Teachers' dance

Teachers

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LAURI LUCAS

Lauri followed her dreams and passion for dance by opening Fitzsimmons Dance Factory in the fall of 1985. At the time, she had hoped to create a vibrant and energetic place for learning dance, while still maintaining a family-style environment for all levels of dancers. One of Lauri's main goals was (and still is) to give every dancer, regardless of age or ability, their moment to shine at our annual recitals. For 20+ years, Lauri has provided dancers this chance by giving them the opportunity to perform at the Auditorium Theater and beyond.

 

Lauri grew up in Rochester, NY which is where she gained her first love of dance. Upon graduating high school, she continued her dance training by commuting to Buffalo on a weekly basis to study jazz, lyrical, and tap. She also traveled to NYC three to four times a year to further her education and to study under master teachers, starting back in the early 80's. Lauri continues to attend local and national workshops to continue her growth in dance. She strongly believes that you can never stop learning or being inspired by what others have to offer in the art of dance.

 

Lauri has been happily married for 20 years to her wonderful husband, Carter. She is so thankful for the "Mom role” Carter plays with their two children, Dillon and Vivian, during the nights when she’s teaching.

ANNA ALDEN

Anna grew up dancing at Fitzsimmons Dance Factory and graduated from Victor Senior High School in 2013. She went on to complete a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Rochester, and continued dancing as a member of Louvre Performance Ensemble, a student-led contemporary dance group. During her time as an undergraduate, Anna was actively involved with summer dance camps at Fitzsimmons. Anna is currently working at the University of Rochester as a Writing Consultant and Program Assistant in the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program. She is excited to be back as a teacher at Fitzsimmons!

ANNA KOSMIDER

Anna Kosmider was born and raised in Poland. In 1980 she began her journey into the world of classical music and dance, which eventually led her to the steps of the prestigious Academy of Dance in Poznan. During the nine years of very grueling yet comprehensive training she was able to master a variety of dance techniques, from the pure Russian Classical school of Vaganova, neo-classicism of Balanchine to the freedom of “upper body movement” of the Paris School of Dance. In addition, she received training in Martha Graham and Horton technique and worked with some of the most influential choreographers in Europe. 

 

At the age of 18, Anna Kosmider received a contract with the Polish Dance Theater, founded by Conrad Drzewiecki.  After the first season, she was offered a position of principal dancer. During the next four years, she portrayed many different and challenging characters from classical, contemporary, and modern repertoire. She performed in such classics as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, Les Sylphides, Paquita, Cinderella, Carmen, Romeo and Juliet, and The Rite of Spring.

 

In 1997 Anna Kosmider accepted a soloist position in Statt Theater, Wuerzburg, Germany. While still dancing she began to teach company classes and took the challenge as an assistant to the company’s artistic director.

CHANDRA BOWEN

Chandra graduated from Fitzsimmons Dance Factory in 2003, and worked as a student teacher for a few years and also as a teacher her senior year. She was a part of the Fairport High School dance team for several years, and in college Chandra joined the Erie indoor football cheerleading team. She graduated from Gannon University in 2007 and received her Master's from the Chicago School of Psychology in 2009. Chandra continued to take recreational classes in Chicago at All About Dance. Currently she works full time at Rochester General Hospital and her daughter Kailyn is entering her third year of dance at Fitzsimmons!

DANIELLE RINALLO

Dance has been an important part of Danielle’s life since age four, when she began taking classes at Fitzsimmons. She is thrilled to now be back at FDF, where she feels at home, supporting and guiding our next generation of dancers. 

 

After receiving a business degree and minor in dance at SUNY Geneseo, the transition into corporate life left Danielle craving some movement practice that kept her body healthy and her spirit alive. That’s when she found, and fell in love with, vinyasa yoga. She then spent four years pursing her passions for yoga and dance by teaching and managing ZUDA YOGA, a premier yoga studio in Sacramento, California. After moving home in 2013 it was a natural fit to join the Fitzsimmons team. 

