Kristina Wozniak Leitenberger
Jazz, Jumps/Turns, Lyrical
Kristina Wozniak, born and raised in Briarcliff Manor, NY began dancing at age 3. Growing up in the competition circuit, Kristina was exposed to endless master teachers and choreographers such as Joe Tremaine, Ray Leeper, Joe Lanteri, and Stacey Tookey, that helped shape her technique and style. Winning countless regional, national, and international awards and scholarships, Kristina continued her training at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA.
Kristina received the prestigious Presidential Scholarship all four years and graduated with honors in 2011 receiving her BFA in Jazz Dance Performance. During school, Kristina performed across New York City at Marymount Manhattan, New Dance Group, and the Hudson Guild Theater. Throughout her four years, Kristina was also able to travel abroad to Bari, Italy to study and perform under Desmond Richardson and Michele Assaf, and to Reisa, Germany to compete in the World Dance Championships. Kristina was trained as a Jazz Performance Major at University of the Arts under the direction of Molly Misgalla and Wayne St. David along with Scott Jovovich, Roni Koresh, Ginger Cox, Anthony Burrell, and Gary Jeter.
Upon graduation, Kristina moved to Las Vegas to continue her teaching and performing at various world-renowned hotels. After a year in Las Vegas, Kristina was offered a contract with world famous ballroom dancer and magician, Rick Thomas, to travel to Asia with her Las Vegas Family. Kristina's television credits include ABC's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Skinny Cow Ice Cream commercial, and Fox's hit show "Raising Hope." Besides performing, Kristina has always enriched her dance life by teaching all levels and ages of dances, but most specifically in jazz, contemporary, and lyrical. Kristina's choreography has been performed at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, the opening number of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, has won numerous awards across the country. Kristina is so excited to be seeing her dream come true at Artistry Dance Project, the "Best of Westchester" studio in Pleasantville, beside long time friend Lori Spada, in sharing their knowledge and passion for dance with the next generation.
Lori Spada Lynch
Lori Spada born in Wilmington, Delaware, began her dance training at the age of four, under the direction of James Jamieson and Victor Wesley. By the time she had reached her early teens, she was a part of both The Wilmington Ballet Company and Brandywine Contemporary Company, while also studying at The Boston Ballet Summer Intensives. She continued training at Towson University where she received a BFA in Dance Performance, working along side choreographers such as Alonzo King, Peter Pucci, and David Parsons. She was also the recipient of the Jim Snyder Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement in Dance.
Upon graduation, she was contracted with Rincones and Company, a contemporary ballet company in Washington D.C., under the direction of Juan Carlos Rincones. During her four years as a company member, she performed all over the D.C. area, including several Kennedy Center performances. Her career eventually moved her to NYC where she has resided since 2002. She has been an active choreographer in New York, featuring works at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, Alvin Ailey Studios, Madison Square Garden, New Dance Group, Hudson Guild Theater, Harkness Studios, Grammercy Theater, Spoon Theater, and Chelsea Piers. Off Off Broadway credits include New York Jazz Choreography Project and "They Walk Among Us." Regional choreography credits include: Waterbury Regional Theater.
Along with performing she has been an active ballet, jazz, and contemporary teacher in both Washington DC and New York since 2001, as well as, director, assistant director and choreographer for several different companies within the schools. She has also been a part of numerous outreach programs that have allowed her to share her talent and knowledge with under privileged kids throughout the different communities. Teaching credits include: DC Dance Studio, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Langley Performing Arts High, Key School of the Arts, Anacostia High School, Lab School for the Performing Arts, North Shore Dance, Half Hallow Hills High School, Academy of Dance Arts, City Center Dance, Edge School of the Arts and AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy NYC.)
Baby Ballet, Creative Ballet I/II, Primary, Ballet
Jeanie Gayeski began dancing at the age of 3 in her hometown of Rochester, New York. She went on to attend The High School for the Arts where she studied dance, art and drama. While earning her B.A. in Art History and German at the University of Rochester, she continued to study and perform modern dance. Her studies and travels brought her to the world of teaching children and she moved to New York City to further her education, spending a semester at Pratt Institute in Art and Movement Therapy. She went on to earn a degree from Hunter College in Elementary Education. While in New York City, she completed the D.E.L. program at the 92nd St Y and began working as a Teaching Artist for Arts Connection which places dancers in the Public Schools. She was able to study dance at the studios of Jose Limon, Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Trish Brown, and at Broadway Dance Center among others. Her teaching has since brought her to a range of populations including a wonderful 5 year run at The Gillen Brewer School where she was the full-time Movement Teacher for children with special needs.
