After almost a decade as BWR’s Children’s Dance Coordinator, Jackie is now BWR’s Artistic Director. She had her early studies in Ballet, Modern, Tap, and Jazz at BWR. In 2006, Jackie was hired on to the BWR dance faculty as the tap and pre-hip hop instructor. Dedicated to BWR, Jackie gradually added more classes and built a strong foundation to the young children’s dance program, tap, and jazz programs. Jackie received her Bachelors degree in dance and graduated Cum Laude from Slippery Rock University. While in college, she choreographed and performed in many concert performances and had studied and worked with numerous well-renowned choreographers. Jackie has also been a dance instructor of Gigi’s Studio of Dance in New Castle, PA, creator and director of Creative Steps dance program at the Jewish Community Center in Youngstown, OH, guest summer instructor at Akiva Academy, Summer director for BWR’s summer dance intensives and dance camps, and Adjunct Dance Faculty for Youngstown State University. She has guest instructed and judged auditions for local dance studios as well as Dance Masters of Ohio. Besides her love and passion for dance as an art form, Jackie’s other art passion is through her family’s florist and bakery business (Flowers ‘N All/Carol’s Cakery) where she specializes in cakes and wedding cakes. Jackie is a proud mother to her beautiful daughter, Hazel Mae.
Danielle Perrotta began teaching at BWR two years ago and is now School Director. Danielle graduated Magna Cum Laude from Slippery Rock University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance. While at SRU, Danielle performed and choreographed for many of the dance department’s concerts and shows including Slippery Rock University Dance Theatre. She also worked with various guest artists and had the opportunity to perform in “Sharing the Legacy,” a historical dance event held in New York City. She trained at the American College Dance Festivals held at SRU and at the University at Buffalo. Upon acceptance into SRU, Danielle received the only Freshman Dance Scholarship given that fall, and prior to graduation, she received the “Outstanding Dance Major” award. For ten years, she taught at the Ludovici Dance Academy in New Castle, Pennsylvania. At Ludovici, Danielle instructed pre-school children through adults in all levels of all genres of dance. She also spent seven years on the faculty of Arts/Excel, a performing arts program for middle school children in Warren, Ohio. Her other teaching experience includes the Janet Hays and Company Dance Studio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as several summer arts programs throughout northeast Ohio. Danielle is always updating her training, as she has traveled to various dance workshops and competitions in Pittsburgh, Ohio and New York. Over the years, her pieces have been recognized with choreography and top score awards, including Critic’s Choice and Federation of Dance awards. Danielle has also served as a judge for the Omega Dance Challenge. Her greatest accomplishment and blessing though, is her son, Tino Gianni. Danielle is thrilled and honored to now be teaching and sharing her love of dance at Ballet Western Reserve.
Emily Pasquale is originally from Ft. Thomas, Kentucky. She started her ballet training at the Otto M. Budig Academy of the Cincinnati Ballet. She received her BA in Dance Pedagogy from Butler University in 2009. At Butler, she was trained under professors Derek Reid, Marek Cholewa, Michelle Jarvis, Stephan Laurent, Susan McGuire, and Cynthia Pratt. As a student she performed many roles in The Nutcracker including the Sugar Plum Fairy and also got the amazing opportunity to perform as a soloist in Balanchine’s Serenade. Since then, she has performed with the Louisville Ballet as a trainee in their 2009-2010 season. She then danced with MamLuft & CO Dance, a Cincinnati based Modern company, as a company and soloist dancer for four years. Past performances with these two groups ranged from The Nutcracker and Don Quixote to premiere modern work by choreographer Jeanne Mam-Luft. In the last few years Emily has played several roles at the Youngstown Playhouse including Kristine in A Chorus Line, Essie in You Can’t Take It WithYou, Jennyanydots in Cats and Cecily Pidgeon in The Odd Couple.
Lily grew up and began her dance studies in Akron Ohio. Her focus is classical ballet, contemporary, and choreography. She has worked with many esteemed choreographers and artistic directors throughout her career such as Francis Patrelle, James Sewell, Michael Vernon, and Catherine Oppenheimer. She grew up under the direction of Nan Klinger with the former Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet (CVYB) and spent her later years with Christine Meneer at Ballet Theatre of Ohio, formally Children’s Ballet Theatre. She spent a semester at the University of Akron until moving her studies to the University of Jacksonville, Florida. She has had the pleasure of performing for over 18 years on the stage and now practices as an educator. She travels all over the state of Ohio to work with and educate dancers to further their careers in dance, as well as creating choreography.
