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. She 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.
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, is the Dance Enrichment Chair and acted as Room Rep for her daughter's class for two years. She is the leader of a 3rd 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. In April 2014, Tammee organized a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, for interested PDC Competition students and their families to participate in, providing the opportunity for students to perform on stage at Downtown Disney, to participate in a workshop led by Disney professionals, to enjoy fun in the parks & more. Tammee currently lives in Pittsford with her husband Jay, their daughter Madalynn and is expecting a baby boy in December 2014.
Mr. John LeClair, Music Director/Vocal & Piano Instructor
John ("Jay") holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education (grades K‐12) 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 Mother‐in‐law. He worked as a bus driver of the Pittsford Central School District from 2006‐2011, 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 performed as a soloist with the Nazareth College Chamber singers locally, in Mexico and in Sicily. 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 2004‐2008. 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 PDC, John is the Plumbing DepartmentSupervisor at the Gates Home Depot. He lives in Pittsford with his wife Tammee and daughter Madalynn.
Kristin (Hopwood) Bales, Dance Instructor
Kristin's passion for dance began at the early age of 3 and never stopped. Her love of the arts has influenced every aspect of her life and she continues to be a dedicated educator and performer. Through the years Kristin has had the honor of being a part of/ accepted into some of the most coveted and prestigious programs in the industry.
Kristin remained a dedicated dancer throughout school, and was asked to become and instructor when she was just 15. After a successful career as a student and young teacher, it was time for Kristin to go out in to the world. Kristin wrapped up her Senior year by being crowned Miss Upstate New York Teenager, received acceptance into the Music Theater program at the University of Buffalo, and most excitingly accepted into the Broadway Theater Project in Tampa, FL. This incredible program is run and created by the notorious Anne Reinking. Only 120 people were accepted in the Nation! Here she had the great honor of working intensely with and performing for legends such as Gregory Heinz, Ben Vereen, Julie Andrews, Frank Wildhorne, Pat Birtch, Terrance Mann, and countless others. This unique experience prepped her for the intense college program she was about to enter!
While working on her B.F.A where only 12 students were accepted (9 males/ 3 females), Kristin landed many leading roles both academically and professionally. Some of her favorites include Val in A Chorus Line, Bebe in Smokey Joe's Café, Kate The Wild Party, Bette in Steal Pier, World Goes Round, Hot 'N Cole and many more. She also made it into the prestigious IMTA (International Modeling/Talent Assoc.), where she placed top 5 in the talent division out of nearly 1200 participants. During her four years in Buffalo Kristin worked as lead singer in professional cover band Disco Duck!
After spending several years in NYC where she continue her studies at Broadway Dance Center and various workshops, Kristin returned to Rochester where she began teaching again. During this time she earned many awards including "Outstanding Choreography," along with countless other award winning numbers. Kristin also continued her own professional career landing herself leading roles at respected theater including GEVA, Blackfriars, and JCC Centerstage. She also expanded her teaching credentials by becoming an instructor at Cobblestone Arts Center where she has the privilege of working with adults with disabilities. This unique and rewarding experience has given her the opportunity to expand her artistic skills and stretch her creativity and teaching methodology.
Kristin believes deeply in being a well-rounded performer and passes her vast knowledge on to her students. Her love for teaching dance started at the age of 15, when she landed her first teaching job! She loved it then and remains passionate about it to this day!
Ms. Allyson Buttram, Dance Instructor
As an alumna of our studio, Allyson is pleased to teach once again 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 accomplishments include admission into the Zodiaque Dance Ensemble and special invitation performances by her professors at various venues in Buffalo. Additionally she has continued to develop her expertise by taking enrichment classes at the Draper Center for Dance Education and Aerial Arts of Rochester. 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. She has enjoyed the privilege of working as a teacher and choreographer at the PDC summer camp. 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.
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 was primarily taught by D. Harolyn Gaudette and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance. While there, she taught Modern/Ballet I classes and was able to work with many guest artists including Randy Allen, Kevin Veiga, Jonathan Kane, Barry and Anna Van Cura and Chung-Fu Chang. 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 be back for another wonderful season with the Perinton Dance Company team and looks forward to using her knowledge, skills and love of dance to educate and inspire the young dancers.
