Nikole LaChioma - Owner, Director
BALLET – CONTEMPORARY BALLET – MODERN – POINTE
Nikole LaChioma is a Cum Laude graduate from Marymount Manhattan College and holds a BFA in Ballet. Most recently, Ms. LaChioma has become owner and Director of Rockwell Dance Center. She had previously held the positions of Artistic Director of the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut and Artistic Director of In Motion Dance Company for the past 13 years. In 2007 she became the Founder and Artistic Director of The Parker Project a contemporary dance company. Nikole is an ABT ® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT ® Teacher Training Intensives in Pre Primary through Partnering of the ABT ® National Training Curriculum. Ms. LaChioma is proud that three of her pieces have been invited to the Youth American Grand Prix 2015 and 2017 Finals in New York. In 2017 YAGP named her Outstanding Choreographer and her ensembles placed 2nd overall in Boston. Her choreography has also been set on the professional company, Florida Dance Theatre, and she has had pieces accepted at the International Dance Festival-NYC, “Dance Under the Stars” professional dance festival in California, Solstice In Times Square (BCEFA/DRA) and CT Meets NY Dance Festival. Her works with The Parker Project have been performed at many venues in Connecticut and New York. Ms. Lachioma is an instructor and choreographer in the disciplines of ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, musical theater dance, and also teaches dance composition, improvisation, contemporary partnering and tap.
Ms. LaChioma feels fortunate to have had many wonderful performance opportunities. Most recently with BalaSole Dance in NYC, where she received this review from Dance Europe Magazine: “She’s a personable performer whose expressions create a connection with the audience…. On top of this acting ability, her clear and easy technique make her a joy to watch.” Nikole has had the privilege of dancing with Hartford Ballet under the direction of Kirk Peterson, Raymond Lukens and Franco DeVita as both their student and as Clara in their American Nutcracker. Other roles include Snow Queen with Connecticut Dance Theater, the privilege to dance with Wayne Sleep and the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain in Kent, in Scotland at the Aberdeen Youth Festival, with the Scottish Ballet (Ken Burke) and at His Majesty’s Theater. Locally she has performed in many musical theater productions and has served as choreographer for both area high schools and theater organizations.
Nikole has had the pleasure to study at the Complexions Summer Choreography Intensive with Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden, SAB, Boston Ballet, Hartford Ballet with Raymond Lukens Franco DeVita and Kirk Peterson, Pedro Ruiz, Katie Langan (Ballet) Beth Goheen (ballet), Karen Festog (ballet), Denise Vale (Graham), Kristina Berger (Horton), Max Stone, Jana Hicks, Dominique Kelley (tap and hip hop) and Manwe Saul-Addison (Hip Hop). Ms. LaChioma has studied voice with Melissa Hart (Cabaret, Candide), Scott Handley and Joyce Erickson.
Ballet – Pointe – Variations
Sindy Folgar is a native of Guatemala where she began her studies in dance at the Escuela Nacional de Danza and she received a B.A. in dance with a Ballet concentration. She received a B.F.A in Dance with a Ballet Concentration and a Minor in Body Science and Motion from Marymount Manhattan College. Ms. Folgar holds an MA in Dance Education: Teaching Dance in the Professions at NYU Steinhardt and the American Ballet Theatre.
Sindy Folgar is an ABT ® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT ® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 and Partnering. Ms. Folgar currently serves as the Co Artistic Director of the In Motion Dance Company and the Director of Corps Ballet Ensemble with the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut where she has been a dance instructor and choreographer for the past 8 years.
Mrs. Folgar is an adjunct ballet instructor and choreographer for Sacred Heart University’s Dance Company and a ballet instructor at New York University’s summer dance Intensives. She is a teaching artist for the American Ballet Theatre and a faculty member of the The Ailey School.
Ms. Folgar has danced with the Comapania Nacional de Danza, The Marymount Manhattan Dance Company, and the Parker Project. She has work with many great dancers and choreographers including: Pascal Rioult, Sidra Bell, Alexandra Wells, Pam Tanowitz', Mark Morris, Kate Weare, Deganit Shemy, Pedro Ruiz, Katie Lanigan, Denise Vale, Kristina Berger, Larry Keigwin, etc. Some of the venues where she has performed include: Teatro Nacional Miguel Angel Asturias, NYCDA at The Joyce Theater, Dance New Amsterdam, Palace Theatre CT, The Frederick Loewe Theatre at NYU, Solstice in Times Square: Dancers at the Crossroads, Dancers Responding to AIDS (DRA, Aaron Davis Hall Concert and SUNY Purchase) etc.
