Sophie Alpern

Sophie Alpern, a native New Yorker, has been dancing since age five. She trained at the School of American Ballet, Steps on Broadway, North Carolina School of the Arts, Houston Ballet Academy, and the Royal Ballet School. While at SAB, she performed with New York City Ballet in The Nutcracker, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, and Circus Polka.
Sophie holds a Masters degree in Dance Education with a concentration in ABT Ballet Pedagogy from New York University, and is an ABT® Certified Teacher in Pre-Primary through Level Seven and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She holds a B.A. from Vassar College with honors in Sociology, and has combined her dance career with ongoing academic pursuits. Sophie is the author of a sociological study entitled “The Perception and Role of Dance and Classical Ballet in the Liberal Arts Academy,” and has published an article in Dance Spirit Magazine called “Best of Both Worlds: Balancing Dance and Academics.”
In addition to teaching at LaGuardia, Sophie also teaches at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre, the School at Steps, and American Youth Dance Theater.

Tadej Brdnik

Since 2015-17, he held a full-time position as the Program Director/Accelerated and Extension Programs at the Martha Graham Dance Company, with a task of modernizing of the educational offerings for the Graham School and the Company and well as conceiving and curating new performance series. First of which, NEXT@Graham, had its inaugural performance in January 2017. He began his professional dance career in Slovenia. Since moving to New York in 1993, he has performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Graham 2, Coyote Dancers, Battery Dance Company, Avila/Weeks Dance, Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, theater director Robert Wilson, David Gordon’s Pick Up Performance Company and MoveOpolis as well as in works of Maurice Béjart, Nacho Duato, Andonis Foniadakis, Bulareyaung Pagarlava, Anne Bogart, Annie-B Parson, Lucinda Childs, Yvonne Rainer, Susan Stroman, Steve Paxton, Larry Keigwin, Deborah Hay, Ted Shawn, Isadora Duncan and others. He was a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company for 20 years, where he danced many leading roles.

Mary Brienza

Mary Brienza is a multi-faceted artist with credits spanning Off-Broadway and regional theatre, television, radio, concert dance and alternative comedy.  As an educator, she is a respected teacher of tap dance, jazz, and theatre dance at levels novice through professional. She has served on the faculty for Broadway Dance Center, Dance Theatre of Harlem, 
Jacque D’Amboise’s National Dance Institute, and American Theatre Dance Workshop.

Catherine Brikké

A native of France, Ms. Brikké studied ballet with remarkable teachers such as Rosella Hightower at the Centre International de Danse in Cannes, France, Marika Besobrasova at the Académie de Danse Princesse Grace in Monaco, Terri Charlesworth at the Graduate School of Dance in Perth, Australia, and Anne-Marie Sandrini from the Paris Opéra Ballet in Paris, France. Ms. Brikké performed in a wide variety of repertory ballets with the schools she attended as well as a freelance dancer and actress in Europe, Kenya and the United States. 

Ms. Brikké received the Diplôme d‘Etat de Professeur de Danse Classique from the French Ministry of Culture in Paris in 1993 . She is an ABT® Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 7 & Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum

Ms. Brikké began teaching dance in 1989 in Nairobi, Kenya, where she taught the children of the expatriate community as well as founded a dance ensemble for young talented Kenyans. Back in Paris, she taught, choreographed and coordinated dance programs at the Conservatoire des Arts in Le Mée. In 1994, Ms Brikké moved to New York where she joined the faculty of the Neubert Ballet Institute at Carnegie Hall and then the faculty of LaGuardia High School in 1998. Ms. Brikké has taught for several summer programs including Paul Taylor Summer Intensive in New York City, New Jersey Ballet, Westchester Ballet Center and Belvoir Terrace in Lenox, Massachussetts.

Chanel DaSilva

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Chanel DaSilva fell in love with dance at the age of three. She studied at The Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center and also studied at Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn under the tutelage of Jamel Gaines, Kevin Joseph, and Lakai Worrell. Her training continued at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, The Ailey School and Springboard Danse Montreal. She received a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. Chanel has performed works by Ohad Naharin, Eliot Feld, Doug Varone, Jose Limon, Jessica Lang, Alvin Ailey, Robert Battle, Camille A. Brown, and Lar Lubovitch. Chanel is a 2004 Presidential Scholar in the Arts and a 2011 Princess Grace Dance Honorarium Awardee.

From 2008 – 2014 Chanel was a member of Trey McIntyre Project where she was the muse for many of Mr. McIntyre’s works. She is now a member of Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and serves on the dance faculty of her alma mater, LaGuardia High School. In addition to being a dancer and an educator, Chanel has choreographed works for schools, universities and dance companies across the country, including Idaho Dance Theater, Harvard Ballet Company, The Park Avenue Armory Artist-in-Residence Series and The Juilliard School. Alongside her partner Nigel Campbell, Chanel is the co-founder and co-director of MOVE(NYC), an annual summer dance intensive geared exclusively toward talented and motivated NYC teenagers. 

Kelley Potter

Born in Kernersville, North Carolina, Kelley Potter received her professional ballet training at the North Carolina School of the Arts. She joined American Ballet Theatre Studio Company under the direction of John Meehan immediately following her graduation from NCSA in 2002. Kelley soon joined the Boston Ballet dancing many soloist and principal roles. In 2009, Kelley moved back to NYC to dance with American Ballet Theatre again full time. She’s had the wonderful fortune of touring all over the world working, with world renowned choreographers, and performing in some of the most prestigious theaters and opera houses. In 2018 Kelley retired from the stage and began teaching full time.
Kelley is an American Ballet Theatre Certified Teacher in Levels Primary thru Level 7 of the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum. She is currently a full time teacher for the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of American Ballet Theatre. She is also the Artistic Coordinator for the American Ballet Theatre’s Apprenticeship Program. She is a guest faculty teacher for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Steps on Broadway, Manhattan Youth Ballet, and Ballet Arts.

Greg Sinacori

Greg Sinacori began his dance training at a local dance studio in Queens, NY. He is an alumnus of LaGuardia High School and was a finalist in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search in Miami, Florida. Sinacori graduated magna cum laude from the Fordham University/Alvin Ailey  Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in dance. He has performed with the Fred Benjamin Dance Company, Alvin Ailey’s second company (Ailey II),  Parsons Dance Company and as a guest artist with Battleworks Dance Company.  He is currently featured on the hit Nickelodeon series The Backyardigans as the animated dancing moose, Tyrone, and also performs the movements for Nickelodeon's newest Emmy Award Winning animated series The Bubble Guppies. Sinacori can  be seen in The Music of Regret, a short film directed by Laurie Simmons at the Museum of Modern Art.

Joey R. Smith

Joey R. Smith began his professional career with the Houston Ballet at the age of nineteen. After a move to New York, he danced with the Feld Ballet, went away to dance with The Washington Ballet and returned to dance with the New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Guild of Musical Artists, AGMA, and in 1995 was appointed to a full-time teaching position at LaGuardia where he choreographs the school’s annual musical.