Meet The Teachers
Christie Coleman is a dancer and choreographer with a Masters in Education for Dance from NYU. Her choreography, highlighting social issues through dance, has been performed internationally and is acclaimed by UNESCO. She has worked with National Ballet of Kosovo premiering two evening-length works. Christie was raised within The Coleman School of Dance and founded Illuminations Dance Company. In addition to the Coleman School of Dance, Christie taught dance at Achievement First Charter School in East New York, New Rochelle High School, and Sacred Heart University.
Jenny Coleman entered the dance world at the age of four in her mother's studio. As a teenager, she received a scholarship to study at The Governor's School of the arts in PA. Jenny received a Master's in Dance/Movement Therapy from Hahnemann Medical (now Drexel University). After working as a dance therapist and having children, she returned to her true professional love: teaching dance, which has enthralled her for the last 30 years. While teaching, Jenny danced in Connecticut Ballet Theatre's productions of The Nutcracker and in Classics Dance Theatre's productions of Little Women, Cinderella, and Anne Frank.
Etrita Abdullahu trained at “Prenk Jakova” Music High School as a ballet major, and performed with the National Ballet of Kosovo where she had the opportunity to work with international choreographers and travel with the company. She won the Grand Prix Award at The Arts Festival in Dubai. At Fini Dance Festival she won a scholarship to come to New York. Here, she danced with Michael Mao Company. She trained in the American Ballet Theater (ABT) collegiate summer intensive and the Joffrey Ballet School. She is now on her third year as a trainee with Joffrey. Her love for dance keeps her dancing and passing this passion to the younger generation.
Kaya Blumenthal-Rothchild graduated from Connecticut College in May 2020, and was a major in Dance, and minored in Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality Studies in addition to completing a certificate program in Community Action and Public Policy. During her four years at Connecticut College, she performed in multiple faculty performances and was in guest artist piece’s including works by Cunningham and Kate Weare. Kaya loves to combine all of the different movement forms she has explored into her dance classes and highlights physicality, fluidity, and improvisation within her choreography. She is incredibly excited to join the Coleman School of Dance faculty for her first year and is thankful for the opportunity to further her movement practice through teaching.
Nicole Cruz was born in the Philippines. She pursued dance professionally with Ballet Philippines where she danced both principal and soloist roles. Nicole has also danced with Hong Kong Ballet and upon moving to the United States, danced with Connecticut Ballet, Zig Zog Ballet, Ballet New York and Ballet Memphis, where she spent three seasons dancing roles in Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Coppelia. Currently, Nicole teaches pilates at the Center For Movement in Scarsdale, Fiore Pilates in Mamaroneck and Pilates Symmetry in Stamford, CT. She also belongs to the faculty of Ballet Center in Stamford.
Mandy Kirschner Salva was born and raised in Maryland. She started dancing at a young age and graduated from the Baltimore School for the Arts in 1995. She continued on to SUNY Purchase where she graduated cum laude and received a BFA in dance performance. In 2000 she joined the Merce Cunningham Dance Company where she performed and traveled the world for four years. She has worked with Ellen Cornfield and Liz Gerring, and was a member of the Stephen Petronio Company from 2006 through 2010. She is a founding member of Second Story Dance Project in Westchester, NY where she also lives with her husband and 2 children.
Melissa Gingold grew up in New Rochelle. She began ballet classes at age 11 at the Westchester Theatre of Dance at the JCC in Mid-Westchester, where in 2012 she received the Maria Jones Scholarship Award for excellence and promise in the field of dance. In the PAVE program at New Rochelle High School, she studied and performed many styles including hip-hop, contemporary and modern dance. She received instruction at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s summer intensive program in 2015. Melissa graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Nutritional Sciences and a dietetics concentration. At Cornell, she performed and choreographed lyrical and contemporary pieces with a talented group of students in Pandora Dance Troupe. Up to 500 audience members attended their shows in large performance halls on campus. Melissa currently works as a registered dietitian, and continues to dance around Westchester and NYC. She is honored and excited to guest-teach at the Coleman School of Dance!
Asia Nitollano started dancing at the age of 6 yrs old. She was trained in ballet, hip-hop, jazz, African, latin and modern dance. She got her first contract signed to an agency at the age of 13 yrs old. She grew up to start dancing for the New York Knicks at 18 yrs old and then went to win the nation-wide tv show: The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll. She then traveled the world dancing and performing, while creating her own performance company and creating a dinner and show experience in New York City. She is now back to lend her talents to Westchester at the Coleman School of dance.
Sophia Procario-Foley received her dance training from the Coleman School of Dance studying modern, ballet, pointe and choreography. She elected to continue her training at a collegiate level with the SUNY Brockport Department of Dance. While Sophia was a part of the Coleman teen dance company she choreographed for multiple dance festivals including "Artists for World Peace, Dance for Peace". Sophia incorporates dance fitness into her teaching as she believes it is important to train well-rounded dancers. She will receive her Bachelor of Science in spring 2020 and hopes to continue her education to become a physical therapist.
Susanna Procario-Foley danced with the Coleman School of Dance for 13 years, where she studied ballet, modern, contemporary, improvisation, and choreography. She now attends Connecticut College where she double majors in dance and English. In 2019, Susanna taught at CSD’s summer camp, choreographing and producing performances for the kids. She loves teaching because it allows her to spread her passion for creativity to younger dancers and watch them grow as artists and people. Susanna believes that dance is a powerful means of expression and should not be undervalued.