faculty & staff

Amy Piantaggini | Artistic Director, Graham-Based Modern Technique, Contemporary Dance Ensemble, Pre-Ballet, Outreach.

Amy trained at the Boston Conservatory and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, where she received scholarships from the Gregory Peck Foundation and as a Finalist for the Coca-Cola Award for Artistic Excellence. Ms. Piantaggini is a former member of the Martha Graham Dance Company and the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble, in which she danced many soloist roles including “Satyric Festival Song” and “Conversation of Lovers”. Anna Kisselgoff of the New York Times said that Amy “made a luminous New York debut in Graham’s abstract view…” October 7, 1998. Amy has danced for the companies of Javier Dzul, Richard Move, and James Robey, and currently dances for Edgar Cortes Dance Theater. Amy’s teaching experience includes numerous schools throughout New England including the Hartt School/University of Hartford. She received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College with a focus in early American Modern Dance. Ms. Piantaggini has taught yoga, Pilates, and conditioning for dancers, is a member of the National Society for Dance History Scholars and National Dance Education Organization, and serves on the Danbury Dance Initiative task force.  She established RCD as a charter for National Honors Society for Dance Arts in 2016.

Alexander Glaz | Ballet Master, Nutcracker & Civic Ballet Director, Ballet, Pointe, Ballet for Boys.

Mr. Glaz offers expertise in ballet instruction in the French discipline. Mr. Glaz is a graduate of Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and trained at the Joffrey Ballet School, Studio Maestro/Manhattan Youth Ballet, Boston Ballet School, and Ballet Academy East, studying on scholarship with all. Mr. Glaz has enjoyed a worldwide performing career. Some of his favorite principal and soloist roles were in La Bayadere, Bolero, Torsia, and Empty Place with the Croation National Theatre in Zagreb. He has danced for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens De Montreal, North Carolina Dance Theater, Dance Theater of Harlem, Konami Ballet (Japan), Brooklyn Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet, North Star Ballet, Jose Mateo Ballet Theater, and Configuration Dance. Mr. Glaz brings tremendous knowledge in anatomy and kinesiology to his instruction, and is a certified yoga instructor by the International Sivananda Vedanta Yoga Centre. In his classes he emphasizes attention to detail and effortless quality of movement, focusing on proper execution of the steps. Of utmost importance to Mr. Glaz is precision in movement, cleanliness in technique, and the integration of artistry.

Bill Coates | Tap, Rhythm Tap Ensemble.

Bill Coates has taught tap dance up and down the east coast for almost 13 years. He has given master classes, taught teachers, and worked with children at countless studios as well as conventions. As an adjunct professor, he has taught tap dance at University of Maryland and Catholic University. Currently, he is on the faculty of Steps on Broadway, where he teaches students from young to old and beginner to professional. His classes emphasize rhythm, phrasing, speed and dexterity. They always include technique, mostly derived from tap greats such as Henry LeTang and Steve Condos.

Danielle Marie Fusco | Jazz, Musical Theater, Jazz Repertory Ensemble.

Danielle Marie Fusco is a professional dancer, choreographer, and NYS Teaching Artist. Her experience within the industry is extensive and varied. She is the co-Choreographer for “The Anthem: A Radical New Musical” off Broadway show at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre. Performance Credits include: Samuel Pott’s Episode of “American Document” at the Joyce Theatre with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Graham II repertory of “Heretic”, “Diversion of Angels”, chorus from “Night Journey”, other Graham repertory include, “Helios” from “Acts of Light”, Bride Solo from “Appalachian Spring”, and chorus from “Clytemnestra”. Her choreography, “AWOL” was presented at the Martha Graham Choreographic Showcase and the CAPEZIO ACE competition. She has performed Principal roles and choreographic collaboraton with The Manhattan College and a specialized Certificate of Teaching from the Martha Graham School where she received atelier scholarship. Danielle is a NYS Teaching Artist with the Martha Graham Company and Rachel Klein Theatre Ensemble, “Symphony of Shadows”, “Tragedy of Maria Macabre”, “Gogo Killers!”, etc. Danielle has worked and performed with choreographers/companies such as Edgar Cortes Dance Theatre, Jaclyn Buglisi “Table of Silence”, Noemi LeFrance, Nejla Yatkin, Lone Kjaer Larsen, Kelley Donovan and Dancers, Whitney Hunter Performance Group, Chi Chi Valenti and the Jackie Factory, Daniel Mendoza, Abdiel Cedric Jacobsen and Angela DeMello’s Dance Master Series in Italy with Kinsun Chan (Zurich Ballet) and Ben Tribe (Pineapple Dance UK). Danielle has toured internationally to UK, France, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Mexico and Italy. Danielle holds a BA in Dance and Dance Education from Marymount and tours nationally and internationally for Master Classes and workshops.

