The Company We Keep

Joanne Langione Dance Center Alumni

Within our 40 years of providing dance education to our community, many Joanne Langione Dance Center Alumni have gone on to pursue careers in dance, teaching and choreography upon graduation from our studio. From dancing at prestigious colleges around the country, appearing with professional dance companies, national tours, TV and film appearances, even Broadway, to creating and founding their own dance programs or projects, we are proud to say that they all started here! …Here are just a few of our notable Alums…

Shawn Mahoney

 Shawn Mahoney began his ballet, tap, and jazz training at the Joanne Langione Dance Center and his early performing career with Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre in Boston, MA. As an apprentice, Shawn danced for American Ballet Theatre before joining Boston Ballet. At Boston Ballet, Shawn performed in Petipa, Balanchine, Kylian, Forsythe, Bejart and others. Shawn performed as a chosen member of “Tharp!”, a national and international touring company directed by Twyla Tharp. Ms. Tharp invited Shawn to be part of the creative and choreographic process for her Broadway hit “Movin’ Out” and performed in Tharp’s “Red, White, and Blues”. Shawn performed with the Suzanne Farrell/Balanchine Project, Sean Curran Company, Washington Ballet, and Bale Estado de Goias. As an educator, Shawn has taught internationally for Festa de Danca in Sao Paulo and Bermuda Civic Ballet. Currently, Shawn is on faculty at Emerson College, instructing dance classes to actors and musical theatre students and is a teacher and lecturer at Days in the Arts. Shawn founded Mahoney Agency, representing dancers for national engagements for the Nutcracker Ballet. Shawn is a sought out mentor for emerging artists and choreographers in ballet and contemporary dance.

Elana Jacobs

 

Elana Jacobs is a Seattle-based Choreographer and Artistic Director of CabinFever. She graduated from Skidmore College in 2012, where she studied Dance, Choreography and Exercise Science. She relocated to Seattle in 2011 to pursue her creative interests, develop her career in Pilates and Modern Dance, and to soak up the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. As choreographer and professional dancer, she has directed well-received original dance works which blend movement, video and music. Her work has been showcased in New York, Seattle, Idaho, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Sante Fe, including Velocity Dance Center and On the Boards 2012. A Documentary Short Salutaions, a tour through your departure & arrival about CabinFever’s 2014 Summer Tour debut at the Northwest Film Forum in June 2015. She was recently featured in the January 2015 issue of Seattle’s CityArts magazines, as one of 12 artists on their 2015 “Future List”, click here to read the article.

Robin Campbell

Robin Campbell was born and raised in Boston. She spent her formative years dancing at the Joanne Langione Dance Center which she claims was her “home away from home”. Robin moved to New York at age 18 to attend Columbia University, where she graduated magna cum laude and phi beta kappa. On Broadway, Robin has been seen as one of Hugh Jackman’s Dreamgirls in “Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway” and as an Alabama Lamb in the Susan Stroman/ Andrew Lippa musical “Big Fish”. Also in NYC, Robin has performed at City Center Encores, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and in various benefits, readings, and workshops. Robin can be heard on three original Broadway cast albums as well as two classical albums, with the NY Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra. Robin also works regularly in TV and film and has been seen on Onion Sports Dome on Comedy Central as well in The Consultants and Below the Beltway, most recently on HBO and Showtime. In addition, Robin continues to perform with the wonderfully talented Hugh Jackman, most recently in Las Vegas.

Hana van der Kolk

Hana van der Kolk (far left) a native Bostonian began her ballet, modern and tap training at the Joanne Langione Dance Center. She currently lives and works throughout the US and in Europe, most frequently in Los Angeles and Amsterdam. Her choreographic projects combine elements of conceptual practice with post-modern dance and take place in a wide range of sites. She recently completed a year as the Arthur Levitt ’52 Artist-in-Residence at Williams College where she taught Experimental Choreography and a movement improvisation training called Perceptual Intelligence, and directed a durational performance event for 17 students and 17 local residents, which featured carpentry, sewing, shamanistic healing, music, movement, and much more. Hana has also taught internationally including at the SNDO in Amsterdam and the University of Tallinn, Estonia.

Cookie Harrist

 

Cookie Harrist graduated from JLDC in 2008 and is a choreographer, performer and writer currently based in Denmark, Maine. Her work aims to discover what separates dancing from moving, using choreography and writing to critically investigate groove. Cookie’s most recent choreographic work, a vigorously vulnerable solo called Present Present Present, was featured at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of the 2012 National College Dance Festival. In Fall 2013, Cookie co-founded the Hio Ridge Dance Collective as a way of insisting that young choreographers have the space to rehearse, collaborate on, and perform evening length work. Cookie graduated from Marlboro College with a BA in Dance and Poetry in 2012.

