Guest Artists 

 

Please join us in welcoming our wonderful Guest Artists to Dance Works Studio! We are truly honored to be able to bring such a high caliber of talent to offer the students of Central New York.

Georges Biboti comes from the Cote d’Ivoire ( Ivory Coast ) West Africa where he was in the National Ballet of the Ivory Coast for 17 years as dancer, drummer & choreographer.In 1997, Biboti moved to United States where he spent 6 years in NYC teaching & performing. Later, in 2000-2002, Biboti was part of Jimmy Buffet summer tours, Biboti also participated at Hollywood movie “Tears of the Sun” starting Bruce Willis.In 2003, Biboti moved to Syracuse, NY where he shares his culture with the community, schools from Kindergarten to colleges and dance studios. Biboti just opened a multicultural dance studio in Syracuse. For more information about Biboti and Wacheva, go to www.wacheva.com

Tracey Zimmerman graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from the University at Buffalo where she was a member of the prestigious Zodiaque Dance Company for all four years. After graduation, Tracey continued to express her love of dance by traveling throughout the United States performing principle and ensemble roles in numerous regional theaters across the country. Some of her credits include Swing! (Kaitlin), High School Musical (Kelsi), White Christmas (Judy), Cats (Tumblebrutus), and Cabaret (Texas) just to name a few. Tracey is also works for several competition/convention circuits where she has been recognized for her outstanding choreography and classes on both the regional and national level. She judges and directs for both Dance Masters of America and VIP Dance where she has been given the opportunity to work with extremely talented dancers, young professionals and teachers from all over the world. Tracey is so excited to be given the opportunity to share her knowledge and love of dance with the students and faculty of DanceWorks Studio.

Christian Donnelly - After graduating from the University at Buffalo with a BFA in Musical Theater Christian immediately joined the National Tour of 42nd Street as Andy Lee. He was then hired as the Resident Choreographer for The Crown in Wichita, Kansas where he also starred as Don Lockwood in Singing in the Rain. Most recently he has worked as a Principle Dancer and Choreographer for the Northeast Ballet Company. In between these endeavors he has played Will Parker in Oklahoma, Mike Costa in A Chorus Line, Gene Kelly in the world premiere of Change Partners, become a proud member of Actors Equity Association, and appeared in the annual CBS holiday special Melodies of Christmas as a soloist. His teaching credits include being a guest professor of theater and dance at Wichita State University, training the young stars of Billy Elliot both of Broadway and London casts, and teaching master classes at dance conferences in 34 of the fifty states. Christian would be failed to exclude that he was a proud dancer in the Zodiaque Dance Company along side Tricia Zegarelli!

Rashaan James II went to Univ. of Buffalo for a BFA in Musical Theatre. Some of Rashaan’s favorite Credits include Aida (Mereb u/s-Nubian), Cats (Plato/McCavity), Dreamgirls with Jennifer Holliday (Tru-Tone/5Tuxedo), 42nd Street (Featured Ensemble), The Wild Party (Jackie), Swing! (Sexy Couple), Smokey Joe’s Café (Adrian), Godspell (“Light of the World”), Oklahoma (Joe/Dance Capt.), Children of Eden (Young Cain) and the 50th Anniversary West Side Story European Tour (Luis/Shark Swing). Recently he has just returned from teaching At London’s Westminster Dance College and Amsterdam’s Dutch School of Ballet.

 

Felix LaBella is an accomplished dancer, teacher and choreographer who now calls New York City home.  As a performer, he has toured nationally and internationally with productions such as 42nd Street, Cats, and Oklahoma! Other regional credits include:  Thoroughly Modern Millie, West Side Story, A Chorus Line, Sweet Charity, Crazy For You, and the world premiere of Around the World in 80 Days at the Fulton Opera House.  Felix’s production of Chicago, in which he directed and choreographed, was voted “Best Production of the Capital Region 2002” by the nationally accredited Times Union Newspaper. TV/Film: W.B. Mason for the NY Yankee’s. He holds a degree in dance from Skidmore College and has taught master classes at studios like the Alvin Ailey School in NY, and colleges/universities around the country.  He is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.

 

Gina Pero is one of the World Famous Radio City Rockettes. As a BFA graduate from the Theatre & Dance Program at the University at Buffalo, Gina’s experiences range from movies, stage and television to commercials and modeling. Gina has worked with legends in the industry such as Gus Giordano, Hinton Battle, Richard Grieco, Olga Breeskin, Patrick King and the eccentric star of TV & Film, Charo.In addition to being a performer and spokesperson for the Radio City Rockettes, Gina has been the principal dancer in the show Iron Beats and has performed on various stages nationally and internationally. Gina’s concert dance credits include Zodiaque Dance Company, Solstice Dance Theatre, and The Red Vern Collective. She has appeared as a principal dancer in the movie Louis the Film, on television for NBC, MTV, The Latin Music Awards, Jet flex, TRL, and What’s in the Trunk Game Show. Through her vast presence in the commercial and modeling world Gina has been featured by such companies as Bebe, Guess, Nike, Redken, Paul Mitchell, Dockers, Samsung, and the Hilton and Bellagio Hotels. Her dedication to art and fostering the artistic dream of others has led her nationwide as a sought after teacher, guest teacher at Broadway Dance Center and Juilliard, adjudicator, guest speaker and solo artist.