 

Danielle teaches at FDF and in the community. If you’re interested in how yoga or dance can help you live happier and healthier, join her for beginner yoga workshops, weekly classes and adult freestyle dance workshops called Dance to Freedom. No experience required! All you need is a willingness to try something new and the desire to find a little peace of mind. 

 

Fun fact: You can also catch Danielle singing and dancing locally with Nik and the Nice Guys! Contact her to book them for your next wedding or special event!

 

www.daniellerinallo.com

www.nikentertainment.com

ELIZABETH RONEY

Bio coming soon!

EMILY HARRIS

Emily began dancing at Fitzsimmons Dance Factory when she was just 3 years old.  She graduated from Fairport High School in 2011 and went on to study Special Education at Michigan State University. At MSU, Emily was involved in the dance minor program and also the student-run dance organization, Orchesis, focusing on modern dance.  She is currently a graduate of MSU and is pursuing a master’s degree in Autism Spectrum Disorder and recently began her teaching career at Allen Creek Elementary in the Pittsford School District. Emily is thrilled to be teaching classes at Fitzsimmons! 

HEATHER VOSSLER

Heather has been a teacher at Fitzsimmons Dance Factory since 1993. In high school she was an advanced level, award winning student at FDF and in the FDF apprenticeship teacher program. Heather attended SUNY Brockport where she received her B.F.A. in Dance in 1998. Since then, she has worked on our camp staff and is currently the co-director of FDF Summer Camps. From 2001-2003 Heather directed the FDF daycare program.

 

In addition to being an award winning FDF choreographer, Heather also choreographed for high school, college, and professional dance teams. She has donated her time to choreograph for charity events including a fashion show benefit sponsored by Midtown Athletic Club and L'Avant Garbe that featured the Buffalo Jills. Heather loves being part of the FDF family and is so happy to be able to share her love of dance with her students.

JACQUELINE SCHUNK

Jacqueline began dancing at the age of three at Sandy Stramonine School of Dance in Macedon, NY. Since 2003, she has been a teacher at Fitzsimmons Dance Factory in both Fairport and Mendon locations, along with local daycares and The Harley School. Her focus is on creative movement, tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop for ages three to teen. During the summer, Jacqueline is the co-director of our summer camp programs at both the Fairport studio and The Harley School.

 

Jacqueline attended Monroe Community College and Brockport State College where she studied tap and Irish dance and performed in several showcases. During college, Jacqueline took the opportunity to work for Walt Disney World as an entertainment character. She continued her dance training while in Florida with Spotlight Dance Center. Today, Jacqueline continues to take classes at conventions and competitions in Rochester, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls.

KELSEY COVENTRY

Kelsey began her dance training in Rochester, NY at the Draper Center for Dance Education and danced with Rochester City Ballet. After attending ARTS Week in Miami, Florida in 2006, Kelsey received a level II scholarship award from the National Foundation for Advancement Arts (NFAA). She then moved to New York City to further her dance career and performed with the Dance Theatre of Harlem's Ensemble under the diretion of Arthur Mitchell. Kelsey joined Complexions Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, where she performed with them nationally and internationally. Kelsey then joined the cast of the International tour of West Side Story directed by Joey McKneely, where she understudied and performed the principle role of "Anybodys." Before leaving for tour in May 2009, Kelsey appeared in a national Lens Crafters commercial. Kelsey was featured in Pointe Magazine's February/March 2012 issue as well as the January 2015 issue. Kelsey's other company credits include BalletX, Avi Scher and Dancers, Cincinnati Opera, BalletNY, and Twyla Tharp. She was a corps member with Boston Ballet before accepting a soloist contract with the Leipziger Ballet in Leipzig, Germany. Currently, Kelsey is a patient care tech at Thompson Hospital, and is pursuing her bachelors degree in nursing with the hopes of getting a masters to become a nurse practitioner.

LAURA MATTHEWS

Laura grew up dancing at Fitzsimmons Dance Factory since the age of seven. While at the studio, she became an advanced level competition student and received many top placements and awards in Fitzsimmons' ensembles.

