Rockwell Dance Center

Faculty

 
 
 
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NIKOLE LACHIOMA - Owner, Director

Ballet - Contemporary Modern - Pointe

Modern Company and Ballet Company Director

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.

 
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CAROLINE FERMIN

Modern – Improvisation - Ballet

 

Caroline Fermin graduated from New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and later, the Juilliard School with a BFA. She has performed all over the world for a variety of ballet and modern companies. She is a founding member of Gallim Dance where she was a company member for six years and served as Rehearsal Director and Education Chair. As a choreographer Caroline works collaboratively with clowns, actors, sculptors, painters, filmmakers, and fashion houses. She has created work for actors at NYU Tisch, actors/dancers at Western Wyoming Community College, and for the playwright Daniel Talbott.  

Ms. Fermin was 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 sat on the organizing committee for the Artist As Citizen Conference, a summit for young arts leaders held annually at the Juilliard School. 

This year she has been commissioned to create a new work for Stockton University’s dance program. As an advocate for social justice, Caroline works extensively with community engagement programs. She brings her expertise in arts and youth leadership to organizations such as New York City Center, Dancewave, and Artists Striving to End Poverty. Caroline has run dance education programs at Snow College in Utah and in collaboration with the Juilliard School in her hometown of New Orleans. This year will see Caroline teaching at Barnard College/Columbia University specializing in improvisation and classical modern. Caroline lives in New York City with her cat Nell, and they both enjoy bird watching.

 

RAYMUND LAGDAMEN

Hip Hop – Break Dance -  Hip Hop Company Director

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.

 
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DAISY INFANTAS

Hip Hop – Break Dance - Hip Hop Company Director

Born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, Daisy Infantas is a strong, charismatic individual who lives to share her love of the arts with others.  She began dancing at the age of 8 as part of her Peruvian culture which eventually became a bridge to learning all styles of hip hop.  She was mentored by Jolet Creary, the owner of Studio 860, who inspired her on a dance-focused path which led to her becoming a leader in the University of Hartford’s Hip Hop dance team, Fenomena.  She also competed and continues to compete alongside her current dance team, Kalligraphy, which took part in the World of Dance and Hip Hop International competitions. 

Daisy became an actress after four years of intense training at her arts high school, and has worked in many Hartford Stage productions such as Breakdancing Shakespeare and Comedy of Errors directed by the Tony-Award-winning Darko Tresnjak.  She will appear as a dancer in the upcoming film In The Heights (2020) directed by John M. Chu. 

Daisy holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Hartford and currently works as an Instructional Assistant (I.A.) at Milestones Behavioral Services, a school dedicated to improving the lives of children with developmental disabilities or other educational needs.  Simultaneously, she brings her creativity, unique dance technique, and many years of teaching and performing experience to the studio, where she hopes to nurture and inspire the next generation of hip hop dancers and encourage them to pursue their own goals and love for the arts. 

 

MARIA CHERNISKE

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

Certifications:

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 

 

TYLER DUBOYS

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!

 
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DOLORES SANCHEZ

Tap

Dolores Sanchez, affectionately known as ""Lola"", is a strong versatile mover well versed in Tap Dance, Street Jazz, Contact Improv, and Capoeira. Ms. Sanchez has served as Faculty and Guest Faculty at Peridance Capezio Center, Steps On Broadway, and Broadway Dance Center. She has also had the pleasure of being part of the Adjunct Faculty at Pace University for The Commercial Arts Dance Program and as a Guest Teaching Artist for the Hope College Dance Department. 

 Dolores has had the pleasure of performing for/with Artists such as Ali Bradley for the Debut of "Black Matter", Joseph Webb's NYC Company debut, Dancing Buddhas, Michelle Dorrance, Jason Samuels Smith, Sam Webber, and Dianne Walker at Jacobs Pillow ,Chloe Arnold for Rhythm in Motion, Maud Arnold, and Derick K. Grant. 

 Ms. Sanchez is a current member Of Chloe Arnold's Company, Apt. 33. She has performed at the Harlem Stages, Thalia Theater, Symphony Space, The Producers Club, Playhouse Square, Bitter End, and for Queretaro, Mexico's Cultural Exchange Program. 

 

KELLIE SCHWEON ROSATI

PreBallet & Tap -  Ballet & Tap - Kidz Bop - Modern Jazz –Modern

Kellie Schweon 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.  Kellie is an ABT ® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT ® Teacher Training Intensives in Pre Primary through Level 3 of the ABT ® National Training Curriculum.  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.

