Faculty

Our staff of trained dance and performing arts professionals truly cares about every student, and makes sure each dancer is properly placed and is reaching their full potential. Take a few minutes to get acquainted with our amazing faculty!

Click here to see our Special Guest Instructors and Choreographers

 

  Darcy Baia

  Founder and Artistic Director

At the age of 2-years-old, Darcy Baia embarked on her lifetime career path in the world of dance by studying ballet with Madam Nina Sokolova in Larchmont, NY. After merely 3 years of study, her talent caught the attention of local producers, and by age 5 she was already under contract to perform in the Sound of Music in the role of "Little Gretel" at the Elmsford Dinner Theater.

By the time she was 6, Darcy was also studying at Firestone Studios in Bronxville, NY and touring the U.S. with the dance company at Mimi Kellerman’s Academy of Dance. A year later, she was receiving additional instruction under the direction of Rita Curry.

Continuing her studies through her adolescence, Darcy’s quest for excellence took her to France, where at age 15 she studied and performed in dance companies there and in Switzerland. Returning to the U.S., she received additional instruction under Robert Rayow.

As a featured dancer with Mr. Rayow’s Step In Time Dance Company, Darcy was tapped at age 19 to begin teaching other students. This was a turning point in her career, as Darcy realized that although she loved to perform, her true calling was to share her love of dance by instructing others.

After only two years as an instructor for Mr. Rayow, Darcy stepped out on her own and founded Darcy's Academy of Dance in 1993, where she continues to regularly teach classes in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, theatrical and more. As the organization's main choreographer, she is the creative driving force behind the Academy and Darcy's Dance Company, and has won countless awards for excellence in choreography.

To assist her in imparting the love of dance to the students in her Academy, Darcy has assembled a stellar team of instructors, including...

  

  Bria Connolly

  Combination Classes | Competition Teams | Leaps, Jumps & Turns | Acro

Bria Connolly has been dancing competitively at an elite dance studio in New York since she was 5 years old and has won awards in the genres of tap, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, and musical theater. Her solos, duos, trios and group numbers have won at regional and national competitions, and she is a past title winner for her character solo, "Helen Keller". In addition, she has choreographed award-winning routines in several genres.

She has trained professionally at Complexions and Broadway Dance Center, and has worked with choreographers such as Wildabeast, Deshawn Da Prince, Hannah Fredrick, Michael Susten, Tom Richardson, David Norsworthy, Miles Keeney and Desmond Richardson. She has performed at Barclay's Center, Madison Square Garden, Walt Disney World and on Channel 11's Wonderama. She is head concierge for The Royal Dance Competition where she also choreographs for the National peformance team. She continues to perfect her own talents while she shares her passion with dancers of all ages through her teaching, choreography and coaching.

  

  Breanne O'Toole

  Combination Classes

Breanne O'Toole

Breanne O'Toole is excited to be back at Darcy's Academy of Dance, where she acquired her foundation in dance, and won several national titles as a member of Darcy's competing team.

In addition to her studies at Darcy's Academy, she also trained at the American Academy of Ballet, Northern Westchester Center of the Arts (NWCA), Scarsdale Ballet, Gus Giordano's Jazz Dance World Congress, Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. While attending University at Buffalo, Bre participated in the the BFA Dance Program and continued her training under Thomas Relabate, William Thomas, Karen Georger, Melanie Aceto, Lynn Kurdziel Formato and others, and also performed with the Zodiaque Dance Company for 5 seasons.

Upon graduating from college with high honors and a BFA, Breanne moved to New York City, where she currently holds a position with the McDonald/Selznick Associates (MSA) dance agency.

  

  Maïa Eugene

  Hip-Hop | Contemporary

Maïa Eugene began her dance training at age 6 and has since studied many styles of ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, tap, and hip-hop. She competed with an elite dance company for many years winning both national and regional titles. She continues to train at Broadway Dance Center, Marymount Manhattan College, and under Deshawn “Da Prince” Hawthorne as a member of his company, Royal Thieves. She has attended summer and winter intensives at the American Academy of Ballet, The Ailey School, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet School, and the dance company 10 Hairy Legs. 

Maïa began teaching and choreographing at age 15 and has been doing so ever since, teaching hip-hop at her former studio and assisting classes for the “First Steps” program at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. She continues to choreograph award-winning solos, duets, trios, and large group dances for all ages sharing her true passion and love for dance with others.

