Artistic Director: Risa Gary Kaplowitz
Artistic Director: Risa Gary Kaplowitz
Ms. Kaplowitz, former principal ballerina with Dayton Ballet, drew critical acclaim for her portrayals of Giselle, Titania in Midsummer Night's Dream, and Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. She was a member of Houston Ballet and Manhattan Ballet and performed with Pennsylvania Ballet and Metropolitan Opera Ballet.
Ms. Kaplowitz, originally trained at Maryland Youth Ballet, continued her training with Maggie Black, Marjorie Mussman, Stuart Sebastian, Ben Stevenson, and Lupe Serrano. She has performed the repertoire of many choreographers including Fredrick Ashton, George Balanchine, Ben Stevenson, Stuart Sebastian, Dermot Burke, and Marjorie Mussman.
Ms. Kaplowitz co-founded DanceVision with former American Ballet Theater ballerina, Susan Jaffe and is the co-founder and Director of Princeton Dance and Theater Studio. She also founded D.A.N.C.E. (Dance As a Necessary Component of Education), an outreach program that brings dance to New Jersey schools.
Program Director, Princeton Dance for Parkinson, D.A.N.C.E., Marie Alonzo Snyder
Ms. Snyder is a modern dancer, choreographer, scholar and educator. Born in the Philippines, Marie was raised in Italy and eventually settled in New York City attending New York University's Tisch School of Arts earning her BFA and MFA in Dance. She has performed and toured with HT Chen & Dancers, Asian American Dance Theater, Hikari Baba Dancers, Second Avenue Dance Co., Maude Baum & Co., and performed works by Don Redlich, Ruby Shang, Joan Finkelstein, Cliff Keuter, Remy Charlip, James Cunningham, Yung Yung Tsuai, and Rozalind Newman. Since 1986 Ms. Snyder's works have been presented in New York, Princeton and throughout the United States and Canada. She has also been produced several times by the Chen Dance Center/Mulberry Street Theatre, NYC and commissioned by Ear to the Ground Series, supported by the Jerome Foundation. Ms. Snyder is a founding member of the West Windsor Arts Council and in 2004 she co-founded the "I'll have what she's having..." Dance Project, a dance cooperative of NJ 40Up women choreographers. Ms. Snyder also earned her EdD from Columbia University and presented papers at Texas Women's University, Teachers College, Michigan State University, the University of Quebec, Princeton University, Barnard College and University of the Philippines. In 2009 she was a guest dancer with Shen Wei Dance Arts at the Lincoln Center Festival. She has been on faculty of Princeton Dance and Theater Studio since 2003 and is D.A.N.C.E. Program Director for DanceVision Inc. Ms. Snyder is also the Program Director and instructor for the Princeton Dance for Parkinson program. She is a certified Pilates instructor with her own studio.
Kathy Azaro (President) MD
Dr. Azaro earned her undergraduate and medical degrees at Brown University and completed a pediatric residency at The Children's Hospital in Boston. Dr. Azaro is a medical consultant at the NJ Division of Disability Determination Services. Believing that dancing creates healthy bodies and agile minds, she has encouraged her children to dance. Her son has been a ballet student at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio and a performer in DanceVision Performance Company productions since 2009, and her older daughter began dancing with the Company in 2011.
Martha Easton (Vice President) Ph.D.
Dr. Easton is an Assistant Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at Seton Hall University, specializing in medieval art history, with a secondary specialty in Japanese art, cultivated during the six years she spent living and working in Japan upon her graduation from college. She received her B.A. from Carleton College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Before her position at Seton Hall, she taught at The Cooper Union, New York University, and Bryn Mawr College, and she worked at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters. Her research and publications focus on gender, sanctity, and the body. She is the President of the Delaware Valley Medieval Association, the Editor of the International Center of Medieval Art Newsletter, and a Girl Scout leader. Her daughter is a student at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio and has participated in DanceVision productions since 2010. While she mostly enjoys dance from the audience, she has taken flamenco classes for several years.
