FACULTY

Alex Wong
 
Contemporary, Jazz, Hip-pop, Ballet
Alex Wong was born in Canada and began his tap and jazz traning at the age of seven. At age ten, he started his ballet studies with the Goh Ballet Academy in Vancouver, Canada. In 2000, Alex won two Junior World Titles in Tap and Showdance. Awarded with the Royal Academy of Dancing Solo Seal, Alex won the Audience Choice Award and was a Bronze Medallist in the 2003 Genee International Ballet Competition. In 2004, he became the first Canadian to win the Prix de Lausanne competition in Switzerland, and later that year joined the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company.

In 2005, Alex danced briefly with American Ballet Theatre before joining Miami City Ballet. In early 2007, Alex was promoted to the rank of soloist at MCB.

Alex’s repertoire of leading roles include Balanchine’s "Symphony In Three Movements", "Agon", "Western Symphony", "The Nutcracker", Twyla Tharp’s "Push Comes to Shove", "In the Upper Room", "The Golden Section", Mark Morris "Silhouettes", Edward Villela’s "Don Quxiote", Paul Taylor’s "Funny Papers", Bournonville’s "Conservatory", Stephen Mills "Hush", Anton Dolin’s "Variations for Four" and "La Fille Mal Gardee".

In 2009, Alex chose to audition for the FOX dance series, "So You Think You Can Dance." He breezed through Vegas week and was chosen for the final Top 20 but was forced to withdraw due to contractual issues with the Miami City Ballet. However after his SYTYCD season five audition, Alex was promoted again to the rank of principal soloist at MCB.

In 2010, Alex was offered yet another promotion to principal dancer at MCB but declined the offer in order to pursue another shot at SYTYCD. He went through another grueling Vegas week, but again made the Top 10 contestants for season seven, competing for the title of America's favorite dancer. On the fourth week of the season, Alex injured himself during a Bollywood rehearsal, snapping his Achilles tendon, which would unfortunately take him out of the race as America's favorite dancer. He then received surgery in Los Angeles and was given a timeframe of a year to fully recover. Later that year, both pieces Alex danced on So You Think You Can Dance choreographed by Mia Michaels and Tabatha & Napolean both won Emmy Awards.

Following the surgery, Alex signed with Bloc Talent Agency in New York. By February 2011, Alex booked commercials and several print jobs as well as his first television job since SYTYCD as part of the dance ensemble for NBC's new TV series "Smash" directed by Steven Spielberg. In the summer, Alex appeared on "The Ellen Show", "The Voice" danced with LMFAO and was asked to re-join "So You Think You Can Dance" as an All-Star. Days before starting SYTYCD, Alex was sidelined with another Achilles injury to his other leg and had to withdraw. During recovery, Alex focused on singing and acting and auditioned for American Idol, making it to the semi final "Hollywood" rounds. Alex was also invited as a guest speaker to several universities including Yale. By early January, through his sheer determination, dedication and optimism, Alex returned to dancing professionally despite the two potentially career-ending injuries. Following his recovery, Alex released his first dance single "Crave" on iTunes and Amazon, filmed his music video, starred in a short film shot in Los Angeles and had his Broadway debut, playing the role of "Sniper" in the Original Broadway Cast of the Disney musical "Newsies" which won two Tony Awards and received six other Tony nominations.
We are very pleased to have Alex join the NYDE faculty.


 
Michael Schwandt
Contemporary, Jazz, Hip-pop, Ballet
Michael Schwandt is one of the most dynamic visionaries for movement and creative direction in Los Angeles. His extensive body of work can be seen across the board in commercials, corporate industrials, television, award shows, special events and various recording artist projects, while crossing all genres of dance. As Creative Director on many projects, Michael contributes to the overall look of a project influencing style, costume, lighting and set design as well as musical arrangement. He has worked conceptually on a number of projects due to an unparalleled, out of the box, grandiose approach to large-scale productions. Michael continues to give back to the dance community by nurturing and educating aspiring dancers through guest master classes all over the world. He was on faculty at the world-renown EDGE Performing Arts Center in Hollywood for three years and is currently on faculty with the legendary Hoctors Dance Convention & Tour where he is able to connect with young dancers across the United States and speak to them about realistic expectations in professional dance.