Heather Fields, Dance Instructor
Heather is a transplant from Los Angeles, California where she started recreationally dancing at a small studio in North Hollywood. As her love and passion for dance grew she decided to take her dancing a step further by attending the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. At LACHSA Heather studied ballet (both contemporary and classical style Cecchetti and Vaganova methods), tap, Luigi style jazz, Horton style modern, and various other dance forms. During that time Heather additionally had the opportunity to study at the Idyllwild Arts Academy for two summer dance intensives, serve as a company member with the Artie Bryant Jazz Tap Workshop, as well as the serve as dance captain for The Full Circle Opera Project's productions of Die Fledermaus and West Side Story.
After high school, Heather continued studying dance at Ithaca College while perusing a doctoral degree in physical therapy. In addition to collegiate level dance classes, Heather participated in several on campus, student-run, dance companies where she both danced and choreographed.
Heather's unique blend of performing arts training combined with her educational background in movement science gives her a unique perspective on the art of dance.
Ms. Heather taught both levels of Tuesday evening Stretch & Strength classes and the leaps/turns class for ages 6-10 in the summer of 2014 at PDC and will be teachingmore classes beginning fall 2014 at PDC. She is also focused on Pediatrics in Physical Therapy, starting in the 2014-2015 school year at the Rochester City School District.
Anna Jett, Dance Instructor
Anna has a passion for teaching children and is currently working toward her degree in Early Childhood Education. She has experience assisting in dance classes and church activities beginning when she was 10 years old. In 2012, she was employed by a Montessori preschool and kindergarten as an assistant teacher in Virginia before moving back to Rochester, NY. The Montessori experience is what made her decide to pursue children's education as a career. Anna loves working with children and helping them reach their full potential and that is truly what she is good at.
As for her experience in dance, she began taking dance lessons at the age of 2 and has studied ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, lyrical, modern, contemporary, tumbling, and more. She was a competitive dancer from the ages of 6-18 and won countless awards and received many special recognitions. In addition to taking lessons through her school years she participated in many dance workshops and learned from a variety of choreographers. She danced with a few local studios and found All Stars Talent and Perinton Dance Company in her high school years where she danced on the AST/PDC Competition Team and was an Assistant Dance Instructor. Anna has also been a substitute Dance Instructor at PDC from 2012-2014, worked in the PDC office in 2013-2014 and is so happy to still be a part of the PDC family.
In addition to teaching at PDC, Anna also works at Nolan's Rental and Bernie's Bouncers in Webster.
Rachael Murphy, Dance Instructor
Rachael's true passion for dance started at a very young age, self taught with videos and icons of her decade. After begging her mother, she could finally put her in her first dance class at the age of 12. Rachael has studied many forms of dance such as modern, ballet, pointe, jazz, and hip hop in recreational and competitive levels.
At the age of 24 years old, while at SUNY Brockport, working on a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Dance, she knew that dance was her dream and had the opportunity. She immediately signed a contract with Arthur Murray Dance to become a Professional Ballroom Dancer. Rachael has been certified at a Associates level but has knowledge at a Full Bronze level through AMI in American Rhythm, Smooth and International dances. She has taught dance at recreational and competitive level for students 13-65 yrs old. After 4 years with AMI, Rachael took a leave of absence for surgery in April of 2011. After surgery her Physician said that ballroom at a competitive level wasn't an option, but Rachael insisted on teaching again. In August 2011 she met a local dance studio owner that hired her teach dance again. Rachael taught for Images in Dance at 3 locations through out NY at recreational and competitive levels for students ages 2-18 in all styles until June 2013. While at Images, she also worked with the owner's local dance company as a dancer.
Since then, Rachael has helped many wedding couples fulfill their dream wedding dance in the ballroom form.
Rachael has currently runs a Dance ministry at her church and has filled in as a substitute Dance Instructor at PDC in the summer of 2014. She will be teaching several classes beginning fall 2014 at PDC.
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. 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. Visit Jon's website.
Office Staff: Casey O'Connor, Tori LaBarr, Tammee LeClair, Mona Poinan