Laura Pronesti (Treasurer)
Ms. Pronesti is a Senior Accountant for Lear & Pannepacker, LLP. in Princeton, New Jersey. She attended the University of Tampa where she earned Bachelors and Masters degrees in accounting. She performed in all types of dance as a child and through college, and continues to support the art of dance as a volunteer for DanceVision. She currently resides in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
Melissa Ackerman (Secretary) MD FACOG
Dr. Ackerman is an in-house obstetrician/gynocologist at The University Medical Center at Princeton. She has degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rutgers University and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She has been involved with DanceVision as a parent volunteer since 2006, joining the Board as a Trustee in 2011. She has volunteered in a variety of roles, including appearing as Raggedy Ann in DanceVision's The Nutcracker. Her daughter has been a student at Princeton Dance & Theater Studio and a performer with DanceVision since 2006.
Larry Wohl Esq. (Trustee)
Mr. Wohl is a partner with the law firm of Archer & Greiner in Princeton, New Jersey, practicing in the areas of litigation, land use, and estate planning and administration. He received his J.D. in 1984 from Rutgers University School of Law and his B.A. from Rutgers University in 1981. He is a member of the Delaware Township Hunterdon County School Board and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Newgrange School. Both of his daughters received training from the Princeton Dance and Theater Studio and performed numerous roles in DanceVision Performance Company productions.
Salome Papaspyrou-Rao (Trustee) Ph.D.
Dr. Papaspyrou-Rao is a cell biologist with a focus on obesity. She received a B.Sc in Nutrition and Food Science at the University of California at Berkeley and a M.Sc in Food Science Technology with a minor in Biochemistry from Cornell University. She received a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from Rutgers University. Her research concerned the regulation of adipose tissue metabolism. More recently she has been involved with the New Jersey Obesity Group, at Rutgers University, as coordinator of research, community outreach, educational and enrichment programs/ symposia on current topics on obesity. She believes that dance excellently combines exercising the body and the mind and two daughters (and herself) are students at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio. Her daughters have performed in DanceVision Performance Company productions since 2005.
Pat James DeMentri (Trustee)
After many years of modeling and commercial work in the US and Japan, Ms. DeMentri has been a program host on QVC for over 24 years, primarily for the QVC Morning Show, as well as for other live shows on the network. She is a graduate of Temple University with a degree in Communications. Her daughter, Nicole, has performed with DanceVision for several years, and Ms. DeMentri has been an active volunteer in countless DanceVision productions.
Pablo Dávila-Zavala (Trustee), Ph.D.,
Dr. Dávila-Zavala is Senior Director of Scientific Affairs for Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Edison, NJ. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Latin music and dancing has always been part of his life. He has been an instructor and dancer for HotSalsaHot in Princeton and has performed in Salsa Congresses and events all over the U.S. He has participated in DanceVision’s productions since 2008 and has been impressed by the professionalism and dedication of performers and volunteers and by the quality of the productions. In addition, he recently completed training as a Volunteer Docent for Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. Dr. Dávila-Zavala holds a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Puerto Rico and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Pharmaceutics from the University of Michigan.
Jillian Davis After graduating from PDT and DanceVision, Ms. Davis studied on full scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet in their Professional Division, and at Alonzo King LINES Ballet. She has worked with companies in San Francisco and New York, including Labayen Dance/SF, Blue Scorpion Dance Theater, and Ballet Neo, as well as for the choreographyer, Alexander Tressor.
William Tomaskovic graduated cum laude in May 2013 from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. While at Mason Gross, he worked with a variety of guest artists including Stefanie Batten-Bland, Banu Ogan, Brian Brooks, Jennifer Muller, Julie Bour, Doug Elkins, Randy James, and others. He was part of the student touring group “University Danceworks” for three seasons. His senior year he became a member of Zvi Gotheiner’s ZviDance company and performed in the MUSA Festival in NYC. This fall, William will be taking part in a residency by ZviDance at Kaatsbaan. William is a current apprentice/understudy for Larry Kiegwin’s Keigwin and Company and is learning their repertory for their fall season at the Joyce theater. He has worked with MishiDance alongside fellow PDT/DV alumnae Phoebe Sandford and Debra Bona , and with Megan Woods and Company. In January he will be doing a contemporary work in Istanbul with Julia Ritter Performance Group. He also teaches ballet and advises choreography at a dance studio in Bayonne, NJ. Will attributes his success to “the training and attention I received at PDT.” His best advice for current students is to “maintain contact with those you would like to work with – you never know when an opportunity may arise!”