Lee is from Dover, Ohio and brings a diverse teaching background to BWR. Prior to earning a B.A. in Dance Management from Youngstown State University, Lee received dance training at the Tuscarawas Dance Arts Center in Dover. She has danced with the Por2Jay Hip Hop Crew in Cleveland and taught at the All Ohio Dance Festival, Tuscarawas Dance Arts Center, Volney Discovery School, and both Mooney and Chaney High Schools.
Originally from a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Savannah started dancing at the age of five. She is passionate about performing and specializes in contemporary/modern dance. Savannah gained most of her dance training at Rostraver Dance Academy and Center for the Arts. Here she has trained in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and hip-hop. In 2017, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Dance Management at Youngstown State University. Here she had the opportunity to be a member of the YSU Dance Ensemble where she performed and choreographed for four years. Savannah has the experience in being a dance school administrator, as well as a dance educator for dance studios and school systems.
Mikel Lewis began his dance training at Ballet Western Reserve. He was the first male ever to go through their entire program under the guidance of Anita Lin. Upon leaving Ballet Western Reserve, Mikel was accepted in the highly esteemed COPA dance program at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. While at Point Park, Mikel received the highest scholarship awarded for dance merit. He received his B.A. In Dance with concentrations in both Modern and Jazz. Mikel then went on to California where he danced and choreographed for Donna Sternberg and Dancers, a Modern dance company based in Santa Monica, CA. During his time in the dance company Mikel toured Southern California and Mexico performing evening length works. Mikel also got to work with Jaxx Theatricals in a 40th Anniversary performance of “A Chorus Line”, in which original Michael Bennett choreography was used. In addition to all of this Mikel has also choreographed for The Miss America Organization, TLS Productions, and international print and performance artist Katie Brightside.
Jill Niess started her professional performing career under the direction of David & Anna Marie Holmes, the first North Americans invited to study and perform with the Kirov Ballet. The influence of the Kirov, thru the Holmes gave way to the classics. Jill has studies and performed everything from Nutcracker to Swan Lake, Cinderella to Sleeping Beauty, Giselle to The Firebird, as well as Le Corsaire, La Bayadere & Laurencia.
Since moving to the Mahoning Valley, Jill has taught many ballerinas and set most of the classics. She has worked extensively on the pas de deux and the classical repertoire. She is also a RYT-200 yoga instructor. She is looking forward to working with the dancers of BWR this year.
Dagmar Stahl is currently attending Youngstown State University working towards a bachelors degree in Dance Management. Dagmar was a Student at Ballet Western Reserve for eleven years training in ballet, modern and jazz. She graduated in 2017. Although her main focus is on the study of modern dance she also loves teaching ballet and jazz. Dagmar is the treasurer of the Youngstown State University Dance Ensemble. Alongside fulfilling the duties of treasurer she performs and choreographs for the ensemble. Dagmar also works as a barista at Stone Fruit Coffee and cares greatly about local arts and businesses. Dagmar hopes to receive a Bachelor’s degree and open a company of her own in the future.
Accompanist and Percussionist
Dylan Kollat holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music. Currently he plays as an accompanist for Ballet Western Reserve and YSU’s Department of Theater and Dance, instructs and writes as the Drumline Coordinator for the YSU Marching Pride, is a percussion teacher for Canfield Local Schools, maintains a percussion lesson studio, and performs for singer/songwriter JD Eicher. Through freelance work in the Northeast Ohio area, Dylan holds symphonic credits with the W.D. Packard Concert Band and with the Youngstown Scoring Stage. Dylan can be heard playing marimba on the Youngstown Percussion Collective’s recording of the commissioned work “Forms of Things Unknown.” In addition, he can be heard on JD Eicher’s studio releases “Into Place,” “The Middle Distance,” and on Eicher’s EP soundtrack for Nicholas Sparks’ upcoming novel, “Two By Two.” With Eicher’s band, Dylan has opened for national acts Maroon V, Train, Matt Nathanson, The Fray, Sister Hazel and Hellogoodbye, and was heard on a 2013 national advertisement for Olive Garden. Dylan is also a proud alumnus of the Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from Columbus, Ohio and the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps from Toledo, Ohio. Hailing from Youngstown, Dylan enjoys reading, running, gaming, and annoying his cat, Jinxy.
218 West Boardman Street
P. O. Box 1684
Youngstown, OH 44501