Mary Beth Hansohn | Ballet, Pointe, Apprentice Ballet Ensemble.

Mary Beth Hansohn received her professional training at The Arlington Center for Dance in Arlington, VA, and studied ballet in the hightest level at The American Ballet Theater Summer Program in New York City, where she performed George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations. She joined The Ohio Ballet as a full member at age 18, and went on to dance in works by Heinz Poll, Donald Byrd, Laura Dean, Ann Marie DeAngelo, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Stephen Mills, Septime Webre, Salvatore Aiello, Dermot Burke, Val Caniparoli, Jeffrey Hughes, Twyla Tharp, and Alonzo King. Mary Beth has performed with Dayton Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, The Cleveland Opera, D.C. Contemporary Dance Festival, Neglia Ballet Artists, The Adam Miller Dance Project, The National Tap Ensemble, and Terra Firma Dance Theatre. Mary Beth performed in the 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York City, which was televised on CBS. In 2014, she appeared and danced in the new television drama series “Flesh and Bone”. Mary Beth has also worked with Edouard Lock at La La La Human Steps in Montreal, and with Karole Armitage at Armitage Cone! Dance in New York City. Some of Ms. Hansohn’s favorite roles include the title role in Giselle, “Mina Harker” in Dracula, “Gerturde” in Hamlet, Le Corsaire pas de deux, “Russian Girl” in George Balanchine’s Serenade, the pas de trois from George Balanchine’s Agon, “Myrtha” in Giselle, and Unnatural Selection, a pas de deux choreographed and danced with her husband, James Graber. Mary Beth has judged dance competitions and choreographed in dance workshops across the country, and continues to teach ballet and contemporary dance in New York.

Polly Kingsbury | Educational Director.

Polly Kingsbury has had an extensive career in dance education. She has taught ballet, modern and jazz throughout Westchester and Connecticut. Polly spent most of her life studying and teaching at the Steffi Nossen School of Dance. During her tenure there she served in many capacities including Educational Director, Operations Director and Senior Staff Instructor. While there she hired, trained and supervised the teaching staff for the Steffi Nossen method curriculum classes and choreographed for the Junior Master Class, Concert Group and many performance groups. She was the Steffi Nossen Children’s Show director and producer from 1979-2004. Her choreography has been performed at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College. After moving to CT in 2004 she continues to serve as a consultant there. Polly has served as the Dance Coordinator for the Rye City Public Schools teaching PAC and choreographing for musicals, revues and choral groups within the district. For many years she served as a visiting instructor for the Westchester Arts Council teaching classes and workshops for special needs groups throughout the county. Polly has taught and lectured for the Hole in the Wall Gang “COPE” weekends in Southbury, CT. Polly’s performance credits include the Barnspace Dance Project based in Katonah NY and A New Generation of Dance at the Emelin Theatre in Larchmont, NY. Since moving to CT in 2004, Polly has been an enthusiastic supporter of RCD as a guest teacher, student, rehearsal assistant, seamstress, and much more. She is thrilled to be serving in this new capacity at RCD.

Allison Sale | Jazz, Contemporary.