 

KATHERINE SARRIS

Ballet – Modern - Ballet Prep Director                  

Katherine Sarris has been privileged to perform all over the world and to have had her work showcased in eight countries.  She has moved audiences across the USA from Texas to Missouri and Florida to New Hampshire with her dramatic and original style, performing in schools, churches, shopping parks, art fairs, and on public television.

Infusion Physical Theatre (Cambridge, UK) cast her in the lead role of their current production Just Sex: A Counter-Trafficking Show and she was the Artistic Director of le groupe de dance Sky Touch (France) from 2014 to 2017.  She has also performed and worked as an assistant stage manager for Project Dance in Times Square NYC, Washington DC, Kansas City, London, and Paris.

After training with the Stӧrling Dance Theatre (Kansas City, MO), Ms Sarris was a company member with Dramatic Truth Dance Theatre (MO) and performed in adaptations of The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty.  She also sang and danced in Tiffany Powell’s musical theater chorus line in Variety Show K.C. 2013.

Ms Sarris studied interpretive dance and ballet under Karen Festog (formerly the Royal Ballet).  She also studied ballet with Megan Phillip (Joffrey Academy), modern with Maria Colaco, contemporary with Jana Hicks and Max Stone, hip hop with George Jones (The Circus Tour: Starring Britney Spears), jazz with Geoffrey Doig-Marx (founder of The Elan Awards) and Richard Pierlon, theater dance with Jeff Shade (mentored by Bob Fosse).

Katherine Sarris has nearly 20 years of experience teaching dance, and in 2001 she founded The Master’s School of Sacred Choreography - a CT-based interpretive dance studio which she directed for 8 years.  Ms Sarris has conducted numerous dance workshops and classes both nationally and internationally. In addition to completing five consecutive sessions of the Teacher Training Workshop with Ballet Magnificat! (Jackson, MS), she is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary to Level 5.

Ms. Sarris currently resides in CT where she works as a freelance performer, teacher, and choreographer.

 
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JULIA MAGGIOLA

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.

 

PADDY JARIT, MS, PT, SCS, ATC

Physical Therapist – Athletic Trainer

Paddy is a high profile Board Certified Sports Physical Therapist and Certified Athletic Trainer, also a competitive athlete, who is equally adept at treating male and female patients.  Under his knowledgeable and professional management, he owns both Physical Therapy for Women, P.C. in Trumbull and Sport & Orthopedic Physical Therapy in Fairfield. 

Paddy recently completed a New York City Dance Medicine Intensive at Westside Dance PT, and as a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science has been honored to be invited to speak at this year’s annual conference in Houston, TX.  Rockwell Dance Center is proud to have Paddy on staff for their dancers to educate and guide them to improve in their strength, conditioning and injury prevention.

Paddy’s approach to Physical Therapy is driven by his passion and commitment to provide one-on-one care that enables each patient to get back to doing their sport, hobby, dance or vocation as soon as possible.  The road to recovery begins immediately after the initial evaluation has been completed.  Patients should expect to be educated on their condition and immediately be integrated into their rehabilitation program.  He offers his patients the diverse expertise he has acquired from designing regimens for world-renowned athletic teams.  He is highly skilled in biomechanics and treating both men and women in their specific medical differences.

Paddy lives in Trumbull with his wife Rebecca (also an integral part of the PT for Women family) and have three children, Zachary, Shaina and Harrison (a long time dancer at RDC since age 4).

 
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EVA MANLEY

Pre Ballet & Tap, Ballet & Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Modern

Eva Manley was born and raised in Oxford, Connecticut where she began dancing at the age of three. Her dance education began in the world of competitive dance.  At the age of ten she began training at the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut with a focus on the ABT Syllabus of classical ballet, contemporary and modern techniques.  During this time Eva was a member of PACC’s pre professional Dance Company.  She had many wonderful opportunities such as lead roles in the ballets The Nutcracker, Snow White and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Eva was also a featured Company dancer in DRA, Steven A. Merrihew Benefit Concert, Dancefest, Youth American Grand Prix, A Winter Ballet, A Spring Ballet, and Ideas In Motion to name just a few. During this time she worked with many well known dancers and choreographers including Complexions Dance Company with Desmond Richardson.                                                                                                                           Ms. Manley continues dance education at Sacred Heart University with concentrations in both dance and Graphic design.  Eva is a member of the Sacred Heart University Dance Company.  She hopes to continue to share her passion for dance with younger children.  Her goal is to encourage their love of dance while building a strong technical foundation in a positive, creative and encouraging class environment.

