Axelrod Performing Arts Academy (APAA) is an exceptional In-Person* and Virtual performing arts program for students of all ages. Students will experience multidisciplinary arts classes by APAA’s outstanding faculty and celebrity guest artists. All classes are LIVE and offer students an interactive experience with our instructors. The curriculum is designed to accommodate students age 12 to adults who wish to enhance their professional arts training with concentrated study. We also offer specialized programming for young people, aged 3-11.
Can’t wait to see you at Bell Works or in our Virtual Studio!
– Gabriel Chajnik, APAA & AXCBT director (Julliard Alum)
*APAA and Bell Works follow all COVID-19 Safety Procedures. Students will be required to wear masks and maintain social distance from others during their class. Students are required to sign a waiver upon registration for class.
APAA's Professional Dance curriculum, curated by director, Gabriel Chajnik (Julliard alum and director of AXCBT), offers students the very best online education in Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Horton, Graham and more... with included celebrity guest-artist masterclasses with Michael Trusnovec and Michelle Fleet (Paul Taylor Dance), Blakeley White-McGuire (Martha Graham), Gilbert Bolden III (New York City Ballet), Samuel L . Roberts (Alvin Ailey), Dylan Pearce (Radio City/Pitbull Choreographer), and Gabriela Soto (Spielberg's West Side Story) and the outstanding AXCBT professional staff.
MUSICAL THEATER TRACK
The Musical Theater track is geared toward stage performers seeking to hone their skills in the areas of singing, dancing and acting. Students will have the opportunity of working with multiple Tony Award-winning and -nominated Broadway performers—including some iconic stars like Joanna Gleason, Debbie Gravitte, Susan Egan and Faith Prince—as well as members of the current generation, such as Hunter Ryan Herdlicka and Bryce Pinkham. The stage choreographers leading the dance classes have professional experience in all styles of theatrical dance, including tap, jazz, musical theater and hip hop. Students will have sessions with Andrew Black, Dylan Pearce, Lane Napper, Jason Wise, Todd Lebron Underwood and Nicolas de la Vega.
APAA’s Acting Track enhances student’s understanding of the dramatic arts by introducing essential performance techniques that encourage self-discovery and personal expression. Class goals include: empowering students to become more ‘drama literate’, promoting their unique talents, fostering their imaginations, championing empathetic cooperation, and developing the physical, vocal, improvisational, emotional, and intellectual skills required to be an effective communicator – on and offstage. The core curriculum will be further enhanced by professional guest artists, including Bill Timoney (Broadway’s NETWORK and Amazon’s HUNTERS), Ross Lekites (Broadway’s TINA and FROZEN), Jeff Blumenkrantz (Tony Award-Nominated Composer and Fred Ebb Award-Winning Performer), Frank Dicopoulos (22 Years on CBS’ THE GUIDING LIGHT), Siobhan Fallon Hogan (MEN IN BLACK and FORREST GUMP), and Michael La Fleur (International Director, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL/Disney/Universal).
APAA’s Vocal Track is catered to singers who are seeking to polish their vocal techniques through ear training, sight-reading, and song interpretation as well as for actors and dancers who are looking to improve their basic singing ability. A group class led by composer and musical director Ethan Andersen will help build confidence in the basics of solo and ensemble singing. A music theory class led by conductor Patty Gonsky will provide the basics of reading music. Each student will have two private lessons per week with a qualified professional singer and voice coach who specializes in specific styles, from jazz, soul, and blues to musical theater and classical to rock and pop. There are also private instructors available to teach beginning guitar and/or piano for singers wishing to develop the ability
to accompany themselves.
PRE-SCHOOL & PRIMARY TRACK
APAA Pre-School & Primary Tracks provide students with week-long activities and instruction in Musical Theater, Dance, Acting, and Art. Throughout the summer, students’ talents will be developed in a fun, interactive experience with invigorating dance, exciting scenes, sensational music, and fun art projects.
