Our dedicated faculty and staff offer our students the knowledge and skills to thrive both in and out of the classroom.

Faculty and Staff

Dean College was ranked #5 in Best Undergraduate Teaching in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Regional Colleges, North category. 

U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges Badge

Below is a list of faculty and staff members at the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance. Click on the drop-down menu below for more information. 

Dean of the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance

Marc M. Arentsen is the Dean of the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance and the School of the Arts. He is a master teacher, consultant, and artistic leader whose teaching expertise includes ballet technique, dance history, dance composition and choreography, arts administration, and artistic direction.

As a dancer, designer, and prolific dance maker, he has appeared in, produced and collaborated on numerous acclaimed dance and theatre works in Asia, Europe and North America. Originally from The Netherlands, Mr. Arentsen studied dance at the conservatories of Arnhem and Tilburg before earning his BFA in Ballet Performance at Friends University and his MFA in Theatre Arts and Dance at The University of Arizona. He has corporate experience in the tech world and is also proficient in four languages. Recognized for his vision and excellence in teaching in higher education, Mr. Arentsen previously was the Founding Chair of Dance at Belhaven University and the Founding Artistic Director of Polarity Dance Theatre in Jackson, Mississippi.

Adjunct Instructor of Dance - Dance Research, Dean Emerita

Joanie, the Founder of the Dean College School of Dance, is currently a Professor and Dean Emeritus.

Her B.S. degree, her undergraduate and graduate studies at Jacob’s Pillow and throughout Europe and her service to state and national dance organizations prepared her to build dance curriculums.

She established the Associate in Arts degree in dance in 1980 and the Bachelor of Arts degree in dance in 2000.

Adjunct Instructor of Dance - Creative Movement for Children

Luciano Aimar had a very rewarding career as ballet dancer dancing in major theatre around the world.  He joined Boston Ballet School (BBS) in 2005 as Head of Children’s Curriculum. Aimar created and successfully implemented the American Preparatory Ballet Training, a comprehensive curriculum for children ages 2-7. In 2018, Aimar consulted School of American Ballet in developing their Children’s Program.

Prior to joining BBS, Aimar was a developer and instructor of dance therapy programs, working with individuals with disabilities and children born and living in prisons. He presented his work at three Dance Therapy symposiums internationally. 

Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance, Technical Director

Jim Beauregard (Director/Fight Choreographer) is Associate Professor and Technical Director for The School of Arts and The School of Dance at Dean College, Franklin, MA.  Jim has served on the Executive Board for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and has also served as the Artistic Director for The Medieval Manor Theatre in Boston, Ma. Jim is entering his 23rd year at Dean College where he continues to create as a Director and choreographer, both on the boards and behind the scenes for Dean College and theatres throughout the region.

Assistant Professor of Dance - Modern

Kristina Berger is a world-class dancer, choreographer, and teacher of the Horton and Hawkins techniques, both of which she teaches as Assistant Professor at Dean College. Kristina has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia in positions ranging from current status as principal dancer with The Erick Hawkins Dance Company to first female and Westerner to perform virtuoso solo "Hanuman The Monkey King" in Bali, exclusive soloist of original Lester Horton works, and dancer for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Kristina has danced with Molissa Fenley & Dancers, Joyce Trisler Danscompany, Washington Opera Ballet and SWATT. She has been on dance faculty at Marymount Manhattan College, Steps, Peridance, The Joffrey School of Ballet, and continues to teach, create, and perform globally.

Adjunct Instructor of Dance - Jazz

Kimberly Calore-Sedlak is thrilled to join the Dean Faculty after having an extensive career as a performer/choreographer for the Radio City Rockettes as well as on the Broadway stage, regional/international tours, and numerous TV/films.  In addition, she was on faculty at NYC’s Broadway Dance Center, Steps On Broadway, New Dance Group and served as a national spokesperson for New York Offstage, Madison Square Garden’s Cheering For Children, and Career Transitions For Dancers.  Kimberly’s passion is now passing down her knowledge and experience to aspiring dancers of tomorrow within the higher education community, the private sector, and national organizations.

