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 Guest Faculty
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Luigie Barrera

Luigie Barrera started his dance training in ballet, contemporary, modern, and folk dance at the age of 13. With only two years of training, he was a finalist of the 2011 National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA).

 

Luigie has won Champion at the Association of Ballet Academies, Philippines (ABAP) Competition in 2013 and placed 2nd runner up at the CCP National Ballet Competition in 2018. He has also received several Honors and Distinction Awards from the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet (ACB) Examinations.

 

At the age of 19, he joined Ballet Philippines and was promoted to Member of Ballet Philippines II within the same season. He has performed with the company and has been given soloist roles such as the Toy Soldier in National Artist for Dance, Alice Reyes’ The Nutcracker. He has performed soloist roles such as the Nutcracker Prince from The Nutcracker, Franz from Coppelia, and Lankadem from Le Corsaire to name a few. Being the versatile dancer he is, Luigie has been hand picked to be choreographed on for numerous modern and contemporary pieces such as the titular role of Payaso Blanco among others.

 

In 2023, Luigie was scouted and handpicked by the Artistic Director to be brought to the United States as a soloist for Spiringfield Ballet Company, performing pieces such as Solaris and Masquarade. He joined Dissonance Dance Theatre in July 2023 as a Dance Artist, Rehearsal Associate, and Junior Ballet Master.

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Rena Bernardini

Rena Bernardini is originally from Somers, New York. She began training at the Westchester Ballet Center, studying everything from Ballet, Modern, Tap, and Jazz to Flamenco, Hawaiian, and Bharatanatyam. She then went on to study at the Boston Conservatory. Later, Rena had the opportunity to transfer to the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in England, where she received her BA Honors degree in Dance and Performance. While abroad, Rena performed at the Royal Opera House. Additionally, she worked with English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s program, taking the professional development course and volunteering as a classroom assistant. Rena has also traveled to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua with Juntos Collective to teach and perform in afterschool programs, nursing homes, orphanages, juvenile detention centers, and community centers.

After college, Rena continued her pedagogy studies through the ABT® National Training Curriculum program. She is a fully certified ABT® Instructor and received the Affiliate Award in 2022. She has taught on faculty at many schools, including the Auer Academy and the New York State Ballet Training Academy. Currently, she is on the faculty at The Washington School of Ballet and serves as an administrative assistant. Rena has significant experience teaching community engagement classes, including public school residency programs and adaptive dance at Gigi’s Playhouse. Furthermore, Rena served as a co-director of the Fort Wayne Ballet Youth Company. Most Recently, Rena has completed her master’s degree in Arts Administration with a thesis centered on improving mental health within the ballet industry.

As a professional dancer, Rena has danced with the Ballet Theater of Maryland, Fort Wayne Ballet, and New York State Ballet. She has been featured in many ballets, some of which include Coppélia (Lead Hour Soloist & Swanhilda’s Friend), Cinderella (Stepsister & Autumn Fairy), Paquita (Pas de Trois), and The Sleeping Beauty (Carabosse & Princess Florine). Rena has most enjoyed performing in Gerald Arpino’s Birthday Variations and Light Rain. Additionally, Rena performed Dew Drop Fairy as a guest artist for The Nutcracker at West Point’s Eisenhower Hall.

Silvia Burstein-Hendi

 

Ms. Burstein-Hendi was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she studied at the National School of Dance, obtaining her degree as National Teacher, and studied at the prestigious Teatro Colon where she obtained her Diploma as Professional Dancer. Ms. Burstein performed extensively in Canada with Le Ballet Classique de Montreal, Theatre Ballet of Canada, P.M. Ottawa Jazz and Le Groupe Lab (Le Groupe de la Place Royale). Ms. Burstein's teaching experience includes Le Groupe de la Place Royale, Elaine Hunter Dance School, Le Petit Ballet, Dance Educators, Atelier de Dance Carole Brouard, and Ottawa University. Since moving to the USA She choreographs and performs with Choreographers Collaboration Project. Ms Burstein is a faculty member at Ballet Nova Center for Dance , Metropolitan School of the Arts and Local Motion Project.

