The MMC Dance Advisory Boardoffers recommendations, guidance, and assistance in promoting the work of the MMC Dance Department. Its mission is to friend-raise and fundraise for the Dance Department through several yearly events. Funds raised are used to enhance dance students’ learning experiences that cannot be provided through the department’s operating budget. In addition, some limited scholarship assistance is also made available.
Advisory Board Members
Dance Advisory Board President
Eleanor M. Imperato is a freelance writer, poet, and photographer. In addition to her role as president of the Marymount Manhattan College (MMC) Dance Advisory Board since 2016, she is an active member of the Queensborough Community College Fund Board, and of NOIAW (National Organization of Italian American Women).
Her professional life has included positions in sales, publicity, public relations and fundraising in organizations such as Pan American World Airways, the Science Museum of Long Island, the Manhasset Public Schools, and Marymount Manhattan College. As a Manhasset, NY community leader, she held positions as President of the Friends of the Manhasset Public Library and Executive President of the Manhasset School Community Association.
Eleanor (Ellie) is the author of a first collection of original poetry entitled Woman’s Work, and is currently preparing her second, Purple Sins. Her book, Doors of Memory/Porte dellaMemoria, a memoir of her early years in Avella, Italy, was published in conjunction with a photographic essay by the same name that was exhibited in two New York City galleries. Recently her photographic work of Tuscan landscapes was featured in a group exhibition sponsored by NOIAW, also in New York City. In her latest book, Carving Life: Walrus Ivory Carvings from the Bering Sea, she shares her love for Alaska, her appreciation for the Alaska Inuit history and art, and her personal encounters with many of the carvers whose work was exhibited at the QCC Art Gallery in Bayside, New York.
Her lifelong love of dance began at MMC with a Modern Dance class taught by noted dancer Janet Collins and continued briefly in the 1970s with adult ballet classes at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Over many decades, she and her MMC classmate, Mary Whitney, once a Marketing Director for the Joffrey Ballet, attended countless dance performances of the best dance companies of the world.
A graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with a BA in English, Ellie received an MA in Liberal Studies from New York University, and a certificate in fundraising from the School of Professional Studies at New York University.
Dance Advisory Board Vice President
Alison Manning is the Executive Director and Co-Producer of The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard, and has worked with the organization for 12 years to provide meaningful residency opportunities for national and international performing artists, bringing the arts to the Vineyard community. She is the founding Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer of DanceTheYard, The Yard’s year-round professional dance company with creative/choreographic partner and company Co-Artistic Director Jesse Keller.
In addition to her administrative and choreographic roles, Alison teaches the Horton Technique on faculty at The Yard each summer since 2011. She is also a guest teaching artist in the Master’s division of NYU’s Steinhardt School, as part of the ‘Dance Master’s’ program for the past two years, and is a visiting Master teacher and Artist Adjunct professor at Wesleyan University. In addition, she is a substitute on a regular basis at Peridance Capezio Center and STEPS on Broadway for the great Master Horton teacher Milton Meyers as well as Karen Gayle, Kristina Berger, and Jolee Maffe. Milton Meyers was her mentor beginning during her summer of 2007 scholarship participation in the School at Jacob’s Pillow and continuing to this day.
Alison also works as a professional freelance artist, currently dancing with Guggenheim awardee David Parker and The Bang Group and with actress Amy Brenneman & director Sabrina Peck in their new show ‘Threshold’; she has danced in the past with The Peggy Spina Tap Company, Xodus Dance Collective, the Next Stage Project, Naomi Goldberg Haas’ Dances for a Variable Population, and Boston-based Kinodance Company.
She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marymount Manhattan College with a BFA in Modern Dance under the Direction of Katie Langan and a Minor in Art History.
Dance Advisory Board Treasurer
Jere Hunt, a native of Huntsville, AL, received his BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College under the direction of Katie Langan. He has been a member of Rioult Dance New York since August 2010, and was privileged to set Rioult’s signature work, Bolero, on students at Adelphi University. Mr. Hunt has danced with Vera Huff/Veracity Dance Theater, SYREN Modern Dance, DeMa Dance, and many independent choreographers. He was an apprentice with the Alabama Ballet under the direction of Wes Chapman.
