Arabesque

dance academy

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Faculty and Staff

Kristin Burrows

Director, Instructor Dance, Acting, Voice, Choreographer

Kristin received her professional training at the Boston Conservatory, majoring in Musical Theatre & Dance performance. She has performed professionally in regional, off Broadway, dinner theatres throughout Boston & New York as well as principle roles in community theatre. Principle roles include Peggy (42nd Street) with Turtle Lane Playhouse, A Chorus Line, Guys & Dolls, Gypsy, Steel Magnolias, Lil Abner, and Bye Bye Birdie.

Kristin earned a Eugene O’Neill Awards nomination for best performance in a leading role “Rosie” in Bye Bye Birdie. She has also choreographed locally for the Pfizer Players productions. Directing/Choreography credits include George M (Pfizer Players), Annie, Music Man, Bye Bye Birdie, Oklahoma, 42nd Street, Beauty and the Beast, Grease, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Shrek the Musical, as well as numerous competition and showcase numbers. Kristin has been teaching children and adults for over 20 years. She continues her training at teachers’ conventions and seminars throughout the US. She is a proud member of the Professional Dance Teachers Association, IDEA International Dance Enterprenuer Association & National Dance Association. Kristin resides in Waterford with her husband Tom and is a proud mom of Michael, Hannah, and Ava.

Jodi Dwyer

Office Manager

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Avery Holwitt

Acting / Musical Theatre

Avery Holwitt (Acting/Musical Theatre/Voice coordinator) has been active in theatre since she was a child.  While in high school, she was selected to attend the highly competitive Carnegie Mellon pre-college summer program to study Musical Theatre, and she went on to earn her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Attending this school enabled her to train with some elite members of the acting and musical theatre community including Drucie McDaniel (Girl, Interrupted), Neill Hartley (The Sixth Sense, House of Cards), Tony Award nominee Forrest McClendon (The Scottsboro Boys), and Charles Gilbert, (Co-creator of Assassins and creator of the SAVI method of Singing-Acting.) among many others.  She has experience in dialect work and stage combat, and has studied several different acting techniques.

 

After college she toured for several seasons with the Missoula Children’s Theatre, where she and her tour partner trained a group of up to 60 children, ranging in age from 5 through 18 years old, to perform a one hour length musical during the course of one week; she toured for up to 46 weeks per year, in a different town every week. As a Tour Actor/Director, she worked in almost every state west of the Mississippi, performed in many different venues, ranging from a school gymnasium to a professional stage, and taught children of all different theatrical abilities. 

JASMINE URBAN

Ballet Lyrical Pointe

A native of Dover, Delaware, Jasmine Urban, graduated University of Hartford’s Hartt school as a ballet pedagogy major with Magna Cum Laude. With a special interest in dance education, Ms. Urban has been teaching ballet for six years, and is the proud recipient of Connecticut Dance Alliance’s Elena Del Vecchio Rusnak Dance Education Scholarship in 2017. As a dancer at the Hartt School, Jasmine has performed numerous classic works like: George Balanchine’s Serenade, José Limón’s Choreographic Offering, and Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring, and new works by Claudia Schreier and Michelle Thompson-Ullerich. She is also the proud recipient of The Hartt Dances 2019 Senior Dance Award. Since 2017, Ms. Urban has also been a guest artist with Ballet Hartford, performing in Messiah and Swan Lake. Jasmine currently plans on joining Ballet Hartford for the 2019/2020 season.

BETTINA MAHONEY

Contemporary, Ballet

Bettina Mahoney graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance and Psychology from Dean College in Franklin, MA. Mahoney has been dancing for 17 years and has trained in ballet, modern, contemporary, tap, jazz, hip hop, improvisation, and dance composition. Bettina trained at The Gold School in Brockton, MA under the direction of Rennie Gold. In 2011, Mahoney was accepted into the Project Moves Dance Company, a nationally recognized company that creates dance art with anti-bullying messages. Bettina produced an intensive at Green Street Studios in Cambridge, MA last August using the vehicle of dance to empower young artists between the ages 16-25. In January of 2018, Mahoney produced a charity gala raising awareness for mental health with 100 guests including over 15 donors being Dream Duffel, The Legacy of You, NUVO dance competition, JUMP, and 24/7 dance convention just to name a few. Mahoney is an award-winning choreographer, and has taught/choreographed all over MA, NH, CT, NJ, and Long Beach, New York. As a choreographer, her work has been performed at Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Boston Dance Theatre Winter Immersion Intensive, Fortitude Dance Projects Winter Wonderland Gala for mental health, Dean Colleges’ Arts Mosaic two consecutive years in a row, and New Dancers Showcase to name a few. Currently, Mahoney is Producing Fortitude Dance Productions, NYC Dance Intensive at Gibney Studios in Manhattan with a mission behind empowering young women with headliners such as Taylor Wickham, Miles Keeney, Alexa Luke, Rae-Ann Thomas, Adam Wedesky and more!Bettina is so excited to teacher and put work on Broadway Kids and Company dancers as she continues to live out the mission of empowerment.

