Teacher Biographies

Janell Timmany is a graduate of Russell Sage College, where she studied Ballet, Modern, History of Ballet, and Women in Dance, in addition to receiving a degree in Psychology. She is a school psychologist by trade who has studied dance for 30 plus years at many local studios. Ms. Janell attends local and national dance conventions and workshops to keep up with the ever-changing world of dance. This is her 31st year teaching dance and 21st year as director of THE DANCE EXPERIENCE. Prior to opening THE DANCE EXPERIENCE, Ms. Janell taught at local studios where she co-directed and choreographed for a national competition dance team. She has received awards for her creative choreography as well as her “cute” dances. Ms. Janell has experience working with all levels of dancers from 3 years to 75 years and from less structured camp settings to highly structured ballet schools.

Audrey Evans can attest to the fact you’re never too old to start dance classes! Beginning with an adult tap class many years ago, her dance experience expanded to include ballet, jazz and modern. It strengthened by attending dance workshops, conventions and seminars over the years. Ms. Audrey is a professional research data analyst who loves her “fun” job of teaching dance even more. She has been at TDE since its opening, teaching and assisting beginning/intermediate classes for children from preschool to 11 years of age. Beginning adult tappers have had the pleasure of having her as a teacher too! The enthusiasm, imagination and excitement she brings to her classes is resonated by her students as they delight in learning basic technique and terminology.

Robin Crist has devoted her life to dance and the study of the art. She began Ballet lessons at age four with former Rockette Agnes Reeves. Robin continued her dance studies, adding Jazz, Tap and Modern. During High School, she spent a summer at the legendary Jacob’s Pillow, studying with Lila York, Susan McGuire and Alvin McDuffie, and a semester as an intern for the New York State Theatre Institute. She was also a teaching assistant at State University of New York at Buffalo and the State University of New York of Albany, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts. Her love of dance has been passed on to many students during years of teaching for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Dance Club, EBA, Albany Dance and Fitness, Robin’s Academy of Dance, The National Museum of Dance, The Dance Experience, and The Northeast Ballet. Her choreography has appeared at EBA’s Brave New Dances, the Choreographer’s Asylum, EMPAC at RPI, Capital Rep’s production of Time Warner Cable’s Miss/ter Television Pageant, the Tisch Dance Festival, the New York State ARC Convention at the Crowne Plaza in Albany, and the Troy Music Hall. She also teaches Adaptive Dance and Theater for Schenectady ARC, is a competition coach at The Dance Experience, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of Dance Alliance.

Lauren Sheffer is a graduate of Bethlehem Central High School, Siena College, with a bachelors of science in Biology, and Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, with a master’s degree in Cytotechnology and Molecular Cytology.   By day she works at St. Peter’s Hospital in the Pathology Department.  Ms. Lauren has danced since the age of three and began assisting at The Dance Experience in the 7th grade.  Since then she has continued on to teach classes of her own and direct DanceCamp at The Dance Experience.  This is her 10th year teaching dance at The Dance Experience.  She loves teaching her students ballet, tap, acrobatics, jazz, lyrical, and musical theater.

Michele O’Neil is a student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at The Sage Graduate Schools. She has studied various genres of dance for the last 19 years, the basis of her training coming from The Southern Tier Academy of Dance in Binghamton, NY. She is an alumni of The University At Albany with a B.S. in human biology and a minor in anthropology. There, she was a 4-year member and 2-year captain of the UAlbany Dance Team. In that time, she became a 2-time All-American with the National Dance Alliance and competed nationally at the collegiate level where her team was best ranked 3rd in the nation for Division 1 dance teams. Michele has taught, competed and performed all over the east coast and has received numerous awards both as a dancer and a choreographer.

Lindsey Chase is currently working on her Master of Public Administration through the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, and has been teaching and choreographing for The Dance Experience since 2013!  She has been dancing in styles of jazz, contemporary/lyrical, tap, and ballet for more than 25 years and was a competitive dancer from age 6-21.  Her competitive titles include ADA’s Dancer of the Year 2004, 2005, 2006, and Miss Showbiz 2006.  Beyond classical training, Lindsey coached and choreographed for the Albany River Rats “Ice Mice” Dance Team (2008-2009), Albany Patroons “Emeralds” Dance Team (2008-2009), Albany Firebirds “Fabulous Flames” Dance Team (2009), Albany Legends “Dream Girls” Dance Team (2010-2012), and the Albany Devils “Devil Girls” Dance Team (2011).  Her second passion is working out and lifting weights, which our dancers will tell you shows up throughout her warm-ups and choreography!

Nicole Hoffman is relatively new to The Dance Experience, but not new to the capital region. She has been a competitive dancer for 23 years specializing in Ballet, Lyrical, Tap, Jazz and Musical Theatre. She has had the privilege of performing in professional venues such as for the Boston Celtics. She has also performed locally on dance teams for semi-professional sports such as the Albany River Rats, the Albany Devils, the Albany Legends, and the Metro Mallers. She has been choreographing and teaching dance in the Boston and Albany areas for over 15 years, and is very excited to be a part of the “family” at The Dance Experience.

Alyssa Marion danced at TDE during it’s inaugural year in 1996. At TDE, Alyssa studied and competed in jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap, hip hop, and musical theater. She previously taught classes at TDE for four years during high school, and she’s thrilled to be a part of the TDE family again. Alyssa received her master’s degree in advertising and bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston University. While at BU, Alyssa was a 4-year member and senior captain of the BU Dance Team, during which the team won a National Championship in the Division 1 Hip Hop category and placed 2nd in the Division 1 Team Dance category at the NDA Collegiate Nationals.

Ann-Marie Kolberg is a senior at Bethlehem Central High School.  She has been dancing for 15 years and this will be her 12th year at The Dance Experience.  Ann-Marie’s favorite style of dance is jazz but she studies tap, lyrical, hip hop, and ballet as well.  Ann-Marie is thrilled to be starting her second year of teaching.

McKenzie Koch is a junior at Bethlehem High School. She has been taking dance at The Dance Experience in all different styles for 14 years, and has been on the competition team for seven years. After assisting for four years, she is very excited to begin her first year as a teacher.

Anna Krupa is a junior at Bethlehem Central High School. She has been dancing for 9 years studying hip hop, lyrical, ballet, tap and jazz. Anna has been assisting for three years. She is so excited to be teaching for the first time this year! Besides dancing, Anna loves to hang out with friends and her family.

Cassidy Mulligan is a junior at Bethlehem Central High School. She has been dancing for 13 years studying hip hop, lyrical, ballet, tap and jazz.

Katherine Bielawa is a senior at Albany Academy for Girls. She began dancing with The Dance Experience at age 4 and joined the competition team at age 7. Her school also has a dance program in which she danced from pre-school thru 9th grade. She has participated in theater workshops like the STAR program at Capital Rep and has performed in the Park Playhouse production of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamboat. Katherine has played the piano since she was 4 years old and participated in NYSSMA competitions for several years. Katherine loves all kinds of dance but lyrical is currently her favorite!