Natalia Alonzo-Brillante

Natalia Alonzo-Brillante

Founder & Director; Instructor in Ballet

Natalia Alonzo-Brillante, was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn and began her journey with dance at the age of three. Her background includes extensive training in classical ballet, modern dance, and Flamenco. Her ballet teachers include the late David Howard, Marina Stavitskya, Michael Vernon, Anna Lederfeind, and Nancy Bielski. She studied contemporary dance at the Martha Graham School and has spent over 25 years of her career learning and performing the technique and repertoire of Isadora Duncan. Natalia trained in flamenco and classical Spanish dance with the late Jose Molina, Mariano Parra, and Liliana Morales.

After graduating high school Natalia continued her professional training at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance while completing a BA in foreign languages at Hunter College. Upon completion of her dance studies, she was invited to partake in the historic reconstruction of Martha Graham’s 1934 ballet “Panorama” in which she performed with the Graham Company for two consecutive seasons at New York’s City Center as well as the Spoleto Festivals in the United States and Europe.

Natalia danced with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet at Lincoln Center for 5 years in productions of La Traviata, Turandot, Tannhauser, I Vespri Siciliano, and Carmen. Her performing career also includes work with numerous local dance companies including Dances by Isadora, Catherine Gallant Dance, The American Bolero Dance Company, Danzas Espanolas, the Off-Broadway production “Flamenco Extravaganza” and Ballet Fiesta Mexicana, among others. Some of her favorite performance memories are dancing in the great outdoors at Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center Outdoors, Bethesda Fountain Terrace, Historic Greenwood Cemetery, Prospect Park and The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard.

Natalia is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She began teaching in 1994 at Ballet Academy East and Discovery Programs in NYC. In 1996, at the age of 25, she accomplished her childhood dream of opening American Youth Dance Theater. Since then the school has undergone three expansions and continues to grow. Over the years, Natalia’s greatest joy as a teacher has been seeing children of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of ability discover the joy of self-expression through dance and music. It has been a special and joyful experience for her to witness students growing from the toddler programs all the way through the highest level classes, and seeing how involvement in the arts helps children develop into disciplined and dedicated young adults with a strong sense of respect for self and others.

Along with directing American Youth Dance Theater, Natalia has also guest taught and conducted multicultural dance performances and lecture demonstrations in public and private schools throughout New York City through programs including Young Audiences and Arts Connection.

Natalia’s favorite movie is the Japanese version of “Shall We Dance?” because it is about ordinary people discovering the joy of movement. She believes that if we all spent a little more time dancing, the world would be a happier place!

Fun Fact: My favorite hobby is gardening. 🌸

Global Footprint: Natalia is one of the co-founders of the SFDS Social Justice/LGBTQ Alliance at St Frances de Sales Church in Manhattan, working to promote inclusion of allpeople who are born into or called to the Catholic community. Natalia tries her best to live in harmony with our beautiful world by making environmentally sound choices in her daily life.

Monique Massiah

Head Administrator, Director of Diversity and Inclusion; Instructor of Pre-Ballet and Ballet

Monique Massiah graduated magna cum laude in 2008 from Arizona State University with a B.F.A in dance and minor in business. While in school Monique received numerous academic and dance scholarships.

Monique was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and started her dance training at the age of four. She went on to study at the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for 10 years. Monique was awarded a fellowship at the Alvin Ailey School and became a teacher assistant. In addition to her training at Alvin Ailey, she trained at LaGuardia High School for Music, Art & Performing Arts.

Her professional accomplishments include a 1998 performance at the Goodwill Games, Opening and Closing Ceremony; in 2000 she performed Cry at the Kennedy Center Awards for honoree Judith Jamison; performed Memoria at City Center in 2003; in 2004 was a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Winner for modern dance; in 2005 was a member of Dance Arizona Repertory Theater; in 2008, performed and choreographed Ophelia at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

Monique is an ABT® Affiliate Teacher, completing the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum and has successfully presented students for the examination.

Fun Fact:   Proud “Auntie Mo Mo” to two intelligent and beautiful nieces.

Global Footprint:  Our world is forever changing.  While I have encountered personal experiences with racism in America, the constant murders of black and brown people in America has marked a significant shift in the tides, awakening the world to America’s persistent disease – racism.  I am committed to confronting this disease head on.  I strongly believe black lives matter and am passionate about supporting racial and social justice causes.

