Our Mission at Dance Works is to deliver high quality dance education in a fun, nurturing, yet disciplined and challenging atmosphere affordably. Our mobile studio's goals are to welcome and inspire dancers at every level of interest, from recreational to professional track, to reach their fullest potential. We support dancers development technically, artistically, athletically, and emotionally while promoting dedication, hard work, fostering friendships and encouraging creativity. We offer a safe, inclusive and non-competitive environment with experiences that build confidence and benefits that last a lifetime.
Dance Works is a proud member of the National Dance Education Organization and the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science. We are an approved Chapter of the National Honors Society of Dance Arts whereby students are recognized for their outstanding artistic and academic achievement in grades 6-12 with educational, leadership , community outreach and networking opportunities. We will recognize and induct students while helping to advance the field of dance education. There is opportunity to receive the gold Honor Pin and wear the blue and white Honor Cord and/or Medallion at graduation.
Wendy Wood Barletta is the Founder, Executive & Artistic Director, Instructor and Choreographer for Dance Works since 1999. She has evolved Dance Works, now recognized for its broad repertory, development of the whole dancer and for a vision that keeps dance, fitness and creativity alive affordably in our community. Wendy began her dance-teaching career at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1982, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the 5-College Dance Department. She is a Guest Artist to the Dance Department and advisor, helping current Dance Majors set & achieve their career goals. Wendy has a performance degree though her concentrations were aligned with Dance Education, Choreography and post-graduate work in fitness. Wendy has performed, taught and choreographed for all ages and levels in New York, California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Canada and in Europe. She studied with Alvin Ailey Bella Lewitsky, Luigi, Gemze de Lappe and many other well renowned dance pioneers and their disciples. She brings well-rounded experience to her classes. Many of her students have gone on to perform professionally in movies, TV and on stage. Others have entered into dance teaching, dance therapy and other dance and fitness related fields. Wendy emphasizes fun in her classes, while teaching proper technique and alignment and overall body strengthening and flexibility. She provides a creative and rewarding learning environment to help each dancer develop her own style. In addition to her degree in Dance, Wendy is an AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor, Licensed Zumba® Instructor and Certified CPR/AED.
Etrita Abddullahu danced professionally with the National Ballet of Kosovo for four years and was part of seven premier shows. In 2017 she decided to move to New York, where she participated in American Ballet Theater & Joffrey Ballet School intensives. In 2020 she graduated from the Joffrey Ballet School - Trainee Program, and she will graduate from New Jersey City University in Spring 2021 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance.
While in New York, Etrita has danced with Joffrey Ballet School, The Coleman School of Dance, Illuminations Dance Company, Michael Mao Dance Company, Dance Works Fundraiser Showcase and others.
Jen Lancaster has over 20 years experience teaching and choreographing for dancers of all levels, recreational to competitive. She graduated from Towson University with a B.F.A in Dance Performance and immediately started performing with the Stephanie Powell Danse Ensemble in Baltimore, Maryland and then most notably, performed with :Pushing Progress under the direction of Calen Kurka in New York City. During her time in the city, Jen also studied anatomy and massage at The Swedish Institute. It is through her knowledge of human anatomy and her experience performing that she is able to help her students grow both technically and artistically. In each class she teaches, Jen creates a fun learning environment that also challenges her students to push their own boundaries, realizing they are capable of more than they think.
David Fernandez is an Award-winning choreographer. His most acclaimed choreography, Five Variations on a Theme, was created for New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Joaquin De Luz. The work premiered as part of the acclaimed Kings of the Dance tour. It was performed to standing ovations in NYC, LA, London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa. Other notable choreography commissions include pieces created for leading dancers of the American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Kings of the Dance Tour, Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble, Youth America Grand Prix Gala Concert, and many others.
David is an award-winning filmmaker: his latest dance-on-film accomplishments include the Los Angeles Olympus Film Festival Award for Best Public Service Announcement. David’s short, Moving Though It — Phases of an Emergency Through Dance, uses a revolutionary approach of making a public service announcement through dance. Ideated and directed by David Fernandez, the project was commissioned and sponsored by the NYC Emergency Management and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
Paul Herman at a young age performed on local community stages in the South Bronx to worldwide stages in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe. He has danced and collaborated with prominent international artists such as Alicia Keys, Rick Ross, Chris Brown, Sean Kingston, Rihanna, Sean Paul, Lil Wayne, Eve, and Ciara as well as other leading recording artists, producers, and choreographers. Additionally, Paul was a featured artist in Reebok’s “Your Move”, Staples “Back to School” global marketing campaign, “A Tribute to Motown” at Carnegie Hall, Good Morning America with Flo Rida, and Nick Cannon’s Red Nose Danceathon on NBC. Paul and his brother, Brian Herman, now share their passion with their professional dance company (Team Leggoo founded in 2011), dance convention (Y.A.R.D. Convention founded in 2013), and studio (Double Up Dance Studio founded in 2014).
Frederik Davis is a full-time International Freelance Professional Ballet Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher, and Coach. He is a guest Principal Dancer with Ballet Tucson, was a principal dancer with the Dance Theater of Harlem. He appeared in “From the Streets to the Stage the Journey of Fredrick Davis” a documentary (WTCI-PBS production.). Frederick studied at the Joffrrey Ballet school and has numerous awards and achievements.