Kate Abernethy

Kate Abernethy is a JLDC gradute from the class of 2004.  Each performer is talented, committed, and completely and utterly unique. Kate Abernethy is a freelance dancer, performer and choreographer. In 2008, after receiving her BA in dance from Mount Holyoke College, Kate moved to Philly and began her dance career as a company member of Keila Cordova Dances. In 2012, she broke out on her own and performed a self-choreographed solo When There’s No One, at InHale Performance Series and Etc. Performance Series. This past Spring, Kate performed in Megan Mizanty’s MFA thesis project, After Bodies. Kate’s current muses are transforming homes into performance spaces, awkward handshakes, and shuttered sunlight. Kate is a dancer with Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre, which values collaboration with ensemble-minded co-creators.

Annie Ellertsen

Annie Ellertsen graduated from JLDC in 2003, where as a student she was assisting many fundamentals classes. After high school Annie received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance performance from Montclair State University. While at college, Broadway Dance Center became her second home.  Annie  is a versatile performer, teacher and choreographer, residing in Brooklyn, New York. Most recently, she appeared as Bert and Oscar the Grouch in the national tour of Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music. Performance locations included the theater at Madison Square Garden, the Orpheum in Boston, Massachusetts, and several venues in British Columbia.

An accomplished teacher and trainer, Annie works with adults and children alike. Teaching in numerous studios in the Tri-State area, including guest teaching at Broadway Dance Center, NY, she always strives to bring out the best in her students, be it beginners or pros. Creative concepts, acting excercizes, and unique music are crucial elements in her classes and choreography. She is also a certified vinyasa yoga teacher, and loves to witness the individual growth of her students.

She is a Broadway Dance Center Summer Internship graduate, and is the assistant to Lainie Munro. Together, they have worked events such as BDC’s Absolute Beginner Workshop, Broadway Big Brother Big Sister program, and The Pulse.

“If I can offer any advice to the dancers at JLDC now, it is this: If you are given an opportunity, or are making one for yourself, hold tight to it. If it starts to go down an unexpected path, go with it. Change is good. Fear is too, but face it, full force. Don’t ever let it stop you from being amazing.” “If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~Walt Disney

Rebecca Levy

Rebecca Levy, Currently the director of Florida State College at Jacksonville’s dance repertory company, DanceWORKS, Rebecca Levy has lived and worked as an educator, choreographer, and performer in Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles and Jacksonville. She is founder and artistic director of Jacksonville Dance Theatre, a modern dance company providing choreographic, performance and educational opportunities for dancers living in Jacksonville. And she was founder and for eight seasons co-artistic director of the Los Angeles based B.E. Productions Dance Company.

Rebecca holds a Master of Fine Arts in choreography from California Institute of the Arts, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from Cornish College of the Arts, and is a registered certified yoga instructor and a Power Pilates certified Pilates Mat I & II instructor. Her choreographic work has been featured in festivals and concerts throughout the country. Most recently her choreography has been produced at the New Seeds Festival for Women Artists, Emerging Choreographers Showcase in Pasadena, California, The Cambridge School of Weston, Massachusetts, Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Florida, NewGrounds in Tampa, Florida, the Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, and Case Western Reserve University.

Rebecca participated in the 2012 NES Artist Residency program in Skagastrond, Iceland where she created an award winning dance-film, and was a contributing filmmaker to Globe Trot, a film project directed by Mitchell Rose and choreographed by Bebe Miller premiering in 2014. As a performer, she works with many notable choreographers and companies, and for six seasons has toured nationally as a soloist with Lineage Dance Company.

Sarah Levy

 

Sarah Levy , Sarah grew up studying various styles of dance including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Modern and Hip Hop at Joanne Langione Dance Center. After graduating in 2006, Sarah went onto attend Skidmore College where she pursued a B.A. in Sociology, while continuing her dance training under Mary Harney and Debra Fernandez. Additionally, she served as President of Skidmore College’s resident tap group, Stompin’ Soles and helped lead free beginner tap classes for the Skidmore community once a week.

