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 A1, Ballet C, Pointe C, Ballet D, Pointe D, Modern 1, and Contemporary.


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 Pre-Ballet, Ballet A2, Ballet B2, Ballet C, Pointe C, Ballet D, and Gyrokinesis.

JASON SAMUELS SMITH, Director of Tap Dance Programming

Jason Samuels Smith is a multi-talented leader and advocate for the art form of tap, influencing and introducing the culture of tap dance to audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the globe. His renowned stage performances include leading roles in Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk and Imagine Tap!. Mr. Samuels Smith continues to tour the world with his own tap company formerly known as A.C.G.I. (Anybody Can Get It). In addition to working on the faculty at Broadway Dance Center (NYC), founding and directing the Tap program at Debbie Allen Dance Academy (LA), and offering special guest seasonal workshops at Steps on Broadway, Jason has consulted on several new festivals, projects, and events to help garner success in supporting venues that highlight tap and fellow rhythmic arts. Jason has also privately trained numerous artists in the industry, as well as coached dancers to prepare for Broadway and beyond. Mr. Samuels Smith’s accolades include a Dance Magazine Award, an Emmy and an American Choreography Award for “Outstanding Choreography”. He has also received the Gregory Hines Humanitarian Award; Bessie recognition (NY Dance and Performance Awards); Hoofers Award; an Andrew Mellon Grant/Joyce Foundation Residency; and an Alpert/McDowell Residency Award, among others.

CORINA GABRIEL, School Administrator

518.584.2225 Ext. 3008  |

Corina joined the School of the Arts staff in 2017 as the School Administrator. With a lifelong passion for dance, she has over ten years of experience teaching dance and managing a local dance studio. As an entrepreneur, she has owned and operated several businesses in the region including gyms and fitness studios. Corina is also a certified personal trainer.


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.


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.


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 teaches Ballet A1, Ballet A2, Ballet B1, Ballet B2, and Intro to Pointe.


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.


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.


Leslie has been a professional dance educator for more than twenty years in schools, private studios, and community organizations. She is classically trained and studied with Melissa Hayden, Oleg Briansky, and Rosella Hightower. Although her early years were devoted to an intense study of ballet, she has been fascinated by all types of dance and has studied many genres. She sailed to remote islands off the northern coast of Panama where she learned story dances of the native Kuna Indians. While residing in Cartagena, Colombia she studied salsa, cumbia, and merengue. In South Carolina she studied and performed African dance. Leslie is a graduate of Skidmore College with a major in English and a concentration in dance. In addition to teaching dance she has worked as a vocational evaluator for the disabled and as a counselor for youth and adult work experience. She is also the Director of Children’s Programming at the National Museum of Dance. Leslie joined the School of the Arts in 2008. She teaches Children’s Yoga and Dance, Creative Movement, and Pre-Ballet.


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.


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.