Billy Cohen, hailing from outside Boston, started his hip hop training at the young age of six at Joanne Langione Dance Center with his identical twin brother, and continued his training at Hofstra University while receiving a B.S. Degree in Dance Education. This training at Hofstra gave him the opportunity to work with artists such as Fredrick Earl Mosley, Doug Varone, David Parker, Heather Waldon, Ellie Kusner, Bill Young, and Barbara Angeline, as well as train with Hofstra’s most notable Dance Department alumni, Larry Keigwin, on scholarship. Billy also created two works that represented Hofstra at American Collegiate Dance Association Conferences, and co-choreographed his own fully-produced evening dance show, “jux•ta•po•si•tion”. Outside of school, he continued his training with Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester and at Generation IV, learning and performing choreography from Teddy Forance, Devin Jamieson, Derek Mitchell, Emily Greenwell, Candace Brown, Jeff Lapes, Noel Bajades, Jonny Forance, and Emma Portner. Recently, Billy’s choreography was included in a segment of MTV’s Episode 2 of “Lit!” sponsored by Beats by Dre. Signed to Bloc Talent agency, Bill has worked with Reebok and was casted as a Principal Dancer in the upcoming season of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, choreographed by Marguerite Derricks. Earlier this year, Billy starred in a viral video called “Student Vs. Teacher Battle”, totaling over 22 million views on all social media platforms and appearing on multiple news networks, including a short segment on “Inside Edition”. With his education background, Billy Cohen hopes to have continuous success in the dance industry, and to someday travel the world doing what he loves best: creating, performing, and sharing his knowledge of dance to next upcoming generation of artists.
Jonny Cohen began dancing at age 5 when he first performed in Joanne Langione Dance Center’s (Newton, MA) annual run of The Nutcracker. Falling in love with hip hop the following year, he has performed and choreographed within the genre to the present day. While studying modern, jazz, tap, and ballet at Joanne Langione Dance Center and later through Hofstra University’s Dance Education Program where he performed works choreographed by Sean Curran, Heather Waldon, Earl Mosley, and Doug Varone, he officially moved out to New York City to pursue hip hop performance and choreography alongside his twin brother Billy Cohen.
As a choreographer, Jonny Cohen has created several works for student repertories including Imani dance troupe, Danceworks and the Hofstra Dance Department and has brought his studio to American Dance Awards Nationals for youth choreography. Jonny began his professional training with Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester having the opportunity to train with Neil Schwartz, David Thomas, Joana Numata, Theresa Stone, and many other faculty members in a variety of styles. He has also choreographed for Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester Showcase and is proud to be an alumni of the program. Most recently, he has choreographed for Peridance’s Faculty Apex Showcase alongside his brother. Notable appearances you can watch him perform include Season 2 of Marvelous Ms. Maisel, Meg Donnelly’s music video for “With U”, and the MTV Music Video Awards alongside J Balvin & Bad Bunny.
Marina Vachon received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from U. Mass Amherst.
Throughout college she performed with the UMass Dance Company under Andrea Watkins and Alive with Dance, a student based company where she composed and performed. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a professional dance career in Film and Television. As an administrator at L.A.’s Millennium Dance Complex, she works and trains under choreographers Dana Alexa, Janelle Ginestra, Monika Felice Smith, Erica Klein and MaryAnn Chavez who are working artists in dance for film and television. Marina was recently selected from an open audition to dance in Sam Fischer’s “This City” music video. She is very eager to learn the industry, continue training and hopes to establish a career in dance as a performer and choreographer! Marina grew up dancing at Joanne Langione Dance Center and graduated in 2016. Her passion for dance and her roots are and will always remain JLDC.
Alessandra Antonelli is an NYC based actress, singer, dancer, choreographer and goofball! She grew up dancing with her Mama and hamming it up in stage musicals, but has fallen in love with the graceful subtlety of on-camera work.
After being nicknamed “the Cable Guy” for her many impressions as a child, she is overjoyed to have recently signed with VoiceOver Agent Allie Silber at DDO!
