NEW FACULTY

 
Chelsea Acree
Lower School Ballet,
Modern, Choreography
Chelsea Acree received a B.F.A. in dance from the State University of New York at Purchase, and also studied ballet with Marjorie Mussman and Janet Panetta, among many others. She was a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) from 2011 to 2016. She taught ballet, modern dance and creative movement to children of all ages, as well as adults and pre-professional and professional dancers, at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, New York for 11 years. Before joining MMDG, she directed the Mark Morris Dance Group student company, and, while in MMDG, she was a primary teacher on tour, and taught summer intensives. She has also taught ballet, modern dance and creative movement in a variety of studios and settings-including to children with physical and developmental disabilities-principally in New York City.  
Miriam Mahdaviani
Middle and Upper School Ballet
and Pointe; Choreography
Miriam Mahdaviani began her classical training at the School of American Ballet, after which George Balanchine invited her to join the New York City Ballet (City Ballet). During her 14-year career at City Ballet, she danced in over 40 Balanchine ballets, and worked with other notable choreographers including Jerome Robbins, Lar Lubovitch, Twyla Tharp, Jacques d'Amboise, and Peter Martins. She performed leading roles in numerous Balanchine ballets, among them Jewels, The Sleeping Beauty, La Valse, Coppelia, and The Nutcracker. On screen, she appeared in the Dance in America series on PBS, and in City Ballet's movie of Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Ms. Mahdaviani has choreographed several ballets for City Ballet as well as for major dance companies around the United States and internationally. Since 2004, Ms. Mahdaviani has been a visiting professor of dance at Vassar College, teaching ballet technique and pointe classes at the beginner through advanced levels. She also teaches master classes and workshops in Balanchine technique at ballet schools, college dance programs, and summer programs throughout the Northeast. 
Laura Seaman
Lower and Middle School Ballet, Choreography
Laura Seaman has been dancing since the age of three. At eight, she began to study ballet at Ballet Arts Studio with Madame Seda. As a teenager, she continued her ballet training at Ballet Arts with Valerie Feit, Hilda Morales and Laurie Freedman. In 1995, Laura earned a BFA in Dance, with a scholarship, from the State University of New York at Purchase. While at SUNY Purchase, she studied dance with Kevin Wynn, Larry Clark, Sarah Stackhouse, Neil Greenberg and Kazuko Hirabayashi. Laura was a company member of The In-Forward-Motion Dance Company, under the artistic direction of Debra Noble. While in the Company, she performed the works of Colin Connor, Jean Churchill, Albert Reid, Alan Danielson, Randy James, Neta Pulvermacher and Maida Withers. Laura then joined the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company. Laura has been teaching ballet to children and adults for many years. She is also a Registered Nurse. 
 

FACULTY

 
Alex Bloomstein
Artistic Director,
Ballet, Modern, Choreography
Alex Bloomstein began dancing in 1977. He was a full scholarship and fellowship student at the Jacobís Pillow Dance Festival.† He has studied ballet with Diana Byer, Benjamin Harkarvy, Choo San Goh, Marjorie Mussman, Janet Panetta, Igal Perry, and Rochelle Zide-Booth, among others. Alex studied modern dance at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio. He also studied the modern technique of Josť Limon with Daniel Lewis and Hannah Kahn. He has studied the Martha Graham modern dance technique with Diana Hart, Mary Hinkson and Norman Walker.

Alex has also studied composition and choreography with a variety of teachers, including Bessie Schoenberg and Lynne Taylor-Corbett. Alex has performed his choreography, as well as the choreography of others, at numerous venues, including the Jacobís Pillow Dance Festival and Dance Theater Workshop in New York City.

Alex has taught ballet technique, modern technique, composition and choreography, improvisation, and movement for actors in a wide variety of settings, including the Jacobís Pillow Dance Festival, the Williamstown Theater Festival, Williams College, and Simon's Rock of Bard College. He has also taught musculo-skeletal anatomy, kinesiology, and movement assessment.
 
Katie Bissinger
Associate Artistic Director,
Preparation for Ballet,
Musical Theatre, Tap, Choreography
Katie Bissinger has been dancing since she was 7 years old.  She began her classical ballet training with Powers Dance Art Centre of Newburgh and the Marya A. Kennett DanceCentre of Goshen, where she was a member of the Ballet Company. She later trained in New York City with Phil Black, Germaine Salsberg, Frank Hatchett and Sheila Barker.

Katie is a former Radio City Rockette and was dance captain of the first national tour of "The Who's Tommy". She has performed in numerous national and European tours of such shows as "42nd Street", "Annie Get Your Gun", "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "My One and Only".  She has directed and/or choreographed many musicals at Stagedoor Manor, The Philipstown Depot Theatre, and Haldane High School.  She is a member of Actors' Equity Association and also has a BFA in Film/TV Production from New York University.

Katie has been teaching dance, including Ballet, Tap, Musical Theater and Hip Hop, for over 25 years. 
Selina Chau
Middle and Upper School Ballet,
Pointe, Choreography
Selina Chau started her professional ballet training at the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts. She was a soloist with the Hong Kong Ballet under the direction of Stephen Jefferies and John Meehan, performing featured and leading roles in the Company's classical and contemporary repertoire, including The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Turandot, The Merry Widow, The Rite of Spring, Cinderella, and Spartacus, among others. She is also a ballet dancer with The Metropolitan Opera, where she has danced in many Metropolitan Opera productions, including John Adams's Nixon in China, Puccini's Turandot and Madama Butterfly, Mozart's Don Giovanni and Wagner's Parsifal.

In 2008, Selina received a full scholarship to pursue her Master of Fine Arts degree at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, focusing on ballet pedagogy and choreography. Selina is currently an adjunct ballet instructor at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and is certified to teach American Ballet Theater's National Training Curriculum. Her choreography has been presented in New York City, Beijing, Shanghai, Manila, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Seoul. 
Deanna Ford
Upper School Ballet, Jazz, Choreography
Deanna Ford began her classical training in Washington State. Upon
her arrival in New York City, she continued her training, on scholarship,
at the School of American Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, The Harkness
Ballet and with David Howard. Deanna began her professional career
as a soloist with the Hartford Ballet. She was also a member of the
New Jersey Ballet. Deanna was a featured ballet dancer for Radio
City Music Hall Productions, and was also a Rockette at Radio City
Music Hall. She has been teaching classical ballet and jazz
throughout the Northeast since 1998. 
Todd Hall
Middle and Upper School Ballet,
Partnering, Choreography
Todd Hall began dancing in Rhode Island, at the age of ten, with the Festival Ballet. One of his earliest roles was that of young Fritz, Clara's brother, in The Nutcracker. Todd trained at the School of American Ballet in New York City, as well as at the Joffrey Ballet School, and the School of the Boston Ballet. He has performed with the Boston Ballet and the Washington Ballet, among others, and has been a guest artist with a number of ballet companies in the United States, dancing such roles as Albrecht in Giselle, the Prince in Swan Lake, the Cavalier in Nutcracker, and Franz in Coppelia. Todd currently teaches and choreographs extensively throughout the Northeast and overseas. 
 

STAFF

 
Cindy Heady-Marsh
Administrative Assistant

Cindy Marsh retired from the New York State Office of Court Administration, where she was a State-wide administrator for Court programs and new initiatives. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Orange County Ballet Company.  She has lived in the Hudson Valley for most of her life.   
Mary Pesacreta
Administrative Assistant



Mary Pesacreta graduated cum laude from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York with a degree in the sciences.  She formerly worked in the development office at IBM.  She is a lifelong resident of Poughkeepsie.