Nicole Sell grew up in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where she started dancing at the local studio at the age of three. As a teen, she spent her summers studying dance at the Ballet/Aspen program in Colorado and at the Dupree Studios in Los Angeles. She completed her high school years at the Idyllwild School of Music and Performing Arts in California and graduated Valedictorian of her class. She then studied at The Boston Conservatory, earning a BFA in Dance and graduating Summa Cum Laude and Salutatorian of her class. Ms. Sell has performed regionally and internationally with Prometheus Dance, ACE Entertainment, Impulse, and Boston Dance Company, and has also danced a leading role in an industrial video for Spalding sports equipment and a TV commercial for W.B. Mason, for which she was also the choreographer. She is currently on faculty at the Jeannette Neill Dance Studio, Boston Youth Moves, Walnut Hill School, and The Boston Conservatory

Bill Thomas has performed in concert works such as: The Green Table , Don Quixote/ Pas de Deux ), Galena Summit , and Polenc. He has performed and gained entrance into dance companies such as: Webster Dance Theater (St. Louis), Buffalo City Ballet (Buffalo, NY), Off-Track Dancers (St. Louis), The Thomas Dance Collection (Director/Choreographer) (Buffalo), David Puszh Dance Company (Chicago), Joel Hall Dancers (apprentice) (Chicago), and Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theater (apprentice) (NYC). His musical theater credits include: Anything Goes w/ Chita Riveria(AEA), The Unsinkable Molly Brown w/ Ann Reinking(AEA), Sesame Street Live (AEA)(National Tours) and The Black Musical Review. As an independent/ freelance artist he has performed at: La Mama E.T.C. (Off Broadway-NYC)/US, The International Theatre Festival of Barranquilla/ Columbia, The Toronto Fringe Festival/ Canada, and The International Festival for Arts/ Argentina.His choreography has been seen at/on: Ailey Citigroup Theater(NYC), Thelma Hill Performing Arts-Kumble Theater (LIU-Brooklyn), The Thomas Dance Collection (Director/Choreographer), Buffalo City Ballet, Danse4Nia Repertory Ensemble-Philadelphia, Philadanco II, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Choreography Showcase, International Theater Festival/ Mexico City, Danco On Danco Choreography Showcase, Zodiaque Dance Company, Orchesis Contemporary Dance Theater, Danza Una/Costa Rica, Buffalo Dance Festival, and Hampton University, among others.Mr. Thomas’ teaching credits include: Philadanco, Rochester City Ballet, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Danse4Nia Repertory Ensemble (Ballet Master/Rehearsal Dir.), Buffalo City Ballet, Montgomery County Community College, Conservatory and School of the Arts in St. Louis, Empire State Ballet, National University of Costa Rica-Heredia, American Academy of Dance, Dance Masters of America Teachers Training School, Florida A&M University, The Black College Dance Exchange, The French-English School in Barranquilla, Colombia, Losdenmedium Danza in Costa Rica, Amsterdam Dance Center in the Netherlands, Instituto de Danzas Espanolas & Ballet Folklorico in Argentina, and formerly at S.U.N.Y. @ Buffalo where he was Head of Ballet, Associate Professor & Director of Dance.Mr. Thomas’s training includes: Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Dance Theater of Harlem, John Barker’s Vaganova Teacher Training Seminar, Broadway Dance Center, Jacob’s Pillow, Hubbard Street Dance Studio, and with master teachers such as: Finis Jhung, Madame Darvash, Madame Lavinia Williams, and Homer Bryant among others, and studied choreography from luminaries such as: Bessie Schonberg, Phyllis Lamhut and Vera Blaine.He has adjudicated for organizations such as NAACP ACT-SO, Winners Talent Showcase Nationals, and Links Inc. International, among others and as a panelist for organizations such as the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Cultural Arts Fund (Philadelphia), and Buffalo/Erie Arts Council. He also has teaching awards from S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo and the A.K.A. Sorority and holds a B.A. in Dance (Ballet Major) from Webster University Conservatory in St. Louis, Missouri, and an M.A. in Dance(Choreography/Pedagogy) from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where he received the University Fellowship and Teaching Fellowship.

Yvonne began her dance career at the early age of three at “The School of the Dance Arts” in Auburn, NY. Yvonne has been able to work with numerous artists of TV, and stage. Her regional credits in theatre include; 42nd Street, Anything Goes, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Oklahoma, and Damn Yankees.

