Al Blackstone is a New York-based choreographer, performer, and educator and the recipient of the 2011 Capezio A.C.E. Award for Choreographic Excellence. Dance Magazine has called his work “sweet, silly, sly... infectious.” While working mostly in musical theatre, his passion for contemporary and jazz dance enriches his unique approach to storytelling. In July of 2012 he directed, and choreographed the original dance narrative Happy We'll Be at the legendary Roseland Ballroom. Other original works include: The Blues a Little for University of the Arts, Hello Dolly for Dancers Responding to Aids’ Dance From the Heart, the solos performed on So You Think You Can Dance by season 8 finalist Jess LeProtto, and an original piece for Broadway Bares 2013. Theatrical credits include directing and choreographing the opening number of Easter Bonnet 2013 (featuring Marin Mazzie) and Sweet Charity at the John W. Engeman Theatre in Northport, Long Island (choreographer). Favorite performing credits: Wicked(Broadway and 1st National Tour), Carousel (Barrington Stages), the feature film A Winter’s Tale, NBC’s American Dreams and TLCs Trading Spaces. His most recent adventure: assisting Sonya Tayeh on the new musical The Last Goodbye. He is currently on faculty at the Broadway Dance Center and Pace University in NYC and JUMP dance convention. www.alblackstone.net
After beginning his early dance training at Westbury Academy and Two Worlds Dance, under the guidance of Jean Lee, Juan continued his training as a scholarship student in The Ailey School’s Junior Division Program, where he received the Donna Wood Award. Graduating from The Juilliard School with a BFA in 2001, he choreographed works that were presented at The Juilliard Theater, The Juilliard Drama Department, The Clark Studio, and Alice Tully Hall. Mr. Rodriguez joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater upon graduation. Mr. Rodriguez has danced professionally with such renowned companies as Dances Patrelle Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Configurations Ballet, Buglisi Foreman Dance, and Martha Graham Dance Ensemble. He has had the pleasure to perform works by Alvin Ailey, Hans Van Manen, William Forsythe, Alonso King, Nicolo Fonte, Donald Byrd, and Dwight Rhoden. Mr. Rodriguez joined Complexions in 2003.
She trained with Gina Forcella at Dance Stop Education Center in New Jersey, then continued her classical ballet training with Risa Kaplowitz and Susan Jaffe. At 16 she joined Houston Ballet II (HBII) and continued training with Claudio Munoz and Sabrina Lenzi. With HBII, she toured nationally and internationally, and in 2011, she represented Houston Ballet at the International Youth Dance Festival in Budapest, Hungary. Francesca has enjoyed the privilege of having ballets set on her by choreographers Ma Cong, Elie Lazar, and Lincoln Jones. She has danced ballets by George Balanchine, Stanton Welsh, Twyla Tharp, and Septime Webre. Among her favorite roles are the female leads in Trey McIntyre’s Blue Until June and in Stanton Welch’s Fingerprints.
Daphne Lee (Rahway, NJ) a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem began her dance training at the Rahway Dance Theatre under the direction of Ms. Jay Skeete-Lee. She graduated with Honors from the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A program in dance and is a recipient of the Denise Jefferson Scholarship award. Ms. Lee received scholarships to Jacobs Pillow, School of American Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem and is a regional gold medal recipient in dance for the NAACP ACT-SO competition.
Ms. Lee was also featured in the opening video for the Mrs. Carter World Tour for Beyonce and was featured in a short film, “Life of An Actress” by director Paul Chau. Daphne performed works by Robert Battle, Benoit Swan- Pouffer, Amy Hall-Gardner and Alonzo King among others and was assistant choreographer to the musical “The Color Purple”. She has danced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland and was a cast member in the sixth season of Dance212′s online reality series. She has even graced the pages of Dance Magazine and was featured cover for the April Edition of Dance Mogul Magazine. The NAACP National Act-so competition invited her to be a judge in 2015. Daphne got a chance to perform with the Black Iris Project at the Kennedy Center, playing the role of "Winnie Mandela" in the ballet MADIBA.
Lee has done community work through out the country via masterclasses and career readiness talks to the youth. Lee has assisted in raising over $5,000 in scholarship money in partnership with Brown Girls Do Ballet and over $100K for Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation at the Laugh for Life event. As the reigning Miss Black USA, she will continue her mission to inspire the youth through art. She was a member of Ailey II, Lustig Dance Theatre, Zest Collective, Oakland Ballet Company, and dance artist for UK artist Sydney Jo Jackson, and Collage Dance Collective in Memphis, TN. She is also a graduate student at Hollins University getting her MFA in Dance.