CELEBRITY & GUEST ARTISTS
Gilbert Bolden III - NEW YORK CITY BALLET
Gilbert Bolden III is a Corps de Ballet member with New York City Ballet. He was born in San Diego, California and began dancing at the age of nine in Las Vegas, Nevada. His ballet training began in 2011 at Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, CA, and he continued his studies at The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, PA in 2013. In 2014, Mr. Bolden enrolled at the School of American Ballet, NYCB’s official school. He became an apprentice with the Company in August 2017 and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in August 2018. Since joining the company Mr. Bolden has originated featured roles in ballets by Gianna Reisen and Justin Peck. He has also choreographed ballets for The School of American Ballet’s Winter Ball, Eglevsky Ballet, Festival Ballet Ensemble, Ballet Hartford, and New York Choreographic Institute’s First Steps program.
Nicolas De La Vega - RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR/ FOSSE
Nicolas De La Vega trained at the Joffrey Ballet School and the School of American Ballet. Afterward he danced with the Charlotte Ballet (formerly known as the North Carolina Dance Theatre), and the Los Angeles Ballet. Nicolas has been in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular for the past five seasons. His musical theater credits include national tour of Saturday Night Fever, Priscilla Queen of the Desert at Gateway/Ogunquit Playhouse, Mame at Riverside Theatre, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway at the MUNY, La Cage Aux Folles at Pioneer Theatre, and Oklahoma! at Stages St Louis.
Michelle Fleet - PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY
Born in the Bronx, NY, Michelle Fleet started her dance training at age four. As a teen, she studied at Ballet Hispanico of New York and became a member of Ballet Hispanico’s Junior Company. After earning her BFA in Dance from Purchase College, she joined Taylor 2 in 1999 and became a member of the prestigious Paul Taylor Dance Company in 2002.
Dylan Pearce - Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Dylan Pearce is a highly sought after master teacher, choreographer, and performer from New York City. He began dancing at the age of five, going on to study extensively at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC on scholarship along with Broadway Dance Center, Steps, and The Ailey School. Dylan is an Assistant Choreographer for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and before that spent 7 seasons performing in the show. He has choreographed for the Samsung Group, Radio City Rockettes, Americas Got Talent, Brenda K. Starr, Amy Lynn and The Gun Show, and all over the US for studios and universities. He was also a dance captain for Walt Disney World’s ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas and toured the world performing and setting shows for Princess and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Samuel L. Roberts - ALVIN AILEY DANCE COMPANY
Samuel Lee Roberts, a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater since 2009, began his dance training under the direction of Kathleen Johnston and attended The Juilliard School. He performed in the first international show of Radio City's Christmas Spectacular in Mexico City and danced with the NY cast from 1999-2004. Samuel performed during the award ceremony at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, worked with Corbin Dances and Keigwin Company, and was a founding member of Battleworks Dance Company. In 2006, Samuel was named Dance Magazine’s “On the Rise” dancer. He performed several roles in Julie Taymor’s film Across the Universe and the original opera Grendel.
Gabriela Soto - TRANSCENDENCE GROUP
Gabriela Maria Soto began her dance training at Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico under the direction of Carlota Cabrerra. She then moved to Florida to attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Orlando Ballet and graduated from Dr. Phillips High School as the president of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts. Ms. Soto has received full scholarships to summer intensives at Virginia School of the Arts and Ballet West. In 2013 she graduated from the Certificate Program at The Ailey School. She is a guest artist of Transcendance Group. This will be Ms. Soto first season with the ensemble. .Gabriela was recently featured as a 'Shark Girl' in SPIELBERG’S WEST SIDE STORY
Michael Trusnovec - PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY
Michael Trusnovec graduated from the Long Island High School for the Arts, and in 1992 was honored by YoungARTS and named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. In 1996, he earned a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University. Michael spent two years in Taylor 2 and became a member of Paul Taylor Dance Company in 1999. He has appeared with Cortez & Co. Contemporary/Ballet, Corbin Dances and in works by Margie Gillis, Christopher Gillis and Peter Sparling. Michael was the recipient of a 2006 Bessie Award and was honored with a 2016 “Positano Premia La Danza” Dancer of the Year Award.
Blakeley White-McGuire - MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY
Blakeley White-McGuire is a New York-based dance performer, choreographer, and teacher who earned her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. Critically acclaimed as a Principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company (2002 – 2017) she has embodied the most iconic roles of 20th-century Modern dance to international critical acclaim. She has served on the faculties of the Ailey School, the New School, The Actors’ Studio and New York City’s famed LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. A faculty member of the Martha Graham Center since 2002, she is also a coach and official register staging Martha Graham’s repertory internationally.