Mr. Hunt is frequently seen as a guest artist with Southern New Hampshire Dance Theatre in their annual production of TheNutcrackerat the Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH, and in the past has also been seen as a guest artist with City Center Ballet, Huntsville Ballet, Alabama Youth Ballet, and Ballet Tennessee.
Mr. Hunt has taught for the Rioult Dance NY Summer and Winter Intensives and has been on the Summer Intensive guest faculty at Ballet Tennessee, Lebanon Ballet School, and Studio Arts for Dancers. He has also been a guest teacher and lecturer at Marymount Manhattan College, Curry College, Eglevsky Ballet School, Huntsville Ballet School, Alabama Youth Ballet, and Grissom High and Lee High Magnet Schools in Huntsville, AL. As a choreographer, he has created works for students at City Center Ballet, Ballet Tennessee, Dance Magnet Ensemble at Lee High Magnet School and the dance ensembles at Grissom High School. His piece, Acceptance,won “Best Modern Piece” at the Panoply Choreography Competition in 2013.
Dance Advisory Board Recording Secretary
Doreen McDonough graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in 1974 with a major in psychology and a minor in Education. At Hunter College she received her MS in education and went on to teach in the New York City Department of Education for 29 years. Her teaching positions include Special Education - Nursery through 9 grade- SETSS Teacher, Lead Teacher, Special Education Liaison, and IEP Teacher.
Retired in 2017, Doreen continues to do Substitute Teaching at the school where she spent the last 20 years and where she still enjoys seeing her old friends and students. She also volunteers in her parish church, St. Mary’s in Manhasset since 1988.
Doreen was married for almost 40 years to William P. McDonough, who passed away in May 2016. He was employed by Con. Edison for 43 years until his retirement. They raised 3 sons: Timothy, Matthew and Brendan. Both Timothy and his wife Leah Bonvissuto, and Matthew and his wife, Erica Bilko, are raising toddlers: Billie and Liam respectively. Matthew and Erica are both Marymount graduates, Class of 2005. Brendan is a teacher of English Language Learners in a New York City High School in the South Bronx.
While her children attended school, she was also involved in the Manhasset School Community Association, holding various leadership positions. Doreen was the President of the Manhasset High School Drama Booster Club for ten years.
Chelsea Ainsworth is a graduate of the Dance Department of The Juilliard School where she received the Joseph Polisi award for commitment to outreach and building community around the arts.
After graduating she worked with various choreographers including Johannes Wieland/StaadtstheaterKassel, Lorena Egan, Flexicure, Amber Sloan, Bryn Cohn + Artists, ZviDance, and the Bang Group. She was on the ballet and modern faculty at Cap21 musical theater school and Chen Dance Center for four years.
She is the co-founder and Executive Director of Arts on Site, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting artists of all disciplines by offering affordable studio space and hosting monthly events to encourage community collaboration. She also built and owns a residency and retreat center in the Shawangunk Mountains of New York, where she curates residencies for artists.
Currently, she is dancing and choreographing through HUMA, the resident collective at Arts on Site.
Dance Advisory Board Lead Alumni Chair
Jeanette Aultz is an alumna of the BFA Dance program at MMC, class of 2000. She spent 7 years as Costume Designer and Costume Coordinator for Department productions.
She went on to earn her MFA in Theatrical Design and Technical Production with a concentration in Costume Design from CUNY Brooklyn College in 2006, studying under Professor Rebecca Cunningham. Jeanette has since assisted Prof. Cunningham on the second edition of her book Basic Sewing for Costume Constructionas well as the 2nd and upcoming 3rd editions of The Magic Garment.
