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Dance Class Notes

The following is a list of what just some of our graduates have been doing.  If you would like to let your fellow alumni know what you've been up to, be sure to submit your own class note to be published on the web and in the Tisch Newsletter.

Vershawn D. Sanders 2007 Dance

Recently traveled and spent two months doing research in Africa.  She is based in Chicago where she directs her company Red Clay Dance Company (

Penelope J. Armstead Williams 2007 Dance

Joined Philadanco in 2007.

Samantha E. Farrow 2006 Dance
Web Site:
Has been performing for the Cirque du Soleil In Macau China.
Benjamin Ford Asriel 2006 Dance
Web Site:
Project Paper Trail: www.basriel.coma record of my artistic and fiscal process.  a hub for donors, colleagues, and the public.  a web document.  a process.  a dance.  please check it out, support, and give feedback!
topEleanor Bauer 2003 Dance

Based in Brussels, Belgium, is currently creating a new project entitled At Large, to be presented by Dance Theater Workshop at The Chocolate Factory May 14–17, 2008. At Large consists of a dance performance, a video, a photo album and a book of interviews.

Neal Beasley  2003 Dance

Has worked with the Trisha Brown Dance Company until early 2007.  During that time, he participated in the creation of three new original works, and acted as rehearsal director for the 2004 creation, O Zlozony / O Composite, at the Paris Opera Ballet. Neal has also danced with choreographers Beth Gill, Larry Keigwin and this summer worked with Hinton Battle on the film The Great Observer about jazz musician Louis Armstrong.  Beasley Neal currently lives in Aix-en-Provence, France, dancing with Ballet Preljocaj.  

Jillian Harris 2003 Dance
Web Site:
Jillian recently accepted a position as an assistant professor of dance at Temple University's Boyer School of Music and Dance. She continues to perform with Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, a dance company which recently opened its movement center.
Johannes Wieland  2002 Dance

Formed his company ( in New York after graduation, winning the Kurt Joos prize in 2004. Wieland was appointed Artistic Director/Choreographer of the resident dance company at the State Theatre of Kassel, Germany in 2006. 

Serena Caspary  2002 Dance

Married to Jamison Brandi.  They are expecting their first child, a daughter, in September. They currently live in Santa Monica, California.

topSari Katja Nordman 2002 Dance
Web Site:
Has been performing and most recently has worked as a dancer with Douglas Dunn, Naomi Goldberg Haas, Robin Rapoport, Susan Rethorst and Melinda Ring. I also teach dance.
Clint Lutes 2002 Dance
Clint moved to Berlin after graduation and has been choreographing, dancing, teaching and running the LUCKY TRIMMER Tanz Performance Series since 2004. He recently premiered Get A Leg Up at the Festspielhaus St. Pölten and Brother Brother at Theater Freiburg.
Julian Barnett  2001 Dance

Has danced in the companies of Lar Lubovitch, Wally Cardona, Larry Keigwin, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet and most notably alongside Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater in Johannes Wieland's award-winning duet, Shift.  As a choreographer, his work has been presented by the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Hong Kong Cultural Center, PS 122 and Dance Theater Workshop. His work, Float, was invited into the repertory of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and he has been commissioned to create works for SUNY Purchase, Bates Dance Festival and Dance New Amsterdam.

Chris Elam  2001 Dance

Is artistic director of Misnomer Dance Theater (  Misnomer's Throw People / Land Flat was named by The New York Times  as “one of the top ten dance performances for 2006” and earned Misnomer a position as one of “25 to Watch” for 2007 in Dance Magazine.  Elam has collaborated on developing a film project with Joss Whedon and on choreographing Bjork’s latest music video, “Wanderlust.”  His work was also featured by Apple Computers, and he has recently received a residency from the Baryshnikov Arts Center. 

Eve DiTaranto Whelchel  2001 Dance
Web Site:
Eve DiTaranto Whelchel is the Co- Artistic Director of the Saratoga City Ballet School and Company in Saratoga Springs, NY.
topAmanda Wells 2001 Dance
Dancer with Stephen Petronio Company Ballet Teacher with New England Academy of Dance
Virginia P. Cadot 2000 Dance
Virginia graduated from NYU with her doctorate in physical therapy in August 2007.  She is now working as a physical therapist at Metro Sports Physical Therapy in Manhatten.  She also married her long time love, Khalid Fatimi, on August 25, 2007.
Katherine Helen Fisher 2000 Dance
Kate has performed throughout the world with MOMIX, ODC, Jennifer Muller, Sara Pearson & Patrik Widrig, Johannes Wieland and Breezy Berryman.
Christian von Howard 1999 Dance
Web Site:
Assistant professor of Dance and choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University –Fall 2008. 2006 NJ State Council on the Arts Choreographic Fellowship Award. Artist in Residence/Lecturer at Mason Gross School of the Arts 2004-2008 Founded the Von Howard Project.
Jennifer Edwards 1999 Dance
Web Site:,
Teaches individuals and groups of people  SUSTAINABLE, practical techniques and life-tools.  She is a master teacher dedicated to assisting you to develop skills needed to care for yourself, manage and reduce stress, deepen relationships, and foster true communication. Ms. Edwards has worked with many organizations and institutions including New York University, Columbia University, Destination Maternity, Gilda's Club, Cancer Care and the Girl Scouts of America.  Her work was featured in the New York Times ('08) and Scrubs Magazine (forthcoming, '09).  Jennifer has published articles on stress reduction in Tathaastu: So Be It Magazine and for Women&
topMelanie Katin 1999 Dance
Web Site:
Melanie Katin is on the faculty of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, where she is both a clinical supervisor and instructor. She also maintains a private practice in Manhattan.
Jessica Watson 1998 Dance
Completed a B.S. degree in ecology and evolutionary biology.  Now pursuing a M.S. degree in oceanography at Uconn, Avery Point.
Sarah Ruthann Shira 1997 Dance
Currently teaching at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and at Spectrum Dance Theatre in Seattle, Washington.
Gino Grenek 1996 Dance