Musical Theater Track
Susan Egan - Tony Award-Nominee
On Broadway, Susan Egan starred in the title role of Thoroughly Modern Millie; won critical acclaim as Broadway’s longest-running Sally Bowles in Cabaret; originated the leading roles in Triumph of Love and State Fair; and most notably, received both Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations for Best Actress as the original Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Regionally, Egan starred alongside Carol Burnett in Sondheim’s Putting It Together, Tommy Tune in the national tour of Bye, Bye Birdie, and created works at Yale Repertory, Baltimore Center Stage, South Coast Repertory, and the Mark Taper Forum. In animation, Egan gave voice to the sultry Meg in Disney’s Hercules.
Jared Gertner - B'way's The Book of Mormon
Jared Gertner is best known for playing Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon on Broadway, on the first national tour and in London (Olivier Award nomination). In New York, Jared has also been seen as William Barfee in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Broadway), Warren in the premiere of Ordinary Days (Off Broadway), and as one of the core cast of improvisers in Don’t Quit Your Night Job (Off Broadway). Regionally, he has starred in shows at Paper Mill Playhouse, The Muny, St. Louis Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Goodspeed, The Fulton, Cape Playhouse and Sacramento Music Circus. Jared’s television credits include Mom, Modern Family, 2 Broke Girls, Supernatural, Superior Donuts, How I Met Your Mother, Marvel's Agent Carter, Ugly Betty, The Good Wife and the popular Broadway-themed web series, Submissions Only. Since receiving his BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Jared has taught master classes for theatre schools and colleges all over the country, as well as in London. In Los Angeles, Jared has a thriving teaching business that offers classes and private coachings. He specializes in creating a fun and safe space for students to explore their craft.
Joanna Gleason - Tony Award-Winner
In 1988 Joanna Gleason won the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for originating the role of the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods. She received another Tony nomination and a Drama Desk nomination for her work in Joe Egg. Joanna won a Theater World Award for The Real Thing, and another Drama Desk Award for Social Security. With her actor husband Chris Sarandon, whom she met doing Nick and Nora on Broadway, she’s appeared in movies such as Road Ends, Edie and Pen, Let the Devil Wear Black, and American Perfekt.
Debbie Gravitte - Tony Award-Winner
Debbie Gravitte, Tony Award winner for her appearance in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, made her Broadway debut in the original cast of They’re Playing Our Song. She also appeared on Broadway in Perfectly Frank (Drama Desk Award nomination), Blues in the Night, Ain’t Broadway Grand, Zorba, Chicago and Les Miserables. On television, Debbie co-starred in the CBS series Trial and Error.
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka - B'way's A Little Night Music
A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka made his Broadway debut in the revival of A Little Night Music as Henrick, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury, followed by Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch. Other NY credits include Once Upon a Mattress, starring Jackie Hoffman, and Dear World, starring opposite Tyne Daly. Hunter has appeared in leading roles at major regional theaters around the country. He teaches extensively in NYC and at top schools in the country such as New York University, Carnegie Mellon University, Texas State University, Webster University, and many others.
Jenny Hill - B'way's Seussical
Jenny Hill has appeared in the original Broadway companies of Something Rotten, Seussical (Gertrude McFuzz), Spamalot (Lady of the Lady), Elf the Musical (Jovie and Deb), Wonderful Town (Helen) at City Center. She appeared in the first national tours of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida and Kiss Me Kate. On film, she’s appeared in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Doctor Who and 100 Days.
Brian O'Brien - B'way's CHICAGO
BRIAN O'BRIEN has enjoyed an extensive run in the Broadway production of CHICAGO. He is honored to have performed in six Broadway shows over the past 23 years, including Promises, Promises, The Pirate Queen, Steel Pier, Beauty and The Beast, and Annie Get Your Gun. Brian has been a creative collaborator with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and has served on their various grants committees. With a BS in Marketing from Seton Hall University and hometown roots in Monmouth Beach, he looks forward to assisting Axelrod Performing Arts Academy cultivate New Jersey's rich cultural fabric. As an Asbury Park homeowner and a graduate of Shore Regional High School, it is his great pleasure to be back in Monmouth County, where it all began.
