Lisa Mara is the Founder of DanceWorks LLC and directs both the New York City & Boston affiliates. As a principal choreographer, Lisa began her training in Bedford, MA at the age of seven. A 2008 graduate of Syracuse University, Lisa spent four years involved with the University's student-run dance organization and was elected Director after her sophomore year. Along with overseeing the program, she organized workshops and auditions for over 200 students and choreographed and performed for crowds of over 3,500 each spring. A finalist for the Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and New England Patriots Cheerleaders, Lisa continues to work with various local artists and organizations. Most recently, Lisa was hired as Principal Choreographer for HGTV's new pilot Spontaneous Construction, which also features DanceWorks Boston and is set to air in 2013. While not in the studio, Lisa enjoys training for the Boston Marathon.
Annie Barch is a Syracuse University graduate who has been dancing since she was three years old. She is trained in ballet, jazz and lyrical however hip-hop is her true passion. In high school she choreographed for both the contemporary company and step team at The Masters School. While at Syracuse, she became involved in Syracuse University’s student-run dance organization, DanceWorks. She had the privilege of being elected Director of the organization her Junior and Senior year, and was a three time lead choreographer. Her style is very fluid and eclectic thanks to her wide range of training. Her goal for all her pieces is to transform her dancers into someone new, even if it’s just for 3 minutes. “While you’re on stage you can become whoever you want to be. It is your chance to push boundaries without worrying about the consequences. I want my dancers to always take advantage of that.” Annie cannot wait to transform the stage of DanceWorks NYC for seasons to come.
Christopher Peter Makris
Although he considers himself neither an athlete nor artist, Christopher Peter Makris has always appreciated the tandem nature of dance that blurs the line between physicality and creativity. To him, dance represents not only an outlet of expression, but also a loving community where his heart has fallen. Throughout the past five years, CPM has been an integral performer and choreographer of organizations primarily including Dancers’ Symposium, DS Company, and SoulStylz at his alma mater Carnegie Mellon University. While CPM has never been formally trained, he aims to fluidly layer hip hop, jazz, and contemporary technique while stretching his dancers beyond their full potential. CPM recently graduated as a member of the Humanities Scholar Program with both college and university honors; he received degrees in Logic, Discrete Mathematics, and Statistics, while ultimately becoming a Master in Statistical Practice – even though he can only count to eight in rehearsal. CPM is humbled to be among this immensely talented group of dancers and choreographers, and is absolutely thrilled to be a new member of the DanceWorks family.
Devlyn O'Hare began her dance training at age three at North Shore Dance Academy in Peabody, MA and is excited to continue her love of dance with DanceWorks New York City. At NSDA she trained in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary and pointe and enjoyed numerous competitions and conventions. She participated in DanceWorks while an undergrad at Syracuse University and choreographed for the group during her junior and senior year. Her past credits include "Almost Lover" and "Assise," both lyrical/contemporary pieces allowing dancers to focus on technique and an evoking an emotional connection with the dance. Devlyn is a graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in Communications Design. Off the dance floor, she works as an art director at a marketing and advertising agency.
Ethan Baldwin mainly got into dance because he could never, ever sit still as a child. He still can't as an adult. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Ethan always loved hip-hop, but actually grew up playing Varsity Football and Wrestling. After quitting Varsity sports for Dance Team, he went off to Oberlin College to major in Studio Art, but studied Jazz, Tap, Modern, West African, Latin, Ballet (just a little) and solidified his hip-hop training. He's danced and choreographed for the ViBE Jazz and Tap Team, danced with Dance Diaspora, was a member and choreographer for the OC Cheer Squad, and co-founded the Hip-Hop/Breaking crew S.P.A.R.K (Street Performance And Rhythm Kollective). After moving to New York, he honed his hip-hop technique under Carlena Gourdine and her company CrazyCee Productions. Nowadays, Ethan works in media as a brand manager and art director, but still dances regularly at Crunch Gym. This is his first year with DanceWorks, and he is excited to get people popping, ticking, tutting, and waving.