Nanci Bellini

Instructor in Tap

Nanci Bellini is a graduate of Point Park University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a concentration in Jazz.  There she studied under iconic dance professors Ron Tassone, Douglas Bentz, Susan Stowe, Jodi Welch, as well as Marion and Nicolas Petrov. Nanci has performed professionally with Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Playhouse, and also Six Flags Summer Theater. Productions include “Fandango”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “Chicago”, “Odyssey”,  and “Boogie Wonderland” to name a few.

Although Nanci specializes in Tap, she has over 20 years of experience in choreography and teaching many different genres at all ages and levels. She continues to educate herself in all forms of dance so she can bring only the best and most current back to her students.

Nanci is so excited to be back again teaching this year at American Youth Dance Theater which she has called home for the over 10 years. She is very passionate about instilling the love and dedication of the art of dance that she has had since the very young age of 3. Nanci especially loves seeing her students grow year after year and continues to find new ways to challenge them as well as make dance fun.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain” -Vivian Greene

Fun Fact: Nanci, at a very young age, was adopted from Santiago, Chile!

Global Footprint: Nanci has always felt the way she was helped, she wanted to also help others give back to the community. Starting at the age of 10, every summer she volunteered at a camp for children with special needs for many years. During her high school years, she  also volunteered at local hospitals. It is very important to Nanci that she teaches her two young daughters to follow in her footsteps and always give back.

Tiger Brown

Instructor in Broadway

Tiger Brown is a multi-hyphenate performing artist based in NYC. She has worked across the US sharing her love of theater with audiences and students alike. Tiger has worked on multiple Broadway national tours, film, television, and in prominent regional houses as a choreographer, associate, and performer. Recent Choreography credits: “The Lesson” with NY Theatre Barn (Off-Bway Lab), The Jimmy Awards (Iowa/PBS), Matilda (Assoc./DC Tuacahn/Engeman), Elf (Assoc./DC Engeman), and Daydream (IGTV). Favorite performing credits include: Matilda (Enegman, Tuacahn), Grease (Stages STL), Elf (Nat'l Tour, Engeman), Newsies, Shrek, Mamma Mia (Tuacahn), Beauty and the Beast (Nat'l Tour). Tiger has taught master classes across the country, and judges for multiple national dance competitions. She holds a BFA in Theater from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and took part in the SDCF Observership class of 2018-2019. Upcoming projects: Pivot Point, Marry Me... Maybe?, Eve, and Saturday. Check out www.tiger-brown.com, or on instagram @stigerb for more information.

Fun Fact: I have an amazing pup named Penny Lane! She is such a mush.

Global Footprint: I am a big tree hugger, hiker, and lover of all things nature. It is what keeps me sane - I need to make sure that I leave NYC to see some trees and breathe a bit every month. I have hiked all over the continental US, and I am a huge supporter of the glorious world of our National Parks. I always try my best to educate myself on the best ways to leave my camp sites, and hiking trails the way I found them. I research to continue learning the best practices to have a healthy Earth for our future. The climate crisis is something that I worry about constantly, and I always try to find new ways to lessen my carbon footprint. We only have one beautiful Earth, and I want to make sure that future generations can find it just as glorious, if not more so. 

Taytum Buford

Instructor in Tap

Taytum was raised in Dallas, TX under the direction of Katelyn Harris. She is now an NYC-based dancer who attends Pace University Pforzheimer Honors College. She is a company member with the CHR Project, Demi Remick and Dancers, and Project Convergence as well as an alumna of the Jacob’s Pillow Tap Program (2019) where she was able to perform and choreograph. She feels grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from so many inspiring dancers. Some more credits include: In the Groove (Dormeshia), Spotify, BuzzFeed, Dallas Dance Fest, Verizon Theater, Tap Kids Emerging Choreographer, Young Choreographer’s Festival (performer), and RIFF (teacher/choreographer).

Fun Fact: I am currently double majoring in Film and English as I love to read and write plays.

Global Footprint: Taytum loves to dedicate time educating herself on the importance of equal rights and social justice for the LGBTQ+ community. She also spent three years volunteering at a shelter for teen mothers to watch their kids while the parents worked to find their dreams and pursue them.