FELIPE PULETINI

Jazz Ballet

Felipe Puletini is a Brazilian born and a Member of the International Dance Council – CID.

Throughout his professional career in Brazil, he has performed in repertory classical ballet, musical theater, and Brazilian television. Some highlights are, soloist in classical ballet for Cinderella, Swan Lake, Paquita, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote (Cuban Version) and La Fillé Mal Guardée (Cuban Version), in a musical theater I Gotcha! (Bob Fosses and Fred Ebb), The Hunchback of Notre Dame as Clopin, The Lion King as Pumba, The Little Mermaid as Scuttle and ensemble for the 1st Bibi Ferreira Awards.

Felipe’s International career started in 2015 when he joined contemporary dance companies in the USA as a principal dancer performing works by Rodney Rivera, Sergei Vanaev, Allejandro Ulloa, Lauren Edson, Gabrielle Lamb.

Mr. Puletini is a Guest Artist Teacher for CCSU (Central Connecticut State University – Dance Education), and as a dance coach/choreographer he works for many schools preparing dancers for competitions as YAGP, On Stage NYC. He also collaborated as a choreographer with the New Britain Symphony Orchestra during the concert “Dance for Joy” and with the University of South Carolina – Beaufort during the “Community Nutcracker” as a guest artist.

Degree of Vocational Higher Education in Fine Arts (Performing Arts Major), Certified Teacher in Giordano Technique (Certificate Program with Nan Giordano) and PBT (Progressing Ballet Technique).

Hannah Burrows

Instructor/Choreographer

Hannah Burrows- Instructor/Choreographer Ms Hannah is a 17 year old Senior at WHS. She has been dancing, singing, acting since the age of 2 having grown up at the studio under the direction of her mom. Hannah has studied all styles of dance at the studio as well as with Master teachers at Broadway Dance Center and many dance conventions including Turn It Up, Fortitude Dance Company, Spirit of Dance, Access Broadway & Tremaine. Hannah has been a competitive dancer for the past 10 years and has won many awards including the title of Ms Centerstage for Take Centerstage Dance Challenge. She also has performed in many musical productions including Grease (Marty), 42nd Street (Anne Reilly), Mary Poppins (queen)  Bye Bye Birdie (Shelly) Beauty and the Beast (Silly Girl) , Shrek the Musical (Gingy), Annie (Annette & Tessie) and 15 years of studio showcases. Hannah loves to choreograph and her choreography has won many awards at competition notably for most influential. She was honored to be an assistant teacher to the master teachers at the TCDC dance convention last year. She was thrilled recently to be an assistant  at Fortitude Dance Company in NYC. Hannah loves teaching children and choreographing. She plans to attend college for dance performance/choreography and education in fall of 2020. Follow @hannahburrowss 

Duneshka Vazquez

Hip Hop

Christine Snitkin

Jazz/ Tap

Christine Snitkin-Bouley (Tap, Jazz, Musical Theatre Instructor) has been dancing since the age of 3 and is thrilled to be back at it!  She holds a B.A. in Musical Theatre and Speech from Wagner College in New York. Over her many years of dancing she was awarded many Regional and National dance titles including National Tap Champion at 14 years old.  She has also performed in numerous regional theatre productions for Pfizer Players and at the Spirit of Broadway Theatre; her favorite role to date being Polly Baker in Crazy For You. She has also choreographed numerous musicals, winning an award for her choreography for the debut musical Once Upon a Time in Atlantic City.  She was also dance captain for the Off-Broadway Review- Broadway Blockbusters while living in NYC. In addition to her theatrical credits, Christine was also featured in numerous ESPN and Pfizer commercials. Prior to having her daughter, she ran and operated On Stage Performing Arts Studio where her students garnered many national and regional awards as well.  After becoming proud mom to Gracie, Christine worked as a Paralegal for ten years before changing careers to Software Project Management. Now having some time for a creative outlet, she is excited to be back in her dancing shoes and looks forward to working with BKC.

Kimberly Almonte

Hip Hop

Kimberly was born and raised in Puerto Rico where she began to dance multiple genres at the age of 3. During her High school years she was a member of the Norwich Free Academy dance team and Dance company, where she had the opportunity to choreograph multiple pieces and began to explore teaching.

She now teaches and choreographs as a hip-hop teacher where she is able to push herself and her students in a very fun and expressive genre. She loves hip-hop and the limitless ways you are able to dance the style with little to no boundaries. Seeing the finished product and students pushing themselves to learn new material is something that she thrives for. Being a part of the students dancing career and growth has helped her learn many different tactics of teaching, also dancing and seeing the makes her feel accomplished and proud!