Jennifer Golonka is a Brooklyn based award winning dance educator, freelance choreographer and arts administrator. She has danced with the Jessica Lang Project, Hannah Khan Dance Company, Third Law Dance/Theater and Thang Dao Dance Company. She has performed with Battleworks Dance Company, Take Dance Company, Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Peter Chu’s CHU This, Darrell Grand Moultrie and Nicholas Villeneuve. Jennifer trained at the Martha Graham School and Limon Institute. Ms. Golonka was on faculty at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp for 13 years, ending her tenure as Director of Dance. She has been a guest artist at numerous arts organizations throughout the country including University of Colorado at Boulder, University at Buffalo, Stony Brook University, BOUNCE Competition, the symphony Strings on Mountain, Cincinnati Ballet Summer Intensive and as a guest choreographer for the Pacific Arts Dance Center’s The Nutcracker and Destiny Rising at The Joyce Theater. Her work has most recently been presented at the DUMBO Dance Festival in Brooklyn, NY. She is a certified Pilates and Progressive Ballet Technique instructor.
Thang Dao currently resides in New York City as a freelance choreographer, teacher, and coach. He holds a M A degree from New York University’s Gallatin School. Dao received his formal dance education from the Juilliard School and The Boston Conservatory, w here he received his BFA in 2001. Dao danced with the Stephen Petronio Company and the Metropolitan Opera until 2006, leaving to choreograph for Ballet Austin, Ballet Austin II, Ailey II, Ballet X, Philadanco, the Boston Conservatory along with many universities and performing arts schools nationally and internationally. His works have toured throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia with acclaimed review s. His ballet Stepping Ground, choreographed for Ballet Austin for the 1st Biannual New American Dance Talent, received the Audience Choice Award all four nights. Dao is the recipient of the 2008 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship, the 2009 Special Project Grant, and the 2012 Vilcek finalist for Creative Promises in choreography. In 2012, his work Waiting Women w as featured at NYCDAF Gala: Destiny Rising at the Joyce Theater in New York. Dao w as on the creative team for the James Brown Project: Get On The Good Foot commissioned and produced by the Apollo Theater under the direction of Otis Salid.
Hailed by the Boston Globe, “a choreographer to watch,” Dao’s works have been presented internationally in major venues across Europe and Asia. Nationally, his works have also been performed in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Austin, Boston, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Phoenix, Miami and Chicago with acclaimed review s. Attitude magazine cites, “...a tour de force,” while New York critic Water Rutledge w rote, “he w as able to build ensemble movement passages in a fluid manner; at times it was almost hypnotic.”
Erick Footman was born and raised in Queens New York. He has been working as a professional Hip-Hop dancer/choreographer for over 15 years. Erick has choreographed and performed with various artist such as Chris Brown, Mariah Carey, Miley Cyrus, Lil Mama, Fat Joe, and many more.
Erick also performed on several T.V. shows such as, MTV's America's Best Dance crew, MTV's TRL, BET's 106 & Park live, Showtime at the Apollo, Japan network NHK'S Chick Girls reality show and etc. Erick is also Co-founder and head choreographer of an all male Hip-hop group Called Stryke Force Ent. Stryke Force has performed all over the country and enjoys spreading their love for Hip-hop to other dancers.
Erick Footman still to this day enjoys training and inspiring students to learn the Hip-hop culture. He continues to teach Hip-hop classes and workshops from here in NYC to as far as Tokyo, Japan. Erick Footman's motivation is continue to spread happiness, confidence and joy all over the world through the art of dance.
Garrick Footman is an international Hip-Hop dancer, choreographer and mentor. Born and raised in Queens, New York, his passion for Hip-Hop began at a very young age. He has been working in the industry for over 10 years. Garrick has choreographed and performed with various artists including Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Faith Evans, Fat Joe and countless other stars.
Garrick's passion to perform has led him to be on several TV shows including MTV's America's Best Dance Crew, MTV's TRL, BET's 106 and Park Live, Showtime at the Apollo, Japan network NHK's Chick Girls Reality Show etc.
Garrick Footman is also the co-founder of a successful all male Hip-Hop group called Stryke Force. Stryke Force performs all over the country while motivating and inspiring others about the culture of Hip-Hop and dance.
Throughout his success, Garrick remains humble and dedicated to training students who share the same love for Hip-Hop. He continues to teach classes and workshops everywhere; from New York City to Tokyo, Japan. The most important thing to Garrick Footman remains to spread love, confidence and knowledge to people with the power of Hip-Hop.
