JENNY HOGAN Owner/Director
Jenny Hogan's dance background began at age eight at JG Dance Arts Center in Hyde Park, New York with Broadway and TV veterans Joseph and Ginnie Mazzello.
She attended The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and Marymount Manhattan College in NYC, both on scholarship. She spent several years studying at Broadway Dance Center and Steps. She has performed as a dancer/singer in many regional theatre productions in which she also served as dance captain. Jenny returned to her roots and spent 2 years at JG where she taught ballet, jazz, tap, and acro. She choreographed for the JG Dance Junior Competition Class and her choreography has won several dance competitions in the New York area.
She worked for Broadway Director Harold Prince and was the assistant to Tony Award winning Director/ Choreographer Kathleen Marshall from 1999-2012, working on many NY City Center Encores! productions including Hair and Wonderful Town, and the Broadway productions of Seussical the Musical, Wonderful Town, Follies and The Pajama Game.
Jenny continues her dance education, taking classes in NYC and attending Dance conventions. She is thrilled to be teaching as much as her schedule allows.
COLLEEN BLAIR | Ballet Director
Colleen Blair began her training at Rozann-Zimmerman in Southern California and continued her studies at Walnut Hill School of the Performing Arts outside of Boston. She spent summers studying at Briansky Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and several summers at Cedar Island where she developed her skills under the guidance of Suzanne Farrell, Paul Mejia and Muriel Stuart. At the age of 15 she was accepted into The School of American Ballet. Colleen received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance, Choreography and Performance with a minor in early childhood studies from Bennington College. After graduating, she went on to perform with numerous modern dance companies and choreographers.
For over 10 years, Colleen was a member of The Wendy Perron Dance Company with whom she performed, and taught throughout Europe and the US. Colleen was Ms. Perron’s assistant choreographer on many projects including a solo for Peter Boal. Colleen has been teaching ballet to children and adults in Westchester since 1992. She has choreographed and staged many ballets including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia as well as numerous pieces for teen modern dance companies. Colleen has also taught classes at Bennington College, University of the Arts (Philadelphia), Tanz Tangente (Berlin), New School for Dance Development (Amsterdam), Ballet Academy East, and Harkness Dance Center at the 92nd St. Y. In 2001 Colleen joined the faculty of The Ailey School where she taught junior division ballet classes for 5 years.
After moving to Westchester in 2007, Colleen has continued to share her passion for dance and ballet technique with hundreds of ballet students. In 2012 she was thrilled to have the opportunity to join Brava Dance Center in Rye, NY, as the Ballet Program Director. Colleen continues to study dance and dance education by taking classes and workshops with teachers such as Finis Jhung, David Howard, Robert Atwood, and Nancy Bielski.
KELIN BARR | Company Director
Kelin Barr is originally from New York, where she began dancing at the age of three. She continued her education and training at the University at Buffalo, receiving a BFA in dance performance. Upon graduating, Kelin’s professional career allowed her to travel the world while performing with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. She has performed in many production shows across the country and in Canada with Spirit Productions including “Dancing Queen”, “Spirit of Christmas”, and “Le Grande Cirque”. She has also appeared on PBS as a member of Zodiaque Dance Company and has done industrial work for ToysRUs.
While in NYC, Kelin has performed at several different venues including the Salvatore Capezio Theater, Symphony Space and The Choreographer's Ball at the Highline ballroom. Most recently, she has performed in NYC with SynthesisDANCE Company, under the direction of Tracie Stanfield. Kelin is also represented by the prestigious NYC/LA talent agency MSA.
In addition to her performance credits, Kelin continues to choreograph and teach for several competitive dance studios in the NY/NJ area, as well as being on the judging panel for various dance competitions. She has taught at national conventions for Groove Dance Competition and National Dance Showcase. Kelin is excited to share her passion for dance with all of her students at Brava. In addition to being our Company Director, Kelin teaches Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Lyrical and Contemporary.
Instructor | Preschool, Jazz, Lyrical
With us since 2010, Samantha Stiglianese teaches Creative Movement, Preschool, Ballet, and Jazz. Samantha has studied ballet, jazz, theatre, lyrical and tap at studios throughout Westchester and NYC. She has many years of experience teaching all styles of dance to every age level at studios in Westchester, Rockland and Orange Counties. In addition to teaching dance, Samantha performs in musical theatre productions throughout Westchester, most recently appearing in "A Chorus Line" and "Fame." She is thrilled to be a member of the Brava Dance staff and looks forward to being able to share her love of dance with her students and to observe their progression from year to year.