Professor of Dance

Russell Clarke was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. He was trained at the Royal Ballet School in London. During his time at the Royal Ballet School, he performed with the Royal Ballet Company in productions that included The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake.

Russell joined Ballet Arizona in 2007 and performed principal roles in Don Quixote, Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, Twyla Tharp’s The Golden Section, George
Balanchine’s Movements for Piano and Orchestra, La Valse, La Sonnambula, The Four Temperaments, and Ib Andersen’s Play, 1052, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mosaik, Symphonie Classique, and The Nutcracker. Russell received critical acclaim for the role of the Poet in George Balanchine’s La Sonnambula and was praised by the New York Times for the role of Phlegmatic in Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. Russell originated a principal role in Andersen’s Diversions, which was seen on the Kennedy Center Stage in June 2010. In Russell’s final season with Ballet Arizona, he originated the principal role in Ib Andersen’s world premiere of Cinderella, which received critical acclaim.

Russell was the director of the Community Dance Academy at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Currently, Russell is a full-time Associate Professor of Dance at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Adjunct Instructor in Dance

Melanie Cox is a northern Maine native who now calls Canton, MA home where she lives with her 4 teenage children. She is a graduate of Oklahoma City University receiving her degree in dance performance. Melanie was a member and featured dancer of the American Spirit Dance Company performing in USO tours.  She is currently the creator and director of the Boston She Party Ltd. a dance company that currently performs in the Boston area. She is also the founder/ director of Why We Dance which has raised funds for organizations like the Jimmy Fund, the Furbush children’s fund and eventually partnering with Dunkin’ Brands and the Joy in Childhood Foundation. She has choreographed multiple productions collaborating with musical groups including The Wolff Sisters, Swing Caravan, as well as many other unique individual artists. Her choreography styles range from her work in musical theater; choreographing musicals like Pirates of Penzance, The Music Man, Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz to classical jazz which incorporates styles adopted from Gus Giordano, and Bob Fosse. She is also a rhythm tap dancer and has performed with the New Jersey Tap Ensemble under the direction of Deborah Mitchell. She trained privately with tap greats like Henry LeTang and Buster Brown. Her productions often incorporate aerial arts, acrobatics, hip hop and commercial styles. Melanie has been educating adults and youth in the greater Boston area for over 2 decades at Emerson College and multiple other professional and recreational programs and studios. More recently she has set work on young dancers in the Atlanta area. Melanie is thrilled to finally be producing a show for Boston.

Certified Athletic Trainer

Amanda received her Master of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Illinios, and her Bachelor of Science in Athletic training from Northeastern University.

She has taught and assisted courses in human movement, sport injury, drug use and abuse, and therapeutic exercise, as well as served as the athletic trainer assistant for the University of Illinois modern dance company and the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.

Adjunct Instructor in Dance

Anton Faynberg is a Russian-American pianist whose performances are permeated with originality, sensitivity, and a deep sense of the spiritual. Having graduated from Oberlin Conservatory and completed a doctorate in music from the University of Arizona, Dr. Faynberg continues to perform, record, and produce contemporary classical and electronic music. In addition, he regularly lectures on all aspects of music, as well as the interrelation of music and poetry. Dr. Faynberg specializes in music for academic and concert dance, improvisation, continuous music, and novel presentations of the traditional piano repertoire. 

Assistant Director of Advising/Success and Career Advisor

As the Assistant Director of Advising for the School of Dance and School of the Arts/Success & Career Advisor for the School of Dance Laura loves working with the dancers and helping them pursue their passion for the performing arts. Laura graduated from Dean College with a  Bachelor of Arts in Dance in 2011 and decided to pursue a career in Higher Education. After completing her Master of Education from Boston University and working in the field Laura is happy to be back at her Alma Mater, combining her love of dance and higher education to work with the students in the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance.

