Faculty

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All of our faculty began their dance education at the Yanarella School of Dance at an early age. All have studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz and some have additionally studied Acrobatics, Modern, Baton and Hip Hop. All have “grown up” at the Yanarella School of Dance. They have attended classes, workshops and conventions throughout the years to continue to develop their skills in the art of dance.

Angela Van Vlack – Owner/Director

Angela started dancing at the age of four under Carol Ann Miller. She has been the director of the Yanarella School of Dance since 1996, and has been teaching there for over 30 years. She studied Classical Ballet and Modern, and served as choreographer for the annual Landphony Swimphony Competition while attending the College of New Rochelle. She has studied with Gus Giordano, Frank Hatchett, Bob Rizzo and one of her greatest influences, Debbi Dee. Angela is proud to have been able to call 2 of these Great teachers (Debbi and Bob ) friends. She has studied at numerous seminars. Angela has been part of the faculty at both the Winter and Summer National Association of Dance and Affliated Arts (NADAA) workshops, and Currently serves as New York Chapter President. Angela has taught a preschool program for the Humpty Dumpty Nursery School and has taught throughout the Beacon City school district. Angela was also co-coach of the Beacon High School Dance team. Her professional memberships include: NADAA, Professional Dance Teachers Association, International Dance Teachers Association and the National Dance Association. Angela received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the College of New Rochelle, and is licensed as a registered nurse in New York and Connecticut, with a specialty in Neonatal/Pediatrics. She worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Danbury Hospital, was a visiting nurse, and worked as a substitute nurse in the Beacon School District.Angela’s choreography has won numerous awards in various competitions.

Alison Polidore

Alison started dancing at Yanarella at the age of three, where she studied under Carol Miller, Sue Iannucci, Mary Ritter, Angela Van Vlack, Patty Callahan Biersack, Kim Peralta and Diane Gorey. Alison really found her passion for dance when she started teaching at the age of 18. She has continued her dance education by taking classes at Dutchess Community College and SUNY New Paltz, where she had earned her Bachelors degree in Public Relations. Alison has attended many dance conventions where she had the chance to take classes by instructors all over the county, including Savion Glover. She has participated in many competitions where her highlights were awarded: Best Solo of The Competition, Most Entertaining and going to National Finals in NYC. One of Alison’s proudest moments was when she performed in the Nutcracker in NYC. Alison currently teaches the advanced students ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop.Alison’s choreography has won numerous awards in various competitions.

Jacklyn Faust

Jacklyn started dancing at the age of five. A combination of her love for dance and the encouragement from her instructors made dancing more than just an “after school activity”, it became one of her passions. Throughout her years at Yanarella, Jacklyn competed in many dance competitions, participated in NADAA every summer, and was an assistant teacher at the studio.We welcomed Jackie back as an instructor in 2007. She is a graduate of Parsons School of Design and in 2007 she started her own Interior Design Firm; Jacklyn Faust Interiors and Suite Designs.

Kayla Romine (Van Vlack)

Kayla has been dancing since the age of two and a half under her mother Angela Van Vlack. Kayla, aside from her lessons at the studio, has studied at Broadway Dance Center and taken classes with dance greats such as Bob Rizzo, Mandy Moore, Sheila Barker, Mia Micheals, Frank Hatchett and Twyla Tharpe, just to name a few. She has attended workshops and competitions at NADAA, PDTA, Starbound and Dance Olympus and has even dances in Disney- twice! Kayla has been competing since the age of nine, winning numerous first places, high scores and judges awards over the years in solo, duo and group performances.. In 2005, she was runner up to Miss Pre-teen NADAA in the 9-12 age category and again in 2011 in the 17-18 category. She was a a member of BHS ‘s first Dance Team as a freshman and again as a senior. She was ecstatic with the opportunity to assist Bob Rizzo at the NADAA workshop 2010. She is active in the community and taught an after school program at James Evans Elementary, as well as the Summer Lunch Program in Beacon the past 2 summers. Kayla started assisting at the age of eleven and, entering her sixth year teaching, is a very dedicated and passionate Instructor/Choreographer. She has continued her education and love of dance, studying dance at college and attending teacher workshops and summits every year. She is currently a Chapter Vice President of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts and been on faculty for both the one-day and three-day workshops.

Kim Elias

Kim started dancing at Yanarella at the age of 2 1/2 under Carol Miller. Throughout her years at Yanarella she has attended numerous NADAA and PDTA competitions and conventions. She started teaching at the age of 17. Kim graduated from Beacon High School and is a licensed Cosmetologist.

Kristal Walden

Kristal began dancing at the age of three after watching her older sister Kim. She has attended many dance conventions and competitions including NADAA and PDTA. She started assisting at the age 13 and teaching at the age of 17. She has also been a gymnastics instructor for many years.She continued to teach after graduating high school in 2001 and attended Dutchess Community College. She graduated DCC with an Associates in Commercial Advertising and continued on to SUNY New Paltz where she received a B.S. in Fine & Visual Arts. She owns and operates her own graphic design business Kristal Walden Graphic Design.

Lauren D’Onofrio

Lauren started her love of dance at Yanarella at the age of three under Diane Gorey. Lauren began assisting at the age of 14 and teaching by the age of 16. Dance recitals, competitions, “dancing out” and parades are some of her favorite childhood memories. Lauren has taken many classes through the years at different dance conventions under the instruction of renowned teachers, including Savion Glover. Lauren was also one of the first students from Yanarella to perform as a soloist at competitions. She continued her dance education at the University of Buffalo where she studied the Performance Arts and sang, acted, choreographed and danced in numerous productions. Lauren is the co-founder and vice-president of the dance troop named UB Dazzlers, which competes nationwide. Currently, she enjoys continuing to teach dance classes and passing her knowledge and love of dance to a new generation of dancers at Yanarella. Lauren is a Pleadings Paralegal for Finkelstein & Partners, LLP.

Mary Ritter

Mary began dancing at the age of four and has been teaching here for almost 30 years. She has been on the faculty for many NADAA workshops over the years and also holds the Vice President chair for the organization. While attending Siena College, Mary enjoyed performing in the theater productions both dramatically and musically and keeps that dramatic spirit alive through her many story ballet ‘productions’ at Yanarella.Mary earned her B.S. in Mathematics from Siena College. Together, she and her husband, Bob Ritter, own and operate First Direct, a technology company in Hopewell Junction.

Megan Laurelli

Megan began dancing at Yanarella School of Dance at the age of three. Throughout her time with Yanarella, Megan has enjoyed her experiences learning at conventions such as NADAA and PDTA, as well as competing in solo, duet, and group categories. She has also taken various classes in tap, modern, and hip-hop at Broadway Dance Center and other studios in NYC. Megan earned her B.A. in Anthropology and Political Science from Hofstra University and currently works as a Wish Coordinator for Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley.

Rachel Adkins (Canfield)

Rachel began dancing at Yanarella School of Dance at the age of eight. Through the years she has taken classes such as Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Workshop and Modern. She has also participated in many competitions like NADAA and PDTA. She is very outgoing and full of life! She loves working with the students and always has a smile on her face when she is at the studio. Rachel received her undergraduate from Mount St Mary College and works full time for Health Quest at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration.