Rhode Island Dance School News



The Blackfriars Dance Concert, presented by the Providence College Dance Company, on December 2nd and 3rd, will include work from guest choreographers Laura Bennett, Melissa Ham-Ellis, and Brian Jones, as well as resident choreographers Wendy Oliver and Christina Tsoules.

Ms. Bennett offers a dance to music by Duke Ellington, and Ms. Ham-Ellis's Draw is set on a group of nine women to the meditative beats of DJ Spooky, inspired by the many meanings of its name: to draw a conclusion, to choose at random, to depict, to pull closed or toward, to end in a tie, and to draw upon are just a few examples of multi-usage. Ham-Ellis will also perform a solo entitled Gemini by Arlene Steiner. Mr. Jones mixes hip-hop beats and tango rhythms with swing moves for a crew of eleven Providence College dancers in SWITCHED. Accompanying themselves with hand claps and foot stomps, Dance Company members dance a capella as they pound out an infectious, rhythmic tap symphony sure to shake the rafters of the Smith Center for the Arts.

Dr. Oliver has choreographed a dance to Russell Peck's saxophone quartet Drastic Measures, which will be performed live by Providence College's student quartet, Saximus Maximus. Ms.Tsoules will contribute three dances, including Vertically Amiss, a group piece with music by Radiohead; Stay, a duet to piano music by Brahms, and Emergent Premise, a solo based on the idea of beginnings.

Providence College's new Smith Center for the Arts, dedicated in October 2004, houses the Angell Blackfriars Theatre as well as a smaller studio theatre, concert hall, classrooms and other facilities and is on Eaton Street in the East end of the campus. The Smith Center Box Office is located at the main entrance of the building and is open for ticket sales. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 1:30 to 5:00 p.m., and 1 hour prior to performances. Tickets may also be purchased by credit card by calling 401-865-2218. Ticket prices are $10.00, $7.00 (senior citizen) and $5.00 (student.) All seats are reserved. For more information concerning the Department of Theatre, Dance and Film season, please call 401-865-2218 or visit our website at

What: Blackfriars Dance Concert
Where: Angell Blackfriars Theatre, Smith Center for the Arts
When: Friday, December 2 at 8:00pm/ Saturday, December 3 at 2:00 pm.
Tickets: $10.00, $7.00 (seniors), $5.00 (students)
Ticket Sales: 401-865-2218 or stop by the Theatre Box Office located in the lobby of The Smith Center for the Arts on the campus of Providence College

NOVEMBER 12, 2005
The Light My Way Christian School of Dance will open in Johnston on December 1. Director and owner Kylene Ricci says, " My goal is to create a wonderful place to learn dance while providing a positive moral environment." All music and costumes will be age appropriate. In addition to the usual dance forms (tap, jazz, ballet etc), the school will offer liturgical dance and a class for preschool boys. For many years, Kylene Ricci was the assistant director of Star Steppers Academy under the now-retired Pat D'Amico. Light My Way will use the same building as the former Star Steppers.

OCTOBER 30, 2005
Eleventh Annual
Brown Ballroom Dance Competition
Moseley's on the Charles
50 Bridge St
Dedham, MA
Sunday, 13 November 2005
Spectators: $10 admission charge/$3 with student ID
It's November, so it's time for Brown's annual Ballroom Dance Competition featuring both International and American ballroom styles. This year, the competition will be held at the historic Mosley's on the Charles.
Food will not be available at the competition. You are encouraged to bring your own food.
In all cases, for food or anything else, there is a 'bring-in/bring-out' policy in effect. Namely, anything you bring to the comp, you need to take back with you. We have found that there simply are not enough garbage cans for all the discarded water bottles, fast-food boxes and bags, and assorted garbage that is left, so you must bring these things with you when you leave. We will provide garbage bags for this purpose.
Videos and photography. Videotaping and flash photography are expressly... permitted! Have a blast.
Questions! Contact
See results at

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OCTOBER 15, 2005
Helene Scheff, dance teacher, author, administrator and tireless volunteer, has won the RIAHPERD Meritorious Service Award. It will be awarded at the RIAHPERD conference on October 28. RIAHPERD is the Rhode Island chapter of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

OCTOBER 14, 2005
The National Dance Educators Association (NDEO) honored Rhode Island's Marty Sprague, with the Outstanding Dance Educator award in the K - 12 category. Marty is is a certified dance educator at the Providence Academy of International Studies. "Marty works to infuse her students with a love of dance and teaches her students how learning to dance hones life skills. She helps them learn how dance plays out important roles in diverse communitites, how to learn about other subject matter through dance, how dance can unite communities, along with the physical benenfits of dancing."

SEPTEMBER 13, 2005
Hop To The Beat teacher, David Liberge, choreographed and taught a short dance routine to the Patriot's Troy Brown for a current Dunkin Donuts commercial. See David's Providence hip hop classes at Providence

SEPTEMBER 12, 2005
Everett Dance Theatre and Central High School have partnered in presenting a week-long program to help students and teachers to get to know each other better and to share in creative, improved ways of teaching and learning.

Beginning today, the first team of ninth graders traveled to the Carriage House Stage and School on the East Side of Providence and participated in an interactive program of improvisation, scene making and performances with the artists and dancers of Everett Dance Theatre.

Each day one of the four ninth grade teams will participate for one full school day with mornings spent at the Carriage House Stage and School, and afternoons at Central and Hanley.

Everett Dance Theatre is well known nationally for their rich blend of dance, theater and filmmaking which combine to produce a fresh view of topical subjects the artists choose to investigate collaboratively. Similarly in their educational work, the artists work with students as 'partners' in telling stories out of school that relate to the experiences of young people in high school.

Central High School has chosen to collaborate with Everett Dance Theatre because of their proactive consideration of the role of education in the lives of urban youth. Most of the artists who comprise the company are graduates of Hope High School and Classical High School and therefore know intimately the challenges of growing up in a large urban high school.

Central students and staff will be at the Carriage House, 7 Duncan Avenue, Providence from Monday through Thursday from 9:15 AM until 12:30 PM and after lunch at Central and Hanley to make and view movies until the end of the school day at 2:50 PM.

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
Talent Factory student
Gabi Levin
Gabi Levin, a student at the Talent Factory in North Kingstown, was recently chosen to perform in the 79th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Gabi will be performing with Camp Broadway, the award-winning theatre arts education company. She will participate in a 7-day program with 400 children from across the country. Camp Broadway has been selected to perform the parade's opening number, We Give Thanks Today, written by Broadway composer Andrew Lippa. It celebrates children across America waking up on Thanksgiving morning to the fantasy of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Gabi will participate in a special 1 week program created by Camp Broadway leading up to the parade performance, including a series of Broadway dance workshops, classes and rehearsals to prepare the children for the nationally televised performance.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the highlight of Camp Broadway's busy year! For the past decade, Camp Broadway has offered children across America once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to participate in live theatre. The company works with Broadway's most distinguished performers and writers and has given children the opportunity to work side by side with Broadway professionals at year round performing arts programs.

In Rhode Island, Camp Broadway is held at Providence Performing Arts Center in August. The camp takes applications starting in March. In addition, PPAC offers scholarships to low income students. See more at riDance's PPAC page.
WEBSITES includes printable registration & scholarship application forms (You must have Adobe Acrobat on your computer to access the forms)

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AUGUST 25, 2005

Caroline Noonan
Jennifer Prete School of Dance
Caroline Noonan, daughter of Bob and Jennifer Noonan of Charlestown, RI, and an active dance student at The Jennifer Prete School of Dance (JPSD) in Charlestown, RI, has been selected to represent the state of Rhode Island at Miss Jr. Teen America Pageant 2005, to be held in Connecticut, October 7 - 9, 2005.

The Continental Miss Teen America Scholarship Program, Inc., which produces the event, is a not for profit corporation founded on the principles that the future of our world is dependent upon the leadership qualities of today's youth. Through scholarships and prizes, the organization rewards young women between the ages of eleven and fourteen who are playing an active part in the efforts of their schools and communities and who strive to become a positive role model to their peers.

Delegates are judged on volunteer community service, scholastic achievement, leadership, extracurricular involvement, community interaction, essay, verbal expression in presentation, poise and formal expression in eveningwear, talent, modeling and physical fitness and appearance.

If selected to wear the National crown, Miss Noonan will enjoy a year of making personal appearances while working on her issue of concern. She is proud participant in the Feinstein Junior Scholar Program and will be active in the Hunger Brigade to help end hunger in America. She will also have her own column in Supermodels Unlimited Magazine where she will be able to address her peers throughout the world.

An honor student, Miss Noonan's interests and hobbies include competitive dancing for Jennifer Prete School of Dance in Charlestown and all the sports that Southern Rhode Island can offer, including surfing, sailing, and snow boarding.