Made his Broadway debut as an original cast member of Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake and toured internationally with the critically-acclaimed Stephen Petronio Company from 1999–2007. This year Grenek was honored with a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for a body of work with Stephen Petronio.

Lauren Grant 1996 Dance
Lauren Grant has been dancing with the Mark Morris Dance Group since 1996. She teaches master classes in the US and abroad as well as leading classes for the company.
topVanessa Beyland 1995 Dance
Vanessa (Winfield) Beyland is a professional dancer and choreographer with Portland Ballet Co. in Portland, Maine. She is a Musical Theater Dance instructor at the University of Southern Maine and Assistant to the Artistic Director at Portland School of Ballet. This June she will be celebrating 10 years of marriage to fellow Tisch graduate Keith Beyland '94 (BFA, Dramatic Writing)
Erika Gilfether Adams  1994 Dance
Has been working as an aerialist for the past seven years. She and her husband/partner, Andrew, performed in San Francisco at Teatro Zinzanni, a cabaret style show in a spiegeltent, and began a similar contract in Seattle from October–March. They will be working in Switzerland in August and had the pleasure of working with Tisch faculty Hovey Burgess and Cecil Mackinnon this summer with Circus Flora.
Ronald Kevin Alexander 1994 Dance
Appointed the Principal of the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in Torrington, CT in July, 2008. Primary job responsibilities include supervising the academic and artistic components of the program. Prior to appointment, was adjunct professor of dance history at Adelphi University, taught courses in theatrical dance and dance composition at LaGuardia Community College, and ballet at the Ailey School.
Ronald Alexander 1994 Dance
Ronald is the Appointed Principal of the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in Torrington, CT in July, 2008. he oversees the academic, ballet training and student recruitment programs. Prior to appointment he was Director of School Administration at Dance Theatre of Harlem, and on the faculties of Adelphi University and the Ailey School. Presently choreographing "A Chorus Line" for the Warner Theatre In Torrington, CT.
Albert Christmas 1993 Dance

Starred in the world premiere play Rus at HERE Arts in NYC in spring ’07 and in the fall, he sang in New York City Opera’s premiere of Toni Morrison’s opera Margaret Garner at Lincoln Center.

topNicole Nash 1993 Dance
Web Site:

After leaving Tisch, Nicole served as Yoga instructor assisting Jivamukti founders Sharon Gannon and David Life.  She returned to the west coast where she was cast in commercials for Reebok, American Express and California Pizza Kitchen.

Midori Satoh 1993 Dance

Teaches ballet in Big Island of Hawaii where she and her husband live with 2 children, a goat, and a donkey.

Courtney Norris 1992 Dance
Courtney has been teaching Pilates for the past 5 years in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Lynn Zilka-Perna 1990 Dance

Began working with Daniel Perna Designs in 2004, as Marketing Director. In addition to business management, she works closely with her husband, Principal Designer Daniel Perna, on each project.  Lynn and Daniel reside in New York City with their daughter, Isabella Zosima.

Hazel Sabas-Gower 1990 Dance

Recently accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Ballet at University of Massachusetts in Amherst beginning Fall 2008.  Her teaching and choreographic credits include Dance Lecturer of University of North Texas Dance & Theatre Department.

topThea Kaufman  1990 Dance

(aka Rythea Lee) has written Trauma into Truth: Gutsy Healing and Why it’s Worth It (Zany Angels Press), a book on the long terms benefits of stepping onto the path of healing from childhood abuse.

Lura Berry 1990 Dance
Web Site:
Performing under the professional name of Nabila, she has gone on to study Middle Eastern Dance and is currently active in this field. She regularly accepts engagements performing at private events, area nightclubs, and dance festivals. In 2007 she collaborated with world music percussionist Rex Benincasa on his composition "1001 Drums" which was performed at Rakassah East. Nabila also presents lecture-demonstrations on Middle Eastern Dance for community service organizations and care facilities.
Lizabeth Ann Smull 1989 Dance
Web Site:
Married to Bradley Smull, and two children Anna and Lilly. Currently teaching Dance in the Children's Professional Program at Towson University, in Marylland. Works part-time for Massage Envy as there Lead Therapist and teach and train new massage therapist as well.This year, peformed with the Howard County Ballet, "Nutcracker" as an Angel and Big-Mouse.  Arbonne Independent Consultany (vegan products) for four years.
Margaret Liston 1988 Dance
Web Site:
Margaret Liston is excited to be part of the new musical OPA! presented in NYC this summer as a selection of the Commercial Division of the Midtown International Theatre Festival. 
Courtney Conner-Gardini  1984 Dance

Is on faculty of Ballet Academy East.  She received her Power Pilates certification and has done extensive costume work. Her latest credit is “Bingo” of Banana Splits on the Cartoon network.