Women in Dance Performance

Guest Instructors/Choreographers


Marianne Dalton - Ballet Instructor

Marianne comes to us with over 20 years teaching experience in the Rochester, Syracuse, and Buffalo areas. During her professional career, Marianne was a dancer with Empire State Ballet, Boston Repertory Ballet, and Boston Ballet II. Currently an adjunct lecturer at U of R, Nazareth College, and SUNY at Brockport, she is a former faculty member of the Draper Center for Dance Education as well as a guest teacher at many studios located throughout New York State.


Emilee Pratt - Guest Contemporary Choreographer

Emilee is a recent graduate from SUNY at Purchase College Conservatory of Dance. During her time in the conservatory she performed works by Loni Landon, Sue Bernhard, Dylan Crossman, Nejla Yatkin, Manuel Vignoulle and Doug Varone. She completed her BFA in Dance in 2018, graduating summa cum laude with a concentration in composition. More recently, Emilee created Spare/Change Dance Company, a Queens-based dance company that she looks forward to expanding in order to share her work throughout New York City.

We are excited to have Emilee share her talents and choreography with Studio East.

Shannon Rodriquez - Ballet Instructor/Guest Choreographer

Shannon received her dance training at the Timothy M. Draper Center for Dance Education, the official school of the Rochester City Ballet. She was invited to attend Alonzo King LINES Ballet summer intensive, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Perry Mansfield summer intensive, and has attended summer intensives at both the Juilliard School and The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. In high school, Shannon performed alongside the Rochester City Ballet in notable roles that include Lead Spanish Chocolate in "The Nutcracker" and Daniel Gwirtzman's "Serenade".  After training she attended the University of Arizona on a scholarship, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance after just two and a half years. While at the University of Arizona, she performed River North Dance Chicago repertoire "Evolution of a Dream", George Balanchine's "Rubies", and Ernie Flatt's "Firebird", as well as many soloist roles in works by Michael Williams and James Clouser.  Shannon also choreographed a solo that was selected to premier at the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre in 2014. She returned to Rochester and has been a Company Dancer with Rochester City Ballet for the past six seasons.

Sara Brigida - Improvisation, Tap, Duncan Technique

Sara is a senior neuroscience major and dancer at Skidmore College. She began dancing at the age of two and continued her dance education at Perinton Dance Company and Elite Studio of Dance before beginning college. Since entering Skidmore's dance program she has performed Isadora Duncan's "Tribute to Artemis", "Gaite Parisienne", and "Paquita". She is also the vice president of the campus tap club, Stompin' Soles, and choreographs for the group.

AJ Deneka - Jazz

AJ has been dancing, modeling, and choreographing all over the globe since the tender age of 10.  His extensive training expands to both the east and west coasts, at such studios as The Edge Performing Arts Center, Broadway Dance Center, Gus Giordano, and has assisted and trained with the likes of Joe Tremaine, Liz Imperio, Doug Caldwell and Bt. Andrij has worked with such artists as Kylie Minogue, Marc Anthony, Stevie Wonder, Gregory Hines, and Selena Gomez. Some of his credits include the MTV Movie Awards, The TV Land Awards, Wella, Nike, International Dance Festival, The Winter Olympics, American Choreography Awards, Jazz Dance World Congress, Coca Cola, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, LA Fashion Apparel Magazine, and has toured the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Mexico with "Instincts Live Media Dance Company”. Currently he is a guest teacher at F.I.T. in Manhattan, and at studios/colleges all over the US and Canada. Andrij recently graduated from "The Fashion Institute of Technology" in Manhattan, and plans on someday working as a stylist. “Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable.”

Steffany Pratt - Musical Theatre & Jazz

Steffany Pratt graduated from Montclair State University with a BFA in Musical Theatre.  Before she started her career in theatre, she was a trainee at The Rochester City Ballet, where she performed in ballets such as "The Nutcracker", "Cinderella", and Balanchine's "Serenade".  While pursuing her degree, she performed in several musicals at school, including "West Side Story" (Anybodys), "Company" (Sarah), and "Anything Goes" (Purity, u/s Erma).  Steffany spent two summers at The Mac-Haydn Theatre where she was the Dance Captain, choreographed three children's musicals, and was the associate choreographer for some of their mainstage musicals. Most recently Steffany traveled to Shanghai to perform in the China premiere of A Chorus Line.

Katherine Marion - Contemporary Partnering 

Katherine will be instructing a Contemporary Partnering Class.  In this class, students will learn the principles of contemporary partnering.  Differing from balletic forms of partnering, the class will approach this technique without the traditional roles of "base" and "flier;" instead, roles will be in constant flux. Students can expect to carry, balance, and interact with each other in new and creative ways. Dancers will come away with a basic understanding of safe partnering techniques that can be applied to their own practice and choreography.

Madison Lynch - Tap, Musical Theatre, Contemporary

Bio coming soon

Ellie Sanna - Contemporary Choreographer

Bio coming soon

Solange Rodriques - Hip Hop Choreographer

Bio coming soon