In her career, Jeanette has been both a Costume Designer and a Technician, currently concentrating in her work as a Draper. Design highlights include: the world premiere of An Appeal to the Woman of the Housewith Retro Productions and Somewhere with You presented at the New York Musical Theater Festival with music by JT Harding. As a Draper and Costume Technician, Jeanette has been honored to Drape at American Players Theater on their production of All My Sons; staff Cutter/Draper for Rent: Off- Broadwayat New World Stages; a continuing relationship with Ballet Hispanico for their company and school productions; Interim Draper at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; and as Cutter for Lynne Baccus assisting with costume builds for the lead actress in Pretty Womanon Broadway and the National Tour of Hello Dolly. She is currently a Draper and Assistant Costume Shop Manager at Montclair State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, where she is in charge of costumes for Dance and Musical Theater.
Lauren Garson graduated from Point Park University with a BFA in Dance. Immediately following, she became a company member of METdance in Houston, TX, performing works by Robert Battle, Kate Skarpetowska, Peter Chu, Kevin Wynn and Jason Parsons. After four years, Lauren moved to Chicago, IL where she completed a full STOTT Pilates certification, and then on to New York where she danced with Parsons Dance, touring nationally and internationally.
Lauren also worked with Sue Bernhard Danceworks, performing at festivals including Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out and American Dance Guild. She participated in programs and workshops with Doug Varone, the Limon Institute, Mark Morris Dance Group and Springboard Danse Montreal. Traveling to Europe, she spent time training at The Place in London and workshops with Hofesh Shechter Company.
In 2016, she moved to Cleveland as a member of GroundWorks DanceTheater, working with choreographers Kate Weare, Loni Landon, Robyn Mineko-Williams, Gina Gibney, Eric Handman and Rosie Herrera. While in Cleveland, she began to build her administrative resume as Assistant to the Director of Ohio City Theatre Company.
Upon recently moving back to New York City, Lauren now dances part time while making a career shift into the out-of-home advertising industry. After four months in a temporary position as Receptionist, she moved into a full-time role on the Revenue team at Intersection. Lauren supported the National Cities and Transit team for five months, before moving into a Senior position, now focused on airport and airline media.
Alicia Weihl Guerin received her early dance training from Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and the American Academy of Ballet. She graduated summa cum laude with a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in Dance Performance and Choreography and a minor in Arts Management. Alicia danced professionally with American and European ballet and modern dance companies including with The Metropolitan Opera Ballet and the New York Grand Opera. She was the dance captain and a solo vocalist in the Paris-based musical, Le Sel et le Miel, and was featured in stage, film, television, and fashion shows while living in London.
Combining her experience as a professional dancer with her passion for movement and form, Alicia has devoted the past decade to her work with Physique 57, the leader in barre-based fitness. Her mission is to create and deliver invigorating classes that instill a sense of strength, beauty, confidence, and overall wellness. She has designed and led multiple Physique 57 workout videos and has presented fitness segments internationally on TV and online.
Behind the scenes, Alicia is Vice President of Operations, ensuring the highest-level client experience with expertly choreographed classes, strategic class programming, and the most comprehensive barre instructor training program in the industry.
Alicia has been a member of the Dance Department Advisory Board since 2001.
Dance Advisory Board Nominating Chair
Christina Ilisije graduated summa cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College with a B.F.A. in dance in 2007. She is the founder of Living-Dance, where she is still a proud and passionate professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher.
Through her work with Living-Dance (www.living-dance.com) she helps women and dancers transform their bodies and lives through dance. She teaches how to achieve a body that is not only fit but also healthy and happy with one-on-one dance/fitness privates, group classes, workshops, and in speaking events.
In addition to her dance training, she is a N.A.S.M. certified personal trainer, weight loss specialist and nutrition specialist. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Christina pursued her first dream; she performed and taught worldwide with Parsons Dance and Buglisi Dance Theatre for over ten years.
Christina considers the Marymount Dance Department her first NYC home and is honored to have a place on its board and help its continual growth.
