Rachel Altemose is a senior English and Drama double major; spending most of her time (and gaining a significant amount of exercise) running cross campus from Kenyon to the drama and English buildings. She began taking ballet at the age of three with jazz and modern following shortly after. Though originally a self-proclaimed bunhead, it has been amazing exploring the many techniques and styles VRDT has to offer. Most recently, Rachel had the incredible opportunity to dance in Jacob’s Pillow’s Musical Theatre Dance intensive in Becket, Massachusetts. She is thrilled and saddened to be back for her final year of VRDT!


Kelly Bernatzky is a senior anthropology major from Amherst, Massachusetts. She is very excited for another year of dancing with VRDT! She appreciates the small things in life, like naps, candy, and binge watching Grey’s Anatomy. In her free time, she’s usually sleeping or singing and if you ever see her listening to music, you can probably assume that it’s broadway. She would like to thank her mom and her cat, Fuzzy, for always being her two biggest fans.


Fiona Bruckman is a first year from Philadelphia (ish), Pennsylvania. She does not know what she wants to study but is maybe thinking something along the lines of English, science, history, animals, shapes, feelings, etc. She has seltzer in her veins instead of blood. It is amazing what the power of will can do.


Sloane Burling is a first year at Vassar and is excited to share the stage with all of VRDT’s fantastic dancers. He was roped into dancing essentially against his will at the age of 12, and has been hooked ever since. He comes from a small, insignificant town in Connecticut (seriously, nothing happens), where he received a broad dance training in several disciplines, ranging from ballet to tap to many others. He is also an avid procrastinator and is writing this bio the night before it is due. Nevertheless he is excited for what the next few years might bring!


Four-year-old Erin Byrne sat in the back of her family’s car as they passed the local dance studio. “Who wants to take dance classes?” asked Erin’s mother. To this day, Erin is still not sure if this was a serious question. Regardless, she proceeded to announce that she did in fact want to take dance classes, and she has been dancing ever since. Erin is excited for her second year in VRDT, and believes that her four-year-old self would be proud.


TMoney, also known as Tiana Chung, also known as Mrs. Aubrey Drake Graham.


Lilli DiPaola loves a good (or bad) pun. So please share. She would be lost without the support of many cups of coffee. She originally hales from Colorful Colorado, but has more recently lived a nomadic lifestyle. This is her second year in VRDT, and she is excited to spend more time with such an amazing group of people!


Sefa February says, “Look, Mom! I’m dancing!”


Wearing her trusty Grishko pointe shoes, Lisette Fischer came pirouetting out of the womb and hasn’t stopped dancing since. During the rare moments she isn’t twirling across the floor, Lisette enjoys impressing her friends with her gelato-scultping skills; however, she can only make flowers and she can only do it with a special spatula that she no longer has – so she can’t actually make you one right now… Lisette would like to thank Dr. Rose for putting her back together (again) and saving her from the fate of Humpty Dumpty; she also wants to say I LOVE YOU to her dear friends and family who graciously put up with having her legs literally everywhere (flexibility – it’s a gift and a curse). She hopes you enjoy the show, and for those of you who couldn’t make it – just make her a bowl of spicy ramen and all will be forgiven (just kidding, please come!).  Lisette is thrilled to be a part of VRDT this year and is super excited to share the stage with all the beautiful humans of this lovely company.


Cailley Gerald-Yamasaki (she/her/hers) is a sophomore from Santa Cruz, California. She loves novels, redwood forests, singing, and her two standard poodles back home. But above all, she is—and will be for the foreseeable future—undecided as to her major.


Raphe Gilliam is a senior Drama major from Shutesbury MA. His hobbies include watching The Great British Bake Off, baking, and eating those aforementioned baked goods (they usually occur in that order). If his theatrical aspirations don’t pan out, he hopes to fall back on teaching Jazzercize. Or at least looking like he teaches Jazzercise.


Elliot Hoke is a first year student and has been dancing for over a decade now. With mostly Broadway and Tap experience in the past this whole thing is a huge step up for him.


