dance concerts in Utah, Colorado, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York. In 1991 He directed and choreographed "CATS" in Oakdale to sold out houses. In 2009 his choreography was selected to perform at the Latin Choreography Festival. Mr. Pena is a past faculty member at Brigham Young University and adjunct professor at SUNY Stony Brook. As a delegate for National Dance Week 2006, and a regional delegate for National Dance week in 2007, he continues to educate children in elementary schools about the importance of dance and exercise.
Mr. Pena's expansive professional stage experience gives him an extensive knowledge of choreography. He brings a diverse style and expert training each of his students.
Gabrielle Jimmerson: Hip Hop
Kim McCann-Mahoney began her training at the age of 4 at Sally Hammond School of Dance in Jackson Heights, Queens. Her first role was Clara in the Windermere Ballet Theatres Nutcracker with the late Sally Hammond. Performed in the Corp and as a soloist. Workshops with Ballet West in Aspen CO & NYC Ballet.
The Hannah Kronner School of Dance and also helped stage and choreograph many of their performances.
Aside from taking yoga and pilates classes Kim is Registered Dental Hygienist and have been in practice for the past 20 years.
Her AKC Champion German Shorthaired Pointer and compete in AKC obedience and agility.
Valerie Murray: Valerie is thrilled to be joining the Ovations Family for another year. Valerie has been dancing since the age of three. She has training in the areas of ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, modern, hip-hop, lyrical and contemporary. Valerie performed on a kickline for seven years. She has trained under various Broadway performers and several different Rockettes. Valerie continues to take classes in Manhattan and is thrilled to be sharing her love of dance with her students. Valerie is presently double majoring in Elementary Education and Speech at St. Josephs Collage and will be graduating this upcoming May. Valerie would like to thank Orlando and the Ovations staff for all their support and allowing her to become a member of the Ovations Family.
Kristin Draucker trained in classical ballet at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and was a Fellowship student at The Ailey School. She has danced for Michael Mao Dance, Ballets With a Twist, ArmitageGone!Dance, Tino Sehgal and on the International Tour of West Side Story. Her work has been seen at the LaMama Festival in Spoleto, Italy, at Brooklyn Ballet's First Look and CounterPointe, and in Manhattan at Judson's Stuffed and as part of Gibney Dance’s POP Series.
Samantha Cajade: Acting, Musical Theatre, Ballet, Hip Hop
Samantha has been dancing since the age of 4. She studied ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop. Trained at American Theatre Dance Workshop. A recent graduate of Five Towns College in Long Island she earned her BFA in Theatre Arts. Emphasis in acting, singing and directing.
Orlando Pena, Artistic Director
Mr. Pena founded Ovations Dance Academy and Ovations Dance Repertory Company in 1997. He was trained under the supervision of talented industry icons such as Anne Reinking, Randy Skinner, Chet Walker, Robert Balanchine, Joe Lantieri and Sally Hammond. Mr. Pena has toured the United States and Europe performing and choreographing with numerous dance companies. He has been principle dancer and soloist with The Windermere Ballet Theatre. He has toured with A Chorus Line, Music Man, Oklahoma and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express in Bochum, Germany. 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
Orlando Pena, Artistic Director ....WHERE DREAMS ARE MADE A REALITY...
The love of acting, dance, singing and building character develops and unfolds at Ovations.
O V A T I O N S
Natalie Isaza: Tiny Tots, Combo, Ballet I, Jazz, Modern, Hip-Hop.
Natalie began dancing at age 4 studying ballet, tap, and jazz. As her love for dance grew stronger she attended the Long Island High School for the Arts. Through LIHSA she had the pleasure of dancing in their promo video filmed by Buddy Casimano, the Jazz Company, and alongside(teaching) children from the Rosemary Kennedy School. She is a recent graduate from Adelphi University where she earned her B.F.A in Dance. Natalie has performed in many works in Dance Adelphi, student workshops, and senior showcases. Since 2012 she has been a dancer performing for Dance Visions NY.
Sondra Forsyth is the Editor-in-Chief of Dance at BroadwayWorld.com. She was pleased to be the Ballet Mistress for the Ovations Dance Repertory Company’s “The Nutcracker Suite” in 2015. Sondra has served as a guest teacher for the American Ballet Theatre open classes and on the faculty of The School at Steps on Broadway, the SUNY Purchase Youth Ballet, the Harkness Dance Center of the 92nd Street Y, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Studio de Ballet Opera in Beirut, Lebanon, among others. Her former students have gone on to careers as principal dancers and soloists with major ballet companies. She was the Founding Artistic Director of Ballet Ambassadors, a critically acclaimed company funded by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Her most notable teachers were Ana Roje, David Howard, Mme. Peff Modelski, and Mme. Gabriella Darvash. Sondra performed principal roles as a member of Thalia Mara’s Ballet Repertory and the New York Dance Theatre. Her by-line has appeared in Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, and many other major magazines and websites. She is a member of the Dance Critics Association and has written or co-written 12 books. Sondra holds an M.A. from Harvard.