Billy Cohen

Instructor in Hip Hop

Billy, hailing from right outside of Boston, started his hip hop training at the young age of six at Joanne Langione Dance Center, and continued his training at Hofstra University while receiving a B.S. Degree in Dance Education.  This training at Hofstra gave him the opportunity to work with artists such as Fredrick Earl Mosley, Doug Varone, David Parker, Heather Waldon, Ellie Kusner, Bill Young, and Barbara Angeline, as well as train with Hofstra’s most notable Dance Department alumni, Larry Keigwin, on scholarship. Billy also created two works that represented Hofstra at American Collegiate Dance Association Conferences, and co-choreographed his own fully-produced evening dance show, “jux•ta•po•si•tion”.

Outside of school, he continued his training with Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester and at Generation IV, learning and performing choreography from Teddy Forance, Devin Jamieson, Derek Mitchell, Emily Greenwell, Candace Brown, Jeff Lapes, Noel Bajades, Jonny Forance, and Emma Portner.  Billy has had opportunities to teach, set, and perform choreography for multiple studios and showcases in NYC, including Broadway Dance Center’s Training Program, Peridance’s Apex Faculty showcase, Mark Morris Dance Festival, and the NYC Comedy in Dance Festival. His choreography was included in a segment of MTV’s Episode 2 of “Lit!” sponsored by Beats by Dre, and briefly was the director of Peridance Capezio Center’s iReP crew.

Signed to Bloc Talent agency, Billy has worked with  J Balvin and Bad Bunny for the MTV VMAS, Reebok, and was casted as a Principal Dancer in the season 2 of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, choreographed by Marguerite Derricks.  Billy also starred in a viral video called “Student Vs. Teacher Battle”, totaling over 22 million views on all social media platforms and appearing on multiple news networks, including a short segment on “Inside Edition”.  With his education background, Billy Cohen hopes to have continuous success in the dance industry, and to someday be a college professor doing what he loves best: creating, performing, and sharing his knowledge of dance to the next upcoming generation of artists.

Fun Fact: I have an identical twin!

Global Footprint: 4.2 Earths :(

Gleidson Vasconcelos Hoffmann

Instructor in Ballet

Gleidson Vasconcelos Hoffmann is an internationally acclaimed dancer, teacher and choreographer. He was born in Minas Gerais, Brazil and started training at Studio Arte Danca and Ballet Liudmila Palonskaya, before winning a full scholarship to the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. He danced professionally for Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, Ballet Arizona, and New Jersey Ballet. His previous repertoire includes ensemble and lead roles in Sleeping Beauty, the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Giselle, Coppelia, Romeo and Juliet. Additionally, he has over 11 years teaching experience, including the Rock School for Dance Education, Princeton Dance and Theatre, Philadelphia High School for the Performing and Creative Arts, Philadelphia Dance Theatre, Ballet Tech, Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Gleidson Hoffmann is an American Ballet Theatre ® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the American Ballet Theatre® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 7 of the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum.

Fun Fact:I love animals and I am the proud dog dad to two black labradoodles, Barbara and Anthony.

Global Footprint: My Global footprint is to empower the world through the beauty of the arts and raise awareness of the need to save the Amazon Forest in Brazil.

Joi A. Jackson

Instructor in Hip Hop

Joi A. Jackson  hailing from New York, New York is an alumnus of The University of the Arts where she received her BFA in Dance and minor in Theatre. Mrs. Jackson has trained with distinguished companies such as Dance Theater of Harlem, Joffrey Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Her company experience includes Movement for the Urban Village, Young Jean Lee Theater Company, Ken Robertson's Workshop, Michael Thomas Motion Theatre Lab, Sekou McMiller's performance group as well as rehearsal director for SKIN Dance Company. In 2019 Mrs. Jackson produced and choreographed her own show, Ethereal Celestion. She has had the privilege of working as the iRep Director for Peridance Capezio Center, principle choreographer  at Convent of the Sacred Heart, Creative Arts and Athletics, The Dalton School, Northern Westchester School of Dance,  and Williamsburg Movement and Arts Center. Mrs. Jackson has debuted her choreography at the Brooklyn Nets Barclays center. Mrs.Jackson is thrilled to be apart of the American Youth Dance Theater community.

Fun Fact: I perform stand-up comedy!

Global footprint: I donate food to the food pantry and donate women's  clothes to the the homeless shelter.

