Meet Our KDA Instructors

Kerry Teator

I started dancing at the age of 3.  As many of us started this way, my mom took me to class because my sister was already dancing.  At a very young age, I was encouraged to try everything and in a short time I was taking every class I could get my hands on or as many as mom would allow me to take each year.  At an early age I got involved with many competitions & performances.  First I competed in baton twirling competitions with solos, modeling & groups then I started pageants and modeling.  I also spent many years in my early teens highly competitive in the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics competing at the local, regional and national levels. I was a very eager & ambitious dancer and began assisting at the age of 9 and had my own two classes to teach at 13. I was teaching “full time” shortly after.  Not only was I going to school and teaching but I was babysitting every chance I got on the weekends and took on a job at “pizza hut”.  I tell everyone that because it’s funny. I just wanted a car, doesn’t every teenager?  Then, as it was time for college, I knew I wanted my own studio (well, I knew that since I was very young) and studied business in college.  From there, I think you get the idea.  Work, dedication, and more hard work has brought me to where I am today.  I hope from reading this you now have a little insight and can delight in the true passion, love and ambition that I bring to the world of dance and your little stars.  Thanks Mom, for bringing me to dance class!

 

Training:

  • Foundation training included ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, baton, voice, drama and modeling. 

  • Dance Educators of America Teacher Training Certification (4 levels)

  • Dance Olympus VIP Summer Tour

  • Continue to train in NYC with the Master Instructors including, Frank Hatchett, Joe Tremaine, Gus Giordano,  instructors from Broadway Dance Center, Steps and various workshops across the country.

 

Teaching:

  • 32 years teaching experience

  • Teaching ages 3 through Adult in ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, lyrical, rhythmic gymnastics and baton twirling

 

Education:

  • MBA candidate - Pace University, NYC

  • BS in Business Management and Administration, Manga Cum Laude, from Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY

  • Inducted into the Delta Mu Delta - business honor society, Deans List and Honor Roll.

 

Performances:

  • Apollo Theatre, Harlem, NY -  Amateur Night 2 time winner

  • VIP Tour with Dance Olympus

  • Clovis, New Mexico’s  “Key to the City” for Theatre Fundraiser and educational tour

  • Industrial show for Lagoons of Canada

  • 1982 & 1992 World’s Fair performances in Knoxville, TN and Seville, Spain

  • Performance with Sesame Street's Bob McGrath

  • Dance and Modeling performances in: Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Paradise Island, Toronto and Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

  • Regional and National title winner of many pageants (modeling, talent & photogenic) as a pre-teen and teenager.

 

Choreography:

  • Solo, Duo and Group Choreography for competitions in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, tumbling & musical theatre

  • Spackenkill High School’s Spring Musical Productions for 10 years

  • Children’s Community Theater productions

  • Rising Star gymnastics – Level 7 & 8 optional floor routines

  • Excel Gymnastics – Level 7 optional floor routines

  • Roosevelt High School Varsity Cheerleading Half-Time Dance

 

Accreditation/Certification:

  • World Modeling Association Hall of Fame & Modeling Choreography Achievement Awards

  • Dance Educators of America Teaching Accreditation

  • CPR & First Aid

  • USA Gymnastics Safety Certification Course

  • Better Business Bureau

 

 Awards:  See our Team page for our current list of special awards and honors.Kerry is also a Director for Dance America/Dance Olympus competitions and conventions across the country and has worked directly under owners Art & Nancy Stone  ever since her VIP tour.

 

 

 

Mary Ribble

 

Mary Ribble began her training at age six in Massapequa, Long Island. She studied under the guidance of “world renowned” Andre Eglevsky. At the age of eight Ms. Ribble was one of a select group of children to audition for Mr. George Ballanchine, Director for the New York City Ballet Company. She was awarded a Ford Foundation Scholarship, which supported most of her dancing career. By the age of thirteen, she was invited to perform along with students from the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in Monaco. 

