2010-2011: Headshots

Charlie Biers (’13) Charlie Biers is a sophomore and a political science major with a possible correlate in Italian and Korean. Before VRDT Charlie was a dedicated student of the prestigious website know as youtube where he studied religiously the dance styles of Beyonce and Ciara. He enjoys food, sleep, food, Beyonce, food, and is thrilled that dance now consumes his enitre life…..literally.
Emma Burke (’14) Emma is a freshman and has been dancing for fourteen years. She is a native Rhode Islander and is wholly undecided in what she would like to major in. She is completely thrilled to be a part of VRDT this year!
Jeremy Busch (’14) Jeremy is honored to be a member of VRDT’s 2010-2011 season. He is a freshman who has danced for 10 years and has studied ballet, tap, jazz and modern. His mentors include Ginger Cox, Dawn Hillen, and Claudia Rahardjanoto, all of whom inspired him when he was a student at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Jeremy would like to thank the VRDT faculty for this amazing opportunity.
Dana Cass (’11) Dana is a senior from fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada who is endlessly grateful to have spent the past three years in VRDT learning about Shaker religious traditions, Irish step dance, bubbles, and the latest in leather legwear. Thanks to the faculty, especially John and Jeanne, for taking me to the next level, and to my family and friends for their love (and audience membership).
Dana Christy (’11) Dana Christy was raised by the most incredible family in the universe in the most beautiful city on the planet, which accounts for her unshakable conviction that life is, and always will be, awesome. She would like to thank the dance department, her family, her fellow seniors, and Michael Jackson for their boundless love and encouragement. She is so very grateful for every moment she is given to dance.
Brianna Clark (’11) Brianna is a senior double major in Women’s studies and Psychology participating in her third year with VRDT. She received her formal training from Eastern Connecticut Ballet and The Walnut Hill School for the Arts. When she is not in the studio or holed up in the library thesising, you can find her “liking” Dana Cass’ facebook statuses, playing with Dana Christy, and quoting the dance faculty. After graduation, she vaguely plans on bouncing to Europe and participating in a myriad of diverse, if yet unknown, life-enriching activities.
Elly Dembo (’13) Elly is a sophomore from New York City who is still working on picking a major. She began her studies at Studio Maestro, and at age nine, went on to study at the School of American Ballet. In 2006, she left to study at the JKO School at American Ballet Theatre. Elly is so glad to have the opportunity to be a part of VRDT again, and is looking forward to working with all the wonderfully talented people involved!
Mallory Easton (’11) Mallory is a senior Urban Studies major from Nashville, Tennessee. She enjoys writing witty poems, listening to Harry and the Potters, and getting into the occasional swinging accident in Vermont.
Mike Graceffa (’13) Mike is a sophomore from Waltham Massachusetts and is super excited to be joining VRDT this year. A musical theatre boy at heart, he is very excited to be studying other dance disciplines like modern and ballet. Michael has been dancing since the age of three and would like to give his love to his extremely supportive Mom and Dad, his Aunt Joanne for bringing the love of dance into his life, and his fellow VRDT and Fly People dancers who bring the aspect of friendship and love into his passion.
Katharine Gripp (’13) Katharine Gripp is a sophomore from the quaint little town of Fairhope, Alabama (although, NO, she doesn’t have a southern accent). She plans to major in English, and spends most of the small amount of time she’s not dancing or writing papers making costumes for Shakespearian performances, and (surprisingly) engaging in other dance-related activities. She loves everything about VRDT and is so happy to be part of the company for another year!
Kelly Harrington (’14) Kelly Harrington is a freshman from Syracuse, NY where she studied at the Center of Ballet and Dance Arts for 13 years taking ballet, jazz, and modern classes. When she’s not dancing, you will find her playing horn in the orchestra, studying various sciences, eating lots of vegetables, and occasionally playing piano. This is her first year in VRDT and she can’t wait to start dancing with everyone!