Bryce Pinkham - B'way's A Gentleman's Guide
Bryce Pinkham, a graduate of Yale School of Drama, is best known for originating the role of Monty Navarro in the Broadway production of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award and a Grammy. His other Broadway credits include Holiday Inn, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Ghost and The Heidi Chronicles. On screen, he's been seen in Mercy Street, Blindspot, The Good Wife, Person of Interest, Instinct and Proven Innocent.
Faith Prince - Tony Award-Winner
Faith Prince has been dazzling Broadway audiences since winning the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance as Ms. Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. Faith most recently starred on Broadway in Disaster! The Musical for which she received rave reviews. She also starred as Miss Hannigan in the Broadway revival of Annie. In 2008, she was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for A Catered Affair. Other Broadway credits include The Little Mermaid, Bells are Ringing (Tony, DD, OCC noms), Nick & Nora (OCC Award), Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (Tony, DD noms), Little Me, The Dead, and Noises Off.
Musical Theater Dance Track
Andrew Black - Renowned Choreographer & Tap Dancer
Andrew Black has performed from the stage of Carnegie Hall to the streets of Tokyo's DisneySea. His favorite credits include Irving Berlin's White Christmas (Asst. Choreographer, Asst. Director, Dance Captain and Swing), the First National Tour of 42nd Street, Thoroughly Modern Millie at Gateway Playhouse), Singing in the Rain, and Anything Goes. He has choreographed over 40 different shows and taught workshops for schools, theaters, and festivals across the planet.
Nicolas De La Vega - RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR/ FOSSE
Nicolas de la Vega trained at the Joffrey Ballet School and the School of American Ballet. Afterwards he danced with the Charlotte Ballet (formerly known as the North Carolina Dance Theatre), and the Los Angeles Ballet. Nicolas has been in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular for the past five seasons. His musical theater credits include national tour of Saturday Night Fever, Priscilla Queen of the Desert at Gateway/Ogunquit Playhouse, Mame at Riverside Theatre, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway at the MUNY, La Cage Aux Folles at Pioneer Theatre, and Oklahoma! at Stages St Louis.
Lane Napper - Television Choreographer / Director
From the hit TV series Victorious, Lane Napper is a professional acting and dialogue coach as well as a television and stage choreographer. Working for such prestigious clientele as Warner Bros., Touchstone, Disney, Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon, Lane has choreographed for such shows as Game Shakers, Henry Danger, Sam and Cat, Victorious, iCarly, Drake and Josh, Zoey 101, Suddenly Susan and Nikki. For his many hours of television choreography, Lane was admitted into the Academy of Television of Arts and Science as Choreographer and Director. Some of Lane’s theatrical credits include the regional productions of West Side Story, Pippin and Grease. Lane choreographed the tour of Freckleface Strawberry The Musical, based on the book by Julianne Moore.
Dylan Pearce - Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Dylan Pearce is a highly sought after master teacher, choreographer, and performer from New York City. He began dancing at the age of five, going on to study extensively at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC on scholarship along with Broadway Dance Center, Steps, and The Ailey School. Dylan is an Assistant Choreographer for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and before that spent 7 seasons performing in the show. He has choreographed for the Samsung Group, Radio City Rockettes, America's Got Talent, Brenda K. Starr, Amy Lynn and The Gun Show, and all over the US for studios and universities. He was also a dance captain for Walt Disney World’s ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas and toured the world performing and setting shows for Princess and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Todd Labron Underwood - Award-Winning Choreographer
Todd Labron Underwood is an award-winning choreographer whose work has been seen on stages across the country as well as on-screen. His resume includes the world premiere of the musical Memphis and musicals in major regional theaters including North Shore and Sacramento Circus. Todd’s work was seen in the film Hello, Again with Audra McDonald and Cheyenne Jackson and Were the World Mine, for which he received a Fred Astaire Award nomination.
Teja Anderson - Commercial Actress
Teja Anderson, a Vermont native and longtime Monmouth County community member, is a SAG & AFTRA member who has worked on numerous network soap operas, films, and over 100 television commercials. With her husband, actor Frank Dicopoulos, she has taught commercial acting workshops at Brookdale Community College.
