Siobhan Di Prima Dunham, School Director, began training in ballet at the Hollenbeck School of Dance in Albany, NY. She went on to attend the School of American Ballet for five years leading her to a professional dance career. She danced with Pacific Northwest Ballet under the direction of Melissa Hayden (principal dancer NYCB), Nevada Dance Theatre, Dublin City Ballet (Ireland), and the Berkshire Ballet Company. Siobhan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with a concentration in dance from the University of Utah, as well as having an extensive undergraduate education in Art History. Her teaching career began as the director of the ballet program at Emma Willard School for Girls in Troy, NY. Since then she has taught in programs both locally and abroad. For two years she was the Interim Artistic Director of the National Museum of Dance. In addition to instructing at SCB, she is the Director of Arts Education at SPAC, where she runs a Pre-Performance Talk series for New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra during their summer residencies, and works in the outreach education division for dance and music.
As a Jazz Tap Artist and Educator, Tina is a protégé of Brenda Bufalino and a part of the Copasetics Club lineage. Her early training began at Orlando School of Dance in Schenectady, NY with Orlando and Eleanor Pigliavento, and she was additionally mentored by Barbara Duffy & Katherine Kramer. Since 1991 she has taught at numerous schools and colleges throughout New England, New Jersey and New York, including Emma Willard, Russell Sage College and Skidmore College. She has performed at Jacob’s Pillow in Lenox, MA with Lynn Schwab, the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Symphonies” with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, The National Museum of Dance Gala “Singin’ In The Rain” with the Alex Torres Orchestra and in NYC at Zinno’s Jazz Tap Brunch with Barbara Duffy and at Swing 46 under the auspices of Buster Brown. She is the owner of Saratoga Jazz Tap where she provides private mentorship, creates new works and produces concerts and National Tap Dance Day festivals, bringing in guest artists and musicians to teach and perform.
Her most recent presentations/collaborations include Saratoga City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker Sweet & Swingin’ “ (2017 Loewenburg Auditorium), Saratoga ArtsFest First Fridays “A Vaudeville Circus” (2015 Tang Museum), “Everything Will Be Copasetic” (2014 Saratoga ArtsFest, Universal Preservation Hall), National Tap Dance Day Festival with Brenda Bufalino (2013 National Museum of Dance), National Museum of Dance Black History Month Celebration (2013 with tap dancer Rebecca Kim), Stoptime: Louis Armstrong Celebration (2011 curated by Margo Mensing). She has choreographed productions for Saratoga Children’s Theatre, Saratoga Springs High School Drama Club and St. Clement’s Church, and serves on the Board of the Dance Alliance of the Capital Region and the Catholic Daughter’s of America. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts/Directing from the State University of New York at Albany with a minor in Dance from Skidmore College and lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband and daughter.
Beth Fecteau, Instructor
Ms. Fecteau, who founded Nacre Dance Company in 2008, has been a performer, dance educator, and arts administrator in the Capital District since 1985. She trained with the New Jersey Ballet, The Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, and is a graduate of the Performing Arts School of Philadelphia. Ms. Fecteau graduated from Russell Sage with a B.A. in Visual and Performing Arts (dance concentration) and in 1996, created the non-profit Youth Ballet Company and Dance Eclectic. Beth served as the Director of Arts and Programming for the National Museum of Dance and founded the School of the Arts, which is now a sustaining force for the Museum. In addition to serving as Artistic Director of Nacre, Ms. Fecteau serves as an adjunct faculty member at Adirondack Community College and teaches part time at Myers Dance Center in Saratoga, Albany Dance & Fitness, and Art in Motion in Albany. “The Dancer believes that his art has something to say which cannot be expressed in words.” – Doris Humphrey
Jessica Fowler, Instructor, studied with The American Dance Center in Saratoga Springs, NY under the direction and care of Madame Phyllis Latin. While in high school she performed as a member of the Phyllis Latin Dance Company, Inc. at many local venues. Jessica went on to receive a BA in Dance and a BA in Psychology from the University of Buffalo in 2006. While attending UB, Jessica performed in several school productions as well as guest performances with Buffalo City Ballet and Western New York’s Children’s Choir. In 2014 she also received her Master of Science in education (MSEd) in Childhood / Special Education from the College of Saint Rose. Jessica was on the teaching staff of The American Dance Center for over 10 years before the studio closed. Jessica began instructing at Saratoga City Ballet in February of 2016.