While studying at Skidmore, Sarah discovered her interest and passion for working with students in urban communities. Her work with non-profit organizations such as Urban Scholars in Boston and Help2Read in Cape Town, South Africa led her to an AmeriCorps VISTA position with the National PTA’s Urban Family Engagement Initiative. While serving as a VISTA, she met Lorraine Spiegler, CityDance’s Artistic Director of Studio Education, School and Conservatory when they both served as judges for PTA’s National Art Program, Reflections.

After completing her AmeriCorps service year, she joined CityDance’s Community Programs Staff. Sarah is the lead administrator for Community Programs activities and manages logistics and documentation for all program sites, events and performances. She is so grateful to have found a place where she is able to combine her experience and interest in urban education with her passion for dance and movement!

Lila Fagen

Lila is a senior undergraduate student at CMU studying Communication Design. Outside of her design studies, she loves choreographing and dancing and is the artistic director for Infra Dance Company here at CMU. Infra Dance Company is a student led dance company and repertoire troupe that focuses on furthering the artistic exposure of dance on Carnegie Mellon’s campus and throughout the Pittsburgh Community. The Company performs at numerous events on campus, specializing in contemporary dance, and aims to create a unique performance for each engagement.

In both her design and choreography, she strives to push the boundaries of conventional-ism and is inspired by people like Pina Bausch and John Cage. Lila believes that rewarding success only comes from hard work, and considers personal happiness to be the epitome of one’s success.

Billy Cohen

Hofstra Spotlight–Dancing Twins

Their mother introduced them to a life on stage, but it was their bigger sister, Marisa Cohen who inspired them to move their arms and feet to create art. She has been dancing for a few years before they even took their first dancing class. They would come see their older sister perform and be amazed at the way she moved her body to the beat of the music. To Jonny, his sister “Is a great dancer and has a lot of young dancers looking up to her, including us.” Dancing isn’t just a twin thing between Billy and Jonny, but its a family thing that their sister jump-started.

Now let’s shimmy up to present day. Both Billy and Jonny are currently sophomores in Hofstra’s Department of Drama and Dance. Hofstra caught their eyes as seniors in high school, because of the relatively close distance to New York City, one of the biggest entertainment capitals in the United States. The bright lights of The Big Apple lured them to Hofstra, but New York may just be a stop on their journey. “As of right now, we take dance classes in studios of Herbert, Calkins, and primarily Emily Lowe Hall.” Outside of class, they are involved in Hofstra’s Faculty Show, Danceworks Production, and Imani, a dance club on campus. Having rhythm is one thing as a dance major, but good time management is key in order to fit schoolwork, rehearsals, and a social life into each day.

When asked about their favorite style of dance, both Billy and Jonny said hip-hop. They take classes and perform a wide variety of dance styles from modern to ballet, but what they love most is popping, which is a form of hip-hop dancing.

A passion Billy and Jonny were born with the moment they entered the world kicking and screaming.

To check out more of their moves, visit YouTube.com/elevatedmovement and follow them on Instagram @Elevated_Movement

Jonny Cohen

Hofstra Spotlight–Dancing Twins

Their mother introduced them to a life on stage, but it was their bigger sister, Marisa Cohen who inspired them to move their arms and feet to create art. She has been dancing for a few years before they even took their first dancing class. They would come see their older sister perform and be amazed at the way she moved her body to the beat of the music. To Jonny, his sister “Is a great dancer and has a lot of young dancers looking up to her, including us.” Dancing isn’t just a twin thing between Billy and Jonny, but its a family thing that their sister jump-started.

Now let’s shimmy up to present day. Both Billy and Jonny are currently sophomores in Hofstra’s Department of Drama and Dance. Hofstra caught their eyes as seniors in high school, because of the relatively close distance to New York City, one of the biggest entertainment capitals in the United States. The bright lights of The Big Apple lured them to Hofstra, but New York may just be a stop on their journey. “As of right now, we take dance classes in studios of Herbert, Calkins, and primarily Emily Lowe Hall.” Outside of class, they are involved in Hofstra’s Faculty Show, Danceworks Production, and Imani, a dance club on campus. Having rhythm is one thing as a dance major, but good time management is key in order to fit schoolwork, rehearsals, and a social life into each day.

When asked about their favorite style of dance, both Billy and Jonny said hip-hop. They take classes and perform a wide variety of dance styles from modern to ballet, but what they love most is popping, which is a form of hip-hop dancing.

A passion Billy and Jonny were born with the moment they entered the world kicking and screaming.

To check out more of their moves, visit YouTube.com/elevatedmovement and follow them on Instagram @Elevated_Movement