Faculty & Staff

Jeremy Doran - Pas de Deux


Since 2005, Jeremy has been a student under the direction of Elisa Schroth (Christian Academy of Dance, Killingworth, CT.) He has danced leading roles in many productions with the school including "Ahavah" (2008-2013). Jeremy also participated in CAD’s Ensemble program allowing him opportunities to perform annually at Project Dance NYC, since 2009. Jeremy has also participated in summer intensive dance programs at Academie de Ballet, Chesapeake, VA (2007, 2008), Dance Ad Deum, Houston, TX (2009), and Ballet Magnificat! Jackson, MS (2010, 2011, 2012). In 2012, Jeremy was a part of Ballet Magnificat’s Pre-Professional Summer Program. Jeremy has also held the role of Prince for the Danbury "Nutcracker" (2011,2012), as well as the Prince in the NCCB performance of "Cinderella" (2012.) In 2013, Jeremy held the role for the Cavalier in The Danbury "Nutcracker," as well as the NCCB "Nutcracker." Jeremy performed as a company artist with Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet from 2014 to 2016. He also taught Pas de Deux during CAD's 2015-2016 school year.

Cindy Fromme - Creative Movement, Pre-Primary, Primary

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Cindy Fromme's lifelong love of dance began at the age of five at the Clinton Dance Studio in her home town of Clinton, CT. She attended the National Association of Dance's Student Cavalcade of Dance in New York City. After high school, Cindy taught at the Clinton Dance Academy while attending Southern Connecticut State College, and completed an internship at the New Haven Regional Center's dance therapy program. Her studies included courses in theater and music for children. She graduated with a B.S. in Special Education, and taught in the Clinton and Westbrook School systems while teaching ballet at the Clinton Dance and Gymnastics Academy. Cindy currently teaches the Creative Movement, Primary, and Ballet 1 classes at Christian Academy of Dance, and enjoys being able to introduce the art of ballet to the beginning student. It is very gratifying to her as an instructor to see her students apply what is learned and watch their creativity unfold as they explore moving to music.

Stephanie Gagliardi - Guest Instructor


A Connecticut native, Stephanie Gagliardi began her formal training with the School of the Hartford Ballet at the age of 13. Her first teacher there was Franco DeVita, former Artistic Director of American Ballet Theater’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. During her time in Hartford she had the opportunity to train with world renowned teachers such as Alla Osipenko, Alla Nikitina, Susan Brooker, Peter O’Brien, Christine Busch, Adam Miller, Raymond Lukens, and Hilda Morales. In 2003 and 2004, Mrs. Gagliardi was selected for the re-staging of Kirk Peterson’s original ballet, "The American Nutcracker." Casted as a lead in Marzipan and Snow/Flowers corps, she danced alongside the American Ballet Theater’s Studio Company at the Bushnell Theater in Hartford. Mrs. Gagliardi has attended notable summer intensives such as Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Princeton Ballet, and Roxey Ballet. After attending Princeton Ballet School’s Summer Program in 2004, she was awarded the Nora Orphanides Scholarship and was invited to study at the school under the instruction of Douglas Martin, Mary Barton, and Maria Youskevitch. She began teaching for the school as a substitute shortly after and also had the opportunity to perform with their professional company, The American Repertory Ballet under the direction of Graham Lustig. In 2006, she began attending the University of Hartford’s the Hartt School on merit scholarship and graduated magna cum laude. She was blessed to be coached by Hilda Morales and perform lead roles in ballets such as "Giselle," "Les Sylphides," "Swan Lake," "Sleeping Beauty," "Pas de Quatre," and "Paquita." She has also danced in Martha Graham’s "Panorama," Adam Miller’s "The Great Divide," and Katie Stevinson-Nollet’s "Bal Musette." As an undergraduate, she was recognized for her skill in teaching by Miguel Campanaria and was asked to join the Hartt School’s Community Dance Division’s faculty in 2008. She discovered a passion for teaching ballet to students of all ages during this time and has also worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Hartford. Stephanie has appeared as a guest artist with Eastern Connecticut Ballet in their production of "Hansel and Gretel" and Premiere Ballet Theater’s "Snow Maiden." In 2012, Stephanie came to know Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior through Living Rock Church, Christian Academy of Dance, and dancing in "Ahavah." She has been dancing for the glory of God ever since and regularly attends Project Dance New York and the Ad Deum Summer Dance Intensive in Texas. Stephanie is a founding company member of Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet and has performed throughout New England and even in Birmingham, Alabama with the company. Vincent Hardy, Steve Rooks, Caleb Mitchell, Elizabeth McMillan, and Elisa Schroth have all set original works on her. She currently resides in Clinton, CT with her husband Frank, and is a teacher for the Christian Academy of Dance and Eastern Connecticut Ballet.

Lara Tant - Guest Instructor


Lara Tant is from Philadelphia, PA. She trained at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC, under the direction of Ludmila Markovina and Alla Sizova. She spent her summers training at American Ballet Theatre, Chataqua and Pittsburgh Youth Ballet,and completed her professional training at the Joffrey Ballet School. She has danced professionally with the Ballet Theatre of Maryland, Connecticut Ballet, Rebecca Kelly Ballet, Alison Cook-Beatty Dance, Mooney-Cooley Dance, David Fernandez and Lou Troisi. In 2007 Lara co-founded Exit 12 Dance Company. In the Fall of 2016 Lara will tour Europe with Azoth Dance Theatre. In the summer of 2016 she guested with the Farm to Ballet Project in Burlington, Vermont as a principal dancer and was featured in a PBS documentary. Lara has taught ballet and creative movement at Ballet Theatre of Maryland, Ballet Des Enfants, Armonk Dance, ATB, Brooklyn Ballet, Steps on Broadway and Spotlight in Vermont. She is a Bolshoi Certified Ballet Teacher for levels 1 through 3. In 2015 she traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to teach dance to children in the townships. For the past five years she has been a full time faculty member at the Joffrey Ballet School in Manhattan in the Children, Youth Ballet and Adult Programs. Lara graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Dance Performance Degree from the College of Saint Mary’s, LEAP program. She is thrilled to join the faculty at the Christian Academy of Dance and perform with Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet this Fall.

Paiter van Yperen - Modern, Contemporary, Pas de Deux, Ballet 5/6/7/8, Conditioning


In 2007, Paiter started dancing at the age of 12. Under the direction of Elisa Schroth, he trained in both classical ballet and modern dance at the Christian Academy of Dance. He has had the privilege of performing many lead roles there and became an apprentice with Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet in 2013 while still a student in the school. In 2014, he was promoted to Company Artist and has performed at Project Dance New York and all throughout Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Alabama. He continues to pursue excellence by regularly attending intensives at the Martha Graham School in NYC and Ad Deum in Texas. He has participated in master classes with dance professionals all over the country including Steve Rooks (former Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company), Randall Flinn (Artistic Director of Ad Deum Dance Company), Freddy Moore (Alvin Ailey and Footprints Dance Company), and Durrell Comedy (Jose Limon Dance Company and Mark Morris Dance Group). Paiter has appeared as a guest artist with the Danbury Music Center as the Nutcracker Prince. He is currently on faculty with the Christian Academy of Dance and Jazz-N-Motion, both of which he has choreographed original works for.

Alexis Nale - CAD Administrative Assistant

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Alexis Nale, a native of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, recently graduated from Mercyhurst University in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in dance. She began her dance training at Laurel Youth Ballet Theatre in Greensburg, Pennsylvania at the age of 10, and continued her dance education at several summer intensives including Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, Next Generation Ballet, and Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet. She also became a certified instructor of the Bodiography Fitness and Strength Training program after greatly enjoying the conditioning classes at their summer intensive. Alexis is an Orthodox Christian and very much values her faith. She has spent the last three summers working as a camp counselor for the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh Summer Camp held at Camp Nazareth, where she teaches children of all ages about the Orthodox faith through worship, fellowship, and fun. In the past, Alexis has held administrative positions at the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh and G.U. INC, Urology Practice where she enhanced her organizational, computer and public relations skills. Alexis is very excited to be an administrator for the Christian Academy of Dance.

Richelle Stevenson - Ballet 5/6/7/8

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Richelle Stevenson began dancing classical ballet at the age of five, studying Vaganova technique primarily at the Arizona School of Classical Ballet through the age of 18. Throughout her training, she attended several ballet intensives across the nation including Ballet Magnificat, Milwaukee Ballet Company, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, The Rock and Paradosi. In 2015, she graduated summa cum laude from Grand Canyon University (GCU) with a B.S. in athletic training and a minor in dance education. While in college, Ricki had the opportunity to perform with the GCU dance team for three years and compete nationally. She additionally participated in dance education courses, earning graduation with honors through the National Honors Society of Dance Arts (NHSDA). She currently holds a license in athletic training and a certification in Pilates mat instruction. Ricki spent the 2014/2015 season as a company artist of Terpsicore Dance Company in Phoenix, Arizona. She then moved to Tacoma, Washington to join Paradosi Ballet Company as an Apprentice and had the opportunity to minister all along the west coast. This year Ricki is excited and grateful to become a part of Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet and to see how the Lord works in this upcoming season.

Emilee Alexander - Ballet 1/2, Ballet 3/4, Jazz 3/4, Beginner Modern, Adult Ballet

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Emilee Alexander began her dance training when she was 4 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has trained under many different teachers including Akop & Gaiane Akopian, Nikoloz Makhateli, Amy Wilson and David Wilcox. At the age of 9 she was selected to be a part of Grand Rapids Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker and again when she was 11. She has also participated in other productions with Michigan Ballet Academy and Long Beach Ballet, where she was able to train for a semester. To further her dance training she attended dance intensives with Ballet Magnificat, Long Beach Ballet, Ad Deum and most recently Joffrey Ballet School’s summer intensive on scholarship. In the summer of 2016 Emilee was selected by David Wilcox to become a member of the Ballet Ambassadors to China program, performing on stages across China. She was also blessed to be a part of His Dance Ministry under the leadership of Shani Englert during the semester she spent training out in California with Long Beach Ballet. All through her dance training Emilee has performed in many community events and outreaches throughout West Michigan, dancing both classical and contemporary works.