In 2008, she moved to Westchester and had her first child and has gone on to have another! She brings this extensive and eclectic background to Artistry Dance Project and is thrilled to be part of the faculty for a fourth year.
Michael Cusumano began dancing at the age of 6. At the age of 14, he won the Bronze Medal at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria, the youngest male dancer to medal in the competition's history at the time. That same year he went on to win the special Jury Prize at the Prix de Paris 1994. Michael then joined the American Ballet Theatre at the age of 15, the youngest male dancer in the Company's history.
After ABT, Michael danced as a principal with Alabama Ballet, then as a soloist with the Boston Ballet. He went on to perform in the original cast of All Shook Up on Broadway, then most recently starred as "the jury" in the smash hit, Chicago The Musical on Broadway. Michael competed and won the title of "Mr. Broadway" in the Broadway Beauty Pageant in 2011. Other credits include The Most Happy Fella at New York State Theater, On The Town at Encores, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Today Show, ABT Now for PBS, Le Corsaire for PBS, and the feature film Center State. Michael is currently on faculty at Pace University and so excited to be working with the talented dancers at ADP!
Tommy is a Florida native, where he trained at New Tampa Dance Theatre. Tommy graduated from The Ohio State University with a BFA in dance performance in 2005. While training, he has had the opportunity to work with many world-renowned choreographers and dancers. He has performed with Columbus Dance Theatre contemporary ballet company, in the United Kingdom tour of Tap Fusion, as a guest artist with BalletMet, Columbus, Collide, and Parsons Dance. He is also currently dancing with dre.dance, Nicholas Andre Dance, marInspired, and Kristin Sudekis Dance. In addition to company work, Tommy has been feature in several movies, musicals, and TV shows. Recent highlights are The Big Gay Musical movie, City Center Encores' production of "Where's Charley?" and "Fiorello" and the premier of Rosie O'Connell's return to prime time TV on the Rosie Show, featured on the OWN network. Most recently he has had the honor of working with Verdon/Fosse Estate on archiving the legendary work of Bob Fosse. As a teacher, he has taught master classes all over the world including Brazil, China and Russia. Teaching students that are mentally and physically handicapped, autistic and blind. In the United States, he has been privileged to teach at Peridance, Broadway Dance Center, The Ohio State University, Adelphi University, Manhattanville College, and many dance studios across the nation. He is currently teaching classes in studios in New Jersey and Queens and judging competitions all over the nation.
Kevin Raponey is a Certified Dance Educator from Connecticut now residing in New York City! Kevin attended school at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. After college, Kevin started working professionally at Theme Parks such as Six Flags, Sea World and Hershey Park. After, Kevin jumped on Holland America Line Luxury Cruise Liners as a Singer/Dancer traveling the world and performing at sea! Cruise Ships opened the door to moving to New York City and pursuing a Musical Theatre career. You may have seen Kevin in the National Touring companies of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes, Nice Work If You Can Get It, A Chorus Line and Legally Blonde! Kevin has also performed regionally across the Country at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ (Ever After, West Side Story) and Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington DC (Kiss Me Kate) just to name a few. Kevin has been teaching Master Classes and Choreographing for prestigious and established dance studios in the Tri-State are for many years and is so happy to be sharing his passion for dance with the students of Artistry Dance Project!!!
Tap, Jazz, Ballet
A Westchester County native, Erica Christine Barton is a New York City-based performer. She graduated from Oklahoma City University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance Performance, along with a History Minor. She has also studied many years with well-known artists in New York City such as Michelle Dorrance, Jimmy Tate, Tracie Stanfield, and Jim Cooney. Additionally, she is a alumna of Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester Internship, the American Tap Dance Foundation’s “Tap City”, and Broadway Theatre Project. Erica was most recently seen dancing in the RWS and Associates production of “Dance, Dance, Dance: America” at the Music Box Theatre of Hersheypark, where she was the dance captain. She is excited to be returning to Artistry Dance Project for another year with her hard-working, passionate students!
