INSTRUCTORS

Perinton Dance Company is fortunate to have mature, professional adult Instructors who specialize in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre, Modern, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Tumbling, Pilates, Voice, Piano, Drama and MORE. They offer a wide background of dance, music, drama and other expertise including competition and professional stage experiences. Each year our instructors attend conventions and workshops to keep abreast of current dance techniques. Our students have won numerous awards for excellence in all types of dance and music due to the dedication of our talented staff.

 

Mrs. Tammee LeClair, Executive Director/Dance Educator

Tammee began dancing at age three and has been teaching dance classes since 1989. Tammee received the majority of her dance training at Dianne Lynn Dance Theatre and continues to train at workshops and with talented professionals whenever possible, including private lessons.  Tammee has performed in countless dance shows and competitions and has won many awards. Her dance students have received numerous local and national awards for routines choreographed/taught by Tammee. Tammee has been the Preschool Dance Instructor at the JCC since January of 2007 and offers weekly dance lessons at the JCC. In addition, Tammee is playing a very active role in her daughter Madalynn’s performance career in New York City after Madalynn was signed with Wilhelmina Models in NYC in April 2010. They have made 30+ trips to NYC for Maddee’s auditions and jobs in the past few years.

Tammee has performed in many musical theater productions working as the Dance Captain for many of these shows. She choreographed for The Downstairs Cabaret's Summer Youth Program's 1997 production A Salute to the Tony's, East Irondequoit Middle School's 2004 production Annie Junior, and Brighton High School's JV Cheerleading Squad's award winning 2003 cheer/dance routine. Tammee was chosen as a choreographer for the Dance Rochester! Choreographer/Composer Concerts in 2005, 2007 & 2009.  She volunteered as the Chairperson of the Fairport Canal Days Entertainment Committee from 2004 - 2008. She has taught numerous dance workshops for Girl Scouts, Youth to Youth, and other area organizations.

Currently she is the elected President of Dance Rochester! and served as the chairperson for the annual DR! fundraiser Gala for three years. She is a member of the PTSA at her daughter's elementary school and is the Chair of the Health and Safety Committee, Co-Chair of the Cultural Arts Committee and acted as Room Rep for her daughter's class this year.  In the fall, she will also be the leader of a 2nd grade Brownie Girl Scout Troop.  All Stars Talent was awarded the 2009 Culture and Arts Award by the Henrietta Chamber of Commerce for the studio's & Tammee's contributions to the community.  Tammee currently lives in Pittsford with her husband Jay and their daughter Madalynn.

Mr. John LeClair, Music Director/Vocal & Piano Instructor

John ("Jay") holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education (grades K12) and a Bachelor's Degree in Secondary English Education, both from Nazareth College of Rochester. He also trained at the Eastman School of Music and SUNY Fredonia. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Master's license, enabling him to drive commercial vessels at sea. He is currently a Captain and Senior Deckhand of the Colonial Belle, which is owned and operated by his Father and Motherinlaw. He worked as a bus driver of the Pittsford Central School District from 20062011, and served on the accident review board for transportation in the district.

John directed/taught a choir and taught an Elementary General Music class for a private Learning Center based in Webster, NY for two years. He has studied the Suzuki Piano Method with Karen Hagberg, Ph.D at the Hagberg Suzuki Piano Program, to continuing to build his skills and to work to merge portions of the Suzuki Method into teaching his own students.

John served as the Music Director and MC for the Dance Rochester! Composer/Choreographer Concert in the fall of 2007 and 2009.  He was the assistant conductor of the Nazareth College Concert Choir for two years and was a member of the Nazareth College Chamber Choir, Concert Choir and Jazz Choir for seven years. He served as the assistant conductor for the Irondequoit Chorale in 2001 and was the assistant conductor for The Penfield Methodist Church Choir from 2001‐2002. John was a member of The Publick Musik and sang on a publicity recording for this group in 2000.

