Open Class Instructors

 
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Jillian Foley

Jillian Foley, from Niskayuna, NY where she trained with Northeast Ballet Company, graduated from The Hartt School with a BFA in Ballet Pedagogy and two minors in Psychology and Performing Arts Management. There, she trained in both contemporary and classical styles and was able to travel to Amsterdam for the Julidans Festival in 2016. Jillian is currently a freelance dance artist and performs frequently with Amy Marshall Dance Company. She has also had experience working administratively with Schoen Movement Company, Dance Devise Lab, and Joffrey Ballet School. Jillian is the chief operating officer at Hartford music studio, Parkville Sounds, and recently produced a music tv show, ‘The Parkville Sessions’, which premiered on CPTV/PBS in October 2018. Exploring music and dance collaboration, Jillian has choreographed for Portland Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Hartt Opera. Jillian is currently an adjunct professor, teaching dance at The Hartt School Theatre and Vocal divisions.

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Roxie Lebenzon

Roxanne Lebenzon began studying Vaganova Ballet at the Atlantic Ballet Company and Bossov Ballet Theater in Maine. She continued her ballet education at Northwest Studio for Ballet in California, performing lead roles in Don Quixote, The Littlehumpbacked Horse, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake. Under the direction of Ron Cunningham, Roxanne received the opportunity to perform as a flower in the Sacramento Ballet's Nutcracker. She also performed alongside State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, with the company in Secret Garden and Beauty and the Beast, and in lead roles in Cinderella and The Jungle Book.

In 2013, Roxanne began pursuing an Honors BFA in Ballet at the University of Utah. In addition to rigorous ballet training, Roxanne studied kinesiology, pedagogy, choreography, and character dance. She performed with Utah Ballet continuously throughout her time in Utah, including dancing full-length ballets at Kingsbury Hall. She graduated with her Honors BFA in 2017.

Roxanne was also a guest artist with the Theater Arts Alliance in California, as their Sugarplum Fairy in the Nutcracker, and an artist with a project-based modern company, Cat and Fish Dances, located in Utah. In 2019 Roxanne became a guest artist with Ballet Theater Company in Hartford and joined The Dance Collective as a resident artist.

Roxanne currently is an Old World Archaeology graduate student pursing her Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut. She is thrilled to continue to perform while continuing her education.

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Katie Bittner

Katherine Bittner grew up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina and trained in classical ballet from age 9 through high school. She attended University of Hartford and graduated with a BFA in ballet pedagogy in May, 2016. She has taught dance for the CDF Freedom School and CREC programs, Nutmeg Conservatory in Torrington CT, and Ballet Theatre Company in West Hartford. Her performance experience includes works from choreographers Adam Barruch, Doug Varone, and Takehiro Ueyama. Additional experience includes Limon repertoire, Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels, excerpts from Balanchine’s Four Temperaments, renditions of Petrushka and Carmen, and Rodgers and Hart’s “On Your Toes.” She currently works as a freelancer, and has most recently performed with Hartford-based theater company Playhouse on Park, and TAKE Dance out of New York.

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Susannah Marchese

Ms. Marchese began her early ballet training in New York with Andre and Leda Eglevsky and later danced with The Eglevsky Ballet before spending several years as a Principal Dancer with Ballet Omaha under the directorship of Robert Vickrey and as Principal Dancer with The Hartford Ballet under the directorship of Michael Uthoff. During her career, Ms. Marchese danced lead roles including Swanhilda in Coppelia, The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Lise in La Fille Mal Gardee, Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux, Allegro Brillante, Serenade and Flower Festival. As a dancer and rehearsal assistant, Ms. Marchese has been honored to work alongside Samantha Dunster, Peter Anastos, Loyce Houlton, James Sewell, Edward Vilella, Michael Uthoff, Gemze DeLappe, Angel Corella, Bruce Marks, Xiomara Reyes, Gianni DiMarco, Joan Lazarus, John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow.

