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Student and Faculty News

BEHIND THE SCENES... What have we been up to?

JLDC Faculty member Kaylee Millis has made it through to the Top Ten of So You Think You Can Dance Season 14! We wish her the best of luck- Watch every Monday night and vote for our very own Miss Kaylee!

JLDC Faculty Meli Currie, Jen Snyder, Sam Nunes and Mackenzie Ferraro traveled to Las Vegas for teacher enrichment at the 7th annual Dance awards! They took classes from world renowned choreographers that are at the top of our field and brought back knowledge for our JLDC family.

This summer JLDC Students Mariana Nijensohn, Alyssa Barnes, Talie Membrino, Kate Esbenshade, Max Winig and Riley Newman performed choreography from some of the top leading dancers in our field at the Academy of Music in Northampton!

JLDC Student Michael Di Leo auditioned for the Radio City Rockettes in NYC! Congratulations Michael on getting a call back! We can’t wait to see what comes next for you!

3 Generations of Rosenthal Dancers…Jennifer Rosenthal, 17, a senior in the Preparatory Program at JLDC is following in her families footsteps. This past summer Jen attended the Steps on Broadway Ballet Intensive in New York City, and she is pictured here (on the right) leaping in front of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Her Aunt, Cathy Bodt (middle) danced for the American Ballet Theater and the Hamburg Ballet Theater, she is photographed in Alvin Aliey’s ballet ‘The River’ at the age of 18. Jen’s Grandmother, Jan Rosenthal (far left), danced with the Weschester Ballet and is still dancing today, taking classes at Steps on Broadway!

This summer JLDC’s own Alessandra Antonelli, 15, is starring in Boston Children’s Theater’s production of ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’. Cast in the lead role of ‘Millie Dillmount,’ Ally has also appeared in Fame, Pippin, Legally Blonde, and with Soul Possibilities in Annie as ‘Annie’ and in Enchanted as ‘Giselle.’  She is a member of the Boston Children’s Chorus and has sung the National Anthem at the Boston Celtics.


JLDC congratulates School for Excellence student, Elizabeth Crawford (age 11) who will be performing as a ballet girl in the regional production of ‘Billy Elliot’, September through Columbus Day at the North Shore Music Theatre. Following her performance in ‘Billy Elliot’ Elizabeth will be reprising her role as Susan Waverly on the 2015 Broadway National Tour of “Iriving Berlin’s White Christmas”. Elizabeth joined the tour in 2014, where she performed in six different states and will returning to the tour this holiday season!

JLDC Alum Elana Jacobs was back home on the East Coast, and at the West Newton Cinema this summer, for the final stop of Cabin Fever’s “ArmsLength Wonders” tour.  On August 2nd the company ended their 2015 tour here in Newton with a live performance and a viewing of “Salutations: A Tour Through Your Departure and Arrival”, a documentary short. The documentary followed the company on their first ever tour, where they drove 3800 miles in 60 hours, over 25 days, to 5 different cities, in 4 different states and created 5 new pieces. Joanne and the JLDC faculty were proud and honored to be able to attend the event and see the incredible works that Elana and the company are creating. Cabin Fever is a Seattle based company founded, directed and choreographed by Elana, who uses homes as their venue and families as their impetus for creation. Performance installations include dance, music, art and theater.

JLDC Faculty member Melenie Diarbekirian had a dream come true when she performed with Pantos Project at Jacob’s Pillow in July. Each year thousands of people from across the U.S. and around the globe visit the Berkshires of Western Mass to experience America’s longest-running international dance festival, with more than 50 dance companies and 200 free performances, talks, and events. This summer Melenie also performed at Boston’s “Outside the Box” festival as a member of Urbanity, a Boston based dance company.

August 2015, JLDC students Jill Oliver, 17, Rebecca Spitz, 17, Jillian Stern, 14, and alum Margaret Allard, Class of ’15, attended Boston’s “Beantown Tapfest” along with JLDC Tap instructor Lauren Waslick, and many other tappers from all over the greater Boston area. Founded in 2007, “Beantown Tapfest” is a celebratory, educational tap festival for the New England tap community, created by Julia Boynton as an occasion to participate in and pay tribute to tap dance, with renowned tap performers and teachers from around the globe.

This summer JLDC Faculty member Emily Masson attended the American Academy of Ballet’s Teacher Intensive at SUNY Purchase in New York. Emily spent a week dancing and learning with/from ballet teachers from all over the world. She attended classes and lectures in many different ballet oriented topics that were taught by world renowned members of the ballet community. It was a wonderful opportunity for growth and inspiration, as well as expanding her knowledge as a teacher.

September 2015, JLDC instructors Meli Currie and Mindy Knyff, along with JLDC students, will be attending the internationally recognized Acrobatic Arts Certification Program, under Mark Nash and Mindy Yip. Through the Acrobatic Arts Teacher’s Certification Program, dance teachers will learn exercises and drills to increase strength, flexibility, and endurance. Teachers will also learn techniques required to safely spot tumbling and group stunts. JLDC will be one of only two certified studios in Massachusetts.

Learn more about our Acrodance program!