John regularly performs as the primary vocalist at many weddings, special events, and church functions. He volunteered on the Fairport Canal Days Entertainment Committee from 20042008. John was the Music/Choir Director for St Salome's Catholic Church for two years and assisted with the music preparation of East Irondequoit Middle School's 2004 production of Annie Junior. In addition to teaching voice and piano lessons at AST/PDC, John is the Plumbing Department Supervisor at the Gates Home Depot. He lives in Pittsford with his wife Tammee and daughter Madalynn.

 

Mrs. Melissa (Kofod) Muszak, Dance Instructor

Melissa is happy to spend another year with Perinton Dance Company. She recently spent two years living in New York City employed at an integrated communications technology consulting firm. While in NYC, Melissa studied tap at Broadway Dance Center, modern & improvisational dance at Spoke the Hub Dancing, and restorative yoga at Area Yoga of Brooklyn, NY. She also took courses in American Sign Language at the Sign Language Center of Manhattan.

 

Prior to moving to NYC, Melissa taught various forms of dance at All Stars Talent from 2002 through 2007. She also taught for nearly 10 years at Dianne Lynn Dance Theatre, where she began her own dance training & performing at the age of three.  In addition to her principal dance training at DLDT, Melissa also took summer courses in ballet at Botsford School of Dance. Melissa was a competitive dancer from ages 6-18 and won many top awards at regional and national competitions. She was a member of the ensemble and a leader dancer in many musicals in summer drama programs and in junior high & high school. She was highlighted as a featured dancer in each musical, including the principal dance role of Dream Ballet Laurey in Oklahoma! In high school, she was a member of the prestigious R-H Singers, Youth to Youth, National Honor Society, completed many Honors and AP Courses, and graduated in the top 10% of her class with a 4.0 GPA.

 

As a 2000 graduate from SUNY Geneseo with a BA in History, Melissa was a member of the Dance Ensemble and the Knightline Precision Dance Team/Kickline. She was also a member of the Rochester Rhinestones, the professional dance team for the Rochester Rhinos Soccer Team, in 2003 and 2004.  Melissa completed her second Bachelor’s degree in English literature at SUNY Brockport in May 2011, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 3.97 GPA. She is a member of 3 honor societies, Alpha Chi (top 10% of institution), Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society), and Tau Sigma (Transfer Student Honor Society). While attending SUNY Brockport, Melissa continued her study and practice of tap with the Brockport Dance department.

 

In 2012 and 2013, pieces that Melissa choreographed were chosen by a panel of independent judges from the UB dance department to perform in the Dance Rochester Atrium Concert at City Hall in Rochester, NY.  In 2013, her tap routine “Stuck Like Glue” won first place overall in the Mini Shooting Star Group Division at the Star Systems Talent Competition, earning her a Top Teacher Award. Additionally, her students have won top honors at regional and national competitions with routines that she choreographed & taught, including many platinum and high gold and overall achievements in the past 4 years as a PDC instructor. She greatly enjoys sharing her love of dance and her talent with students. Melissa is a very talented dancer and instructor of a great variety of dance styles.

 

Ms. Allyson Buttram, Dance Instructor

As an alumna of our studio, Allyson is very excited to teach this coming season!  Her formal training in dance began at age three; and for nine years she received training in all genres of dance at All Stars Talent and Perinton Dance Company.  She refined her experience as a member of the competition team, winning many awards over the years for both solo and group performances.

 

Currently Allyson attends the University at Buffalo, majoring in Dance and Physical Therapy.  She enjoys an excellent reputation within the UB Dance Department, demonstrating strong self-discipline and a passionate dedication to her art.  Her freshman accomplishments include admission into the Zodiaque Dance Ensemble and by special invitation a performance of the Arabian dance in the Nutcracker Lite at the Buffalo Park Country Club. Additionally she continues to develop her expertise by taking ballet enrichment classes at the Draper Center for Dance Education.  Allyson's love for dance and desire for excellence motivates her to seize the opportunities to dance in as many performances as she is able!