John Hayden (’13) John is a sophomore Biology major from the North Shore of Massachusetts. After 5 years of classical training, John took a break from ballet during high school and explored interests in both choreography and modern dance. Arriving at Vassar last fall, John rediscovered his passion for ballet and contemporary dance through the extraordinary guidance of the VRDT faculty. He is tremendously exciting to be entering his 7th year of dance and his second year of performing with VRDT.
Brian Heil (’14) Brian is a freshman from San Diego, CA. He is excited to be a part of the amazing VRDT community, and is loving every minute of it so far. Brian trained for nine years at the San Diego Academy of Ballet studying Russian classical ballet with Maxim Tchernychev. He couldn’t be happier with the program at Vassar, and would like to especially thank John Meehan for his incredible direction and instruction.
Thomas Hochla (’13) is a sophomore Music Major from Oklahoma. Seen onstage since the age of nine, Thomas began taking dance “full time” since his freshman year of high school. Dance and Music are his passions, and he would like to thank all his teachers, friends, and family here and back home for their undying love and support in these artistic endeavors.
Michaela Kleber (’11) Michaela Kleber is a senior History, French, and English major from Massachusetts who has been dancing since she was 2 years old. Her favorite ride at Disney World is Expedition Everest, her favorite Harry Potter book is Chamber of Secrets, and her favorite day of the week is Thursday. She is extremely grateful to the dance faculty and her fellow members of VRDT (and FlyPeople!) for enabling her addiction to dance. Special thanks to the Army for making her seem comparatively sane.
Isabella Kosmacher (’14) Isabella Kosmacher hails from the small city of Keene, NH. She has studied, performed, and choreographed dance since she was a toddler. Now that she has joined the VRDT, the rest of Bella’s dreams include peacefully solving the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict and single-handedly consuming an entire Ben and Jerry’s “Vermonster”. She would like to express her deepest love and gratitude to her family and fellow group.
Nicole Krenitsky (’11) Nicole is a senior from Syracuse, New York who began dancing at the age of three and just can’t seem to stop. On the rare occasions when she leaves Kenyon, Nicole studies Science, Technology & Society and Italian while pursuing an avid interest in global health. Nicole would like to thank all of the choreographers for this wonderful opportunity, her family and friends for their ongoing support and her fellow VRDT members for their inspiration and love.
Jenna Kronenberg (’13) Jenna is a sophomore from New Jersey and is thrilled to be dancing with VRDT for a second year. When not dancing you can find her Student-Fellowing in Davison or eating some type of sandwich. She undeniably loves her fellow CARES counselors, and hopefully by the time you read this she will have proposed her independent major in Psycholinguistics. Jenna sends all of her love to her wonderfully supportive family and friends, especially to her sister Lexi (BFAB!) who always keeps her smiling.
Caitlyn Lamdin (’11) Caitlyn Lamdin is a Senior Religion and Africana Studies major and French/Arabic correlate from Barre, VT. This is her third and final wonderful year in VRDT, and after co-crafting two sassy jazz pieces with the other half of Dame Shirley Bassey, she is now very excited to choreograph independently for the company. When she is not rehearsing for VRDT, she can generally be found in OTHER rehearsals, namely of the FlyPeople variety, working on the occasional musical production, teaching Hip Hop Aerobics, or whipping her hair back and forth. To the dance faculty – who have never stopped challenging her – and to her cast – who has never stopped to challenge her crazy ideas – she sends a sincere THANK YOU, and to all the company – her undying love.
Max Lapides (’14) Max is a freshman from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He originally started dancing throughout middle school because someone told him he should be able to dance if he ever wants to do musical theater. Over time, though, dance became an independent passion and now, here he is! And when he isn’t being a theater geek, he spends his time being an avid computer geek.
Simone Levine (’13) Simone is a sophomore philosophy major from Memphis, TN. She has danced her entire life and will probably never stop
Desiree Melendez (’13) Des is currently a sophomore and traveled all the way from Queens to get here. After a summer spent honing her skills at Dance New Amsterdam she feels truly blessed to be able to continue dancing this year with VRDT. She aspires to one day start a mass dance party in a field somewhere, hopefully as great as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA8z7f7a2Pk
Katrina Newman (’13) A sophomore at Vassar, this is Katrina’s second year in VRDT. She trained for ten years at the Orlando Ballet School under scholarship and has also studied at the Milwaukee Ballet School and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. In the Youth America Grand Prix she made it twice to the New York City finals and has performed at New York City Center.
