Adult Teaching Faculty
SARA BRIANS is a director, choreographer, educator and performer. Most recently, Sara was the Movement Assistant and Dance Captain for Michael Moore’s The Terms of My Surrender on Broadway.
On Broadway, Sara was the Resident Choreographer for Matilda the Musical. She was the Resident Choreographer for Billy Elliot, the Musical on Broadway and in Chicago and Toronto. Her other work on Broadway include the Tony Award winning revival of 42nd Street, After the Night and the Music, and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Sara re-mounted Randy Skinner’s choreography for Irving Berlin’s White Christmas in England, Scotland and Wales as well as having performed in the show’s premiere company in San Francisco.
Sara has choreographed Rock of Ages, Man of La Mancha, the Full Monty, Big Fish, Chicago and Ring of Fire for The Alpine Theatre Project. She has directed and choreographed the Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards, choreographed original dance works for the Project Broadway concert, Kicking and Screaming at Symphony Space in NYC, and choreographed & associate directed the musical, The Trouble With Doug, which realized it’s first full production in Denmark at the Fredericia Teater this past May. She also choreographed & associate directed Newton’s Cradle for the New York Musical Festival at the Duke Theatre in New York City. She also choreographed Merrily We Roll Along, Anyone Can Whistle, and Pippin at Pace University. Other choreography credits include the musical, Houdini (The Seagal Center, Montreal), the music video, It Could Be, and industrials for CES in Las Vegas, The Beckett Fund in New York City, and the Five Star Diamond Award in Berlin.
She has also worked on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Face the Music and Of Thee I Sing (City Center Encores!), An American In Paris (Alley Theatre), Broadway: 3 Generations (The Kennedy Center), Lone Star Love (5th Avenue Theatre), Show Boat (Goodspeed Opera House), and Pulse (Asolo Repertory Theatre). She has also worked on numerous concerts in New York at Town Hall, The 92nd Street Y and Merkin Hall.
Sara performed as a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall. Her television appearances include The Late Show with Jay Leno, The Donnie and Marie Show, Good Morning America and The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Sara has choreographed and taught across the US and internationally, most notably at the Banff Centre in Calgary. Her tap sounds can be heard on the recordings of Sherry! The Musical and the 30th Anniversary recording of Annie, both produced by James Lipton. Sara has also studied acting at The Atlantic Acting School in New York City, choreographs annually for Stage Door School of Dance, and is currently on faculty teaching Theatre Dance at Pace University.
is a New York City based director and choreographer with an extensive background in multiple disciplines of dance and theatre arts. As a seasoned practitioner, story teller and teacher Ann loves sharing her passion for dance, her knowledge of the business and her ability to motivate the best in performers thru generosity and fun. Before moving into more creative leadership: Ann performed in countless musicals and productions world wide while spending over a decade as Radio City Rockette, choreographer and line captain for the iconic troupe. Check out Ann’s full bio and current projects at www.anncooley.org - As a member of the Washington Heights community Ann is super excited to join Dance Project of Washington Heights for Theatre Dance on Tuesdays at 10:30 - see you in class!
is originally from Palmyra, NY. Following her early training with Sandy Stramonine and Lynne Kareken, she attended the Juilliard School, graduating with a BFA in 2000. Dance company credits; Ballet Hispanico of NY (00',02') Elisa Monte Dance (02';-04'), Ballet Memphis (07'-09'), Lar Lubovitch Dance Company (10';-present) Metropolitan Opera Ballet (04-present). Choreography credits: Thang Dao Contemporary Dance Festival, Latin Choreographers Festival, MMAC and Greenspace Brooklyn, Ballet Memphis main company and junior company. Most recently she has collaborated on a work for the students at MindLeaps in Rwanda for the Ubumuntu Arts Festival. As a teaching artist and repetiteur she has taught master classes for all affiliated companies and has also staged the work of Elisa Monte and Lar Lubovitch. Nicole has served as the ballet mistress for Damagedance (NYC) and rehearsal director for Steps Repertory Ensemble. She is a teaching ambassador for Rwandan street children with the non-profit organization Mind Leaps and an annual guest teaching artist for the Jikei Group of Colleges in Japan.
