The Ballet Tech Foundation

Eliot Feld, Artistic Director

Board of Directors

Philip E. Aarons

Patricia Crown
Chairperson

Laurel Durst

Eliot Feld
President

Born in Brooklyn, Eliot Feld studied dance at the School of American Ballet, New Dance Group, High School of Performing Arts, and with Richard Thomas. He first performed at the age of 11 as the Prince in New York City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.  At 16, he joined the Broadway cast of West Side Story and appeared as Baby-John in the movie version. He later joined American Ballet Theatre, rising to the rank of principal dancer. Mr. Feld choreographed his first ballet in 1967 for American Ballet Theatre and has since choreographed 145 ballets, including those in Ballet Tech’s repertory and some held in the repertory of leading dance companies, including American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and The Royal Swedish Ballet.

In 1974, Mr. Feld launched his own ballet company and in 1978, a school. Mr. Feld also co-founded the Joyce Theater and, in 1986, collaborated with American Ballet Theatre to save 890 Broadway from commercial development to form the Lawrence A. Wien Center for Dance and Theatre. Mr. Feld has received numerous honors and awards, including: The John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (1969), Dance Magazine Award (1990), and an Honorary Doctorate degree from Juilliard (1991).  Additionally, Mr. Feld was featured in two special tribute performances hosted by New York City Ballet in 2006.

Click here for more information about Mr. Feld.

Jenny Gersten
Treasurer

Jilian Cahan Gersten

Bill Heinzen

Carol Zerbe Hurford
Vice President

Karen Levinson
Secretary

Mimi Lien

Rachel Moreno

Patricia Tuthill Pazner

Elizabeth A. Sciabarra

Trustees Emeriti

LuEsther T. Mertz
1980-1991

Cora Cahan

Gregory Hines
1993-2003

Howard Klein

Administration

Maggie Christ
Director of Operations

212-777-7710, ext. 314
mchrist@ballettech.org

Elizabeth LaCause
Director of Development

212-777-7710, ext. 323
elacause@ballettech.org

Monica Nyenkan
Development Assistant

212-777-7710, ext. 316
mnyenkan@ballettech.org

Russell Murphy
Finance Associate

212-777-7710, ext. 321
rmurphy@ballettech.org

Selina DiPronio
HR and Payroll Assistant

212-777-7710, ext. 322
sdipronio@ballettech.org

Jason Walters
Building Manager

212-777-7710, ext. 319
jwalters@ballettech.org

Marie Lascu
Archivist

Jennifer Marck Moran
Archivist

Israel Geronimo
Custodian

Juan Sanchez
Custodian

Dance School Administration & Staff

Patrice Hemsworth
Director of Faculty, The Upper School

212-777-7710, ext. 324
phemsworth@ballettech.org

Ms. Hemsworth trained at the School of American Ballet and performed for four years at Chicago City Ballet under the direction of Maria Tallchief.  In 1987, she joined Feld Ballets/NY as a dancer.  Subsequently she began teaching classes at Ballet Tech, conducting rehearsals for both the company and the school, and setting Eliot Feld’s ballets on dance companies worldwide.  Ms. Hemsworth assumed the Director of Faculty position for the Lower School in June 2008, and for the Upper School in September 2018 . She is also Ballet Tech’s rehearsal director and sets ballets and rehearses students for Kids Dance.

Ashley Tuttle
Director of Faculty, The Lower School

212-777-7710, ext. 310
atuttle@ballettech.org

Ms. Tuttle was invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join American Ballet Theatre at the age of 16.  Her career spanned 17 years with Ballet Theater reaching the rank of Principal dancer.  Ms. Tuttle is known for her pure classicism and vivid characterizations. While maintaining her career with A.B.T., Ms. Tuttle joined the acclaimed Twyla Tharp Dance Company in 2000.  During her time with T.T.D., Ms. Tharp created the hit Broadway show Movin’ Out and the role of Judy on Ms. Tuttle.  Her interpretation of this role earned her both TONY Award and Fred Astaire Dance Award nominations. As well as continuing her performing career, Ms. Tuttle teaches ballet at the Mark Morris Dance Group, Steps on Broadway, The School at Steps, Gibney Dance, and Barnard College. Ms. Tuttle was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Wofford College in the spring of 2011. She joined Ballet Tech’s faculty in 2016, and assumed the position of Director of Faculty for the Lower School in September 2018.

Joe Gregori
Administrative Director

212-777-7710, ext. 306
jgregori@ballettech.org

Janel Cooke Rayome
Administrative Director

212-777-7710, ext. 304
jcooke@ballettech.org

Drake Andersen
Program Coordinator

212-777-7710, ext. 313
dandersen@ballettech.org

Gina Minutella
Program Coordinator

212-777-7710, ext. 312
gminutella@ballettech.org

Zoe Padden
Program Coordinator

212-777-7710, ext. 302
zpadden@ballettech.org

Ferrin Coleman
Program Assistant

212-777-7710, ext. 309
fcoleman@ballettech.org

 

Grant Jacoby
Program Assistant

212-777-7710, ext. 305
gjacoby@ballettech.org

Darren Thomas
Program Assistant

Dance Faculty

Alexander Brady
Ballet

Michael Breeden
Ballet

Michael Sean Breeden was born in Lexington, KY, where he began training at the Lexington Ballet at the age of seven. He studied at the School of American Ballet on scholarship in 2002, with additional training completed at San Francisco Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Vostrikov’s Academy of Dance. Mr. Breeden joined Miami City Ballet (MCB) as an apprentice in 2006 and was promoted to the corps de ballet in 2008. While in the company, he performed in the works of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Frederick Ashton, Antony Tudor, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Alexei Ratmansky and Liam Scarlett. He also toured with MCB in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Paris. Mr. Breeden joined Ballet Tech in 2018.

