New Canaan Dance Academy
Dance is NCDA

Elaine Young, Director

Elaine grew up in London, England, where she studied Classical Ballet, Jazz and Tap dancing. At the culmination of each year she attended the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), and took her examinations in all three disciplines. She taught Ballet and Tap in New Canaan for three years before opening the Academy in 2001. Elaine lives in New Canaan with her husband and they have two children, and two grandchildren. Elaine is extremely excited about the start of the Academy’s eighteenth year.

Molly Booth, Company Director

Molly, originally from San Jose, CA, majored in Theater and minored in Dance at the University of CA, Riverside where she studied tap under Fred Strickler. Performance credits include the first National Tour of Happy Days The Musical, a 2010 tour in England singing and dancing alongside the British swing band The Jive Aces, as well as in many Regional Theater productions throughout California. Molly has won numerous awards for her choregraphy, including Los Angeles Ovation Award nominations in 2011 and 2012 for her work for the Troubadour Theater Company, the 2012 Back Stage Garland Award, a Broadway World L.A. nomination for her choregraphy of  A Christmas West Side Story, and a Broadway World San Francisco Award in 2013 and 2014 for Best Choreography for her work with the Transcendence Theatre Company. Molly was awarded placement in three consecutive years from 2012-2014 in the SDC Foundation's Observership Program, which offers participants the opportunity to observe Broadway Directors and Choreographers as they stage their productions. Molly Joined NCDA in 2014.

Sheena DiMatteo, Company Coach

Sheena, originally from Pittsburgh, PA, is a NYC-based choreographer, dancer, and teacher with a B.A. in Dance from Point Park University. Choreography credits include Assistant Chreographer to Marc Kimelman in Billy Elliott the Musical at the Goodspeed Theatre, and House Choreographer for The Cutting Room's "Rock 'N Roll Debauchery" show series in Manhattan. In addition, Sheena has choreographed 14 full-scale musicals for pre-professional theatre camps in PA and NYC. Performance credits include Little Shop of Horrors, 42nd St.!, The Producers, West Side Story, Will Rogers Follies, The Velveteen Rabbit, On the Town, How to Succeed… and Contact. Sheena is the on-screen host of the YouTube show, Just Dance: Season One, on DanceOn Network, and has performed in music videos, web series, flash mobs, concerts, showcases, and industrial events in NYC, including the Phish Madison Square Garden New Year's Eve Concert. She has danced with Stiletto Entertainment on the M.S. Oosterdam (Holland America Line) and for Revel Casino in Atlantic City. Sheena is the founder and artistic director of the traveling choreography shop: Dance In Transit. ,and is a certified Zumba instructor. Sheena joined NCDA in 2011.

Alexis Andrews

Alexis Andrews began her ballet training in Reno Nevada under the direction of Maggie Banks and Dr. Barbara Land. Her training continued at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, the School for American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet School, and the Joffrey Ballet School. She earned an MA from NYU Steinhardt in Teaching Dance in the Professions: American Ballet Theatre Ballet Pedagogy, and is an ABT Certified Teacher in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT National Training Curriculum, and is on the faculty of The American Ballet Theatre JKO Children's Division. Alexis has performed with the Nevada Festival Ballet, American Ballet Theatre School, University of Las Vegas' College of Dance, and as a Principal guest artist with the A.V.A. Ballet Theatre in productions of Swan Lake, Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty, and with the Prasana Bharata Natyam Dance Ensemble in Bangalore, India. Alexis Joined NCDA in 2014

Taylor Markarian

Taylor is originally from Worcester, Massachusetts, training at the Charlotte Klein Dance Centers before attending Marymount Manhattan College with a major in Dance. Performance credits include Transcendence Theatre Company, Peter Pan Benefit Concert, Broadway Takes Two (Principal), Get Ready (Dance Captain), Buenos Aires (Lead), Nick Kenkel’s Burlesque (Featured Dancer) and AIDACara (Aida Cruise Line). Taylor has worked on several occasions with award winning Broadway choreographer Josh Prince (Shrek, The Musical and Beautiful - The Carole King Musical). Taylor has been selected by Josh Prince to be a member of his Broadway Dance Lab (BDL), a choreographers’ “incubator” where dance artists can experiment with their creative ideas. Performance credits with BDL include Broadway Dance Lab: Trevor the Musical and Broadway Dance Lab Cycle 2 (Featured Dancer). Taylor was the Dance Masters of New England’s 2012 Miss Dance of New England. Taylor joined NCDA in 2016.