Grayson Berry - CBS/LIFETIME/AMC Actor/Director
Grayson Berry is an actor, writer, producer, and director, raised in Houston, TX. This University of San Diego graduate has played everyone from the eccentric Pablo Picasso, to iconic western hero Butch Cassidy, and brings a team-first attitude to each and every project. Gray, as he's known to friends and family, followed in his mother Ann Rexford's (Green Hornet, Ozzie & Harriet, King of Kings) footsteps, after working as a sports anchor and play-by-play announcer out of college. This “traveling man” channels his sports passion and interest in its culture by hosting and producing documentaries and network shows that celebrate its fans. Grayson created the documentary 25,000 Miles to Glory, starred in Lifetime's Original Film Dying for a Baby, Better Call Saul, and several other shows including Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Mazel and CBS' Tommy.
Jeff Blumenkrantz - Actor & Tony Award-Nominated Composer
Tony nominee for his score for Urban Cowboy, Jeff Blumenkrantz is an active composer and has worked on Broadway as an actor for the past 25 years, including in Into the Woods, Threepenny Opera, Damn Yankees, How to Succeed in Business…, A Class Act, and Bright Star, as well as Off-Broadway in Murder for Two (Lortel Award nomination), Forever Plaid, and in the City Center Encores productions of The Golden Apple, Anyone Can Whistle and God Bless You Mr. Rosewater. Film and TV credits include Fosse/Verdon, The Big Sick, The Detour, 30 Rock, The Good Wife, Ugly Betty, Joseph … Dreamcoat, Will and Grace, Law and Order, and the PBS telecasts of the New York Philharmonic concerts of Sweeney Todd and Candide.
Frank Dicopoulos - Film and Television Actor
Frank Dicopoulos is best known for his 22-year portrayal of Frank Cooper on CBS’ The Guiding Light soap opera (the longest-running actor/character to never leave the series in its 72-year history) which also won him the 2006 Naples International Film Award. Additionally Frank appeared on The Tracey Ullman Show, Who's The Boss, Silver Spoons, Hotel, Dynasty, and Falcon Crest, as well as the soap operas The Young and the Restless, Capitol and General Hospital. He had the distinct honor of hosting “live” the ice skating segment for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade two years in a row! Frank plays the character of “Dean The Dog” in the children’s book series Lukoumi which was narrated by Jennifer Aniston and won the Family Choice, iParenting Media Award, and Mom’s Award. Frank recently played talk show host “Mike Douglas” in Chuck, starring Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, and Ron Perlman. Frank is now the commercial spokesperson for United Healthcare, recently appeared as Mr. D. in The Un4gettables, and has taught commercial acting workshops at Brookdale Community College with his wife, actor Teja Anderson.
Siobhan Fallon Hogan - Film and Television Actress
With 20 episodes of Saturday Night Live under her belt, actress and comedian Siobhan Fallon Hogan has worked extensively in film and television. She’s appeared in over 40 films, including Men in Black, Forrest Gump, The Negotiator, Holes, Daddy Day Care, Going in Style, and The House That Jack Built. Among the TV shows she’s been seen on are 30 Rock, Seinfeld, The Unnaturals, Fred: The Show, and What We Do In The Shadows.
Michael La Fleur - International Director, Cirque Du Soleil / Disney
Michael La Fleur is an established theatre professional who has worked nationally and internationally with such talented artists and companies as Celine Dion, Sarah Brightman, The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, the international sensation, Dragone, and numerous New York, regional and university theaters. Michael has a proven and successful track record in commercial, corporate, and multiple professional venues across the US and abroad.
Ross Lekites - Broadway's Frozen
From the Broadway cast of Frozen, Ross Lekites appeared most recently on Broadway in the musical Tina and before that in Kinky Boots, which he also appeared in the national tour. He also played Tony in the national tour of West Side Story. In film, he’s appeared in Walking to Maryland, Time After Time and Bite Me.
Ashley Marinaccio - Award-Winning Director/ Writer / Performer
A recipient of League of Professional Theatre Women Lucille Lortel Visionary Award, Ashley Marinaccio is the founding artistic director of Girl Be Heard. Director, writer, researcher and teacher, Ashley is listed as one of Culture Trip's 50 Women in Theatre You Should Know. She is a recipient of a 2019 Drama League First Stage Residency and a NY Public Humanities Fellow. As a theatre maker, Ashley has created work seen Off Broadway, at TED conferences, The White House, The Apollo, United Nations and on tour throughout the US, Europe, Asia, and Middle East. Her work has received critical acclaim from The NY Times, New Yorker, Huffington Post, Ms. Magazine, Ebony, NY Press, Time Out NY, Backstage, Show Business.
