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Chad Allen Ortiz
Michael Nickerson-Rossi’s choreography is filled with complex intricacies that unravel through a beautifully orchestrated mixture of artistic movement and emotional freedom. It has been recognized as profound and it is with this passion he creates quality and meaningful programming throughout the world. Currently, you can find Michael teaching choreography and composition at John Hopkins University "Peabody Conservatory," Directing at his school "Palm Springs Dance Academy," and continuing to present concert dance works in theaters world wide and films online.
Michael has taught at over 35 Universities/Colleges across the nation, started a classical modern program at Princeton Ballet, choreographed for Maserati & Porsche and worked as the Creative Director of Dance at the Palm Springs Annenberg Theater and Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center.
Chad Allen Ortiz
Chad Allen began as an apprentice of Nickerson-Rossi Dance in 2014 and now is the Executive Director and Principal Dancer of Nickerson-Rossi Dance. Through NRD's multiple dance programs throughout Southern California and the Upper East Coast he has taught at, coordinated and/or managed over 32 high schools, 35 universities, 20 professional dance companies/choreographers, countless amounts of dance studios/academies, and 2 major non-profits: the Flourish Foundation with Jackie Lopez’s Versa-Style Next Generation in Los Angeles, thanks to Monica Rosenthal, and Sister Mary’s Project Home in Philadelphia. Not to forget the multiple programs throughout Palm Springs with Louisa Castrodale, the Palm Springs Unified School District’s Arts Coordinator.
Chad Allen has danced nationally and internationally performing throughout California, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, South Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Italy.
Anthony has been teaching, coaching and choreographing in the Southern California area for over 10 years. After discovering his passion for dance and choreography, he found himself in a rigorous training program under the mentorship of Ronald Brown of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Kimera Lewis, a well respected and experienced ballet educator. Anthony performed with the professional company “Academy of Villains”, traveled internationally to showcase his choreography in Australia, was a principle dancer of the Desert Dance Company in Cathedral City and became a lead choreographer for the company soon after. Anthony has also trained and competed with Hip Hop crew Animazing and won awards for his choreography through companies and studios that showcased his works. His philosophy is that every dancer has a unique dance style within them, and developing that style is tantamount to the importance of the technical training learned to develop our physical abilities and understanding of who we are.
Alessandra Di Perro
A native of Rome, Italy, Alessandra received extensive ballet training and started her professional dance career at the age of seventeen in Verona performing in Golestan and Bolero with Maurice Bejart’s Ballet du XXe siecle. After that she went on to Venice where she danced soloist and principal roles in The magic toy box and Giselle with Rudolph Nureyev. She performed more soloist and principal roles throughout Europe touring with the Italian company “Aterballetto” dancing classical works like Sleeping Beauty, August Bournonville’s Napoli and Flower Festival in Genzano, George Balanchine’s Agon and Allegro Brillante and more contemporary pieces like Alvin Ailey’s Night Creatures, Jose Limon’s Orpheus and Glenn Tetley’s Mythical Hunters. Shortly after moving to the US in 1984, with a few months stop in New York to take class with Maggie Black and Madame Gabriela Darvash, she moved to California and became the Artistic Director of Western Ballet School and Company in the SF Bay Area collaborating with the other instructors to devise a curriculum for 300 students that included inviting NYC Ballet guest instructors like Violette Verdy, Suky Shorer and John Prinz and choreographing many productions like The Nutcracker, Cinderella and Coppelia.
After moving to the desert last year, she is grateful to Michael Nickerson- Rossi for the opportunity to teach for the Palm Springs Dance Academy.
Sydney is honored to be a part of the exciting curriculum at Palm Springs Dance Academy. She has a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Dance from Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles), and continued her conservatory-style training at the Ailey School in New York City. There, she was fully immersed in ballet and classical modern techniques such as Dunham, Graham, and Horton, as well as commercial jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary at Broadway Dance Center. Her performance highlights include Holland America Cruise Lines, ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars at Sea,” and a Symphony Space showcase in New York City. She is so thankful for the local artistic community and loved being a part of both “Chess” the Musical at Coachella Valley Repertory Theater (choreography by Michael Nickerson-Rossi) and Palm Canyon Theater’s presentation of Peter Pan.
Sydney has choreographed for and taught all ages. Teaching credits include studio, convention, and camp settings, as well as ballroom classes for guests on board Holland America Cruises. Sydney has taught many styles of dance as well as Pilates and other forms of fitness training. In addition to her dance career, Sydney has studied acting, including Meisner technique in New York City and method training at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. She is also currently writing and producing original music.
Originally from the New York/New Jersey metro area, Gail DeZon began her ballet studies under the tutelage of some of the world’s most revered teachers, including Vitale Fokine, Graziella Danielli, Muriel Stuart and Finis Jung. As a Jazz dancer, Matt Mattox, Charles Kelly, Lynn Simonson, Phil Black, Fred Benjamin and Luigi were her mentors. Gail’s formal training also included Boston Conservatory of Music as a dance major/minor voice, Brooklyn College and many independent studies in NYC.
She partnered in opening and operating The Dance Studio of Park Slope, still thriving today in Brooklynn, NY. An ongoing collaboration between the Studio and Macy’s resulted in co-choreographing many televised events including Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and the Tap Event for the Guinness Book of Records, assembling the greatest number of tap dancers ever assembled. She then went on to teach at all three locations of the prestigious New Jersey Ballet, then under the direction of Edward Villella; a further series of moves enabled Gail to continue to teach multiple dance disciplines with a strong specialization in Ballet in NE Ohio, Philadelphia, Southern California and, as a guest teacher in Tianjin, China. Eagerly sought after as a personal coach, she has also provided private training for Olympic level skaters, gymnasts and regional dance teams.
Based in Redlands, CA for almost thirty years, Gail was deeply involved in the community as a leader in cultural and philanthropic efforts and also taught Ballet at the Brockus Conservatory. She continues to stay current with the latest Ballet disciplines and modifications with online continuing education and 20 years of Pilates training. Now in the Coachella Valley since 2012, she continues to seek out community involvement including school reading programs, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate for a foster child) and is currently working with the Ophelia Project, a mentoring group helping college-bound teenage girls.
Gail feels very lucky to have continued teaching wherever she has lived and looks forward to being an integral team member of the Palm Springs Dance Academy.