If you ask her Nana, she’ll tell you that Ally is a Disney Princess, and it certainly feels that way when she’s running around playing games with the many little children in her family!
Alessandra is graduating in the fall of 2021 with a BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch’s Stonestreet Studios (Screen Acting) and the New Studio on Broadway (Musical Theatre), as well as a Minor in Dance.
She will reliably bring a positive attitude into any room and, when it’s safe to do so, great hugs. We are proud to count Ali as a JLDC graduate and to have played a part in her dance and life journey.
Michael is a talented young actor whose energy can be felt on stage and screen. He is dynamic, professional and committed to always being his best. Michael made his first stage appearance at age eight in a school production of The King and I in Florida. This marked the beginning of his journey and paved the way for many other performances. In 2015, after relocating to Illinois, Michael was cast in his first two Chicagoland professional theatre productions. The regional premiere of Billy Elliot (Tall boy/Posh boy) at Drury Lane directed by Jeff Award winning Rachel Rockwell and A Christmas Story, The Musical (Roy, Ensemble) at Paramount Theatre directed by the critically acclaimed Nick Bowling.
Michael is now located in Boston, MA with his family, where he continues his performing arts journey. He returned to Chicago in 2017 to participate in the Regional Lab Presentation of Trevor The Musical (Ensemble) directed by Marc Bruni. He is an active member of his high school theatre group, Southstage, and the JLDC dance studio. He remains dedicated to growing his triple threat skills. He trains in all areas of dance (jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, modern, acro), private voice and acting between Boston and NYC. He is constantly challenging himself and looks for new training opportunities to broaden his skill set for Musical Theatre and Film/TV. Michael is an alumna of the Performer’s School Ensemble and NYC’s Broadway Artists Alliance, where he continues to train in their summer intensives.
Madison grew up at Joanne Langione Dance Center studying Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern, and Contemporary from the age of 3-18. After graduating in 2016, she ventured off to Tulane University in New Orleans, LA where she studied Communications and Psychology. During her four years she choreographed for her sororities annual philanthropic dance off, she took Performance and Jazz classes, and in her senior year she joined “Dat Dance Crew”- Tulane’s hip hop group. Although Madison had small dance opportunities and boogied through the Big Easy, she ultimately lost touch with her love for dance as she navigated the college scene. In the middle of her senior year, COVID-19 hit and graduating became an even more daunting thought. Luckily for Madison, the pandemic brought positive change to her personal life and growth. She realized the importance of dance in her life for her overall well-being and happiness. From there, she made dance and movement her priority moving forward.
Madison stayed in New Orleans after graduating college in May of 2020, working many jobs and exploring her interests. At the beginning of 2021, she began attending various dance classes in the New Orleans area, meeting new people, and connecting with other creatives. She fell in love with dance all over again and missed the feeling of dancing alongside other people passionate about dance. After solidifying relationships and putting herself out there in the NOLA dance community, Madison landed two jobs: teaching Hip Hop and Contemporary at Move Studio in Metairie, LA and teaching Dance Tempo Cardio at Body Shoppe in Uptown New Orleans. Both have honed in on her love for movement and teaching. In addition, she recently was selected as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans Entertainment Team where she will be performing at all home basketball games and participating in other appearances for the organization. Madison is extremely honored and excited for what is to come from this opportunity and feels grateful everyday she is able to dance.
Born and raised just outside of Boston, MA, Jon Paul has always loved performing. As an eager seven year old, Jon Paul began “selling” his parents tickets to watch him perform dance routines—that he choreographed and visually directed—to Britney Spear’s “Toxic” in his bedroom. After wrapping up his “Toxic” series, Jon Paul went on to attend Syracuse University where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. Seizing opportunities after graduation, Jon Paul has been working at various regional theaters across the country and most recently was able to see the world while performing as Felicia in Priscilla Queen of the Desert on board the Norwegian Epic, in. full. drag. We are proud to count Jon Paul as a JLDC gradruate and to have played a part in his dance and life journey.