Sara is a pioneer of Jazz Dance in South Korea. Since 1990, she has developed Public Jazz Dance Classes at YMCA and many other Sports Centers across South Korea. She has created annual
performances/recitals with club members, rhythmic gymnasts, dancers and actors. Generations of students from South Korea have since carried on her legacy and continue developing in commercial dance genres.
In 2003, Sara received the highly prestigious, “Best Choreography
Award“ from the 9th Annual Korean Musical Award (the equivalent of a Broadway Tony Award) for her contributions to the musical production, “The Musical Footloose”, which debuted in 2002 in South Korea. When she is not teaching at Dance Stop, she conducts jazz, acting and movement workshops for rhythmic gymnasts, dancers, actors and models.
Since 1997, Sara, along with Miss Gina and our other master teachers, has authored what is widely recognized as the signature style of the Dance Stop Dancers. Sara enhances our students’ education with acclaimed choreography in jazz/lyrical genres, as well as a performance style that encompasses strength and grace in its creative message. She has received numerous choreography awards from the dance competitions/conventions and has won numerous championships with the junior and senior troupes. Her originality and dedication to her students makes her an exceptional master teacher and choreographer.
Nicholas Ranauro is a Brooklyn based dancer and choreographer with a BFA from The Juilliard School (2014) and a diploma from Walnut Hill School for the Arts (class of ’09). Performance credits include the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera, NYCC Encores! Production of Brigadoon, iLuminate, Keigwin & Co., Seeing You, Compañía Tania Perez-Salas, and NBC’s Maya & Marty. His choreography was recently showcased at DanceBreak 2020 - a platform for identifying emerging choreographers in musical theatre, and as part of the 92nd St Y’s 2021 ‘Future Dance Festival’. He is a Pilates and Gyrotonic certified instructor and a proud cat dad to Jackpot.
Julie was honored in 2013 when she was selected by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars as one of the nation's most influential instructors! Along with Thang Dao, she directs the Young Artist Dance Intensive that is held at Dance Stop each year. She began her training in Los Angeles, has traveled the world in her professional dance career with the American Repertory Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and other prominent companies and choreographers in Switzerland, Italy and the U.S. Julie currently teaches at the Orange County High School for the Performing Arts, has been commissioned to create a new work for Ballet Quad Cities in Illinois.
Julie is honored to be a member of the newly formed Body Traffic directed by Lillian Bitkoff and Tina Finkelman Berkett. Body Traffic has had the honor of working with such choreographers as Guy Weitzman, who hails from Israel, and more recently Alex Ketley, the director of the Foundry in San Francisco. Body Traffic will be performing this summer at the Ford Theatre in Los Angeles as well as touring to San Francisco.
Rosemary blends her mastery of ballet with over 15 years of teaching experience. She serves on the faculty of the NJ School of Ballet and with the NJ Dance Theatre Ensemble, and was the Principal Ballerina of the New Jersey Ballet Company until her retirement from the stage in 2002.
Susie Gorman started her training in Kansas City at the Miller-Marley School Of Dance, and The State Ballet Of Missouri. From there she trained with The School Of American Ballet, American Ballet Theater and The Pacific Northwest Ballet. She has danced for such companies as State Ballet of Missouri, Wes Veldink Movement, Journey Dance Company, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, American Dance Machine and Mia Michaels R.A.W. She was in the 1st National Tour of Twyla Tharp's Movin' Out, and has performed in such musicals as Oliver! and Cinderella at Starlight theater. She was recently seen on Good Morning America as a dancer for Mariah Carey. Susie finished her first movie last summer staring as the lead actress in Kings Highway. She currently is a principal dancer for Kristin Sudeikis Dance Company in New York City. She also teaches and choreographs for different studios and companies around the United States.
Katie Drablos is a Texas native who graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University in 2009. Post college, Katie moved to NYC and performed as a Radio City Rockette. She works extensively with and for Al Blackstone; most notably as his Associate Choreographer on productions of Oklahoma, Hairspray, Pippin,The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes, and as a dancer in his original works, Freddie Falls in Love and Happy We’ll Be. She is immersed in the theater dance world in NYC, but also has a love for contemporary dance. She is a regular guest teacher in both styles at Steps on Broadway. Katie has choreographed and taught workshops at SMU and Princeton University. She also co-founded an organization, HEART, which brings dance workshops to studios around the country with the mission of giving back to various charities and dancing free of judgment and full of authenticity. Katie’s classes are full of soulful music, storytelling, and expansive movement.