 

Ms. Mary has studied and performed with members of New York City Ballet Company, American Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet Company, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Martha Graham, and Geoffrey Holder (Choreographer for “The Wiz” on Broadway).

 

Ms. Ribble has performed nationally and internationally. She was former Artistic Director of the “Bergen Junior Ballet Company”, Bergen, New Jersey. She was the Artistic Director for “Awosting Repertory Company”, New Paltz, New York, and Artistic Director for “Hudson River Dance, Performing at Ensemble” for UPAC Kingston, Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie, NY.  Ms. Ribble has performed at “Sandals Resort” in Jamaica and at “Club Mediterranee”, Martinique.

 

Ms. Ribble began teaching at age 15 as a trainee at the “Eglevsky School of Ballet”. She has taught throughout the East Coast for the past forty years. Ms. Ribble carries a wide range of styles in her classical training as well as her extensive knowledge of Modern and Jazz. Ms. Ribble celebrated her “Golden Dance Anniversary” in spring of 2008. Ms. Ribble has studies in the syllabus's of the School of American Ballet and the Royal Academy of Ballet.   Ms. Ribble has been awarded Best Choreographer, Most Creative Choreographer, and numerous encore presentations. 

 

Ms. Ribble’s students have gone on in their dance training to receive numerous scholarships; Top Ten Finalist “ National Grand Prix Ballet Competition”, acceptance into American Ballet Theater Summer intensive, School of American Ballet, Central Youth Penn Ballet, and Miami City Ballet intensive, Dance Major Mercy Hurst College, Purchase University, Miami School of Ballet, and contract with Ballet Hispanico.  Ms. Ribble’s student’s accomplishments also include Drew Pacholyk – West Coast Choreography for Calvin Klein Fashion shows, Emilie Gerrity – member of the “New York Ballet, Michael Grass – member of “River North Dance Theater Chicago, Doug Mantranga – comedian at the “Comedy Store”. Ms. Ribble has also performed in “Cabaret” (Kitkat Girl), “Oklahoma” (Chorus and Choreographer dream sequence), “Carousel” (Choreographer), “West Side Story” (Choreographer), and “Secret Garden” (Choreographer).

Gerson Lanza

Originally from La Ceiba, Honduras, Gerson first encountered the art form of tap dance after moving to New York City in 2001. Immediately after his first exposure to tap, he fell in love with the art form. He began his tap dance training under Omar Edwards at his studio “Harlem Tap,” located in the heart of New York’s Harlem neighborhood. He continued developing his tap dancing craft after enrolling at the Harlem School of the Arts, under the instruction of Joeseph Webb.

In 2015, he was honored to attend the First Annual Oslo Tap Festival as a feature artist. Gerson has also attended the Stockholm Tap Festival as a teaching assistant to Chloe Arnold. He has also taught and performed domestically and internationally in places such as Los Angeles, New York, Utah, Florida and countries such as Brazil, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Spain and the list goes on. Since his return from North Carolina in 2014, Gerson has been steadfast in collaborating to the art form by working with numerous artists of different disciplines such beatboxers, Salseros, violinist searching for his identity within the dance.

He continues to be an active member of Chloe Arnold’s Apt.33 Dance Company. Where various exciting performances awaits. Aside from Apt. 33 Gerson form part of a Trio act “The Clicquot Brothers” that will make its debut at the Cotton Club starting in October and will last for 6 months

 

Najea Ashe

Najea joind our teaching staff in 2014 to teach tumbling.  She is currently pursuing a Criminal Justice degree at Marist College.

Ducle Belen Estrada

Dulce Belen Estrada is from Poughkeepsie, NY, and has danced here at Kerry's Dance Academy since 2003. She eventually joined the competition team at the age of nine and has recieved many awards from competitions all over the tri-state area. She graduated from Dean College in 2016 with an Associates of Arts in Dance.

As a performer, she has danced in nursing homes, magic shows, Hollywood Studios in Disney World, and more. She was also selected to be a part of the Dean College: Dance Company in 2015 and 2016 where she had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Jeremy Ruth Howes and J.T. Jenkins.