Ballet – Pointe
F.I.S.T.D. ~ Enrico Cecchetti Dip. ABT National Training Curriculum, Cecchetti Syllabus Ballet, Pointe, Repertoire, Ballet Pedagogy, Music in the Ballet Studio
In 2000 Susan Brooker was invited to the USA to teach on the faculty of the Hartt School Dance Division, University of Hartford, Connecticut, USA, and in the School of Dance Connecticut (formally the School of the Hartford Ballet) of which she became Director in 2001 and Chair of the Dance Department of the Hartt School Community Division in 2004. Ms Brooker is a member of the Artistic Board of Examiners and Instructors for the American Ballet Theatre, National Training Curriculum. In 2008 she became the Director of the BalletMet Dance Academy.
Ms Brooker is a Fellow and Major Examiner of the Cecchetti Faculty of the I.S.T.D. and Cecchetti USA and holds the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma. She taught for many years in Italy as: Director of the Scuola di Danza Hamlyn, Florence, Italian Examinations Organiser for the I.S.T.D., Honorary President of the Cultural Association, Ateneo Danza, and Vice President of A.N.C.E.C.
Students of Ms Brooker have won prestigious international dance competitions including the Prix de Lausanne and are dancing with companies in Europe and the Untied States.
Ms Brooker has taught in schools in the USA, Europe, Canada and Japan and is a specialist in Ballet Pedagogy and curriculum development.
Modern – Partnering - Ballet
Tyler DuBoys hold a B.F.A. in dance from NYU Tisch school of the Arts. In addition, Tyler is pursuing an independent study of Pedagogy and Musical collaboration with the Graduate Dance Department. Mr. DuBoys is an Alumni of the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut where he was a member of In Motion Dance Company and assisted the Director and set several pieces of choreography.
Tyler became a certified AntiGravity Yoga® instructor, which is what initially brought his dance and movement practices up off the ground and into the air. He has been teaching aerial classes in the tri state area for the past five years.
Throughout the years, Mr. DuBoys has had the opportunity to perform works by Larry Keigwin, Deborah Jowitt, Sidra Bell, Takehiro Ueyama (Take Dance), and Andrea Miller (Gallim Dance), just to name a few. In his final year at NYU Tisch he had the opportunity to collaborate with several international choreographers on new works for the Second Avenue Dance Company, and performed Mazurkas by the Jose Limon Dance Company at the Joyce Theatre. Currently a member Streb Extreme Action Company, which combines virtuosity and technical skill with openhearted appeal.
It is clear to anyone who knows Tyler that he is an intelligent, creative, inspired dancer, choreographer, aerialist and person. It is our pleasure to have him back at the Performing Arts Center for Aerial Silks Classes/Workshops, choreography and teaching this year!
A Connecticut native, is a tap dancer and teaching artist who considers himself a disciple to the art of tap dancing. He began his professional training at The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts with Clare O Donnell where he now teaches on faculty. He is a graduate of the jazz music program at The University of the Arts of Philadelphia, PA. He has studied & danced with tap luminaries Dianne Walker, Ted Levy, Ayodele Casel, Jason Bernard, & Corey Hutchins. He has entertained audiences under the Connecticut based tap company OD’N’Tap representing the company at The Ted Hershey Dance Marathon, Jazz Tap Center’s Tradition in Tap & The Big Apple Tap Festival in NYC. He has made appearances on WWLP-22News, The 23rd Foxwoods Resort and Casino Anniversary, Pratt and Whitney’s Anniversary Ball, Hartford Connecticut’s Trashion Fashion Show, RAW Artists of NYC & Boston, DFX Entertainment & Six Flags New England Shows & Entertainment Department. In 2015, Keith produced & co-choreographed the tap show SHED! which premiered at The Bijou Theater in Connecticut honoring & respecting the history of tap dance.
As a teaching artist, current credits include Sacred Heart University’s Dance Program, The National Association for Dance and Affiliated Arts, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Work It Dance Challenge Competition and Convention Tour, and The Performing Arts Center of Connecticut where he now serves as the director of the tap program. In 2016, Keith founded the PACC Tap Company, an intensive launching ground for serious young tap dancers to answer the needs of his students. Keith continues to teach, inspire, & perform throughout the Northeast honoring his teachers and mentors while perfecting his own craft. He believes in the principles of pushing his own practices, loving his tap family & community, and always respecting the dance. He is committed deeply to tap dance which truly thrives in his teachings, choreography, improvisation, and musical expression.