Instructor I Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Progressing Ballet Technique
Kelly Voelpel began her early training at the School of Performing Arts/Fineline Theatre Arts in New Milford, Connecticut under the direction of Arlene Begelman and later Elizabeth Parkinson, Scott Wise, and Mary Ann Lamb. She spent summers dancing at North Carolina School of the Arts, American Ballet Theatre, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Peridance, and The Ballet Theatre of Maryland. Following her a year studying ballet at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, she attended the Lines Ballet Training Program in San Francisco. In 2013 she joined The Ballet Theatre of Maryland. Currently, Kelly works as a freelance dancer, performs with Mooney Cooley Dance, and teaches in New York and Connecticut.
Instructor I Tap, Jazz
Deirdre Dillon studied ballet, tap and jazz from 1989-2003 at the Marya Kennett Dance Centre in Goshen, NY. Each year she was a cast member of the annual performance of The Nutcracker Ballet and participated in and performed in several local musical theatre productions, including Bye, Bye Birdie and West Side Story. Deirdre also trained under the direction of Sam Wright, the voice of Sebastian in Disney's The Little Mermaid and the original Mufasa from the Broadway production of The Lion King. Deirdre further developed her training by taking classes at Broadway Dance Centre in New York City. She attended Manhattanville College, where she majored in Dance and Theatre, with a concentration in Dance Therapy. Deirdre holds a Master of Professional Studies degree in Childhood and Special Education and currently teaches at an elementary school in Westchester County.
Instructor I Jazz, Tap
Renee Griese grew up in Northern Virginia where she trained in various styles of dance and ultimately fell in love with jazz and tap. She spent her summers traveling to New York City and training at Broadway Dance Center and Steps. She is a graduate of Oklahoma City University where she received her Bachelors of Performing Arts in Dance Performance.
Following graduation she moved the Big Apple and has been performing and teaching since! She is a professional performer, dancer, singer, and teacher. Last summer she performed in productions of Crazy for You and Beauty and the Beast. She is so excited to be at Brava this year and to share her love of dance with all of her students!
Emma Gassett is a professional dancer, singer, actress, and choreographer based out of New York City. Originally from St. Louis, Emma continued her training at Oklahoma City University, where she earned her Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance Performance. Most recently, Emma worked with five-time Tony Award Winner, Susan Stroman, on the brand-new musical, “Marie, Dancing Still,” which premiered at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Washington. Emma has performed alongside industry legends, Chita Rivera and Tommy Tune in the Centennial Gala at The Muny in St. Louis. Additionally, she has starred as Louise in Carousel, directed by Broadway’s Ken Page. Other select regional credits include: Sunset Boulevard (Associate Director/Dance Captain, Engeman Theatre). Cinderella (Assistant Choreographer/Dance Captain, The MUNY), The Little Mermaid (Adella/Assistant Choreographer/Dance Captain, The MUNY), Hairspray (Shelley, The MUNY). In TV/Film, Emma can be seen starring in episode four of the NYC web series, “Living the Dream.”
Emma is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Triple Threat Training Ground, an educational theater company based in Long Island, NY, whose mission is to make superior training in the arts accessible to all. As a choreographer, Emma had the privilege of choreographing a contemporary solo for Team USA that competed at the 2017 International Dance Organization’s World Championships in Poland. This past year, Emma won a 2018 Industry Dance Award for her work in co-choregraphing a production number that took the title of “Best Musical Theater/Novelty/Character Performance.” While pursuing her own performance and choreographic career, Emma continues to be an advocate for continued education in the arts.
INSTRUCTOR | Acro
Joanna started her training in ballet/pointe, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and acrobatics at Ziegler Dance Centre in New Jersey as a toddler.
Joanna continued her dance education at Hofstra University, where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Dance Education in 2017. She participated in the Hofstra Dance Department Faculty concerts, performing choreography by guests and faculty Bill Young, Rachel List, and Robbie Cook. Her technical training included ballet, modern, pilates, and repertory from artists including Amy Marshall, Dyane Harvey-Salaam, Karla Wolfangle, Robin Becker, Ellie Kusner, and Colin Stillwell, among others. She was also an active member of the performance clubs Danceworks, MoVoM, Hofstra Ballroom Dance, Dancers in Schools, and was a member of the university’s competitive STUNT and cheerleading teams. Joanna also participated in Teaching Dance as Art (T’DAA), Hofstra’s Dance Education club, and earned an invitation to become the head instructor of AHRC, a club that teams with special needs adults in improvisation classes and for an annual holiday dance performance.
After graduating, Joanna pursued a Master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling from Antioch University New England. While pursuing her degree, Joanna taught dance classes and coached gymnastics. She was assistant director of the gymnastics program at the Keene Family YMCA. Joanna has specialized as a beam, all-around, dance and strength/conditioning coach for recreational classes as well as competitive levels through 9 at multiple gymnastics facilities throughout the country while becoming a sought-after instructor for private lessons with dancers due to her background.
Joanna’s professional dance career has included performing works by Arica Brown and Ashreale McDowell with Consuming Kinetics Dance Company, working as a medical dance/movement therapist, and teaching at local studios. Her favorite styles to teach are acro, contemporary, improv and modern!
