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 in world premieres where she served as the inspiration for many new pieces that were created specifically for her. 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, company warm up for Complexions on stage at the Joyce Theater 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 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 received her early training at Ballet Etudes in Norwalk, CT after which she was invited to attend professional training at the Royal Ballet School in London. She graduated after two years. Catherine has had the good fortune to have studied with some of the best ballet teachers in the field. As a professional dancer, she has 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. Catherine has performed with the Alexander Roy London Ballet Theater and has also been active with television, modeling and industrials and then co-founded a dance/model company in London. She has choreographed for the Westchester Theatre of Dance at the JCC of Mid-Westchester, Staten Island Ballet, New England Dance Theater, and was also Ballet Mistress for Staten Island Ballet. Catherine is the founder and Artistic Director of her own ballet company, Classics Dance Theatre Company. She has been teaching at the JCC for over 25 years and continues a busy teaching schedule in CT at St. Saviour’s School of Dance in Old Greenwich, CT.
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 classes at the JCC Dance School from 2012 through February 2018.
A dance scholarship has been established in Gina’s memory: click on this link to contribute to the Gina Bugatti Memorial Dance Scholarship Fund.
Rachel 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. Rachel was involved in singing and dancing groups in college, where she also ran two radio shows. She attended Villanova University for her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Rachel is currently pursing her Juris Doctor.
Ms. 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. Violeta worked with Anna-Marie Holmes, David Holmes and Bronislava Nijinska, who restaged two ballets, “Les Biches” and Brahms Variations. These ballets were presented at Jacob’s Pillow in the Berkshires. In addition, Violeta studied at ABT and the Joffrey under William Griffith.earned her Certification to teach ABT’s Primary to Level 3 syllabus and Certification in the Leap ’N Learn program geared toward ages three to six, teaching creative movement and ballet. She also attended teachers’ workshops at American Academy of Ballet. Violeta has been teaching in Connecticut for the past ten years.
Michelle Lucci has an extensive background performing classical and contemporary works. Former Principal Dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet, Michelle’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. She currently teaches adult intermediate and advanced ballet classes at the JCC Dance School.
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. She currently teaches Musical Theatre Jazz and ballet at the Dance School of the JCC of Mid-Westchester.
Arleigh Rothenberg tap dances at the Cotton Club as a member of Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards’ Sophisticated Ladies. She recently appeared with Flash Mob America on Good Morning America and can be seen in current Good Morning America commercials featuring the GMA anchors and Flo Rida. In 2013 Arleigh performed as a cast member in Rhythm Is Our Business, produced by Tony Waag, directed by Derick K. Grant, with choreography by Derick K. Grant and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards. Additional performance highlights include: Ernest “Brownie” Brown’s “Old Man Time” at Symphony Space, Harold Cromer’s “Broadway Medley” at Haft Theater, Derick K. Grant’s Show Once Upon a Tap at the Harris Theater in Chicago, Mr. Grant’s NYC Preview of Imagine Tap, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards’ Michael Jackson Tribute in A Shared Evening (with Michelle Dorrance), and Ms. Sumbry-Edwards’ “Smooth Criminal” at the NYC Summer Stage Series. Television and video credits include the Malibu Rum Funky Dip Flashmob, the Step Up 3D Promo Music Video with choreography by Michelle Dorrance, the Sesame Street 40th Season, and appearances in the films Step Up 3D and Friends with Benefits. Arleigh holds a BS in Television-Radio from Ithaca College, where she founded the Ithaca College Tap Dance Club and conceived and co-directed the Finger Lakes Tap Dance Festival.
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.
After 17 years of leadership, Jayne retired as Director of the JCC Dance School in the fall of 2018. She continues teaching ballet at the JCC, as she has done for 35+ years, to children and adults of all levels. Jayne 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 Jayne’s professional career as both an artist and dance educator include Natasha Redel, Leon Fokine, Maria Jones and Arlene Sugano. Jayne’s credits include directing and choreographing for both the Westchester Theatre of Dance and its Ballet Outreach component at the JCC Dance School. She also has been teaching advanced level ballet for the past 25 years on Saturday mornings at the Logrea Dance Academy in Ossining, NY.
International dancer and choreographer Justin Sherwood trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London, which encourages individuality and innovation in its curriculum, shaping 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 has choreographed critically acclaimed 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, he is in his ninth season with the Metropolitan Opera, having appeared in numerous productions on their stage, where he’s worked with some of today’s best film and Broadway directors, including Julie Taymor, Robert LePage, Anthony Minghella, and Mary Zimmerman. In addition to his ballet and contemporary experience, Mr. Sherwood is also a gifted gymnast, having performed with crossover companies, incorporating elements of acrobatics and dance. As an educator, Justin is an ABT® Certified Teacher, completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 and 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. In 2009, Justin joined the JCC Dance School faculty to teach intermediate and advanced ballet students, as well as pointe/pas de deux.
Anika Tifft, born in southern Maine, trained in many forms of dance including jazz, modern, ballet and Hip Hop. In her teen years she danced for a teen dance company called UpBeat Feet, and studied Hip Hop in multiple styles such as popping & locking, Tutting, housing and breaking with Bruce Tracy. She spent her summers at Bates Collage for the Young Dancers Workshop and Professional Dance Festival. After moving to NYC at 19 to study at Dance New Amsterdam (DNA), where she worked with teachers including Katiti King, Jennifer Archibald, Oliver Steele, Alexandra Beller and Diane McCarthy, Anika became part of a number of performance projects at DNA. In 2010 she started teaching and training 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. Anika 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. She currently teaches Hip Hop and Contemporary dance for the JCC of Mid-Westchester.
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.
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 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.