Lisa Johnson

Instructor in First Steps

Lisa Johnson, a native Minnesotan, received her BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota and attended Penn State earning an M.Ed. in Art Education. She is cross-trained in ballet, jazz, and modern with a foundation in the Humphrey-Limón technique and has performed for several choreographers in Minneapolis, Pennsylvania, and New York. Lisa specializes in teaching dance/movement in early childhood and higher education. She has worked in arts education outreach, community-based programs, mind-body research, and developed progressive curriculum teaching for several New York institutions for over fifteen years. She adores the spirit of every child she meets and works to foster the individual as a whole person. Lisa is delighted to be part of the American Youth Dance Theater and looks forward to creating fun, enriching, and meaningful experiences for children.

Fun Fact: Ms. Lisa loves dogs!

Global Footprint: Ms. Lisa is an advocate for a clean environment and equal human rights.

Austin Marquez

Instructor in Hip Hop and Broadway Jazz

Austin Marquez is a performer, choreographer, and teaching artist based in New York City. Growing up between Wyoming and Colorado, Austin has spent his recent years in the city performing in several productions such as the immersive theatrical experience Zerospace at the Hotel Pennsylvania, the Off-Broadway premieres of GEEKS! The Musical and The Turkeys Go on Strike, the equity showcase of MANIFESTO: The Diaghilev Project and the Merkin Concert Hall performance, When Broadway Went to Hollywood. Austin has also danced all around the city in productions at venues such as Steps on Broadway, Helen Mills Theater, and Manhattan Movement and Arts Center. He has been seen dancing on screen in some music videos and the feature film Bad Education.

Austin’s choreography has been selected to perform in dance festivals like the Jazz Choreography Enterprise Dance Project, and awarded at dance competitions all around the country. He has choreographed several productions in NYC including The Drowsy Chaperone, The Addams Family, and A Chorus Line. He has also taught for several studios around the country and in the musical theatre department at Marymount Manhattan College, where he also received his degree in musical theatre.

Austin uses his background in acting and fitness, along with his dance training to give his students the ability to not only grow in their understanding of their anatomy and become physically stronger, but also to explore emotion and storytelling through movement as well. He strives to give his students the tools to become confident in their abilities, to take risks in their explorations, and to find community and support in their classes. Austin encourages his students to take every opportunity they have to learn and grow as artists—to believe in themselves and never waste a moment!

Fun Fact: As a fitness instructor, Austin was featured training members of the Real Housewives of New York for an episode on season 12 of the hit show.

Global Footprint: "Recently, many of our eyes have been opened to the blatant and disturbing amount of hate and injustice that has always been present in our country and is still running rampant. As an educator, I have always felt a responsibility and necessity to spread a message of equality and acceptance in my classrooms, but now, more than ever, I feel there is a dire need to bring these topics to the forefront of every lesson. I am an avid supporter of Black Lives Matter and fighting to bring justice for the BIPOC community that has not had the same protection and opportunities that the majority of us have been given. I believe in the power of educating ourselves and others to understand and fight against the systemic issues that have held our country back towards ever reaching equity. I pledge to do my part in staying informed and educated, speaking up when necessary, using my privilege to elevate others, and spreading knowledge in order to come closer to having justice for all."

Rachel Mazur

Instructor in Ballet

Rachel M. Owsley- originally from Lexington, KY, began her training with the Lexington Ballet School and supplemented her training by attending programs with American Ballet Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, and Kentucky Center’s Governor’s School for the Arts. She later received two bachelor’s degrees in both Ballet Performance and Dance Pedagogy from Point Park University. While at Point Park, she danced at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, as well as student taught at Pittsburgh's Creative and Performing Arts high school. Rachel always wanted to live in NYC and moved here to attend New York University to gain her M.A in Teaching Dance in the Professions: American Ballet Theatre. In addition, she is an ABT® Certified Teacher, Primary- Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She has taught, directed, and choreographed in the NYC and Central Kentucky areas including: Dancers Responding to AIDS, Brooklyn Ballet, Usdan Summer Camp for the Performing Arts, Lower East Side’s Educational Alliance, Chen Dance Center, The Lexington Ballet, East Pointe Dance, and The Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts.

Fun Fact: Ms. Rachel loves trying out new vegetarian recipes from around the world, entertaining friends, and hanging out with her husband and rescue crew (their blind pup, Gordo, and fat cat, Mr. Draper).