Michael is also the Founder and Creative Director of FUSION entertainment, an LA-based company that provides choreography, dancers and cirque-style specialty acts for live events. FUSION has become a commodity in the event world, creating awe-inspiring production numbers for various corporate industrials and special events across North America.

Michael recently choreographed the Music Video Production Awards, the Beach Boys’ performance at the Liberty Bowl, dance sensation Alyson’s new music video "Take a Good Look", live industrials for PUMA, Whole Foods, Bravo!, Clear Channel, Jafra Cosmetics, Bally’s Las Vegas, and he has commercials currently airing for both Land Rover and Mitsubishi. Look for Michael’s choreography this year at the famed Kodak Theatre in the rock-opera concert "Popera", for Cyndi Lauper and Kristine W’s special appearance at Wrigley Field in Chicago and at the Caesar’s Palace/Harrah’s Entertainment Nassau Resort & Casino in the Bahamas with the new live spectacular "Jambalaya."

We are very pleased to have Michael join the NYDE faculty.


 
Lydia Haug
Contemporary, Jazz, Hip-pop, Ballet
Lydia Haug hails from Jacksonville Florida, where she graduated from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, with a concentration in dance. She went on to pursue a degree from Indiana University on partial dance scholarship, where she graduated with a double major in Ballet Performance and English Studies. Lydia went on to dance with Les Grande Ballet des Canadiens in Montreal and has danced for companies in NYC including Terra Firma Dance Theater and Eryc Taylor Dance. Lydia's favorite roles were dancing "choleric" in Balanchine's Four Temperments, Stepsister in Cinderella, and the lead in John Cliffords original ballet "Glassworks". Being a NYC based dancer provided Lydia with a myriad of opportunites to expand beyond the dance world.She branched into modeling- fall 2010 United Colors of Benneton campaign, Uk Elle magazine, Sony japan 2011 print campaign, a commercial for Sony Bravia and model for Ippolita's jewelry line for Neiman Marcus. You may have also seen her on the silver screen starring as a Russian ballerina Tattiana next to Paul Rudd and an all star cast for the hit feature film “Our Idiot Brother. She was proud to be featured dancer in Justin Timberlake's music video “Mirrors” which came in at #1 video in the 2013 VMA's. Some other highlights include dancing backup for Liza Minnelli for Tv Land awards, performing in the Victoria Secret Fashion show, 2013 Lexus Fashion week performance with supermodel Coco Rocha ( choreographed by Chandelier's Ryan Heffington) and performing for Hermes' fashion/dance installation in 2014, as well as touring with Dos Equis Mascarade Ball all over the country. She has also been a spokesmodel for the dance fitness product " "Flexistretcher" helping dancers to promote and maintain the strength and flexibility required to be a professional dancer. She is thrilled to be joining the all star staff for NYDE's 2014/2015 season!


 
Rachelle Rak  - SAS
Nicknamed “Sas”, Rachelle began her dance training at the age of 2 under the direction of her mother, Rosalene, at the Rosalene Kenneth Professional Dance Studio in Pittsburgh. She is labeled a Triple Threat on Broadway for her immeasurable talent in dancing, singing, and acting. Rachelle was presented with an award by Dance Educators of America for her contribution to the world of dance. She has had a huge impact on the Broadway Community. Broadway Credits: "Catch Me If You Can", "Fosse", "Thou Shalt Not", "The Look of Love", "Oklahoma!", "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", and "Cats". Other Credits:"Flashdance", "Sweet Charity", “The Jack Cole Project”, “Chicago”, “A Chorus Line”, "Starlight Express”, “West Side Story”, “Smokey Joe’s Café”, “Trip of Love” “Sessions”, and “An Evening at the Carlyle." Nicknamed “Sas”, Rachelle began her dance training at the age of 2 under the direction of her mother, Rosalene, at the Rosalene Kenneth Professional Dance Studio in Pittsburgh. She is labeled a Triple Threat on Broadway for her immeasurable talent in dancing, singing, and acting. Rachelle was presented with an award by Dance Educators of America for her contribution to the world of dance. She has had a huge impact on the Broadway Community.

