HEIDI LATSKY (Artistic Director) Read full biography here.
JEFFREY FREEZE (Associate Director) began his career as a Muppet, touring with Sesame Street Live, and moving on to a Broadway debut in Matthew Bourne's 'Swan Lake' and a film debut in "Dirty Dancing." Since arriving in New York in 1996, Freeze has worked with multiple companies, serving as both a choreographer and principal dancer for Infinity Dance Theater and, since 2003, the Associate Director and principal dancer for HLD.
BRYNT BEITMAN is from Dallas, Texas. Before going on to graduate from The Julliard School, he was nominated for Presidential Scholar in the Arts by the NFAA. He has danced with TAKE Dance, Nicholas Andre Dance, Bruce Wood Dance Project, New York Baroque Dance Company, and Texas Ballet Theater. His own works have been shown in NYC, Montreal, and Varna, Bulgaria. He is happy to have joined HLD in April 2013.
MEREDITH FAGES has performed with Armitage Gone! Dance, Alexandra Beller/Dances, Monica Bill Barnes/Waterwell, Wally Cardona, Deborah Hay, Mana Kawamura, Heidi Latsky Dance, Motley Dance, Jimena Paz, Laura Peterson Choreography, Becky Radway Dance Projects, Sarah Skaggs, Steeledance, Palissimo/Pavel Zustiak, Mitzi Adams, Eidolon Ballet, Helen Heineman, Todd Rosenlieb Dance, and Virginia Ballet Theatre. She has been featured in the ballets of Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Lew Christensen, and Antony Tudor. She has served as rehearsal assistant for Heidi Latsky, Laura Peterson, Oliver Steele, and Ginger Thatcher, and she was a member of the ballet faculty for the 2009 Peridance Summer Teen Intensive. On film she has collaborated with directors Bat-Sheva Guez, Deborah Lohse, Donnell Oakley, and Mark O'Maley, and will be appearing in a documentary by Richard Move on Heidi Latsky Dance. She was born in Charleston, SC and graduated from Columbia University with a Pre-Medical Concentration in English. Meredith has been working with HLD since 2007.
JERRON HERMAN entered HLD in the summer of 2011 never having danced before. Primarily a writer, Jerron now tells story through his body. He celebrates his third year with the company and braces for more extraordinary moments. He holds a B.A from The King's College and has written and produced two short musicals, a one-man show, and worked at several theater companies.
JORDAN HOLLAND hails from Detroit, Michigan, and is proud to be working and dancing in NYC. Since moving, he has been working actively with Heidi Latsky Dance, ChrisMastersDance and Bryan Strimpel. Performance credits include Judson Church, The Irondale Center, 100 Grand, Roulette, The Red Hook Arts Festival and most recently "Carmina Burana" with The Stonewall Chorale. A recent graduate of Wayne State University, Jordan was given the opportunity to work with Jeff Michael Rebudal, Biba Bell, Larry Keigwin, Ron de Jesus and Julie Bour among many other prominent choreographers and dance artists.
JILLIAN HOLLIS met Heidi Latsky at Point Park University where she graduated with a BA in dance. She recieved her early training from the Center of Ballet and Dance Arts in Syracuse, NY. Since moving to New York she has worked with Rocha Dance Theater, Take Dance, Carrie Ahern Dance, Joseph Mills, Heather Harrington, The Good to Go Girls and Lady Rizo. She performs in the Burlesque scene under her alter ego, Gigi Bonbon. Jillian is rehearsal director for Jenny Rocha and Her Painted Ladies, and has been described as "Blithley irrepressible" in the New York Times by Jennifer Dunning. She has been a member of Heidi Latsky Dance since 2002.
SAKI MASUDA is from Nara, Japan. Her professional credits include Steps Repertory Ensemble, Ballet Hispanico Ensemble, Staten Island Ballet, Nai-ni Chen Dance Company, Xodus Dance Collective, Heidi Latsky Dance, Benjamin Briones Ballet and the musical “Cats“ as Victoria, among others. She has been dancing with HLD since 2012.
