Our Teachers

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Lisa Mennilli

Owner, Instructor

Lisa Mennilli is an accomplished teacher and choreographer. Her credits include Fiddler on the Roof, Sound of Music, Mame, My Fair Lady, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, Aladdin, Aida, and Seussical the Musical, to name a few. Lisa has been owner and director of the Lisa Mennilli Dance Academy, of Newtown, Connecticut, for the last 43 years. Her students have gone on to professional careers in television, major motion pictures, and on the Broadway stage. Her Competitive Dance Company has garnered such awards as Dancers of the Year, Overall Grand National Champions, as well as winning over 3,000 first place awards for Outstanding Achievements in Dance. Students and graduates have been awarded scholarships to participate in many prestigious dance and theatre programs across the U.S. Lisa is the proud recipient of such titles as “Outstanding Choreographer,” and “Teacher of the Year.”

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Gina Daugherty

Ballet & Contemporary Instructor

Gina Daugherty is a dancer and choreographer currently located in New York City. Originally from Minnesota, she grew up dancing at Northern Force Dance Company under the direction of Kara Bode and Joe Meyer, where she was also an assistant instructor. She has studied at many prestigious schools including The University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA), Peridance Capezio Center (New York, NY), and most recently completed the Professional Semester at Broadway Dance Center (New York, NY). She also has attended the Joffrey Ballet School Jazz & Contemporary LA Summer Intensive on a full tuition scholarship. Recently, Gina has performed at the Salvatore Capezio Theatre, Battery Dance Festival and the Danza Heights Festival. Gina has been able to work with many choreographers in her career including Mandy Moore, Michael Mindlin, Ephrat Asherie, Jaci Royal, Sabrina Phillip, Cheryl Copeland, Cassie Nordgren, Diego Funes and Vive Khamsingsavath. 

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Christopher Broughton

Tap Instructor

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Christopher Broughton began dancing at the age of 12 and never looked back. Under the instruction of Paul and Arlene Kennedy at Universal Dance, he immediately became a member of the Kennedy Tap company, world renowned and responsible for such tap greats as Derick Grant and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, the latter of which he had he pleasure of performing as cast mates in his first Tony, Astaire and Drama Desk Award winning Broadway show After Midnight. Broughton's dancing has also led to National recognition with the NAACP ACT-SO Award not once, but twice. An an instructor, performer and choreographer, his art has taken him everywhere from St. Louis and Washington D.C. to Brazil, Finland, Cuba, Italy, Germany and beyond. In 2007, hardship struck Broughton's life when he spent over a year recovering from three gunshot wounds to the left leg. He has very much returned at the peak of his game. Since his triumph, Broughton has performed and toured the world with such greats as Jason Samuels Smith, Chloe Arnold, R&B singer MYA and Ted Levy. Company work has included national and international tours with Dorrance Dance, Magic of The Dance, and Rasta Thomas’ Tap Stars; as well as participating in The Cotton Club Parade at NY City Center. Christopher’s athletic choreography, courage and charisma are currently in the highest demand. Christopher Broughton owes his sincerest gratitude to his sister Chantel Heath, who introduced him to the world of dance, Tonie Nicholas, son of the legendary Fayard Nicholas, and Paul and Arlene Kennedy; without whom, he wouldn't be where he is today. 

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Careese Gordon

Instructor

Careese Gordon was raised in Queens, New York.  At the age of 14, she started dancing professionally. She has trained at some on the best dance schools and programs in New York City, including, Broadway Dance Center, Brickhouse NYC and Rock the Industry under the leadership of Luam Keflezgy. Through dance, she has had a numerous amount of amazing opportunities. Some of these include, being a part of Generation X Dance Crew under the leadership of Kelly Peters, signing a contract with Clear Talent Group agency, filming for Pantene Japan, having a role in Alicia Keys’ film: The Gospel, and also dancing in New York Fashion Week’s: Macy’s Front Row 2016 at Madison Square Garden. Careese trains in many styles including contemporary, popping & waving, street jazz and her favorite, hip-hop.

