Meli Currie- Managing Director
Jaime Endreny- Associate Director
Jen Pinard Snyder- Creative Director
Jennifer Snyder has been a member of the JLDC faculty for over 17 years. In addition to teaching all ages, she also helps oversee JLDC’s curriculum and special events and direct JLDC’s performances as Creative Director. Jen 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 and Sheila Barker. 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. When she is not at JLDC she enjoys 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 and is now a member of their creative team. 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.
Emma Bednarski was born and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey and began dancing at the age of 3 at Dance Dimensions in New Milford, NJ where she trained in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Tap, and Musical Theatre. She trained under choreographers like Marinda Davis, Mark Burrell, Allison Sale, Lisa Minery, Danielle Sheather and other guest choreographers from NYC. She frequently traveled to NYC to take classes at institutions such as Broadway Dance Center and Peridance Capezio Center. She has been teaching for three years and her choreography was recently nominated for an Industry Dance Award. She is now a Biology/Pre-Med student at Tufts University where she is also the Director of Spirit of the Creative, an Urban Dance Team. In addition to choreographing/dancing for the group, she is also involved as a choreographer/dancer for Sarabande Dance Ensemble, a dance group with a focus on Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary. In her free time, she continues to take classes in the Dance Department at Tufts University and recently finished her second tour with Groove National Dance Competition as a Stage Manager.
Michelle was raised in Worcester, MA and began dancing at the age of 2 at the Karen Jean White Dance Studio where she was trained in tap, jazz, and ballet. Michelle graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Performance Studies and a minor in Biology from Roger Williams University. While in college, she had the opportunity to work with numerous guest artists including Christina Robson, Jenny Rocha, and Sean Curran. Michelle studied dance in London for several months where she worked with local artists Jorge Cresis, Katie Lusby, Freddie Opoku-Addaie, and Steven Pelton. In school, Michelle performed in Dance Theatre, Alive Arts, various site specific installations, and Basement Series. Since graduating, she has collaborated with colleagues on numerous projects for the Built On Stilts Festival on Martha’s Vineyard, Somerville Art Beats Festival, and residencies with OnStange Dance Company.
Amanda Conroy- Assistant Creative Director
Growing up 20 minutes from New York City, Amanda was drawn to the world of dance and theater. She began dancing at the age of 2 at Dance Dimensions located in New Milford, New Jersey. There she trained in Jazz, Musical Theater, Tap, Contemporary, and Ballet. Additionally, Amanda was given the opportunity to perform at The Joyce Theater, The Young Choreographers Festival, Disney World, and on 42nd Street. Since then she has dedicated her time to taking and teaching dance classes. Amanda has been teaching dance for 6 years and she is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge with the future generation of dancers. She is also very passionate about choreography and many of her dances have received choreography, high score, and entertainment awards both at a regional and national level. Most recently, Amanda’s choreography was nominated for an Industry Dance Award. Also, Amanda has choreographed for The Dance’s Dream Fund in which her piece was displayed at a New Jersey Devils National Hockey League Game. When she’s not dancing, Amanda is a licensed clinical social worker, who received a master’s level degree from Boston College.
Kayla began dancing at 3 years old at the Hazel Boone Dance studio in Canton, MA. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dean College with a Bachelors degree in Dance and an Associates Degree in Business. While at Dean, Kayla was a member of the Dean College Dance Company all four years, performing pieces choreographed by Todd Shanks and William Evans. She was also the president of Dean College’s tap team. Kayla completed the Dance Education Training course hosted by Dance Teachers’ Club of Boston in 2012, receiving high score awards for performance and test scores as well as a scholarship to attend Dean College. She was a member of the Boston Tap Company from 2014-2015, as well as an intern for Jersey Tap Festival during the summer of 2016 where she assisted and took class from master teachers such as Anthony Morigerato, Jason Samuels Smith, and Ayodele Casel. This past year, she was a teacher/judge for the Dance Masters of New England scholarship auditions. Kayla has been teaching for 7 years and has won numerous high score awards for her competition tap choreography. She is so excited to be joining such an amazing faculty at JLDC and can’t wait to work with her new students!
Lisa Giancola - Director of Early Childhood Dance Programs
Lisa hails from small town, Boylston, MA. She began dancing at the age of 3 and continued her love and passion for dance at Dean College, where she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. She has performed in Ballet Art’s Worcester’s The Nutcracker, Boylston Calliope Inc.’s The King & I and was Assistant Director to their showcase of Crazy For You. She has had the pleasure to work and perform with New England companies, Stylized Movement, Kinetic Synergy Dance Company, the Ipswich Moving Company, Unyted Tek’Nekz and OnStage Dance Company. Lisa teaches full time at JLDC but in her spare time, she is also Co-Artistic Director and co-founder of Boston based dance company, Evolve Dynamicz. Founded in 2015, Evolve has had the privilege to present works all over New England, including NACHMO NYC and Boston, Southern Vermont Dance Festival, Boston Dance Theater’s trainee showcase of BTDx, and the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival. In August 2017, SPACES: an Evolve Dynamicz Production premiered in Cambridge, MA – the first full length production hosted by Evolve. In August 2018, their second full length showcase, circumnavigation, debuted in Malden, MA. Lisa hopes to carry her love of dancing, teaching and choreographing onto her JLDC students and company dancers each and every day!
