Ashley began dancing at the age of three at Krylo Dance Studios in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. She continued her studies at Festival Ballet Providence, where she danced with the Junior Company for four years. Performances included the Nutcracker, annual culminations and Rhode Island School of Design’s Degas performance. Ashley competed in the Youth America Grand Prix competition in Torrington Connecticut and traveled to New York for the finals. A 2011 cum laude graduate of Dean College, she has a Bachelors degree of the arts in Dance with a minor in business. While there she was a member of the Dean College Dance Company and performed in their annual Cabaret and showcase performances. Ashley is also a graduate of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston.
Lisa was born and raised in Boylston, Ma and has been dancing since the age of three. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary at Karen Jean White School of Dance. In 2010 she began her journey at Dean College and graduated in May 2014 with a her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. While at Dean, she performed in over shows including Brothahood shows, Dance Team shows, Cabarets, Choreographer’s Showcases, and Dean’s Dance Company shows. In addition to works at Dean, Lisa has performed in other productions such as Ballet Art’s Worcester’s The Nutcracker and Boylston Calliope Inc.’s The King and I. She has performed with Worcester’s non-profit company, Stylized Movement, and has also been a member of the Kinetic Synergy Dance Company since January 2014. During college she did a couple of internships including a summer horticulture internship at Tower Hill Botanic Garden and a studio management/marketing internship at Franklin Yoga & Wellness. Summer 2014 she worked with Harvard College in their pilot C4G performance project, participated in the Ipswitch Moving Company’s aerial intensive, performed in the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, and participated in the benefit walk/performance for the Drea’s Dream foundation in Newport, RI.
Melenie Diarbekirian hails from Maynard, MA. She began her formal training at the Acton School of Ballet under the artistic direction of founder Kathryn Anderson and Chip Morris, where she was also a member of the Commonwealth Ballet Company. In following her passion, she attended the Boston Conservatory and graduated cum laude in May 2011 with a BFA in Dance. Throughout her dance career, Melenie has had the privilege to perform works by José Limón, Anna Sokolow, Alwin Nikolais, Gianni DiMarco, Jim Viera, Thang Dao, Olivier Besson, Larry Keigwin, Jaclyn Walsh, Ellenore Scott, Andy Noble and currently dances professionally for Pantos Project, and Luminarium Dance Company. She has performed in recognizable venues like The Boston Opera House, Jacob’s Pillow Inside-Out Stage, and the ICA/Boston. Melenie enjoys being able to share her love and passion for dance with her students, in hopes that they will find that same happiness and joy.
Mackenzie is from Westerly, Rhode Island where she began dancing at the age of 3. She graduated from Dean College with her BA in Dance and Minor in Psychology. Mackenzie has trained under many Modern choreographers such as Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp and Julianne O’Brien Pederson to learn and perfect her craft in Modern and Contemporary dance. She is also trained in styles such as ballet, jazz, tap, and contact improv. Mackenzie danced with the Williams Evans Dance Company for his 2015-2016 , 75th anniversary tour where she traveled along New England performing “Colony”. Mackenzie recently danced with Impact for their 5th season. She is also certified in the Pure Barre technique and Sculptworks, which helps her to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As teaching is one of her passions, she is so grateful that she is able to share her love and knowledge for dance and to create art everyday.
Katelin was born and raised in New York and trained at the Pulse Performing Arts Studio in Bedford Hills, NY. She had the opportunity to perform in Disney World, Universal Studios, the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival, and Paris. Katelin attended Rutgers University in New Jersey and joined Rutgers Performing Dance Company as a dancer and choreographer. Some of her training experiences include the Rockette Experience Intensive and Broadway Dance Center Summer Intern Program where she choreographed a piece for the student showcase. Katelin is currently dancing with DanceWorks Boston and training at Urbanity in Boston and is excited to teach at JLDC!
