FACULTY

Gina Solimando

Gina has always had a love for dancing and teaching.  Her passion was noticeable at a very young age.  She has had the pleasure of training with some amazing instructors throughout New York and New Jersey.  These instructors helped to shape her into the dancer, teacher, and person that she is today.

When Gina was first out of high school, she was approached by many people in the dance world about becoming a professional dancer. She had the training and technical skills needed to be successful in many different areas: Ballet, Lyrical or Jazz Companies, Broadway or Touring Companies.  Gina knew where her passion lied and that was in teaching.  She wants to pass on her knowledge, passion, and love for the arts.  She wants to inspire young dancers to follow their dreams.  Her success speaks for itself.  Gina's students have received dance scholarships to: North Carolina School of the Arts, Boston Conservatory, Mary Mount Manhattan, Northwestern, Suny Purchase, Point Park, Hofstra, Amherst, Northeastern, and Boston University to name just a few.  Many of Gina's students have been accepted into such prestigious summer programs as: The Rock, SAB/ABT, Joffrey, Ballet Academy East, Nyssa, and Alvin Ailey.

Gina always dreamed of having a dance studio of her own.  Finally, her dream has become a reality.  She is so excited to share this with all of you and looks forward to many, many years of inspiring others to reach for the stars.  Dreams really can come true. 

Pedro M. Gonzalez

Initially a street dancer from the Bronx, Pedro managed to broaden his dance background and artistic creativity with training in Modern, Jazz, African, Hip Hop,  Salsa, and Ballet.   He majored in dance and choreography at Lehman College of Performing Arts.  Pedro has performed with Joan Millers Dance Players, Forces of Nature, Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company,  and was the founder, premier choreographer, and artistic director of the Just Us Dance Company.  His choreography reflects currents trends in the urban communities; while fusing the diverse styles influenced by his former mentors.  A result of his style of choreography is a mutual appreciation of the performing arts within different generations, ethnic cultures, and urban communities.  Pedro has appeared in music videos and choreographed/directed several off-Broadway Hip Hop productions in NYC such as "Full Out" and  "Dansical."  Pedro is a former Hip Hop instructor for Pathways for Youth, Jubilee Multicultural arts Center, Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, and the Paraclete's Arts Center. 

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Kristen Grace Brown

Kristen Grace Brown is a North Haven, Connecticut native and is now based in New York City. After fifteen years of competition dance training, she went on to receive her BFA in Musical Theater with a minor in Business Management Studies from Syracuse University. Kristen has worked with renowned choreographers such as tap dance expert, Anthony Morigerato, and Broadway’s Tony-nominated, Denis Jones. Most recently, Kristen worked with some of the original Broadway creative team on remaking Frank Wildhorn’s Wonderland in the first regional production since its 2011 Broadway run. As a passionate dance educator, Kristen emphasizes technique and storytelling. 

 

Performance credits: Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz (Paper Mill Playhouse), Mary Poppins, Wonderland (Tuacahn Amphitheatre), The Light Princess; Pippin (The Summer Theatre of New Canaan), 42nd Street, Mamma Mia! (The Palace Theatre NH), Little Women “Meg” (Skyline Theatre Company), Elf On the Shelf: A Christmas Musical (National Tour), Into the Woods (SU). KristenGraceBrown.com

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Debi Klein

Debi Klein is a dance professional with over 40 years of experience. She has a love of Tap Jazz, Ballet and Pointe. 

As a former studio owner and director she is familiar with all ages and levels of dance. 

She believes that participating in either recreational or competition dance is a positive goal for all ages.

Debi's experience includes studying with Tap and Jazz instructors Ray Hesselink, J. Samuels, Michelle Dorrance, Joe Tremaine, Joe Lanteri, Sue Samuels and Ray Leeper. Debi is very excited to be joining the NYDC family.

Substitute Teachers

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Michael Rios

Michael is a native of NYC, born and raised in Brooklyn.  National tours: CATS (US, Canada, Costa Rica, Columbia, Panama, Venezuela), The Wizard of Oz (Dance Captain), Hello Dolly! (50th Anniversary Tour starring Sally Struthers).  Regional Theater: Peter Pan (Northern Stage), Fiddler on the Roof (Syracuse Stage).  Benefits: Bozarts Ball, Hospice (Syracuse Stage). Film: ABC Upfront (Stand-in for George Stephanopoulos).  Voice over: "Mass Transmission" by Mason Bates (speaker/singer).  Michael has also been seen in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as well as concerts at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center).  Training: BFA Syracuse University, Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center. Ballet: Ballet Hispanico, Igal Perry's Contemporary Dance.  Michael is also summer faculty at Brooklyn Ballet and a guest choreographer for Broadway Bound Dance Center (Dumont, NJ), and he has taught master classes across the country while on tour, including at Syracuse University.  Michael is a proud member of the Actor's Equity Association and joined their historic 100th year of operation.  To learn more about Michael, visit michaeljrios.com

Nick Hendricks

Nick began his dance career in Carlsbad, California, performing with his high school dance team in regional and national dance competitions.  He went on to get his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of California, Irvine.  There he was able to work with many notable names in the dance community such as Donald McKayle, David Allen Brown, Jodie Gates, and other major dance company choreographers.  While in college, he also received a full scholarship to the American Dance Festival where he performed with companies such as Hubbard Street, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Trisha Brown, and many others.  During his senior year at UCI, Nick took the opportunity to become an apprentice for River North Dance Chicago, where he was able to continue learning and performing with the company. While in Chicago, he performed as a guest for other dance companies in the area and began his teaching career at the School of Performing Arts in Naperville, Illinois.  He then was given the role of jazz dance director at the Joffrey Ballet Academy in its first year, teaching both youth and professional classes.  Exactly one year to the day, Nick received a contract with Celebrity Cruiselines as a main stage performer touring across the southern Mediterranean Sea as well as in the Caribbean Islands.  After 6 months at sea, Nick received an offer to join the North American tour of CATS as a swing covering the roles of Mr. Mistoffeles, Mungojerrie, Tumblebrutus, and Pouncival.  He continued on the tour for a second year as an onstage swing playing the role of Pouncival.  Based in New York City, Nick is very excited to continue teaching here at New York Dance Center! 

Student teachers

         Leangie Jimenez