Mr. Peña is the artistic director of Ovations Dance Academy Inc. and founder of OVATIONS DANCE REPERTORY COMPANY, a non-profit organization in 1997. Having trained under the supervision of such talented industry icons such as Anne Reinkin, Randy Skinner, Chet Walker, Robert Balanchine, Joe Lantieri and Sally Hammond, Orlando brings a diverse style and expert training to his students. Having toured the United States and Europe performing and choreographing with numerous dance companies, he has been a principle dancer and soloist with The Windermere Ballet Theatre, and has also toured with “A Chorus Line”, “Music Man”, “Oklahoma”, and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Starlight Express” in Bochum, Germany.
His stage and professional experience give him expansive knowledge of choreography and stage professionalism. He has directed and choreographed full Ballets and Musical Theater productions such as “The Nutcracker Suite”, “Anything Goes”, “South Pacific” and “The Wizard of Oz” as well as dance concerts in Utah, Colorado, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York. He is a past faculty member at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and adjunct SUNY Stony Brook as a Tap/Tap History instructor as well as guest artist at various universities. A Delegate for National Dance Week 2006 and a Regional Delegate for National Dance Week since 2007, he is continuing to educate children in elementary schools about the importance of dance and exercise. Orlando has been Artistic Director for the LI Pulse parties for the past three years. In addition, he directed/choreographed "CATS" in Oakdale October 2007 to sold out houses. Orlando's choreogrpahy was selected by The Latin Choreography Fetival in 2009.
In addition to rave reviews from Newsday for his original choreography and performances, Orlando has appeared in several magazines and newspapers such as The Advance, Senior News and Long Island Latin Magazine and Fire Island Tides. “Orlando has been described as a kid who lights up the stage with amazing energy and skill” and also The Islip Bulletin’s critic John Lee described Peña’s choreography in “Pippin”, “the dance and the movements are the spectacular and what will survive longest however is the memory of the dancing”. This past summer directed a successful run of "RENT" and his company also performed a wonderful production of PINKALICIOUS-The Musical, and Blue's Clues-The most Spectacular Place.
He is a past volunteer of The Patchogue Theater Committee and past Board Member of The Brookhaven Arts Council and Humanities.
His students have been accepted to Vail International Dance Festival, The Joffrey School, The Rock School in Pennsylvania, ABT Alabama, USDAN Intensive Program, Alvin Ailey and The Boston Ballet. Orlando is a member of The Actors Equity Association.
Nicole Fox-Mandato (Acro, Tiny Tots, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Jazz) Nicole has been teaching dance for over 25 years both in the US and abroad and part of the Ovations staff for the past 4 years. She has diverse interest with respect to dance ranging from classical ballet to acrobatics and hip hop. She has also choreographed and directed over 50 musicals at various community theaters throughout Long Island and the city. Her favorite endeavors include: CATS, choreographed and directed by Mr. Pena, Swing, A Chorus Line, Anything Goes, West Side Story, Pippin, Annie and Grease. Nicole is very astute at assessing students' dancing abilities and has created individual training programs to enhance each child’s gifts. She has participated in dance programs at the Patchogue Theater with Ovations Dance Repertory Company and festivals exposing the dancers to performance and providing them with a venue to showcase their talents. Nicole believes strongly that students should feel appreciated and be rewarded for sharing their talents and having proper discipline. Outside of the dance world, Nicole is also a mommy to her little boy, Luca, her most important work of art to date.
Elizabeth Kennedy: (Ballroom) Elizabeth is a graduate of Stony Brook University with her bachelor's degree in Spanish language and literature with a concentration in secondary education. She loves working with children and has always been involved with kids through-out her life. She has been with Ovations Dance Academy for 15 years now and has been teaching ballroom there for 3 years. Elizabeth studied ballroom dancing, particularly American style, at Ovations for 8 years and traveled to many competitions in the tri-state area. She has also taught tiny-tots summer dance program in past summers and worked at Islip Town Summer camps as a Supervisor, for 3 years. She enjoys teaching and passing her knowledge of ballroom on to a younger generation.
Matt Quinn: (Hip Hop, Musical Theatre) brings 15 years experience to ODA. His credits include over 40 musical productions. Matt has originated roles in several productions which include Hope and Glory, A Circus Christmas Carol, The Pirate Musical, Oh So Divine, A Rainbow Christmas Carol, and Breakfast Dishes just to name a few. Matt has received recognition by Newsday, New York Times, and various local papers as an accomplished actor/singer/dancer, but has also been acknowledged as choreographer with award winning routines from numerous dance competitions throughout the New York area. Matt has choreographed throughout long island both on a scholastic/community and regional level. His other credits include featured dancer on ABC's JAMTV, background dancer for the popular 98 degrees, The Venga Boys, and Martha Washington, as well as director/choreographer for various benefit productions. He has worked for model and talent companies on Long Island and NYC as a choreographer and audition coach. Mr. Matt was Munjustrap in CATS and directed/choreographed Disney's 101 Dalamtians kids and Annie JR, Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast.
Bridget McMaster: (Modern, Ballet and Musical Theatre) Began at Ovations under the direction of Orlando Pena. Her roles have included Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen in the Nutcracker Suite including other local productions and recently featured in LI Pulse Magazine Gala performance. She was Victoria in “CATS” on Long Island. Bridget has previously danced with The
Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive Program and The American Academy of Ballet Intensive Program at Vassar College and attended Adelphi University for dance. She will graduate with a BA in Business administration from St. Joseph’s College Dec 2013
Alison Carella: (Ballet, Pointe, Jazz) has studied with Orlando Pena at Ovations Dance Academy for over 10 years and is thrilled to be back teaching. Alison has an extensive background in ballet. She has performed in Ovations Dance Academy's annual showcases in addition to performing in Ovations Dance Repertory Company's performances of the Nutcracker Suite in which she has performed several principle roles including Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Dew Drop, and originated the role of the Arabian Bird. Alison graduated with honors from Pace University where she double majored in Film and Screen Studies and Women and Gender Studies and also has a minor in Digital Art.