Broadway Credits: "Catch Me If You Can", "Fosse", "Thou Shalt Not", "The Look of Love", "Oklahoma!", "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", and "Cats". Other Credits:"Flashdance", "Sweet Charity", “The Jack Cole Project”, “Chicago”, “A Chorus Line”, "Starlight Express”, “West Side Story”, “Smokey Joe’s Café”, “Trip of Love” “Sessions”, and “An Evening at the Carlyle."
Choreography Credits Include:
Norwegian Cruise Lines , Off Broadway: "An Evening at the Carlyle” and "Sessions”-Additional Choreography, Lifetime: “Dance Moms”, Fringe Festive “Vote the Musical” Benefits: “Broadway Bares”, Concerts: Staging for Cheyenne Jackson-Carnegie Hall. Nightclub shows “The Love Fest”, “Splash Around The World”, “VaVoom,”and web series on Broadway.com” I Love Rak n Roll”.
Film and Television: Rachelle was featured in the documentary "Every Little Step" (The Making of “A Chorus Line”). She was a guest choreographer on Dance Moms and is featured as a judge on “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition” on Lifetime. She co-wrote her CD RAK/SAS with Martyn Axe. Her songs are available on iTunes. She is revered as one of Broadway’s most talented performers

 
JRyan Carroll
Contemporary, Jazz, Hip-pop, Ballet
The culmination of J Ryan’s training came together while working with his great teachers and mentors: Dame Sonia Arova, Haynes Owens, Laura Alonso, David Howard, Hilary Cartwright, Graciela Kozak, Peter Schabel, and Diana Laurenson.

At 19 years old he apprenticed with Laura Alonso’s Cuballet in Havana, Cuba. He went on to dance with Wes Chapman’s Alabama Ballet as a company member, American Repertory Ballet dancing soloist and principal roles and as a Principal Soloist with Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico. He has been a guest artist with Alabama Dance Theater, North West Florida Ballet, Portland Ballet, Mobile Ballet and Western Ballet Theater of Puerto Rico, to name a few. The Ministry of Culture of Puerto Rico invited him to be the Premiere Guest Artist at the 2010 International Dance Festival in San Juan where he danced the Rose in Fokine’s famous "Le Spectre de la Rose" and the Young Man in Roland Petit’s "Le Jeune Homme et la Mort" in the Festival’s Gala performance.

Some of J Ryan’s favorite roles include: Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Franz in Coppelia, Cerventes in Don Quixote, Hilarion in Giselle, Cavalier in Nutcracker, Moor in Fokine's Petruschka, Prince in Cinderella, Twyla Tharp's Baker's Dozen, Poet in Jose Pares' Poeme, Alberto Mendez's Pasion, Dracula in Dracula, and Siegfried in Swan Lake.

Theater Credits Include: National and International Tours: "Fosse"(worked with Ann Reinking, Ben Vereen, Ruthie Henshal), "Pippin"(Utah Shakespearean Festival – Marc Robin chor.), "Pop Goes Broadway" staring Deborah Gibson(Eddie Bennett chor.), "Wizard of Oz" (1st National Tour - performed Madison Square Garden – Dance Captain/ Swing & 2nd National Tour – Dance Consultant/ Nigel West dir. and Leigh Constantine chor.) "Dr. Dolittle Worshop"(Rob Ashford chor.), and other workshops.

Teaching Credits Include(Over 12 years experience): choreographing, teaching the Kinesthetic Approach to classical ballet (as learned in Ruth C. Petrinovic’s Teacher’s Training Course and training with David Howard) and Theater Dance with an emphasis in the Fosse technique for various companies and schools in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Some Guest Master Teacher credits include: Broadway Dance Center, Adjudicator for the Dance Congress of South Africa, 2010 Alabama Dance Festival, Broadway Connection, company teacher for the tours of Fosse, and Cape Town City Ballet II in Cape Town, South Africa. Summer programs: Western Ballet of Puerto Rico, Northwest Florida Ballet, Red Mountain Theater Theater Company, International Dance Festival in NYC, Alabama Dance Theater, Mobile Ballet, and the American Academy of Ballet.
We are very pleased to have Ryan join the NYDE faculty.
 