Jenna Spivack is obsessed with communication through movement. As a kid, she trained in ballet at a local dance studio where she performed soloist roles in many classical ballets. During that time, she won a scholarship to study at the Joffrey Ballet School summer program in NYC. Eager to expand her dance repertoire, Jenna began to take contemporary classes in New York and was instantly hooked. Back at school, she was involved in multiple dance groups dancing and choreographing. She strives for her choreography to reveal truths too challenging for words. She is incredibly thankful for this opportunity to work with the amazing dancers of DanceWorks, and is looking forward to a great season of movement, music, love and dance.
Julie Faber is a 2011 University of Maryland graduate now living in NYC and working for Cartier. She began dancing at the age of 7 and has not stopped since. Beginning in weekly ballet and jazz classes, Julie's life was soon defined by dance. She attended the Baltimore School for the Arts and Carver Center for Arts and Technology for high school, while continuing to dance and perform with her local arts center. At the University of Maryland, she joined the student led UnBound Dance Team and was elected President for her senior year. Along with dance, Julie has a strong passion for animals, fashion and coffee.
Kari O'Neil began dancing at the age of 6 at Kerry Smith's Academy of Dance Arts in Norwood, MA. Until the age of 18, she trained in jazz, ballet, tap, modern and lyrical, participating in competitions throughout the Northeast. After graduating from high school, Kari attended Boston College, where she was selected to join the BC Dance Ensemble, performing in 2 shows per year for sold out crowds. She choreographed 8 pieces during her time on BCDE and was elected Assistant Director of the 30 member group during her senior year. She now lives in New York City and works in finance. This is Kari's second season with DWNYC and she is incredibly excited to choreograph for the group this year!
Katrina Marie Phillip is a native of Chicago, IL, and was so revited by her Grandfather’s old movie musical collection, she began dancing & choreographing at the young age of 3. Ever since Ms. Phillip studied at various reputable studios in the Chicago area, then graduated with a BFA in dance at Western Michigan University, and carried her passion for creation and performance to The Big Apple. Her regional theatre credits include Cinderella, Tarzan, and she has presented original works at an array of NYC showcases such as the Bridge for Dance, New Dance Group, and Steps on Broadway, Group Theatre Too’s Choreographer’s Canvas, and New York Jazz Choreography Project. Her latest piece KAR(is)MA debuted at the Off-off Broadway Theatre The Dixon Place, September 18th, 2012. Katrina's greatest endeavor was self- producing and orchestrating 2 showcases; Band of Gypsies- The Choreographers’ Showcase at the off-broadway theatre St. Luke’s and Band of Gypsies2; Showcasing MUSIC + DANCE, which was presented at the well renowned dance theatre Manhattan Movement And Arts Center. Band of Gypsies2 raised money for the Andrea Rizzo foundation that provides children battling cancer at Sloan Kettering Hospital in NYC, dance therapy. You can see K. Phillip's work all throughout the city this coming spring and summer with See It. Live It. Create It. Dancers. (SLC). Dance always!
Laura Murphy is a dancer, choreographer, and actor based out of New York City. Starting her studies at the age of 3 at Nancy Chippendales School of Dance in her hometown of North Andover, MA, she grew up with a love for jazz, tap, and ballet. She attended Emerson College for undergrad and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Acting and Dance. While there, she began exploring modern and contemporary techniques, as well as her own personal style. She was one of the original founding members of Emerson Dance Company, contributing both as a dancer and choreographer. Also at Emerson, she was honored to be one of the featured choreographers for Emerson Stages annual experimental dance show, X Dance. Upon graduating in 2009, Laura worked consistently in the Boston dance scene, including memorable performances in “This is Spinal Tap… Unwigged and Unplugged” (soloist), “The Emancipation of Mandy and Miz Ellie” (featured dancer) and as a modern dancer for Kelley Donovan and Dancers. She moved to New York City in October 2011 to pursue her theatrical endeavors and has been on the go ever since. Laura currently dances and choreographs for a number of companies in the city including Undertoe Dance Project (dancer), Movement Workshop Group (performer), and Ya’el Tap Dance Company (dancer). Besides dance, she is also looking forward to pursuing a career in voice over artistry in New York City. Laura is proud to be choreographing and dancing with DanceWorks New York City for a 3rd season and can't wait to work with such talented and inspiring dancers this year.
