National Museum of Dance


518.584.2225 Ext. 3008  |

Joan first danced professionally with Cedar Lake II and went on to dance with Philadanco, the Philadelphia Dance Company, where she was a senior member and toured extensively both nationally and internationally. She performed many ballet and modern classics as well as contemporary and new works by renowned choreographers from around the world. Joan hails from central Pennsylvania and was trained by Sandra Carlino at the Pennsylvania Regional Ballet. She received a BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase where she was the recipient of the President’s Award for academic and artistic excellence. In college she performed with American Ballet Theatre’s second company and Ballet Contemporaneos de Burgos. Joan is a master teacher and regional choreographer and taught at Skidmore College. Joan joined the School of the Arts faculty in 2012. She teaches Ballet, Modern and Contemporary to all levels.


518.584.2225 Ext. 3008  |

Cristiane danced and taught ballet and tap for seven years at Ballet Vera Bublitz in Brazil. She was accepted to Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) school with a full scholarship and joined the company’s Dancing Through Barriers Ensemble through which she performed in lecture demonstrations at public schools around the country, taught movement classes in NYC public schools, and performed with DTH during its 30th anniversary season. Born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Cristiane graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Albany with a BS in Human Biology. She has extensive training in Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis methodologies, certified since 2002. She has taught Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis locally and in NYC at Studio Riverside, Steps on Broadway, and Ballet Arts at City Center, and has been a guest teacher for Ballet Hispánico School of Dance Summer Program, Hartwick College Dance Team, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Cristiane joined the School of the Arts faculty in 2009. She teaches Ballet, and Gyrokinesis to all levels.

School Administrators

Christie Handley and Brenda Reyna

518.584.2225 Ext. 3008  |


Laurie has extensive experience in performing, choreographing, and teaching. She attended Kent State University as a dance major and went on to dance professionally for over twenty years with Whitley Setrakian and Dancers-People Dancing, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, Harbinger Dance Company, Ann Arbor Dance Works, 2 Duet Theater, and with numerous independent artists. She has guest taught at various colleges and universities, private schools, ACDFA and summer intensives. In 2013, she founded Loose Change Dance Collective (LCDC), a multi-generational dance company redefining what a dance artist looks like through strong works and performance. In its short history, LCDC has performed in NYC, Brooklyn, and Rochester, and at Proctors Theatre and Union College. She is the Dance Program Coordinator and an instructor at Union College and is Level 1 certified in the Franklin Method. Laurie joined the School of the Arts faculty in 2008. She teaches Open Modern Intermediate and Advanced and Zumba.


Julie has practiced and studied yoga for over nineteen years and has been teaching since 2009. She hosts international yoga retreats as well as 200 and 300-hour teacher trainings in both Saratoga Springs and the Lake Placid, NY area. In addition to yoga Julie teaches meditation and breathwork. With an emphasis on alignment, she encourages students to find their inner truth and light. She earned a BS in marketing and human resources from Syracuse University and is 500-hour E-RYT Yoga Alliance certified. Julie joined the School of the Arts in 2017. She teaches Vinyasa Flow and Yin Yoga.


Mary Anne was an Algebra teacher at Saratoga Springs High School for thirty-eight years and has been a group fitness instructor since 1981. In 1997, Mary Anne founded Total Body Trifecta, a fitness studio dedicated to developing the total individual through programs that foster an equal balance of the three components of fitness – cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility enhancement. She is a longtime member of the Dance Alliance and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Education/Mathematics from the College of St. Rose and a master’s degree in Learning Disabilities from SUNY New Paltz. She is also the Docent Coordinator at the National Museum of Dance and has volunteered at the Museum since it opened in 1986. Mary Anne joined the School of the Arts faculty in 2018. She teaches Balletone: Sole Synthesis and Beginner Barre and Balance.


Liz Fisher has been teaching different styles of dance and fitness for the past 7 years. She trained in Saratoga Springs under the guidance of Madam Phyllis Latin. Liz is currently an instructor and person trainer at the Saratoga Regional YMCA. Borned and raised in the area, she currently lives in Porter Corners with her fiancé and two children. Liz joined the School of the Arts faculty in 2019. She will be teaching Creative Movement.


