Faculty: Summer 2017
Sally Alfonso (Intro to Ballet Forum): Miss Sally has been a member of SADM for many years serving as Sergent of Arms, 2nd Vice President and President! We are greatful to have such a pillar of SADM teaching Intro to Ballet Forum this year.
Gina Bedone: Originally from Yuma,AZ, Gina Badone has been dancing, teaching, and choreographing professionally in Los Angeles, CA for the past 15 years. Gina came to LA as a scholarship student at Retter's Dance Academy in Agoura Hills in 1999. Gina is a Senior Faculty member at Retter's, teaching ballet, jazz, and hip bop to many levels of dancers.Currently she is the Co-Director of the Bridge Scholarship Program where she personally coached SYTYD's top ten contestant Valerie Rockey. She has also taught on the DanceMakers Inc convention, TurnltUp Dance convention, Oklahoma Dance
Masters, Southern Association of Dance Masters, and is continuing to inspire dancers around the country and the world. Gina got her start on the convention stage by being the Personal Assistant and Co-Choreographer to Linda Bernebei-Retter for Tremaine Dance Conventions for many years. Now, Gina's choreography is sought after both nationally and internationally for her energetic teaching style and creative choreography.Her work has been recently been featured on Nickelodeon's The Tbundermans, and the recent
renewal of Reading Rainbow. Gina's other choreography credits include the American Girl's Molly Movie, the Big Bad VooDoo Daddy's and more. She has also bad many pieces featured in many of LA's local dance venues, such as Keith Clifton's "Friends in Dance", Deborah Brokus's "New Perspectives" and others. Gina bas a wide variety of performance experience including many corporate, industrial and televised events such as LA's ftrst live billboard for Moulin Rouge,WB's Christmas at the Grove, and charity performances for the Boys and Girls Club, and City of Hope. Gina is also a part of the talented team at MusicWorks Unlimited and breaking out with new choreography for young dancers in the styles of Hip Hop with Kidgroovz, Musical Theater with Tbeatrix and now Contemporary! She has also contributed to the MoHo Productions team in song writing and even singing. Gina hopes to continue to inspire, motivate, and continue to be a positive role model for young dancers everywhere.
Julie Edwards (Ballet Forum): Julie is a native of North Carolina and a new resident of Tennessee. She has been teaching dance for the past 26 years in eastern North Carolina. Upon graduating from East Carolina University with a BFA in Dance, Mrs. Edwards began her teaching career with North Carolina Academy of Dance Arts where she trained dancers of all levels in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern. In 1992 she founded Farmville Dance Academy and was the Artistic Director for ten years. For the past 14 years, Mrs. Edwards has been back teaching and choreographing for NC Academy of Dance Arts. To continue her ballet training and further her teaching technique style, she has had the opportunity to work with notable dancers such as Galina Panova, Timour Bourtasenkov, Margaret Severin-Hansen, Gabor Kapin, Elie Lazar, and many others. Mrs. Edwards has restaged/choreographed ballets such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Star and Stripes, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, and Le Corsaire. Since relocating to Germantown, Tennessee, she has taught master classes and substituted at local studios in the Memphis area but, upon request, she continues to return to North Carolina to train students and share her talent and love for dance there as well. While at East Carolina University, she was a member of the Broadway Musical Traveling Company “5,6,7,8…” lead by David Wanstreet. Mrs. Edwards also performed at the American Dance Festival, Dance Arts Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker as well as many performances of the East Carolina Dance Theatre. She has been a judge and choreographer for local Jr. Miss Programs (now Distinguished Young Women) in North Carolina.
Joey Hernandez: Joey is the artistic director of Resilience Dance Company (Rockford, IL) a pre-professional mentorship program. He is a first-generation college graduate receiving his B.A. in Dance and Health & Society from Beloit College where he has been privileged to return as a visiting instructor for the Dance Department and Upward Bound Program. Currently Joey can be found as the associate lecturer of Hip-Hop at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. In addition, to teaching dance theory & composition at Carthage College. Prior to his positions with U-W Milwaukee and Carthage he was on faculty at Millennium Dance Complex Chicago.
Performance credits include: Carnival Los Angeles & Chicago, The Millennium Experience, The Miss Illinois Pageant, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, American College Dance Festival Gala, Summerfest (Milwaukee, WI), and Legends in Concert (Las Vegas, NV). Joey has had the privilege to set pieces for: Chicago’s Choreographers Carnival, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, SueMo: A Dance Experience, Madison Contemporary Vision, and The Milwaukee School of the Arts. Joey as contributed guest classes at the Athletic Garage (Pasadena, CA), Fuzion Dance (Chicago, IL) and award winning choreography for many dance studios and high school dance teams across the United States.
In addition, to being a featured instructor for Dance Masters of Wisconsin Inc & Chicago National Association of Dance Masters. Joey has the great fortune to be a judge for Applause Talent, Shake the Ground and StarQuest Dance. In his most recent venture Joey has started an open in studio workshop series titled “Dance-4-Change”, to promote advocacy, awareness, and raise donations in support of the Crohn’s Colitis Foundation of America. (CCFA.Org).
Stay up to date on Joey’s recent work on social media via Instagram: joey_hernandez23 or Twitter: @joeyhernandezdance.