After earning her Ph.D. in Sociology and teaching at the University of Delaware and Montclair State College, Patricia left academia and used playwriting to continue exploring women’s issues. She married her passion for the theater with her business skills when she met Linda S. Nelson, the founder of Shotgun Productions. They formed a partnership that lasted 14 years producing theater, dance, and opera in the nonprofit arena.
In 2010, she began co-producing on Broadway with The Scottsboro Boys followed by the productions of Stick Fly, Pippin (Tony Award, Best Revival), The Trip to Bountiful, The Band’s Visit (Tony Award, Best New Musical) and is a co-executive producer on the film Wakefield (starring Bryan Cranston & Jennifer Garner). She was a director for Theater Resources Unlimited’s Producers Development and Mentorship Program for three years where she, along with her co-directors, developed the master class curriculum. For her dedication to the arts, she won the 2013 TRU Entrepreneur Award.
Currently, Patricia heads up Global Arts Initiative the educational division of Shotgun Productions that brings arts education to children in underserved communities, is the Director of Marketing at Steps on Broadway, and sits on the boards of the Steps Beyond Foundation and Marymount Manhattan College Dance Advisory Board.
She is a past Board member and Senior Vice President of Media Audits International, held a seat on the University of Delaware’s President’s Commission on the Status of Women, was co-Chair of the Delaware Chapter of Sociologists for Women in Society, and was nominated to Who’s Who of American Women.
Patricia is a graduate of the University of Maryland (BA), University of Delaware (MA, PhD) and of the Commercial Theater Institute.
Dance Advisory Board Alumni Co-Chair
Mary Leonard is co-owner of U.S. Athletic Training Center. Presently, she heads up the marketing department and communicates with the patients, doctors’ offices, and the U.S. Athletic Training Center staff.
Mary was a trainer for many years to various athletes, celebrities and executives. She was named one of the 55 Best Trainers in America by Vogue Magazine, and her work has been praised in the New York Times.She has been featured in numerous national magazines and she has also appeared on television across the country promoting her business brand and encouraging people to lead a healthy lifestyle. Most recently, Mary was featured in Good Housekeepingin article sponsored by L’Oréal entitled 50 Inspiring Women Over 50.
Mary Leonard is a former professional dancer, actress, choreographer, and author. She taught dance for the American Dance Machine at Harkness House in New York City, Marymount Manhattan College (Jazz Dance January Inter-session), and St. Francis College. Mary also taught at Barnard College where she was the head of the weight-training program. In addition, she has performed as a dancer on Broadway, television, and in industrial films.
After her Marymount graduation in 1975, Mary received a Master’s degree from Columbia University. She also volunteers with the Amp Surf New York Chapter and Ronald McDonald House. Mary still currently trains clients mostly in the performing arts. She continues to study theatre dance and is an avid surfer.
Natalie Lomonte is a choreographer, director, performer and teacher in New York City. She has collaborated to create work and toured extensively with such companies as Momix, Pilobolus, The Chase Brock Experience, and Parsons Dance. She has performed on national television throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan and danced with Liza Minnelli in the movie Sex and the City 2.
Natalie was in the original Broadway cast of Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, where she eventually served as the Dance Captain and Dance Supervisor. In 2012 Natalie became the Movement Director for One Year Lease Theater Company and an Adjunct Professor of Dance at Fordham University. As well as performing and teaching, she also choreographs for theater, dance and film and has led creative movement workshops at Harvard University, Vassar College and PACE University. Her choreography has been honored by the San Francisco Dance Film Festival and critically acclaimed by such publications as the New York Times.
In 2015, Natalie was honored to premiere two original works: Within, commissioned by Parsons Dance at the Joyce Theater and Common Heart, a piece commissioned for the Ailey/ Fordham BFA Fall Concert. That year she was also Assistant Stage Director and Choreographer for the live-broadcast stadium show, 44th National Day Abu Dhabi.
In 2016 Natalie served as Assistant Choreographer to Mia Michaels, creating the brand-new New York Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes in NYC. She was the guest choreographer for the 2017 Whitney Houston Biennial, was awarded a grant by The Ailey Foundation’s New Directions Choreography Lab, and choreographed an original play, BALLS, which had a successful world premiere in Houston before moving to Off-Broadway.