Tina Forés-Hitt was brought up between the USA and Europe. She began her dance training at the Conservatorio Profesional de Danza in Valencia, Spain and after graduating she became a member of the Diverse Space Dance Theatre in Austin, Texas. She started her BA in contemporary dance at ArtEZ Academy of the Arts in Holland and completed her studies at SEAD in Austria. The Spanish-American dancer then became a member of the BODHI PROJECT 2017-18, which toured worldwide performing pieces by a variety of choreographers. Her own choreographic works have been presented in : Festival MIGRATS 2018 Valencia, Spain; NYU TISCH School of the Arts 2017; LUX theatre in Nijmegen 2014, Korzo Theater in Den Haag 2013. On returning to the US in 2018, she performed at ¨The Halloween Journey¨ in NY.

Recently a mother herself, she is discovering the beauty of educating children through music, dance and play. Tina joined the School of the Arts faculty in 2019. She will be teaching Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet.


Christie has been teaching ballet locally for the past forty years including at the Glens Falls Ballet and Dance Center and Ballet Regent in Saratoga Springs. She studied with Melissa Hayden and Michael Steele of New York City Ballet, Elisabeth Carroll of the Harkness Ballet, and David Howard of The Royal Ballet. Christie studied costume design at Studio and Forum of Stage Design in NYC and has worked at SPAC since 1979 in the wardrobe departments of New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, and various other dance companies. She worked for many years making costumes for dance productions at Skidmore College. She graduated from SUNY Albany with a double major in social studies teaching and history with a European history concentration, and earned a master’s degree from the College of St. Rose in Special Education. She currently teaches World History and European History at South Glens Falls Senior High School. Christie joined the School of the Arts faculty in 2010. She is the Ballet Master for elementary school age children at the School of the Arts.


Anny is a choreographer, actress, and singer who first trained in dance at The Juilliard School. She was a member of The Martha Graham Dance Company and performed with the companies of Kazuko Hirabayashi, Hannah Kahn, Raymond Johnson, and the American Dance Festival Repertory Company. She has performed in many musicals on Broadway including Evita, RosaRaggedy Ann,and Les Miserables, and sung roles with New York City Opera, The Cleveland Opera, and Opera for a New City and in concerts throughout the United States and Europe. Locally, Anny works as a professional actress with iTheatre Saratoga/The Creative Place International and Lake Theater. She has choreographed numerous regional theatrical productions and has been an instructor in numerous college residencies. Anny joined the School of the Arts faculty in 2012 and has taught Ballet, Broadway Jazz, Modern, and in the MVP Health Care Living Well Program.


Sheri is a Troy native with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from University Albany, SUNY. She is a 200-hour certified yoga instructor. Sheri is looking forward to sharing her passion for yoga with the School of the Arts community. Sheri joined the School of the Arts in 2019. She teaches Vinyasa Flow.


Terri has been teaching non-competitive, multi-generational, traditional Irish dance for over twenty years and competed for several years in local, regional, and national dance competitions. She founded her troupe, The Wild Irish Acres Dancers, to continue the legend, culture, and beauty of Irish dance and the tradition of Irish dance as a family activity. She has performed at festivals, schools, nursing homes, and special events regionally and throughout Ireland and choreographs original steps and routines for her students of all levels and experience. Terri trained under the direction of Joey Flynn in Brooklyn, NY, at the O’Neill James School of Irish Dance in Washington, DC, and with Mark Howard at the Trinity Dance School in Chicago. She holds a master’s degree in Health Law and Administration. Terri joined the School of the Arts faculty in 2009. She teaches Irish Step 1, 2, 3, and 4.


Johnny performed in national and European tours of West Side Story and Damn Yankees as well as regional productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatFiddler on the RoofCinderellaCity of AngelsCurtainsThe Drowsy Chaperone, and The Addams Family, and in numerous productions with Opera Saratoga. He performed with Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theatre, Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theatre, and Nacre Dance Company, and is the co-director of Tango Fusion Dance Company, teaching all forms of ballroom and partner dance, swing, and tango. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Johnny studied at Broadway Dance Center, Theater Dance Studio, Joy of Movement, Stepping Out Studios, and HB Studio in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, voice, acting, ballroom, and Latin dance. He has worked as a director/choreographer with Schenectady Theater for Children and with the theater department at SUNY Adirondack, Homemade Theater, and Adirondack Children’s Troupe. Johnny joined the School of the Arts faculty in 2016. He teaches Tap 1, Tap 2, and Broadway Jazz.