Global Footprint: “I am so excited to be sharing my love of dance with the AYDT community again this year. During this time of pause, I have been able to meditate and reflect on how I better fit into my community. I have been enjoying connecting with my Crown Height community through their Mutual Aid program. I have been reminded that listening can be more valuable than speaking. That amplifying the voices of others, by way of platform, can be more important than all of us yelling at once. To give when you can, whether that be monetary, labor, or love, and to rest when your soul needs it.”

Sabrina Pretto

Instructor in Ballet, and Pointe

Sabrina Pretto was born in Vicenza, Italy. After starting formal training for dance in her hometown, she was admitted in 2004 to the prestigious “Acadèmie de Danse Classique Princesse Grace” in Monaco Monte Carlo, under the direction of Marika Besobrasova. In 2008, soon after graduation, she participated at the International Dance competition in Spoleto, Italy and won third prize in classical ballet. That led her to obtain a contract with the English National Ballet in London for the company’s production “Strictly Gershwin” performed at The Royal Albert Hall, with the choreography of Derek Deane. Also in 2008 she performed for the Fondazione Arena of Verona, Italy in the Opera “Aida”.

She was then hired from the Ballet company of the Stadttheater Koblenz in Germany, directed by the choreographer Anthony Taylor, where she performed for two seasons. In 2010 she joined Les Ballets Grandiva in their extensive tour throughout Japan, where she danced several solo roles, in ballets like Westward Symmetry, Gottschalk pas de Trois, Pas de Quatre Nouveau (choreography Brian Norris) , Paquita Pas de Trois and Night Crawlers (choreography by Peter Anastos). In January 2011 she joined the worldwide famous ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Montecarlo, with whom she has been traveling the world reaching more than 23 countries worldwide. Her repertoire in the company includes roles in Pas de Quatre ( Grisi),Paquita (first soloist) and second variation from Paquita pas de Trois, The nymph in Walpurgisnacht, The Dying Swan, Esmeralda in Esmeralda pas de six, Giselle (title role), Swan Queen in Swan Lake, Le Corsaire Pas de Deux (Medora), Les Sylphides or Chopiniana (lead and Waltz Girl), Flames of Paris, Soloist in Raymonda (second variation), Napoli Pas de Six (second variation), La Vivandiere, La Naiade et le Pecheur, Ocean and Pearls, the Gold Fish and The Queen of the Underwater from the Little Humpback Horse.

During her busy dancing career, Sabrina was able to nurture her love for teaching dance. Whenever she found herself in her homeland she would teach intensives and workshops at different studios in Italy . In 2014 and 2015 she taught at the summer intensive of French Academy of Ballet in New York, specializing in coaching female repertoire variations.

Since 2018 Sabrina is an active member of the International society of classical dance Marika Besobrasova, which intent is to preserve and pass on the pedagogy and methods of teaching of the famous russian dance teacher. Her passion for dance and its apparel can be seen extensively in the forming of her own successful dance wear line called “Albypretty”. Throughout the years, Sabrina has been designing several costumes for dance performances such as “The Firebird” (2006), “Aimez-Vous Bach?” (2007),“Words Unspoken” ( 2010) and most recently “Creatures of Prometheus” for Florida Ballet (2019).

Fun Fact: she owns an extensive collection of high heels, counting more than a hundred pairs!

Global Footprint: I am actively involved in establishing diversity and inclusivity, in particular for people with different gender identities and races that are looking to make waves in the dance world.

Maiya Redding

Instructor in Contemporary

Maiya was raised in Chicago, Illinois, and her dance training began at The Chicago Multicultural Dance Center. She attended and graduated high school from the Chicago Academy for the Arts where she majored in Dance. Her studies took her to Purchase, NY where she graduated Cum Laude from SUNY Purchase College in the Dance Conservatory program where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2016. While at Purchase she had the pleasure of training abroad for a semester at Korean National University of the Arts, in Seoul South Korea.

Within the last couple of months Maiya set my work "Breaking through the Generational Curse" on Alessandra Corona Performing Works, and will be working with the company again in February to extend the work. She also set another work "Chicago Luvin" on Dance Lab NY, and, in addition, created and choreographed her own film titled "The Evolution of Womb(man)hood" in August. For the past three years Maiya has been working as a dance instructor teaching various classes including, ballet, hip hop, modern, and jazz.

