WESTCHESTER DANCE ACADEMY FACULTY
Kelly Burke-Fitzpatrick (Owner and Artistic Director):
Kelly Burke-Fitzpatrick, Artistic Director of WDA, has been and remains to be the driving force behind the success of the studio. Her dream of opening her own studio was first realized in 1997 in Harrison, NY, after her final public, solo performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The studio grew quickly in both size and reputation and was expanded years later with the help of a larger space at our current location in Mount Kisco, NY. Kelly has been able to combine her years of extensive professional training – including the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theater – and her love of teaching, to create a unique experience in dance education for all of her students. Additionally, her personal experience and pervasive success in the competition industry has played a pivotal role in the consistent accomplishments of the WDA Troupe. Kelly has also been recognized with countless awards for her celebrated choreography and role as a dance educator.
Daniella Cavaleri (Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz, Musical Theater):
Daniella Cavaleri has been teaching and choreographing for WDA since its inception in 1997. She has trained extensively in all styles of dance and her performance credits include the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Fosse (International/National Tour), Rolling Stones Tour, benefits such as Nothin Like a Dame, and industrials for Walmart, Viacom, and SONY, among others. She has additionally performed with companies such as Mia Michael’s R.A.W., Notario Dance Company, Morgan Scott Ballet, and American Dance Company. Her professional credits and training have contributed immensely to her success with the WDA Troupe and has led to numerous recognitions for her choreography and for her students. She consistently sets high standards for all of her students, pushing them to test their limits and eventually reaching their goals.
Derrick Yanford (Contempoary)
Derrick began his formal training in a local studio in his home town Southwick, Ma. After futhering his dance education at New York University"s Tisch School of Arts, Derrick began his professional career with Ballet Hispanico of New York, Battleworks Dance Company, The joffrey Concert Dancers, Nothern Connecticut BalletKoresh Dance Company, and Ash Contemporary. His performance credits include the first national tour of "Footloose and " A Few Good Men Dancin...", the European Tours of "Evita" and "West Side Story", Walt Disney World and Radio City Music Hall's "Christmas Spectacular" as well as the world premiere of the Opera "Le Cid" starring Placido Domingo. Derrick brings both his incredible teaching ability and creative choreography to the westchester Dance Academy
Chris Hale-Lyrical, Contemporary
Chris Hale Associate Director/Training Program Director :pushing progress a company/a workshop, and is currently on faculty at Broadway Dance Center NYC. Professional credits include KTU’s Miracle on 34th Street, where he performed with such recording artists as Mary J. Blige, Deborah Cox, Tamia, Gloria Gaynor, and Michael Jackson. In 2002, he had the pleasure of performing with international singing sensation Anastasia at the FIFA World Cup Final Draw in Busan, Korea. Television credits include HBO’s “Sex and the City” playing opposite Kim Catrall. Most recently, he, along with fellow instructor Calen Kurka, released an instructional video for the Live At BDC series entitled, “Floorwork with Calen Kurka and Chris Hale.” As a choreographer, he continues to create work that pushes the boundaries of contemporary dance and hopefully brings it to the mainstream in a way that is accessible to everyone. His more than four years experience with the GYROTONIC® methodology has hugely influenced his teaching and brought a heightened awareness to his own dancing. Chris is very excited to add GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® methodologies to his teaching. Chris is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® TeacherTraining Intensive in Primary through level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Andrew “Turtle” Turteltaub - Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Andrew started his performing career at the early age of 17. He began dancing for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida as a “Kid of the Kingdom” as well as a dancer in Beauty and the Beast. He then continued on to perform for Royal Caribbean, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in both NYC and Branson, Missouri, as well as numerous industrials, television commercials, movies and episodes of SNL. Andrew was also an original member of Mia Michael’s dance company R.A.W.(Reality At Work), and not long after that, he began performing for A Few Good Men Dancin. More of Andrew’s professional credits include: the national tour of FAME the Musical, the off–Broadway company of FAME on 42nd Street, A Chorus Line at the Lenape PAC, a featured role in Radio City’s workshop of Carnivale, and an original company member of the American premiere of WE WILL ROCK YOU in Las Vegas. Andrew’s most recent professional endeavor was playing the role of “Chistery” in the critically acclaimed musical, Wicked.
Some Choreography credits include, FAME the Musical at Capitol Playhouse, Commercial’s for the Japanese Chocolate Company GLICO, TROJAN brand company, & TENA products. As well as a Bud Light Super Bowl commercial. Workshop of “Caty Bridgewater” a new musical, music and lyrics by Bobby Cronin. Break Out In Song “Anything Goes” Starring Katie Thompson NYC & CT. Fame the Musical in Macua China. Associate Directing & Choreography for Hairspray, Smokey Joe’s Café, A Chorus Line, Dance Break, Sweet Charity workshop NYC , Carnivale workshop Radio City Music Hall, Orpheus NYC Opera.
Even before his professional career as a dancer began, Andrew had already made great strides as a dance educator and choreographer. From age 15, teaching class and creating choreography at his home studio, Horizons in Dance was a natural progression in Andrew’s dance life. Andrew is on faculty at Steps on Broadway in NYC. His award winning and nationally recognized choreography can be seen showcased throughout the country as well as in Canada at many local dance studios, dance companies and college dance teams.
Andrew has a lot to offer in his class besides his dance education and knowledge. He strides to inspire, educate, create unique movement, and make the experience of his class positive and uplifting. Being born and raised in NY has given Andrew a dynamic and eclectic eye for dance. His style of choreography represents openness for constant growth and self-discovery.
Amir Salahu-Din (Hip Hop):
We are thrilled to have this amazing teacher from New York City. He has taught and choreographed Contemporary, Jazz and Hip Hop all over the country. He has also worked as choreographer and dancer for Carnival Cruise Lines.
Grace Buckley (Ballet , Lyrical, and Jazz):
A recent graduate of Colgate University, Grace Buckley returns to teach at WDA with a distinctive combination of extensive training, college education, and love of teaching. Having trained and competed under the guidance of the WDA faculty, she has been the recipient of numerous regional and national titles and scholarships from prestigious organizations across the country.
Suzi Taylor ( GUEST TEACHER - LYRICAL, BALLET, JAZZ
An internationally recognized master teacher and choreographer, Suzi has been training professional and aspiring young dancers for the past 20 years. She is Westchester Dance Academy's primary guest teacher and has worked with Kelly for many years. Combining her talents as dancer, teacher, and choreographer, she has been invited to teach and perform at many National Dance Festivals in Rio De Janiero, at the esteemed Theater An Der Wein School in Vienna, at ABT star Julio Bocca's school for Ballet in Argentina in Buenos Aires, in numerous workshops throughout Italy, Japan, France and Canada. and has set works on companies in Scotland, Israel, Italy, and Brazil. She has been a faculty member at four of the biggest NYC schools, currently for the last 20 years at Steps on Broadway. Suzi is so.ught after to teach and lecture at universities, schools, and organizations across the country