 

Allyson competed at IMTA (International Modeling and Talent Association) in New York City in 2009, winning awards in modeling, acting, and dancing against thousands of competitors.  These awards included first place for Dance Team, which Allyson helped choreograph; third runner up for a self-choreographed solo dance; a tie for first place in Fashion Team; fourth runner up for TV Beauty; and honorable mention for her monologue.  Allyson signed with HOP Models, modeling in New York Fall Fashion Week runway shows, including a show for Project Runway's Mychael Knight.

 

Allyson has considerable experience working with and teaching children and young adults.  This year she had the privilege of working as a teacher and choreographer at the PDC summer camp and loved it!  Allyson works for Barbizon as well; teaching girls to model and act, also helping them to develop manners and grow into professional young ladies.  While in high school she worked as an assistant dance teacher at PDC and enjoyed every second of it!  Over the past few summers she's worked as a counselor and teacher at Camp Hunt.  The camp utilized her as an inspirational speaker for youth, guiding them with her personal insights and experiences. Formerly she participated in Camp Agape as a camper and junior counselor; winning the title of Miss Camp Agape as a senior camper for demonstrating good character and leadership qualities.  

 

Allyson was very active in her high school productions in the RH Spotlight Theatre, performing as lead dancer for four years.  She performed in Beauty and the Beast and West Side Story-receiving special recognition for "outstanding stage presence" for her role in West Side Story from the Rochester Broadway Theatre League (RBTL).  She also served as Dance Captain in Chicago and Xanadu-with RH winning "Best Dance Ensemble" for Chicago from RBTL.  Allyson was also on the RH varsity gymnastics team for four years in high school, serving as Captain her senior year.  She won the Monroe county-wide Sunnie DeLucas Memorial Award in recognition of her positive and encouraging attitude in the sport of gymnastics.

 

Allyson feels proud and blessed to be a teacher at PDC!

 

 

Ms. Breanna Conte, Dance Instructor

Breanna began her dance training at age eight at Donna F. Smith Studio of Dance, where she studied ballet, lyrical, tap, and jazz. After several years, she also joined and helped win five world championships with the Bishop Kearney Performance Ensemble and Winterguard, where dance was taught by Ginny Winter and Jamie Leverett of the Draper Center for Dance Education.

After high school, Breanna received dance scholarships to Virginia Intermont College, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance. While there, she performed in numerous concerts with the VI Dance Company and taught Modern/Ballet I classes. She was president of the Alpha Chi Honor Society, and had the privilege of being one of a few chosen to take a master class with Edward Villella of the Miami City Ballet.

 

Breanna has continued adult classes at the Draper Center for Dance Education, among others, while working at a local department store. She is very excited to come back to the Perinton Dance Company team for her second year and looks forward to sharing her knowledge, skills, and love of dance to educate and inspire the young dancers.

Ms. Elisabeth Martin, Dance Instructor

Elisabeth Martin is a native of Bloomington, Indiana. She started her training in 1996 in the Indiana University Pre-College Ballet Program under the direction of Doricha Sales. She attended high school at the Walnut Hill School in Natick, Mass., studying with Michael Owen, Samuel Kurkjian, and Kathy Kozul. Her summer studies have included the Interlochen Art Camp, Blue Lake Ballet Ensemble, Walnut Hill School, and The Joffrey Midwest Workshop under John Magnus and Judy Rice.

In her time at IU, she has performed in a variety of productions, including Agnes De Mille's Rodeo, Balanchine's Serenade and Rubies, Dwight Rhoden's Dear Frédéric, as Lead Snowflake, Lead Spanish and Lead Mirliton in The Nutcracker, and as a soloist in Balanchine's Who Cares?. She placed in the Bloomington Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters competition in 2010 and 2012. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Exercise Science and a Minor in Mathematics.