Allison is an NYC based freelance artist. She began her training at Dancensations Dance Center, Alexandria, VA, and continued at The Kirov Academy of Ballet, Washington, D.C. Ms. Sale graduated with Honors and Excellence Awards from The University of the Arts, BFA Dance. In college, she was featured in works by Twyla Tharp, Paul Selwyn-Norton, Christopher Huggins, Ronen Koresh, and MOMIX. Additional performance credits include Amsterdam (Dansgroep Amsterdam), Costa Bravo Spain (American Dance Company), Cali Colombia (Diversity in Dance), and Santiago, Chile (UArts); as well as with choreographers Debbie Allen (Kennedy Center), Itzik Galili, Earl Mosely, Troy Powell, and Nathan Trice. She recently performed at Jacob’s Pillow with Nicholas Andre Dance, and with Alexis Convento + Artists at many NY venues. She is currently touring with Seattle based company, zoe|juniper, dancing in NY and Philadelphia with Dance Iquail, and performing installation art with Gabriel Forestieri’s Project Limb. She is contracted to be in The Met’s Opera of Prince Igor, this winter. She has been teaching Contemporary, Ballet, and Jazz for the past three years at Dance Dimensions, New Milford, New Jersey. She has also taught adult classes at Peridance Capezio Center (NYC), Koresh Dance Company (Philadelphia), and Velocity Dance Center (Seattle), and taught master classes in Lancaster, PA, Ridgefield CT, Ashburn VA, Alexandria, VA.

Ann Scaia | Ballet, Pointe.

Ann Scaia began her dance training in Ridgefield, CT under the tutelage of Patricia Schuster of the Ridgefield Studio of Classical Ballet. Ms. Schuster imparted her training at American Ballet Theatre which led to Ms. Scaia’s acceptance to Mary Day’s Washington Ballet Company and School in Washington, D.C. While there Ms. Scaia performed with the company in a variety of roles in the Nutcracker, most proudly the role of Clara. After two intensive years of training with Washington Ballet and two summers at School of American Ballet’s summer programs, Ms. Scaia moved to New York City to train full time at School of American Ballet. There she gained rigorous training in the demanding Balanchine Technique. As a teacher, Ms. Scaia’s goal and mission has been to pass on the traditions of exceptional training while instilling the joy of dance that is essential to developing confident and poised dancers.

Garrett Minniti | Hip Hop/Street Jazz.
Dona Wiley | Ballet, Pointe.

Dona works with the New York City based contemporary ballet companies Ballet INc and IKAA Dance as part of her career as a freelance dancer. She began her serious dance trainign at the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance and studied at many summer ballet intensives including Princeton Dance and Theatre under Susan Jaffe, Orlando Ballet under Peter Stark and Robert Hill, and the American Ballet Theatre Intensive in New York. She was twice awarded the Khalda Logan Scholarship Award through the Danbury Dance Initiative program and came in second place at the Connecticut Classic Ballet Competition in 2011. She performed with Connecticut Ballet for such shows including Sleeping BeautyAlice in Wonderland, and The Nutcracker. Wiley also appeared with the Neglia Ballet Artists as a member of the corps de ballet for Balanchine’s Serenade, an excerpt of Swan LakeThe Nutcracker, and most recently in thier full-length production of Giselle. She enjoyed a principal dance role int he off-broadway play Tchaikovsky, and has had the pleasure to perform the works of Emery LeCrone, Deborah Wingert, Gabrielle Lamb, Elena Comendador, Marcos Vedoveto, and James Robey, among others. As a teacher, Wiley has taught interim summer classes at the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance, Sas School of Dance, and the Sunrise Tutorial and Arts Academy in New York. She is also a member and co-founder of CelloPointe, a music and dance nesemble that was inspired by her father, cellist Peter Wiley, and the desire to pair live chamber music with original choreography.

John Cashman | Adjunct Faculty.