Stephen Petrovich - Equity Performer & Comedian
With a BFA in Musical Theater from Boston Conservatory, Stephen Petrovich originated the role of Doctor Gangle in the North American premiere company of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies, playing over 400 performances in 45 US cities. He most recently appeared at the Kansas City Starlight Theatre as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, a role he’s reprised at Theatre by the Sea and Moonlight Amphitheatre. He has worked on tour and in regional theaters around the country in such shows as Beauty and the Beast, The Drowsy Chaperone, Spamalot, La Cage aux Folles, Hairspray and 42nd Street.
Bill Timoney - Broadway's Network / Amazon's Hunter
Actor, voice actor, director, scriptwriter and producer Bill Timoney is known for his work on All My Children, 12 Monkeys and Mission to Mars. After appearing Off-Broadway in the stage comedy The Irish Curse at the Soho Playhouse, he made his Broadway debut in All the Way, starring Bryan Cranston, with whom he recently returned to Broadway in the stage adaptation of the film Network. Bill also appears in the Scorsese film The Irishman.
Corinna Sowers Adler - Tony-Award Nominated Educator
Four-time Tony Award-Nominee for Excellence in Theatre Education and MAC Award-Nominee, Corinna Sowers Adler, made her solo New York City cabaret debut in 2010 at the Laurie Beechman Theater in “Stories…A Cabaret“. Since then, she has performed at Rose Theater/Jazz at Lincoln Center, Stage 72 at the Triad, the legendary Duplex Cabaret, Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, Metropolitan Room, 54 Below, and the majestic Appel Room. Corinna is the Founding Artist Director of NiCori Studios & Productions, an educational incubator for young performing artists.
Eric Yves Garcia - Award-Winning Pianist/Singer
Eric Yves Garcia, award-winning pianist/singer, performs regularly in NYC, London and Paris. Eric has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Birdland, Symphony Space, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, and Café Carlyle. Overseas, Eric has returned many times to the Crazy Coqs and The Pheasantry in London, as well as several week-long runs at Club Rayé in Paris.
Michael Holland - Musician / Composer
Michael Holland is a guitarist and pianist, composer and orchestrator, vocal arranger and coach, based in New York. Michael was a co-producer for the Broadway revival of Godspell. His original musicals include Clue: A New Comedy, presented at the Cleveland Playhouse and the upcoming Twelve Angry Men, scheduled for 2021. He has worked for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Bay Street Theatre, Old Globe, Alley Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Playwrights Horizons, others.
Remember Jones - Soul/Pop Performer & Bandleader
Remember Jones (Anthony D’Amato) is a one-of-a-kind soul/pop singer, storyteller and bandleader with a throwback vibe and authentic energy. With his band, he has played to countless packed and sold-out ballrooms, clubs and theaters throughout the country. Remember Jones has shared stages with George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes, Darlene Love, Buster Poindexter, Nigel Hall, The Hip Abduction, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, and Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes.
Heather Jane Rolff - Broadway Vocalist & Actress
Vocalist and actress, Heather Jane Rolff made her Broadway debut in Shrek the Musical, creating the role of Lady Gnome. She also appeared in the national 25th-anniversary tour of Les Miserables. Off-Broadway she appeared in the cast of Songs for a New World, Silence! The Musical, and Wanda’s World. At the Ogunquit Playhouse, she appeared in world premiere of the musicals Witches of Eastwick and Grumpy Old Men.
David Ross Lawn - Composer / Performer
David Ross Lawn is a Scottish composer and performer with a notable focus in classical and contemporary piano music. David holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in piano performance and theory/composition. His solo piano output has had notable features including national television and high fashion media placement, and he publishes works with GIA Publications, Walton Music, and Kning Disk of Gothenberg, Sweden.
David Smolokoff - Performer / Vocal Coach
Julliard graduate, tenor David Smolokoff has performed opera and musical theatre globally for companies including Sarasota Opera and Utah Festival Opera. He performed the role of Tony in Axelrod’s Perry Award-winning production of West Side Story. David is an enthusiastic voice teacher and enjoys working with singers to achieve their goals.
