ABBY PINKERTON is a rising senior dance major at DeSales University with a minor in business. She previously trained at Cecil Dancenter for 15 years performing lead roles in Cecil Dance Theater’s The Sleeping Beauty as Aurora, The Nutcracker as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and The Little Mermaid as Ariel. Abby has had the honor of performing in numerous fully produced works created by her peers at DeSales, with one of these pieces being recognized at the national level at the American College Dance Association New England Conference in 2019. She has also worked under the choreographic direction of DeSales faculty Trinette Singleton, Julia Mayo, and Angela Sigley Grossman along with other talented and acclaimed guest artists. In the fall Abby completed a virtual residency with Monica Bill Barnes & Company and performed parts of The Running Show with other Lehigh Valley dancers. Abby also had the privilege of being named winner of the 2020 DeSales 48 Hour Screendance Challenge with her team’s dance film Mirrored winning “Best Edited” and “Best Overall Student Film”. Most recently Abby had the opportunity to perform in an excerpt of Paul Taylor's Cloven Kingdom, restaged by former Taylor company member Annmarie Mazzini, in her university's dance ensemble concert this past spring. Besides having an active performance background, Abby has choreographed for several high school musical productions and has taught dance to a variety of ages at private dance studios.
TINA TRAVERS is the owner of Cecil Dancenter, as well as the administrative director of Cecil Junior Dance Troupe and Cecil Dance Theatre. She received her B.A. Degree in Dance Education from Goucher College in 1989 and has been teaching dance for over 30 years. Mrs. Travers taught at the Baltimore Actor’s Conservatory, Harford Gymnastics and Dance Center, Ballet Studio of Glendon, Harford Community College, and Cecil College’s Kids in Kollege. She has also choreographed for Cecil Dance Theatre, Dulaney Dance Company and Harford Dance Theatre. She was a dance specialist for the Cecil County Public Schools through the CREATE grant and assisted in writing their K-12 dance curriculum and the integrated arts curriculum. She has attended intensive dance teacher conventions in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Mrs. Travers has studied at Body Arts and Science International in Washington, DC, where she received intensive training in Pilates. She is active in providing extra-curricular performance opportunities to dedicated dancers as well as opportunities to enhance their technique and experience through scholarship opportunities, multi-cultural programs, Maryland and Delaware dance festival participation, community out-reach events, master workshops, and organization of ‘professional company’ field trips. Her prestigious nominations for Cecil County’s ‘Most Beautiful Person’ and the Cecil County Chamber of Commerce’s Athena Award is an indication of the joy she receives from bringing her love of dance to our community. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Council for Dance and has taught teacher training workshops for the Maryland Dance Festival and Davy Dance Academy in Annapolis.
ANYA IVANOVA began her ballet studies at the Perm Ballet Academy in the former Soviet Union and later studied at the Frunze Ballet Academy. Upon graduation from Frunze, she performed with Cheliabinsk Opera and Ballet Theater as principal dancer. After accepting an invitation to become a principal dancer with the Donetsk ballet, Miss Ivanova toured the eastern United States. From 1994 to 1999, she was a principal dancer with the Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware, and in 1998 she was a finalist in the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. Miss Ivanova is a featured guest artist and ballet mistress with ballet companies throughout the United States. Noted for her lyrical style, Miss Ivanova performed roles in many of great classical ballets, including Swan Lake, Giselle, Paquita, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and more. Her repertoire also includes many contemporary works by choreographers, including Daniel Baudendistel, Leslie Browne, Robert LaFosse, Scott Joovovich, and Matthew Neenan. For over ten years, Miss Ivanova has been teaching advanced level classes in ballet companies throughout the Mid Atlantic States, including Oxford Center for Dance, Russian Ballet Centre, Longwood Performing Arts, Brandywine Ballet Company, Anna Marie Dance Studio, and she has also performed master classes in many other ballet schools and academies.