Sydney “the Squid” Lee is back and better than ever for her final year with the troupe. Since audiences were last privileged enough to see her sublime 169-centimeter frame glide across a stage in the cool autumn breeze, Sydney completed a semester abroad in London where she studied theatre and became far more cultured than you could ever hope to be. Formerly Chinese Korean-American, studied abroad, now British. Syd the Kid is passionate, eccentric, fun, tolerant, has questionable taste in men… also does the dancing. Student, student- psychologist, student-fellow, student-dancer, student-actor, student-model, student-human. Constantly icing ankles. A loved fellow Cushling. A rare bird. (P.S- 3/10 pong partner for those wondering). Enjoy her while you can, or die unfulfilled.   

~ Written by her closest frens


Emily Lesorogol is a freshman from St. Louis, Missouri. Emily has danced since she was three years old, and is super excited and grateful to be a part of VRDT. Other than dance, she loves to paint, sculpt, bake, and listen to podcasts. Emily is looking forward to a year full of new choreography and is so excited to be a part of the Vassar dance community!


Hannah Littman is a first-year and is beyond excited to begin her journey with VRDT! She hails from Los Angeles where she started dancing at age 11 because she needed to find a regular extracurricular activity (but secretly she was also jealous of her friends who were dancers). Now here she is at age 19 genuinely wishing she could spend all of her time wiggling around in the studio. She would like to thank her family for always supporting her, and she can’t wait to see what’s in store in the coming years!


Taylor Lodise is a senior from good old North Brunswick, New Jersey. She’s an aspiring lawyer with an English major and an Astrophysics minor. When she’s not dancing or choreographing, she’s either napping or rollerblading around campus. Chocolate anything is her fave, and she enjoys long car rides in her beetle convertible (no, she didn’t put the flowers on it!) She’s so excited to perform and would like to thank all of the friends and family who have helped her grow over the years.


Sophia Massie is a junior double-majoring in Sociology and French. She is excited for her third year in VRDT and first year as VRDT Assistant to the Director. Sophia wants to take this opportunity to apologize to John Meehan for all the haircuts <3


Julia Mastandrea is a sophomore from Boston, Massachusetts. She has been dancing since she was 3, and is so excited to be a part of VRDT this year! When she’s not dancing she can usually be found reading or watching Buzzfeed Tasty videos. She would like to thank her two cats, and also her family and friends, for their constant support.


Joshua Moody is a freshman potential Cognitive Science major from New York, New York. He has danced ballet and modern for almost 5 years under Ballet Tech and Eliot Feld’s company. He has appeared at the Delacorte, New Victory, and Joyce theaters.  When he is not dancing you can find him biking around campus or training on the track. He would like to shout out the “Real Ones,” the people who actually change the world.


you can find mia moraru either walking on her hands or walking on a rooftop. if you can guess all of the 5 languages she speaks she’ll tell you an exciting story about one of the times she almost died. her blood type is a+.


Eliza Perkins is a returning junior to VRDT from Monterey, CA. Whether throwing dance parties with her friends on New Year’s Eve in a small cabin in the mountains or performing and rehearsing for Bardavon performances, her passion for all things dance is clear. Eperks feels more at home in nature and will gladly be your guide in Big Sur given the chance. She would like to thank her family for all the love and support including traveling across the country to see her perform.


Jennifer Peterson is thrilled to be a member of VRDT! She trained with the Frederick School of Classical Ballet in Maryland, the Wellington Dance and Performing Arts Academy in New Zealand, and Western Ballet in Silicon Valley. She also took a gap year to dance with Dances Patrelle in Manhattan. Special thanks to her parents for their love and support.


Stella Royo is a sophomore and second year VRDT Member from LA. She is a Film major and is also involved in UJIMA, a music and art collective on campus, and ASAM, an Asian American Studies working group consisting of students, faculty, administrators, and alumni. Other than dancing, she loves film and photography.