Ms. Martin just completed her first year dancing with the Rochester City Ballet, during which she performed the roles of Italian soloist, Mirliton soloist, Snow, and Flower corps in The Nutcracker. She danced in RCB's Cityscapes, and performed in Bill Evans new piece For Tim, and Balanchice's Serenade. She also performed with the company in their recent debut at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in July 2013.

Ms. Jocelyn Zorn, Dance Instructor

Jocelyn is an alumnus of All Stars Talent and is excited to return to teach at Perinton Dance Company, an division of All Stars Talent.  Jocelyn has been dancing since she was three years old.  She trained in all genres of dance.  Jocelyn was a part of the competition teams her entire career, both as a member of various groups and as a soloist.

Jocelyn recently graduated in May 2013 from SUNY Potsdam with Bachelor's degrees in Dance and Business. She was trained in many types of dance including Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet, Afro Caribbean, and African.  She was also in a dance company affiliated with the college.  This dance company performed around the school and in various locations around Potsdam.  She choreographed and performed in dance concerts each semester of college, totaling 8 concerts.  Additionally, Jocelyn attended the American College Dance Festival each year with a group of dancers from Potsdam.

GUEST INSTRUCTORS

Ms. Amy Dana, Dance Instructor

Amy has been dancing for the past 7 years, she has been trained in many styles, including ballet, jazz, hip hop, musical theater, and lyrical. She now is on the varsity dance team at Nazareth College. At Nazareth College, Amy is in the Doctorate program for Physical Therapy with a minor in psychology. She has been recognized on the Deans List every semester.

 
Amy has been a gymnast since she was 5 years old, and competed in the all-around division with the varsity team all four years in high school, serving as captain her senior year. Amy had the honor of representing her team in the All County and Sectionals competitions multiple years. She has also won several awards, including the Coaches Award in 2011, the Sunnie DeLucas Memorial Award, and was recognized as a Scholar Athlete all four years. 
 
In high school, Amy also enjoyed participating in the musical productions. She was a featured dancer in Beauty and the Beast, West Side Story, and Chicago. With the cast, she participated in Stars of Tomorrow Competitions and won many awards, including Best Overall Production and Best Dance Ensemble.

 

Mr. Michael Peter Deeb, Dance Intensive Guest Instructor

Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Michael began his dance training at the age of 5 after following his cousin to a local dance studio. While attending the University at Buffalo, he earned his BFA in Dance with honors as the Student Representative for the department, and was the recipient of the Amanda Occhino Scholarship and the Stanley Travis Memorial Scholarship. At UB, Michael was a member of the Zodiaque Dance Company, and choreographed for Zodiaque Studio Dance Ensemble, Young Choreographers Showcase, and Dancers Workshop, in addition to choreographing for various dance studios and high school musicals in the Buffalo area.
 
Since college, Michael has traveled the world dancing and performing! Some of his favorite credits include recent Broadway National Tours of A Chorus Line (Mike, directed by Baayork Lee) and Young Frankenstein (Swing). Regional favorites include A Chorus Line (Mike) at New Bedford Festival Theatre, The Wizard of Oz at Northern Stage, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Beauty and the Beast at Artpark, and the Writers' Guild Awards with Kristen Schaal in NYC. Other credits include Celebrity Cruises, Six Flags, Buffalo's Theatre of Youth, Buffalo Contemporary Dance Company, the Greater Buffalo Youth Ballet, ArtScope, and Music Is Art Live. Michael Continues to study with and demonstrate for Broadway veteran Jeff Shade in NYC, and is represented there by McDonald Selznick Associates.
 
Michael's Musical Theatre class combines classic jazz stype with the technical, athletic, and contemporary movement found on today's Broadway stages. Class begins with a stretching and conditioning warmup, moving into progressions across the floor designed to vary in tempo, space, and dynamics. Throughout class, Michael will provide valuable advice, giving tips and tricks on how dancers can really stand out in an audition setting. Class continues with a combination in contemporary Broadway style exploring performance quality, personal expression, technique, and dynamics. Students will leave class with an understanding of contemporary musical theatre technique, and feeling inspired to take their dancing to the next level!