 
Blake McGrath

By the age of 25, accomplished dancer Blake McGrath has already shared the stage with Madonna, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, and Beyonce. He has even been fortunate enough to perform alongside the King of Pop Michael Jackson for his 30th anniversary special on CBS.

Blake is widely regarded as one of the best dancers of his generation; these skills became apparent on the premiere season of the famed US dance competition-reality series, So You Think You Can Dance. After making it to the finals of the show, Blake quickly became the “it” dancer in Los Angeles. Immediately following SYTYCD Blake was cast in Jennifer Lopez’s MTV Dance life, a reality series that chronicled Chorographers in LA. Immediately after that he returned to Canada to Judge and choreograph 4 seasons of SYTYCD Canada!

After reaching the peak of the dance world, Blake McGrath felt it was time to pursue his inner passion… music.

McGrath produced a soulful, vocally gifted debut recording. Licensing his debut album “Time To Move” to music industry power house Universal Music. The critically acclaimed album included his radio hit song “Relax”. The album was released in November of 2010. Blake’s creative collaboration with Emmy Award Winning Choreographer Mia Michaels (Madonna, Celine Dion, Prince) produced a provocatively haunting video for “Relax”, which garnered an MMVA in June 2011.

The Pop/R&B album features the radio hit songs “The Night” “Stage Fright” and “Relax”. It was the accompanying videos that clearly demonstrated Blake’s talent as a musician and his natural ability to dance, as well as his passion for movement and creativity. In the spring of 2011 Blake’s “Stage Fright Tour” headlined at 50 venues in North America.

His sophomore album "Love Revolution" was released in November 2013.

Blake's has recently been seen guest choreographing and performing on Hit shows including ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" and LifeTimes "Dance Moms".

Blake has also choreographed and appeared extensively in high profile commercials and advertisements for various Gap campaigns alongside Sarah Jessica Parker and Old Navy, as well as Pepsi, Hummer and iPod. His film credits which include Academy Award-winning films, Chicago and the musical, Rent.

 
Marguerite Derricks

MARGUERITE DERRICKS is one of dance’s most recognized working choreographers today. She is the first and only choreographer to have received three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Choreography. Most recently Marguerite choreographed the new Off-Broadway musical HEATHERS (Lucille Lortel Nomination), the Emmy-nominated movie BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, HBO’s hit series TRUE BLOOD, and was the staff choreographer on ABC Family’s BUNHEADS. She also choreographed the Broadway production of WONDERLAND.

In the world of film she has choreographed some of the most popular movies of the last 20 years. Her work has spanned from cult hits like SHOWGIRLS and STRIPTEASE to blockbusters like AUSTIN POWERS, CHARLIE'S ANGELS, TROPIC THUNDER, MR. AND MRS. SMITH, LITTLE MS. SUNSHINE, and recently NO STRINGS ATTACHED. Her feature film choreography has won three MTV Movie Awards for Best Dance Sequence.

Marguerite has choreographed for numerous awards shows including The Oscars (with Hugh Jackman), the Emmys, MTV Movie Awards, Teen Choice, and VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards.

Her television episodic credits include popular shows as CSI: MIAMI, THE UNITED STATES OF TARA, 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN, WILL AND GRACE, and DANCING WITH THE STARS. In addition to her television and film work, Marguerite has choreographed popular commercials for HP, The Gap (featuring Claire Danes and Patrick Wilson), American Express, Pepsi, and more.

 
Anthony Burrell

Anthony Burrell has danced alongside several artists including Beyonce, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Mariah Carey, Destiny's Child, Mary J. Blige, Kesha, Brandy, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams. His work experience spans the spectrum from choreographing live tours to shaping music videos for today’s hottest artists. Additionally, television viewers should recognize Burrell from his stand-out performances on So You Think You Can Dance Season 7, where he was noted by judges as the “Best Dancer in New York.”.

In addition to touring the world with megastars such as Beyonce and Katy Perry, Burrell has toured as a principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. That, in turn, led to him performing for President Barack Obama. He starred in the national Broadway tour of Come Fly Away, a musical choreographed by Twyla Tharp and set to the music of Frank Sinatra. Following the successful run of show, Burrell became a choreographer on Lifetime TV's Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition and Dance Moms. He is currently co-starring in Raising Asia as creative director for Asia Ray. Burrell has dabbled into some acting as well, having made appearances in Rihanna's Unfaithful video, FOX's Glee, and choreographing for Paramount Pictures’ Bad Grandpa (presented by Jackass­). His most recent work consists of choreographing two of the videos on Beyonce's latest Visual Album titled Mine and Ghost.