Mariana Vivas-Siok was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she started her dance training in ballet and jazz at the age of 8. She studied Journalism in college, but it was at the age of 19 that she found her passion for the arts, Hip Hop culture and street dance. She then came to NYC for the first time in 2008, where she applied and was accepted to the ISVP course at Broadway Dance Center. She went back to Brazil where she developed her dance career, teaching Stiletto and Hip Hop in dance studios around the country, performing in tours, dance contests and choreographing for many artists, music videos, TV shows and even choreographed a commercial for the World Cup Soccer, becoming one of the leading dancers in the country. Her talent and passion for dance brought her back to NYC in 2011 where she has been training at the Broadway Dance Center in all dance styles and also trained under Rhapsody James as a member of Motivating Excellence. Now Mariana is in Rhapsody's Dance Company R.E.D. and has been working in NYC with artists such as Missy Elliott, Carly Rae Jepsen and Channing Tatum.
Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Hip Hop
Tessa grew up in Los Angeles, California and currently resides in New York City. She began her training at three years old focusing on Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, and Hip Hop. Under the direction of Austin Hartel, Tessa graduated from The University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance. During her time at OU, Tessa performed works by Austin Hartel, Roxanne Lyst, Derrick Minter, Kevin Iega Jeff, Ilya Kozadayev, Raimondo Rebeck, and Uwe Scholz. She also set various contemporary works for the Young Choreographers Showcase earning her the Scott Salmon Modern Dance Choreography Award. Tessa spent her Summers and Winters studying at prestigious programs such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Dance Festival, Centre Se Dansa de Catalunuya in Barcelona, and BODYTRAFFIC.
Since moving to New York City, Tessa has worked with various companies including Fair Moon Stages as an Ensemble member of Mamma Mia, Dance Visions New York performing works by Beth Yucovoy and Isadora Duncan, and is currently training with Jennifer Muller/The Works. Tessa is very excited to be joining the Artistry Dance Project faculty this year and is looking forward to a wonderful year.
Chicago, IL native of Liberian descent. T.V.: Fosse/Verdon Series on FX. Theater: An American In Paris (1st National Tour Broadway), Maria De Buenos Aires (Chicago Opera Theater), Cats, Anything Goes, Sister Act, and Evita (Marriott Lincolnshire). Dance Companies: Giordano Dance Chicago, Danceworks Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theater, and Ballet Hispanico. Formerly the Artistic Director of Trilogy School of Performing Arts, Lake Zurich, IL., Peabody has directed and choreographed for youth dance and theater programs, is a guest teacher for competitive dance convention circuits as well as collegiate dance and theatre programs throughout the U.S. He is currently on faculty at Broadway Dance Center and is honored to share his passion for the arts with the young aspiring artists of the Artistry Dance Project.
Theatre Dance, Tap, Ballet
Aisling Halpin is so excited to join the Artistry Dance Faculty! She has been teaching dance for about ten years and is so excited to work with the incredible Artistry students. She received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University and has been a working actress since graduation.
Her national touring credits include “A Chorus Line” (Val), “Peter and the Starcatcher” (Molly), “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” (Ensemble), and “Cabaret” (Frenchie). Her choreography credits at theatres across the country include “The Nutcracker”, “Guys and Dolls”, “Crazy for You”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and “A Chorus Line”. Regionally, she has performed in “42nd Street,” “Dames at Sea” (Ruby), “Chicago” (Roxie), “Mamma Mia” (Ali). She also performed at the Public Theatre Gala in NYC “One Singular Sensation!” She has taught Master Classes in Theatre Dance, Tap, and Ballet across the country and choreographs for many dance competitions at studios across New York State and the Tri-State area.
Kara Walsh born in New York City raised in New Milford Ct. Kara started dancing at the age of 10 at the School of Performing Arts in New Milford and instantly fell in love with dance. At the School of Performing Arts under the direction of Arlene Begelman she had the opportunity to study with many former New York City Ballet dancers including Maria Calegari and Robert Maiorano. She also studied with some of Broadways biggest stars including Elizabeth Parkinson and Mary Ann Lamb who’s she still works with today.