  

  Abigail Kelvas

  Jazz | Tap | Theatrical | Competition Jazz

From a very young age, Abigail has always had a love for moving and expressing herself with her body, which led her to explore and train in many dance styles such as ballet, jazz, lyrcial, contemporary, and hip-hop. While training and competing with a New York-based elite dance company for 12 years, Abigail won several regional and national titles and explored summer training at Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

In 2013, she moved to Philadelphia to pursue her B.F.A at the University of the Arts under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield. During her time at UArts, Abigail has had the opportunity to tour in Paris, Brussels and Roubaix performing some of her own work as well as excerpts from faculty and guest artists. She had also spent summers away from college at Early Mosley's Institute of the Arts and there performed works by Heidi Cruz, Greg Sinacori, Roderick Jackson, and Early Mosley. If there is one thing that she learned from her time in Philadelphia, it is that dance can speak to everybody. After making her senior thesis work, presenting it, and completing her degree, Abigail moved home to New York where she continues to dance, choreograph, teach, and explore new ways to move the body.

  

  Taylor Forcelli

  Competition Hip-Hop | Leaps, Jumps & Turns

Taylor is returning to our dance family after receiving her bachelors degree in Psychology from the University at Albany. She joined our dance family at the very young age of 3, and danced with us straight through her high school years, training in all genres: ballet, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, lyrical and jazz. During her younger years, she was also invited to join Darcy's Elite Company, where she won many awards for her solo and team dances, and gained tremendous experience in the dance competition arena. In college, as she studied Psych, she also continued in her dance passion/journey, joining the Univ of Albany dance team, choreographing hip-hop and lyrical numbers for her peers in the troupe with her. More recently, Taylor has been a head teacher at a private preschool in the local area, and she is ecstatic to return to our academy and share her dance knowledge and passion for dance with our kids, encouraging them to dance their hearts out as she has always done.

  

  Cindy Timmerman

  Tap

Being a competition dancer from the young age of 5 in the Little Gypsy Dance Company, and knowing dance was a true passion, Cindy has continued to train at studios in NJ and NYC throughout her career. She has been a dance instructor and choreographer for 26 years now, earning numerous awards and trophies for her routines throughout that time and has owned and directed  a studio as well. In the early part of her career, she hosted and choreographed a how to hip hop video for children which sold throughout the US, danced for major amusement parks, halftime shows at Giants Stadium, was featured in several fitness commercials, and dance wear ads. She is also a certified Piloxing instructor, as well as teaching  many other fitness classes. Most recently she was a featured tapper in a music video out 2 summers ago. She has experience with children through adults in a variety of genres, and her passion for teaching is still going strong. She is ecstatic to be going full circle at the Academy where she began teaching when she first moved to NY. Cindy deems herself a team player, a hard worker and experienced in her trade and who will always take the time to know the dancer and be as much as an inspiration help and mentor to anyone she has the pleasure to work with on any level. 

  

  Amber McCrink

  Contemporary

Amber McCrink is trained in various styles such as jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary, lyrical and hip hop. In additon to success in the competition world, she was a featured dancer in J. Grace's music video. Amber became a Noble Prodigy All-Star for Artistic Dance Exchange under Juan Borona, where she assisted the ADE faculty and performed internationally. Amber studied at LaGuardia High School and was inducted for the Lee Theodore Award. She studied modern dance with Blakeley White-McGuire and Greg Sinacori, whom she assisted in the Horton technique at conventions. Amber made Top 100 for season 16 of So You Think You Can Dance, Fox TV. She has been a part of the LaG Ensemble and Earl Mosley's Winter Repertory Showcase, recently performed at LA's World of Dance, and is currently a company member in two NYC-based companies: Unique Soulz (created by Megz Alfonzo from So You Think You Can Dance season 12) and Royal Thieves (under DeShawn Da Prince).

  

  Lily Traver

  Ballet | Pointe

Lily has been studying the Cecchetti method of ballet since the age of 3 at the Feder School of Classical Ballet. She passed her advanced examinations with honors and has a strong overall foundation of technique. Along with studying at the Feder School of Classical Ballet, Lily was a core member of Greater Niagara Ballet Company where she performed in The Nutcracker, Degas, Pas De Quatre, Coppelia, and variations from Les Sylphides. Towards the end of her residence with the company, she was promoted to soloist. Lily served as rehearsal assistant and set choreography with the company as well.

Along with knowing the importance of both the technical Cecchetti method and the creativity that goes into the production of a ballet, Lily has a love for teaching children. She began teaching primary classes with the Feder School of Ballet at age 15 and assisting in higher level classes. Additionally Lily taught with the Lewiston and Grand Island Dance Studios. Here Lily taught technique and point classes to all age groups along with teaching competitive team classes in lyrical and choreographing solos and duets in contemporary and lyrical. She is excited to join our team!