Annie Ellertsen graduated from JLDC in 2003, where as a student she was assisting many fundamentals classes. After high school Annie received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance performance from Montclair State University. While at college, Broadway Dance Center became her second home. Annie is a versatile performer, teacher and choreographer, residing in Brooklyn, New York. Most recently, she appeared as Bert and Oscar the Grouch in the national tour of Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music. Performance locations included the theater at Madison Square Garden, the Orpheum in Boston, Massachusetts, and several venues in British Columbia.
An accomplished teacher and trainer, Annie works with adults and children alike. Teaching in numerous studios in the Tri-State area, including guest teaching at Broadway Dance Center, NY, she always strives to bring out the best in her students, be it beginners or pros. Creative concepts, acting exercises, and unique music are crucial elements in her classes and choreography. She is also a certified vinyasa yoga teacher, and loves to witness the individual growth of her students.
She is a Broadway Dance Center Summer Internship graduate, and is the assistant to Lainie Munro. Together, they have worked events such as BDC’s Absolute Beginner Workshop, Broadway Big Brother Big Sister program, and The Pulse.
“If I can offer any advice to the dancers at JLDC now, it is this: If you are given an opportunity, or are making one for yourself, hold tight to it. If it starts to go down an unexpected path, go with it. Change is good. Fear is too, but face it, full force. Don’t ever let it stop you from being amazing.” “If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~Walt Disney
Through film, dance, body work, or whatever medium is at hand, Elana strives to find beauty in the moments otherwise known as “in between.” She has always been interested in the residue that separates our inner and outer lives and, through her artistic work, she ponders how to make those lives one.
Elana is the cofounder and artistic director of CabinFever, a performance company that produces original multi-media, site-specific performance works inspired by and performed inside people’s homes and historical spaces. She has created many original performances in architectural institutions, most notably at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Soho House, On The Boards, Town Hall Seattle, and Hyde Park Art Center. She enjoys directing, filming, and choreographing film for music videos, documentary style work, and nonlinear movement. Artist-in-residence programs have invited her to Spain, Greece, Chicago, and Seattle. She was featured on Seattle CityArts Magazine’s Future List 2015.
Elana has also created a body-mind workshop entitled Art & Core as a way to help attendees find both a creative and physical practice. Certified in Romana’s Pilates as a classically trained instructor, Jacobs seeks to foster body literacy with her clients. Through movement and private instruction, she reminds her clients of their innate beauty and invites them to challenge society’s messages about what is an acceptable body. Elana is currently based in New Orleans.
Robin Campbell was born and raised in Boston. She spent her formative years dancing at the Joanne Langione Dance Center which she claims was her “home away from home”. Robin moved to New York at age 18 to attend Columbia University, where she graduated magna cum laude and phi beta kappa. On Broadway, Robin has been seen as one of Hugh Jackman’s Dreamgirls in “Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway” and as an Alabama Lamb in the Susan Stroman/ Andrew Lippa musical “Big Fish”. Also in NYC, Robin has performed at City Center Encores, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and in various benefits, readings, and workshops. Robin can be heard on three original Broadway cast albums as well as two classical albums, with the NY Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra. Robin also works regularly in TV and film and has been seen on Onion Sports Dome on Comedy Central as well in The Consultants and Below the Beltway, most recently on HBO and Showtime. In addition, Robin continues to perform with the wonderfully talented Hugh Jackman, most recently in Las Vegas.
Rebecca Levy, Currently the director of Florida State College at Jacksonville’s dance repertory company, DanceWORKS, Rebecca Levy has lived and worked as an educator, choreographer, and performer in Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles and Jacksonville. She is founder and artistic director of Jacksonville Dance Theatre, a modern dance company providing choreographic, performance and educational opportunities for dancers living in Jacksonville. And she was founder and for eight seasons co-artistic director of the Los Angeles based B.E. Productions Dance Company.