Allison Podolsky is a dancer, singer, and actor who started wiggling to show tunes at the ripe age of three. She is a graduate of George Mason University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Minor in Business. Allison’s favorite credits are the international tour of The Wizard of Oz, Dog Sees God (Tricia), Kiss Me, Kate, A Christmas Carol (Ghost of Christmas Past) and All That Jazz (Liz). She has also worked on Broadway Cares' Gypsy of the Year and performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. She is thrilled to be teaching for Dance Works again!
Throughout the years Dance Works invites talented artists, dancers and fitness professionals to teach classes & to perform. For many years we've have the pleasure of experiencing fantastic guest artists including (LtoR) Nicole Barletta , Etrita Abdullahu, Pilin Anise, Jordyn Schettiino, Devyn Ciccio, Megan Daly, Paul Herman, Tracy Fiore Lingeza, Allison Podolsky and Ashley Smith among many others.
Lauren Homem is a Dancer, Teacher's Assistant, Student Choreographer and member of our Dance Works Company performance group. She is a High School Senior where she is part of the dance program and recently inducted into the NHSDA. She has been dancing with Dance Works for 12 years where she studied ballet, modern tap & jazz and now composes pieces for performance. She especially loves and continues to study ballet and modern dance. Lauren is a valuable member of our Dance Works community and student leadership staff.
Giselle Chorost is Teacher's Assistant and high school sophomore studying Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern and Contemporary. She loves to choreograph and work with children. Giselle has loved dancing since she began ballet at the age of 3. She danced ballet for 10 years and has been a competitive gymnast for 9 years. Giselle also enjoys playing piano and plays everything from Mozart to Taylor Swift!
Kieran Flores is a Dancer, Teacher's Assistant, Student Choreographer , former member of our Dance Works Company performance group and a High School Junior. Kieran has loved to dance, act and sing since she was a young child and has danced with Dance Works for 4 years. Kieran studies Jazz, Hip Hop and Modern Dance. She especially loves Hip Hop. Kieran is a valuable member of our Dance Works community and Junior Assistant staff.
Olivia Johanssen is a Dancer, Teacher's Assistant, Student Choreographer and graduated as a member of our Dance Works Company performance group. She is Freshman at PACE University and was inducted into the NHSDA (National Honors Society for Dance Arts). She started her dance journey with Dance Works taking Jazz & Broadway dance 8 years ago. She was then introduced to Modern Dance 5 years ago and truly connected to Modern Dance. She studied composition with us her junior year of high school. Olivia is a valuable member of our Dance Works community and student staff.
- We provide personal attention a holistic approach to instruction with positive attitude.
- Our younger classes include assistants to lower student/instructor ratio.
- We are more affordable than most dance studios without compromising quality dance education.
- Dance Works has a variety of classes for training at all ages and levels that can fit into your family schedule. If you don’t see a class you are interested in, please speak with us and we may be able to make arrangements!
- We are proud to offer multiple options for you and your dancer to explore. From one class per week as a recreational dancer to intensive programs for a more serious dancer, we have something for everyone!
- Dance Works is proud to offer age-appropriate dance education and costuming.
- There are several performance opportunities including a Winter Showcase or Nutcracker, Spring Fundraiser Showcase which in part benefits the American Cancer Society and The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation, Student Choreography Showcase in January that in part benefits The Valerie Fund and performances for local children’s hospitals and nursing homes. We host a Spring Recital and at the end of workshops and school closure camps and summer mini-camp sessions we have a petite and informal presentation.
- Dance Works is a proud chapter of the NHSDA (National Honors Society of Dance Arts), recognizing and inducting students who express interest while helping to advance the field of dance education. There is opportunity for dancers to receive the gold Honor Pin and wear the blue and white Honor Cord and/or Medallion at graduation.
- We offer Dance Camps for Working families when school is on break or has a Superintendent's Conference Day and in during summer break.
- Dancers are encouraged to create their own choreography, giving rise to young expressive and artistic talent.
- Our community culture is inclusive, respectful, friendly, family-oriented and committed to the high quality of our program! We love to dance and especially love to share our passion for dance and fitness with our students! Parents are welcome to wait for and watch their dancers (however Covid-19 requires parents to wait outdoors).
- Location, location, location! Our locations are flexible, easy to find parking and we currently offer indoor, outdoor, and pod classes in Harrison, West Harrison, Purchase, Rye, Rye Brook, Tarrytown, Scarsdale and Irvington. We provide outdoor instruction, virtual classes via Zoom and can customize locations for private, semi-private classes and corporate classes and events. Our studio locations are close to multiple coffee spots, restaurants, shops. There's so much you can do and enjoy before and after class or while you wait for your dancer.
Dance Works produces an annual showcase that bridges the gap between local student performing companies and Manhattan professionals who gather in a non-competitive way to celebrate dance while raising funds to help change the lives of the community around them. Here are just some of the charitable causes we support: The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides for Breast Cancer, The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation, The March of Dimes, The Children’s Cancer Fund, Avon Foundation’s Breast Cancer Crusade, Avon Foundation’s Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Campaign, The American Red Cross, Make-A-Wish, the Blythedale Children’s Hospital and The Little Angels Child Care Center. Dance Works students have performed for patients and residents at the Maria Ferrari Children’s Hospital, Blythedale Children’s Hospital, Hebrew Home for the Aged, The Osborn Home and for many other community services & events. Thus far Dance Works has raised over $83,000 in an effort to help save and improve lives. Fundraiser ticket sales and targeted workshop proceeds go to charity.
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