Pre-Ballet & Tap – Ballet & Tap – Ballet – Modern Jazz
Kim Saltzman is entering her final year at Springfield College as a BS candidate in Health Science and a B.A Candidate in Dance. Ms. Kim was a valuable member of the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut both as a student and member of the “In Motion Dance Company.” She has contributed her talents as a rehearsal, choreography and teacher’s assistant over the years and her accomplishments include various productions such as A Winter Ballet, Peter Pan, Snow White, just to name a few.
Ms. Kim has danced many lead and feature roles, but her favorite includes Dew Drop in Nutcracker’s Kingdom of Sweets, Snow White in Snow White the ballet, and lead, feature and pas de deux as a member of In Motion Dance Company. Kim has also performed for DRA, CT DRA, Ali’s Angels, Steven A. Merrihew Benefit Concert, Madison Square Garden, Swim Across the Sound, Dancin’ Downtown @ The Joyce, Dancefest, A Winter Ballet, A Spring Ballet, Ideas In Motion as well as at the American College Dance Conference.
Kim has always enjoyed sharing her love of dance with her students. She creates an environment for students where they gain a solid foundation in dance technique, terminology and performance while still having the chance to smile, laugh, and enjoy every minute. Ms. Saltzman is proud to be an alumnus of their school and to be back as an instructor at Rockwell Dance Center sharing her knowledge and love of dance with her students.
Hip Hop – Break Dance - Dance Crew
Born and Raised in Iloilo, Philippines and eventually moving to the United Sates, Raymund Lagdamen started dancing at Central High School in Bridgeport, Ct. at the age of 15. Along with a group of his friends, he created a high school dance team called Versus Dance Crew. A year later he began his dance studies in dance, mostly in hip hop, at thePerforming Arts Center of Connecticut. With his hobby turning into this passion, he auditioned for Double Up Dance Company’s Team Leggo. A few years later, after all the hard work and dedication, he became their Assistant Choreographer. Raymund appears in music videos for such artists as; international singer Kat DeLuna, Rickstarr (London, U), JohnThomas and local favorite Gabriel Brunot. Mr. Lagdamen has also taught iat many dance workshops, such as “Be Inspired” and “ The Y.A.R.D.”. Recently he was signed by the Block Talent Agency. Raymund’s goal is to continue learning and to share his love and passion for dance with his students.
Jazz – Contemporary Jazz – Modern
Nicole Romaniello is a native of Stratford Connecticut. She graduated in 2015 earning a BFA in dance performance cum laude from Montclair State University. There she debuted three choreographed pieces in the student Showcase entitled “Consume,” “Untitled,” and most recently “Relative Impulse.” Nicole had the pleasure of studying with Sean Curran, Jessie DiMauro, Nancy Lushington, Joao Carvahlo, Tyler Gilstrap, Karen Gayle, and Earl Mosley. In addition to teaching, Ms. Romaniello has a strong passion to pursue choreography on a larger scale. She is an avid modern, hip hop and ballet dancer. Ms. Romaniello has been fortunate enough to study with Complexions Contemporary Dance as well as Keigwin & Co. Growing up in Connecticut she had the honor to perform at venues such as the Klein Memorial Theater, Palace Theater, and Suny Purchase College. Nicole has worked closely with Nikole Lachioma, Founding and Artistic Director of The Parker Project and has been a featured member of the company for many years. In addition, she has co-choreographed and performed alongside Nikole in many TPP Concerts. Nicole is thrilled to be a part of the faculty here at Rockwell Dance Center and looks forward to learning, sharing and exploring with her students.
PreBallet & Tap - Ballet & Tap - Kidz Bop - Modern Jazz – Int Modern - Yoga
Kellie graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Marymount Manhattan College with her BA in Dance with a concentration in Teaching Dance Arts, as well as with her BA in Theatre with a concentration in Theatre Performance. As a dance educator, she has gone on to teach ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, and hip hop at many studios throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. This summer Kellie received her 200 Hour RYT Yoga Teacher Training Certification as well as her Basic Children’s Yoga certification.
At Marymount, Kellie was selected three times to choreograph for the student choreography showcase entitled Dancers at Work. Her piece, Romp Therapy, was selected to be part of the New York Jazz Choreography Project Fall 2012 show at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center.