Adjunct Instructor in Dance

Shae Forest grew up dancing on Cape Cod under the direction of Amy DeFeudis.

Shae has performed in several faculty works presented at the surrounding Five Colleges in Western Massachusetts. She studied at both UMass Amherst and United Kingdom’s leading university for dance, University of Roehampton. After graduating, Shae performed with Saving Grace Dance Ensemble in Southern New Hampshire. Shae’s contemporary choreography was recognized in DanceInforma Magazine and at The Boston Contemporary Dance Festival. Her Black Lives Matter inspired video "When?" by song artist Hemi Moore was promoted by well-known singer artists and music producers in the U.K. Most recently, Shae co-choreographed for Rolling Loud Miami Music Festival. She also teaches at multiple locations in the MA area including nonprofit Boston City Lights Performing Arts.

Shae holds a BFA in Dance, a Psychology minor, and a Professional Certificate Degree in Arts Management from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Class Accompanist - Ballet and Musical Theatre


Adjunct Instructor in Dance

Thelma Larkin Goldberg, PhD founded The Dance Inn, a suburban private sector dance studio serving more than 400 students weekly, in 1983. She teaches regularly at dance teacher events including the Dancelife Teacher Conference, the American Tap Dance Foundation’s Tap Teacher Training Program, and the Beantown Tap Fest. She received the 2015 Dr. Michael Shannon Dance Champion Award from the Boston Dance Alliance for “her sustained excellence in teaching and passionate advocacy for the art of tap dancing.” Her research centers around the experience of the tap dance educator in the private sector dance studio and she shares teaching tools, videos and her books through Thelma's Tap Notes (www.thelmastapnotes.com). Thelma recently joined the dance faculty at Dean College in Franklin, MA where she is excited to work with future tap dance educators. 

Adjunct Instructor in Dance

A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Mr. Harootian received his early dance training at the Performing Arts School of Worcester and the Burncoat Senior High Dance Department. His main line of training was in classical ballet, but he also had extensive training in Modern and Jazz dance as well as Musical Theater. He attended the University of Utah on scholarship and graduated with a B.F.A. in ballet. At this time, he also became a member of Utah Ballet and performed and choreographed in many of the department’s seasonal shows. From 2004-2012, Mr. Harootian performed a variety of works with Festival Ballet Providence as a company dancer as well as choreographed many premiered works there and at several other regional dance companies and universities. Mr. Harootian was also a guest artist for Hong Kong’s Academy for The Performing Arts and Red Shoe Dance Company in Hong Kong.  He was also a faculty member at California School of the Arts-San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena Dance Theater and several other local studios in L.A. and Orange County, Artists in Residence for Orange County School of the Arts, and an adjunct professor at Chapman University. Mr. Harootian obtained his M.F.A. in dance from Montclair State University in 2020 and is currently teaching at The Hanover Theater Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Worcester MA and as an adjunct professor at Salve Regina University and Dean College.

Adjunct Instructor of Dance - Ballet

Jeremy Ruth Howes is an award-winning choreographer, educator, dancer and freelance photographer. She holds an MFA from Goddard College and a BFA from The Hartt School, The University of Hartford and she currently is a principal dancer with Anna Myer and Dancers creating roles in Myer’s original choreography. This is her 10th year teaching at Dean College and she has choreographed 20 original ballets for Dean College’s Dance Company.