Other company credits include Nilas Martins Dance, Pier Group, Thomas/Ortiz, Roger C. Jeffrey Subtle Changes, Mark Stuart Dance, Morales Dance as well as numerous independent choreographers throughout NYC and the East Coast. In addition, Nicole is a 200 hr RYT certified Vinyasa yoga instructor.
is a NYC born and raised professional dancer, choreographer and teacher. The goal of her dance class is to prepare the mind and body of the dancer for a wide range of movement possibilities: forms, qualities and dynamics. Encouraging students to use a mindful approach toward enhancing their self awareness, we will build specificity of impulses and acuity of dynamic power. There is an emphasis in breath, body alignment and mental focus. How does movement integrate physical mastery, somatic awareness, conceptual understanding, emotional investment and musicality. www.marielisgarcia.com
is the associate choreographer for The Phantom of The Opera National tour. Other assisting credits include: Paris Opera Ballet for the world premiere of Iolanta/ Casse Noisette. Rehearsal director for the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet Company and rehearsal director for Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. Pre-production workshops for Susan Stroman’s Little Dancer and her ballets for NYCB and Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Performance credits include: the Polish Mother in The Garsington Opera’s Death in Venice. World premiere of Susan Stroman’s The Little Dancer at The Kennedy Center, Mrs. Samsa in Arthur Pita’s The Metamorphosis at The Royal Opera House in London, The Shape She Makes at American Repertory Theater, international tours of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, The Car Man and Edward Scissorhands. The National Ballet of Canada, Feld Ballets, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal and The Altogether Different Series.
Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Contact, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, The Red Shoes and The Phantom of the Opera, Belle Epoque (Lincoln Center), Bloomergirl (City Center) and A Dybbuk (Public Theater). Workshops and productions at The Signature Theater, Baryshnikov Arts Center, NY Theater Workshop, Great Lakes Theater Festival and the Manhattan Theater Club.
Television and Film credits include: The Metamorphosis and Swan Lake aired on SKYArts TV, Center Stage, Fame TV series and the Oscar and TONY Awards telecasts.
Teaching credits include: Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College, The Metropolitan Opera, The Juilliard School, Barnard College, Steps on Broadway, Dance New Amsterdam, Peridance/Capezio Dance Center, Dancewave, The Performing Arts Project and Joffrey Ballet School. Guest teaching for The Cedar Lake Dance Company, Random Dance, Rambert and New Adventures Dance Companies.
Master of Arts from Hunter College’s Arnold Graduate Dance Education Program.Bachelor of Arts from Empire State College.
Hailing from Ehime, Japan, Ayaka Kamei is currently dancing at the Metropolitan Opera. She graduated from Northern Ballet School in England and SUNY Purchase. She also studied at Codarts in the Netherlands and Springboard Danse Montréal. She has performed works by numerous choreographers such as Balanchine, Cunningham, Tudor, Roy Assaf, Aszure Barton, Dario Dinuzzi, John Heginbotham, Jessica Lang, Austin McCormick, Matthew Neenan, Taryn Kaschock Russel, and Bettijane Sills, among others. She has also danced for New York Theater Ballet and AZOTH Dance Theater. She teaches ballet and yoga, presents her own choreography in NY and Japan, and creates costumes on the side.
began training at age 15 with the School of Nashville Ballet, and continued with teachers Dennis Marshall and Marjorie Grundvig in Seattle, Washington. Summer programs include Boston Ballet and American Ballet Theatre (NYC). She has performed with: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Dances Patrelle, Texture Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Neo and Sensedance, including a tour to Peru, among others. She has also been part of several new works including those by Cherylyn Lavagnino, Pascal Rekoert-Valdez, Kate Thomas and Caitlin Trainor. Notable performance opportunities include Isaac Mizrahi’s Peter and the Wolf with choreography by John Heginbotham at the Guggenheim Museum and performing in NYFW for designer Berenik. She is a co- founding director of Higher Ground Festival with partner Pablo Francisco Ruvalcaba, an interdisciplinary arts festival in Northern Manhattan which practices community building through art by networking local artists and being a platform for new works which are presented free to the uptown community, www.creatinghigherground.com. Miss Kemezis is excited to join the Dance Project Washington Heights teaching staff.
Ana Maria Lucaciu
was born in Bucharest, Romania. After graduating from the National Ballet School of Canada she joined Canada’s National Ballet and went on to dance with the Royal Danish Ballet, Augsburg Ballet (Germany), The Portuguese Contemporary Dance Company (Lisbon) and most recently, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York, where she danced for seven years. Lucaciu has performed and created works with contemporary dance's foremost choreographers, including Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Hofesh Shechter, Jiří Kylián, Alexander Ekman, Jo Stromgren, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and many others. Holder of a BFA in dance from Empire State College, she collaborates and performs with a wide range of artists and companies, and freelances as a dancer and choreographer in her own right. Ana Maria teaches ballet, contemporary, and improvisation workshops at proffessional programs and dance companies across the US and Europe.