A native of San Antonio, Texas, Adriana Ray has been performing professionally, choreographing, and teaching since 2007. In 2010, Adriana became a member of Tapestry Dance Company directed by Acia Gray performing both locally and internationally over 3 seasons. Credits include the shows Voices of Rhythm, Time, April Fools, and The Souls of Our Feet- A Celebration of American Tap Dance China Tour among others. She has also performed with Tri-Contemporary and as a soloist. Adriana has taught and choreographed for a number of studios in the San Antonio and Austin areas as well as for the Space City Tap Fest (Houston), The Beat Convention, and the Tap Love Tour. She has showcased choreography at festivals around the country, including Third Coast Rhythm Project (San Antonio), Soul2Sole (Austin), Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World, and the LA Tap Fest and continues her training at various festivals and workshops. Adriana holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin, is a Member of Texas Association Teachers of Dancing, and has attended the Tap Program directed by Dianne Walker at the School at Jacob’s Pillow. She is currently attending Boston University as a graduate student studying Arts Administration.
Mindy Knyff has been a long-time member of the dance community. She grew up dancing and performing with training in ballet, jazz. tap, lyrical, contemporary, modern, and gymnastics. In 2013, she went on to receive a degree in Arts at the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance- Dean College in Franklin, MA. At Dean College, Mindy studied with professionals such as Nailah Randall-Bellinger, Jill Silverman and Gregory King, among others. While attending Dean, she was Vice President of their Dance Team and performed in the American College Dance Festival Nationals at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Mindy has used her years of training as a tool to start choreographing. For the past 5 years she has choreographed routines for numerous competition teams. She has recently started judging for dance competitions such as Diva Dance and Energy Dance. Mindy is also currently teaching alongside School of American Ballet alumni and ABT certified teacher, Rachel White. Her plan it to continue to teach, learn and audition, so she can be the best teacher and dancer she can be.
Michaela Knyff is a seasoned member of the dance community who is very passionate about dance education and the art of stage performance. She grew up dancing and performing at the Patti Eisenhauer Dance Center where she was trained in Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Tap and Gymnastics. She graduated Cum Laude, earning her BFA from the Five College Dance Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. While in school, she was a recipient of the Chancellor’s Talent Scholarship, which was awarded to her in recognition for her technique and choreographic skill. She performed in various student and faculty pieces, and worked closely with company members from Alvin Ailey, Parsons Dance, and The Jose Limon Dance Company, among many others. She has worked with numerous professionals such as world famous Modern and Jazz Dance icons Idan Cohen, Reggie Wilson, and Tony Award Winner Bill T. Jones. Michaela went on to receive commendations for her stage work on “Movin’ on Up,” a piece reconstructed by Bill T. Jones and performed by the University Dancers. Michaela plans to continue to advance her career as an educator and choreographer by sharing her strong passion for dance to students everywhere.
Rene was raised in South Boston where she began dancing at the Arts Dance Workshop. In high school, she performed with Boston Public Schools’ All City Dance Company. She fell in love with performing and went on to earn a BFA in Dance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Afterwards, Rene moved to New York where she studied intensely with Lynn Simonson and became certified in the Simonson Method, an anatomically aware Jazz dance technique. In New York, Rene performed with Memento Dance, Wasatch Dance Collective, and Diane McCarthy. She co-produced such notable concert series as In the Company of Men, Raw Material, and Works in Progress. Since returning to Boston in 2002, Rene has been teaching dance, fitness, and Pilates for adults and children of all ages. Her choreography has been featured on HGTV’s Spontaneous Construction, as well as an episode of StyleBoston. Her philanthropic flashmob, titled Flashmob for Vision, was featured in the film, For Boston, and by everydayhealth.com as one of ten most inspiring flashmobs. Rene is the proud mother of teenage daughter, Alessandra, and a teacher in the Boston Public Schools.
Kaylee “Impavido” Millis hails from Kingston, MA. She began dancing at the young age of eight years old at Pembroke School of Performing Arts, a small town studio in Pembroke, MA. She has trained in styles such as ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and hip hop. She is currently a Pulse On Tour protege and a Monsters of Hip Hop Nominee. Impavido has been a member of Concept Artists and Pictures In Concrete (PIC), while dancing in the Boston dance scene. She is currently traveling with JUMP Convention Tour as a VIP. Impavido has previously trained at The Gold School Dance Art Company for classical dance training, and since that time has been choreographing and teaching. Lastly, she currently works at Artistic Dance Studio in Fall River Mass, and is a brand ambassador for CLI studios.