William is a dancer, choreographer, and actor. A native of Westchester County, New York, William trained at the School of American Ballet and is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts. He danced with New York City Ballet for twelve years before his retirement in 1995. He subsequently performed in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and with its national touring company, and has various film and television credits. Since moving to the Capital District in 2002, he has taught ballet at the Albany Dance Institute and Saratoga City Ballet, and has performed character roles with numerous regional ballet companies. He most recently served as development director at the Charles R. Wood Theater in Glens Falls. William joined the School of the Arts faculty in 2017. He teaches Ballet C, Ballet D, Boys Ballet, and Open Adult Ballet.


Judy earned her first 200-hour Yoga Alliance teaching certification in 2015 and her second in 2017. In March 2018 she graduated from Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health is presently a  500-hour Yoga Alliance Kripalu certified instructor. She considers herself a lifelong learner and is passionate about helping others discover, explore, and cultivate overall wellness both on and off the mat by sharing the many benefits of yoga with her students. She earned a BA in hearing and speech education from SUNY Plattsburgh and a Master’s degree in speech/language pathology from Ithaca College. She worked as a Speech/Language Pathologist at Helping Hands Preschool for many years. Judy joined the School of the Arts in 2018. She teaches Vinyasa Flow.


Kera believes that yoga is a way of living, practiced both on and off the mat, and uses her yoga training and degree in psychology to help students reach their full potential. She focuses on alignment throughout her classes and offers both verbal cues and a hands on approach. She offers and emphasizes meditation throughout her classes to allow for the calming of the constant fluctuations of the mind, which are often accompanied with mal-adaptive automatic thoughts and emotions. She earned a BA in psychology from SUNY Plattsburgh. Kera joined the School of the Arts in 2018. She teaches Vinyasa Flow and by appointment only Aerial Yoga.


Brenda started her Yoga journey in her early 20s, primarily drawn to meditation and breath work. After obtaining her BSN, she worked in Critical Care where she discovered the lack of wholistic and preventative treatment available to patients. Brenda wanted to make a larger impact and knew that Yoga was a key to living a healthier and happier life. She obtained her 200hr RYT from Casa de Yoga in El Paso Texas in 2017 with a focus on Vinyasa. She has continued to grow as an instructor and expand her knowledge to better guide students. She is certified in Steel Mace Yoga and Breathe into Recovery- Yoga for Addiction and Trauma. She recently received her Second Degree in Reiki and attended an advanced adjustments training. All her classes – whether it be power, vinyasa or gentle- are geared towards letting go and feeling good in your body. Each class you can expect to find good tunes, breath with movement, a hands on approach and a meditative practice. Brenda has recently moved to Saratoga Springs, you can find me exploring and hiking the Adirondacks, sipping coffee on Broadway, taking her bike around town or mostly walking her two dogs Koda and Alamo.


Elaina is a well-known professional dancer, choreographer, and instructor of Middle Eastern dance. She has performed as a soloist in the finest supper clubs and hotels in NYC and Washington DC as well as throughout the US and Canada. She is currently the director of Showtime Belly Dancers. Originally from NYC and Boston, MA, she studied tap, ballet, jazz, and acrobatics beginning at age three. She trained for many years at the studio of renowned tap master Stanley E. Brown in Boston. Elaina was a professional tap dance artist before turning to Middle Eastern dance. She has several years of teaching experience in the style of elegant, classic American and modern Eqyptian belly dancing and passes her vast dance experience on to her students from beginner to advanced levels. Elaina joined the School of the Arts faculty in 2006. She teaches Middle Eastern Dance Intermediate and Advanced.


Leanne has been teaching ballet in the region since 1976 including ten years at the New School of Ballet in Schenectady, fifteen years at Ballet Regent in Saratoga Springs under the director of Michael Steele and Tomi Vukovic, and four years at Saratoga City Ballet. She received her early dance training in Schenectady and was accepted at both the School of American Ballet and The Juilliard School. She studied with Felia Dubrovska of the School of American Ballet and with Robert Joffrey. Leanne majored in Dance at Adelphi College. She performed with Schenectady Civic Ballet and Tri City Ballet Guild. Leanne joined the School of the Arts faculty in 2010. She teaches Ballet B2, Ballet C, Pointe C, and Open Adult Ballet.