Ashley Connolly

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 Costello

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.

Michelle Cucchi

Michelle danced her way through Joanne Langione Dance Center, beginning at the age of 8 years old. While at JLDC she took classes in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern and Hip Hop. In 7th grade she explored her love of creating and choreographed her first student choreography piece to be performed in the annual Winter Concert. From there Michelle began assisting her teachers with younger classes. During her high school years Michelle participated in the Preparatory, School for Excellence and Specialty Competition programs and found her home at JLDC. She received a scholarship award from The Hall Of Fame Dance Challenge  for a solo performance in 2010, participated in many community performances and was a scholarship nominee at New York City Dance Alliance in 2011. In Spring of 2015, Michelle graduated from Bentley University and was thrilled that during her time there she was able to return to JLDC to teach, choreograph and spread her love of dance to the younger students whom she has watched grow. She has taught all ages and is so excited to be able to continue to pursue her passion for teaching dance while beginning her professional career in Boston.

Meli Currie
Melenie Diarbekirian

Melenie Diarbekirian hails from Maynard, MA. She began her formal training at the Acton School of Ballet under the artistic direction of founders 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 privalge to perform works by Jose’ Limon, Anna Sokolow, Alwin Mikolais, Gianni DiMarco, Jim Viera, Thang Dao, Olivier Besson, Larry Keigwin, Jaclyn Walsh, Ellenore Scott, and currently dances for Urbanity Dance, Luminarium Dance Company, and other individual Choreographers in the Boston and New York areas. She 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 Ferraro

By choosing an artistic pathway in life, Mackenzie has defined herself as a performer, an emerging choreographer, and most importantly a dancer. Recently graduating from Dean College with her Bachelors of Arts degree in dance. While at Dean she was the President of the Dance Team her junior year, and had the opportunity to be a teaching intern for the freshman modern students. Firmly believing in the health and wellness side of dance she has been an instructor for Pure Barre for over a year. Mackenzie has been to New York to train at the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive, and has performed in both New York and Boston throughout her college career. Mackenzie has joined IMPACT Dance Company for their fifth season and is happy to continue performing. Excited to pursue a professional career in dance, Mackenzie has begun to travel and work with many different artists throughout the New England area. She has taught all ages and genres of dance and cannot wait to continue her amazing journey in Dance.


Michaela Knyff

Michaela Knyff grew up dancing and performing at Patti Eisenhauer Dance Center in Franklin, Ma, where she was trained in Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Tap and Gymnastics. She graduated Cum Laude, earning a BA in Fine Arts from Umass Amherst where she also received a Chancellors Talent Scholarship. Michaela plans to continue to advance her career as a dance eduactor and choreographer by sharing her strong passion for dance with students everywhere.

Mindy Knyff

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.

Rene Martin

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 as one of ten most inspiring flashmobs. Rene is the proud mother of teenage daughter, Alessandra, and a teacher in the Boston Public Schools.

Emily Masson

Emily began dancing at The Dance Company of St. Augustine, taking classes in Ballet, Jazz and Modern. Emily continued her studies through trainee programs including Atlanta Ballet and various summer intensives. During high school she was a member of the St. Johns County Center for the Arts dance program. After that she attended Florida School of the Arts where she majored in Dance. Emily performed various roles with the St. Augustine Ballet, while there she was also an Assistant to the Director. She has performed at Universal Studios and Disney World in Orlando. Emily began teaching as an assistant at the age of 15 and has taught at many studios throughout Florida, as well as, the Dance Department at Matanzas High School in Palm Coast. Summer 2015 Emily attended a teacher seminar for Pointe instruction at the American Academy of Ballet in New York. Emily counts herself incredibly lucky to have discovered her passion for dance at such a young age, a feeling that was only surpassed by the joy she found in teaching dance and seeing that same passion in her students.

Ashly Nolan

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 Nunes

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.

Chloe Roberts

Chloe grew up in Houston, Texas, where she trained at North Harris Performing Arts Dance Studio. She has performed with Dominic Walsh Dance Company, Houston, and Terpis Contemporary Dance Company in Durango, Co. Currently Chloe is a company member of Urbanity Underground in Boston. She received her BA in European History from Fort Lewis College and when not dancing or choreographing, Chloe is pursuing her Masters in Early Modern European History at Boston College.

Lauren Waslick

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.

Guest Teachers

Meet JLDCs Guest Teachers & Choreographers!

JLDC is proud to introduce guest teachers and choreographers each season to provide our students with opportunity to learn from nationally acclaimed dancers. Every year we bring in top artists to share their talents and inspirational teaching with our students and to complement the training given by our excellent faculty. Some of the guest teachers and choreographers we have been honored to welcome to JLDC include Teddy Forance, Chantel Aguirre, Michael Keefe, Channing Cooke, Nick Bass, Nick Anthony and more.