Emily Kersey

Emily is originally from Williamsburg, Virginia, and began her dance training at Chamber Ballet and the Institute for Dance before receiving a B.F.A in Jazz Dance Performance with a Minor in Musical Theater from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA., and then furthered her training at Broadway Dance Center's Summer Professional Semester. Performance credits include CATS on Broadway in the role of Cassandra, Flashdance: the Musical tour, Bullets Over Broadway, various performances at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and has performed works by William Forsythe, Monique Haley, Sidra Bell, and Al Blackstone. Emily has taught Master Classes through Broadway Connection and Stage Door Connections, bringing Broadway style choreography to studios across the country and internationally. Emily is a Head Adjudicator and Master Class teacher for Beyond the Stars and Breakout Dance competitions. Emily joined NCDA in 2018.

Luis Espinosa

Luis Espinosa, otherwise known as B-Boy Sweet Lu, started with a passion for wrestling while attending Harding High School in Bridgeport, CT. In 2004, after being a three-time state champion and winning an FCIAC title multiple times, he decided to pursue his new passion - Breaking. Luis hasn't stopped since, and went on to being co-founder of the CT-based crew, "United Outkast" which can be seen in Step Up 3-D, and later joined the world-renowned crew "Dynamic Rockers". In 2009, Luis was part of the B-Boy World team, and began travelling internationally to compete as well as host events for the Pro Breaking Tour. He founded his own concept event, "Sweet-Lu's Crazy Eight's", an annual Urban Dance & Educational Foundation (UDEF) battle in Connecticut involving some of the world’s best Breakers. Luis also produces and writes music, under his artist name "Luis Alien". Luis joined NCDA in 2016.

Melissa Hunt

Melissa, originally from New Jersey, graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in Dance from the University of Buffalo, where she received broad-based training to the Advanced level in multiple dance disciplines. Performance credits in Regional and NYC theatre include “Anybodys” and “Velma” in West Side Story, 92nd Street Y’s Broadway Takes Two, tap dancer in Al Blackstone’s 27th Annual Gypsy of the Year, which is Broadway’s fundraiser for Broadway Cares, as well as his Capezio Fashion Show, dance captain in productions of Evita, My Fair Lady, and Annie Get Your Gun. Choreography credits include Mame, Macbeth, as well as numerous University of Buffalo productions. Melissa is the founder and Director of the NJ Dance Project, which provides young, talented dancers a platform from which they can explore performance opportunities that reach beyond studio recitals and competition performances. Melissa joined NCDA in 2017.

Emilee Pratt

Emilee graduated with a BFA from SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Dance, receiving training in all styles including Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Cunningham, Limon, Graham, Improv, and Composition. Prior to SUNY Purchase, Emilee studied for over 10 years at the Timothy M. Draper Center for Dance Education, the official school for the Rochester City Ballet Company.  Emilee has received further training at the Movement Invention Project by Alexandra Wells, a Juilliard School faculty member for 18 years, and at Devices by Doug Varone, a Choreographic Intensive program. Performance credits include roles in Rochester City Ballet’s Serenade, Cinderella, Incantation, and The Nutcracker, in addition to several performances with the Purchase Dance Company’s productions of A Choreographic Offering, Sustained Recovery, Lux and Cotillion B. Emilee joined NCDA in 2018.

Roya Carreras

Roya, an Iranian-Hispanic choreographer, dancer and educator received dance training as a fellowship student at The Alvin Ailey School, and at Springboard Danse Montreal. Roya holds a BFA in Dance with Honors from UC Irvine. As a choreographer, Roya’s work has been presented at CURRENT SESSIONS, Baruch Performing Arts Center, and The Green Building in New York City; and in California, she has presented at Highways Performance Space, Electric Lodge Theater, Glenn Wallichs Theatre, and BRAVA. Performance credits include Barak Marshall at BodyTraffic, Bryan Arias, Danielle Russo Performance Project, Lux Boreal Danza Contemporanea in Tijuana (Mexico), and California Riverside Ballet, Intersect. Roya has been a resident choreographer for Columbia Ballet Collaborative of Columbia University, and has taught ballet, contemporary, and improvisation at Peridance Capezio Center, American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), Riverside Ballet Arts, Riverside City College, Pasadena Dance Theater, and Brockus Conservatory. Roya joined NCDA in 2017.

Kristen Carcone

Kristen, originally from Toronto, graduated with a BFA, Highest Honors, from the New World School of the Arts (Miami, Fl). Kristen’s performance credits include The New Year’s Eve Phish Concert at MSG, Tangente’s Danses Buissonnieres (Montreal), The New Prague Dance Festival (Czech Republic), Conteur Dance Company (Toronto), Frog in Hand (Mississauga), ISODOC Dance Group (New York) and Project Limb (New York). Choreography credits include Joseph Gordon Levitt’s My Favourite Things video and in Supa’Nova. Kristen is co-founder of Toes For Dance, an outreach and exchange initiative that provides a platform for dance education and artistic exchange. Kristen has been the recipient of the Florida-Canada Linkage Scholarship (Outstanding Dance Graduate), and the Frank Augustyn Scholarship, and has been featured in Dance Current Magazine, Dance Studio Life Magazine, and on Rogers TV’s Local Notes. Kristen joined NCDA in 2017.