 
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BYRON BURTON

HIP HOP – BOYS HIP HOP – ADULT HIP HOP

Byron has been dancing ever since he was in the third grade. He was inspired by the movement of dance!  Watching Britney spears perform for the MTV Music Awards - his whole life changed. Later on, he has trained in Hip Hop/Street Jazz/Ballet at PACC (Performing Arts of Connecticut – now Rockwell Dance Center). He has trained under many seasoned/veteran teachers in the industry. He was a company member with Double Up Dance Company/Team Leggoo; where he has been giving the opportunity to choreograph for Commercials and dance for many well known artists. 

Byron is featured in many music videos and currently teaches at Double Up Dance Studios, Rockwell Dance Center and Latin Rhythm Dance Studio. Mr. Burton’s style is very versatile, he gives his students an assortment of hip hop which include femme and commercial choreography. Performance and Attitude are important  attributes that Byron looks for in his classes.  

 
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SARAH BRAVERMAN

Ballet – Pointe – Modern - Contemporary

SARAH BRAVERMAN grew up in Los Angeles, California. She trained extensively in the Royal Academy of Dance, under the direction of Bernadette Hill and JoAnna Jarvis, completing all exams through Advanced II with distinction. Sarah moved to NYC in 2004 to attend Marymount Manhattan College, under the direction of Katie Langan, graduating cum laude with a BFA in Dance and Arts Administration in 2008. During her time at MMC Sarah had the privilege of performing works by Robert Battle, Stephen Petronio, David Parsons, David Marquez, Graham Lustig and Joao Carvalho. Sarah joined Parsons Dance in 2008 where she enjoyed nine seasons of extensive national and international touring, performing and teaching master classes and intensives. During her tenure at Parsons, she had the honor of performing works by Robert Battle, Trey McIntyre, Kate Skarpetowska, Monica Bill Barnes and Ephrat Asherie. She joined the cast of NYC’s Queen of the Night as a guest artist, dancing the principle role of Pamina from 2015 - 2016 and has been featured in both Dance Magazine and Dance Spirit. Sarah currently resides in NYC enjoying life as a freelance artist, dance teacher, fitness and pilates instructor.

 
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MARY BETH HANSOHN

Ballet – Pointe – Modern - Yoga

Mary Beth Hansohn received her professional training at The Arlington Center for Dance in Arlington, VA, and with Peter Stark, at The Maryland Youth Ballet. She studied ballet in the highest level at The American Ballet Theater Summer Program in New York City, where she performed George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations. She joined The Ohio Ballet as a full member at age 18, and went on to dance in works by Heinz Poll, Donald Byrd, Laura Dean, Ann Marie DeAngelo, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Stephen Mills, Septime Webre, Salvatore Aiello, Dermot Burke, Christopher Fleming, and Jeffrey Hughes. 

 Mary Beth has performed with Twyla Tharp Dance, The Metropolitan Opera, The Ohio Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, The Cleveland Opera, Dances Patrelle, Neglia Ballet and Terra Firma Dance Theater.  Television credits include “The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” on CBS, as well as “The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD”, where she appeared in the role of one of Venus’ Three Graces in Tannhauser.  Most recently, Mary Beth performed in “Eight Jelly Rolls”, for Twyla Tharp’s four-week run at The Joyce Theater, in NYC. Mary Beth is on the permanent faculty at Broadway Dance Center, where she teaches ballet and “BDC BARRE”, a dance conditioning class she designed and developed for Broadway Dance Center.

 
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Liana Martinez Hawkins

Hip Hop – Contemporary Jazz

Liana Martinez has studied all types of dance since the age of 11. She trained under Performing Arts Center of Connecticut now Rockwell Dance Center in Trumbull, dancing at Madison Square Garden for the WNBA, The Joyce Theater and DRA (Dancers Responding to Aids). She also choreographed, performed and taught workshops for Double Up Dance Group. Liana’s industry work has included dancing for Reebok with Jimmy Locust and performing with Kat DeLuna in her Drop it Low music video, on the CW Network's The Next and at B.B. King's with recording artist Arika Kane. Liana has had trained with Dominique Kelly, Pedro Ruiz (Ballet), Denise Vale (Modern: Graham Technique), Kristina Burger (Modern: Horton Technique), Karla Garcia, Manwe Saul Addison, George Jones, Luam, Desmond Richardson (Complexions), Kelly Peters, Karen Festog, Nikole LaChioma and Jimmy Locust. Liana was appointed by Jimmy Locust as Assisting Director of Locust Contemporary Dance Works I & II. Her goal is to pass on everything she has learned to her students and to give them an opportunity to grow and excel as dancers.