If you are having any difficulty using this website, please contact the Help Desk at Help@nullHofstra.edu or 516-463-7777 or Student Access Services at SAS@nullhofstra.edu or 516-463-7075. Please identify the webpage address or URL and the specific problems you have encountered and we will address the issue.

Skip to Main Content
School of Education

Catching Up with Dance Ed Alumni



MARISSA PAPA (ADAMS) is double certified to teach dance and drama, with an MA in Educational Theatre from NYU. She is a full-time tenured dance and drama teacher for children on the autism spectrum at PS4@Skillman School, in Long Island City, Queens, and has served as a cooperating teacher for Hofstra student teachers. She is the co-founder of Shining Studios, a place for actors, singers, and dancers of all ages and developmental abilities to come together to create and explore as an ensemble. In 2015 she was awarded a “thumbs up” award from the New York State Dance Education Association for her important work with children of all abilities.

RACHEL CHIMERI (DEJESUS) owns and runs Long Island Danceworks in East Meadow, NY.

SARAH GALLEANO is the dance specialist at PSMS 29 in the Bronx, where she started a new dance program for children in grades 1-8.

LINDSEY VERDE (NICASTRO) has been serving as a cooperating teacher for Hofstra student teachers for several years. She was the tenured dance specialist at PS 506 in Brooklyn, NY, and has accepted a new position for Fall 2018 at a District 20 Pre-K in Brooklyn, NY. She is also an owner of Horizons Dance Center in Brooklyn. In 2014 she was awarded a “thumbs up” award from the New York State Dance Education Association. In May 2013 she was awarded Teacher of the Year by State Senator Martin Golden. and has completed an online master’s program in educational technology.

CHRISTINA STAMPOLIS is a tenured NYC dance educator who will be teaching middle school and high school full-time at West End Secondary School. For five years she was the dance specialist at The Lorge School in Manhattan, and she also taught at Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School. In May 2015 she completed her master’s degree in Dance Education at Hunter College. She was awarded a New York State Dance Education Association “thumbs up” award for her ongoing work with emotionally disturbed and learning disabled students. In October 2013 she presented her research on technology and dance education at the National Dance Education Organization conference in Miami.

Dance Education Children


KRISTY MARTELLI (LUISE) is beginning her eighth year as the dance specialist at PS/IS 268, a K-8 school in Jamaica, NY. In May 2015 she completed her master's degree in dance education at Hunter College. She is tenured, and serves as a cooperating teacher for Hofstra student teachers.


DANIELLA CIPRIANO is one of three dance specialists teaching at, Edward R Murrow High School in Brooklyn, of which she is a graduate. She has a master’s degree in physical education from Brooklyn College, is a tenured NYC dance educator and is a member of the Staten Island Yankees dance team.

SHANELLE CUMMINGS Program Director of Sheltering Arms, helping at-risk students in New York City.

ALEXANDRA JOSEPH is the tenured dance specialist at PS 249K, The Caton School in Brooklyn.

CATHERINE O’HALLORAN has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University and is a full-time physical therapist at Banner University Medical Center in downtown Phoenix. She specializes in orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation, particularly for any dance or performing arts injuries at the clinic.

ELIZABETH McDERMOTT (WEHRMAN) is the tenured dance specialist at PS 317, the Waterside Children's Studio School in Rockaway Park, Queens, NY. The school’s dance company performs at various community events in Rockaway as well as throughout the city. She has completed a master's degree in physical education at Adelphi University and is a cooperating teacher to Hofstra’s student teachers. She also teaches dance at The Dance Loft in Long Beach. 


MARIBETH CACCHIOLI is the dance specialist at The Lorge School in Manhattan. She also teaching at two Long Island studios run by Hofstra alumni: The Dream Center Dance Academy directed by Anjuli Bova and Jean Benincasa’s Tip Tap Toe Dance Studio.

STEPHANIE CAPUTO is the dance specialist at PS 195 in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, NY. She is pursuing a master’s in special education at Hofstra.

BROOKE HAHN is a full-time dance educator shared by two schools in the Bronx, NY: Michelangelo Junior High School PS 144 and the Albert Einstein School IS 131. In addition to teaching full time, she is pursuing a master’s in special education at Hofstra.

KEYLA HIRALDO is the full-time dance specialist at PS 372 K in Brooklyn, NY, working with children on the autism spectrum. She is currently a student at the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College.