Emma Fichtner

Emma is from New Canaan, CT and graduated with a Dance Major (Performance Concentration) from Muhlenberg College. Her Performance Concentration comprised intensive daily studio training, with an emphasis on choreography and live performances, as well as a solid historical and theoretical background in dance. With a heavy emphasis on concert-style presentations, performance opportunities came with up to eight main concerts annually, as well as numerous more informal, student choreography-driven presentations. Emma was a featured choreographer and dancer in several of these concerts. Prior to College, Emma was a member of NCDA’s Company, and we are excited to welcome her on board as a Faculty member. Emma joined NCDA in 2017.

Mallory Pettee

Mallory, originally from Ohio, graduated cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College with a B.F.A. in Dance having received training in ballet, jazz, theatre, contemporary, modern, hip hop, tap and voice. Additional training included the Ballet Theatre of Toledo, Company C Dance Club, the Cincinnati Ballet, Boston Ballet and the North Carolina Dance Theatre. Performance credits include On the Town, the Broadway Christmas Wonderland Tour, Fire Island Dance Festival, and an industrial at Radio City Music Hall. In addition to being a professional photographer, Mallory is a volunteer for the Hudson Guild Foundation, a community agency focusing on helping those in need in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. Mallory joined NCDA in 2018.

Alexandra Frohlinger

Alex is originally from Winnipeg, Canada, where she trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, studying all styles of dance, and went on to graduate magna cum laude with a BFA in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory. Performance credits include the National tour of Hello Dolly!, member of the original Broadway cast of Soul Doctor the Musical, played the first singing role of the character Anybodys in West Side Story in its first National tour of the U.S., Canada and in Tokyo, Japan at the Theatre Orb, and the National tour with Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. Alex appeared as a top 10 finalist in Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s reality TV show Triple Sensation, a search for talented young people who can sing, act and dance. In addition to stage performance, Alex has adjudicated and taught all over North America. Alex joined NCDA in 2016.                                                          

Madeline Wright

Maddy, originally from Toronto, Canada, graduated from Point Park University where she completed her BFA degree in Dance with high honors. Maddy extended her dance training with Sprongboard Danse Montreal, Movement Invention Project, and two sessions of Sidra Bell's SBDNY Module. Performance credits include collaborating and performing the works and projects of Cindy Salgado, Terrence Marling, Gregory Dolbashian, Sonya Tayeh, Helix Dance Project, and Frog in Hand. Additionally, Maddy has worked closely with FRESH Dance Intensive, teaching at many locations across Canada. Maddy co-directed Beyond Movement Dance Intensive in its inaugural venture at Leeming Danceworks in Ottawa, Canada, and has also worked with and performed in Sonya Tayeh's premiere production of you’ll still call me by name at New York Live Arts. Maddy joined NCDA in 2019.

Vanessa Long

Vanessa graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Theatre and Dance, having trained in gymnastics and contortion. Vanessa is the founder and Artistic Director of the Vanessa Long Dance Company (VLDC) which performs original Contemporary work in NYC and the Tri-State area and has been honored with permanent residencies at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre and at Anita’s Place. Choreography credits include seventeen Off-Broadway shows as well as music videos and short films. In addition to her work with VLDC, Vanessa has over 12 years of experience as a dance educator with a focus on Acro, contortion and gymnastics, combining her choreography background in Contemporary dance with body movement. Vanessa joined NCDA in 2019.

Megan McLaughlin

Megan is originally from Des Moines, Iowa and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance (dance, voice & acting) from Oklahoma City University. Megan gained further training with the 4-month intensive program at Broadway Dance Centre’s Professional Semester, which incorporated private and group master classes in a variety of genres, mock auditions, and practical industry seminars. Performance credits include National Tours of 42nd Street and Elf The Musical, Regional performances of Singin’ In The Rain, Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, Crazy For You, Oklahoma, The Will Rogers Follies, Beauty And The Beast (Dance Captain), and 42nd Street in Ogunquit, Maine and in Lexington, Kentucky. In addition to being a dance educator, Megan adjudicates at dance competitions, and teaches English as a Second Language online. Megan joined NCDA in 2019.