Rebecca holds a Master of Fine Arts in choreography from California Institute of the Arts, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from Cornish College of the Arts, and is a registered certified yoga instructor and a Power Pilates certified Pilates Mat I & II instructor. Her choreographic work has been featured in festivals and concerts throughout the country. Most recently her choreography has been produced at the New Seeds Festival for Women Artists, Emerging Choreographers Showcase in Pasadena, California, The Cambridge School of Weston, Massachusetts, Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Florida, NewGrounds in Tampa, Florida, the Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, and Case Western Reserve University.
Rebecca participated in the 2012 NES Artist Residency program in Skagastrond, Iceland where she created an award winning dance-film, and was a contributing filmmaker to Globe Trot, a film project directed by Mitchell Rose and choreographed by Bebe Miller premiering in 2014. As a performer, she works with many notable choreographers and companies, and for six seasons has toured nationally as a soloist with Lineage Dance Company.
Shawn Mahoney began his ballet, tap, and jazz training at the Joanne Langione Dance Center and his early performing career with Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre in Boston, MA. As an apprentice, Shawn danced for American Ballet Theatre before joining Boston Ballet. At Boston Ballet, Shawn performed in Petipa, Balanchine, Kylian, Forsythe, Bejart and others. Shawn performed as a chosen member of “Tharp!”, a national and international touring company directed by Twyla Tharp. Ms. Tharp invited Shawn to be part of the creative and choreographic process for her Broadway hit “Movin’ Out” and performed in Tharp’s “Red, White, and Blues”. Shawn performed with the Suzanne Farrell/Balanchine Project, Sean Curran Company, Washington Ballet, and Bale Estado de Goias. As an educator, Shawn has taught internationally for Festa de Danca in Sao Paulo and Bermuda Civic Ballet. Currently, Shawn is on faculty at Emerson College, instructing dance classes to actors and musical theatre students and is a teacher and lecturer at Days in the Arts. Shawn founded Mahoney Agency, representing dancers for national engagements for the Nutcracker Ballet. Shawn is a sought out mentor for emerging artists and choreographers in ballet and contemporary dance.
Goldie Walberg teaches beginner through intermediate-advanced ballet at JLDC. She grew up in Sherman Oaks, California where she studied at The Los Angeles Ballet Academy. She received scholarships to Houston Ballet, Harid Conservatory, and Pacific Northwest Ballet where she attended Summer Intensive Programs. In 2012, Goldie received the Royal Academy of Dance’s highest honor, the Solo Seal. Goldie was also a finalist at The Youth America Grand Prix in New York where she received a full scholarship to the Washington School of Ballet. In 2013, Goldie joined the second company at Balletmet in Columbus, Ohio. In 2014, Ms Walberg joined Kansas City Ballet’s second company. She then went on to dance with KCB’s main company for three seasons. Goldie Walberg moved to Boston at the beginning of 2020. She has always had a passion for inspiring young artists and hopes to continue to share her knowledge and love for ballet with the next generation of dancers.
Ashly teaches in the JLDC Early Dance Education Program. She holds a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University, fortunate to study the teachings of iconic dance movement specialist Norma Canner. Ashly has been teaching kindergarten for eight years in Arlington Public Schools.
She is a member of The Dance Teacher’s Association of Boston and The American Society as well as the National Dance Council of America. Ashly was raised on the South Shore where she began dancing at the Duval Dance Studio at age 3. Ashly danced through high school and went on to earn her BFA in Dance Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst under the direction of Thomas Vacanti, Billbob Brown, and Paul Dennis. After college, She performed with Onstage Dance Company. Years later, echoing her mother’s love for dance, Ashly’s daughter Brielle is now a JLDC student!
Jennifer Snyder was invited to join JLDC in 2001 and today serves as Artistic Director. Jen heads upper school curriculum development and performance refining levels of technique for advanced students. Jen also directs performances in the JLDC School for Excellence and oversees JLDC recital programs. Jen spotlights JLDC as a leader in student-centered performance by directing each year a Winter Concert program which features SFE students with guest professionals – a highlight for JLDC SFE Students. She also heads the Teacher Assistant Training Program under Faculty in the school. Jen is head resident choreographer mentoring new teachers in the choreographic process. She heads the JLDC Competitive Dance program aligning chosen competitions with JLDC’s mission of creating well rounded dancers in a wide range of students. She has choreographed original works for Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, and University of New Hampshire dance departments.
