Posts in Dance Instructor
Shannon DiNota

Shannon Mulcahy DiNota (Studio Owner/Artistic Director) grew up in Miami, where she attended Southwood School for the Arts and New World School of the Arts. While in high school, she trained and performed with Rotaru Ballet in Atlanta and Freddick Bratcher Company in Miami. Following high school, she studied at the Lou Conte Dance Studio in Chicago, home of the Hubbard Street Dance Company, and performed with Jazz Dance Theater South in Atlanta. Shannon received her BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she attended on a talent scholarship and received the outstanding modern dancer award. She was an original member of Philadelphia-based Koresh Dance Company, where she danced throughout her college years.

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Christine Magliari

Christine Joy Magliari ​(Office Manager/Musical Theater) grew up in Westchester County and attended Pace University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Education. Her passion for the performing arts began as a child. Throughout school, she studied dance, theater and television production. 

Professionally, Christine is a Senior Fashion Consultant for AprilMarin Inc., a certified Pilates and yoga Instructor, and a teacher in youth theater programs. Christine has extensive acting experience and has appeared in seven major motion pictures and over twenty prime-time television shows. 

Christine is currently living in New York City and is thrilled to return to her hometown to direct theater programs at The Dance Gallery!

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Kelly Buck

Kelly Buck ​(Tap, Ballet, Musical Theater) ​is originally from Boston and moved to New York City to pursue her dreams of performing and choreographing! She received her BFA in Dance from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Her theater credits include: AIDA (Kansas City Starlight Theatre), Kiss Me Kate (as Lois), 42nd StreetAnything Goes (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse), High School Musical, and Fame (North Shore Music Theatre). TV/ Film: Friends With BenefitsDetachment, and Mercy. She has had the pleasure of performing in the concert dance world as a company member of (co-founders Andrew Palermo and Taye Diggs), dancing in pieces such as "beyond.words" and the world premiere of "dre.diohead." Her original choreography debuted in Kingdom Come, a musical that won best play at the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival. 

Kelly has a passion for teaching children and passing on her love of dance.

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Lori Mortensen

Lori Mortensen (Business Manager/Musical Theater) was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. She has been dancing, singing and playing the piano since a young age. She was a member of competitive dance teams through high school and college.​

Lori has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Brigham Young University. She has experience as an international spokesperson, a political communications consultant, and an executive assistant.

​For the past nine years (both in Philadelphia and New York), Lori has taught music, theater and dance to children, including her own daughters, as well as written, directed, and choreographed children’s productions and musical programs.

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Cassie Coulas

Cassie Coulas (Ballet/Pointe) is a Kansas City native. Her early dance training began with the Miller Marley Youth Ballet, Kansas City Ballet faculty, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and The Jillana School. Cassie graduated cum laude from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance with a BFA in Dance Performance and a Certificate in Non-Profit Arts Management. Her favorite performance credits include: Babes In Toyland at Lincoln Center, Neil Young's Greendale concert at Kansas City Starlight Theater, Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Series with Continuum Contemporary Ballet and West Side Story with La Boheme Opera Company. She has also modeled dancewear for Body Wrappers Costume Catalogue.​ Offstage, Cassie can be seen in online, on-demand workout videos as both lead instructor and modifier. She is a certified Pilates Mat Instructor through Pilates Academy International, a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Registered Instructor, TRX-qualified for group fitness and CPR-certified with experience that spans over a decade. Cassie is dedicated to instilling within her students proper technique, class etiquette and excitement for ballet. She is very happy to be a part of the Dance Gallery family!

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Hayley Descavich

Hayley Descavich (Ballet/Contemporary) began her training at Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, Massachusetts, where she studied under Ann Sorvino. She graduated from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, with a BFA in Ballet Pedagogy. She has performed works by Shannon Gillen and Charlotte Griffen, and she was affiliated with Cirque du Soleil. In 2014 Hayley started a contemporary dance company DC2. DC2 has performed across New York and Massachusetts, as well as at the Fringe Festival in Scotland.

Her choreography has been showcased in music videos and local film. Hayley’s teaching experience includes directing the Sorvino Dance Intensive at Stoneleigh-Burnham School, as well as instructing at The Hartt School Community Division, The Dance Gallery and Joffrey Ballet School. She has taught ballet workshops in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Scotland. Hayley is Pilates and CPR-certified and has actively volunteered in local theater for children. 