JOHN MCGINTY holds a Master of Performing Arts Administration from New York University and only recently made his dance debut with Heidi Latsky Dance. Before that, he appeared in New York City's FETES DE LA NUIT, which was nominated for Drama Desk. NY/Regional Theatre: PIPPIN (Mark Taper Forum/Deaf WEST), Handicapped People in their Formal Attire (Premiere Stages). Television: I KILLED MY BFF, FBI: CRIMINAL PURSUIT, LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT. He is honored to be part with a wonderful company! "HLD taught me that dance is not something that can be explained in words. It has to be danced! HLD would feed my body and soul with passion in dance every day!"
STEVE SCHEPIS appeared on Broadway in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert and Finian's Rainbow. Other NY theatre credits include Anyone Can Whistle and On The Town, both at City Center's Encores. He toured Europe with the 50th Anniversary World Tour of West Side Story. Regional credits include Tommy Keeler in Annie Get Your Gun at Goodspeed Opera House, Benjamin in Seven Brides at Sacramento Music Circus, and Oklahoma at Papermill Playhouse. You can see Steve dancing in Beyonce's Mrs. Carter Tour promo video.
ROBERT SIMPSON studied modern dance with Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Willa Kahn, and Irene Feigenheimer; ballet with Alfredo Corvino, Michael Vernon, and Pamela Pribisco. In New York City he has performed his own work and in that of Barbara Roan and Claudia Gitelman – and, since 2010, with Heidi Latsky Dance. As result of a Cerebral Vascular Accident in 1998, Robert lost the use of his left side. In 2005 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
ALEXANDRIA WAILES joined the Heidi Latsky Dance Company in January 2013. Her professional credits as an actor include Broadway: BIG RIVER; NY/Regional: MOTHER COURAGE (w. Meryl Streep), A KIND OF ALASKA, GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES, FETES DE LA NUIT, PIPPIN, THE WILD BOYS, SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES, BIG RIVER; Television: LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, NURSE JACKIE, CONVICTION; Film: ALWAYS CHASING LOVE, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE. Ms Wailes received a 2007 LA Ovation nomination for 'Best Lead Female in a Musical' for SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES.
In her spare time, she's the artistic director of Senses Askew Company, a Vinyasa flow yoga instructor, a teaching artist for drama/movement, teaches ASL and is an educator at several museums in NYC.
GREGORY YOUDAN, JR. – Originally from Rochester, NY, Gregory holds a BA in Dance from Hofstra University and has been dancing with Heidi since 2010. He is currently dancing with the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, New York Baroque Dance Company, and is a frequent guest with David Parker and the Bang Group. Past company credits include HT Chen and Dancers, Lifedance/ Gloria Mclean and Dancers, Catherine Gallant/DANCE, Kelley Donovan and Dancers, and others. Gregory’s choreography has been presented at Hofstra University, Dance New Amsterdam (Works in Progress), Movement Research (Open Performance) and he was commissioned to create a work on the FAITH Project to benefit the American Lung Association. He is a certified Pilates instructor through the Pilates Method Alliance.
JENNIFER BRICKER always had a passion for tumbling and gymnastics, despite being born without legs, and has competed against able-bodied athletes. She moved from her small town in southern Illinois to work for Walt Disney World, where her life took an unexpected twist and she started performing as an acrobat/aerialist. She currently pursues a career in television and film, speaking, and fitness in Los Angeles.
IDIL BRAY began her dance training at the age of 4 at Ballet Arts, the professional school of Ballet Tucson, and at age 12 she became a resident artist at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She is currently a student at the Ailey School.
STEPHANIE BUSIA holds a BA in both Dance and Psychology from Beloit College in Wisconsin, with departmental honors in Dance. There, she choreographed and danced in the Senior Showings, and in 2009, her choreography was performed at the American College Dance Festival.
LAWRENCE CARTER-LONG is the Executive Director of the Disabilities Network of NYC, the founder and curator of the disTHIS! Film Series, and a commentator for television and radio. A popular public speaker on a wide array of topics, he was presented with the Paul G. Hearne Award to recognize emerging leaders within the national cross-disability civil rights movement.
NATE CRAWFORD competed in gymnastics for the University of Illinois at Chicago, graduating with a Bachelors of Business Administration. After giving up a traditional role in business management, he now performs around the globe, including a world tour with Britney Spears.