Last year, Natalie performed with PILOBOLUS at the Natural History Museum in NYC for Earth Day and the historic Apollo Theater for the launch of Moving On. She recently returned from Japan where she assisted David Parsons in choreographing an original musical, A Knights’ Tale, written and directed by John Caird. Natalie is currently working on Pieces of the Moon, an original play by OYL about the Apollo 11 moon landing and the social landscape in the U.S. at that time (World Premier 2020).
Dance Advisory Board Gala Chair 2020
Anthony Lopez is a native New Yorker and proud graduate of the Marymount Manhattan Dance Department, BFA program.
He is a Producer and Talent Executive for national television, radio, and digital platforms and is currently Sr. Entertainment Producer for Good Day New York. Anthony is President of ‘AL Talent and Media’ and has collaborated with companies such as SiriusXM Satellite Radio, 21st Century Fox, Lionsgate /Debmar-Mercury, Viacom, Dick Clark Productions, CBS Radio and DirecTV.
He joined the Marymount Manhattan Dance Department Advisory Board in 2016.
Barbara Massey graduated from Smith College in 1963 and began her career on Wall Street in 1964. She retired from J. P. Morgan Securities at the end of 2018 after 55 years of working in the Financial Industry.
As a Trustee of Smith College from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2018, she served as Vice Chair of the Finance, Trustee Governance and Investment Committees. She is currently a Director of the Alumnae Association of Smith College and a Senior Advisor to the Smith College Club of NYC.
Barbara is a Governor of the Cosmopolitan Club. She chairs the Audit Committee and serves, ex-officio, on the Finance Committee.
Barbara has been involved in the world of dance since she started lessons at a local dance studio on Long Island at the age of six. While in college, she worked professionally in night clubs during her summer vacations and on cruises during school breaks. She continues to take weekly dance classes and enjoys attending a wide variety of dance performances throughout the City.
Barbara was first introduced to the Marymount Manhattan College Dance Department in 1996 and has been a supporter ever since. She has previously served as a member of the Dance Advisory Board and is delighted to do so again.
Dance Advisory Board Liaison
Mondo Morales is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, Class of 2012, and has spent his post-collegiate years shaping and shifting the costume design field. His background in both dance and styling is apparent in his work: his costumes move effortlessly with their wearer and embody New York City’s style, merging urban fashion with contemporary dancewear. He has costumed for artists such as The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Marymount Manhattan College, The Steps Ensemble, Jennifer Archibald, The Fosse Foundation, Hope Boykin, Earl Mosley, Sonya Tayeh, Pascal Rioult and Jeremy McQueen, among others.
Mondo acted as The Alvin Ailey School’s Costume Coordinator/Wardrobe Supervisor from 2012-2015 and is currently on the faculty of Marymount Manhattan College as their Costume Coordinator. In addition, Mondo works as a photo stylist and art director, collaborating with dance artists such as Sidra Bell, Jeremy McQueen, and Christian Von Howard, and photographers such as Jaqi Medlock, Jubal Battisti and Matthew Murphy. In 2016, Mondo had a solo exhibit, Skinetic Moments, presented at G Lounge Chelsea and ALOFT Hotel Harlem, showcasing a series of images exploring color and paint as dancers’ apparel.
In February 2018, Mondo released his first collection ONYX which was featured in a short film, directed by Angelo Soriano and Choreographer Angelica Stiskin. In April of 2018 Mondo was selected to show at Fashion Week Brooklyn and was awarded a City Citation by the Brooklyn Borough President.
When not behind his sketchpad or sewing machine, Mondo also works as a freelance make-up artist for dancers, performance artists, and bridal parties. Mondo is also currently in collaboration with the legendary photographer Thomas Evans on Femme the Man, a photo series that challenges gender identity stereotypes.