Certified Teacher, Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) John has been teaching and choreographing theatrical violence since 1989. He was introduced to stage combat as an actor performing in Summer Shakespeare Festivals in 1985. His luck at being cast in roles that required fencing and stage fights led him to further study of the art, which eventually became his passion. After receiving a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University, he continued to pursue the study of the sword while pursuing his career in the entertainment business. Intensive private training with various Fight Masters and at the SAFD’s National Stage Combat Workshop, led John to accreditation as a Certified Teacher in the Society of American Fight Directors in 1992. In addition to teaching stage combat, John is an accomplished Writer, Director, Artist, Fight Director and award winning Actor/Combatant. He continues to study fighting styles and history while teaching and directing fights across the country.

Edgar Cortes | Adjunct Faculty.

Edgar was born in Portugal. He graduated from the School of Dance of the National Conservatory in Lisbon where he worked with choreographers from Ballet Gulbenkiain, the National Ballet, Escola Superior de Danca, Escola Superior de Teatro and Companhia de Danca de Lisboa. In 1995 he was awarded a scholarship to the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York City where he worked with the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble and performed leading and solo roles. In New York City he has worked with Pearl Lang Dance Theater, Sophie Maslow, Jeanette Hemstad, Analysis Dance Company, Chen & Dancers, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Mark Dendy, as well as other independent choreographers. Edgar was a member of the wolrd renowned Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo and toured extensively for six years (U.S.A., Japan, Australia, Europe, Canada, South America, Central America). He has worked with Underworld Productions Opera. In 2010 he choreographed the opera “Pygmalion”- My Unfair Lady, 2011 “Apollo and Daphne, Clarence and Anita and was the costume designer fro “Don Pasquale” in 2012 and “Il Trionfo dell’Onore” in 2013. In January of 2009 he founded the Edgar Cortes Dance Theater. He was awarded grants by NOMAA and created “Unicornius”, a piece inspired by the Hunt of the Unicorn Tapestries currently at the Cloisters Museum, “Water Poodles, (2010) inspired by Esther Williams and synchronized swimming, and “DALI AQUI” (2011) inspired by Salvador Dali. His work “Quatro” (2012) is inspired by the 4 seasons. The latest work “SOL-I-DO” is inspired by Portugal and its traditions. Edgar is currently working on a new piece “CIRCOPIA”.

Michael Trunsovec | Adjunct Faculty.

A veteran member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Michael hails from Yaphank, New York. He began dancing at age six, and attended the Long Island High School for the Arts. In 1992 he was honored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (youngARTS) and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. In 1996 he received a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Professionally, he danced with Taylor 2 from 1996 to 1998, and has appeared with Cortez & Co. Contemporary/Ballet, and CorbinDances. Fall 1998 marked his debut with the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Mr. Trusnovec received a 2006 New York Dance and Performance Award (The Bessie) for his Body of Work during the 2005-06 Taylor season.

Guest Faculty |

James Robey (Webster University Assistant Professor of Dance), Peter Boal (New York City Ballet & Pacific Northwest Ballet), Michael Trusnovec (Paul Taylor Dance Company), Annmaria Mazzini (Paul Taylor Dance Company), Peter O’Brien (Royal Ballet), Blakeley White-McGuire (Martha Graham Dance Company), Tracie Stanfield (Synthesis Dance Project), Andrew Palermo (Dre Dance, B’way), Eran Bugge (Paul Taylor Dance Company), Eric Jordan Young (B’way), Bill Hastings (B’way veteran), Finis Jhung, Abby Silva (Parsons), Suzie Dodge (Paul Taylor & Dodge Dance Company), Sam Sinns (B’way Nat’l Tours), Kirven Boyd (Alvin Ailey), Paul Dennis (Jose Limon), James Harkness (B’way’s Lion King), Tiger Martina (B’ways Movin’ Out), Katie Stevinson-Nollet (Full Force Dance Theatre), Elie Lazar (Joffrey Ensemble Dancers), Yu Xin (ABT, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Shanghai Ballet), Michelle Fleet (Paul Taylor Dance Company), Cory Stearns (ABT), Adam Battelstein, Parsons Dance Company, Taylor II Dance Company, Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Ailey II Dance Company.