Ashly began her dance journey at the age of three. Ashly studied at Duval Dance Studio where she trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary. In 2004, she studied dance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and graduated in May of 2008 with her Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education. While at UMass, she performed in University Dancers, Alive with Dance, Performance Project, and Emerging Choreographers Series and studied with professionals such as Billbob Brown, Thomas Vacanti, and Paul Dennis. Ashly also studied with the creator and founder of Enchanted Doorway: Adventure to Dance, Merle Sepel. Ashly completed training and is a member of the Dance Teacher’s Club of Boston Inc. and American Society. Ashly is a certified group fitness instructor through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. She is currently a licensed instructor in Zumba Basics 1, Zumba Toning, Zumba Gold, and Zumba Kids. In 2014, she received her Master’s degree from Lesley University in Early Childhood Education graduating Magna Cum Laude and is currently teaching kindergarten in Arlington Public Schools.
Samantha joined the JLDC Faculty in 2012 and came to us with extensive teaching and dance education experience. She is a graduate of Dean College’s prestigious Dance Program, where she spent four years performing both soloist and group roles within their Dance Company and other ensembles. After graduation, she has continued with her love of dance through teaching across the New England area. In 2011 she appeared in a music video for a local Rhode Island band, The Mason’s song “The Only Way”. In 2013 she traveled to Prague to attend the international YMCA conference – taking dance classes from instructors and dancers from different countries. To date, she has choreographed for two show choirs that have performed in Walt Disney World. Samantha teaches ballet, tap and jazz classes to students of all ages. She continues to develop her skills by taking dance classes in the Boston area.
Jen Pinard Snyder
Jennifer Snyder trained at the Hackworth School of Performing Arts in Easthampton, MA. She then moved to New York City to continue her training under many great teachers such as Joe Lanteri, Mia Michaels, Michelle Assaf, Sheila Barker and others. While in NYC she performed in MIA Live, choreographed by Mia Michaels. Life then brought her to Boston, MA where she studied and performed for Adrienne Hawkins and began teaching around the city. Jen has been a dance instructor in the Boston area for over 10 years, as well as traveling around New England and Canada to teach master classes. She has choreographed for Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, and University of New Hampshire. Jen was especially thrilled to become part of the Generation IV faculty in 2012 teaching dancers from all over the country. It was fulfilling to work for the Hackworth family and give back to the people who helped mold her into the dancer and person she is today. It was a further honor to then become a part of the GenerationIV creative team helping to put on an amazing Summer Intensive every year with the top choreographers and dancers in the business. To Jen, becoming a teacher has been a wonderful gift. It has allowed her to share her love and passion for the art of dance with so many wonderful and talented people while being inspired to create everyday.
Lauren Waslick has been dancing since the age of three at the Hackworth School of Performing Arts where she trained in tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary. She competed in various competitions at both the regional and national level. In 2006, Lauren attended the week long tap intensive Shake-N-Break in New York City where she performed in their off-broadway production. Lauren was selected in 2008 to be a member of the U.S.A. tap team and traveled to Riesa, Germany where she and her teammates competed against more than 30 other countries. Lauren and her partner received 6th place in the duo category and her small group achieved the silver medal. She returned to Germany in 2009, where her duo received 5th place, and she placed 6th in the adult female solo category. Lauren was also a member of the Boston Tap Company from 2008-2010, where she performed with them at Rhythm in the Night, the Topsfield Fair, the New England Urban Music Awards, and at the Regent Theatre for Tapestry. Lauren graduated from Boston University with a BA in Mathematics, where she was the President of their only tap group, BU on Tap. Along with working full-time as a PCB Designer, and teaching here at JLDC, she is currently dancing with acclaimed tap dancer and choreographer, Ryan Casey, and his company.