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.
Lisa Giancola - Director of Early Childhood Dance Programs
Lisa hails from small town, Boylston, MA and began dancing at the age of 3 at Karen Jean White School of Dance. She continued her love and passion for dance at Dean College, where she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Dance in 2014. She has had the pleasure to work and perform with New England companies, Ballet Art’s Worcester, Boylston’s Calliope, Stylized Movement, Kinetic Synergy Dance Company, the Ipswich Moving Company, United Tek’Nekz and OnStage Dance Company. Lisa is the Director of Early Childhood Programs at Joanne Langione Dance Center and is also Co-Artistic Director 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. Evolve has produced three full length shows, SPACES: an Evolve Dynamicz Production (2017), circumnavigation (2018), and LUCIDITY (2019). Lisa hopes to carry her love of dancing, teaching and choreographing onto her JLDC students and company dancers each and every day!
Emma Bednarski- Guest Choreographer
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.
Angie Bello- Faculty
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.
Michelle Cueroni- Faculty
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.
Haylee Denham- Faculty
Haylee Denham is a recent dual-degree graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Commonwealth Honors College. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a neuroscience concentration. Haylee also received two letters of specialization in Developmental Disabilities and Human Services (DDHS) as well as Civic Engagement and Public Service (CEPS). Throughout college, Haylee was an active member of the Boltwood Project where she cultivated relationships and engaged in activities with individuals of various developmental and intellectual differences; this program emphasized dance as a tool for interpersonal connection. She was also the co-president of UMass student dance groups including UMass Dance Company and Alive with Dance where she choreographed, held open classes, and took on administrative roles. Haylee believes that dance can be used to create positive change in the world and promote overall wellness for all individuals. She lives by the motto that dance is for everyone.
Chantal Doucett- Faculty
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- Faculty
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 Kolbjornsen- Guest Choreographer
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 Martin- 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- Faculty
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.
Justine Picarello- Faculty
Justine Picarello is a native of Massachusetts where she spent 18 years of her life dancing. Justine grew up competing regionally and nationally, where she received numerous special judges awards and high score awards. She grew up training at Paula Meola Dance and Performing Arts Inc. in Sterling, MA for 8 years under teachers such as Michelle “Meeshi” Edgar and Nicole DiCicco Cavalloro. She also attended many summer intensives and conventions such as The Pulse, BDC Summer Intensive, and Artists Simply Human. Justine then spent the remainder of her high school years training at Academy of Dance Arts where she was a part of the two-time national champion competition team. After high school Justine continued to pursue dance at the collegiate level. She graduated and received her BFA in dance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2012. At UMASS Justine worked with guest artists such as Charles “Chuck” Davis and Adrienne Hawkins. During college Justine found her love for teaching and sharing the knowledge she had been given with the next generation of dancers. She became known for her choreography in many styles and won numerous choreography awards at regional and national competitions such as Dancers Inc., American Dance Awards, Hall of Fame Dance Challenge, New York City Dance Alliance, Sophisticated Productions, Sheer Talent Competition, and World Class Talent Experience. Some of her most accomplished awards are the Teen Critics’ Choice Award and the National Entertainment Award at Onstage New York regionals and nationals with her small group jazz, “In the Beginning”, and Innovating and Breathtaking Choreography Award with her trio “Stimela” at World Class Talent Experience. Justine continued to dance after college as well as teach. She was a member of Alia Pro Dance Company under the direction of Katelyn Murphy. Justine moved to New York to further her education and career in dance where she resided for 5 years. She taught at studios on Long Island and took classes at Broadway Dance Center. Justine also spent her time dancing for and assisting Hayden Frederick. Her most recent credits include; The Giving Tree 2016, Pushing Progress 2017, Sybarite 2017, and Hatch 2017. Justine is happy to be returning to her roots in Massachusetts and is very passionate about dance and hopes to share her passion and knowledge to help produce the current generation of young dancers.
Michelle Skowron- Faculty
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.
Ava Untermyer- Faculty
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.
Goldie Walberg- Faculty
Goldie Walberg grew up in Sherman Oaks, California where she studied at The Los Angeles Ballet Academy. She received scholarships to Houston Ballet, Harid Conservatory, and Pacific Northwest Ballet where she attended Summer Intensive Programs. In 2012, Goldie received the Royal Academy of Dance’s highest honor, the Solo Seal. Goldie was also a finalist at The Youth America Grand Prix in New York where she received a full scholarship to the Washington School of Ballet. In 2013, Goldie joined the second company at Balletmet in Columbus, Ohio. In 2014, Ms Walberg joined Kansas City Ballet’s second company. She then went on to dance with KCB’s main company for three seasons. Goldie Walberg recently moved to Boston at the beginning of 2020. She has always had a passion for inspiring young artists and hopes to continue to share her knowledge and love for ballet with the next generation of dancers!
Lauren Waslick- Guest Choreographer
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 Weisman- Guest Choreographer
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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