As a choreographer and instructor, Maiya's intention is to show the audience the beauty of artistry. She is a strong believer in individuality and is attracted to dancers that dare to be different. Her goal as a choreographer and dance instructor is to empower her students and make them feel powerful and strong.

Fun Fact: My favorite part of teaching is the moment when I realize that I made a difference in my student's life. It's so magical seeing your students see their own potential and knowing that you're a part of their success story. I was named after the great Maya Angelou and naturally I love reading and using poetry in the works that I choreograph.

Global Footprint: I want to be able to share my stories and others people's stories around the world. My goal as an artist is to spark and create conversations. I want to help my students create change and find ways to connect with others by researching various foundations that encourage their voices being heard

 

Michelle Solares

Instructor in Pre Ballet

Michelle was a Lincoln Center Scholar in the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College.  She has a Master’s in Dance Education and a BFA in Performing Arts from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Michelle is an adjunct professor of dance at York College/CUNY and is certified to teach public school K-12. Michelle has danced with Ballet for Young Audiences, Lafayette Ballet Theatre, Pi Dance Theatre and Elbow, Wrist, Hand University. She has taught for the NYC Department of Education, private dance studios and Children’s Dance Guild at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Michelle is currently the assistant to Luigi jazz teacher Lisa Biagini at Steps on Broadway. Previously, she has also assisted and demonstrated for Master Horton teacher JoLea Maffei at Steps on Broadway and Peridance.  For more information, check out michellesolares.com.

Fun Fact: Michelle is from New Orleans, Louisiana!

Global Footprint: I am passionate about climate change because there is no plan(et) b. There are many problems in the world, but unless we create a more sustainable way to live, we won't have a planet healthy enough to concern ourselves with other world issues.

Kamryn Vaulx

Instructor in Contemporary, and Hip Hop

Kamryn Vaulx is a recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan College. She graduated with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Business Management.

Kamryn is from Memphis, TN where she began her dance training at 3 years old. She has trained for years in styles such as jazz, contemporary, hip hop, tap, ballet, modern, African, Spanish flamenco. She is currently a part of a New York hip hop company, Creative Genius, and has worked with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Company. Kamryn has also had the opportunity to work with other choreographers such as Ronald K. Brown, Anthony Burrell, and Fredrick Earl Mosley.

Fun Fact: She has been vegan for 4 years and loves cooking vegan recipes!

Global Footprint:With her versatile dance background, she aspires to share the intersections that are within dance styles and cultures with the dance community and the rest of the world. Kamryn hopes to forever inspire those coming behind her to continue to share the love of dance and movement, and wants to leave a global footprint in the world that exemplifies the power of creativity and the arts.

Taylor Wallace

Instructor in Pre-Ballet, Broadway Jazz, and Tap

Taylor Wallace is a performer, choreographer, and teaching artist based in NYC. She attended Marymount Manhattan College where she graduated with her BFA in Musical Theater and a minor in dance and performance.   Most recently, she worked as the Associate Choreographer for the Off Broadway Production of Shrek and performed in a showcase at Steps On Broadway.  Some of her past credits include Kiss Me, Kate, A Chorus Line, Once Upon A Mattress, and Zelda: An American Love Story. Taylor has also worked as a dancer on the set of the 2017 film Hello Again. 

Growing up, Taylor’s mom would always tell her to “let her light shine” and “follow her joy”. Those words guided her approach to every performance, audition, or class: always bring a grateful heart and determined mind. She learned that her light shines the brightest when embracing the “joy” of doing what she loves, which is why she strives to never take dance for granted—Taylor knows how lucky we are as dancers to exercise our bodies in demanding and dynamic ways. This mentality causes her to yearn to learn more and constantly set new goals for herself.

When it comes to working with other dancers, her mission is to bring the spark and energy from her current and past experiences to each class—creating magic, encouraging artistry and boosting enthusiasm in all the dancers she works with.

A note from Taylor: I was lucky to have inspiration growing up, and now I love to inspire others to shine their own light and follow their joy. I will always have a huge smile on my face and a sunny attitude while teaching. How could I not?! Loving my job as much as I do allows me to view it not as work, but as another opportunity to create something beautiful.

