JCC MidWestchester

Children & Teens

Home » Arts » Dance School » Dance School Faculty

Dance School Faculty


Kristen McGrew Director

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.

Jane Summer
Assistant to the Director
914-472-3300 x349 
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.  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, Ms. Bergamini 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. 

Arnold Breisblatt, Tai Chi
A practitioner of Tai Chi for over 30 years, Mr. Breisblatt has worked with people in community centers as well as nursing homes, those with special needs, the wheelchair-bound and people with Parkinson’s.

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.

Joy Jacobson, MELT
Joy Jacobson has been involved in the fitness field for over 25 years. She’s a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer, certified Functional Aging Specialist, teaches balance classes and is also a dancer. Ms. Jacobson has been teaching the MELT Method since 2013, helping many people, from athletes to the aging population, live a more active and pain-free life.

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.

Phil Ordonez, Hip Hop, Zumba
Certified Fitness Professional, Mr. Ordonez has organized events, competitions and talent showcases with the Hip Hop Students Association from SUNY/Buffalo. He trained with Broadway Dance Center, Peridance Capezio Center and Alvin Ailey Extension for technical choreography and Capoeira, the Brazilian martial art. Phil created  his own youth dance performance program uniting communities of Westchester, Bronx and Harlem to perform original works in Musical Theater, rap and Hip Hop dance with bilingual elements.

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. Ms. Rodriguez 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 multiple 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.

Carey Samuels, Yoga
Carey Samuels received her Yoga Teacher Certificate in 1998 from Kripalu Yoga Center, the nation’s largest yoga center. She subsequently completed over 1,000 hours in continuing yoga education, including training for medical conditions. Working for more than 20 years with community groups, hospitals and assisted living centers, Ms. Samuels individualizes her yoga programs to meet the needs and abilities of her participants. She has a unique, warm style of bringing mind, body and spirit together.

Jayne Santoro Ballet
Ms. Santoro retired as Director of the Dance School at the JCCMW in the fall of 2018 where she directed and choreographed for both the Westchester Theatre of Dance and its Ballet Outreach component at the Dance School. 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. 

Justin Sherwood, Ballet
Mr, Sherwood trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London.  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 has choreographed productions across the U.S. and in places as far away as Hong Kong and Albania. He is noted as the first American choreographer for the Albanian National Opera and Ballet Company. As a performer with Metropolitan Opera he appeared in numerous productions on their stage, where he worked with Julie Taymor, Robert LePage, Anthony Minghella and Mary Zimmerman.   Mr. Sherwood is an ABT® Certified Teacher Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. 

Fronda Sobel, Body Sculpt
Ms. Sobel danced on the TV series Omnibus under choreographer Agnes DeMille, was a member the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, appeared with the Bolshoi Ballet and the Royal Ballet.   The choreographer of 10 musicals, she has extensive experience teaching all levels of ballet and fitness.  She created Body Sculpt from her own experience in dance and fitness , which is always in high demand.

Jessica Whitehorne, Ballet
 Ms. Whitehorne was a Soloist for The Boston Dance Company, a Principal with the Greensboro Ballet and holds a B.A. in Dance from Dean College. As a teacher, she held positions at some of the Boston area’s top schools, most notably The Boston Ballet School.   She is also certified in Progressing Ballet Technique and continues to be an active dancer with Mooney Cooley Dance.

Anna Wroclawski Ballet
Ms. Wroclawski  performed with the Ballet Theater of Boston and with Granite State Ballet in New Hampshire, studied dance and academics at Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts and has a BFA in Dance from the the Boston Conservatory.  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.  

Miles Fusco
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.

Colin Rose
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
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.725