Author Archives: Chard

Thank A Dance Teacher Day 2017

Yesterday was “Thank A Dance Teacher Day” (TADTD) and our faculty wanted to share their appreciation.

The concept of TADTD was developed by National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) in 2013. The objective is to spread “goodwill throughout the dance community, raising awareness of the benefits of dance education, and advocating for dance internationally.” (NDEO.org)

Here is what our faculty had to say about their dance teachers…

Although my first first dance class was at the age of 5, at the age of 10 Jena Minnick-Bull was one of the most influential dance teachers I had ever had. Her passion, dedication and love for the arts and performing made me what to be a better dancer. I remember her passion more than anything else and she is still to this day that same loving, spirited and passionate person. Thank you Jena for your love and commitment to the arts, I am proud to have know you as long as I have and proud to be apart of the SCC family for almost a decade. – Kara Gardner

Jena Bull-Minnick, Kara Gardner and dancers
Jena Minnick-Bull, Kara Gardner & dancer
Besides teaching me all the basics of dancing, stretching and conditioning, Dorothy Garant taught me how to be a great dance teacher and how to dance with a purpose. Thank you, Dorothy! – Mychal Gabb

Dorothy Garant
Dorothy Garant
I just wanted to give a special thanks to my two favorite dance teachers Gerri Lallo and Marty Sprague! I met these two wonderful women in middle school and they have been stuck with me ever since! They taught me so much about not only dance but about how to take care of my body, how to teach a class with a proper format, the history of dance, and mentored me through out the years! Thank you for being women of empowerment and changing my life through dance! – Anisha Gibb

Gerri LalloMarty Sprague
Gerri Lallo & Marty Sprague


Sergei Yurevitch Filin
is a Russian ballet dancer and the former Ballet Director of the Bolshoi Theater from 2011 through 2016. He is currently the Director of the Young Artists Ballet Program at the Bolshoi Theatre. He is the performer and dance teacher who inspired me and to become like him. Thank you! – Enton Hoxha

Enton Hoxha & Sergei Yurevitch Filin
Enton Hoxha & Sergei Yurevitch Filin
I want to thank my dance teacher, Sue Dail, for making the biggest impact on my life as a dancer and educator. Sue supported my training, even when I told her that is was ridiculous for a dancer to go to college. She pushed me to get to New York somehow and finally convinced me that SUNY Purchase was the way to go. Sue advised me on how to teach and guided my vision as a young choreographer. I’m so thankful she was a part of my life at a time when I was the most vulnerable. She gave me the confidence to have a meaningful career in dance and the respect that I now give the young artists I have the privilege of working with.
Thanks Sue! – Chard Gonzalez

Sue Dail
Sue Dail
All of the teachers at SCC have greatly impacted my experiences as a dancer and as a person but I want to thank Miss Amanda White specifically since she has worked with me the most and for the longest amount of time consistently.

Miss Amanda has always been an influential dance teacher and mentor in my life. She understands my movement choices and is able to make each move fit for my body and style. She has helped me through so much by allowing me to express myself in forms of dance I had never been exposed to! Thank you Miss Amanda, you mean the world to me! – Cassandra Lambros

Amanda White
Amanda White
I would like to thank Christine Baltes for all the mentoring she gave me as a young dancer. I met Christine in my 20’s, and she introduced me to the Giordano Jazz Dance Style. FINALLY! I found a style of dance that fit my athletic shaped body, and was challenging at the same time. I credit Christine for my ability to distinguish between turn-in, turn-out, and parallel, the strength in my core, the discipline to be clean in your dance and the ability to clean a dance like no one’s business. Although I rarely get the honor of taking her classes these days, she continues to inspire me as both a student and a dance teacher. Thank you, Chris!!! – Marji Himes

Christine Baltes
Christine Baltes
My Ballet Mistress, Miki Casalino, was the “person of influence” in my college application essays. She instilled discipline and focus in me at a young age, which was hard to do. I was a total “spaz” growing up. In fact, that was my nickname. The only place I wasn’t jumping and climbing all over the place was in the dance room. Through my dance teacher, I experienced the beauty and grace of dance. She taught us the storytelling and timeless magic of ballet. Ms. Miki was a generous soul. She honored my sisters and I with work scholarships that taught us a work ethic outside of the home. I also started assisting in classes, which began my love of teaching dance. I then discovered that teaching others helped me become a better dancer and a more patient person.

Not only did she teach me how to dance, she also taught me never to give up. I remember approaching her with tears in my eyes saying, “Ms Miki, why do you give me so many corrections?” And she replied, “I give you so many corrections because I see the potential in you. Once you learn something, I give you something else to work on”. She then let me know that as long as she is correcting me, she is not giving up on me. So no matter how difficult things may be, or how many tries it takes to get something I keep that patience and determination that I learned early in my life. Thank you Miki! – Jena Minnick

Miki Casalino
Miki Casalino
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