The teachers and instructors at The Dance Experience are what make our dance school the amazing place that it is. They all have a long history of dancing and a strong passion for it. It is our hope that their passion will inspire greatness in our students!
Janell Timmany is the director of The Dance Experience. She 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 almost 40 years. 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. She lives in Delmar with her husband, son, daughter, mom, 2 dogs & cat!
Jessica Bennett (Marsello) is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo where she majored in Childhood Education with Special Education, in addition to being an active member of the dance community both on and off campus. She returned to the capital region in 2011 to attend The College of Saint Rose. Jessica grew up dancing competitively in the capital region and has since been teaching dancers from ages 3 through adult. She teaches fourth grade and also loves spending time with her husband and son. Jessica is looking forward to another wonderful dance season at TDE!
Robin Gifford has devoted her life to the art of movement. She began Ballet lessons at age four with former Rockette Agnes Reeves. Robin continued her 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 of dance at State University of New York at Buffalo and the State University of New York of Albany, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts. In addition to TDE, her love of movement has been passed on to many students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Dance Club, The College of Saint Rose, EBA, Albany Dance and Fitness, Robin’s Academy of Dance, The National Museum of Dance, and The Northeast Ballet Company. She also taught Adaptive Dance and Theater for Schenectady ARC.
Allison Grant is a frequent substitute teacher at TDE. She spent many hours over 16 years taking classes, mentoring younger dancers, and teaching classes. Currently, Allison is a junior at Clarkson University majoring in Civil Engineering. At Clarkson, she is the vice president of the CU Dance Ensemble and has taken dance classes in the SUNY Potsdam Dance Program.
Nicole Hoffman has been a competitive dancer for 25 years specializing in all forms of studio dance including ballet, lyrical, tap, jazz, hip-hop and musical theatre. In the past, she has had the privilege of performing in professional venues such as for the Boston Celtics. She can’t wait for another great year at TDE!
Abby Klein has been part of the TDE family since she was three! 11 of her years dancing at TDE were spent on the Superstars competition team and she also taught classes for four years in high school. She is currently studying at Nazareth University to become a physical therapist and is also minoring in both psychology and dance. Abby is beyond excited to continue choreographing for the TDE competition team this year even while she is away at school!
Alyssa has been a part of the TDE family since its inaugural year in 1996. Growing up at The Dance Experience, she trained and competed in jazz, lyrical, tap, hip hop, musical theater, and ballet. Alyssa continued her dance training at Boston University, where she was a 4-year member and senior captain of the BU Dance Team. During her senior season, the team won its first National Championship in the D1 Hip Hop category at the NDA Collegiate Nationals! She currently takes adult tap and ballet classes, but she loves to take master classes in all styles during her free time. Alyssa has choreographed for the TDE competition team for the past eight years and loves to see the progress the dancers make each year!
Angelina, AKA Ms. Angie, has been dancing for 18 years. She is currently in her junior year of college at Russell Sage where she continues her dance training. She has worked with many professionals while growing up, such as Savion Glover, Mike Minery, Randy Skinner, and more. Angelina has also worked closely with the Rockettes at the Rockette Summer Intensive in NYC. In the past few years, she has been dancing with different professional sports teams such as the Albany Patroons and the NAL Albany Empire team. Ms. Angie’s favorite genre of dance is hip hop! Her favorite part about teaching is that she loves to work with kids and see them grow not only as dancers but as people. She is looking forward to another great year with the TDE family!
Lauren is a graduate of Bethlehem Central High School, Siena College, and Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She has danced since the age of three and her favorite styles to teach are ballet and lyrical. This will be her 15th year teaching at TDE and she can’t wait to see her returning dancers, as well as meet many new ones!
Taylor has been dancing at TDE since she was three, and this will be her ninth year on the TDE Superstars competition team. Her favorite styles of dance include hip hop and jazz. Taylor will be a 10th grader at Bethlehem Central High School this year and she likes to bake and shop in her free time.
Anika has danced for 18 years, first at a studio in Massachusetts and then at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where she continued her dance education and served as the President of the RPI Dance Club. Anika continues to seek out opportunities to grow as both a dancer and as a teacher, and has even taken some of the adult classes at TDE herself! This will be her second year teaching at TDE and her favorite style to teach is ballet. She can’t wait for another great season with great dancers!
Our Teacher Assistants
Thora is super excited to be assisting this year! She has been dancing since she was 2 years old and her favorite style of dance is jazz. She’s also on the Superstars competition team! A fun fact about Thora is she loves all types of pocket pets and currently has two gerbils named Chip and Dale.
Taylor is in ninth grade this year and has been dancing for 11 years (nine of them at TDE). She loves assisting because she enjoys helping dancers explore their love for dance like she did. A fun fact is that Taylor loves llamas and can talk about them for hours.
Molly is in 10th grade this year and has been dancing at TDE since 1st grade. This will be her 8th year on the TDE competition team! As an assistant, she loves helping dancers grow throughout the year. In her free time, she enjoys camping and drawing.
Jake is in tenth grade and has been dancing since he was 6. His favorite style is hip hop and he’s excited for his first year of assisting! When he’s not dancing, he likes musical theater, making music and playing video games.
Katie is in 11th grade, and this will be her 11th year at The Dance Experience. She loves assisting because it’s so fun to help younger dancers grow, learn, and enjoy the art of dance. Her favorite style of dance is tap, but she loves them all!
Annalese is a senior at Troy High School and has been dancing since she was two years old. She started assisting back in 2021! Her favorite form of dance is contemporary, but she also enjoys jazz, hip hop, and tap.
Georgia is a 7th grader at Voorheesville Middle School. She has been dancing at TDE since she was 3 years old. She has been a part of the Superstars competition team for 3 years. Georgia is excited to assist because she enjoys spending time with the younger dancers and wants to help them find a love for dance like she did.
Kyra is a first year assistant in 10th grade at RCS high school. She has been dancing for 10 years and is looking forward to assisting this dance season.
Dakota has been dancing for 7 years. He just started assisting last summer and is looking forward to continuing to work with the kids. His favorite style of dance is hip hop. In his free time, he likes to sing, act, and write, and he loves musical theatre.