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Mira Cook is the founder and director of NYCommunityBallet. Originally from Austin, TX, she has been a dancer with Battery Dance, Indelible Dance, John Passafiume and Dancers, Liss Fain Dance SF, & City Ballet of San Diego and has taught dance in more than 40 countries world wide.  She is featured in the documentary “Moving Stories” which won best doc at Chesapeake Film Festival and is currently streaming on Amazon.  Mira also choreographs, is a fully certified Pilates Instructor and writes music. Her 5th album was released in 2022 on Gold Robot Records. Check it out at miracook.com

 

Mira’s class focuses on body alignment, musicality and ease of movement, pairing rigorous combinations with generous use of breath and individual interpretation.

Billy Blanken started his professional career with the Amy Marshall Dance Company before joining Les Ballets Grandiva. His credits include:  Mobile Ballet, CoDa 21 of San Juan, Catherine Gallant Dance, Atlantic City Ballet, Northwest Florida Ballet, Ajkun Ballet Theatre, isadoraNOW, Project in Motion, and many others. In 2016 he founded Sheep Meadow Dance Theatre for which he is Artistic Director.  

 

Billy has taught at Peridance, the Jakarta Intercultural School, the Rioult Dance Center, the National School in Tirana, Albania, Gibney Dance, Logrea Dance Academy, and others.

 

Blanken uses a mindful approach to ballet technique with a focus on body awareness, kinesthetic learning, musicality and movement dynamics.  He nurtures specific ballet qualities including classicism, aplomb, and use of epaulement to create resilience suitable for recreational to professional dancers. The class is thorough but uncomplicated with emphasis on creating efficient movement patterns.

Elisabeth Jeffrey is currently the Rehearsal Director and a member of Periapsis Music and Dance, a dancer for Thomas Ortiz Dance and a freelance artist in NYC. She is a full scholarship graduate of the Joffrey Ballet School, and has trained with schools such as The Royal Ballet School, Houston Ballet and Washington Ballet.  Elisabeth has taught company classes for Benjamin Briones Ballet and led auditions for Periapsis Music and Dance and Emotions Physical Theater, as well workshops for Central Minnesota Ballet Academy.  She enjoys being a supplementary teacher for Greenwich House of Music School, Dancation (NJ) and Logrea Dance Academy (NY).

 

Elisabeth’s class is built on an honest and straightforward approach to ballet. Classes provide a firm technical structure, focus on the individual’s needs, technical goals, and accuracy of movement, while preparing the professional for the day. 

Gabrielle Lamb, winner of a Princess Grace Award for Choreography, is based in NYC, where she directs Pigeonwing Dance. A native of Savannah, GA, she trained at the Boston Ballet School and was a longtime soloist at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. In 2009 she was invited by Christopher Wheeldon to join his company Morphoses in NYC.  DANCE Magazine described her as “a dancer of stunning clarity who illuminates the smallest details—qualities she brings to the dances she makes, too".
Her choreography has been presented by the ABT Incubator, The Juilliard School, the MIT Museum, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Whim W'Him, BalletX, Sacramento Ballet, Ballet Austin, and Ballet Memphis.  She has won fellowships and competitions at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Milwaukee Ballet, the Banff Centre, and NY City Center, as well as a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship.  

Gabrielle is on faculty at the Joffrey Ballet School and Peridance Center, and she is also a certified teacher of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement®.

 

Gabrielle's ballet class emphasizes coordination of the upper and lower body as the basis for holistic and connected movement.  From the beginning of the barre, rhythm and alignment create the base for healthy and efficient center work. Dancers are challenged to make interpretive choices regarding musicality, phrasing, and focus.  

Sabrina Pretto is originally from Vicenza, Italy and started her dance training at the Acadèmie de Danse Classique Princesse Grace de Monte Carlo with Marika Besobrasova.  Sabrina went on to dance with English National Ballet, Stadt Theater Koblenz in Germany, Les Ballets Grandiva (NYC) and spent 8 years with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.  She currently performs with Sheep Meadow Dance Theater and is a level 3 ABT® Certified Teacher.

Sabrina's class focuses on slowly building strength and stamina, with a special attention to coordination and musicality. 

The succession of exercises with strongly articulated ballet vocabulary and precision of footwork is characteristic of the French style.  Center work focuses on fluid and organic movement.

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Tiffany Mangulabnan is New York-based dancer and choreographer. Originally from Manila, she was a principal dancer with the Philippine Ballet Theatre until 2012. Tiffany is a co-founder, co-director and dancer of Brooklyn-based contemporary ballet company konverjdans. She performs with Pigeonwing Dance, Gleich Dances, Indelible Dance, John Passafiume and The Metropolitan Opera and has performed with Emery LeCrone Dance, Claudia Schreier & Co, and BalletNext among other companies.

 

Tiffany's ballet class, while technical and challenging, places a strong emphasis on the full breadth and extension of movement, on freedom of expression within the confines of technique, and on thoughtful form, placement and alignment as a necessary foundation for movement.

Amy Saunder is a Brooklyn-based dancer, choreographer, and videographer who was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. She studied classical ballet at Baltimore School for the Arts and at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the tutelage of Ethan Stiefel. Amy began her professional career with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, where she performed at The Kennedy Center in numerous George Balanchine works such as Valse Fantaisie, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Dances Concertantes, Divertimento no. 15, and Episodes. In 2014 she moved to New York City and since then she has freelanced with companies such as BalletNext, Indelible Dance, Traverse City Dance Project, MorDance, Movement Headquarters, Gleich Dances, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and Ballet Vero Beach, and has performed in the works of Brendan Fernandes in The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Noguchi Museum. In 2016, alongside Tiffany Mangulabnan and Jordan Miller, Amy co-created konverjdans (con-verge-dance), a contemporary dance company focused on collaborative creation.

