Skip to main content

School of Dance

Faculty for the School of Dance

Faculty at the School of Dance will instruct technique, composition and repertory classes.  Special lectures on dance history, health and choreography will complement classwork. 

Our Faculty

Co-Artistic Director

Dancer, choreographer, director, writer, educator, is co-founder of American Dance Legacy Initiative, and founding director of dance at Brown University.

Founding Artistic Director

Carolyn Adams was born in New York City and raised in Harlem. She studied at the Martha Graham School and attended Sarah Lawrence College.

Marisa f. Ballaro
Faculty Concert Choreographer / Dance Conditioning Teacher

A summa cum laude graduate of SUNY College at Brockport, Marisa f. Ballaro is an arts educator, choreographer, performer, and certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM.) While on faculty at NYSSSA in August 2011, she designed and implemented a dance conditioning program. Of which, she promoted the program and its research at the NYS Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Conference in January 2012.

Laura Bennett
NYSSSA / ADLI Liaison Faculty Concert Choreographer

Laura Bennett has been at NYSSSA for all 24 summers in varying capacities. She loves to work on puzzles—whether making dances or formulating program schedules. Laura has been dancing since she was in her mother’s womb and had her choreographic debut at age 11, when she got her gym teachers to give up their physical education periods for her to create a dance on her classmates. She graduated from Brown University and has studied, performed, and taught the techniques and repertory of the pioneers of 20th century American concert dance.

Danny Grossman
Faculty & Student Concert Choreographer

Danny Grossman is a renowned Canadian choreographer, performer, and teacher of modern dance. His unique artistic vision and extensive repertoire integrate humour, beauty, athleticism, and social commentary. He was a principal dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1963-1973 and in 1977 he formed his own company, creating a repertoire of more than 50 works. Danny has been the recipient of the Dora Mavor Moore Award, the Jean A. Chalmers Award, The Dance Ontario Award, Muriel Sherrin Award and The Toronto Arts Council Foundation’s William Kilbourn.

Tom Farrell
Resident Composer / Composition Teacher / Accompanist

Tom Farrell, pianist, percussionist, and composer, has distinguished himself for more than three decades as a versatile artist and dedicated teacher. He has taught, composed, and accompanied classes at such institutions as Brown University, under the direction of Julie Adams Strandberg, and at Barnard and Bennington Colleges. He has accompanied classes at the Paul Taylor Dance School and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center.

Eddie Kastrau
Rehearsal Director for Danny Grossman

Eddie Kastrau, a dancer with the Danny Grossman Dance Company since 1986, has performed most of the featured roles with the company, and has been a muse for many of Grossman’s original roles. Through the Grossman company he has danced in major modern works, including Paul Taylor’s Aureole, The Beloved by Lester Horton, Anna Sokolow’s Rooms, Charles Weidman’s Lynchtown, and Canadian classics by David Earle, Patricia Beatty, Peter Randazzo, Robert Derosiers, Paula Ross, and others. Eddie has also danced independently for numerous choreographers in Canada and abroad.

Erika Pujic
Faculty Concert Choreographer / Rehearsal Director for Robert Battle

Erika Pujic was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where she began her dance training at the School of Cleveland Ballet. She went on to receive a bachelor of fine arts degree from The Juilliard School where she was the recipient of the Martha Hill Award. Upon graduation, Erika danced with Gloria Marina’s Spanish Dance Ensemble performing in New Jersey Opera’s Carmen. She was a principal dancer and rehearsal director for Henning Rubsam’s SENSEDANCE for seven years. She was a founding member and rehearsal director for Battleworks Dance Company.