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Kimberly Fiordimondo

Currently, Ballet Mistress at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts at Suitland HS, Kimberly Fiordimondo received her ballet training in Vaganova & Cecchetti technique under such illustrious teachers as; Irina Boitsova, Irina Kolpokova, Raymond Lukens, and Michael Vernon. Performing with the International Ballet Theatre, Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware, and as a freelance artist in New York City, Kimberly performed in various ballets including Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Paquita, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, and La Bayadere.

In addition to her professional dance experience, Ms. Fiordimondo has taught dance for over twenty years throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, as well as Florida and Maryland. Ms. Fiordimondo holds a Masters of Arts degree in Dance Education with a concentration in American Ballet Theatre (R) Ballet Pedagogy from New York University and is an American Ballet Theatre (R) National Training Curriculum Certified Teacher in Primary through Level 7 & Partnering. 

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Sonia Jones

 

Sonia Jones was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she trained as a student, teacher and choreographer, and performed classical and contemporary dance repertoire prior to moving to Brooklyn in 2009. She has over fifteen years of teaching experience, including the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre (ABT), ABT’s Young Dancer Summer Workshop, Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Harlem School of the Arts, Huntington Center for Performing Arts, and Ballet Theatre of Lancaster. Sonia holds an MA in Teaching Dance in Higher Education and the Professions with a concentration in ABT Pedagogy from NYU Steinhardt. She a Qualified Certified Teacher in the Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet.

 

From 2015 to 2022, Sonia was a staff member of the education department at ABT, where, among other responsibilities, she managed ABT’s network of over 1,800 certified teachers. She also served on the board of examiners and as a co-instructor for the ABT/NYU Master’s Program with New York University Steinhardt. In 2022, she was appointed the Executive Director for Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn. Additionally, she is the founder of Sojo Performing Arts in Midtown Manhattan (currently on hiatus). She serves on the advisory board for Regeneration Arts (REGA) and is an Assistant Pastor at her church, Times of Refreshing Christian Centre, New York (TORCC NY).

Karen Lacy 

Karen Lacy lived in New York City for 21 years, working as a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer, and is now based in the Philadelphia area. Some of her dance credits include the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, New York City Opera, Neville Dance Theatre, and John Passafiume Dancers. Her choreography credits include La Traviata, Once Upon a Mattress, Romance Romance, The Big One, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Clue: The Musical, Chess, and countless children’s dance recitals. For the past 22 years, she has worked as a teaching artist in the NYC public schools with American Ballet Theatre, and is an ABT certified teacher who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7. She taught for 20 years at the School of Garden State Ballet and 10 years at Manhattan Youth Ballet in NYC, where she still guest teaches each summer.
Karen currently teaches at Dance Delaware, Twirl (PA), and has 28 years of experience at Gaynor Minden, as Senior Fitter and Dance Teacher Liaison.

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Robin Rodbell

 

Robin Rodbell is a dance artist and educator in the DC Metro area. She began her formal dance training at Colorado School of Dance, where she studied Vaganova ballet technique and tap. Robin continued to study ballet in the Cecchetti method at National Ballet Inc., where she earned her Professional Intermediate Certification and her Grade Three Teaching Certification through the Cecchetti Council of America.

While earning her Associate’s Degree at Anne Arundel Community College, Robin apprenticed with the AACC Dance Company. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography with a minor in Business Administration from Towson University. Robin has performed with Towson University’s Ballet Company, Moveius Contemporary Ballet, ICONS, Vaught Contemporary Ballet, BlueShift Dance, RawArts Dance, Extreme Lengths Productions, BalletEMbody, and Light Switch Dance Theatre. Her choreography has been featured at NACHMO, The Collective’s Open Marley Night, and MOVE ME Festival. Robin has also served as Technical Theater intern at Dance Place in 2019. She currently performs in project-based works and presents her own choreography in the DC metro area.

Robin has taught dance for over 5 years at studios throughout the DMV. She specializes in teaching ballet, modern, and tap dance for ages 3 through adult. She also brings to her teaching pedagogy an extensive education and child development background. Robin has worked closely with children of various ages as a nanny, an assistant preschool teacher, and a camp counselor for over a decade. It is her passion to inspire and mentor the next generation of dancers.  

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