Liz Rohm

Instructor

Liz Rohm originally began training at the Pittsburgh Ballet House, as well as the Abby Lee Dance Company where she was featured on Lifetime's TV show, Dance Moms. Liz attended Point Park University & Slippery Rock University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a specialization in Performance & Choreography. She then graduated from Broadway Dance Center's Professional Semester in New York City, signed with MSA Talent Agency & became a company member of FJK Dance Company under the direction of Fadi J. Khoury & Sevin Ceviker. Liz has performed at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre, Symphony Space, TADA Theatre, Tenri Cultural Institute, Radio City Music Hall, Mark Morris Theatre, Hudson River Museum & John Jay College of Criminal Justice performing works by Nijawwon Matthews, Jim Cooney, Trevor Sones, Josh Assor, Emily Greenwell, Sheila Barker, Fadi J. Khoury, Sevin Ceviker, Angela Patmon and more. She has most recently worked with Grammy Award Winning, Mya, as well as the Beacon Band and Gianna Alessi.

Hannah Russel 

Ballet Instructor

Hannah Russel is a versatile singer, actress and dancer from Sydney, Australia.  She is a graduate of Ev and Bow's full-time classical/contemporary course, The international Student Program at Broadway Dance Center and holds a Bachelor of Music in Arts Management from the Australian Institute of Music. 

Hannah has performed around Australia as a show host for leading brands, Nickelodeon Live, ABC Kids, Dreamworks and Warner Brothers.  She is also a former "Pantherette" dancing for three seasons with the National Rugby League.  In New York City, she has performed as a jazz and contemporary dancer for choreographers, Josh Assor, Zanza Steinberg, and as a featured soloist in Giacomo Severini's Contemporary Ballet, "Creating Memories."  Her favorite credits include Buglisi Dance Theater's, "Table of Silence," a core company dancer for ALMA, New York City, Symphony Space, Manhattan Movement Arts Center, ANZ Stadium and Dixon Place.  

As a teacher, Hannah enjoys mentoring students, creating a class that is energizing and fun and also challenging.  Her goals as a teacher are to see students develop the necessary skills and mindset to thrive long-term, understanding their value so they can add value to others as performing artists. 

 

 

 

 

Carla Butkovic

 

Jazz Instructor

Carla was born and raised in Cleveland, OH, where she began her journey of 20 years and counting with dancing in various styles, and competitively for five years winning multiple titles, both regional and national. She attended the University of Akron for her BFA in Dance with a Ballet and Modern (Graham) focus, while still training under Dee Hillier in strict traditional Jazz technique. After booking her first Professional Dance job as a dancer in Luminosity: Ignite the Night at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, OH, she decided to take a risk and not go back to her final two years of school to move to NYC at a fresh 20 years old. She attended Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester with a Jazz/Contemporary and Street Styles focus, with additional focus in Tap/Musical Theater in Fall of 2017. She has credits from that time including MTV’s TRL, Macy’s Day Parade Opening Number ’17 with NappyTabs, SEIKO watch commercial, and other video and performance experience, including BDC Showcase. Directly following, she was casted with Norwegian Creative Studios (Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings) to be a Dance Swing for with the Regent Seven Seas Mariner. Following in 2018, she completed a Mediterranean tour with the Oceania Riviera as a dancer, and in 2019 she took off with her second full-length contract as the Dance Captain onboard Regent Seven Seas Mariner, touring through Asia, Canada, and Alaska. Carla has been blessed to have seen 44 countries so far and is excited to see where her active performing career takes her. She has been in Cameron Lee’s Adv/Pro Virtual Mentorship for four months throughout quarantine focused in Commercial styles with additional elite LA guest teachers as she is still consistently training. She is thrilled to be able to share all of the knowledge she has gained with her ongoing entertainment experience with her students. Her students could expect a professional, but fun environment with a continuous push each week as she dances along with them!

Address:125 S. Main Street

Newtown, CT 06470

Email: Lmdadance@yahoo.com

Tel: 203-893-5090

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