HEATHER ESTEP received her B.A. degree in Dance Education from Brigham Young University in 2005 and currently teaches dance in the Cecil County Public School system. Before college, Mrs. Estep danced with Cecil Dance Theatre. She has been dancing all her life and enjoys tap, modern, ballet and jazz. While attending Brigham Young University, she performed with various tap groups for the Tap Caucus of Utah, Brigham Young University’s Homecoming Spectacular as well as the school’s annual production of World of Dance. She was also involved with Kinnect, a dance company that emphasized teaching and performing in the public schools in the state of Utah. Mrs. Estep taught at the Academy of Music and Dance in Utah, Cecil College’s Kids In Kollege and University of Delaware’s Ice Arena for off-ice dance classes. Performance credits include roles in La Bayadere, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty. She also performed this past Thanksgiving in the nationally televised Boscov’s Thanksgiving Day parade. She joined the Cecil Dancenter staff in 2006 and loves sharing her passion for dance with her students.
MONICA EVANGELISTA has had a passion for dance since she was three years old when she started taking dance classes at Oxford Center for Dance; from then on, the studio became her second home. She trained for fifteen years in ballet (her favorite discipline!), pointe, tap, jazz, and modern. Over the years she has performed in numerous productions including Openings, competitions, and The Nutcracker ballet in which she was cast as Arabian Lead, Dancing Doll and Dew Drop Fairy. Monica was also part of OCD’s first “Performing Group” which led her to participate in Starpower competitions, the New York City Dance Alliance, and enjoy a mock audition with the Rockettes in NYC. While attending Arcadia University Monica became an officer, and later president, of their dance team. During this tenure she had the opportunity to perform at the Wachovia Center as part of the Philadelphia Wings Lacrosse Team’s halftime show for three years in a row. In May of 2013, she graduated from Arcadia with a B.A. in psychology. She is thrilled to continue teaching her love of dance with us!
MELISSA FAZZINO is thrilled to be joining the talented staff at Cecil Dancenter. She has been involved with musical theatre since she was eight years old. Melissa has directed and choreographed musicals for a range of theater groups, including local high schools and community theater groups. Some of her performances and productions include “Crazy for You,” “The Wizard of Oz ,” and “I Do, I Do!” at Milburn Stone Theatre, “The Wiz,” Little Shop of Horrors,” and “Godspell” at Elkton High School, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at Tidewater Players, and “The Sound of Music,” “Annie,” and “Peter Pan” at Delaware Valley Middle School. Having taken the past 10 years off to raise her twins with her amazing husband of 17 years, Melissa is excited to once again support the arts in Cecil County. Melissa is also a full time educator, having served as an elementary middle and high school teacher, instructional coach, and college professor. Currently, Melissa is an assistant principal with Cecil County Public Schools. Thank you to Jen Trone for agreeing to join me on this wonderful journey and Tina Travers for this amazing opportunity!
DEVON JOHNSON has been dancing for 20 years performing in numerous classical, contemporary and theatrical pieces. She appeared in Milburn Stone Theatre’s productions of Singing In The Rain, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, The Producers, Annie, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Anything Goes as well as serving as the choreographer for MST’s 2019 production of Frozen, Jr. She danced in over a dozen shows with CDT and CJDT, including the featured role of Odile in The Swan Princess. She has trained extensively in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop, lyrical, musical theater, and has received further instruction through attending various dance festivals/programs, master classes, and workshops. She is currently the choreographer for Cecil Junior Dance Troupe and is excited to present “Rapunzel” to the community this spring!
ADELINA MITCHELL has trained in many styles of dance for 15 years including ballet, pointe, modern, tap, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, and lyrical under numerous instructors and master teachers. Addie has trained at Towson University, Craze Dance and has taken many dance workshops and intensives through her years as a dancer. Addie has danced in Peter Pan, Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, The Nutcracker, Holiday Enchantment, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, Swan Princess and was the lead in Thumbelina. She also has a love for musical theater, having performed in Once Upon A Mattress , Oklahoma! and The Little Mermaid. Addie has been on our teaching staff since 2017 and is excited to share her love of dance with her students!
PLATINUM J has been dancing since he could walk and it’s what he loves to do anytime, anyplace, all day, every day! He has trained under S Funk at the Baltimore Dance Center and took advantage of every opportunity it had to offer. He made an appearance on the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” season one (second call back) which was an amazing experience. He has also danced for Baltimore recording artists CR Da Show which gave him the opportunity to perform on the Baltimore Believe Tour and to open for Ginuwine at the Lyric Opera House. He won the 2009 Baltimore’s Got Talent and has performed at numerous community events & venues. He is currently a hip hop choreographer and teacher at the Baltimore Dance Center and Diamond Dance Studio. Platinum J thrives on creating routines, cutting and mixing his own music, and having ideas that make the crowd go wild!