Lucaciu currently assists Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman with new creations and stages his work around the world.
is a Harlem based performing artist known for her versatility in dance and collaborative instincts with such people as Andy Blankenbuehler, Pat Birch, Cindy Salgado, Mark Stuart and Jennifer Jancuska + The BringAbout. In addition to performing, she is an active participant in New York City street and social dance. She leads Hustle Partnering classes weekly at Brooklyn Studios for Dance and produces a mobile social dance party with the mission to reintegrate Hustle dance among a multi-generational group of people in exciting social spaces. For events and info: www.thehustlesocial.com.
is a New York City dance artist. She danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, 2006-2009; The Batsheva Ensemble in Tel Aviv, Israel, 2009-2010; Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York City, 2010-2015; and Ballet of Difference in Munich, Germany 2017; performing original work by choreographers Mauro Bigonzetti, Stijn Celis, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Alexander Eckman, Emanuel Gat, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Hofesh Schecter, Richard Siegal, Jo Stromgren, and Shen Wei, et al. Navarra is currently performing Clear&Sweet with zoe|juniper and Orpheus Unsung by Steven Mackey, directed by Mark DeChiazza. She dances with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and has worked with Manuel Vignoulle, the Francesca Harper Project, Mary John Frank, Sonya Tayeh, Gregory Dolbashian, Danaka Dance, and Bryan Arias. She has recently presented her own work with the Higher Grounds Festival in the United Palace and in STUFFED at Judson Church.
A passionate dance educator, Navarra teaches Gaga, ballet, and contemporary improvisation at universities and studios across the United States. She graduated from the Juilliard School with a BFA in Dance in 2006 and is currently pursuing a masters degree in Arts Management at the New School.www.navarranovywilliams.com
is an international multifaceted artist originally from Peru. Her experience in Musical Theater includes “In the Heights” US Spanish Premiere at Gala Hispanic Theatre in Washington DC, and “Rent” (choreographer), “Hairspray” (ensemble), “Disney’s High School Musical” (Sharpay), “Beauty and the Beast” (ensemble), “The Wizard of Oz” (ensemble) in Peru. Between her most important roles in Theater she played “Viva Africa” (Maria) in Long Island, and “Hamlet” (Ophelia), “Don Juan Tenorio” (Ana) in Peru.
As a dancer she has performed in arenas such as the Madison Square Garden and MET Life Stadium. She has been member of Balmir Latin Dance Company performing, teaching and competing in diverse Latin Festivals around the US.
In Peru she earned the title of National Salsa Champion as a Soloist in 2015 and now based in New York she is co director of LESalsa, a new studio and venue in East Village. She also teaches her Latin Rhythms class in diverse dance studios of the city and as a plus, she enjoys being master ceremonies for the Brooklyn Museum in their Salsa Party Series and other events. A non stop dreamer, she is extremely grateful for friends and family for the love and endless support.
Dancer, Choreographer and Fitness Professional, Candace Tabbs earned her B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior and minored in Dance at Barnard College. She has performed at venues such as BAM Opera House, Lincoln Center, New York Live Arts, Ailey Citigroup Theatre. Candace has had the pleasure of performing with companies such as Jamie J & Co., Poetic Theatre Productions, and Shift Dance Collective and teaching and performing with Movement of the People Dance Company and Dances for a Variable Population. In her own work, Candace explores the conversation between Modern, Hip Hop and dances of the African Diaspora. Candace invites dancers to investigate how integrating multiple techniques can free the mind and body for dynamic expression. A certified Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer, Candace also brings mental and physical wellbeing to the forefront of people’s lives. www.candacetabbs.com
was the Associate Director/Associate Choreographer for the Tony Nominated Broadway Revival of Ragtime. He directed/choreographed The Rocky Horror Show for The University of Buffalo, Legally Blonde for Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, A Chorus Line for Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and Theatre Memphis and the rock opera Fallen Angel in the New York International Fringe Festival which won Best Musical. Josh also choreographed for The Kennedy Center, The Muny, Signature Theatre, Sacramento Music Circus, DR2 Theatre, Bay Street Theatre, Theatreworks USA, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Gateway Playhouse, Riverside Theatre in FL, D.A.R.E., Tisch School of the Arts, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre, Doonce Theatre and Morag Productions for the Seabourn Sun Cruise Ship. He As a performer, Josh has been in the Broadway Revivals of 42nd St, La Cage aux Folles, A Chorus Line and Ragtime.
Carol Marie Webster
is an international dance artist who directs and creates theater experiences, and teaches, choreographs, and performs in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Caribbean and the United States. She a former member of Urban Bush Women, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Forces of Nature and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. She teaches Horton-inspired Modern dance infused with Caribbean favors and grounded in alignment and applied kinesiology.