Chloe Lafleur

Chloe is originally from San Diego, CA., graduating from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a B.A. in Dance and went on to further her training at Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester in New York City. Performance credits include Monster Stomp at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Helga in Cabaret at the Scranton Shakespeare Festival and has performed in commercials, live events and industrials throughout NYC. Choreography credits include Cabaret at Scranton Shakespeare Festival, Associate to Josh Assor for the Off-Broadway show Medicine the Musical, which premiered at HERE Arts Center downtown, assisted Brooke Wendle on Dance Lab NY, Marc Kimelman on Dance Break NY and has worked closely with Karla Garcia, Al Blackstone and Billy Griffin. Chloe is a company member with ALMA NYC, a philanthropic-based Artist Collective devoted to fostering and empowering artists through new works, community and outreach. Chloe joined NCDA in 2019.

Topaz Davis

Topaz is originally from Mesa, Arizona where she began her training under the direction of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet faculty member Christina Hampton. Topaz then furthered her studies as a full-time trainee at the Miami City Ballet School in Miami Beach, Florida. Throughout her training she attended numerous summer intensive programs including The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, Boston Ballet, Nashville Ballet, and Moxie Contemporary Ballet in Portland, Oregon. Topaz has danced professionally in the Corps de Ballet with the California Ballet Company in San Diego and also spent a summer season dancing with Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance in Asheville, North Carolina in 2018. Her repertory includes works by George Balanchine, Septime Weber, Salvatore Ailleo, Heather Maloy, Thor Sutwoski, and Jared Nelson. Topaz joined NCDA in 2019.

Betty Weinberger

Betty is originally from Phoenix, Arizona and graduated from Oklahoma City University with a BFA in Dance as well as a degree in Arts Administration. Additional education included a scholarship from Gus Giordano Dance School, and the GUS College/Pro Summer Intensive. Performance Credits include Al Blackstone's Freddie Falls in Love at the Joyce Theatre (playing the title role), the National Tour of ELF: The Musical, Singin' In the Rain and Beauty and the Beast at the Fireside Theatre in Wisconsin, television's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and with Princess Cruises traveling to Alaska, Tahiti, Hawaii, Bora Bora, the Mexican Baja. In addition to Al Blackstone, Betty has worked with Marcos Santana and Stephen Schwartz, and was Assistant Choreographer to BJ Cleveland in Jack Frost. Betty joined NCDA in 2020.

Carey Segal

Carey is originally from Memphis, TN and graduated from the University of Arizona with a BFA in Dance and minor in Film & Television. While at Arizona, Carey assisted her professor at the Bolzano Danza International Festival in Bolzano, Italy. Prior to studies in Arizona, Carey attended both a Ballet school as well as a Competition studio, and spent her summers training, on scholarships, at the Edge in LA and Broadway Dance Center (BDC) in NYC, and also toured the country assisting for Tremaine Dance Convention. Additional training included BDC's Professional Semester. Performance credits include the National Tour of Elf The Musical (Swing/Dance Captain), Broadway Christmas Wonderland (Ensemble), Cherchez la Femme (Ensemble/Dance Captain); TV/Film: Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon/Principal Dancer), Dance Battle Playlist (Nickelodeon), NBC Upfronts (NBC), Sidelined (Lifetime), and with Royal Caribbean (Spectra's Cabaret). Carey joined NCDA in 2020.

Mckenzie Mullan

Mckenzie Mullan, originally from New Jersey, graduated summa cum laude from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in dance, and a BA in Journalism from NYU College of Arts and Science. While at Tisch, Mckenzie was selected to study abroad at a dance intensive in Berlin, where she had the opportunity to attend b12, a contemporary dance festival. Prior dance education included the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet (GKA) in New York. Performance credits include dancing in works by Paul Taylor, Ron K Brown, Jeremy Nelson, and James Martin, cast member for RWS Entertainment Group traveling on Holland America Line’s Eurodam, Gamme at Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater (commissioned to perform her solo Version 2), and at Jazz at Lincoln Center with the Vanessa Long Dance Company. In addition to dance, Mckenzie trained in gymnastics while at GKA under US Gymnastics Hall of Fame rhythmic gymnast Jessica Howard. Mckenzie joined NCDA in 2020.

Erica Barton

Erica grew up in Westchester, NY and graduated from Oklahoma City University with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance, with training in Theatre Dance, Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, acting, voice, and Dance Pedagogy. Additional training included Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester Internship, the American Tap Dance Foundation’s Tap City Youth Ensemble, Broadway Theatre Project, and Synthesis Dance Project. Performance credits include Elf: The Musical - National Tour, Stephanie Mangano in Saturday Night Fever, Pippin, and Hersheypark Entertainment. Erica joined NCDA in 2020.

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