This bio is written by a friend because Elise Shea is not one to toot her own horn. Elise is a senior IS major who is going to change the world. When she is not training in the studio or creating exquisite choreography, she is either in the library conquering her full course load or tucked up on a couch emailing at lightning speed to ensure that her non-profit, Conversations Unbound, is running smoothly. Her hidden talent is lip-syncing and her secret power is her homemade granola. Let’s just say there is chocolate involved. Undoubtedly, she will amaze you.


Talia Sheinkopf is super pumped for her second year with vrdt. Though now a sophomore, Talia is still from Bellingham, Washington and still likes handstands. And surprise surprise, she still doesn’t know what she wants to do with herself! But given the state of things, she’ll mostly major in crippling indecision with a correlate in using humor as a coping mechanism. But she really loves dance and vrdt, so talk to her about that instead. She tried choreographing for the first time this year and hopes you enjoy the show!


Maya Slocum is a sophomore from “just-south-of-Boston,” Massachusetts. As a newly declared English major, she spends most of her time with a novel and a cup of tea. Her favorite hobby is talking herself out of taking a nap instead of going to ballet class. She is very excited for her second year in VRDT!


Savannah Smith: “Bad. Bougie. Unbothered.”


Maya Talwar-Hebert is hyped to be back for her third year in VRDT. Some of her favorite things include corgis, bubble tea, scary movies, elephants, sangria, and fun new music. Her favorite holiday is Halloween, and she is now accepting suggestions on whether she should go as a robot, penguin, or elf.


Nerissa Tunnessen is a first year from Washington, DC who loves to bake, hike, and take care of her plant children. She isn’t quite sure what she wants to do with her life, but knows that at least the next few years will involve a lot of dancing (she literally can’t stop won’t stop). Nerissa is feeling the support from her third roommate, Rupert the guinea pig, who squeaks whenever she plays music and uses her lofted bed as a barre in their room.


Quinn Waller trained at BalletMet Columbus, which she has mixed feelings about. She has mastered the art of making omelettes in the Deece and has been told she has BDE. Ask her about her walk home from Dormal Formal last year and her thoughts on ABBA.


Genevieve Waller-Whelan is from New York City and is the best. This bio is a placeholder written by Sophia Massie.


A joker in the wings, but a diva on the stage, Rachel Walter is excited to share her love for performing with the VRDT family this 2018-2019 season. This freshman from Jamaica hopes to spread the good vibes and to continue growing in all styles of dance.


Allison Wan has put this bio off to the last minute (past the last minute actually) as she is unsure of how to define herself in concrete terms. To say a little something though, Allison is the kind of person who listens to This American Life while frantically drawing in the wee hours of the night, loves “life and death” discussion marathons, runs around in a rainstorm barefoot, and actively chases sunsets. Allison would like to thank her family as well as the former denizens of Jewett 5T and the other respective constituents who make up her Vassar family.


Sophie Wang is a first year from Brooklyn, New York. She began ballet at four years old and hasn’t stopped since. Her favorite styles of dance are modern, contemporary, West African, and (an honest attempt at) hip hop. Outside of dance, Sophie loves crafting, thinking about thinking, and curating an eclectic wardrobe while spending the least amount of money possible. She is incredibly excited to begin her first year in VRDT!


Gelsey White is not only a photography guru, a style icon, and a certified bangs technician, but she also dances sometimes. Quite well I might add. When she’s not dancing you can be sure to find her leading the short student advocacy organization or yelling across the quad. Vegan and proud, she’s not afraid to call anybody out. -TA51


Hello! This is Weipeng Xie, Class of 2021. I’m a Neuroscience and Chemistry double major! This is my first year at VRDT after only 2 semesters of ballet. I know. I don’t know how I made it, but here I am! Outside of the studio, classroom, research lab, my dorm, and the Deece, you can catch me saving students’ lives as a member of VCEMS, playing some INTENSE tennis, ping pong, and badminton, flying through the air while doing 1080° ON ICE. Yes! I am a figure skater! With that said, please enjoy the show and potentially me messing up. . .