Michelle received her BFA in Dance at UMass Amherst in 2016 under the direction of Thomas Vacanti and Paul Dennis. During her collegiate dance career she performed works by Sidra Bell, John Heginbotham, Ellenore Scott, Leslie Frye-Maietta, Erica Wilson-Perkins, Brendan Drake, Rebecca Steinberg and Betsi Graves. She has received additional training from Urbanity Dance Company in 2013 and 2014, and Helen Pickett in 2016. Michelle currently dances with Static Noyze Dance Company; a hip-hop company based in Boston, Mass. With Static Noyze, Michelle has performed forHot 96.9 Boston, Converse ®, Venu Nightclub and more. This year, she completed her 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified teacher training through Barre & Soul Yoga Studio in Brookline, Ma. Michelle is currently the Hip Hop Dance Team coach for Newton South High School. She is passionate about continuing her performance, choreographic and teaching career.
Chantal hails from Danvers, Massachusetts where her love for dance began. Chantal received her BFA in Dance Performance from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Performing Arts under the direction of Stephen Pier. During her four years she performed classical and new works by Sean Curran, Stephen Pier, Katie Stevinson-Nollet, Jose Limon, Alla Nikitina, and Shannon Gillen. She also had the opportunity to perform in the American College Dance Festival and work along side her peers to choreograph compositions of her own. After graduating Cum Laude from the Hartt School she had the honor of joining Boston’s Urbanity Dance company under the direction of Betsi Graves. She currently is a Choreography Fellow for the company and teaches weekly company class. Her first post-grad work entitled “Opaque” was presented at the first inaugural Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, representing Urbanity Dance. She since then has debuted mutliple works at the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival held at the Paramount Theater, Boston GreenFest, Dance for Life, Outside the Box festivals, and numerous Urbanity seasonal shows including the annual Spring Revue, NeXt and The Sun Queen. She has also danced in Underground and in the professional company for Urbanity Dance and has received other noteworthy performance opportunities including the honor of performing in Jaclyn Walsh’s “Trajectory” in NYC for the extremely competitive Capezio A.C.E Awards.
Katie Judge was raised in Hanover, Ma where she received her early dance training at the Dance Workshop of Hanover, under the direction of Marylou Cunningham. She continued her dance studies at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School, graduating summa cum laude with a BFA in dance-ballet pedagogy emphasis. During her time at The Hartt School, she had the opportunity to perform in several restaged and original works by prominent choreographers including Martha Graham, José Limon, George Balanchine, Arthur St. Leon, Claudia Schreier, Norbert de la Cruz III, Lucy Bowen McCauley, Debra Collins Ryder, and Katie Stevinson-Nollet. Additionally, Katie was selected by The Hartt School Dance faculty to perform a commissioned solo by Terence Marling at the American College Dance Association’s New England Regional Conference. Katie has also had the opportunity to train at several prestigious intensive programs around the country, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In addition to performing, Katie has expanded her passion for dance education through internships at The Hartt School Community Division and the University of Hartford Magnet School. Additionally, she was the dance director in the Hartt Community Division’s Prism Project, a performing arts program for students with exceptionalities. Currently, Katie is dancing professionally with City Ballet of Boston and SundanceX.
Tory grew up in Northampton, Ma training at the Hackworth School of Performing Arts in dance and competitive gymnastics. She trained in Hip Hop, Contemporary, Jazz, Musical Theater, and Acro. Tory graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Computer Science from Tufts University in 2018. During her time at Tufts she was a member, choreographer, and president of Sarabande Dance Ensemble, a contemporary dance team and a member and choreographer for Spirit of the Creative, a hip-hop team. When she isn’t in the studio Tory is a Software Engineer for an educational technology company in Boston and is excited to be a part of the JLDC faculty!
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. She just celebrated her 15th anniversary teaching at JLDC! 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 has been a dance educator in the Boston Public Schools for over a decade and recently began the Arts in Education Masters Program at Harvard University.
Isla Niezgoda grew up dancing in Chicago and Minneapolis where she trained in many styles of dance including tap, jazz, ballet and lyrical. During that time, her main focus became rhythm tap; she joined Keane Sense of Rhythm Youth Tap Ensemble in 2004 and was a founding member of the Keane Sense of Rhythm Young Professional Company. Isla has had the opportunity to study tap dance under Lane Alexander, Jason Samuels Smith, Jason Janas, Dianne “Lady Di” Walker, Sam Weber, and many more. She has performed around the United States as well as abroad and has been teaching both competition and recreational tap dance since 2010 at dance studios in Minnesota, Ohio, and Massachusetts. Her choreography has earned high score awards on numerous occasions. When Isla is not teaching tap at JLDC, she works as a Speech Language Pathologist at an elementary school in Medford, MA.
Ava Louise Untermyer dances to support a deeper sense of connection amongst others. Ava performs throughout the Boston area with contemporary artists such as Evolve Dynamicz Dance Company. She danced professionally in New York City with Sydnie L. Mosley Dances (Bessie-winner), the Lori Belilove & Isadora Duncan Dance Company and Estado Flotante. Ava teaches dance full-time at the Curley K-8 Boston Public School, providing rigorous arts experiences for over 300 students. Ava holds a Master’s degree in Arts in Education (Ed.M.) from Harvard University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Dance (honors) and World Literature (honors) from Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges, where she was awarded the Virginia Princehouse Allen Prize for Outstanding Performance in Dance.
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 while also pursuing an MBA at Babson College.
Amanda trained at TDS Dance & Acrobatics from the age of 3 through high school. During those sixteen years of dance training at TDS she has won the title of regional champions numerous times and has worked with some amazing teachers and choreographers. Amanda is a graduate from UMass Amherst with a BS in Psychology and was also the director, head choreographer, and member of the UMass Dance Company. She is currently the Newton South High School Dance Team coach. Amanda can’t wait to bring her love and passion for dance to JLDC!
Together, with our students…we are a dance family!
Video created March 2020
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