Anthony LoCascio: This native New Yorker, has performed, taught and toured Internationally as a tap dancer since 1994. He has opened shows for people such as, Shirley Bassey, Natalie Cole, Earth, Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder. Anthony has made app
earances on Regis & Kathie Lee, Good Day New York, and MTV Live to name a few. Anthony has been seen performing and teaching in all 50 states as well as Mexico, Canada, the Netherlands, and as far as South Africa and Monte Carlo on the French Riviera.
An original NYC cast member, Anthony is the first American to earn a standing role in Tap Dogs. He thoroughly enjoys being a well known, veteran member of what is currently the longest running tap show ever. In early 2013, Anthony performed in his final tour with the International Cast of Tap Dogs and returned to NY.Teaching, performing & choreographing is truly Anthony’s life passion and the combination of these things led him to the unexpected birth of his own tap company, #Taplife and #TaplifeToo, the pre professional “sister company” to #Taplife.
Once taking on the role of Artistic Director for #Taplife and #TaplifeToo, he started developing the show “Sounds of a #Taplife” and producing original music videos featuring #Taplife Company. Anthony’s current projects are not only dance related as he has a keen interest in technological developments that can enhance the dance studio industry.You can often take class with Anthony at Broadway Dance Center in NYC or find him in rehearsals at American Tap Dance Foundation.
Joshua Manculich (Ballet Forum and Convention): Joshua is from Windber, PA, graduated as valedictorian in 2005 and went on to pursue dance and psychology studies at Point Park University. While there, Josh was a recipient of the Conservatory’s Outstanding Graduate Award for his artistic involvement in the Pittsburgh community. Joshua’s performance credits include The Pillow Project, an innovative Pittsburgh-based company, and JMT-JLS Productions.
In Chicago, he danced five seasons with Thodos Dance Chicago, performed with Chicago Repertory Ballet, and became a founding performance member of Pursuit Productions, an up-and-coming dance theater force under the direction of Ahmad Simmons and Kacie Smith. Josh’s Monologue, The Rate In Which I Am, and Ride have been toured internationally with DanceWorks Chicago. In collaboration with Jacqueline Stewart, their duet “A Forgotten Rhyme” was chosen to showcase in NYC as a part of the Dance Gallery series. In 2015, Josh was nominated for a Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship by The Big Muddy Dance Company and had the pleasure of being one of two award recipients. Other choreographic adventures include: Dancing in the Parks, Grand Valley State University, Interlochen, MetDance, Piel Morena Contemporary Dance, Thodos Dance Chicago, and Western Michigan University.
Josh has been a guest teacher for Chicago National Association Dance Masters and has taught throughout the United States. Josh is currently pursuing his Masters of Fine Arts in Dance at the Ohio State as a recipient of the Susan Huntington Dean’s Distinguished University Fellowship.
Becca Retter: Becca is a multi-talented dancer, teacher and choreographer. She is an expert at the Al Gilbert Tap Technique and the nation’s leader in pre-school material for your dance studio. She is known for creating the most usable, age-appropriate music and choreography for dance studios through MusicWorks Unlimited. Look for her products, Dance Advantage, Dance Adventure and Dance Creation to complete your preschool syllabus. She loves teaching her material at the MusicWorks Dance Teacher Connection every summer!
Becca currently teaches for DanceMakers full tour with their unique preschool dance program, Camp Dance. She has also taught for Dupree Dance Expos, Dance Masters of America (DMA), and Dance Educators of America (DEA). Most recently, she has taught specialized classes for teachers at Rhee Gold’s Dance Life Teacher Conference and Hollywood Connection’s National Convention.
Becca lives with her husband, Thommie, in NYC where they teach and produce Broadway workshops through their company, Retter Entertainment. She is also co-director of their NYC Tap Crew. Previously she taught for Retter's Academy of Dance from 1995-2008 and was also co-director of their Pre-School Department, known as The Starlet Academy. Becca has danced on MTV and internationally in Canada, Denmark, Guatemala and Russia. Her love and enthusiasm for dance make her a favorite among students and teachers and she always enjoys sharing her talents.
Anna Washko (Intro to Ballet Forum): Anna danced with Kinner & Co. from the age of three until eighteen. She attended Southeast Missouri State University for her first two years of college and returned to Springfield, IL in the fall of 2013 to finish her degree and rejoin Kinner & Co. as a teacher and dancer. While being a part of the studio, she competed with the dance team for a total of eight years and won numerous awards in groups and as a soloist in many competitions. She has tested and been accepted as a member of the Southern Association of Dance Masters (SADM) and is a certified instructor for tap, ballet, jazz, and tumbling. Anna has been an instructor and choreographer for Kinner & Co. for a total of five years now, and was honored to be a recipient (along with her co-choreographers) of the Choreography Award at SADM’s 2015 summer competition for the production number, “Stars Align”.
As a member of SADM, she is currently serving as Co-chairperson of the Certified Student Members program. In summer 2015, Anna attended the 3-day Dance Teacher Summit in Long Beach, CA. Aside from working for Kinner & Co. Dance Studio, Anna is also employed by Troy A. Washko, CPA and Sacred Heart – Griffin High School as the Golden Angel Poms Head Coach. She volunteers as a member of both the Miss Sangamon County Fair Queen Pageant Crew and the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant Crew.