Niya Nicholson (’14) Niya hails from the Fabulous New York City!! Since the tender age of three, Niya has developed an immense passion for the art of dance. She has been trained in various dance techniques such as: modern, ballet, jazz, african, and tap at the Harbor Conservatory for the Arts as well as Fiorello H. LaGuardia H.S. Niya is ecstatic about being a part of the VRDT this year and cannot wait to showcase her talent!!!
Matt Ortile (’14) Matt is a freshman from Las Vegas, Nevada and is super stoked to carve the space with VRDT. Many thanks to the brilliant dance department for the opportunity to be part of the company. A potential Media Studies major at Vassar, Matt enjoys romantic comedies, contemporary jazz (dance and music), and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
Brittany Ouyang (’11) Brittany is a Senior Psychology major and French and Mandarin minor from San Francisco, CA. She began training at the San Francisco Ballet School at the tender age of 7, and 11 years, 2 bunions and about a million Nutcrackers later, she joined the fabulous VRDT. A language enthusiast, sucker for pop culture and die-hard fashionista, Brittany plans to become the next Rachel Zoe. Many thanks to VRDT and the dance faculty for giving her the opportunity to continue doing what she loves.
Chelsea Peterson-Salahuddin (’13) Chelsea Peterson-Salahuddin is a Sophomore from the Upper West Side of Manhattan . She is (slowly but surely declaring) a Media Studies and Political Science double major, which is basically to say that she hasn‘t the slightest clue what she is going to do with her life. She began dancing at the tender age of four, primarily so her mom would buy her a tutu, and has trained in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and flamenco. Aside from dance, Chelsea enjoys the great American past times of procrastinating, sleeping, watching gangster mob movies and romantic comedies (Which are basically one in the same, right? ), and singing in the shower. This is Chelsea’s second year in VRDT and she is super-duper-ooper excited to be back!
Juliana Rodzinski (’14) Juliana is a freshman from Fort Worth, Texas. She has been dancing since age 3, attending summer programs at San Francisco Ballet School, Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell at the Kennedy Center, Texas Ballet Theater, The Kirov Academy of Ballet, and the Jillana School. At 16, she took a year off of school to dance as a trainee with Texas Ballet Theater under the direction of Ben Stevenson. Juliana then decided to go back and finish high school and take to time off from dance. She would like to thank the VRDT family for creating the most wonderful place to get back into dancing shape.
Alex Spyropoulos (’11) Of course all children’s Neverlands vary a great deal. Alex’s, for instance, had a great floor on which you could dance all day, or at least for a couple hours until you got tired and decided to make snacks or embark on a terrific adventure.
Amanda Sugino (’11) Amanda is a senior Psychology major from New York City currently steeling herself to become a starving artist and pursue her dream of becoming a professional modern dancer. Emotional as she may be over her fourth and final year with VRDT coming to a close, she is ever so thankful to the dance faculty for inspiring her to pursue the dream. Amanda would like to send extra thanks to John, for showing her how to grow up, and to Jeanne Czula, for acting as her Vassar mom. She would also like to thank this wonderful company for making her years at Vassar so utterly fabulous
Anna Wilen (’13) Anna Wilen is a sophomore this year at Vassar College. She was born and raised in Davis, California and has been dancing since age eight. Besides dancing Anna loves traveling, cooking, good books, and sunshine.
Stephen Xue (’11) Stephen Xue is a fourth year student majoring in lichenology. Hailing from Shanghai, China, Stephen is a connoisseur of Brie, an Oscar nominee, and an avid spelunker. He was recently awarded the Caldecott Medal for his book, Just Shut Up And Go To School. Also certified for childcare services, he hopes to one day raise his very own twin Kune Kune piglets. Stephen loves to dance and would like to express a heartfelt thank you to the Vassar Dance Department for potentially introducing him to a life of poverty. This is Stephen’s third year in VRDT.