Past Movement Exchange Teaching Artists
Cecily Campbell is from Santa Fe, New Mexico and came to New York to attend New York University Tisch School of the Arts, where she attained a BFA in Dance in 2006. She has continued to base her life and work in New York, first as a company member with Shen Wei Dance Arts from 2007 to 2013 and currently as a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company, which she joined in 2013.
BELINDA MCGUIRE, graduated from The Juilliard School (BFA 2006) and danced with the Limón Dance Company, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Gallim Dance, Doug Varone and Dancers and The Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. Through Belinda McGuire Dance Projects, she performs primarily solo work, choreographs and engages in collaboration and production. McGuire has taken part in choreographic residencies at Springboard Danse Montréal, Centre de Création O Vertigo, Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, Éspace Marie Chouinard, ICKamsterdam, and The Yard. As a producer, Belinda launched one-woman shows “The Desert Island Project” (2008), “The Heist Project” (2011), and “Waltz Slaughterhouse Requiem” (2017), garnering a nomination for the 2013 Dora Award for Outstanding Performance. Through these solo endeavors, she has commissioned new work from Kate Alton, Andrea Miller, Sylvain Émard, Sharon B. Moore, Idan Sharabi, Zoe Scofield and has collaborated with Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten. Belinda teaches and choreographs as a guest artist for The Limón Institute, New York University/Tisch and The Juilliard School, the New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble, for CCDT (Toronto), École de Danse Contemporaine de Montréal, New Dialect (Nashville) and for various other schools and universities across North and Central America.
Kelly Garone is a New York City based performing artist. Her process is informed by a deep respect for the massive brilliance of the body-mind. She is committed to living in a world where every woman knows intimately, in the words of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, "what we have been taught to ignore, the power of a woman's body when it is animated from the inside." She is a certified Qoya teacher and a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, where she studied the intersections of race, class, and gender. She was most recently seen in the roles of Alice and the White Queen in Third Rail Projects' Bessie-Award winning, New York Times Critics' Pick immersive theater show Then She Fell. She is currently studying to be a teacher of the Alexander Technique.
Laura Careless is a performing artist specializing in storytelling through movement. After graduating from Juilliard she became a founding member and Principal Performer of Company XIV, a NY-based, Drama Desk-nominated dance theater company. Her solo works, dedicated to telling the stories we wish we had heard as children (but didn't), tour nomadically to rural and atmospheric venues from a fishing village in Alaska to a rooftop in Capri. As a teacher, she is dedicated to reconnecting people from all movement backgrounds with their physical instincts. Body Story, her series of movement meditations for people of all ages and abilities, is available to purchase on iTunes and Amazon. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband, conductor Ryan McAdams, and Sophie the cat.
Find out more at lauracareless.com. Facebook: Laura Careless Dance Instagram: Alchemy.For.Nomads
Troy Ogilvie has danced for and collaborated with choreographers - Andrea Miller, Sidra Bell, Zoe Scofield, Gabriel Forestieri, Idan Sharabi, Itzik Galili, Roy Assaf, Shannon Gillen, Margie Gillis (as a participant in the The Legacy Project/Le Projet Heritage), Austin McCormick, Harumi Terayama, Patricia Noworol, and Belinda McGuire; violinist - Liv Heym; theater company - Punchdrunk (in the role of Lady Macbeth in the immersive production of Sleep No More); and director - Peter Sellars (in the role of Mary Magdalene in The Gospel According to the Other Mary). Her solo project, PRISM, incorporates solos given to her by Ms. Gillis, Mr. Galili, and Mr. Assaf with movement landscapes performed by dancers and non-dancers whom have taken her workshops. She teaches an improvisation class at Gina Gibney Dance and Peridance and has recently given workshops at Walnut Hill (Boston), Prometheus Dance (Boston), The Performing Arts Project (North Carolina), the Movement Invention Project (NYC), Peridance (NYC) Velocity Dance (Seattle), Breaking Ground (New Orleans), New Studio on Broadway (NYU), and The Playground NYC (Gibney Dance). Troy is one of the creative directors for The McKittrick Hotel’s (home of Sleep No More) SUPERCINEMA and McKittrick Masquerade parties. Additionally, Troy is on the board of Springboard Danse Montreal as well as a Founding Collaborator & Associate Director of NYC’s Movement Invention Project. She was one of Dance Magazine’s 2011 Top 25 to Watch and graduated with a B.F.A. from the Juilliard School in 2007. www.troyogilvie.squarespace.com