Adjunct Instructor in Dance

Beginning her studies at a young age in all genres of dance, Tara later transitioned into performing a variety of ballets with Festival Ballet Providence. Fast forward, Tara is now the director of the award-winning competitive dance companies at The Talent Factory in Rhode Island, where many of her students have gone on to accept prestigious scholarships at such places as Marymount Manhattan College, Montclair State University, Elon University, PACE University and professional schooling and companies overseas! She is currently on staff with a couple of competition/convention circuits and travels often to share her love of this art around the country. Her choreography was chosen to be a part of the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival during its inception, and most recently she premiered work at the Joyce Theater in NYC. In 2019, Tara had the pleasure of visiting Joffrey Ballet’s Jazz & Contemporary Pre-Professional Training Program in New York City to hold her own audition and cast dancers for a piece she choreographed for their Spring show. Tara was thrilled to get the opportunity to expand her knowledge within the industry when taking on, and participating in, a few film projects. The most recent film project was with close friend and inspiration, Andy Pellick, that was graciously promoted by Dance Teacher Magazine. Tara strives to emphasize the importance of never feeling complacent and always remaining a student. Excited to share and dance with all of the talent at Dean College! Feel free to check out more about Tara on her personal website, www.taramariechoreography.com.

Adjunct Instructor of Dance - Modern

Sheramy Keegan-Turcotte holds an M.Sc. in Dance Science from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, a B.F.A. from Shenandoah Conservatory and an A.A. from Dean College.  She has taught and performed nationally and internationally for the past 15 years and is currently performing with Fusionworks Dance Company.

Adjunct Instructor in Dance

Heather is a native of RI who has a BFA in Dance Education from Bridgewater State University. While at Bridgewater State University she had the opportunity to study Bharata Natyum under Kausalya Strinavasin and traveled to India for three weeks to perform in multiple venues. Along with working in various studios in RI and Massachusetts, she has also been the choreographer for various musicals including Beauty and the Beast, Grease, West Side Story, Hairspray, My Fair Lady, Young Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera, Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, The Wiz, Rent, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Heather is also a regional and national competitive judge with Nexstar. She has established and directed a competitive dance company. She also had the amazing opportunity to travel the east coast as a backup dancer. Heather was most recently certified in Acrobatic Arts.

Assistant to the Dean

Tracy Lane is the Assistant to the Dean for the Palladino School of Dance and the School of the Arts.

She received her BA in Theatre Education from Emerson College where she also trained in musical theatre, dance and voice. Tracy has been a teacher of English, musical theater, acting and dance as well as a performer, director, choreographer, costumer and producer.

Adjunct Instructor of Dance - Modern and Dance Studies

Lindsay Caddle LaPointe is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, videographer and video editor.  She received her bachelor of arts degree in Dance/Performance from Roger Williams University and her masters degree in dance and technology from The Ohio State University’s department of dance.  Currently she is a dance company member in Public Displays of Motion with Peter DiMuro.

Adjunct Instructor of Dance - Ballet / Modern

Dina Ternullo Melley holds a BFA from The Boston Conservatory. She has been on the faculty at Boston College, Regis College, Louisiana State University, and University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is currently teaching at Festival Ballet Providence and is excited to be working with the American Dance Legacy Initiative (ADLI).

Class Accompanist - Modern

Joseph Morin is a composer, performer, educator and founder of The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program, drummer for Diva’s with a Twist and Paris Cabaret as well as a freelance drummer.  He is a Grammy-nominated musician and has been featured in a recent TED Talk and is the recipient of many educational grants.  He has performed with Tony Award–winning actress Betty Buckley; Academy Award–winning actress Shirley Jones; Broadway/movie actor Michael Leon Wooley; jazz legend Charlie Mariano; Dr. Krishna Raghavendra (a virtuoso on the Veena) and opened for Rita Moreno and Ben Vereen.

Adjunct Instructor of Dance - Ballet / Modern

Roshni Pecora is a 1994 graduate of Dean College. Upon graduation Roshni became principal dancer with the New England Civic Ballet Company, transitioning to the company's school director for over a decade in 2004. She continues to travel throughout the country teaching master classes for many organizations as well as serving as a coach to local ballet students preparing for international ballet competitions.

