At the opening of school, each senior is asked to think about the special presentation they will give on the eve of their final weekend as JLDC dancers. A solo performance and ceremony followed by a reception for parents and friends that we call SeniorSPEAK. After so many years on the JLDC stage, and so many dances accomplished with style and grace each senior will be given one last opportunity to show what dance has meant to them – a chance to express the totality of their dance experience in an intimate setting with teachers, parents, family, and fellow dancers. Seniors become alumni in one short weekend leaving the stage that they “grew up” on knowing that they’re dancing alongside friends that they won’t see in class next week – a lot to process in a short amount of time. SeniorSPEAK is our way to give JLDC dancer’s a unique and special “until we see you again.”
Meli Currie joined JLDC in 2003 and was appointed Managing Director in 2007 and today serves as Director overseeing the schools’ training and creative process. In addition, Ms. Currie is head of Faculty and Students serving as school principal managing all level classes and performances and has created a vision that inspires JLDC education teams to do their best work. Meli has spent her career dedicated to teaching and mentoring students of all ages. Using her background in education and psychology and teaching experience, Meli has earned the respect and devotion of a generation of JLDC students. During Meli’s tenure at JLDC, she has produced JLDC’S Senior Solo Performance Concert, SeniorSpeak for the past ten years. As a choreographer, Meli has created ballet performance productions highlighting students of the JLDC middle school preparatory program. Meli directs the JLDC Student Wellness Initiative that allows students to learn the discipline of dance in healthy ways while forming strong peer relationships. Ms. Currie serves on the JLDC Board of Directors.
Meli began her dance studies in a strict ballet environment in which she excelled. This advanced training at an early age afforded her full scholarship to NYC’s Joffrey Ballet Company Trainee Program in her early teens. Once in New York Meli began to seek out other opportunities in dance genres conducive to her changing body and mindset which led her to study ballet and modern in New York City with David Howard and Finis Jung.
While a dance major at U. Mass Amherst under Andrea Watkins, Meli received her BFA with honors in Dance Technique and Theory. Meli was an instructor in the Dance Dept. of Harvard University for 3 years.
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.