  

  Paula DeLuise

  Lyrical

Born and raised on Long Island, New York. She started dancing at the age of three. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, and musical theater for fifteen years. She competed and was a national dance champion many times over holding regional and national titles. She has traveled the world performing as a featured dancer in the production shows with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Paula has toured with various performing artists such as Lisa Lisa, Love Inc. and performed with NSYNC in the Women’s World Cup opening ceremonies. She was a dancer in the original cast of the “New” Show in the Sky at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Paula was the Dance Captain for four years of the Tony Award Winning Director/Choreographer, Jerry Mitchell’s “PEEPSHOW” at Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  You also may have seen her on the last two episodes of Season Three's “Ice Loves Coco” when she taught Coco the choreography to star in “PEEPSHOW”! 
She was an install director for Celebrity Cruise Line as well as a producer and a lead Vixen of "Coco & The Vanity Vixens."  Paula loves to share her time and talent to help those in need. In 2010 she started, organized and produced Broadway Bares Las Vegas, which was an annual event for 5 years, to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  Paula is happy to be back in New York City! Since 2013 she has donated her time and talents to Broadway Bares in New York City! Paula has performed on Saturday Night Live with Miley Cyrus in the digital short "The Baby Step."  She was the dance captain, swing, and the Jenny Understudy, for the Tony Award Winning Director and Choreographer Jerry Mitchell and Co-Choreographer Nick Kenkel's new Broadway Bound Production of "Half Time" at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey!  The show premiered in Chicago December of 2015, formerly known as "Gotta Dance!" Most recently you may have seen Paula dancing along side Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Priyanka Chopra, Adam Devine, and Brandon Scott Jones in the final scene of the film "Isn't It Romantic!" She enjoys sharing her love and passion for dance with all whom she encounters!

  

  Bella Camuto

  Competition Hip-Hop

Isabella (Bella) Camuto began dancing at the age of 3 and has danced competitively for over 10 years at local studios in NY. She has won awards in genres such as hip hop, contemporary, ballet & lyrical. She has won several title awards and won the highest scoring number for the entire competition weekend with her contemporary solo, “Elegy.” 

Bella has trained professionally and performed with Ajkun Ballet Theatre in NYC as a junior associate. She has worked with choreographers such as Angel Armas, Victor Smalley, Nick Daniels, Teddy Forance and Wildabeast. 

She continues her training at Manhattanville College as a double major of Psychology & Dance. She attended several summer intensives at the American Academy of Ballet. 

Bella had started choreographing at age 15 for her local dance studio’s competitive team. She had continued to teach and choreograph for her high school’s dance team when she was named the team’s Captain for her senior year. 

She continues to share her passion for dance with others through performances, choreographing and teaching.

 

 

 

 

Special Guest Instructors and Choreographers

  Deshawn Da Prince

Deshawn was enrolled into Devor Dance Center in Jamaica Queens NY at age five and his first classes ever were Jazz, Ballet and African, but five years later he was introduced to Hip Hop. with a group from the same center named Da F.I.R.M. He was the youngest dancer in the group but kept up with the other young adults in the group. Deshawn later on joined a crew of boys who named themselves G.I.B (Go In Brother) who labeled him as a choreographer for the group.

As Deshawn went on experiencing the choreography world he then started submitting to shows such as Carnival NY, Sybarite Love is Love & WOD N.J. were he has presented his latest works.

He also started artist developing and creative directing through the experience of doing such shows.

Deshawn since has worked with artist such as Chris Brown, Lil Mama Nyemiah Supreme and more…. Weather choreographing or back up dancing he booked as much as possible.

Right now Deshawn is a choreographer,dancer,dance coach & artist developer for the New York burlesque show The Dollhouse and there male version The Ken Project who is represented by Bloc Agency NYC.

Deshawn is just getting started, his vision and goals are now more clear than ever this bright new star is sure to please and so refreshing to the dance industry .

  Miles Keeney

Miles Keeney is a New York City based professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher. He's represented by MSA talent agency, and has worked commercially in both New York and Los Angeles. His credits include dancing for Samsung, Silentó, Jason Derulo, Ru Paul's Drag Race, VH1, Viacom, and Calvin Chen, as well as choreographing for programs at Broadway Dance Center, Nikki Tino, The University of Auckland in New Zealand, The University of Virginia, and for countless videos and stage performances. He's had the opportunity to train under the most revered names in the industry on both coasts and has been noted for his power, ferocity, and versatility. Miles graduated in 2015 with a BA in Dance with a double major in Developmental Psychology from Connecticut College.