 

Laura also has a gymanstics and cheerleading background. She was a Fairport High School varsity cheerleader, a St. John Fisher College cheerleader, and a Rochester Sirens Dance Team member (Arena Football). Since 2000, Laura has been teaching lyrical, jazz, and tap disciplines at the competitive and non-competitive levels.

 

In addition to teaching, Laura helps out with marketing of the studio. Her degrees include a B.A. in English and B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College, and a M.A. in Professional Writing.

LAURA MURAWSKI

Bio coming soon!

MADISON CASEY

Madison (a.k.a Miss Maddie), grew up at Fitzsimmons Dance Factory dancing with our team for 12 years. After graduating from Fairport High School in 2017 she felt it was too soon to say goodbye so she chose to join our faculty as a teaching assistant. Since then she has become a dance instructor and loves sharing her passion for dance with many of our students. While in high school, Madison attended E.M.C.C. as part of the cosmetology program to work toward her license. Madison works at Larijames Salon and Spa as a fully licensed cosmetologist pursuing another passion of hers in the beauty industry. Outside of the studio you’re likely to catch Madison around Fairport with her family and her baby boy, Bear, the family dog. Madison is a well rounded and very enthusiastic young lady that we are proud to have as part of our faculty.

MICHELLE YOUNG

Michelle grew up dancing at Fitzsimmons and graduated from Pittsford Sutherland in 2012. She attended Rochester Institute of Technology, and graduated in 2017 with a BS/MS as a Physician Assistant. While in college she danced as a member of the RIT dance team, Vis Viva, and choreographed multiple tap numbers for the biannual showcase. She currently works full time in the Pediatric Emergency Department as a Physician Assistant, but her favorite time of the week is spent at the studio. Michelle is excited to be back with her FDF family teaching classes! 

TONIA FINKE

Tonia began her dance training at the age of seven and became an Assistant Dance

Instructor at the age of 14. After graduating from Fairport High School in 2002, Tonia

continued her study of dance at The Draper Center for Dance Education, The

Broadway Dance Center in NYC, and at SUNY Brockport. At age 19, Tonia began her

teaching career at local studios throughout the Rochester area. In that time, she has

won numerous top scoring and special awards, judges awards, choreography awards,

and Top Teacher awards.

 

Currently, Tonia lives in Pittsford with her husband Kevin and her two sons Nathan and Andrew.  She loves to share her passion for dance with her students of all ages and abilities. She is thrilled to join the Fitzsimmons faculty and can't wait to get to know you all!

VIVIAN LUCAS

Vivian graduated from Fitzsimmons Dance Factory in 2017, where she started training at the age of 3. Throughout her time at the studio, Vivian received numerous awards for her movement and choreography. She earned scholarships that provided her opportunities to travel across the country for dance and participate in national events. At the Dance Awards, Vivian was recognized as a "Senior Best Dancer." She has trained under some of the best choreographers in the country, helping expand her knowledge. Vivian has discovered her passion for teaching and choreographing while working at the studio during high school. She is excited to continue her dance career at Nazareth College where she will obtain a B.S. in Dance as well as a B.S. in Business Management.

ZACH FRAZEE

A Rochester native, Zach specializes in classical ballet, modern, and rhythm tap. His training includes a BFA degree in Dance from SUNY Brockport, the New York State Ballet, Ballet Prestige, Flower City Ballet, and Jody B’s Studio of Dance. Zach has worked with multiple dance companies across the country including Garth Fagan Dance, Northwest Dance Project, Hubbard Street Chicago, Nevada Ballet Theatre, and is currently a company dancer with the New York State Ballet. Zach has also danced with James Hasen/Assemblage Dance, William Evans, Kara Dudley Dance, and Cheryl Johnson. He has performed professionally at multiple dance festivals and events nationwide including Rochester Fringe Festival, Pasadena Dance Festival, DUMBO Arts Festival, the Richmond Choreographer’s Showcase, and the Vision of Sound New Music and Dance Festival. Zach's choreographic works have been featured within the SUNY Brockport Department of Dance, the 2013 Rochester Fringe Festival and with the New York State Ballet in its 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons. Along with performing and choreographing, Zach is a local dance instructor in the Rochester area.