 

Mrs. Elizabeth (Figura) Jensen, Summer Camp Zumba Fitness® Instructor

Elizabeth began dancing at the age of 5 and has been instructing since she was 16.  Elizabeth attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges where she studied Arts and Education, with a focus on dance and movement, and earned her Bachelor degree and Elementary Education teaching certification. She was a choreographer for Koshare Student Dance Collective and served as the president for three years.

While pursuing her Master Degree in Elementary Education, Elizabeth created an after-school dance program for the Geneva School District. From 2004 to 2007, Elizabeth was the choreographer for Penn Yan Academy's Drama Club and her students were nominated for Best Student Dance Ensemble for Honk!, Fame, and Kiss Me, Kate by Rochester Broadway Theatre League's Stars of Tomorrow. While teaching fifth grade in Liverpool, Elizabeth choreographed the sixth grade musicals. She also taught Modern, Tap, and Musical Theatre at Dance 22 for three years.

Elizabeth fell in love with Zumba Fitness® after her first class and became a certified instructor in 2012. In August 2012, she became an instructor at Bounce Aerobics and loves providing participants with a fun, high-energy calorie burn, that feels more like a dance party than a workout! Elizabeth recently became a certified Hip Hop Hustle™ instructor and will be adding this to her evenings soon.

Elizabeth is currently the Math Department Chair at Rochester Prep Middle School and has been teaching for a total of 7 years. She has enjoyed the opportunity to bring dance to her students by choreographing for school performances and teaching a Zumba® class for her fifth and sixth grade girls.

Class description for Zumba Fitness® : "Ditch the workout and join the party!" Zumba combines Latin and Hip Hop music with easy to follow dance steps to create a dynamic, high-energy fitness experience.  By just dancing , you'll be burning calories, toning muscle AND having fun!
 

 

Mr. Ed Keegan, Summer Camp Drum Instructor

Ed Keegan (AKA "Drummer Ed") is the owner of Rhythm Connect, a music store like no other in Fairport, NY specializing in drums and percussion. Since he was 16 years old, Ed has wanted to have a drum store. His vision for Rhythm Connect became a reality on July 10, 2010 with the help of a dedicated group of family and friends. For Ed, Rhythm Connect is more than a business, it is a way of life and he has dedicated his life to helping others learn, work, and live in rhythm.

Ed began drumming in the 4th grade school band, and learned to play drum set by watching others, and practicing on stacks of books arranged on his desk at home. Eventually he upgraded to a used drum set that he worked odd jobs to help pay for. From that point on, drums became a passion and have been a significant part of his life ever since.

Ed is a professional drummer/percussionist and rhythm facilitator with over 20 years experience. He holds a BA and MA in the area of communication, is a graduate of the U.S. Army School of Music, and served as a drummer/percussionist with the 82nd. Airborne Division Band.  He is a teaching artist with Young Audiences of Rochester, NY, and is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS).  He also has advanced training in rhythm facilitation with Arthur Hull (pioneer in group rhythm facilitation), Jim Boneau (rhythm facilitator and Corporate trainer), Dr. Barry Bittman & Christine Stevens (Health Rhythms co-founders and facilitators).  Ed is a warm and energizing facilitator who has the ability to simultaneously engage participants and put them at ease.

 

Ed currently lives in Fairport, NY (outside of Rochester) with his wife Karen of more than 20 years, his daughters Rebekah and Sarah, and their dog Bongo.  He loves to laugh, run, read, write, and spend time with family, friends, and colleagues.  He is the drummer/percussionist with the band Lester Funk and at Mosaic Church.