Gabrielle Stravelli - US Jazz Ambassador
Vocalist and songwriter, Gabrielle Stravelli, blends musical traditions with a modern, genre-bending sensibility. The rhythmic swing of jazz frames her original compositions while as an actor and storyteller she reinterprets the Great American Songbook as well as works by contemporary artists as varied as Willie Nelson, Chick Corea, and John Fogerty. Gabrielle is a master vocal teacher for the National Young Arts Foundation and is faculty for Singnasium, the Kaufman Center's Lucy Moses Special Music School, and the U. S. Department of State as a Jazz Ambassador. While touring in the U.S., Gabrielle has conducted masterclasses at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (her alma mater), Loyola University Maryland, Wayne State in Detroit, and the South Florida Conservatory of Music in Hollywood.
APAA's Core Faculty
Gabriel Chajnik – Dir. Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater & APAA
Gabriel was trained and mentored by the legendary instructor, Maestro Hector Zaraspe, at his alma mater, the Juilliard School. Gabriel s a former dancer with American Repertory Ballet and he has taught in Argentina, Europe, and throughout the United States (Brooklyn Music School, Princeton Ballet, the Academy of Dance Arts and Gotta Dance in New Jersey). His work has been featured at Juilliard, the Manhattan School of Music, the Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C., Alice Tully Hall, the Clark Theater at Lincoln Center, MMAC, and the Lambs Theater. Beyond his Axelrod association, Gabriel is the Artistic Director for TranscenDanceGroup, whose TDG Holocaust Awareness performance has reached school students throughout the tri-state area. Gabriel has been honored by the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon, & Warren Counties.
Ethan Andersen – Composer / Lyricist / Music Conductor
Ethan Andersen, a native New Orleanian, is a working composer, lyricist, and music director in New York City and across the county. As a music director and conductor, Andersen worked on the Saturday Night Fever national tour, as resident at Flat Rock Playhouse, and Elon University's Music Theatre program, one of the top MT programs in the country. Ethan is currently a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and has been a rehearsal pianist for Mean Girls on Broadway. He has composed original musicals, including HeadVoice, selected and produced by the New York Musical Festival; the children's musical, Rootabaga Express!, produced every summer at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site; YOUlogy, which received an industry reading in May 2018; and mostly recently Letterland, a musical adaption of the popular children's phonics program used throughout the English-speaking world.
Jolene Baldini – Assistant Choreographer
Jolene Baldini is an alumnus of Joffrey Ballet, the Theater of Harlem, and Juilliard where she danced pieces by world-renowned choreographers such as Jose Limon, Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, and Ohad Naharin. After graduation, she joined the Cedar Lake Ensemble of New York City. During her four and a half years with the company, she was given the ability to tour the country and achieved soloist status. After fulfilling her life-long dream of becoming a professional dancer, she opened Dance Mixx Studio in Shrewsbury, NJ.
Tuiana Balzhieva - Pointe / Repertory Variations
Tuiana Balzhieva, a professional ballet dancer, graduated from L.P Sakhyanova (2005-2013) in Russia after graduating from Ballet School and obtaining a professional diploma of "ballet dancer". It was then she was accepted to Buryat State Opera and Ballet Theater where she became a young soloist dancer. Tuiana has performed solo and principal roles in multiple ballets. In 2008, she participated in the 7th Siberian International Dance Competition in Novosibirsk, where she took 3rd. She also took part in Ekaterina Maksimova's International Dance Competition in Perm, Russia. In 2015 she came to the USA with the Moscow Ballet company to perform Swan Lake and The Nutcracker spanning 30 states and Canada. In 2016-2017 she studied French technique at The French Academy of Ballet in NYC with director Francois Perron. She has instructed and created choreography at Gotta Dance, Mill Ballet, Debra Sparks, Dance Arts of Yardley, and Release Dance Academie schools. She also has Dance-Modeling experience for Pointe Magazine. Tuiana is currently dancing with Roxey Ballet located in New Jersey and The Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater.
Patty Gonsky - Musical Conductor
Patty Gonsky is the conductor of the Bravura Youth Orchestra, an educator in the Piscataway school system where she conducts the high school orchestra, and a sought-after cellist. She performs with several orchestras and chamber groups.