As a performer, Kellie is currently cast as Dr. Wink/Alison in Park Playhouse’s touring production of Pinkalicious The Musical. Most recently she was seen in Shelia Barker’s piece at Broadway Dance Center’s benefit performance honoring Frank Hatchett. Other notable regional performances include Monty Python’s Spamalot at Park Playhouse, Chicago with Frederick Town Players, and Cats at Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre. Kellie was also honored to part of the original NYC musical workshop of Revival, under the direction of Christopher D’Amboise.
Ballet – Modern
Katherine Sarris has performed on 4 continents of the world, and her choreography has been showcased internationally. She is currently the Artistic Director for le groupe de danse Sky Touch in France. She also has been a solo performer & assistant stage manager with Project Dance in Times Square NYC, London, UK & Washington, DC. Ms. Sarris has moved audiences across the US from TX to MO, FL to NY with her dramatic and original style, performing in schools, churches, shopping parks, art fairs, and on Public Television.
Ms Sarris also has 15 years of experience in teaching dance. She founded the Master’s School of Sacred Choreography in 2001 – an interpretive dance studio which she directed for 8 years here in CT. Ms. Sarris has also conducted numerous liturgical dance workshops & classes both nationally & internationally. In addition to completing 5 consecutive sessions of the Teacher Training Workshop with Ballet Magnificat! in Jackson, MS. , Katherine Sarris is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 5. Ms. Sarris studied interpretive dance & ballet under Karen Festog (formerly Royal Ballet). She studied ballet with Megan Philipp (Joffrey Academy), modern dance under Maria Colaco, hip hop from George Jones (“The Circus Tour: Starring Britney Spears”), jazz with Geoffrey Doig-Marx (founder of The Elan Awards), and theater dance under Jeff Shade (mentored by Bob Fosse).
In 2010 she relocated to Kansas City to be a trainee with Storling Dance Theater, a neoclassical modern-ballet company. Ms. Sarris was a company member with Dramatic Truth Ballet Theater, performing in adaptations of “The Nutcracker” & “Sleeping Beauty.” She also sang & danced through Tiffany Powell’s musical theater chorus line in “Variety Show KC 2013.” Katherine has been a student, piano teacher and performer for the past 10 years and is thrilled to be part of the Rockwell Dance Center faculty.
Hip Hop – Gymnastics - Acro
Maria Cherniske was born and raised in Connecticut where she took her first class at the age of three. Since then, her passion for the arts has continued to flourish. In addition to being a performer, Maria has taught dance to students of all ages for the past fifteen years and is a coach for competitive level gymnastics. Maria was a competitive gymnast trained by 2004 Olympic coach Alan Hatch and 2004 two-time Olympic silver medalist Annia Hatch. Following college, Maria continued her dance education at the Broadway Dance Center in New York. She trained under Rhapsody James in the 2012 winter session of Motivating Excellence. She is also a member of New York based dance companies Jamie J & Co and Humans Collective.
Maria has worked with choreographers such as Lisette Bustamante, James Jackson Jr, Dana Foglia, Rhapsody James, Luam Keflezgy, Kelly Peters, Derek Mitchell and Tanisha Scott. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall in an ad for Rocawear clothing, with super model Coco Rocha at NYC's Fashion's Night Out, on national television with Icona Pop and in a national commercial for the Wendy Williams show. She was also recently a principal in a commercial for Affinity Bank. In addition, Maria has done work for Nike and Adidas. She appeared in Music Videos with popular up and coming artists and performed live with artists Matt Hunter, Carey Nokey, and L Michelle. Maria was the assistant choreographer for Rob Thomas’ music video “I Trust You” and most recently co-choreographed for the Off-Broadway hit “La Cancion.”