When Burrell is not choreographing for the stars, he spends much of his time touring the nation with his Breaking Barriers Dance Workshops teaching masterclasses to aspiring dancers. He believes in giving back and using his platform to help others achieve their dreams. Dance is Burrell's gift to the world, and he looks forward to continually inspiring others to reach for the stars as he continues to live out his dreams through dance.

 
JERMAINE JOHNSON
Jermaine Johnson is a dancer, performer, choreographer, and up in coming artistic director based in Los Angeles, CA. Originally from Greenville, MS he received his formal training in dance at the University of Southern Miss. where he received his B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography. In his 7 professional years in the entertainment industry Jermaine has appeared in movies, on TV shows, commercials, toured with recording artist, and has grace the Broadway stage and many other stages worldwide. Jermaine has shared the stage with the likes of Beynocé, Chayanne, Donnie & Marie Osmond, Miranda Cosgrove from the hit Nickelodeon show "iCarly", Australia's #1 recording artist Tim Omaji formerly known as "Timomatic", and Ashley Tisdale from the hit Disney High School Musical films. He has also danced in music videos with Katy Perry, Chris Brown, T-Pain, Cee-Lo Green, and Florence + The Machine. He's also danced on the hit tv show Glee and Nickelodeon's Fresh Beat Band. He as even made appearances on the silver screen in the movies "The Gangster Squad" and "My Sister's Keeper". As well as lend his body and talents to the world of concert dance with Invertigo Dance Theater and working with choreographic greats such as Donald McKayle and Daniel Ezralow. Besides dancing Jermaine stays very active with recreational sports and is an avid fitness enthusiast. As a personal trainer and nutritionist he believes you can't have one without the other. So having a healthy active life style as well as a balanced diet go hand in hand. Jermaine is also a firm believer in, "if you don't use it, you lose it". Which is why he pushes to stay active physically as well as mentally through various types of training and studying other mediums which inherently adds levels to your skill set and continues to grow you as person. To which goes with the old saying, "you're never to old to learn new tricks!"

 
CAITLIN WHEELER
Caitlin is a fresh and exciting professional dancer and Choreographer from Melbourne Australia. Who has relocated to pursue her career in Los Angeles. Caitlin’s extensive training begun at the age of 5 and includes; Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Lyrical Caitlin has been fortunate to perform in both Australia and the US. Some of her credits include; Ringling Brothers Circus “Circus Xtreme” Associate Choreographer Reebok Industrial -Ast Choreographer & Dancer India’s Rawstar – Choreographer / Assistant Director So You Think You Can Dance – Choreographer & Dancer Nike “Let’s Move” Michele Obama – Assistant Choreographer Mandalay Bay New Years Eve Spectacular - Dancer Miss Angola Beauty Pageant – Assistant Choreographer / Fitness Trainer Miss World Tourism – Assistant Choreographer / Fitness Trainer Starbound National Tour - Choreographer Bridgepoint Holliday Bowl – Assistant Choreographer Vertical Shadows Contemporary Company – Choreographer Dancer Miss USA - Dancer Gypsy Kings – Choreographer Paulina Rubio - Dancer Cobra Starship - Dancer Guy Sebastian - Dancer Swing Kings - Dancer Nickelodeon - Dancer Stila - Dancer Nike – Dancer & Model Adidas – Dancer & Model Flashmob - Dancer YPO/WPO Annual Gala - Dancer Direct TV - Dancer Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines - Dancer JADDCO Contemporary Dance Company – Dancer Caitlin is also an established Teacher and Judge having taught all levels and styles all over Australia, Canada and the United States. Caitlin is a lead judge & National Choreographer for Starbound National Dance Competition highlighted on My Lifetimes “Dance Moms Miami”. ”. Caitlin’s other passion lies in Fitness. Caitlin is a National Level Bikini Fitness Competitor and a Sponsored Athlete, and is also a Nutritionist and Coach.
 
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