Adjunct Instructor in Dance

Katie Pustizzi (she/her) is a movement artist and educator with a focus on exploratory styles and processes. She received her MFA in Choreography from Wilson College and her BS in Dance from Salem State University. Throughout her academic journey, Katie received the Creativity Arts Award from Salem State University and the Brenda Ashton Aiken and Robert McCutchen Aiken Study Abroad Endowed Scholarship from Wilson College. Katie will be touring Italy in 2022, teaching and studying dance on the Aiken scholarship. 
Katie is currently an Adjunct Professor of Dance at Dean College, teaching Modern-Contemporary and Improvisation classes. She is also the sole dance faculty at Gann Academy. Given her success at Gann Academy, Katie was awarded a grant to study Contemporary Dance and Gaga in Israel in 2019. 

Katie is the Founder/Artistic Director of Aurora Borealis Dance Company (ABDC). The company, centered in contemporary and improvisational forms, frequently pursues embodiment, identity, and social inquiry via performance and artistic research. At ABDC, Katie developed her own improvisational language and pedagogy, which she frequently shares as a Master Teacher and Choreographer.

Katie cares deeply about the experience of every student while in her care. She is passionate about curating safe learning spaces and thriving artistic communities that value exploration, individuality, and inquiry.

Class Accompanist - Ballet

Longtime musician for dance classes at Dean.  Attended Boston University, a graduate of SUNY Albany and North Bennet St. School. Current piano faculty at the Winchester Community Music School. 

Class Accompanist - Ballet

Edward Rosser is a ballet pianist at Dean College and at the Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre in Cambridge, and is an accompanist for several area choruses. He has also recorded CDs for the Connoisseur Society label, with a recording of the Chopin Nocturnes to be released soon. He has a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from Boston University.

Applied Music Coordinator, Adjunct Instructor in Dance

Mike Sartini is an adjunct instructor and percussion accompanist for tap and modern classes for School of Dance. He teaches percussion lessons and is the program coordinator for the Applied Music program. He also serves as the music contractor for musicals in the School of the Arts.

Program Coordinator, Artist in Residence, Assistant Professor of Dance - Tap and Jazz

Featured in Dance, Dance Spirit and Dance Teacher magazines, Todd spent over a decade on the faculty at Steps on Broadway in NYC and furthermore was guest faculty at The Ailey School, Ballet Hispanico, Dance New Amsterdam, The Dalton School and Bridge for Dance, to name a few. In addition to being a full-time faculty member of the School of Dance at Dean College, Todd teaches on tour with Manhattan Dance Project, Dance Educators of America and Headliners Conventions and as a guest at The Boston Ballet School. As the head of the Jazz and Tap programs at Dean, he travels to studios across the country to award Dean College dance scholarships to promising dancers. For information on Todd’s tour and convention schedule visit www.toddshanks.com.

Associate Professor of Dance - Ballet

Jill Silverman trained at Cambridge School of Ballet, teaches throughout New England and has been associated with Boston Ballet, Harkness Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre.  Jill has been an Associate Professor of Dance at the Palladino School of Dance for 29 years where she teaches ballet, pointe, Pedagogy and is Director of Dance Company.

Associate Professor of Dance Studies

Stephen Ursprung is an Associate Professor of Dance Studies at Dean College. Outside his work as an educator, Ursprung is a skilled arts administrator and serves on the staff of the American Dance Legacy Initiative (ADLI) and is a member of the Artistic Advisory Board at Green Street Studios in Cambridge, MA. He holds an M.F.A. in dance from Smith College and a B.A. in economics and Italian studies from Brown University.

Adjunct Instructor in Dance

Pierfrancesco Valpreda received his dance training from Teatro Municipal de Santiago, The University of Chile, and St Mary’s College of California. Professor Valpreda has performed for the Ministry of Arts in Chile, Houston Ballet, Colorado Ballet, and was a principal dancer at Nevada Ballet Theater. Valpreda has performed and taught at international festivals and Universities throughout Europe, South America, South Africa, and Asia. Valpreda also directs Weymouth Ballet and dance Ballroom in the Boston area.