Featured News

New Dance School Director: Aaron Thao


We are excited to announce Aaron Thao as our new director of dance. With an extensive professional background in dance, Aaron brings a wealth of experience, creativity, and innovation to lead the Dance School of the JCCMW into a new era of artistic exploration.

Aaron Thao was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He received his bachelor’s degree from Brown University. While pursuing a degree in medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Aaron began his dance training and continued to NYC, where he danced professionally. In 2015, Aaron co-founded a youth ballet program for Westchester County, which evolved into the Hudson Ballet Theatre where he serves as co-president and artistic director.

The Dance School of the JCCMW has been a leader in dance education in Westchester for more than five decades. With a strong commitment to excellence, we provide comprehensive, holistic training across a variety of dance styles for both recreational and pre-professional students. Our three state-of-the-art dance studios are equipped with everything students need to excel and the Bendheim Performing Arts Center provides an unparalleled venue for dance performances. At the heart of our success is our belief that dance is not just about physical movement, but also about self-expression, creativity, and personal growth. Our classes provide a nurturing environment where students of all ages can explore their artistic potential, build confidence, and critical life skills.

With his exceptional talent and leadership skills, and his impressive track record in arts administration, Aaron will play a pivotal role in shaping the strategic direction of the dance program. Building on the accomplishments of our previous directors, he will work to take every element of the program to even greater heights of artistic achievement, community engagement, and educational outreach. Aaron will work closely with our entire JCCMW dance team, including our beloved Jayne Santoro who has been teaching ballet with us for over 35 years!

Aaron is the perfect fit for the JCCMW’s dance program as he brings an inclusive and collaborative approach to his work, fostering an environment that nurtures creativity and empowers dancers to push boundaries and discover new horizons while experiencing the pure joy of movement. His commitment to mentoring and cultivating emerging talent will undoubtedly strengthen our dance school and contribute to the development of the next generation of dancers. A special thank you to Jayne Santoro who advised us throughout this important search.

Please join us in warmly welcoming Aaron to the JCCMW. We look forward to the remarkable contributions he will make as he leads our dance department into an extraordinary future.

Learn more about The Dance School of JCCMW.

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