The Ballet Tech Foundation

Eliot Feld, Founder

Board of Directors

Philip E. Aarons

Patricia Crown
Chairperson & President

Laurel Durst

Jenny Gersten
Treasurer

Jilian Cahan Gersten

Bill Heinzen

Carol Zerbe Hurford
Vice President

Karen Levinson
Secretary

Mimi Lien

Rachel Moreno

Patricia Tuthill Pazner

Trustees Emeriti

Cora Cahan

Gregory Hines
(in memoriam)

Howard Klein
(in memoriam)

LuEsther T. Mertz
(in memoriam)

Artistic Staff

Dionne Figgins
Artistic Director

212-777-7710
dfiggins@ballettech.org

Dionne D. Figgins began her career as a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, under the direction of Arthur Mitchell, dancing lead roles in Serenade, Four Temperaments, Agon, and Concerto Barocco, all by George Balanchine. She has also appeared as a guest artist with Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

Her Broadway credits include Hot Feet, Memphis, Leap of Faith (Assistant Choreographer) and Motown The Musical. Her regional theatre credits include Sophisticated Ladies,The Wiz, Ray Charles Live, Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Ovation Nominee, Chita Rivera Award nominee), Trip of Love, Chicago, and A Wonderful World. Film/TV credits include: Across the Universe, Walk Hard, The Princess and the Frog, Bolden, She’s Gotta Have It (Netflix), Starz dramas Flesh and Bone (Yasmine) and Power, Glee, House, and The Academy Awards, to name a few.

Ms. Figgins is the co-founder and Creative Director of Broadway Serves, a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage theater professionals in com-munity service opportunities locally, nationally, and abroad. During the pandemic, she turned her focus to teaching full time for her home studio of Jones-Haywood Dance School in Washington, DC. She also galvanized the theatre community in a series of conversations on Instagram called Pass the Mic Broadway, an initiative that sparked dialogue about social justice issues between Black and White female theatre makers. She is a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.

Ashley Tuttle
Director of Faculty

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.

Cathy Rhodes
Director of Body Conditioning

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
Director of Dance Academics

Originally from California, Tammi Shamblin began her dancing career after she found a local ballet studio in a phone book at the age of eight. She pursued her love of ballet while on scholarship at the University of Utah, where she received her BFA in Ballet with an emphasis in pedagogy and performing. After college she returned to Sacramento and danced with Sacramento Ballet and directed a youth ballet company. She moved to NYC in October of 2003 and began working with Deborah Lohse of ad Hoc Ballet and started her career teaching at Ballet Tech. She received her 500-hour certification in Pilates from Body Tonic in Brooklyn, NY.  She also has her RYT 200 Certification from Abhaya Yoga and continues to train with Abhaya founder, and former Ballet Tech Director, Tara Glazier. She has studied extensively in therapeutics and teaches a wide range of somatic-based activities for all levels. She is currently pursuing her passion for pedagogy as Ballet Tech’s Director of Dance Academics.

Michael Snipe
Rehearsal Director

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.

Administrative Staff

Maggie Christ
Chief Operating Officer

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

Elizabeth LaCause
Director of Development

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

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

Zoe Padden
Program Coordinator

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

Darren Thomas
Program Coordinator

Russell Murphy
Finance Associate

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

Andrew Ennis
Development Assistant

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

Jason Walters
Building Manager

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

Israel Geronimo
Custodian

Alicia Rivas
Custodian

Marie Lascu
Archivist

Jennifer Marck Moran
Archivist

Faculty

Jacquelyn Scafidi Allsopp
Ballet, Repertory

A native of Brooklyn and a Ballet Tech alum, Jacque has been a soloist with Feld Ballets NY/Ballet Tech, Smuin Ballet SF, Metropolitan Opera Ballet,1st National & International tours of West Side Story, and Momix. She was also the Associate choreographer for the West Side Story productions in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Broadway’s 1st national tours here in the US (under the direction of Arthur Laurents & Joey McKneely). Jacque has set pieces for Eliot Feld at The Juilliard School and was Associate choreographer and swing for the Broadway showcase of “Shadows”, a dance musical. Jacque has done both modeling and print work. Her credits include Elle magazine, Baryshnikov Dance Wear, Revolution Dance wear, Dance Magazine, Pointe Magazine, Dance Spirit, Runway shows in Bryant Park & Lois Greenfield Photography.
Jacque has been a guest ballet teacher around the world and here in NYC. Most recently Jacque has welcomed three amazing children into this world, while finishing up a Masters degree in dance education!