 

Amy aims to teach a fun ballet class focusing on breath, spine mobility, and expansive movement.

Laura Kaufman recently finished a year on the road with the Broadway National Tour of CATS.  Originally from Kansas City, she grew up training in all styles of dance and went on to receive a BFA in Dance from the University of Arizona. Following her years in AZ, Laura danced with City Ballet of San Diego and Odyssey Dance Theatre in SLC where she performed many principal roles and did two international tours.  She has danced works by Andy Blankenbuehler, Christopher Wheeldon, George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Bonnie Story, Sam Watson, Gary Christ, Ann Reinking, and many others.  Laura has taught for the Ballet West Academy, Odyssey Dance Theatre, CPYB and Broadway Dance Center.  Prior to CATS, Laura was on the road with the First National Tour of An American in Paris for a year.  

Laura's class focuses on a strong technical base, building up to expansive movement in her center combinations. The ultimate goal is joy and remembering why we started in the first place. 

Michelle Thompson Ulerich is currently a professor at SUNY Purchase, and the Artistic Director of Spark Movement Collective. She received her training from San Francisco Ballet and danced for 14 years with Ballet Austin. Also during her time in Texas she earned her undergraduate degree from St. Edward’s University, and began her choreographic career with an emphasis on site specific and immersive dance experiences. She is a freelance choreographer in New York, and has recently shown work at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, Arts On Site, Ace Hotel in Brooklyn, The Mark O’Donnell Theater, Green Space, Dixon Place, Mercury Lounge, and the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon, NY. She has recently been commissioned by Counter Pointe, CreateArt, Kingsland Wildflower Festival, Style Pointe, and SUNY Purchase. She also creates for film and music video projects. She teaches yoga weekly via Zoom. Email michelle.ulerich@gmail.com to learn more about her yoga offerings. 

 

Michelle’s ballet class focuses on technique, musicality, and coordination. She finds fun ways to coach her students and help them find connection and joy. She hopes that all of her students feel seen, and wants everyone to feel that they are welcome in ballet.

Jordan Miller is co-founder and co-director of konverjdans, a contemporary ballet company based in Brooklyn, NY. She also choreographs and dances for the company, creating work which celebrates the backgrounds and experiences of the varied artists they collaborate with. Previously, Jordan trained at the School of American Ballet and danced with the New York City Ballet for several seasons before she began freelancing in New York. She has danced professionally with companies such as Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, The Ashley Bouder Project, Gleich Dances, Indelible Dance and many others. In addition to her dance career, Jordan is a certified Pilates Instructor and teaches throughout NYC.

Jordan's class can help you find freedom of movement within a precise technical vocabulary with an emphasis on the proper use of one's anatomy and energetic patterns.

Bethany Mitchell is from Southern California and currently dances with Battery Dance with whom she has done extensive international touring and teaching for institutions like Attakkalari in Bengalore, Centro Cultural San Martin in Buenos Aires and EnDanza in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  In 2019, Bethany was added to the the Fullbright roster and is currently planning a workshop with Fullbright support in the DR.  She has also performed with Indelible Dance, Liss Fain Dance, City Ballet of San Diego, State Street Ballet, and Ballet Pacifica. Bethany is a founding teacher for NYCommunityBallet since 2015 and has also been a faculty member at the Mark Morris Dance Center.

 

Bethany's high-energy ballet class focuses on musicality, proper technique, flow of movement and artistic expression.  

Leigh Schanfein is a freelance dancer, choreographer, teacher, and independent researcher in the fields of kinesiology and biomechanics.  Leigh trains and performs in modern, ballet, and contemporary dance and has performed in commercial productions with comedian Hannibal Buress’s Oddball Comedy Tour, NYC Fashion Week for designer Malan Breton, and for brands such as Xerox, Suave, Oreo, and Estee lauder.  Leigh received her M.S. in kinesiology with a specialization in biomechanics from Purdue University, and her B.S. in animal physiology and neuroscience with a minor in dance from the University of California San Diego. She has received multiple awards for her research including two through the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, and worked for five years as the research associate at Harkness Center for Dance Injuries.  In 2015, she joined the faculty at Barnard College as adjunct lecturer of biomechanics in the department of dance.  Leigh is a contributing journalist for Dance Informa Magazine and has been a founding teacher for NYCommunityBallet since 2015.

 

Leigh’s class focuses on developing solid and functional ballet technique, playing with musicality, and exploring creativity within ballet movement.

Giorgia Bovo, is an Italian-born dance artist living in Berlin.  She danced in NYC with Armitage Gone! Dance, The Metropolitan Opera, Pigeonwing Dance, Indelible Dance and Rebecca Kelly Ballet. She has choreographed for Indelible Dance, Joffrey Ballet School,  e-Luminate Festival (UK), and Grammy Award winning band Pentatonix.  Giorgia has been faculty at Joffrey Ballet School, taught company class for Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance and she is a level 5 ABT® certified instructor.

She currently dances at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Giorgia’s class is based on total body awareness, risk taking and finding one’s individual movement exploration while maintaining a strong technique.

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