CAITLIN RODRIGUEZ is the full-time dance specialist at PS 131Q Abigail Adams Elementary in Jamaica, after being the dance program director for several years at the Mid-Island YJCC in Plainview, NY. She is pursuing a Masters of Arts in Theater and Dance Teaching Artistry in an online program at Wayne State University starting fall 2018.

LIZBETH ROSA is the full-time dance teacher at MS210 Elizabeth Blackwell Middle School, a visual and performing arts school, after being a counselor and facilitator with a non-profit organization titled H.E.L.P. Services Inc. (Healing. Empowerment. Learning. Prevention.)


CRISTINA ANASTACIO is teaching at JHL Dance Dynamics in Mineola, NY, and NY Dance Works in Port Washington, NY.

SARAH KULCHINSKY is a full-time dance educator at The Bergen Beach School P.S. 312 in Brooklyn. She was recently awarded the ArtSpace grant, which funded her classroom being transformed into a dance studio. She will graduate with an MA in dance education from the University of Northern Colorado in December 2018, and will be applying for tenure during 2018-2019.

TERESA SCHMITT is the Director of Dance at Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset, N.Y., where she also directs the Mercy Dance Company. Her students perform at many prestigious venues including Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in NYC, and the Tilles Center at CW POST. She is also a teacher and choreographer at the Roseland School of Dance in Oakdale, NY. During the spring of 2015 and 2016, she was the guest teaching artist at Lawrence Middle School.  Teresa was elected and served as the student representative to the Board of Trustees of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) for two years, presented two research projects at conferences in Miami and Chicago, and continues to be an active participant and presenter at the NDEO yearly conferences. 

PRISCILLA VELAZQUEZ is the full-time dance specialist at P.S. 89 in Queens. She is also teaching part time at Jorday Rivera’s Dance Studio in Queens, NY, and at the Theresa Academy of Performing Arts for children with special needs. She started teaching there during an internship she completed during her years at Hofstra.


CHRISTIE CAPOLINO is a full-time dance specialist shared between two middle schools, Archimedes Academy and Antonia Pantoja Preparatory Academy, both located in the Bronx, NY. She is also getting her Master of Science degree in Special Education grades 1-6 at The College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, NY

MICHELE MONTANA is a teaching assistant in Calhoun High School’s Special Education Department in Merrick NY, and a dance teacher at M &T Dance Unlimited in Seaford NY. 

KATELYN O’DONNELL is a talent manager at MMG Model-Talent-Celebrity Management in NYC. She travels the country scouting for models, actors and dancers of all ages, and then helps them become marketable. The management company has dancers on Broadway, on television commercials, in Disney, and on tour with artists like Kanye West and Madonna.

OLIVIA VILLALBA works for the Connecticut Dance Center in Stamford. She is teaching dance classes, managing the office and the teenager ensemble company, as well as starting an outreach program for the public schools.


JENNA POLITOSKI is getting her masters degree in special education at Hofstra University.

KEVIN WILLIAMS is the full-time dance educator at Hyde Leadership Charter School in the Bronx, and also performs with various dance companies.

KAI YARBOROUGH is currently substitute teaching in the New York City public schools, and was signed to the talent agency Clear Talent Group to continue her professional performance career. 


JONATHAN COHEN has been the full-time dance teacher at Corona Arts & Sciences Academy, Queens, N.Y.

WILLIAM COHEN taught for one year at the Hyde Leadership Charter School. In 2018 he will be working as a professional dancer signed to Bloc Talent Agency, and will also be a substitute teacher in the New York City schools.

MARIAH JACOBSON is the full-time dance specialist at Community Health Academy of the Heights in Washington Heights, Manhattan, teaching grades 6th through 12th.

JEANINE MARKEY is getting her master’s degree in dance therapy at Pratt Institute in New York City.

JOANNA PIRNAT is studying at Antioch University New England for her master's degree in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling.


ALEXIS CORRAO is a company member of the Sonia Plumb Dance Company located in Hartford, CT, and Arts Integration Program Specialist, going in to schools, grades PreK – 12, to teach dance.  

ERIN DOHERTY will start as a character performer in September 2018 under the Disney College Program in Florida.

BRENNA MORGAN will be teaching in three places beginning Fall 2018: the YMCA in Stoughton MA, Jacqueline’s Dance Studio in Norwell MA, and Insync dance studio in Quincy M.A.