 

Her professional choreography credits include; How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Anything Goes, Godspell, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Suessical The Musical, Meet Me In St. Louis, Bye Bye Birdie, Once Upon A Mattress, and Footloose.

Her passion for Dance and Musical Theater brought her to further her training at the University at Buffalo Dance Department. Yvonne, has trained under such professionals as; Thomas Ralabate, Lynne Kurdziel-Formato, William Thomas, Karen Georger, Jeanne Fornarola, Elizabeth Waddell, Eileen Lambert, Shelly Hain, Tressa Gorman-Crehan, and Joyce Miller-Lychtenberger.

In 2001, Yvonne returned to Auburn and opened up the Absolute Dance Studio and founded the Absolute Dance Company.  In 2004 Yvonne collaborated with Lisa Ientilucci and Jennifer Antropoli to form the C.O.R.E. Dance Project, a professional touring dance company.

To learn more about Yvonne and Absolute Dance visit their website!

Cesar Salinas - As an inner-city student, Cesar began his formal studies in dance with Zohar School of Dance, under the direction of Ehud Krauss in Palo Alto, CA. There he was introduced to the classic jazz styles of Giordano, Luigi, and Mattox. He moved to Oregon where he studied at Willamette Ballet under Deborah Higginbotham. Cesar went on to further his training at the University at Buffalo, where he graduated with a BFA in Dance. The summers of '04 and '05 he received a scholarship to the Giordano Dance School in Chicago, IL. He was honored to join as a full Company member for Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago in 2006 until 2011 where he traveled to perform in Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Guatemala, Latvia, and throughout the States. During his tenure he was proud to be a part of GJDC's educational outreach program, teaching science and health dance classes to 4th and 5th grade students in underserved CPS schools. Cesar was honored to be on the cover of Dance Magazine (August 2007) and to teach at the Jazz Dance World Congress ('07, '09, '12). Cesar recently toured the world with Royal Caribbean cruise lines as a performer, traveling throughout the Caribbean, the Baltic, Scandinavia, Iceland, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Oman and Dubai. Cesar loves to share the gift of dance with his students teaching master classes, workshops, and choreographing for schools across the country and is thankful for every opportunity.

Aleksandra Wojda was born in Pretoria, South Africa, but grew up dancing in the Chicagoland area. She graduated from Northwestern University in June 2006 with dual degrees in Communication Sciences & Disorders and International Studies. While attending Northwestern full-time for four years, she trained at the Giordano Dance Center as both a work-study and scholarship student. She has performed in Dance Chicago under the direction of Nick Pupillo and Tracy Marrion. In the summer of 2006, she was seen as a top twenty dancer on the second season of Fox's hit show, So You Think You Can Dance, and it was a truly life-changing experience to have made it to the Top 16 dancers of that season. She returned back to Chicago after the show to continue her dance career full force. After ending a run at the Lincolnshire Marriott's production of All Night Strut, she joined Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago's second company, which she enjoyed for a year. She has been featured in industrials for Jockey, Panasonic, Barton G., Sebastian/Graham Webb/Wella, Pepsi, and the Red Hawk Casino. Currently residing in Los Angeles, she has kept busy working in music videos (Lady GaGa, David Cook, Kaskade, and Sara Bareilles), television (House), and feature films (Funny People and School Gyrlz). She feels so blessed to have had such an amazing dance journey thus far and is thankful for all who have supported her and inspired her to keep on moving!

Cody Wheat is originally from Upstate New York, were he started dancing at Dance 10. He has competed for four years on both regional and national levels, winning numerous over all high score, first place awards, national grand champion awards, and titles such as Mr. Senior stars of tomorrow. Mr Wheat also recieved training at the Munson Willams Proctor Arts Institute with a focus in Ballet, Jazz, and African genres. He has performed many lead performances with MWPAI in The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, and Gaite Parisienne. Mr. WHeat has also taught at many dance studios in the area such as Dance10, The Dance Academy, and Ondreas Center Stage. Cody has toured in Europe, the Carribbean, and Alaska with Celebrity cruise lines for 2 years as a Production Dancer and Dance Captain. He then moved to London England for 3 months where he trained at Pinapple Dance Studio in all styles of dance and also trained at The Place Dance Studio with a focus in Ballet and Modern. Cody now lives in New York City New York where he is performing with the Company STREB. he also teaches Acro and dance at the Landrum School of Dance in Queens and is Part of the work study program at Broadway Dance Center in NY. Cody is currently a company member of the modern dance company ANAHATA as well as being a member of CHEER NY: a non profit charity organization that raises money for under budgeted charity organizations in New York City.

Paris Wilcox earned a Bachelor of Arts in the classics from Hamilton College. Afterwards, he spent a year at the Rock School of Pennsylvania finishing his training. Mr. Wilcox spent 10 years dancing as a Principal Dancer for Kansas City Ballet and as Administrative Director for Arizona Ballet. Currently Paris is a visiting professor at Hamilton College.