In 1994, Marchese joined the Broadway show The Phantom of The Opera where she remained for 3 years. Ms. Marchese spent several years at Radio City Music Hall, New York City Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, The Houston Grand Opera, The MUNY, James Sewell Ballet, and has danced in countries around the world including Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Canada.

Locally, Ms. Marchese has taught ballet at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Hartt Community Division and for 15 years was owner of PHIT Pilates Studio in Hartford. Most recently, Ms. Marchese was School Director for School of Ballet Hartford and has acted as Interim Chair of Dance, faculty member, Ballet Master and Production Coordinator for the Hartt School Community Division Dance Department. During her tenure, Ms. Marchese choreographed the original full-length ballets The Red Shoes and The Swan Princess, as well as Symphony #8, The Nutcracker, Passo and The Young Composers Projects GO and Rituals of an Unknown Continent.

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Jane Krantz

Jane Krantz is a freelance professional dancer. She grew up performing nationally with the American Youth Dance Company, and furthered her training on scholarship at The University of Hartford, Hartt School Dance Division, where she obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance. There, she was able to work with world renowned choreographers and educators: Doug Varone, Charlotte Griffin, Loni Landon, Take Ueyama, and more. She was one of three dancers from the U.S. to be selected to travel to Mexico for the Arcdanz international program, and was given the opportunity to perform at the prestigious Museo Soumaya in Mexico City.

Jane has danced with The American Jazz Company, Hannah Myers Choreography, Playhouse on Park Theatre, Ballet Theatre Company, and is both a dancer and the manager of The Dance Collective. Recently, she performed aside Hannibal Buress in Comedy Central’s “Funny or Die” Tour, and travelled internationally to perform as a soloist in Edinburgh, Scotland at the 74th International Choreographer’s Showcase. Along with performing, Jane choreographs and teaches in the New England and Greater New York areas. She is also a registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance.

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Katie Schenker

Katie Schenker is a classically trained ballet dancer and graduate of The Hartt School. She holds a BFA in Dance with an Emphasis in Pedagogy. During her time there, she performed works by Balanchine, Fokine, Petipa, Limón, and Humphrey. She also had the opportunity to perform several original works by guest choreographers Charlotte Griffin, Gemma Bond, Viktor Plotnikov, Gregory Dolbashian, and Erin Dillon.

Schenker received her early training in Connecticut at New Haven Ballet, Nutmeg Conservatory, and Academy of Ballet Etudes, where she studied closely with Christina Fagundes. She has attended numerous summer intensive programs including Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Danish Dance Masters, and Julidans Festival in Amsterdam.

Katie lives in New York and works as a personal trainer, ballet teacher, and freelance dancer and model. She is excited to return to Hartford as a resident artist of The Dance Collective and dive into some new work.

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Sheila Huggins

Sheila Huggins began her formal dance training at The Dancer's Studio of Northford Connecticut, in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop and pointe technique. She went on to receive a BFA in Dance Performance from The Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theater at The University of Harford in West Hartford Connecticut, under the direction of Stephen Pier. There she received formal training in classical ballet, classical modern, contemporary, composition, improvisation, and much more. She was given the opportunity to work among many talented dancers, as well as work with professional choreographers such as Gregory Dolbashian, Loni Landon, Bryan Arias, Nina Watt, and many more. She resided in New York City for two years, working as a freelance artist. Currently residing in Connecticut, Sheila teaches, choreographs, and judges in the New England Region.  

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Jennifer Lizondro

Jen has been training in Hip Hop for nine years. Her main styles are breaking, krump, popping, and house. Dance is a huge part of her life and it brings her so much joy. It is something she is very passionate about and can always turn to. Jen travels to New York regularly to train and meet other dancers. She also travels across the country to compete in breaking and all styles. Jen’s love for dance is very strong and she loves sharing her experience in this art form with others.