Ballet Mistress for the Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo. She was on faculty at Peridance Center, taught at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, NYU and Valentina Kozlova’s Conservatory in NYC and gave master classes at Skidmore College. Ms. Bugatti had been teaching ballet at the professional level for over 30 years and we all miss her dearly. She taught children and adults ballet at the Dance School at the JCC from 2012 through February 2018.
A dance scholarship has been established in Ms. Bugatti’s memory: To contribute, click here: Gina Bugatti Memorial Dance Scholarship Fund.
Rachel Cuomo Tap
Ms. Cuomo has been tapping since age six and also loves Hip Hop, jazz and musical theatre jazz. She has been singing since age four and has performed in various plays and musicals. As an undergrad and graduate student at Villanova University, she continued singing and tapping, and ran two radio shows. Ms. Cuomo is currently pursing her Juris Doctor.
Nancy Kaplan Horton/Modern
Nancy Nelson Kaplan was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. She became a principal dancer with Louisiana Dance Theatre before moving to Boston to earn her B.F.A. in Dance at the Boston Conservatory. Ms. Kaplan went on to work and study under many modern pioneers including James Truitt, Carmen de Lavallade and Ana Marie Forsythe. She eventually became an assistant and demonstrator to Milton Myers at Alvin Ailey, Juilliard, Marymount College, Steps on Broadway, Jacob’s Pillow, Mia Michaels and many more. Ms. Kaplan performed and traveled for many years with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. She was also an adjunct teacher at Wagner College teaching, ballet, modern and jazz technique. She has taught at many summer workshops and choreographed musicals including Working, Cabaret, the Wiz and Newsies while also having served as a guest teacher and judge at Dancers inc.
Violeta Katz Ballet
Violeta Katz began studying ballet at the age of 12 with the Bourmans in New Jersey. At 15, she received a dance scholarship to the Center Ballet of Buffalo and studied under Kathleen Crofton. Ms. Katz worked with Anna-Marie Holmes, David Holmes and Bronislava Nijinska. She also studied at ABT and the Joffrey under William Griffith. Ms. Katz earned her Certification to teach ABT’s Primary to Level 3 syllabus, Certification in the Leap ’N Learn program geared toward ages three to six, and attended teachers’ workshops at American Academy of Ballet. She teaches creative movement and ballet.
Michelle Lucci Ballet
Michelle Lucci has an extensive background performing classical and contemporary works. Former Principal Dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet, Ms/ Lucci’s versatile dancing and exceptional technique have earned her renown as one of the finest ballerinas in the world. She has also danced with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and was Ballet Mistress with Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera touring company.
Mercedes Pablos Ballet
Mercedes Pablos trained at SUNY/Purchase, where she earned her MFA. Throughout her career, Ms. Pablos has performed with companies such as Chicago City Ballet under the direction of Maria Tallchief; the National Ballet of Mexico; the Ohio Ballet, directed by Heinz Poll; the Feld Ballet in Italy; and as a guest artist with the Charleston Civic Ballet. In 1989 she joined Ballet Hispanico and was on the faculty of the Ballet Hispanico School for 12 years and served as School Director. She has been guest teacher at the Dance Department of Indiana University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble. She served as a jury member for the International Dance Competition in Nyon, Switzerland. She has been Teacher in Residence in Singapore. She had the honor to participate in the first Dance Series at the White House. She was a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to teaching at the Dance School, Ms. Pablos currently teaches at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY/Purchase and the Ailey School in New York City.
Camille Rodriguez Jazz/Ballet/West African
Camille Rodriguez graduated New York University as a Dance Major. She performed professionally with Rod Rodgers Modern Company and showcased with Lee Theadore American Dance Machine. Camille has worked in the New York City public schools as a dance educator and arts coordinator for over 20 years. For the last four years, she has collaborated with the Port Chester Council for the Arts, which helps bring the arts into the classroom.
Arleigh Rothenberg Tap
Arleigh Rothenberg is trained in a variety of styles and specializes in Tap, Jazz, and Hip Hop. Ms Rothenberg currently tap dances at The Cotton Club as a member of Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards’ “Sophisticated Ladies.” She has appeared on Good Morning America several times, in an international Adidas commercial, and has directed and choreographed several music videos.
Flavio Salazar Ballet
Flavio Salazar, a native of Colombia, began his dance studies at the Instituto Colombiano de Ballet (Incolballet). He joined Ballet de Cali in 1985 and joined the faculty of Incolballet, having been certified by the National Ballet of Cuba to teach its methodology and pedagogy in ballet technique. In 1990 he studied at the Houston Ballet Academy on scholarship and joined Ballet Arizona in 1992. In 1993 Mr. Salazar joined the American Ballet Theatre (ABT). During his 13 years with ABT, Mr. Salazar danced nearly every ballet in ABT’s repertoire before retiring from the company in July 2006. He has taught company class for the Alvin Ailey School, ABT II, ABT’s Summer Intensive, Ballet Hispanico, Steps on Broadway, and Adelphi University, among many others both nationally and internationally.
