MICHELLE KELLY WURF (Director/Teacher) has been teaching dance through out New York City, Westchester and Philadelphia for over 25 years. She was introduced to dance at the age of 11 and was lucky enough to have spent most of her teenage years dancing and performing in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She continued her education at NYU where she discovered and fell in love with modern dance. She went on to earn her BFA in Modern Dance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She danced professionally in New York City and Philadelphia in the 1990’s with various choreographers and was a company member of Ausdruckstanz Dance Theater and Copperworks Dance Company. She continues to perform locally with Teatolocal, a dance/theater collective, alongside Joel Sherry and Cynthia Bueschel Svigals.
She began teaching in 1994 for Kids Co-Motion, a children's dance program located in NYC and became the Director of the Westchester Division of Kids Co-Motion for 10 years. In 2013, she opened her own studio, MK Dance, in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Michelle has also taught at various schools and camps throughout NYC and Westchester, including: the Lamm Institute Pre-School in Brooklyn; the Grafflin Elementary School of Chappaqua; the Katonah Elementary School; the Riverdale Neighborhood House; the Children's Garden Center and the Tarrytown Arts Camp in Tarrytown; the Temple Beth Shalom Nursery School in Hastings-on-Hudson; the Chabad Pre-School, the Christian Pre-School and Springhurst Elementary School in Dobbs Ferry; and the Virginia Marx Children Center in White Plains. She taught and was the Division Chair (Dance for Early Childhood) at both the Y Dance Academy and the Rivertown Dance Academy in Tarrytown. Michelle resides in Dobbs Ferry with her husband and two children.
Photo credit: Mark Liflander
RACHEL BARRER (Acting Teacher) is a classically trained actress; she began studying theatre as a teenager and continued her training with some of the finest drama teachers in Australia, before being accepted into the world-renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York City. A professional actress for over 20 years, Rachel has appeared in several films, numerous stage productions as well as episodic television and commercial campaigns. Rachel’s passion for the craft of acting and her love of creating, lead her to co-found RannT Productions in New York City, producing original works off-Broadway, which lead her career into Film and TV Production; becoming an award winning film producer and co-founder of Barrer-Rojas Productions. In addition to being a working actress and producer, Rachel is a private acting coach and teacher, Rachel has taught both children and adults through workshops, classes and private instruction for many years in New York City. Rachel is happy to join the MK team, and bring her love of theatre and acting to the studio in fun and exciting ways to encourage children to explore, create and express themselves. rachelbarrer.com
ANDREA MONTEZ (Teacher) a recent graduate from the College at Brockport with a BFA in Dance is thrilled to begin full-time residence in NYC as a freelance dancer. Andrea began her studies at the young age of 8 in ballet, tap, jazz and modern at the Cortland Performing Arts Institute in upstate NY. Continuing her higher education in dance Andrea has been a company dancer with Chamber Ballet Brockport, dance apprentice for Red Dirt Dance (Rochester, NY) and Monica Bill Barnes and Company (NYC based). Her most recent performances include Phaedra Jarret’s Ode to Offred, Laura Peterson’s Silvery, and a self-choreographed duet Rockaway presented at The American College Dance Festival (ACDA). Upon graduating Andrea was a recipient of the Santo J. Giglio Award in Choreography (2014) as well as the Rose L. Strasser Dance Award (2015). Andrea has years of experience teaching students of all different skill levels in a variety of styles and is excited to share her passion of dance and learning at MK Dance.
MK Dance offers an environment where everybody is a dancer. Our mission is to offer a program that embraces all dancers from as young as 15 months old into adulthood with inspiring classes that bring out the best in them. We offer a varied dance program with class options for all levels of interest. In the Adult/Child classes, children and parents learn new steps together, meet new people and have fun while dancing to inspiring worldly music. In the pre-school thru kindergarten ages, children experience dance through creative movement classes. The dancer can then move into Modern Dance and Ballet and explore the world of improvisation, technique and choreography. MK Dance is now also offering a Movement for Boys, Hip Hop, Adult Modern and Ballet Workshops and Acting classes for a variety of ages and levels..
We are a non-recital based program. All after school and evening classes will have the opportunity to showcase their dancing/acting skills in Open Studios at the end of each semester. Our goal is to continue to bring the art of dance and acting to the community in a nurturing and non-competitive atmosphere.