Madame Phyllis Latin, Instructor
Madame Latin was dancing major roles in the Fritche-Lewis Dance Co. by the time she was twelve. She danced in the St. Louis Opera, the San Francisco Opera, and performed for president Truman before her thirteenth birthday. After graduating from high school she left for New York to continue her studies at the School of American Ballet where she auditioned for George Balanchine’s company. Not wanting to join the company as a corps de ballet member she left for Europe and performed as a guest artist for two years. Upon returning to the U. S. she appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como shows and worked with Jerome Robbins Ballet USA.
In Saratoga Springs she opened the American Dance Center, founded the Saratoga Ballet Co., founded the Saratoga County Arts Council, wrote the dance degree program for the first graduating dance degree student for Empire State College, received a CETA grant for dancers, ballet master, and accompanist, was the official teacher for the Canadian Ballet Association, choreographed for local theater groups, had an international boarding school for dance students from Europe, Canada, Panama, and South America, as well as the U. S. Madame Latin travels to South America, France, and England to teach master classes, in addition to teaching seminars and master classes throughout the U. S.
Pamara Perry, Instructor, began studying ballet in Cleveland, Ohio at age eleven with Alex Martin of England’s Royal Ballet. When she was 14, during a regional conference master class taught by Robert Joffrey, George Balanchine spotted her and offered her a Ford Foundation Scholarship to attend his School of American Ballet in New York City. After a summer program, Pamara’s scholarship was extended for the school year. At this time she enrolled in Professional Children’s School for her academic training.
Pamara’s classical foundation and technique comes from working with world-renowned instructors including George Balanchine, Robert Joffrey, Alexandra Danilova, Andre Eglevsky, Stanley Williams, Felia Doubrovska, Diana Adams, and Suzanne Farrell. Mr. Balanchine and Maria Tallchief selected her to work with them for The New York City Ballet Educational Department. This provided valuable performance opportunities to dance numerous roles with soloists from major New York City ballet companies. It also led to a private audition with Robert Joffrey who offered her a contract to join The Joffrey Ballet. Pamara danced leading roles in several ballets, and had new roles created for her. She performed worldwide as a principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet. Her guest appearances include The Eglevsky Ballet, The Los Angeles Ballet, and The Lexington Ballet.
She has had the opportunity to work with choreographers Jerome Robbins, Leonide Massine, Gerald Arpino, Lew Christensen, and Anna Sokolow. Some of the leading roles she danced were “Swan Lake”, “Coppelia”, “Fanfarita”, “Interplay”, “Pas de Dix”, “Pas de Quatre”, “Stars and Stripes”, “Nutcracker”, and “Sleeping Beauty. Retiring from the performing world, Pamara raised a family and established her career in teaching, choreography, and directing. In this area she has taught at Skidmore, Russell Sage, Siena, and Adirondack Community Colleges, Ballet Regent, The Capital Ballet and Saratoga City Ballet. She also taught at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City and at a summer Joffrey Midwest Workshop. She instructs figure skaters on and off the ice. Her choreography has been used in productions for The Lake George Opera Festival, The Glens Falls Community Theater, and The Empire State Institute for the Performing Arts. Pamara directed The Lexington Ballet Company prior to moving to upstate New York. As Artistic Director of the Adirondack Repertory Dance Theatre for 30 years, she choreographed programs using professional musicians and guest artists, and created a holiday tradition, “Night Before Christmas”.
Becky Tibbatts, Instructor grew up training at our very own Saratoga City Ballet for 8+ years. She danced many elite roles, including Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker and Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland. Becky spent her summers at the New York State Summer School of the Arts under the artistic direction of Daniel Ulbricht and Jenifer Ringer, and also at Boston Ballet School under the artistic direction of Margaret Tracey. At 16, Becky began working at Saratoga Dance Etc., in downtown Saratoga, and she has been professionally trained as a pointe shoe fitter by Leslie Roy-Heck, former soloist with New York City Ballet. She continues to work at the store as the official pointe-shoe fitter and modification expert. Becky uses her pointe shoe knowledge to aid dancers and helps answer all questions regarding dancers’ feet. After graduation, Becky went on to receive her Associates in Liberal Arts from SUNY Adirondack, and still continues to strive for a career in the dance field. She is delighted to have begun her teaching career this past September and feels so grateful to now be a teacher at her home studio.
Vanessa Viscusi, Instructor, received her early training from the Academy of Dance Arts in Red Bank, NJ under the tutelage of Jennifer James Church. She earned her BFA from the College at Brockport State University of New York. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in ballet from Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts. Vanessa has performed with ballet companies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and was previously a teacher in the children’s division at the school in which she was trained, and served as Artistic Director in a number of Saratoga City Ballet productions.