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Dana DeFabrizio

Dana DeFabrizio (Creative Dance, Ballet/Tap)​ was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She began her dance training at the age of 6 and has trained in various dance styles including ballet, contemporary, tap, jazz, and modern. She graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, where she danced under the direction of Steven Pier. 

Upon graduation, she began to pursue her love for performance, teaching, choreography, fitness and travel, exploring dance from California to Brazil to Europe. Finally, she found her new home in New York City, where she teaches dance and performs with DC2, Heather Bryce Dance Company, and Kelley Donovan and Dancers.

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Jordan Ippolito

Jordan Ippolito (Ballet/Tap) ​is from Ocean City, New Jersey.  She earned her BA at Hope College in western Michigan, where she majored in Dance Performance/Choreography. Dancing has always been a passion for her and she feels honored to be a dance educator with the opportunity to instill that passion to another generation. 

Currently, Jordan works as a professional dancer in and out of New York City.  Her credits include Emily: H2 Movement Project at TedxMacatawa (as Emily), Dance Captain for the Moorlyn Family Theatre, Beauty and the Beast (as Belle) and Singin' in the Rain (as Kathy Seldon), Evita!Kiss Me KateLa Belle HeleneThe Last AdamMaking BKJKT and Choreographer/Soloist for "Restore" (Official Video) by Rorie.

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Alexis Roberts

Alexis Roberts ​(Hip Hop) began her training at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, under the instruction of Karen McDonald and Latrice Douglas. She continued training with Bristol Contemporary and Debbie Allen Dance Academy with a full scholarship. While training and living in L.A., Alexis worked with producers Debbie Allen and Nick Cannon and was featured in Debbie Allen’s BET Christmas special. She also worked with various nonprofits in Compton that brought ballet to at-risk youths. She relocated to New York and signed with the Bloc NYC Talent Agency.  

Since then, she is thrilled to have worked with renowned choreographers including Aaokmon Jones, Anthony Burrell, Ryan Heffington, Jaquel Knight, Nancy O’Meara and John Carrfa. Roberts has been featured on TV shows including Flesh & BoneVinyl and Z: The Beginning of Everything. Additionally, she’s toured with Latin pop sensation Chayanne on the “Entodo Estare 2016". She performed at the 2016 VMA’s with Beyoncé, at the Katy Perry Comme des Garçons Met Gala Performance, and at the H&M X Kenzo Fashion show during NY SS17 Fashion Week, for which she was featured on Recently, she walked in Desigual NY SS18 Fashion Week and currently has a Desigual ad running in 10 countries across Europe.

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Kayla Bryan

Kayla is originally from Lexington, Kentucky.  She earned her BA in Theatre Studies (Acting) with a Dance Minor from Emerson College in Boston. Kayla has been dancing from a young age and specializes in Ballet/Pointe, Jazz, Theatre and Contemporary Dance.  She also has experience in choreographing for Emerge Danceworks, Emerson Dance Company, Musical Theatre Society of Emerson College, and Stage Right Acting. 

Currently, Kayla works as a professional Musical Theatre performer in and out of New York City.  Credits include: National Tour: Nice Work If You Can Get It (Ensemble). Select Regional Credits: A Chorus Line (Bebe); Legally Blonde (Vivienne; Ensemble/Dance Captain), On The Town (Lonely Town Pas De Deux); Niagara Fallsview Casino Christmas On Ice (Featured Singer).  Producer of Actoria Cabaret in New York.

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Eric Ortega

Eric has instructed dance and choreographed throughout the New Jersey/New York metro area since graduating from Mason Gross School of the Arts with a BFA in Dance. His choreography has been performed at Virginia Commonwealth University, The College of New Jersey, Rutgers University, Crossroads Theater, the George Street Playhouse, the Ailey Citigroup Theater, Barishnikov Arts Center, Merce Cunningham Dance Theate, Lincoln Center and The Paul Taylor School. Eric has performed with GroundZero Dance, Moe-tion Dance Theater, & The Latin Ballet of Virginia, while also performing the works of Robert Battle, David Dorfman, and Stephen Petronio. Since graduating Rutgers, Eric has worked on arts legislation on Capitol Hill and currently serves as a news producer for NBC. He continues to choreograph, acting as guest choreographer for In Motion Dance Company and The Dance Gallery.