As Miss Teen America RI, Miss Noonan is available for personal appearances by contacting the pageant headquarters at (203) 387-1377 or via the Internet at

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Savion Glover
Newport Academy of Ballet
3 Charles Street
Newport RI 02480
Sunday, October 2
Cost per session: $40.00 (each session is limited, sign up early!)
Contact: Jackie Henderson, 401-849-1118
Off The Curb will present THE Savion Glover teaching two tap workshops - both are open level.
If you want to go, you better register fast.
Send in check made out to SOS/Off The Curb, your name(s), address, phone number, email, and age (if under 18)
To: Off the Curb, PO Box 415, Newport RI 02840
Mention which session (see below) you would like to attend. The only difference is the time.
Session I. 1pm 2:15pm or Session II. 3pm 4:15pm
Savion Glover is a performer, choreographer, director, producer and the most famous living tap dancer on the planet.
Savion welcomes students of all ages and levels to his classes. Come prepared to accept new information.
"My class is not a showcase, but an opportunity to pick up some of the knowledge and experience that I learned from the people who taught me. Please take my class to LEARN.":

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AUGUST 25, 2005
From Cheryl Cusick
Kacie Ferraro, a student with Narragansett Performing Arts Center, was recently crowned Miss Rhode Island Outstanding Teen. She will be competing Nationally for the title of America's Outstanding Teen on August 20th in Orlando Florida. Kacie is an incredible tap dancer, and since this is the first National pageant for this organization, she will be Rhode Island's first representative.

Miss Rhode Island Outstanding Teen is directly affiliated with The Miss America Organization, which is currently provides the largest single source of scholarship dollars available to young women today. So there is a possibility that Kacie could win her Collge education.

It isn't often that a dancer wins such a title, as State representatives are usually vocalists, pianists etc. Kacie represents the spirit of America's new Young Women - full of intelligence and verve.

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AUGUST 18, 2005
On August 18, 2005 & 25, Rhode Island PBS (Channel 36) and RICH broadcasted the four-part series SCHOOL: The Story of American Public Education and the local short video The Other Side as part of the monthly RICH Rhode Island PBS film series, In the Pursuit of Happiness: What is the American Dream? As a local companion piece to SCHOOL, the Carriage House Crew produced the short documentary The Other Side. The video shot, directed, and edited by the students explores the differences between public schools and private schools, in terms of quality, diversity, and resources. Using interviews with students at Moses Brown and Hope High schools (neighboring private and public schools in Providence, RI), as well as community members, the piece raises important questions about contemporary culture, race, class and stereotypes.

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JULY 11, 2005
By Sheri Masiello

Just wanted to tell you a wonderful story.
Sheri, Xavier & Sebastian Masiello May 8 2005
I've been married for 11 years. After 3 unsuccessful attempts to start a family, and many doctors telling me that it was not going to happen, I decided to open my studio, To The Pointe of Performing Arts, and extend my energy elsewhere.

I meet a wonderful woman who was taking tap at my studio, and she gave me information on adoption. So my husband and I thought about it for months and decided to embark on this journey. Well, we adopted a beautiful little baby boy from Guatemala, he was 3 months old. He is now 4 1/2 and is the light of my life. He was meant to be with us in so many ways. He fills my life with wonder everyday.

Here's where the story gets even better...
While my studio is doing very well, and I am very successful and happy, last summer I was handed a surprise! I found out that I was pregnant!
Everything went well (almost textbook). After all of these experiences, I gave birth to a healthy and beautiful baby boy! Both the adoption and the birth were so different and yet simply the same. I feel exactly the same about both of my boys and I would have never wanted it any other way!
So, my message is,
Keep The Faith!
Do What you Love!
And You Will Be Happy!
Xavier Christian Masiello was Born on April 15, 2005 weighing 6lbs, 9oz.

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JULY 10, 2005
Desiree Villegas (from the well known family of dance&gymnastic teachers) opened her studio this past January in North Kingstown. Eponomously named Desiree's Performing Arts, the studio offers classes in ballet, lyrical, tap, broadway jazz, hip hop, voice, and pre-school. While Desiree is taking classes at CCRI, her mother, Johnna helps with the morning pre-school program. Sister, Vanessa, teaches hip hop and has formed a high school hip hop dance team and a junior high hip hop dance team. More about the studio an be found at

In August, Sara Couto and Christina Nogueira are opening their dance studio, Dance Fusion in Tiverton. They are offering lessons in ballet, pointe, lyrical, modern, jazz, hip-hop, tap, and fitness.

And another well-known name in RI dance education, sisters Tricia and Cathy Callahan have taken over Gladding School of Dance located in Middletown. Their mother Mary Callahan and godmother Sheila Winter retired May 2005 after 35 years in the dance business. The school offers classes in ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, lyrical and hip hop.