INSTRUCTOR | Preschool, Jazz, Tap and Ballet
Niki Kapanka began her dance training at the age of three at Siouxland Movement Arts in Iowa. She moved to New York City in 2010 to continue her training at the Joffrey Ballet School under the direction of Dorrell Martin, Tyler Gilstrap and Alexandre Proia. Since then Niki has performed in several benefit concerts as well as teaching ballet, jazz, tap and creative movement across New York and New Jersey. Currently Niki works as a Teaching Artist with American Ballet Theatre, bringing ballet to public schools in New York City. She also teaches in the Young Children’s Program at Peridance. Niki is looking forward to joining the Brava Dance family this fall.
INSTRUCTOR | Hip Hop
Raised in Queens NY, dancer, actor and movement director Malak Lunsford started at the tender age of 8 years old. It wasn’t until his first standing ovation in his 6th grade talent show that sparked a passion for the stage. His mother, Denilia, took him to various auditions that involved acting and dancing. After a few years of competitions and auditions, at age 15 he took it upon himself to hit the biggest stage of is life.
In 2009, Malak went on to win first place at amateur night at the Apollo Theater 3x. This lead him to being chosen as lead choreographer for his high school in 9th grade. The remainder of his time in high school he began teaching and choreographing for other studios in the area as well as performances.
Training in Jazz and hip hop as well as acting classes Malak learned how important it was to tell stories, ignite feelings and to explore the unknown on stage and on camera. He believes art imitates life and everyone has a story to tell, how you express it is your gift to the world.
INSTRUCTOR | Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, BravaCore
Zoë Harris is originally from Omaha, Nebraska and graduated from Oklahoma City University with a BS in Dance Pedagogy. On top of continuing her training in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and theatre dance she was educated in dance history, choreography, pedagogy, anatomy/physiology, and dance management and business classes. Zoë then pursued her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from CorePower Yoga in Denver, CO where she became certified to teach power and vinyasa yoga. Zoë is a dancer for GPC, a cabaret company, based in NYC that performs at theatres/venues such as Feinsteins 54 Below, Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC, The Kraine, The Duplex, and as well as other residencies and gigs across the northeast corridor. Other performing credits include regional performances of the US debut of Strictly Gershwin with the Tulsa Ballet (guest artist), Singin in the Rain and Rock of Ages at the Omaha Playhouse, 42nd Street (Diane Lorimer) and Guys and Dolls (Hotbox Dancer) at the Sumptur Amphitheater, and a virtual performance titled, The Stars Align, performing pieces choreographed by Brian J. Marcum and Chaz Wolcott. Zoë’s choreography has been performed by competition teams at studios in CO, NE, NJ, and NY. Outside of performing and teaching, Zoe also adjudicates and tabulates at dance competitions, teaches yoga, is an administrator at Ballet Academy East, as well as is the venue manager for the Ramscale Penthouse, a West Village/Highline venue used for weddings, events, and film/photography.
INSTRUCTOR | Jazz
Maggie Savoie is a proud graduate of Otterbein University where she earned her BA in theatre (directing and choreography) and a dance minor. Originally from Ohio, Maggie trained with BalletMet, The Cincinnati Ballet and the Minnesota Ballet and currently resides in NYC where she works as a choreographer and teaching artist focusing on ballet, musical theatre and contemporary dance. She has performed with BalletMet, Megan Doyle Dance and Mitra Dance among others. Favorite credits include working as a choreography assistant to Tony nominated choreographer Randy Skinner on Lady, Be Good starring Tommy Tune and Patti Murin (NY City Center Encores!) choreographing Spring Awakening & Lizzie (Stagedoor Manor), The Addams Family (Priscilla Beach Theatre), Youth America Grand Prix contemporary solos and dancing in An Evening with Maury Yeston (92Y). She currently serves as the Director of Dance and resident choreographer for Stagedoor Manor in Upstate NY.
INSTRUCTOR | Tap, Jazz, Lyrical
Victoria started dancing at the age of 4, under the instruction of Emmy nominated
choreographer Anthony Morigerato in her upstate New York studio. She joined the
competition team at the age of 8 and proceeded to win numerous national awards.
While a student there, she began to choreograph, specializing in tap and contemporary.
She then went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts from Manhattanville College as a
Dance Major with a Minor in Sports Studies in 2019. During her four years at
Manhattanville, Victoria worked with numerous choreographers including: Shawn Bible,
Ara Fitzgerald, Heather Cornell, Mike Esperanza, and Leah Ives. Outside of her
academic dance career, she was also the captain of the dance team, Minds in Motion,
her junior and senior year. Post graduation she has been teaching at studios in the Hudson Valley region, while
also continuing her training at studios such as Broadway Dance Center, and fulfilling her
role as an ambassador for Luminous Tour. Victoria hopes to perform for as long as she
can, while continuing her passion for teaching dance to students of all ages!”