TRACY MCCOY-SOPER earned a BA Degree in Dance Performance at Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA. She is certified by the National Dance Masters of America and has furthered her dance education professionally by studying with world-renowned teachers and choreographers while living in Pittsburgh, Miami, and Baltimore. Her professional experience includes dancing and performing for dinner theaters around the world, The Electric Light Parade in Disney World, the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, DC and becoming a semi-finalist on Star Search. Mrs. McCoy-Soper’s many years of teaching include the Sandra Lynne’s School of Dance, Berlin Dance Company, Company Elite, and Harford Dance Center. She has created dance programs for the Cecil County Public School System, where is she is also a dance specialist for the integrated arts program CREATE. Tracy has also worked with other school programs, the ESPN National Cheer & Dance Competition and other conventions throughout the Eastern United States. Her students have won platinum awards and scholarships under her non-profit organization BAAC Stage Dance Company. Some of her former dancers have received invitations into the NYC Rockettes Summer Program and some have become NFL Cheerleaders. Miss Tracy has been on staff since 2007 with Cecil Dancenter.
NICOLE ROARK danced with Cecil Dancenter for 15 years, training in numerous dance styles, including ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz, modern and tap. She immersed herself in dance growing up, performing in a variety of performance venues with Cecil Junior Dance Troupe and Cecil Dance Theatre. Some of her favorite roles were in Peter Pan, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White. Nicole furthered her dance training by attending the Maryland Dance Festival and Upper Chesapeake Summer for the Arts for multiple years. She has worked with children over the past eight years at Cecil Dancenter, Summer Sisters and through the public schools. She is currently attending Cecil College pursuing a degree in Elementary Education. Nicole enjoys working with students of all ages and looks forward to sharing her love of dance with them.
JESSICA STULL started her serious dance training at age thirteen but her roots stem from her early training at Cecil Dancenter. Jessica moved to New York to train with Gelsey Kirkland in Brooklyn where she stayed for two years and made her official move to the big city by joining Premiere Division Ballet. She has also studied at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, and First State Ballet Theater. Not only has she studied a vast array of dance styles, but has performed her own works through music events all over New York. She studied and performed with world renowned choreographer Richard Pierlon, whom she credits much of her knowledge of jazz and musical theatre. She also spent a year studying with Jennifer Muller as a scholar trainee, learning her modern choreography and specific polarity modern technique. She continues to freelance, and explore her own choreographic works.
JEN TRONE is a professional musician residing locally in Elkton, Maryland. Jen studied voice at Shenandoah College and Conservatory, first as a Music Theatre major, then completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Commercial Music with voice concentration. A business professional by day, Jen feeds her love for the arts by staying active, in music, theatre and dance. Jen has experience in a variety of genres, including Classical, Jazz, Rock, and of course, Music Theatre. Jen has had the privilege of performing at the Kennedy Center, the National Cathedral, and of course some of the typical singer ‘gigs’, such as weddings, graduations and a few local establishments. Jen has also been a member of the Elkton Presbyterian Church Choir. Jen is a former Dance Mom at Cecil Dancenter and loved taking ballet and tap classes at Cecil Dancenter. Her love for the arts knows no bounds and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with young people and share her love of Music Theatre.
VICTORIA WALPOLE-MCWILLIAMS started dancing at the age of 3 and has trained in ballet, pointe, hip-hop, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and modern. She is now a professional ballet dancer with The Ballet Theater of Maryland. Victoria was also selected to dance with the boy band “The Wanted” on Good Morning America under the choreography of Zendaya and Tom Holland. She has received numerous awards from the Maryland Dance Festival, winning scholarships to UMBC, Ballet Chesapeake, and Ballet Theater of Maryland. She has attended dance intensives with members of the American Ballet Theater and Adrianne Cantera from Sweet Birds Production. Victoria has performed in countless contemporary pieces and in numerous story ballets. She performed lead roles in “The Nutcracker” as the Arabian lead, Snow Queen and The Sugar Plum Fairy. She was Flotsam in “The Little Mermaid” and was the lead in “Snow White” and “Cinderella”. When she was not dancing, she was gracing the stage of the pageant world, winning 78 titles across the country and modeling for Malibu Sugar and Les Tout Petits. She is so honored to teach this year with the company that helped her become the dancer she is today.