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Wendy Oliver (Head of the Providence College dance program) and Christina Tsoules (dance teacher at Providence College, Salve Regina and Providence Ballet) will be attending a one week teaching composition workshop in Barstow Maine. In addition, Christina has an August residency at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Amanda Kwiatkowski, a graduate of Connecticut College (1999) and currently living in North Smithfield, will be moving to New York with her husband in late summer where she plans on taking classes and making her move into dance company. She says, " It's time for me to explore the opportunities in New York."

David Rodriquez lives in Lincoln and attends Vassar College where he is a member of the Repertory Dance Theatre. He is a sophmore bioethics major. He is spending his summer in Rhode Island and is taking Modern dance classes with Heidi Henderson and Christina Tsoules as well as a a pas de deux class with Herci Marsden at State Ballet of Rhode Island. Originally David thought his interest was in modern, but is really enjoying ballet. Next semester, he plans to start choreographing and see what comes from all his different dance work.

Alisha Ear has just moved to Newport from Ohio where she has just graduated with a BFA in dance from Ohio State. She prefers ballet-based modern and plans to perfrom professionally.

What are you doing? Send a brief description to riDance and let people know what you're doing.

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APRIL 24, 2005
The National Museum of Dance
99 South Broadway
Saratoga Springs, New York
A reception honoring dance educators and sisters, Julie Strandberg and Carolyn Adams was held on April 24 at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, New York. Julie and Carolyn spoke about modern dance, their careers and how they came to form The American Dance Legacy Institute. Intermingled with the discussion were performances by Laura Bennett and the Skidmore dancers. All proceeds went to benefit the ADLI.

ADLI documents the work of important modern, jazz and ethnic choreographers and makes it available to the public at amazingly reasonable rates. This documentation is not just a charting of their work, but a systematic creation of a complete piece or an etude with a complete visual breakdown of the movement, labonotation, educational tools and music. Teachers (or anyone with some dance background) can study from these tools to learn how to re-create a dance by a famed choreographer. Choreographers, whose dances have already been documented, include Robert Battle, David Parsons, Pearl Primus, Donald McKayle, Jose Limon and Anna Sokolow. ADLI also offers an optional coaching service for teachers who would like personal help in preparing to use the dances with their classes.

In addition, co-directors Julie Strandberg, who also heads the Brown University Dance program, and Carolyn Adams, one of Paul Taylor's original dancers, have curated an exhibit on the New Dance Group (the first company to integrate), which will open at the Museum of Dance on June 5.
National Museum of Dance - (2005 information is not on-line as of 14 Mayr)
American Dance Legacy Institute -

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FEBRUARY 14, 2005
Two For Tango, one of just two ballroom dance schools in downtown Newport, has closed. Roxanne is working on her phD in biochemistry and finds that she has too much on her plate. Although they will not be teaching, you will still find both Paul & Roxanne LaCroix out on the dance floor. You can learn ballroom in the Newport area from Sara Coehlo at East Bay Dance (Newport) or Joe & Mary Souza (Middletown).

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JANUARY 18, 2005
Two of RI's best known teachers are featured in the January 2005 edition (pages 4 & 5) of the Federal Hill Gazette. Elaine Colenari, who has taught dance in RI for more than 40 years, is on the cover in a jazz stance. Elaine teaches tap and jazz and her school, Modern Jazz Dance Company Center for the Arts) also offers ballet (including adult ballet) and hip hop. The exuberant ballroom dance teacher, Richard Maddelena is also featured. His studio, Simply Ballroom is located on Douglas Avenue.

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JANUARY 17, 2005
Cheryl Cusick (Igliozzi), director of Narragansett Performing Arts Dance Centre and the Terpsichore Dance Company, was injured on Sunday January 17 while practicing gymnastics at her home. In addition to a hairline fracture of a right foot bone, she sustained rips to several tendons.

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The Pawtucket School Department is proud to announce the opening in September of 2005 of the Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing and Visual Arts in the historic Armory on Exchange Street in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. JMW will be a public arts high school. Auditions will begin in March of 2005. School will start in September with approximately 100 ninth grade students in four disciplines: art, dance, music and theater. For more information and to request audition requirements and an application, please call 527-4121.

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JANUARY 11, 2005
Hip Hop dancer & teacher, Sara Faella opened the Faella Dance Company, on January 31, 2005. The school, located on Elmwood Avenue in Cranston, specializes in hip hop and will also offer classes in pilates, yoga and turbo kickboxing. See riDance's Faella Dance Company listing for details and schedule.

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