Maria travels internationally to teach acro/tumbling and dance. In 2012 she was selected to be a mentor for the program Creating Opportunities (www.creatingopps.com) developed by world-renowned choreographers Lisette Bustamante and Chonique Sneed. Since 2012 she has been an adjunct professor of Dance at Sacred Heart University. Maria is dedicated to perfecting her art and the love of performance. She believes that dance is the universal language and enjoys getting to know others and helping people get to know her through dance. Maria holds a B.A. in Psychology and Masters in Reading Education from Sacred Heart University. She also holds a Connecticut Teaching Certificate and is certified through Fitness, Gymnastics and Acro federations (listed below). Website: www.MariaCherniskeDance.com
AFAA Group Fitness Certified
BodyART Certified Instructor
Adult and Pediatric First Aid, CPR and AED certified
ACRO levels 1-6 through USA Gymnastics
USA Gymnastics Safety Certified - Artistic Gymnastics Coach
Hip Hop – Break Dance
Born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, Daisy is a strong, charismatic individual that shares her love for the arts to others. Dancing at the age of 8, she learned how to dance primarily through her culture of Hispanic dances, which then became the bridge to learning all styles of Hip Hop. She was mentored by Jolet Creary(owner of Studio 860). Jolet gave her the inspiration to become a leader in the University of Hartford’s Hip Hop dance team, Fenomena later in the years. Daisy is also an actress, a skill she worked at during her four years of training at her Arts High School. Daisy has worked in many of the Hartford Stage productions, such as Breakdancing Shakespeare and Comedy of Errors which was directed by Darko Tresnjak.
Ms. Infantas is currently studying Psychology at the University of Hartford, while teaching younger generations the art forms of acting and dancing through the Breakdancing Shakespeare program and at Rockwell Dance Center.
Daisy is motivated to continue her passion of dancing and acting while accomplishing her goal with being a therapist for younger children. Through her growth and accomplishments her goal is to share and inspire the younger generation to pursue their dreams and love for the arts.
PreBallet & Tap, Ballet & Tap, Kids Bop, Jazz
Julia Maggiola graduated Magna Cum Laude from New York University, and since graduation has become a professional choreographer and dance teacher. In addition to teaching dance, Julia is a film and TV actor and currently freelances with an agency and management team in NYC. A Connecticut native, Julia began dancing in her home town of Fairfield, and was lucky to continue studying dance and performing in many locations, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Florence, Italy. Julia has always had a passion for teaching and hopes to spread the joy and fulfillment that dance can bring to all the students she has the opportunity to have in her classes.
Julia has taught primary dance education for the past five years and her students and parents praise her ability making learning dance an enjoyable and educational experience! Rockwell Dance Center is proud to have Ms. Maggiola as part of their faculty.
Caroline Fermin graduated from New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and later the Juilliard School with a BFA in dance. While at Juilliard she piloted a community engagement program for New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It ran for a subsequent decade. Caroline has performed for James Sewell Ballet, Chamber Dance Project, Sidra Bell, and Adam Weinert among others. She is a founding member of Gallim Dance where she was a company member for six years, touring in the U.S. and abroad. While there she spearheaded Gallim’s education program and served as Education Chair, and later as rehearsal director. Caroline choreographs and collaborates with theater artists, most recently choreographing for actors at NYU Tisch. She has also collaborated and consulted for Damien Woetzel and Lil' Buck, clowns, actors, directors, and fashion houses. Caroline works extensively with community engagement and social justice programs. She is a teaching artist in NYC public schools and is a proud member of Artists Striving to End Poverty, a non-profit dedicated to empowering young people through the Arts. With ASTEP she is on the organizing committee for the Artist As Citizen Conference, a summit for young arts leaders held annually at the Juilliard School. This year will see Caroline dancing with Jeanette Stoner and Dancers, teaching Modern and Improvisation at Barnard College and Mount Holyoke College, and as a teaching artist for New York City Center.
Ballet – Pointe - Variations
Jaime Hickey was born in Bayonne, NJ and received her initial training at Ms. Huguette’s Dance Studio, Ms. Neuberts Ballet Institute in Carnegie Hall, New Jersey Ballet, and also competed with the DeNogla School of Irish Step Dancing.
Jaime furthered her training at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA before attending the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. Here she studied under the direction Franco DeVita and Raymond Lukens. Jaime also trained privately with Fabrice Herrault.
Jaime was named an American Ballet Theatre National Training Scholar. Upon graduation from JKO, Jaime joined American Ballet Theatre II directed by Wes Chapman during which she travelled both domestic and internationally with the company. At age 19, Jaime joined the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago under the direction of Ashley Wheater. Here, she performed works by Lar Lubovitch, Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Robert Joffrey, Gerald Arpino, and more. In 2013, Jaime joined Ballet West where she performed roles in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle. Jaime also performed with the Barak Ballet in Los Angeles, CA and RPM Productions in Chicago, IL.
Jamie completed the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum in Pre-Primary through Level 7 and Partnering in 2014.
Ms. Hickey is currently on faculty at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at ABT and Mason Gross School of the Arts Extension Division at Rutgers University. In 2017, Jaime co-founded My Ballet Mastered, video analysis coaching.