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Caitlin Golding

Caitlin Golding (Irish Dancing) developed her unique approach to Irish dance through her training with the Broesler School of Irish Dance. She went on to win 5 regional titles, top 3 medals in prestigious North American and Great Britain Championships and top 10 medals in the World and All Ireland Championships. After graduating from the University of Maryland, Caitlin began dancing globally with Micheal Flatley's Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames, and Dangerous Games. She recently finished her touring career on Broadway. In between tours, Caitlin acquired her certification in theatrical makeup with Von Lee School of Aesthetics and moved to New York City to work as a pro artist with Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. As an avid practitioner of pilates since age 15, Caitlin pursued her Pilates certification with the esteemed teacher training program at, Harmony Pilates and Gyrotonics, in Pittsburgh. With a mission to integrate tradition, modern artistry, and wellness conditioning, Caitlin wishes to promote health and happiness with her coaching at The Golding Academy of Movement and Irish Dance.

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Lalitha Cosme

Lalitha Cosme (Bollywood/Indian Folk) began her training in classical Kathak and Odissi dance under notable masters. She continues her Kathak training with Rachna Nivas, senior disciple of Pt. Chitresh Das, through Leela Dance Collective’s NYC Initiative. Lalitha is a Rajasthani folk dancer seasoned in Ghoomar, Chari, Kalbeliya, and Terah Taali techniques.  Along with her Indian classical and folk dance training, Lalitha has studied contemporary dance in Alvin Ailey Extension and carefully blends Indian and Contemporary techniques.  Her Bollywood dance style is known for its expressive flair, traditional dance steps, and juxtaposed with an inventive merging of varied dance techniques. These techniques are carefully blended with Lalitha’s sharp focus on musicality and storytelling. Lalitha is seasoned in abhinaya (expressive) technique, pantomime, theatre, and ritualistic dance traditions. 

 She has performed on television, most notably on Sesame Street, and has showcased Indian dance on off-Broadway stages.  She is the founder and director of Lalitha Dance Company, which performs at community festivals showcasing Rajasthani folk dance traditions. Lalitha is also the co-founder of Beyond Liminal Project, which is a performance art lab using movement, mime, and theatre to bring conceptual, abstract, and/or esoteric philosophies and ideas to the stage. Lalitha engages the community through grassroots activism, via storytelling within movement, to share deeper messages about the world and to be an agent of social change. She is an animal rights activist and a proponent for the continuation of arts programs within NYC public schools. Lalitha regularly gives lectures and workshops on how dance can be used as a means of self-exploration and growth—using exercises to help break down barriers and communicate intents more effectively through expression, movement, and partner work.

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Kelly Black

Kelly Black originally is from central Ohio where she started dancing at the age of five. She received a BA in Art Education with a Dance minor from Otterbein University. At school is where she first met Tony nominated choreographer, Randy Skinner. He set 42nd Street at Otterbein, and it was that show that really made Kelly realize her dream of performing professionally. Kelly’s first professional show was the 42nd Street tour in Asia. After that she moved to New York and has continued to work with Randy and many other notable choreographers performing around the country.

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Noele Phillips

Noele E. Phillips is a native New Yorker raised in East Harlem and The Bronx. She has trained in dance schools such as Gibney, Broadway Dance Center, Cumbe, Mark Morris and The Ailey School. In 2007, she was selected as one of the 10th Anniversary Artists for The dancenow NYC festival. She is the 2010 BRIO Award Winner for Choreography. She is a founding memeber of the Kraven Seneca Dance Company and is currently a Principal Dancer with Bronx-based Bombazo Dance Company. She has taught various types of dance including West African Dance, Hip Hop, Afro-Caribbean, Afrobeat, Zumba and Modern in various dance schools throughout NYC, Westchester and Connecticut. Noele embraces and celebrates various types of dance including Hip-Hop, Jazz, West African and Modern.

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Amanda Neilson

Amanda Neilson graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Dance and a Minor in Health Education. While there, she performed and traveled for four years with the International Folk Dance Ensemble and taught various undergraduate classes including Tap Dance, Folk Dance and Aerobic Dance. She received the Mary Bee Foundation Scholarship for excellence in Folk Dance. After graduating, Amanda continued to teach and share her love of International Folk Dancing at local community centers and through private lessons. Since moving to NY, she can often be found leading square dancing and line dancing for local Church youth groups, Elementary schools, Cub Scouts, and for private family events. She especially loves opportunities to share her passion for the cultures, traditions and dances found all over the world. She is currently involved as the CubMaster in her local Boy Scout troop, as well as the Girls Camp Director for the LDS Church in New Rochelle. Amanda lives in Mamaroneck, NY with her husband and four children.

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