Jen trained at the Hackworth School of Performing Arts in Easthampton, MA. She moved to New York City to continue her training under many great teachers such as Mia Michaels, Michelle Assaf and Sheila Barker. While in NYC she performed in MIA Live, choreographed by Mia Michaels. Life brought her to Boston, MA where she performed for Adrienne Hawkins and began teaching. In 2012, Jen was invited to become Faculty of the Generation IV, a nationally recognized advanced student summer workshop held at Smith College and is now a member of its creative team. To Jen, becoming a teacher /mentor has been a wonderful gift allowing her to share her love and passion for the art of dance with so many wonderfully talented people while being inspired to create every day. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Jen’s daughter Scarlett in now a student of dance at JLDC.
Emma Bednarski was born and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey and began dancing at the age of 3 at Dance Dimensions in New Milford, NJ where she trained in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Tap, and Musical Theatre. She trained under choreographers Marinda Davis, Mark Burrell, Allison Sale, Lisa Minery, Danielle Sheather and other guest choreographers from NYC. She frequently traveled to NYC to take classes at institutions such as Broadway Dance Center and Peridance Capezio Center. She has been teaching for three years and her choreography was recently nominated for an Industry Dance Award. She is now a Biology/Pre-Med student at Tufts University where she is also the Director of Spirit of the Creative, an Urban Dance Team. In addition to choreographing/dancing for the group, she is also involved as a choreographer/dancer for Sarabande Dance Ensemble, a dance group with a focus on Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary. In her free time, she continues to take classes in the Dance Department at Tufts University and recently finished her second tour with Groove National Dance Competition as a Stage Manager.
Gabrielle teaches Acrodance at JLDC. She was a choreographer and director of Sarabande Dance Ensemble, a ballet, jazz, and contemporary group out of Tufts University. She was also a dancer/choreographer for Spirit of the Creative, an urban dance group. She recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tufts with bachelor’s degrees in Biopsychology and French. She spent summers in the all-star division at the New England Summer Dance Camp, where she trained under choreographers Courtney Ortiz and James Washington. Gabrielle trained under Jeanette Neill as part of the summer Boston Youth Moves program. Gabrielle was born and raised nearby in Natick, MA. She began dancing at the Greater Boston School of Dance at the age of 2 and took her training to the next level when she began competing at age 12. Gabrielle is trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, acrobatics, lyrical, tap, musical theatre, and hip hop. She is currently working in an Alzheimer’s Research lab at MIT in the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory. Gabrielle sees dance as an important outlet for self-expression, discovery, and overall well-being and something that must be shared with future generations.
Assistant Artistic Director
Amanda was invited to join the JLDC creative team in 2015 and today is assistant to the Artistic Director. She handles all aspects of JLDC performance and serves as assistant rehearsal mistress for all JLDC productions along with teaching advanced technique classes. As assistant to the Competitive Dance Program, Amanda coaches students to do their best in a fun and challenging way. As a LCSW, with a master’s degree in Sociology from Boston College, Amanda works with students outside the classroom under the Director’s Wellness Initiative, a mentoring program promoting superior student health habits and strong peer relationships. In conjunction with DWI, Amanda directs JLDC Dance Free Fridays a student- centered program for all age dancers to come together to explore movement and express themselves. In 2017, Amanda created an original piece for The Dance’s Dream Fund and was featured at a New Jersey Devils National Hockey League Game.
Growing up 20 minutes from New York City, Amanda was drawn to the world of dance and theater. She began dancing at the age of 2 in New Milford, New Jersey training in all genres of technique. As an advanced student, and beginning choreographer, Amanda was given the opportunity to perform at The Joyce Theater and The Young Choreographers Festival. Since then, she has dedicated her time to taking and teaching dance classes. With her background in sociology, clinical experience, and teaching she is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge of the discipline of dance as a way of life with the future generation of dancers.
