Debra Punzi , Artistic Director
Debra Punzi is a teacher, choreographer and artistic director. She has helped hundreds of dancers start their careers. She has a Masters Degree in dance and her early training includes Joffrey Ballet School, Paul Haakon and Valentine Froman. She has trained as a Lincoln Center Teaching Artist. She has studied Cecchetti method, Royal Ballet School and Balachine Method. Ms Punzi performed in Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, A Mid Summer Nights Dream, Snow White, Swan Lake, La Corsaire pas de deux, Don Quixote pas de deux, Giselle, The Nutcracker and many orginal ballets. In the year 2000 she was named "Women of the Year" by the Town of Brookhaven.She has worked as a Dance Competition Judge. Her career as a choreographer she has with Bessie Schonberg and Regional Dance America National Choreography Intensive.
Laura Rolston , Teacher
Laura Rolston is an acclaimed teacher and choreographer of tap, jazz and theater dance. Known for fast and creative choreography, as well as a positive, up-beat personality. She truly wants students to leave class not only being better dancers, but also being confident, strong individuals. She is the former owner of Christopher Studio of Dance and Theater Arts in Oakdale, NY. She has taught at Sachem North Arrowettes Kickline and June Claire School of Dance. As a child she performed in Ballet Long Island “The Nutcracker” as an adult she has performed on stage, in videos and on television. The Ballet Center is proud to have Laura join our staff.
Dawn Petchonka, Teacher
Dawn Ptechonka studied at the New York Conservatory of Dance, The Ballet Center, Lumier Ballet, and at the Eglevsky School of Ballet. She performed with Ballet Long Island for many years in The Nutcracker,Peter and the Wolf, Cinderella and many more ballets. Her life is dedicated to ballet. Ms Petchonka has over 25 years experience teaching classical ballet and pointe. She has performed in New York City and Long Island and is a former staff member at USDAN Center for the Performing Arts , Eglevsky Summer Ballet Intensive and American Theater Dance Workshop.
Laurie Solomon, Teacher & Dancer
Ms Solomon has a BS in Therapeutic Recreation and has studied ballet for over 30 years. Her earliest training was under Debra Punzi and she currently attends weekly ballet class with Ms Punzi. She has performed with Ballet Long Island in The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Snow White, Firebird, Sleeping Beauty, Pocahontas, Multicultural Celebration and many more ballets. She is an incredible staff member at The Ballet Center and aspires to pass on her love of ballet to her students.
Kasey Flath, Teacher & Dancer
Ms Flath has studied dance for over 10 years. She has been awarded many scholarships to study dance. Her studies have been at The Ballet Center, The Joffery Ballet School and The Rockette Experience. She is a beautiful classical ballet dancer. She performs with Ballet Long Island in The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Pocahontas and many other ballets. Kasey loves to work with children and her passion is to get everyone to dance.
Nora Goodman , Teacher & Dancer
Nora has studied classical ballet, modern and Irish Step dance. Ms Goodman has recieved many scholarships to study ballet. She has studied at The Ballet Center, Corvino Ballet , Mahatten Youth Ballet and Next Generation Ballet in Tampa , Flordia. She is a teacher who is energetic, positive, and gives specific feedback to each student, not just general comments. She has performed lead roles with Ballet Long Island in many ballets including The Nutcracker, Snow White, Pas de Quatre, Swan Lake, Pocahontas, Firebird, A Mid Summer Nights Dream and many more. In addition to dancing, Nora plays the piano and sings.
Micheal Seaman , Teacher & Dancer
Mr Seaman began his training under Olga Vazar and the studied at the Eglevsky Ballet School, Broadway Dance Center and The Ballet Center. He has studied classical ballet, tap , jazz, and gymnastics. He has over 25 years experience as a teacher. He has dance professionally in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Firebird, Snow White, Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty and other works.
Theresa Randolph, Teacher
Theresa's passion for dance started at a young age. She has studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop and contemporary. She has been awarded scholarships to study dance at The Ballet Center. She is a serious teacher who is ready to share her knoweldge and enthusiam for dance with her students. Theresa performs Praise Dance at her church. She has performed with Ballet Long Island in Pocahontas, Cinderella, and other works.
Catalina Diaz, Teacher & Dancer
Ms Diaz has studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, contemporary and hip hop. She has been awarded scholarships to study dance. She has attended Ballet Boot Camp. She has performed with Ballet Long Island in Cinderella, Snow White, The Nutcracker, A Mid Summer Night's Dream, Fantastic Toyshop, Pocahontas, Swan Lake and other works. Ms Diaz is a dancer of great beauty and grace. She has been dancing all her life and developed a love of teaching early in her teens. Ms Diaz's classroom is a positive environment where students can grow. She hopes to share all the benefits of dance with each and every student .
Madeline Samuel, Teacher & Dancer
Ms Samuel is a dancer with Ballet Long Island. She was awarded a scholarship to study ballet at The Ballet Center. She has performed in Swan Lake, A Mid Summer Night's Dream, The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, Pas De Quatre and many more. Madeline bring a depth of maturity to each role she performs. She has performed in musical theater in productions of The Wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden and A Christmas Carol. This is Ms Samuel's fourth year teaching at The Ballet Center she believes there is nothing more gratifying than sharing the joy of dance with students.