Belen has a great love for all styles of dance, including bachata, merengue, and cumbia. She also enjoys choreographing for Quinceañeras.

She has had the privilege of working and training with amazing choreographers such as Mignon Furman, Brian Santora, Andrea Hammond, and more. Belen is excited to join the KDA staff and hopes to continue inspiring young dancers to express themselves through the beautiful art of dance.

Allie Hammerling

Allie started dancing at the tender age of 3.  She has studied numerous forms of dance including Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, Ballet, and Lyrical.   Along with dance, she studied  gymnastics for a number of years.  In 2003, Allie joined Energy Dance Company where she trained in Reggee, Step Dancing, Break Dancing, Popping & Locking, Salsa other Latin styles, and many more. She has won first place in several local dance competitions as well as National Dance Competitions.  In 2014, she competed with Energy Dance Company at the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem where they won second place. 

 

Allie works part time at Balletomania and teaches dance at several local dance studios.  Allie is very excited to be teaching Hip-Hop at Kerry's Dance Academy!

Erika Vandewater

Erika started her dance training at a very young age at Estelle & Alfonso’s and continued at Kerry’s Dance Academy where she became a competitive dancer and fell in love with the athleticism of dance. After graduating from high school and Kerry’s Dance Academy she attended Dean College where she graduated Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Arts in Dance along with an Associate in Science in Athletic Training. Currently, she is pursuing her Master’s degree in Athletic Training at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY. She will also be continuing her dance studies through workshops and classes in NYC.

Erika has trained through intensives at the American Academy of Ballet under the direction of Mignon Furman as well as intensives with Jay T. Jenkins. While still in high school, she toured part of the United States with Dance America/Dance Olympus and had the opportunity to train under and dance for faculty and staff including choreographers: Daniel Walker, Brian Santora, Mario Velez and Sam Fiorello. Erika has attended dance workshops led by Sarah Jo Fazio, Carrie Lee Riggins, Brian Santora and former Rockette Andrea Hammond. She has also attended clinics held by the Knicks City Dancers. While at Dean College, Erika has had the absolute privilege of being able to train under Kristina Berger, Master in Horton technique, for four years. Erika also has attended many master classes led by William Crowley, Jamie Brege, Steve Rooks and Boston Ballet’s Christopher Anderson.

Erika has had the amazing opportunity to have performed in the Patriot’s Opening Day performance in 2015 and 2017. She has also performed in multiple shows at Dean College including Company Performance: Time, Choreographer’s Concert, and Site Specific. She has performed in showcases in cities around the United States including Chicago, Minneapolis, Houston and Boston. She has performed in the American Academy of Ballet’s showcase. Erika has also danced and performed at six flags, community days, in local malls, nursing homes, breast cancer fundraisers, and Abilities First annually.

Erika has 5 years of experience choreographing award winning solos, duos, and group dances for competitions.

Using her degree in athletic training combined with her degree in dance, Erika has created a Dance Injury Prevention Workshop that she has hosted at multiple local studios as well as for High School Dance Teams. She is also certified in AED, CPR, and First aid response.

Erika is extremely excited to join the KDA faculty and to share her knowledge with young aspiring dancers. She hopes to inspire and instill the same love and passion for the art form that she has in the dancers she teaches.

 

Annie Rickard-Fandl

Shannon Tirums

Shannon’s dance background started at the age three at JG Dance Arts Center in Hyde Park. She studied dance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia on a full scholarship where she majored in Jazz.

Shannon has won numerous competitive dance awards at dance competitions and conventions, including Dance Caravan, Dance Educators of America, and Fred Astaire International Dance Competition. She spent many years studying with numerous dance teachers in New York City at Broadway Dance Center. Shannon is excited to share her knowledge and love of dance and performing with the students at Kerry's Dance Academy.

696 Dutchess Turnpike

Poughkeepsie NY 12603

845-454-7540

KDA44@msn.com

 

 

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