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Teaching Faculty

Alexandra Bonesho-HeadShot.jpg
 
 
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Leanna Smith Gendron
April Hovelson
Midori Nonaka
 
Julie Blondina
 
Melissa Stern Headshot.jpg

Allie

Alexandra Bonesho-NYC Credits: THE BLACKOUT (The Anthropologists), SPIT (Nylon Fusion Theatre Company), THE GOOD LIFE (Xavier Theatre Company), SWINGTIME CANTEEN (Cherry Lane), Young Company (Titan Theatre Company). Regional Credits (selected): SPRING AWAKENING,  CAMINO REAL, GREY GARDENS, LEND ME A TENOR. Proud member of AEA.

Alexandra has taught various acting and dance classes throughout the Midwest and NYC. She has worked as a choreographer and guest artist for educational shows and programs. Alexandra also helps students on the Autism Spectrum take their next steps as artists and individuals through musical theatre, dance, and acting classes. Her training includes classroom strategies, sensory awareness, social stories, and how to best communicate with the various ranges of the spectrum including work with non-verbal students. As a teacher, Alexandra encourages risk-taking, empowerment from mistakes and hardships, and incorporating song, dance, memory tools, and life skills to create an environment that translates into confidence on and off the stage. www.alexandrabonesho.com

Gentry

Choreographer and Youth Dance Instructor Gentry Isaiah George founded ZEST Collective November 02, 2013. Former Dance Artist for the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Ailey II, George graduated from the Juilliard School in 2012. Gentry is an Associate Artist at New York Live Arts, and currently teaches Ballet and Composition at Dance Project of Washington Heights, and USDAN Summer Camp for the Arts.

Gentry has created work on The Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA and has choreographed two ballets on the Peter London Global Dance Company. George has presented work throughout New York City, New Jersey, and Florida. In New York City, ZEST has performed at SummerStage, Dixon Place, HarlemStage Gatehouse Theater, Ulster Performing Arts Center, The Wassaic Project, Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning, Whitebox Art Center, Madiba Harlem, Fort Tryon Park, Marcus Garvey Park, and the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood

Angel

At the age of 17, Angel Sanchez was introduced to dance and has not stopped dancing since. Influenced by South Bronx Culture Angel became a B-boy, gaining National Attention as a Subway Dancer. Realizing he was more than an Artist, Angel has also invested his time mentoring kids in his community, especially his younger brother. Using dance as his Platform, Angel founded the Bboy Rebel; a south Bronx dance crew made up of the students Angel mentors on the trains. Since their inception, The Bboy Rebels have performed in many venues including the iconic Apollo Theatre and the United Palace Theater. Angel's work with the Bboy Rebels has been featured on Access Hollywood, The Huffington Post, CNN , and an AJ+ Documentary Short on NYC Subway performance and even a feature Doc Series with New Balance. Angel has also mentored troubled youth as part of ZELDAPITO's Emerging Artist Fellowship Program in Pittsburgh, PA.  

Leeanna

Leeanna Smith made her Broadway debut performing in Lincoln Center Theater's production of CONTACT, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman.  She later joined the show's tour, performing in the Canadian premier and in cities across the US.  She has served as the associate choreographer of eight productions of CONTACT, including the premiers in Hungary, South Korea and Poland. She also performed in Oklahoma! (Dallas Summer Musicals) and spent four years as a Radio City Rockette in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  Television credits include Live from Lincoln Center (Cast of CONTACT, PBS), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC).  Leeanna earned a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX where she studied and performed works by George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Ann Reinking and Paul Taylor.

 
 

April

April Hovelson has been on a lifelong journey of dance learning since the age of 3. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop  with such greats as Gregory Hines, Savion Glover, Luam, LaVaughn Robinson, Ted Levy, Chloe Arnold, Jermaine Brown, Shane Sparks, Dave Scott, Mia Michaels, Cris Judd, Wade Robson, Nick Florez, Brian Friedman, and countless others. At age 15, she became the lead instructor of Spring Into Motion School of Dance in Wisconsin. April was also the creator and director of SIM Dance Companies. April and her company won many top awards including recognition for her choreography and music.

April currently resides in New York City where she has continued to study and teach while raising her 3 year old son. Since her move in 2011, she has assisted in the children's program at Tap City, New York City's finest tap festival, and taught creative ballet, beginning tap and teen hip hop at the YWHA of Washington Heights. It is her mantra that “technique does not make a dancer great, it is their passion," and hopes that all students young and old find a little time to dance their hearts out!

Midori

Midori Nonaka is originally from Fukuoka, Japan. She trained and performed with Ikuko Watanabe Ballet Studio. At the age of 19, she moved to New York City and trained with Peridance Capezio Center, Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory, Jennifer Muller/The Works on scholarship, and as a dancer and an assistant of Nina Buisson. In 2014,  Midori has participated in Northwest Dance Project's LAUNCH:9 where she performed works choreographed by Lesley Telford and Eric Handman. Midori has also had the opportunity to dance for Audio-technica Commercial (Day O productions, LA). Midori is currently working with Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and ZEST Collective.

Throughout her career, she has been able to perform works by choreographers such as Igal Perry, Jae Man Joo, Dwight Rhoden, Charlotta Öfverholm and Gentry George.

Julie

Julie Blondina has studied many forms of dance all across the country, from NYC to LA and everywhere in between. She has trained with LaRoque Bay Dance Company, Alvin Ailey, The Greensboro Ballet, and Bailamos. She has also taught classes all across the US. She has been a guest instructor and choreographer at Public School Repertory Company in New York City, as well as a dance instructor at the Harlem YMCA. She has been a guest choreographer at Birmingham University and The Berubian Theater Company in L.A. She has also taught classes at Millennium Dance Complex. Her passion for movement and the human body go beyond dance. She has a passion for people. 

Melissa

Melissa Stern preformed as a Radio City Rockette for 8 years in New York City, Detroit, St. Louis and Columbus. As a Rockette, Melissa performed in the Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, national TV spots and can be seen on the 75th Radio City Christmas Spectacular DVD. Additionally, she spent many years traveling and performing as a dancer in numerous musicals. Musicals include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Sweet Charity, and La Cage Aux Folles (Gateway Playhouse), Crazy For you (Assistant Choreographer and Dance captain, Ogunquit Playhouse), The Producers (Westchester Broadway Dinner Theater), 42nd Street and Carousel (Reagle Theater) and the National Tour of Will Rogers Follies (Dance Captain). Melissa has trained as a teaching artist with National Dance Institute and she has a BA in Creative Writing and Education from CUNY Hunter College.