Lindsay Jorgensen - Horton Technique
Lindsay Jorgensen (Lawrenceville, NJ) received her dance training at Princeton Ballet School. She supplemented her training at summer programs like Miami City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre in New York, and Carolina Ballet, to name a few. After high school, she was a trainee with American Repertory Ballet, where she performed alongside the company. Lindsay graduated summa cum laude with honorable mentions in Dance from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Dance program, double majoring in Dance and English. She performed in school concerts, outreach, and various events including the Ailey Spirit Gala at Lincoln Center (2018). She performed choreography by Alvin Ailey, Karen Arcenaux, Robert Battle, Amy Hall Garner, Gabrielle Lamb, and Chuck Wilt.
Lindsay joined AXCBT last fall for Nutcracker ROCKS. She also apprentices with Buglisi Dance Theatre, where she has performed Jacqulyn Buglisi’s Moss and in weekly Table of Silence Project meditations, used to spread unity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olivia Miranda - Contemporary / Modern Dance
Olivia is a professional freelance artist in the NJ/ NYC area and has worked with choreographers including Graham Lustig, Seyong Kim, Colby Damon, Daniel Catanach, and Mari Meade. Originally from Robbinsville, NJ, Olivia trained with Julie A. Caprio. She went on to attend The Ailey School and Fordham University, graduating magna cum laude with a BFA in Dance and English (2018). There, she performed classic works by Alvin Ailey and was selected to perform alongside Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre at Lincoln Center (2017). In 2016, Olivia accepted a contract with Ballet Hispanico’s second company (BHdos) under the direction of Nicholas Villeneuve and Johan Rivera. She performed repertory by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Talley Beatty, and Eduardo Vilaro at the historic Apollo Theater. Olivia attended summer intensives at BalletX, American Ballet Theater, and Koltun Ballet Academy. She currently teaches and choreographs for several schools in New Jersey.
Gary Ramsey – Acting Technique
Gary Ramsey is an acting, voice/speech, and Alexander Technique teacher and coach. He has worked with many Broadway, television and film actors during his career including Ethan Hawke (Macbeth), Tom Skerritt (A Time to Kill), Colin Quinn (Long Story Short, directed by Jerry Seinfeld, and Victoria Clark, (The Light in the Piazza). He also is the head of Voice/Speech Dept. at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City.
Wendy Roman - Pre-School & Primary Tracks Director
Wendy Roman (BA in Fine Arts from Stockton University’s School of Arts & Humanities/Dance), a long time member of Monmouth County’s dance community, has been educating students for over 25 years. Wendy has extensive experience in dance pedagogy and is the founder of ACT OUT! – an arts education program for individuals with special needs.
Hallie Rumsey-Lasersohn - Ballet Strengthening
Hallie Rumsey-Lasersohn began her dance training at the age of 13 in Media Pennsylvania under the direction of Anastasia Babayeva and Denis Gronostayskiy. She danced as an apprentice with International Ballet Classique for 2 years before joining Ballet Theatre of Maryland for a season, and then American Repertory Ballet where she currently dances. Her repertoire includes Arabian and Spanish lead from the nutcracker, Ricardo De Negris world premiere “Beyond the Normal”, Trey Mcintyre’s “Blue Until June”, and Myrtha from Giselle staged by José Manuel Carreño.
Thomas Ryan Ward - Acting Foundation & Script Analysis
Thomas "Ryan" Ward is a producing stage and film director, collaborative scriptwriter and playwright, award-winning multimedia designer, and featured actor in various feature films and web series. Since 2006, Ryan has produced over 30 theatrical, musical, and spoken-word projects for/with people who identify as having learning and/or physical differences. These projects have been generously funded by The Annenberg Foundation, The Kennedy Center, the SC Arts Alliance/Arts Access SC, Monmouth Arts, and the NEA. He most recently joined the staff of the APAC as head of marketing.
Jason Wise - Broadway Performance
Based in New York City, Jason Wise has directed and choreographed over 20 productions around the world, including Off-Broadway productions and three seasons of Lifetime's Dance Moms. As a performer, he performed in the international tour of Cats over 800 times. Jason has served on the faculty of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (New York), The Joffrey Ballet School (New York), The Kent School (Connecticut), National Ballet School (Toronto), CAP 21 (New York) and The Pineapple (London).