Madelaine O’Connell is a first time choreographer and performer for DanceWorks New York City. She graduated from Boston College in 2012 and moved to New York in May. Madelaine spent the last four years involved with the Boston College Dance Ensemble, where she held the roles of Costume Director, Treasurer and Assistant Director. She helped to facilitate the strategic planning and execution of shows in addition to event coordination and marketing. She also collaborated with the officer board on artistic direction, theme and choreography as well as choreographed her own pieces in tap or jazz every semester. During her time at BC, Madelaine was a member of the Bacardi dance team where she performed at various venues in Boston and Providence, including dancing at Boston Celtics Games. Prior to attending BC, Madelaine grew up dancing at Michelle Ferraro’s Dance USA where she began teaching and choreographing at the age of fifteen. Throughout her high school career, she traveled throughout the Northeast choreographing tap pieces at various competitive dance studios. While not dancing, Madelaine holds a full-time job as a Capital Markets Origination analyst in the Debt Private Placements group at Citigroup.
For Sarah Cuoco, dance has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. She got her start at her mother's ballet studio, where she received a strong base in ballet. Soon after, she moved on to study modern, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and contemporary. She became an assistant instructor, teaching ballet classes and soon after started what she refers to as a "Character Class." At the age of 16, Sarah got her big break as a professional choreographer when she was hired to choreograph Bye Bye Birdie for a local private middle school. As much as she loves the behind-the-scenes life and finds no greater joy than when teaching, she will always have a special spot in her heart for the stage. Past stage credits include the Nutcracker, How to Succeed in Business, Godspell, Pajama Game, Aida, and numerous studio performances. Sarah's style is constantly evolving with every new step she makes, but recently she finds her style to be more a fusion of jazz and urban contemporary. Since her move to NYC, Sarah has been busy taking dance classes, and has recently started subbing Urban Contemporary at PMT, but she has really found a home with the DanceWorks NYC family. When not dancing, you can find Sarah at Harney & Sons Soho with a cup of tea in hand, or out enjoying this crazy city we live in.
Selena Yang has been dancing since she was five years old. She started her training at New Jersey Center of Dance, danced competitively for a few years, and won 2 scholarships through the studio. A 2011 graduate of Purdue University (Boiler Up!), Selena spent four years involved in Higher Ground Dance Company, Purdue’s student-run dance organization. At Purdue, she minored in dance and was part of the Contemporary Dance Company. She's also a passionate supporter of the Andrea Rizzo Foundation. Her favorite styles of dance are contemporary/lyrical and jazz. She loves choreographing large sassy jazz pieces, and being fierce. When she’s not dancing, Selena works as a Public Relations & Social Media manager at Caseable. Selena loves to travel, bask in the sun, plan outdoor adventures, and is very excited to return to DanceWorks as a Season 3 choreographer!
Tom discovered his love of musicality when he started playing piano at the age of five. He played seriously through high school and developed a true love for music and musicality. While attending Carnegie Mellon University he discovered dance and fell in love immediately. He was a dancer and choreographer for Dancer's Symposium, a student run organization that was responsible for a semi-annual showcase of CMU's dance talent. He danced with DS for three years and was also one of the original members in the DS Company. Tom also spent his time as a choreographer for the Greek Sing show for two years. Before moving to NYC, Tom lived in Seattle for and trained at the Westlake Dance Center where he performed in their annual Sign of the Times showcase. Now living in New York City, he can be found taking contemporary or jazz funk classes at various studios around the city. When not dancing, Tom works as a Software Engineer for Google and is also an avid runner.