SHARON McCANN DOYLE (Adult Ballet Teacher) is trained as a classical ballet dancer. She was member of Eglevsky Ballet under the direction of Jane Miller and Paul Gifford and danced in a variety of soloist and corp rolls in both repertoire pieces as well as story ballets. As a young dancer she performed with New York City Ballet in works choreographed by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Her training includes North Carolina School of the Arts, The Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet and Mid-Atlantic Ballet. Sharon has taught both children and adults classes and relishes the opportunity to bring a sense of body awareness and joy of movement and dance to new students. Sharon holds a MS in Social Research and currently works part-time at Columbia University. She recently moved with her husband and four children to Dobbs Ferry.
CYNTHIA BUESCHEL SVIGALS (Adult Contemporary Teacher) studied at the London Contemporary Dance School and Connecticut College, where she received a BA in Dance in 1996. Upon moving to NYC, she spent eight years performing throughout the US and abroad as a member of Jane Comfort and Company. Currently, Cynthia performs with Joel Sherry & Michelle Wurf as part of the dance/theater collective, Teatolocal. She has also been a member of Cynthia Oliver’s COCo Dance Theater, Peter Sciscioli Performance Projects, Chalasa Dance Theater, and Potrzebie Dance Project. Cynthia’s own choreography has been presented in New York City at Dixon Place, Mulberry Street Theater, and Dance Space Inc. Since 1998, she has also been a certified yoga instructor, and continues to teach private and group classes for all ages throughout NYC and Westchester.
MARY FORD-SUSSMAN (Adult Modern Teacher) has had a varied and extensive career as a modern dancer, teacher and choreographer. Most notably she was a principal dancer with the Limon Dance Company from 1996-2004 and the Mary Anthony Dance Theatre from 1994-2006. She is recognized for her musicality, lyricism, dramatic power and luminous performing presence. Ms Ford-Sussman has taught modern dance technique and composition nationally and internationally and has been commissioned to choreograph works for Springfield College, SUNY Buffalo, and the Masters School, among others. In the spring of 2015, Mary was invited to create a new work for a RAW workshop in Tarrytown. Along with collaborator Akiko Ko, she created an original duet, PATH, which will be further developed this year. She has taught Dance and Movement for children for SummerArts Camp in the Rivertowns for several summers since 2012. Sensing a lack of dance offerings for adults in the Rivertowns, Mary began teaching Modern Dance for adults in 2012 and classes continue to grow steadily. She is happy to be asked to join the faculty of MK Dance this fall. Mary lives in Dobbs Ferry with her husband, Bill, her daughter, Aleah, two dogs and a cat.
BILLY COHEN (Hip Hop Teacher) hailing from outside Boston, started his hip hop training at the young age of six at Joanne Langione Dance Center with his identical twin brother, and continued his training at Hofstra University while receiving a B.S. Degree in Dance Education. This training at Hofstra gave him the opportunity to work with artists such as Fredrick Earl Mosley, Doug Varone, David Parker, Heather Waldon, Ellie Kusner, Bill Young, and Barbara Angeline, as well as train with Hofstra’s most notable Dance Department alumni, Larry Keigwin, on scholarship. Billy also created two works that represented Hofstra at American Collegiate Dance Association Conferences, and co-choreographed his own fully-produced evening dance show, “jux•ta•po•si•tion”. Outside of school, he continued his training with Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester and at Generation IV, learning and performing choreography from Teddy Forance, Devin Jamieson, Derek Mitchell, Emily Greenwell, Candace Brown, Jeff Lapes, Noel Bajades, Jonny Forance, and Emma Portner. Recently, Billy’s choreography was included in a segment of MTV’s Episode 2 of “Lit!” sponsored by Beats by Dre. Signed to Bloc Talent agency, Bill has worked with Reebok and was casted as a Principal Dancer in the upcoming season of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, choreographed by Marguerite Derricks. Earlier this year, Billy starred in a viral video called “Student Vs. Teacher Battle”, totaling over 22 million views on all social media platforms and appearing on multiple news networks, including a short segment on “Inside Edition”. With his education background, Billy Cohen hopes to have continuous success in the dance industry, and to someday travel the world doing what he loves best: creating, performing, and sharing his knowledge of dance to next upcoming generation of artists.