Mr. Andrij ("A.J.") Deneka, Guest Choreographer 

Andrij "A.J." Deneka, originally from Buffalo, NY, is a dance educator, choreographer, and performer. He has years of extensive training in many styles of dance on both the East coast, and West coast scene. Andrij has worked with such artists as Kylie Minogue, Marc Anthony, Stevie Wonder, Mary Mary, Gregory Hines, Donnie Osmond, and Selena Gomez.  

A.J. has many television, live performances, and music video credits to his name.  Some of these credits are the MTV Movie Awards, The TV Land Awards, Jackass 2, Wella Hair, NIKE, International Dance Festival, The Winter Olympics, American Choreography Awards, Jazz Dance World Congress, Coca Cola, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, LA Fashion Apparel Magazine, and has toured the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Mexico with "Instincts Live Media Dance Company."

Over his years of dance he has assisted many well known dance instructors such as Liz Imperio, Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, Charles Klapow, and Desiree Robbins.  Currently Andrij is really focusing on instilling excellent education, and the love for dance to our younger generation. He is on faculty at many dance studios in NY, and is a guest choreographer/teacher at JMR Broadway Dance Center in Seoul Korea, and The Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan.

Mr. Deneka choreographed PDC's 2012 Hip Hop Senior Competition Team routine. 

Mr. Jon Lehrer, Guest Dance Instructor

Jon Lehrer, who was raised in Queens, NY, is the Founder and Artistic Director of LehrerDance. Jon took his very first dance class at age 19 on a dare while attending the University at Buffalo. After only two years of training, Jon was asked to join the University's Zodiaque Dance Company. In the summer of 1994, Jon received a scholarship to study at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, training with such esteemed faculty as Carolyn Adams, Danny Buraczeski, Gail Gilbert, Margie Gillis, Danny Grossman, and Mark Morris.

As a professional, Jon has danced with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, Paul Sanasardo, John Passafiume Dancers, in Merv Griffin's "Funderful" in Atlantic City, NJ, and the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. In May 1997, Jon was hired by Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, and after three years, was promoted to Rehearsal Director and then given the position of Associate Director two years later. During his ten years with Giordano, Jon choreographed seven original works on the company that received rave reviews all around the world.

Jon has choreographed for several dance companies in Chicago and around the world including; Thodos Dance Chicago, Instruments of Movement, Momenta Dance Theatre, Configuration dance Theatre, Louisiana Dance Theatre, Le Jazz Groupe from Monterrey, Mexico, and Kannon Dance of St. Petersburg, Russia. Jon's choreography can also be seen on numerous Universities around the country including University at Buffalo, University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Nevada Reno, East Central University, Northern Illinois University, Oakland University, and Hope College. In 2002, Jon was one of four Chicago choreographers selected to participate in the first ever Dance Chicago Choreography Project, sponsored by the Chicago Community Trust and Sara Lee, and was selected to participate again in 2004. Through the Project, Jon set an original work on dancers from the Joffrey Ballet.

Jon teaches master classes throughout the U.S. and around the world, is on the faculty of the Jazz Dance World Congress, Dance Masters of America, Dance Teacher Summer Conference, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and is a guest artist at numerous colleges around the country. In 2003, Jon had the honor of receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University at Buffalo's Zodiaque Dance Company for his accomplishments as a dancer and choreographer. Jon is on the Advisory Board of Dance Spirit Magazine, was featured on the November 2007 cover of Dance Teacher Magazine, and has appeared in Dance Magazine numerous times.

In July 2007, Jon moved to Buffalo, New York, to begin his much anticipated professional dance company - LehrerDance. The company showcases his unique choreography and definitive style. Jon's extensive background in both the modern and jazz dance idioms fosters choreography that is organic, artistic, accessible and often humorous, reflecting life experience and the human condition. In its short history, LehrerDance has received international recognition and kept audiences on the edge of their seats from coast to coast with their trademark athletic style.

Jon offered monthly group and private Master Classes at All Stars Talent starting August of 2008 and at PDC starting January of 2009.

 
Office Staff: Ms. Tori LaBarr, Mrs. Lacey Liebenow, Ms. Anna Jett