A powerhouse teacher, Miles teaches consistently in New York City at Peridance Capezio Center and Brickhouse NYC as well as various studios across the country and internationally. He's developed a unique jazz funk style that pulls from his training in hip hop, jazz, contemporary, and modern. His classes leave his students feeling like they channeled their inner superstar and tapped into a higher level of performance quality. He is currently a resident faculty member at Artistic Dance Exchange Competition and Convention, and remains an experienced competition judge, having judged for all regional and national competition dates of Step Up 2 Dance's season.

 

  Michael Susten

 

Michael has been a dance educator for the past 14 years. He has had the privilege of teaching at dance studios around the country, Performing Arts High Schools and most recently was a guest at Point Park University. Michael has trained and mentored students who have performed on Broadway (Billy Elliot & Matilida) Vegas (Jubilee) Theme Parks (Disney Orlando & Tokyo) Major Dance Companies (Giordano Dance Company) and been accepted into the top dance colleges(Point Park, NYU, University of the Arts, Towson, Pace, Fordham, Marymount Manhattan, Walnut Hill)

 

While a sophomore in college, Michael created the Xhale Dance Company, a contemporary company based in the heart of Philadelphia. He produced and directed eleven shows while he was still a student. In addition to their seasonal productions, the company also performed in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, The Koresh Artist Showcase and The Choreographer’s Canvas in NYC. 
After graduation Michael continued producing his company, while teaching at studios in the Tri-State Area. In 2010 Michael was selected to showcase his work in the Dance Underneath the Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Springs, California. The Xhale Dance Company also had the opportunity to perform as a guest with Tracie Stanfield’s Synthesis Dance Project, before celebrating its 5th Anniversary concert at the Salvatore Capezio Theatre at Peridance in NYC. 

Michael was honored to be a finalist in the International Choreography Competition at Jazz Dance World Congress. He was featured in Dance Teacher Magazine (November 2012 issue) and also won the video of the month.  Last March Michael had the debut of his new company Michael Susten & Company which was a two night sold out even held in NYC, which was followed by another sold out weekend in November.  This February Michael will showcase his work in the Pushing Progress Showcase for the third time, alongside some of NYC's top choreographers.

 David Norsworthy

Born in Toronto, Canada, David Norsworthy is an internationally acclaimed performer, choreographer and teacher. He graduated from The Juilliard School (New York, USA) in May 2013, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Dance Division. He has performed professionally for companies in Canada, the USA, Sweden and Australia. He has been featured in Dance Studio Life Magazine, Dance Canada Quarterly and USA Today College. 

David is the recipient of The Living Arts Centre's inaugural Ron Lenyk Arts Award and an Ontario Arts Council International Residency Grant. He is the Founder / Artistic Director of FRESH Dance Intensive, a workshop series that has inspired over 5100 young people in 6 Canadian provinces since 2007 and Co-Founder / Co-Artistic Director of TOES FOR DANCE, an outreach and exchange initiative that has received critical praise from The Globe and Mail and The Dance Current. In 2016 he was named one of the 25 Most Influential Young Choreographers by Narcity Toronto.

  Amy Yakima

Amy Yakima grew up dancing at Noretta Dunworth School Of Dance in Dearborn, Michigan. While training, she was casted in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular as Clara for 3 years at the fox theatre in Detroit, MI and 1 year at the Radio City Music Hall in NYC. She is most notably know for winning season 10 of Fox’s hit tv show “So You Think You Can Dance” and continuing to tour nationwide that fall with the top 10 contestants of that season. She toured with Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound dance company and was a performer in Lindsey Stirling’s Shatter Me national/international tour. She was a dancer in Carrie Underwood’s “Something in the Water” music video and came back to SYTYCD as an all-star performer. She trained on scholarship for one year at Marymount Manhattan college, and was on faculty at Velocity Dance Convention, West Coast Dance Convention, and Radix Dance Convention. She just recently made her Broadway debut as Peter Pan in Finding Neverland in which she performed there for over a year.

 

  Gianna Cusato      

 

Gianna Cusato has been training in all styles of dance since she was 7 years old. As she grew older however, her constant love and hunger for the arts pushed her to expand her dance knowledge beyond the world of commercial dance.

She spent more of her summers in high school training at various modern dance programs such as NYSSSA, and the Ailey School where she worked with prestigious faculty. She now is studying modern dance even more in depth as a Dance Major at Purchase College's Conservatory of Dance. She still trains and teachers in hip hop,jazz,tap and lyrical and is also currently signed with MSA talent agency in NYC.


- back to top of page -