Meet the Faculty
Christina Fagundes Turner, a native of California, received her training at the San Francisco Ballet School and was a top finalist in the 1982 International Ballet Competition. She joined San Francisco Ballet, dancing lead roles and was featured in KQED’s “Cinderella” and “Jinx” televised productions. In 1985, Mikhail Baryshnikov invited Ms. Fagundes to join American Ballet Theater and was appointed Soloist in 1989. Touring over 25 countries, working with Tudor, Macmillan, Makarova, Kolpakova, and Kylian, the geniuses of the dance world, Ms. Turner’s repertoire included principal roles in all the 19th century classics, contemporary works and roles created by Lubovitch and Dove. As a guest artist, in the U.S. and Internationally, she performed classical repertoire and taught master classes at Harvard, Barnard and regional schools across the country. In 1999, she was a founding member of Suzanne Farrell Ballet, dancing the gems by Balanchine and Bejart and was well received by acclaimed critics. She graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University, and began choreographing, teaching, and directing at Ballet Etudes for 16 years presenting numerous works at the Westport Country Playhouse. Her “Carnival of the Animals” ballet was successfully presented to the special needs community at the WCP in 2016. In 2021, she collaborated with conductor Barbara Yahr and o914, to present Together in Music and Dance for the special need’s population. Recently she choreographed “Guesto!”, a ballet to Stravinsky’s “Suite Italienne” for NEAD’s 2023 Spring Concert. She is a certified ABT teacher, sharing her knowledge as a Company teacher for Connecticut Ballet, a faculty member at NEAD as well as teaching in her personal studio, Ballet Studio 229, coaching professionals, ballet students, musical theater dancers and adults to achieve their potential and goals.
Ballet & Contemporary
Ramona began her training at Berkeley Ballet Theater and went on to earn a BFA in dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She danced the principal role of ‘Betsy’ in Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away, and with the Tharp company she created new roles as well as performing repertory works. She is a principal guest artist with Oakland Ballet and has also performed in Christopher Wheeldon’s An American in Paris, Dance Lab New York, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Isaac Mizrahi’s “The Third Bird,” Sidra Bell Dance NY, and Phantom of the Opera (25th Anniversary Tour) among others. Ramona has taught for Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, NYU’s Tisch Dance, Peridance NYC, among many others. She has taught company class for Twyla Tharp Dance, An American in Paris, and Paul Taylor Dance Company. Ramona teaches master classes in ballet and Tharp technique across the country in addition to setting her own choreography.
Brittany was born and raised in Dallas, Texas where she trained in classical ballet. She continued on to get her BFA in dance from Southern Methodist University.
Following graduation, Brittany moved to New York City where she became a Radio City Rockette. Throughout her 10 year career as a Rockette, she has performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, The New York Spring Spectacular, The Tony Awards, The NBA All-Star game featuring Christina Aguilera, America’s Got Talent, and multiple Today show performances.
Brittany has been pursuing her next passion working in dance education by teaching for the Rockette Intensives and master classes for Chelsea Piers CT.
Ballet, Contemporary, & Jazz
Tara grew up in New Hope, PA and received her formal dance education at the Mill Ballet School in Lambertville, NJ. She attended Wake Forest University in North Carolina where she received a BS in Chemistry and a minor in dance. While at Wake, Tara performed with the Wake Forest University dance company from 2008-2012. After graduation, she began teaching with the Mill Ballet School and dancing with the affiliated Roxey Ballet Company, where she was also the rehearsal director. While at Roxey, she was featured in several publications, including National Geographic online.
Tara has facilitated multiple educational programs in public and private schools across the tri-state area focusing on bringing cross-curricular dance and core curriculum education into schools. Tara is passionate about making the arts accessible to all people who want to dance and has taught “Wheels and Bodies” in motion classes with students who dance in their wheelchairs.
Jazz, Hip Hop, & Musical Theatre
Josue Jasmin was born and raised in Brooklyn NY, where he developed his love for dance and theater at a very early age. This love grew as he connected with the Alvin Ailey School, Young Professional Program and Broadway Dance Centerin New York City. Josue later trained at Ballet School of Stamford in CT, and New Hampshire City Ballet in Manchester, NH. His passion for dance extended to teaching and choreography. He has taught at Brass City Ballet and choreographed for recording artist Rain’s US promo tour, the Vibe Magazine fashion sho, New Faces Development Inc and IMTA NY & LA. Josue worked with six-time Grammy winner Justin Timberlake for his US promo fragrance “Play” by Givenchy. R&B Artist Amerie, popstar Kesha, and three-time Grammy winner gospel artist Mary Mary. Recently Choreographed Off Broadway Musical ONLY HUMAN.
Ballet & Contemporary
Barry Kerollis is the founder and Artistic Director of Movement Headquarters in New York City. He is an award-winning choreographer and master teacher specializing in training dancers of all ages and abilities in both classical ballet and contemporary dance. Having previously danced with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, and regional companies around the country, he shares his unique perspective to empower dancers to succeed on their own terms.
Credits include touring as a judge and master teacher with Youth America Grand Prix, faculty at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway, guest faculty at The Rock School, DuCon, and Kathryn Morgan & Friends, and rehearsal director for Brooklyn Ballet. Barry has been featured extensively in Dance Magazine, Pointe, and Dance Teacher, where he is also a regular contributor. Choreographic accomplishments include the National Choreographers Initiative, McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival, and an Outstanding Choreographer award from Youth America Grand Prix. Many of his students have gone on to perform with ballet companies worldwide and on Broadway, have won top prizes at international ballet competitions, attend prestigious summer intensives, and attend university programs on scholarship.