Fun Fact: In elementary school, I used to wear big fancy party dresses; I never understood why the other kids in my class were not getting dressed up for school too, but it didn’t bother me; I loved getting dressed up. Fast forward to today and nothing has changed. Oscar Wilde once said,  “you can never be overdressed or over-educated” I think he was on to something :)

Global Footprint: We all want to leave this world a better place, which is why I am so passionate about being a teacher. My relationships with my students extends beyond teaching them how to dance. I aspire to cultivate self confident, loving, knowledgeable individuals who will embrace challenges with a positive outlook and fierce determination. I believe all children should be given the same chance to be inspired no matter their socioeconomic status and I will continue to fight for enriching and encouraging children's’ lives for the rest of mine.

Hyung Ji Yu (Heidi)

Instructor in Ballet, and Pointe

Hyung Ji Yu (Heidi) is an international choreographer, dancer, and instructor based in NYC. \

Heidi began her training in South Korea, where she received awards through competitions and a scholarship for Outstanding Student from her alma mater, Sejong University. After performing for several years as a ballerina of the Korean Ballet Theatre, Heidi relocated to NYC to study at the Merce Cunningham School, and continued her studies at SUNY Purchase. Her studies culminated in 2015, with an MFA in dance from NYU Tisch, where she focused on pedagogy and choreography under Sean Curran, Gus Solomons, Cherylyn Lavagnino, Pamela Pietro, and Phyllis Lamhut.

In the US, Heidi performed with Roxey Ballet and Albano Ballet Company, and became certified in the ABT National Training Curriculum in addition to her teaching certificate in the Vaganova Method. She has taught and choreographed at Broadway Dance Center, New Haven Ballet, and Sacred Heart University. She received a CUNY Dance Initiative Residency at City College of New York for 2019-2020. Heidi established As Arts NY Dance in 2013, and has collaborated with choreographer Xiang Xu on XY Motion Project since 2016. Her choreography has been shown throughout NYC, including Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, Dixon Place, Bassin Performing Arts Center, and Kaye Playhouse. Her piece, "Bitter Roots," won NYC10 Best Piece in 2014; she choreographed the original musical “Enchanted by a Spell,” in 2015; and in 2016, she was invited to speak about her collaborations on TEGUS TV, NYC.

Visit www.asarts-ny-dance.org or www.facebook.com/asasrtsnydance to learn more about Heidi.

Fun Fact: Heidi is from Seoul, Korea.

Global footprint: As an international ballet instructor and choreographer, my choreography is based on the strong ballet technique, and I combine ballet with new thinking about the Eastern dance which creates flowing movement and soulful. I intersect Eastern and Western movement philosophies in dancers’ bodies.

Ryan Skerchak

Administrator

Ryan graduated magna cum laude in 2016 from Muhlenberg College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Acting. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Ryan started acting, singing, and dancing on stage at the age of 9. His education has included studies in the Stanislavski and Meisner acting styles as well as studies in Voice and Speech and Classical/Shakespeare text. Ryan studied Commedia Dell’Arte at the Academia Dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy during the Fall semester of his junior year where he was educated on the Italian masked art form, as well as movement for the actor and philosophy.

After graduating in 2016, Ryan spent several years performing all over the country. Favorite roles include Oklahoma! (Curly McLain) and Mamma Mia! with Derby Dinner Playhouse, Hello Dolly! (Cornelius Hackl) with Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre, and Singin’ In The Rain (Don Lockwood) with Pines Dinner Theatre. Ryan has also devoted his time to directing and choreographing for his high school and college alma maters. Ryan produced, designed, and directed the Muhlenberg Fundraiser Cabaret “Musical Theatre; Through the Decades” benefiting the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre’s children’s camp, as well as the Fall 2016 Homecoming Cabaret centered around different love stories throughout the Golden Age of Musical Theatre. In the Spring of 2016, Ryan assistant-choreographed his high school alma mater’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie and then choreographed their production of High School Musical Jr. later that Fall. Ryan is pumped to be working AYDT for this upcoming season!

Fun Fact: Ryan does a pretty spot on Miranda Sings impression!

Global Footprint: Our current political climate is problematic, temperamental, and chaotic. The question arises as to what I can do to support those that deserve the same rights to merely just live that I have because of my privilege.  I have been using my time over the past year to listen to those that are being/have been oppressed, educate myself, and put what I have learned into practice.  We must elevate the voices of the oppressed and not show fear to those that spread falsities and threaten our brothers and sisters.