Dance Advisory Board Alumni Co-Chair
Nicole Philippidis holds a BFA degree in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College, Class of 1995, where she was a recipient of a competitive four-year Dance Scholarship. Nicole went to receive an MS in Education from City College, where she was awarded a Teaching Fellowship in the Arts.
Nicole is the Artistic Director and Choreographer of 277 Dance Project, a New York City based contemporary dance company, which she founded in 2009. She is an accomplished dance educator who has taught dance and composition throughout New York City, and has performed and prepared lecture demonstrations and dance residencies for numerous institutions and studios. Prior to 2009, Nicole danced with choreographers Alan Danielson, Geraldine Cardiel, Deborah Santos, and other independent artists.
As a choreographer, her works have been presented at Abrons Arts Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Bryant Park Dance Festival, Dixon Place, Dance New Amsterdam, DanceNOW at Joe’s Pub, Inception to Exhibition Festival, Peridance Capezio Theater, Purchase College, Reverb/Steps Festival, Triskelion Arts, Westchester Arts Exchange, Westchester Music Hall, Wave Rising Festival and numerous showcases throughout New York City.
Jay Staten is a BFA graduate of Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. He started his dance training at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC and also trained at The Rock School of Dance Education and The Washington School of Ballet.
Jay has danced with Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theatre and was a principal with the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco.) Jay has appeared on NBC’S TV series Smash, PBS’s A Fourth of July Celebration both choreographed by Joshua Bergasse: Apollo Club Harlem, director and Choreographer Maurice Hines; and on Italian TV show Amici, choreographed by Daniel Ezralow. He toured internationally with the musical Virtuosity directed by Vivian Reed, and Dallas Theatre Center’s Production of Stagger Lee the Musical. Jay was the Dance Captain for Super Fly the Musical directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, and Dreamgirls at Dallas Theatre Center.
Jay was most recently seen in New York City Center’s Encores production of Cabin in the Sky directed by Ruben Santiago Hudson and choreographed by Camille A. Brown, and as a soloist on Broadway in After Midnight directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle. Jay danced in the Broadway workshops of Shuffle Along, directed by George C. Wolfe and choreographed by Savion Glover and the Radio City Music Hall’s Spring Spectacular, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle.
Jay also has a great love for the business side of dance as well, working as a Development Associate, a Tour Manager, and The Co-Founder and First Artistic Director of D3, Philadanco’s pre-professional Children’s Company all the while dancing for the company. Jay was former Artistic Director for Best Dance and Talent Center and Elite Dance, both located in St. Louis, MO as well as First Class Dance Studio in Temple Hills, MD. Jay is currently a Judge and Master Teacher for Youth American Grand Prix, the Track Specialist for the International Association of Blacks in Dance Annual Conference and Festival. Jay also dances for Camille A. Brown and Dancers and is also working on Camille A. Brown’s Choreography team re-staging her works at universities and theaters across the country.
Jay is the Founder and Creative Director of Bring it to the Marley-DC. Currently finishing Season 6, this project culminated in an event where over 300 children from dance studios across the East coast came to perform all together in one show. This project aims to give kids more on-stage performance experience, but its main objective is to foster community. It also provides dance scholarships and aid to its participants. This event is held in the Washington, DC area with plans on adding Chicago, IL to the Bring it to the Marley Family in late 2021.
Jay is also a guest lecturer at the Alabama State University Dance Department and sits on the first Dance Film Festival Dance Advisory Board.
Elizabeth Yilmaz-Dobrow is a professional dancer and teacher in New York City. She received her B.A in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College. A former company member with Ballet Hispanico of New York, Elizabeth toured internationally with Angelina Ballerina, The Musical.
Elizabeth is entering her seventh season dancing with The Metropolitan Opera. Productions at the Metropolitan Opera include Die Zauberflöte, Blue Beard’s Castle, Parsifal, La Traviata, The Magic Flute, Manon, Aida, and Tannhäuser. The last five of which have been transmitted live in HD to over 70 countries across the globe.
Elizabeth is a proud member of the American Guild of Musical Artists Union.