Hip Hop & Jazz
Kristin Montana hails from Chicago, IL and proudly brings her Chi-town flair and unique, dance style to the East Coast. With an ultra-diverse background in dance disciplines ranging from classical ballet to modern (Graham and Horton) to jazz to African, hip hop, house, and locking to musical theater, Kristin’s array of expertise is unmatched in the ever-changing world of dance. Trained under some of the great names in dance, such as Nan Giordano, Joel Hall, Kirby Reed and Homer Bryant, to name a few, Kristin’s incredible opportunities throughout her professional career, have been with roles such as: principal dancer for the Jay Z and R. Kelly’s—The Best of Both Worlds Tour; principal dancer for R. Kelly’s Key in the Ignition Tour; principal dancer BMI Awards; principal dancer in music videos such as Happy People and Thoia Thong; featured dancer in major motion pictures like Barbershop II and Rollbounce; principal dancer for Ascension: The Kirby Reed Project; principal dancer NARAS Grammies in Schools; principal dancer for 5 Star Boogie Productions, Inc.; principal dancer for Culture Shock Chicago; in addition to being a corporate model for Sally Beauty Supply and Wella. Kristin believes that the art of dance is the most natural and universal of human connections, and she emulates that passion throughout all of her performances, as well as when choreographing and teaching classes. For the past 20 plus years, Kristin has enjoyed teaching hundreds of children and adults in jazz and hip hop, and has choreographed for dance companies, high schools, and other showcases. Kristin cultivates the whole dancer by ensuring that her teaching is grounded in technique while allowing for freedom of movement and self-expression. Kristin feels truly blessed for all her opportunities in the dance world. Kristin always looks forward to spreading her vast knowledge of dance to aspiring artists in all networks of the arts.
Ballet & Jazz
Carolyn Paine trained with the Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Boston, Academie de Danse Classique de Princess Grace, and L'Ecole Superieur de Danse. Carolyn has performed professionally with Ballet Theatre of Boston, BalletRox, Hartford Ballet Theatre, Dimensional Dance, at Lincoln Center in Jacqulyn Buglisi’s Table of Silence, and with YaleRep in the International Dance Festival. Carolyn has been featured in a dance photo in Vogue Italia, performed as a dancer for ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, was a featured dancer in the Summer Love tour throughout China, and toured as the stubborn ballerina in comedian Hannibal Buress’ “Gibberish Rap.” She has also appeared in and done choreography for several music videos, commercials, and theatre companies. Carolyn is currently the Choreographer and Producer for the Emmy-winning digital content at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. She has been on the faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University, The Dance Center, the Tony Williams Dance Center, the Hartford Children’s Theatre, the University of Hartford Hartt School, and Neighborhood Arts Programs in NYC public schools. She is the founder, director, and choreographer for CT based contemporary company CONNetic Dance and creator of its acclaimed "Nutcracker Suite & Spicy." Outside of the studio she is also a professional actor and comedian with several TV, commercial, and theatre credits and a regular contributor on WNPR's Colin McEnroe Show.
Henry Steele was born and raised in Wollongong, NSW,
Australia. He was an elite gymnast for 8 years, a national gold medalist 3 years in a row, and during his final years in gymnastics he began to make the transition to dance. Henry graduated with honors from Point Park University with a BFA in Modern and Jazz
dance in 2016. While at Point Park he worked with choreographers: Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris, Madboots Dance, Ronin Koresh, Jessica Hendricks, and many others. After graduating, Henry danced professionally with Owen/Cox Dance Group, Texture Contemporary
Ballet, and toured internationally with The Bad Boys of Ballet. Most recently, Henry spent five years a company member with Parsons Dance, where he notably performed the iconic solo “Caught” for several years and also acted as the company’s rehearsal director.
Elizabeth Rodbell is originally from Sandy Hook, Connecticut. She received her dance training at the Ballet School of Stamford in Stamford, CT and Draper Center for Dance Education in Rochester, NY. She graduated in three years from Indiana Universities Jacobs School of Music with a Bachelors of Science in Ballet and Political Science. She joined the Rochester City Ballet and danced for seven seasons with the company performing both soloist and principal roles. She just recently started her freelance dance career and has since danced in Athens, Greece at the International Dance Council, The Keuka Lake Music Festival, Rochester Fringe Festival, and Nazareth College’s Movement and Dance Festival. She is a member of Mor Dance in New York City. Elizabeth is a certified Balanced Body Pilates instructor who works as adjunct faculty at the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Sacred Heart University teaching Pilates and ballet.
Rivkins Christopher was born and raised in Miami, FL where he began his training at the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet under the direction of Ruth Wiesen. He is a graduate from New World School of the Arts where he received his BFA in dance. He has attended intensives such as Ailey, Deeply Rooted, the American Dance Festival and the Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Workshops. He has had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Kyle Abrahams. He has been a company member with SYREN Modern Dance for nine years.
Kwame Henry Jones
Kiara Cabrera, Christina Jean, Sophia Noel, Sophia Roman, Emily Uquilllas, Addison Wynot