Kurt Froman
Ballet

Patrice Hemsworth
Ballet and Repertory

Ms. Hemsworth trained at the School of American Ballet and performed for four years at Chicago City Ballet under the direction of Maria Tallchief.  In 1987, she joined Feld Ballets/NY as a dancer.  Subsequently she began teaching classes at Ballet Tech, conducting rehearsals for both the company and the school, and setting Eliot Feld’s ballets on dance companies worldwide.  Ms. Hemsworth assumed the Director of Faculty position in June 2008. She is also Ballet Tech’s rehearsal director and sets ballets and rehearses students for Kids Dance.

Jill Kenney
Tap

Sameena Mitta
Modern Dance

Rika Okamoto
Modern Dance

Brian Reeder
Ballet

Cathy Rhodes
Ballet

Ms. Rhodes began her professional career with American Ballet Theatre at the age of 15. The company toured the United States and Europe under the direction of Lucia Chase and later Mikhail Baryshnikov.  Later she was offered a contract under John Neumeier with The Hamburg Staats Opera in Germany.  She holds her teaching certification from American Ballet Theatre and also holds certifications in fitness and yoga.  Ms. Rhodes joined Ballet Tech’s faculty in 1995 and taught full-time for 10 years.  She has since returned to teaching at BT and continues to audition children throughout New York City.

Tammi Shamblin
Ballet

Ms. Shamblin received her BFA from the University of Utah, where she studied under Bene Arnold and Attila Ficzere and performed with the Utah Ballet. Relocating to Sacramento, she danced for Capitol City Ballet and the Sacramento Ballet, choreographed and presented work, and was the Ballet Director for the Roseville School of Dance Youth Ballet. Since moving to New York, she has performed with the New York Dance Theatre and Christy Walsh.

Kelsey Sheppard

Michael Snipe
Ballet and Modern Dance

Michael Snipe received his BFA from Juilliard in dance, with Choreographic Honors. He has performed with Ailey II, Battleworks Dance Company and the Parsons Dance Company. He has also performed in Swing! and Movin’ Out, both on Broadway and the National Tour. Mr. Snipe has taught at the Joffrey Ballet School, the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., Columbia College in Chicago, and is currently on faculty at the Alvin Ailey School. He joined Ballet Tech as a full-time faculty member in 2015.

Mark Taylor
Gymnastics

Stephanie Terasaki
Modern Dance

Stephanie Terasaki was born and raised in southern California. She attended the Orange County School of the Arts and received her BFA in 2016 from The Juilliard School. During her time at Juilliard she had the opportunity to perform works by Kyle Abraham, Martha Graham, Eliot Feld, Camille Brown, Brian Brooks, Kate Weare, Paul Taylor, Loni Landon, and Bobbi Jene Smith. She has also worked with GroundWorks Dance Theater for their summer and fall season and performed works by Robyn Mineko Williams, Adam Barruch, Beth Corning, and David Shimotakahara. Ms. Terasaki currently dances for Brian Brooks Dance, MeenMoves, and ZviDance. Together with her Juilliard classmates Connor Borman and Riley O’Flynn, Ms. Terasaki choreographed a piece called It’s The Effort That Counts, which was performed by Ballet Tech students in 2017 and 2018. Ms. Terasaki joined Ballet Tech as a faculty member in 2018.

Ashley Tuttle
Ballet

Ms. Tuttle was invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join American Ballet Theatre at the age of 16.  Her career spanned 17 years with Ballet Theater reaching the rank of Principal dancer.  Ms. Tuttle is known for her pure classicism and vivid characterizations. While maintaining her career with A.B.T., Ms. Tuttle joined the acclaimed Twyla Tharp Dance Company in 2000.  During her time with T.T.D., Ms. Tharp created the hit Broadway show Movin’ Out and the role of Judy on Ms. Tuttle.  Her interpretation of this role earned her both TONY Award and Fred Astaire Dance Award nominations. As well as continuing her performing career, Ms. Tuttle teaches ballet at the Mark Morris Dance Group, Steps on Broadway, The School at Steps, Gibney Dance, and Barnard College. Ms. Tuttle was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Wofford College in the spring of 2011. She joined Ballet Tech’s faculty in 2016.

