Willa Damien is the Co-Director and founder of The Dance Loft. She studied at the School of American Ballet, the Julliard School, and with Andre Eglevsky. She was a soloist with the Eglevsky Ballet Company before moving to Belgium where she appeared as a soloist with the Royal Opera of Ghent, the Ballet of Flanders of Antwerp, and Bejarts Ballet of the 20th Century. Her teaching experience includes classes given at the Royal Opera of Ghent in Belgium, at her own studio in Ghent, and at various schools on Long Island. Her students have continued on to the School of American Ballet, Joffrey's, Alvin Ailey, the Bolshoi School in Moscow, professional dance companies, and professional theater. She founded The Dance Loft in 1984, and it is a recognized leader in dance education on Long Island's South Shore.
Brooke Robyn Dairman is the Co-Director of The Dance Loft. An accomplished professional dancer, musical theater actress, and choreographer, she has held leading roles regionally, Off-Broadway, and in five national tours. Brooke began her career dancing with several New York City-based modern and jazz dance companies but transitioned to the world of musical theater in 2007 to capitalize on her versatility as an actress and singer. Highlights of her musical theater career include playing Tiger Lily and understudying Peter in the national tour of Peter Pan, performing as Minnie Fay opposite Sally Struthers in the 50th Anniversary National Tour of Hello, Dolly!, and portraying June in Gypsy. Brooke choreographed the 2011 national tour of All Shook Up as well as several professional regional productions that received critical acclaim. Additionally, she has served as dance captain and assistant to several Broadway choreographers. She is a member of the Actors' Equity Association (AEA), the union for professional stage actors, and continues to perform professionally. It is this very connection to the performing arts industry that allows Brooke to bring in the highest caliber of teaching talent to the Dance Loft. Brooke has been affiliated with the Dance Loft for over seventeen years, and the ballet training she received from Willa Damien as a young dancer was instrumental in launching her successful career. Brooke has taught master classes throughout the country and is known for her patience, energy, and passion as a teacher. She is a double Ivy League graduate, having received her BA with honors from the University of Pennsylvania and her Masters from Columbia University. Visit Brooke's website for more information.
Nicholas Burrage began dancing at New England Dance Centers in Westfield, Massachusetts under the direction of Loree Cloud. He currently resides in New York City where he graduated from Marymount Manhattan College. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance under the direction of Katie Lagan. Nicholas currently dances for Emery LeCrone Dance. In addition to works by Ms. LeCrone, he has performed works by Bill T. Jones, Paul Taylor, Alexander Ekman, Aszure Barton, Kate Skarpetowska to name a few. He has also trained with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and at Springboard Danse Montreal. Nicholas is excited to be working with the next generation of young dancers at The Dance Loft.
Lisa Rohinsky is a professional musical theatre actress and dancer. She has appeared on Broadway in the revival of Gypsy starring Patti LuPone and has toured the U.S. with the national touring companies of White Christmas and Hello, Dolly! She has also worked at several regional theatres throughout the country. Lisa began dancing at the age of four and grew up in the competition world where she won numerous titles and overall high scores as both a dancer and choreographer. She received her BFA in musical theatre from Pennsylvania State University and is a member of AEA. She is thrilled to bring her years of experience in the dance and theatre world to The Dance Loft!
Victor Sho is an accomplished dancer, choreographer, actor, model, and instructor who teaches regularly at the world famous Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Victor was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and was raised in the Bronx since the age of two. Victor still resides in the Bronx, the birthplace of Hip-Hop. As a choreographer, Victor's work with The P.L.A.Y.E.R.S. Step Dance Company has been featured on America's Got Talent, NACA step tour, and 106 & Park. He has also worked on industrials for L'Oreal Matrix, AT&T, US Bank, and Tracee Ellis Ross' Fashion Forward Event. In addition, Victor has choreographed for commercials and videos for the GMHC (with Bank of America), Chrisette Michelle, Bella (of Fire and Reason), and Ninewest to name a few. Victor's talents as a dancer have led him to perform in commercials and industrials for Old Navy, Bloomingdales, Crest, Oral B, Samsung, Jamba Juice, Target, Moncler, Tommy Hilfiger, and Hermes. He has worked on Madonna's Give Me All Your Love video featuring Nikki Minaj and MIA. His tours include Crystal Waters' world tour and Alicia Keys' Keys in A Minor tour. He has worked on Comedy Central as a principal dancer in skits with Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Jon Stewart, and has been featured on SNL several times as a principle dancer. Victor recently worked with Rihanna on her Robin Hood Charity Concert and with J. Lo on her L'Oreal commercial. In addition to his successful dance and choreography career, Victor is an accomplished actor, director, and model. For his full bio, videos, and more, please visit www.VictorSho.com.
Elizabeth Wehrman (Beth) is a New York City Dance Educator working for the Department of Education. She currently teaches dance to grades Pre-K through Fifth at an elementary school in Queens where she focuses on everything from ballet and modern to cultural dances and creative movement. Beth expands her teaching in local studios and after-school programs on Long Island, working with children ages three to seventeen in ballet, lyrical, modern, jazz, tap and hip-hop. She has been teaching in studios for nine years. Beth graduated from Hofstra University's acclaimed Dance Program in January 2013, receiving a B.S. in Education - Dance Education. She received her NYS Initial Teaching Certification for K-12 Dance in February 2013. She is the founder and past President of the University Club and Student Chapter of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), T’DAA (Teaching Dance As Art) on her campus. She presented a research paper, “Dance vs. Dance Education: The Division in the Classroom” at the 2012 annual conference for the NDEO with the goal of publication. In recognition of her outstanding work in developing and promoting the Dance Education degree as part of the Dance Program at Hofstra, the faculty granted her a Merit Award acknowledging her leadership and initiative. Beth has performed in four Faculty Concerts at Hofstra, working with five different choreographers. She has also performed with the Gotham City Cheer, in flash mobs with NYC Dance Arts, and at the 92Y in NYC. She recently obtained her Graduate Degree from Adelphi University in Physical Education. Since the young age of 3, dance has been Beth's passion and nothing will stop her from establishing that same passion in the students she teaches.
Faculty - Young dancer division
Esther Avner is thrilled to be working with our youngest dancers, instilling them with a love for movement at an early age! In addition to Esther's ballet training, she has an extensive background in fitness and teaches exercise and barre-based fitness classes throughout the community.
Randee Busch is a veteran teacher of both dance and elementary education. As a teacher in the Lynbrook school district for over 20 years, Randee is happy to bring her vast experience to our acclaimed Young Dancers program. Randee is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop, and she has also led the Drama Department at her school for many years. Her versatility in the performing arts is reflected in the well-rounded classes she presents to her students.
Rachel Cucina is an accomplished dancer with a versatile background who specializes in hip-hop. Under the expert guidance of Victor Sho, Rachel has flourished and recently launched her professional career in hip-hop. She plans to continue pursuing dance at the university level in New York City. In addition to teaching at The Dance Loft, Rachel has taught dance for Long Beach's Youth and Family Services and also teaches hip-hop classes to children in Manhattan.