Jayne Santoro Ballet
Jayne Santoro is a New York native. After 17 years of leadership, Jayne retired as Director of the Dance School at the JCCMW in the fall of 2018. She continues teaching ballet at the Dance School, as she has done for 35+ years, to children and adults of all levels. Ms. Santoro received her classical training with Maria Swoboda at American Ballet Theatre School in NYC and performed with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Philadelphia Lyric Opera as well as regional NY companies. Instructors who were instrumental in shaping Ms. Santoro’s professional career as both an artist and dance educator include Natasha Redel, Leon Fokine, Maria Jones and Arlene Sugano. Ms. Santoro directed and choreographed for both the Westchester Theatre of Dance and its Ballet Outreach component at the Dance School.
Anika Tifft Hip Hop/Contemporary
Anika Tifft was born in southern Maine. She studied Hip Hop in multiple styles such as popping & locking, Tutting, housing and breaking with Bruce Tracy. She spent her summers at Bates College for the Young Dancers Workshop and Professional Dance Festival. At Dance New Amsterdam in NYC, where she worked with teachers including Katiti King, Jennifer Archibald, Oliver Steele, Alexandra Beller and Diane McCarthy, Ms. Tifft became part of a number of performance projects. Ms. Tifft started training and teaching in Salsa on 2 at Sol Dance Center, where she has ongoing classes in all levels of Hip Hop for teens and adults, Salsa (including Ladies Styling), and jazz. Ms. Tifft is co-director of the Solettes (professional dance company) and the Solettes Academy (pre-professional company) and performs in numerous locations in NYC with them.
Mimi Wallace Ballet
Mimi trained at Bentley-Stone School in Chicago and San Francisco Ballet School, joining SFB at age 13. She later trained at School of American Ballet in NYC with Oboukoff, Vladimiroff, Doubroska and Balanchine. She has performed in the US, Europe, Russia and the Far East. Mimi has appeared in more than a dozen Broadway musicals including Annie, in which she assisted choreographer Peter Gennaro. Her teaching credentials include San Francisco Ballet School, Wilson Morelli School and the JCC of Mid-Westchester. She directed Northern Westchester Center for the Art’s Dance School for 20 years and its ballet performing company, Dance Messengers.
Anna Wroclawski Ballet
Originally from New Hampshire, Anna Wroclawski studied both dance and academics at Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts. Anna received a BFA in Dance from the the Boston Conservatory, where she performed in Samuel Kurkjian’s production of Graduation Ball, Jose Limon’s Missa Brevis staged by Jennifer Scanlon, Peter Anastos work of Contradanse, and Jaqueline Bulgisi’s Luminal Crossings. She also has performed with the Ballet Theater of Boston and with the Granite State Ballet in New Hampshire. Ms. Wroclawski has been teaching ballet, pointe and creative movement since 2002 throughout Westchester County and the Bronx.
Miles Fusco has two degrees from the Juilliard School of Music. He has performed on four continents and made formal recital debuts at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York and the Wigmore Hall in London. He brings a special expertise to dance, having been Company Pianist for American Ballet Theater for 12 years, where he worked with such artists as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Cynthia Gregory, Susan Jaffe, Fernando Bujones, Carla Fracci, Erik Bruhn, Rudolph Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn. He toured with Gelsey Kirkland, Patrick Bissell and Natalia Makarova, and worked with choreographers Alvin Ailey and Twyla Tharp. Though most closely associated with ABT, Miles has also worked with New York City Ballet, Berlin Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet and The Kirov. He presently works at the JCC and at BAE in New York where he plays principally for Wendy Whelan, Cheryl Yaeger and Gonzalo Garcia.
At High School of Music and Art, Debbie studied percussion instruments and stood out as the short girl who played a large timpani and conducted orchestra. She earned her BA at CCNY, and MA at NYU in American History. Her first job as dance accompanist was at Allegra Kent’s dance studio in Scarsdale. Debbie came to the JCC (formerly YMHA) when original Dance School Director Elaine Finsilver contacted her in 1978 to play piano for creative movement classes. Debbie also has played for dance departments at SUNY Purchase and Sarah Lawrence College, but she considers the JCC Dance School her second home.
Colin Rose attended the Hartt School of Music with a major in piano performance under the tutelage of Paul Rutman. He is a sought after instructor at Ridgefield Music, where he teaches piano and violin. Colin was a violinist for six years with the Danbury Community Orchestra and concertmaster with the early music ensemble at the Harvey School in Katonah (NY). He currently teaches violin and viola at the school’s Cavalier Camp. He joined the JCC Dance School faculty in the fall of 2017 as a ballet accompanist, just as he completed his third year as a full-time dance accompanist at the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance (ballet and modern).
Saul Spangenberg retired as the executive director of Hillels of Westchester and before that as Assistant Dean of Music at SUNY Purchase. He has taught music to dancers at numerous institutions in the New York area including the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Tisch School of the Arts – NYU, Marymount Manhattan College, as well as the City College of New York. He currently is playing the piano most mornings for the adult ballet classes at the JCC.