Tanya Trombly is an extraodinary dancer a true balleina. She performs with her heart and soul with beautiful technique.After earning a B.A. in dance and business from Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA, Tanya Trombly has performed and toured with several professional companies across the country, including Northern Plains Ballet in Bismarck, ND and Atlanta Festival Ballet in Atlanta, GA. Tanya currently lives in New York City and she has been a principal with Ballet Long Island , Neville Dance Theatre,Covenant Ballet Theatre, Ballet,inc and Xaoc Contemporary Ballet . She has enjoyed performing lead roles in ballets such as A Mid Summer Night’s Dream, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Spartacus Pas de Duex, Firebird, Paquita, The Little Mermaid, and The Nutcracker.
Christian Serrano, Dancer
Christian Serrano is a fiery dancer. His dance education includes Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, SUNY Purchase, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, he is a professional dancer, Crossfit enthusiast, rock climber and health and fitness fanatic Christian Serrano has performed at the world famous Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Pink Pig Ballet, Ballet Long Island, opera and theater works in the years he has been dancing professionally. When not dancing he works as a personal trainer, choreographer, teacher and a theater technician at Baryshnikov Arts Center.
Shannon Grant, Dancer
Shannon Grant floats across floor in graceful movements as she prepares to perform with Ballet Long Island in “The Nutcracker”. Ms Grant has performed throughout the United States and internationally with Ballet de Printemps, City Ballet of San Diego, Ballet New England, Media City Ballet, BalaSole, Ballet Magique, David Taylor Dance Theatre, Scottish American Ballet and in the Ovation winning musical Shag With a Twist. Shannon danced in music videos for Velvet Revolver, Avenged Sevenfold, Dame Fortune and commercials and fashion shows. She graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor’s in American Studies and holds an Associates with Honors in Business Administration. Shannon has taught ballet classes in Los Angeles and New York.
Quimen Sanchez, Dancer
Quimen Sanchez is an exciting dancer to watch. He has clean classical lines and is a passionate performer. He started his training at Orlando Ballet School with Orlando Molina, under the direction of Peter Starks. While dancing with Orlando Ballet School, Quimen has had the fortunate chance to perform the main company Orlando Ballet under the direction of Fernando Bujones. Under Fernando's watch Quimen has performed many full length ballets such as Spartacus and Coppellia as Dr. Coppelius, Giselle and many others. Quimen has also previously danced for, Fort Lauderdale Ballet Classique, Cuban Classical Ballet, South Florida Ballet Theater, Sierra Nevada Ballet, and many more. Quimen is currently a proud member of Ballet For Young Audiences/ Ballet Repertory NYC and Ballet Long Island.
Robin Williams, Dancer & Choreographer
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Ms. Williams is recognized as one of New York’s highly respected dancer, choreographers and ballet teacher. She is credited for exposing classical dance to school children in the Harlem area. Performing abroad and throughout the United States, Ms. Williams credits include Theatre of Harlem's Ensemble, Gallman's Dance Theatre, Nanette Bearden's Contemporary Dance Theatre, and Ballet Long Island. As a choreographer, she has created an innovative style of dance which is a collaboration of ballet, modern, acrobatics, and jazz. Most recently her choreography won the 2009 McDonald’s Gospelfest, and an Audelco Award for Innovation in choreography and Black Theater. Her Black Nutcracker has been performed at Harlem’s World Famous Apollo Theatre. In 2012, she performed at the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin’s Birthday party. She is a member of the Harlem Arts Alliance, Harlem Business Alliance, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, National Black MBAs, NY Chapter of 100 Black Women, AFP, and Arts and Business Council.
James Williams - Dancer
James Williams trained in ballet, hip hop and contemporary and is a Uptown Dance Academy dance consultant at Sisulu Academy and Featherbed Lane School, and is a UDA Recital Studio teacher of hip-hop. He has performed in The Black Nutcracker, Mulitcultural Celebration, Princess Tea Party and The Nutcracker. He is a current dancer with Uptown Dance Company and Ballet Long Island.
Jeremiah Stanfield, Dancer
Jeremiah Stanfield, grandson of renowned dance and community leader Pat Brown, was born in Memphis, TN. After moving to Louisville, KY, he attended the Youth Performing Arts School at duPont Manual High School where he focused his energy on dance. He received a full scholarship to Stephens College for Women in Columbia, MO. After earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance in 2011, he moved to NYC . Mr Stanfield is a versatile performer working as a professional dancer, actor musician and singer. He has been in the Off-Broadway production, “Honestly Abe: The Musical” in several roles, one of which he choreographed himself, and in “Flak House” both as an actor and as the dance and fight captain. He has performed with the Nacre Dance Company, Ballet Arts, Kinetic Works, Six Degrees of Dance, the Eva Dean Dance Company and Ballet Long Island.
When not dancing defying gravity with his magnificent leaps, across a stage, Jeremy is with “Miles From Home” a music group. You haven’t seen talent until you’ve watched Jeremy Stanfield drum out complicated rhythms on both the djembe and cajón while stomping a foot wreathed in a tambourine, wailing on harmonica and singing harmonies.
Zoe Klipstein, Teacher & Dancer
Zoe began her dance training at age 2 and acting training at age 3. She has studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz and acting. She has attended many Master Classes and Workshops. She has performed with Ballet Long Island in The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Snow White, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and many more ballets. She has performed at Walt Disney World, Hershey Park and Six Flags Great Adventure. She has acted in The Jungle Book, Sorry Wrong Number, The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Carol, Seussical The Musical and The Secret Garden. She is currently on the Board of Directors of The Ward Melville Players. She loves working with children and passing her knowledge and love of the arts on to them.
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The Ballet Center, 1863 Pond Rd, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779