Kara spent summers at the Jillana Ballet Program in Taos New Mexico learning more of the Balanchine Style. At the age of 17 she moved back to New York City to study at the Alvin Ailey Independent Study Program. Shortly after that she was offered a contract with Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle WA where she performed his works touring the west coast and worked with the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle.
In New York Kara has had the opportunity to work with Francesca Harper, Susan Misner, Mary Ann Lamb, Abdur Rahum Jackson, Benoit Swan Pouffer The Black Iris Project, and Buglisi Dance Theater, Kara has taught ballet at schools around New York and Connecticut. And is a master trainer at Ballet Beautiful in SoHo. Currently, Kara is working with The Francesca Harper Project, and in her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and rescue dog Stella. And soaking up as much dance and art as possible. Kara is excited to join the ADP family.
Catherine is an active performer, choreographer, assistant director and teacher based in New York City. She loves working with children & sharing her passion for the stage!
Catherine has spent three seasons performing with the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center as both a dancer and principal artist. Her favorite role to date is Margot in Susan Stroman’s The Merry Widow, a part she premiered at both The Met & regionally at Lyric Opera Chicago. Other recent credits include her debut at Carnegie Hall in concert with Michael Feinstein & The Honey Taps, Front & Center with Kathleen Marshall at New York City Center, various programs at New York's iconic Rainbow Room, & NBC’s Saturday Night Live with host Sam Rockwell.
Her performance career also spans to TV (Lane Crawford Christmas campaign), New York Fashion Week (Hermès), regional theater (Merry Go round Playhouse/Finger Lakes MTF), voiceovers (Toyota), The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, & Robin Hood Benefit. She is a veteran company member of The Honey Taps, a touring song & dance troupe focused in jazz-aged tap & theater dance, and has traveled the world as a Principal Singer/Dancer for Norwegian Cruise Line.
Catherine has choreographed & assistant directed several large-scale musicals & operas including Parade (Marymount Manhattan College), Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merry Widow (Krannert Center), Peter Pan and Shakespeare’s The Twelfth Night (Marymount School of NY), and Fame (The Stage Theater School).
As a dance technique teacher, she has held positions with Steps on Broadway, The Stage Theater School, University of Illinois, New Canaan Dance Academy, and has guest taught for Rosie’s Theater Kids & The Ailey Studios. She holds a BFA in Dance from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a Masters in Childhood Education from City College New York.
Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre Dance, Tap
Ashley was born in Boston Massachusetts. She began training in Irish dancing at a young age with the Smith-Houlihan Irish Dance Academy. In 2004 Ashley was crowned the World Irish Step Dancing Champion in Belfast, Ireland. At that time she was the youngest American female ever to win the world title. Ashley went on to win two more gold world medals in 2005 and her last in 2009. Ashley was also named one of the Top Irish Americans.
In 2006 Ashley moved to New York, where she currently resides, and attended Manhattanville College for four years: graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Dance and Theatre. Upon moving to New York, she continues to grow in all dance forms such as Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre Dance and Tap. She also continues to study voice and acting at various studios throughout the city.
Some of Ashley’s professional credits include being seen on TV as a top 30 female finalist of season seven, So You Think You Can Dance. And a featured dancer in the Oscar nominated film Silver Linings Playbook. Ashley is a member of the EMC program and has recently worked regionally on shows such as, Westside Story (Anybody’s) A Chorus Line (Kristine) Peter Pan (Wendy) Pippin, All Shook Up, Guys And Dolls, and A Christmas Carol (Ensemble.) Ashley is currently the female lead dancer on the national tour of Rockin Road To Dublin.
When Ashley is not performing professionally, she is teaching and choreographing all dance forms for studios all over the United States. She recently became a certified Irish Step Dancing teacher (TCRG).
Originally from Maryland, Carly Johnson was a nationally ranked Rhythmic Gymnast when she found her love of dance. She attended Point Park University, earning her B.F.A. in modern dance and has trained and performed in New York, Pittsburgh, Washington, d.c., Montreal, Tel Aviv, and Berlin. Carly is an award winning choreographer and has professional certifications from USA gymnastics in Rhythmic and acro. She is thrilled to be joining the Artistry Dance Project faculty.