Hope Osborn-Krick received both her Bachelor of Music and her Master's in Vocal Pedagogy and Vocal Performance from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. Among many other venues, Hope has performed as part of the Westminster Opera Theater, at Lincoln Center in New York City, NJPAC in Newark, NJ, McCarter Theater at Princeton University, and in Florence, Italy. Her collaborations include performing with the Princeton Amateur Society, Princeton Friends of Opera, Kinnara, Destino, and in a recent production of Wagner's The Flying Dutchman. Her discography includes recordings with the Westminster Williamson Voices, the East End Gilbert and Sullivan Players, Teaching Choirs Through Performance CD, and others. Hope also serve as a Section Leader at All Saints Church in Princeton. In addition to Dance Stop, Hope teaches voice at Spirit Wind Music Studios and is an Adjunct Professor of Vocal Performance at Molloy College in NY. She is distinguished by her recent awards, which include the elite Encouragement Award by the Metropolitan Opera Council, and the Milton Cross Rising Star Award, given by the Continuo Arts Foundation.
Frances began her training at an early age under the direction of Gina Forcella, right here at Dance Stop Dance Education Center. Frances is a graduate, receiving high honors, from The Hartt School in Connecticut with a BFA in Dance and an Emphasis in Ballet Pedagogy. While in Connecticut, Fran attended many summer programs including Kaastsbaan Extreme Ballet, Hubbard Street Dane Chicago, the HJS Summer Intensive in Amsterdam, and Doug Varone’s Summer Intensive at SUNY Purchase. She has performed works such as Psalm by Jose Limon, Mazurkas by Jose Limon both staged by Nina Watt, new contemporary works by director Stephen Pier, Raymonda the ballet staged by Hilda Morales, and the woman in yellow in Diversion of Angels by Martha Graham. Fran most recently performed in her very own professional show this past July with The Dance Collective as a soloist.
This talented teacher has almost two decades of tap dance experience under his belt, performing in touring companies and revivals of some classic productions, including 42nd Street, White Christmas, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and others! Aaron also has enjoyed a career in concert dance, working as a soloist and collaborator in NYC and in LA, and has appeared in productions such as Christmas in the Black Hills, that was televised on CMT. Aaron is especially proud of his improvisational expertise, and the opportunity he received to choreograph and perform as part of an International Visitors Leadership Program, in which he promoted minority participation through the arts in Brazil.
Maddie Rae Russo is a dancer originally from Delaware. She has studied at Delaware Arts Conservatory and Cab Calloway School of the Arts. Moving to New York City at the age of 19, she has worked as a professional dancer ever since. Maddie has performed all over the North American Continent, traveling with Norwegian Cruise Lines. She also has performed in tap companies around the New York area, led by Aaron Tolson. Her latest work includes performing in Celtic Fyre in Williamsburg VA, as well as producing, choreographing and debuting her own show called ReelRhythm. Maddie loves choreography of all styles and her pieces have won nationally around the country.
Tommy is a Florida native, where he trained at New Tampa Dance Theatre. Tommy graduated from The Ohio State University with a BFA in dance performance in 2005. While training, he has had the opportunity to work with many world-renowned choreographers and dancers. He has performed with Columbus Dance Theater contemporary ballet company, in the United Kingdom tour of Tap Fusion, as a guest artist with BalletMet, Columbus, Collide, and Parsons Dance. He is also currently dancing with dre.dance, Nicholas Andre Dance, marInspired, and Kristin Sudekis Dance. In addition to company work Tommy has been featured in several movies, musicals and TV shows. Recent highlights are The Big Gay Musical movie, City Center Encores' production of "Where's Charley ?" and "Fiorello" and the premier of Rosie O'Donnell's return to prime time TV on Rosie Show, featured on the OWN network. He has had the honor of working with Verdon/ Fosse Estate on archiving the legendary work of Bob Fosse and a principal member of American Dance Machine for the 21st Century. Most recently he performed in the pre-Broadway run of the new musical Roman Holiday in San Francisco and is slated to appear in an upcoming FX show about the life of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon starring Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell.
As a teacher he has taught master class all over the world including Brazil, China, and Russia. Teaching students that are mentally and physically handicapped, autistic and blind. In the United states he has been privileged to teach at Peridance, Broadway Dance Center, The Ohio State University, Adelphi University, Manhattanville College, Marymount Manhattan and many dance studios across the nation. While keeping up a diverse performance career he is currently teaching classes in studios in New Jersey and Queens and judging competitions all over the nation.
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