Dance Class Assistants

Annie Browne

Piper Makenzie

Joao Marcus Das Chagas

Mary Lyn Graves

Isaac Lerner

Anne Plowden

Lucy Postell

Victoria Sames

Hope Ruth

Haley Smith

Pianists

Michael Cherry

Stephanie Chun

Dan Cray

Joe Cross

Patrick Gallagher

Allan Greene

Hank Mason

Pete Lewis
Percussionist

George Lykogiannis

Dmitry Polischuk

Jeremy Smith
Percussionist

Mihoko Suzuki

The New York City Public School for Dance

Academic Faculty & Staff

Roy O’Neill
Principal

212-254-1803
roneill2@schools.nyc.gov

Mr. O’Neill was appointed Principal to Ballet Tech in 2009 after having served as the school’s fifth grade teacher for 8 years.  He received his B.A. in English Literature from UCLA and completed his teaching certification program at California State University, Dominguez Hills.  He began his teaching career in the Los Angeles Unified School District as an elementary school teacher before moving to New York in 2001

Jennifer Kaufman
Guidance Counselor

212-254-1803, ext. 7072
jalbert2@schools.nyc.gov

Sherri Montgomery
Secretary

212-254-1803, ext 7022
smontgomery8@schools.nyc.gov

Meredith Lubben
Parent Coordinator

212-254-1803, ext. 7021
mlubben@schools.nyc.gov

Jason Rivera
School Aide

212-254-1803, ext. 7023
jrivera101@schools.nyc.gov

Ronald Austin
School Safety Officer

Academic Faculty

Alexandra Barbosa
Middle School Social Studies & ENL

212-254-1803
abarbosa2@schools.nyc.gov

 

Paul DeMuro
Visual Art

Mariana Fernandez
Spanish

212-254-1803
mfernan17@schools.nyc.gov

Ms. Fernandez joined Ballet Tech in 2003.  She has thirteen years of teaching experience.  Prior to Ballet Tech she taught at FDR High School and Gregorio Luperon High School. Ms. Fernandez has a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish Education from Saint Thomas Aquinas College.  She earned her masters in Learning Technology from Mercy College.  Teaching is her passion!

Nuria Figueroa
Special Education

Jeannie Herlihy
Middle School Science

212-254-1803
jherlih3@schools.nyc.gov

Ms. Herlihy joined the Ballet Tech staff in 2001 as the Middle School  Math and ELA teacher and continued on in 2002 with Math and Science.  She currently teaches Science and Health and holds a Permanent Certificate in Earth Science & General Science 7-12 Extension.  Ms. Herlihy has enjoyed serving the Ballet Tech community as a School Leadership Team member, Inquiry Team member, Class Adviser and Community Spirit Committee Chair.  After graduating from the University of Vermont in 1987 with a B.S. in Secondary Education – Earth Science major, Ms. Herlihy committed to working in and educating herself about every facet of New York City theatre for the next 15 years.  She has worked on stage, tech and crew, box office and as a house, stage and company manager on, off and off-off-Broadway.  She has been a member of ATPAM (Association of Theatrical Press Agents & Managers) since 1999 and has also studied voice, acting, poetry and playwriting.  She earned her Master of Science in Urban and Multicultural Education at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in 2009. Ms Herlihy loves being a life-long learner.  She continues to embrace and infuse in her teaching a love for science, the arts and athletics (especially being on a team!) through ongoing involvement with a variety of New York City based organizations including the Wildlife Conservation Society, AMNH, Central Park Conservancy, Gotham Writer’s Workshop, BCEFA, New York Road Runners, Big City and Gotham Volleyball.

Michelle Lum
5th Grade (501)

212-254-1803
mlum3@schools.nyc.gov

Ms. Lum joined Ballet Tech in 2009.  She brings experience teaching a broad range of students from around the world.  She holds a Bachelor degree in Education and English Literature, and a Masters in Literacy Education from Fordham University.  Ms. Lum strives to develop a love of both literature and writing in all her students!

Daniel Matos
Health & Physical Education

Hassim Mohammed
Middle School Math

George Ramos
4th Grade (402)

Tamara Rubakha
4th Grade (401)

212-254-1803
trubakha@schools.nyc.gov

Ms. Rubakha joined Ballet Tech’s faculty in 2014. She has taught grades 2-12, and finds fourth grade to be her favorite.  Ms. Rubakha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from Skidmore College and a Master’s in Mathematics Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.  Ms. Rubakha comes from the beautiful city of St. Petersburg.  She has two school-age children of her own, and loves being a parent and a teacher at the same time.

Cari Sobolewski
5th Grade (502)

212-254-1803
csobolewski@schools.nyc.gov

Ms. Sobolewski joined Ballet Tech in 2007 as interim fourth grade teacher, after graduating from SUNY New Paltz.  She spent the 2008-09 school year teaching fourth grade at PS 154 in Harlem, and is happy to be back at Ballet Tech teaching the fifth grade. Ms. Sobolewski received her B.S. in Nutrition from Lehman College.

Jared Van Zweeden
Middle School ELA

PROFESSIONAL PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL

Professional Performing Arts School Staff

Keith Ryan
Principal

Charles Vassallo
Assistant Principal & Director of Performing Arts

Teri Gindi
Parent Coordinator