Men Ca
Horton

The bio-kemet-cal essence of Men Ca is in his name: mata is energy from the nucleus of the ca’nscious atam. A practitioner of defining that which he does through that which he is (i.e. Men Ca), his absolute Art and Science is to be conscious at all times in all times. Thus, deepen the life force energy of love and understanding.
A third generation Lester Horton educator (educated by the unrivaled Dr. Elana Denise Anderson, who studied from James Truite), Men Ca resourcefully uses the technique as a medium for learners to actualize their Art & Science — Art, the Science of expressing; Science, the Art of knowing — aid their body to further activate the heart and mind. The Artist & Scientist.

Dionne Figgins
Ballet, Improv Composition

212-777-7710
dfiggins@ballettech.org

Dionne D. Figgins began her career as a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, under the direction of Arthur Mitchell, dancing lead roles in Serenade, Four Temperaments, Agon, and Concerto Barocco, all by George Balanchine. She has also appeared as a guest artist with Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

Her Broadway credits include Hot Feet, Memphis, Leap of Faith (Assistant Choreographer) and Motown The Musical. Her regional theatre credits include Sophisticated Ladies,The Wiz, Ray Charles Live, Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Ovation Nominee, Chita Rivera Award nominee), Trip of Love, Chicago, and A Wonderful World. Film/TV credits include: Across the Universe, Walk Hard, The Princess and the Frog, Bolden, She’s Gotta Have It (Netflix), Starz dramas Flesh and Bone (Yasmine) and Power, Glee, House, and The Academy Awards, to name a few.

Ms. Figgins is the co-founder and Creative Director of Broadway Serves, a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage theater professionals in com-munity service opportunities locally, nationally, and abroad. During the pandemic, she turned her focus to teaching full time for her home studio of Jones-Haywood Dance School in Washington, DC. She also galvanized the theatre community in a series of conversations on Instagram called Pass the Mic Broadway, an initiative that sparked dialogue about social justice issues between Black and White female theatre makers. She is a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.

Brian Reeder
Allegro, Ballet, Contemporary

Brian Reeder is the current year-round choreographer-in-residence for Manhattan Youth Ballet at Manhattan Movement Arts Center. As a choreographer, he has created or re-staged his work at ABT Studio Company, American Ballet Theatre, BalletNext, Colorado Ballet, Company C Contemporary Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, and The Washington Ballet. Reeder’s work has also been produced several times for Works & Process at the Guggenheim.
His professional career as a dancer was largely spent with American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt. He has been the recipient of several grants and fellowships including The Boomerang Foundation, The New York Choreographic Fellowship, and The Jerome Robbins Foundation for New Works. Reeder has been a guest teacher at Goucher College, Emory University, and The Juilliard School.

Cathy Rhodes
Ballet, Pointe, Strength & Stretch

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, Pilates

Originally from California, Tammi Shamblin began her dancing career after she found a local ballet studio in a phone book at the age of eight. She pursued her love of ballet while on scholarship at the University of Utah, where she received her BFA in Ballet with an emphasis in pedagogy and performing. After college she returned to Sacramento and danced with Sacramento Ballet and directed a youth ballet company. She moved to NYC in October of 2003 and began working with Deborah Lohse of ad Hoc Ballet and started her career teaching at Ballet Tech. She received her 500-hour certification in Pilates from Body Tonic in Brooklyn, NY.  She also has her RYT 200 Certification from Abhaya Yoga and continues to train with Abhaya founder, and former Ballet Tech Director, Tara Glazier. She has studied extensively in therapeutics and teaches a wide range of somatic-based activities for all levels. She is currently pursuing her passion for pedagogy as Ballet Tech’s Director of Dance Academics.

Jeremy Smith
Music/Percussion

Jeremy Smith is a percussive artist whose versatility allows him to move freely among disparate musical worlds. While the foundation of his playing comes from his classical training at The Juilliard School, Jeremy’s interests and abilities in percussion are representative of the radically globalized world in which we live. He draws inspiration from modern and folkloric percussion styles, techniques, and instruments such as those found in the Middle East, Africa, South America, Spain, India, jazz and Western music traditions, creating a percussive voice that transcends genre and connects global cultures.

Michael Snipe
Allegro, Audition Prep, Ballet, Composition

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.

Ashley Tuttle
Ballet, Contemporary, Pointe

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

Janel Cooke Rayome

Accompanists

Stephanie Chun
Piano

Joe Cross
Piano

Brett Deptula
Percussion

Sorin Frisan
Piano

Allan Greene
Piano

John Lander
Piano

George Lykogiannis
Percussion

Dmitry Polischuk
Piano

Jeremy Smith
Percussion

Tim Prepscius
Piano

Mihoko Suzuki
Piano

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
JKaufman10@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

Academic Faculty

Amdad Arshad
Health & Physical Education

Alexandra Barbosa
Middle School Social Studies & ENL

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

 

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!

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.

Anastasiya Karpova
Special Education

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!

Hassim Mohammed
Middle School Math

Richela Morgan
Visual Art

212-777-7710
rmorgan@ballettech.org

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