Michelle teaches beginner to intermediate-advanced hip hop at JLDC. She received her BFA in Dance at UMass Amherst in 2016 under the direction of Thomas Vacanti and Paul Dennis. During her collegiate dance career, she performed works by Sidra Bell, John Heginbotham, Ellenore Scott, Leslie Frye-Maietta, Erica Wilson-Perkins, Brendan Drake, Rebecca Steinberg and Betsi Graves. She has received additional training from Urbanity Dance Company in 2013 and 2014, and Helen Pickett in 2016. Michelle currently dances with Static Noyze Dance Company; a hip-hop company based in Boston, Mass. With Static Noyze, Michelle has performed forHot 96.9 Boston, Converse ®, Venu Nightclub and more. This year, she completed her 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified teacher training through Barre & Soul Yoga Studio in Brookline, Ma. Michelle is currently the Hip Hop Dance Team coach for Newton South High School. She is passionate about continuing her performance, choreographic and teaching career.
Haylee Denham teaches modern dance at JLDC, School for Excellence and is a recent dual-degree graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Commonwealth Honors College. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a neuroscience concentration. Haylee also received two letters of specialization in Developmental Disabilities and Human Services (DDHS) as well as Civic Engagement and Public Service (CEPS). Throughout college, Haylee was an active member of the Boltwood Project where she cultivated relationships and engaged in activities with individuals of various developmental and intellectual differences; this program emphasized dance as a tool for interpersonal connection. She was also the co-president of UMass student dance groups including UMass Dance Company and Alive with Dance where she choreographed, held open classes, and took on administrative roles. Haylee believes that dance can be used to create positive change in the world and promote overall wellness for all individuals. She lives by the motto that dance is for everyone.
Chantal hails from Danvers, Massachusetts where her love for dance began. Chantal received her BFA in Dance Performance from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Performing Arts under the direction of Stephen Pier. During her four years she performed classical and new works by Sean Curran, Stephen Pier, Katie Stevinson-Nollet, Jose Limon, Alla Nikitina, and Shannon Gillen. She also had the opportunity to perform in the American College Dance Festival and work alongside her peers to choreograph compositions of her own. After graduating Cum Laude from the Hartt School she had the honor of joining Boston’s Urbanity Dance company under the direction of Betsi Graves. She currently is a Choreography Fellow for the company and teaches weekly company class. Her first post-grad work entitled “Opaque” was presented at the first inaugural Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, representing Urbanity Dance. She since then has debuted mutliple works at the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival held at the Paramount Theater, Boston GreenFest, Dance for Life, Outside the Box festivals, and numerous Urbanity seasonal shows including the annual Spring Revue, NeXt and The Sun Queen. She has also danced in Underground and in the professional company for Urbanity Dance and has received other noteworthy performance opportunities including the honor of performing in Jaclyn Walsh’s “Trajectory” in NYC for the competitive Capezio A.C.E Awards.
Tory grew up in Northampton, Ma training at the Hackworth School of Performing Arts in dance and competitive gymnastics. She trained in Hip Hop, Contemporary, Jazz, Musical Theater, and Acro. Tory graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Computer Science from Tufts University in 2018. During her time at Tufts she was a member, choreographer, and president of Sarabande Dance Ensemble, a contemporary dance team and a member and choreographer for Spirit of the Creative, a hip-hop team. When she isn’t in the studio Tory is a Software Engineer for an educational technology company in Boston and is excited to be a part of the JLDC faculty!
Amanda trained at TDS Dance & Acrobatics from the age of 3 through high school. During those sixteen years of dance training at TDS she has won the title of regional champions numerous times and has worked with some amazing teachers and choreographers. Amanda is a graduate from UMass Amherst with a BS in Psychology and was also the director, head choreographer, and member of the UMass Dance Company. She is currently the Newton South High School Dance Team coach. Amanda can’t wait to bring her love and passion for dance to JLDC!