KEVIN FAY began dancing at The Joy of Motion Dance Center in Bethesda, Maryland. During summers while attending Northwestern University, he trained with, among others, The Ailey School, and these days he’s in New York working with companies like Douglas Dunn & Dancers.f
LEZLIE FRYE is an activist, performance artist, poet and scholar. Her academic work explores intersections of dis/ability, race, gender, sexuality and nation, with particular interest in art and aesthetics, citizenship and the politics of life and death.
GEORGE GALLEGO is the Founder and CEO of Wheels of Progress, an organization focused on creating affordable and accessible supportive housing for persons with disabilities. In recent years, he has been a world-class athlete competing in triathlons around the world and a member of S.A.G.
AMBAR GONZALEZ is a Dominican-born New Yorker who graduated from Hunter College’s BA programs in Dance & Theatre. She is also a veteran and former United States Army Reservist, and while serving in Iraq she took on the additional duty of a recreational Latin dance instructor to soldiers and civilians.
DAVID HARRELL is an actor, dancer, writer, speaker and disability advocate. He holds a BFA. in Theatre Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi and a MFA. in Theatre Performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He moved to New York in 2008 to continue his acting and advocacy work.
TERRENCE HEWITT has performed in "Moving Portraits" with the AIDS service center, as well as in work by Dance New Amsterdam. He has also had stage and film roles.
ELFIE KNECHT is a dis-ability rights activist and adaptive sports enthusiast who plays the accordion and classical piano. As a certified peer visitor for the Amputee Coalition of America, Elfie shares with - and listens to - hundreds of new and kindred amputees.
DAVID LINTON is a Professor of Communication Arts at Marymount Manhattan College, where he teaches course in media studies, theory and communication history. While active in academic politics, he is also an avid skater (both roller and ice) and did the skateography for a production of “Alice in Wonderland.”
SIMI LINTON is the co director/co-producer of Invitation to Dance, a film about dance and disability. She is the author of Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity, and a memoir, My Body Politic.
CATHERINE LONG is a Performance Artist whose work aims to give insight into how perceptions of ourselves are shaped by our perceptions of others. An international performer, she has a BA (Hons) in Arts Therapies.
CLAUDE LOUISSAINT has worked with HLD since 2002 and is thrilled to be working in this capacity. CL is also thrilled and proud to be the mom of Asta and Elianna.
TOBY MACNUTT is a quadrupedal queer crip, anthropological scholar, activist, and dancer whose academic focus has been on community creation, identity development, and communication. Past experience includes speaking, writing, and leading workshops for a variety of groups in educational, professional, and conference settings.
AKEMI NISHIDA is an activist, educator, student, and cultural worker for social justice. She came the U.S. in 2002 from Japan and her work soon began to focus on disability and diversity, and privilege and alliance.
EVE PACKER is a Bronx-born poet/performer who performs solo, with music, in dance and theater. She has published books of her poetry and recorded CDs of her performances.
SULEIMAN RIFAI arrived from Tanzania in 1979 for vision rehabilitation and had the opportunity to train at the Alvin Ailey New Visions Dance Project where he mainstreamed into their professional dance program with sighted dancers. He is currently a full-time psychotherapist, runs marathons, and in 2010 was the first blind person to complete the Empire State Building Run-Up.
JENNY ROCHA is a dancer/performer, choreographer, costume designer and teacher. Her work has been presented by Danspace Project, Joyce Soho, Lamama ETC, and more, and she is currently a teaching artist in New York City.
EVAN RUGGIERO began dancing at 5, but had his right leg amputated due to cancer while a sophmore at Montclair State University. After healing and 16 months of chemo, he learned to tap using a “peg-leg.” He has since appeared at tap festivals around the country, and appeared in Tap World (film), on American Idol, The Ellen Show, and on Telemundo’s, Un Nuevo Dia.
THOMAS VALLETTE was paralyzed for a year after a debilitating car accident. When he regained mobility, he started his acting career and eventually moved to Florida to act and direct. He lost his hearing through an illness and now teaches sign language.
CHRISTINA BRIGGS WINSLOW was born in Virginia, where she danced with the Richmond Ballet and earned a BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. A puppeteer, choreographer, and Pilates instructor, she is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Drama and Dance at Hofstra University.