Naja Muller

Acro

Naja is a Connecticut shoreline native. She has over 10 years experience in Circus, as a teacher, choreographer and performer. Her performance, teaching and production skills are solid and extensive, Naja studied in San Francisco at the San Francisco Circus Center where she received specialized training and study under Master Lu Yi and Xia Ke Min in Chinese acrobatics, hand to hand, contortion and foot juggling. She also studied rope, static trapeze, lyra and tissue. She worked on the west coast for 10 years gaining performance experience with The New Pickle Circus, Vau de Vire Society, Velocity Circus and Earth Circus and professional experience at the San Francisco Circus Center as a Choreographer, Coach and Asst. Director for the SF Youth Circus productions; at Velocity Arts and Entertainment as Associate Artistic Director and Troupe coach; at Head over Heels Gymnastics and Circus Arts as contortion, acro, hand-balancing and doubles coach/choreographer: for Splash Circus; and finally at the Kinetic Arts Center as the CircusSpire contortion, acro, handbalancing and doubles coach/choreographer. Naja has performed mostly on the corporate circuit with various bay area production companies in contortion, hand to hand and lyra. Naja was also an instructor at the renowned San Francisco Circus Center and is well versed in Chinese acrobatics and aerial arts. She choreographs individual and group acts as well as large scale productions and has trained private students of all ages including contortionists, hand-balancers and aerialists. Naja was also Co-Director and Choreographer of the SF Youth Circus touring production “Impressions” and was Stage Manager for the Circus Center Annual Showcase- “Cabaret”.Prior to living and working in California, Naja graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts with a Ballet Concentration and has worked/performed in New York and Connecticut while continuing her education at Joffrey Ballet, New Haven Ballet and Hartford Ballet, where ballet was her primary focus of study. She also acquired working knowledge of modern, ballroom, character, hip-hop and jazz dance. Prior to circus arts she was a classically trained dancer and performed with the New Haven Ballet, Hartford Ballet, Moscow State Ballet and the Paul Hall Contemporary Dance Theater.

Kelsey Gamble

Theatre/Voice

Kelsey began training in dance at the age of three, and quickly realized the stage was her second home.  After performing in her first Equity production at 11, Kelsey began studying theatre and voice in addition to dance, including at the La Jolla Conservatory’s summer program.  Kelsey trained as an opera vocalist for nine years, including at Muhlenberg College, from where she graduated in 2012.  She has taught dance at various summer programs in New England and is delighted to be working with BKC. 

Ashlee Rapoza

Musical Theatre, Contemporary

Musical Theatre, Contemporary

Ashlee Rapoza is a Contemporary Dancer and Choreographer from Warwick, Rhode Island. A recent college graduate, Ashlee earned her Bachelor’s Degree in dance with a concentration  in performance and choreography from Dean College. As well as her College degrees, she has continued her training with The Gypsy Project: LA, under the direction of ACE Award winner and renowned contemporary teacher and choreographer Erica Sobol. Ashlee has taught for Fortitude Dance Company, at their NYC summer retreat, as well as danced at their annual Gala. She teaches and choreographs for dance studios all across New England, and is extremely excited to join faculty with Broadway kids and company!

SaraH Landolphi

Musical Theatre, Acro, Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, Ballet

Sarah began dancing in her high school drama club, where her curiosity grew exponentially;

leading to her participation in a dance team at college in 2008. In 2010, she obtained her first teaching position; instructing middle schoolers and adults in American Social Ballroom. Shortly thereafter, she added Hip Hip, Ballet, Creative Movement, Jazz, Musical Theater, Gymnastics, and Cheer at studios and non-profit organizations. Additionally, Sarah has choreographed over 200 routines, won 11 informal battles, and taught in 6 states. She studied dance at Hunter College in NYC; and continues to teach children of all ages in multiple disciplines, as well as performing at her Church.

Sarah Quinn

Voice

Joni Gage

Voice

Kelsey DeCarlo

Voice

Stephanie Donnelly

Acting

Stephanie Donnelly (Acting Instructor) has been teaching theatre in various capacities for eight years. She received a B.S. in Theatre and another in Communication from Eastern Connecticut State University and an M.A. in Theatre Education from Emerson College in Boston. She has worked with students of all ages with numerous groups in the Tri-State area, including stage managing for Hartford Children’s theatre, directing the middle and high school theatre program at St. Bernard School in Uncasville, teaching at the summer theatre program at the Chestnut Hill School in Newton, MA, guest teaching units in drama at the Beacon Hill Charter High School for the Arts in Woonsocket, RI, and directing and coordinating the Emerson Theatre Collaborative’s six-week summer immersion program in Mystic for children ages 4 to 15. Most recently she taught middle school theatre in Springfield, MA, and she is very excited to be a part of the BKC team now!

 

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Guest Artists / Master Classes

Interested in being part of the BKC Teaching Team?

Please submit resume and letter of interest.

Our intructors are educated, trained, and certified in their field.

Brielle Columber

Kira

Hannah Ranco

Billy Johnstone

Marissa Perry

Chaz Wolcott

Michelle Klein -Los Angeles Master Teacher