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 32nd year teaching dance and 22nd 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.

Annabelle Liu is a junior at Bethlehem Central High School. This is her 12th year dancing, 7th year on the competition team, and has assisted for 3 years. Annabelle has taken classes in ballet, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop. She is very excited to begin her first year of teaching!

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, College of Saint Rose, EBA, Albany Dance and Fitness, Robin’s Academy of Dance, The National Museum of Dance, and the Dance Experience and has recently taught a class for The Northeast Ballet Company. 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, Dance Plus 27, Soundance Studio Theater in Brooklyn, 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 and is a competition coach at The Dance Experience.

Larissa Engel-Flores is a freshman in college at Hudson Valley Community College. She’s been dancing for six years at The Dance Experience and was a member of the TDE Competition Team for three years. Her favorite style of dance is hip-hop! She’s very excited to continue her passion throughout her second year of teaching!

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.

Madelyn Gatchell is in 9th grade at Bethlehem Central High School. This is her 8th year of dance and her 6th year on the competition team. She is excited to begin her first year of teaching after three years of assistant teaching. Her favorite styles of dance are hip hop, jazz and lyrical. She enjoys hanging out with her friends and watching TV, when she is not dancing.

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 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, is currently a Master Teacher for Dance Masters of America Chapter 8, and is very excited to be a part of the “family” at The Dance Experience.

Abby Klein is excited to be starting her 12th year at the The Dance Experience, as well as starting her 8th year on the competition team. Abby takes classes in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and lyrical. Abby has been assisting for 5 years and is very excited to start teaching this year. Other than dancing Abby enjoys learning, having fun, and spending time with her friends and family!

Anna Krupa is a freshman at The College of Saint Rose studying speech pathology. She has been dancing for 11 years studying hip hop, lyrical, ballet, and jazz. This is Anna’s third year teaching after three years of assisting.

Alyssa Marion has been a part of the TDE family since its inaugural year in 1996. At TDE, Alyssa trained and competed in jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap, hip hop, and musical theater. 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 its first National Championship in the Division 1 Hip Hop category and placed 2nd in the Division 1 Team Dance category at the NDA Collegiate Nationals. Alyssa has performed and taken master classes all over the east coast.

Jessica Marsello is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo where she was a member of the Dance Ensemble and Orchesis, in addition to majoring in Childhood Education with Special Education and completing a concentration in Theatre. After graduating in 2011, she returned to the capital region to attend The College of Saint Rose. Jessica grew up dancing in Schenectady and danced competitively until she graduated high school. She had the opportunity to dance in places including the Bahamas, Universal Studios, and Canada. Since then, she has had experience teaching dancers from ages 3 through adult. Jessica currently works as a Special Education teacher. She is very excited to be joining the TDE family!

Allison Grant is beginning her 14th year at The Dance Experience and 1st year as a teacher after many years of assisting! Allison has taken classes in tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, musical theater, and hip hop. In addition to dancing, Allison enjoys swimming, kayaking and spending time with her dogs! 

Michele O’Neill 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 22 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.

Lauren Sheffer is a graduate of Bethlehem Central High School, Siena College, with a bachelor’s 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. She loves teaching her students ballet, tap, acrobatics, jazz, lyrical, and musical theater.

Emily Zemsky is a junior at Bethlehem Central High School. She’s been dancing for 13 years at The Dance Experience. When Emily’s not dancing, whether it be in my home or in the studio, she loves to go on adventures with my friends and family to explore.