Orlando Pena, Artistic Director of Ovations Dance Academy Inc. in Bohemia of 22 years and Oyster Bay for 5 years. Founder of Ovations Dance Repertory Company, a non-profit organization since 1997.
Mr Pena has toured the United States and Europe performing and choreographing with numerous dance companies. His ballet credentials come from being a principle dancer and soloist with The Windermere Ballet Theatre under the direction of the late Sally Hammond. After the company, he continued on tour with “A Chorus Line”, “Music Man”, “Oklahoma”, and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Starlight Express” in Bochum, Germany. Orlando is a member of The Actors Equity Association.
Since Ovations Dance Academy inception 22 years ago, Mr. Pena has trained and guided students who have been accepted to Vail International Dance Festival, The Rock School in Pennsylvania, ABT Alabama and Bermuda, USDAN, Alvin Ailey, The Boston Ballet, The Joffrey School and Orlando Ballet in Fl. His students can also be seen on Broadway, National Broadway Tours, Cruise ships, National Commercials, HBO Movies in featured roles and Off-Broadway productions.
His latest charity event production “A World of Pink”, as Artistic Director of the fashion show under the direction of Christine Guarino raised funds for post breast cancer survivors. Previously, the director and choreographer of a sold-out house “Did You Talk To Him Today” which raised $30,000 for local homeless charities throughout Long Island and orphanages. He is a past volunteer of The Patchogue Theater Committee and past Board Member of The Brookhaven Arts Council and Humanities.
ODRC has established a reputation on Long Island for the pre-professional quality of musical productions. Since 2019 we have produced 20 musicals in addition to our yearly Nutcracker productions. Currently, Ovations at East Woods School in Oyster Bay Ovations averages 5 performances a year to sold-out houses. With his exuberant energy and love for his students and the arts, it is no wonder he is highly respected.
In addition, ODRC is the only dance company in Suffolk County which performs the full Nutcracker Suite with a live professional orchestra, The Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, at The Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Larry Reitzer (acting)- Larry began his career working as Arthur Larents’ production assistant on the Broadway and Los Angeles productions of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. Larry went on to assist such broadway directors as Tommy Tune, Herb Ross and Michael Blakemore. Larry later served as one of the Associate Company Managers of LES MISERABLES (Broadway and First National tour) and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Broadway and Los Angeles Company). Wanting to pursue writing, Larry moved to Los Angeles and wrote on such TV shows as
MELISSA & JOEY (ABC), UGLY BETTY (ABC), HYPERLINKED (YoutubeRed, RUBY AND THE ROCKITS (ABC) and BIG FAT GREEK LIFE (CBS) as welling as developing pilots for ABC, NBC, Universal, Warner Brothers, Disney Channel and ABC Family. Larry currently lives on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Michael Crawford (Ballet): is from Takoma Park, Maryland. He began his dancing with the Maryland Youth Ballet and at the Kirov Academy with Vladimir Djoulahatze, spending summers at The Rock School and San Francisco Ballet. Mr. Crawford then moved on to the Washington Ballet where he performed with the company under the direction of Septime Webre. Upon graduation, he went on to study in the Professional Division of The Pacific Northwest Balletunder Kent Stowell and Francia Russell. After leaving PNB, he has danced with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Jose Mateo Ballet, Ballet Memphis, and American Repertory Ballet. He has been privileged to work alongside productions such as "Guys and Dolls", "West Side Story", "Show Boat", "Cats", and other musicals performing at The Kennedy Center, touring, and many other international stages. As well as Principal guesting with The Washington National Opera, Adam Miller Dance Project, Kinetic Dance Works, Brooklyn ballet, ballet Neo, Connecticut Ballet, and Oakland Ballet. While signed with New York Model Management, Mr. Crawford had the honor to internationally campaign, and film "Step up".
Michael is also an award-winning teacher and choreographer. He has been teaching and choreographing nationally and internationally for 10 years. He has coached many prize-winning students for competitions such as Youth America Grand Prix, NYC dance alliance, and showstoppers dance competition. As well as teaching at many studios including Broadway Dance Center, metropolitan school of the arts, Princeton Ballet and many more.
Cherryl Bradley (Musical Theatre, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop), from Elmhurst, Queens has been a teacher and choreographer for over 30 years. She began her love for musical theatre at 10 years old after seeing a school production of South Pacific, and immediately began performing in many musicals and continued her training at the “Fame” High School of Performing Arts in NYC as a modern dance major. She began her professional career after high school as a showgirl and aerial performer with Ringling Bros Barnum and Bailey Circus, Two National Tours with Sesame Street Live, dinner theaters and music videos.
Cherryls' love for dance and choreography continued as she raised her 3 children in Southern California, where she choreographed at South Shores performing arts magnet school in conjunction with Cal State Dominguez Hills Theatre Dept.
Since her return to NY, Cherryl started “Barefoot and Beautiful” specializing in lyrical/contemporary dance classes for women who want a safe non-judgmental place to explore their desire to dance. She also loves working with wedding couples to bring a personal and meaningful experience to their first dance.
Cherryl now owns and operates her seasonal business, Adventure Paddleboards in Hampton Bays, where she takes her teaching skills to the water as an instructor and leads Sup Fitness Classes.
Claire van Bever (Ballet)Claire van Bever hails from Portland, OR and currently resides in Brooklyn. Claire attended the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase, before joining American Repertory Ballet, where she performed and created works by Kirk Peterson, Patrick Corbin, Gerald Arpino and Douglas Martin. After leaving American Repertory Ballet, Claire completed her education at The New School where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Liberal Arts. Since graduating, Claire has danced with Jillian Pena, Alice Gosti and Margot Mink Colbert. This past summer she had the honor of performing in a revival of Bright Sheng’s “the SIlver River,” directed and choreographed by Tony-Nominated Director Robert Longbottom in conjunction with Chamber Music Northwest. When not dancing, Claire creates Movement Memoirs, her film and interview project that seeks to discover the intersection between personality and physicality.
Orlando Pena, Artistic Director ....WHERE DREAMS ARE MADE A REALITY...
The love of acting, dance, singing and building character develops and unfolds at Ovations.
Donna Hailey (Vocals, Musical Director) from Bayshore, New York, She grew up in Sayville, New York, and attended the Sayville schools. After graduating from Sayville High School she attended Suffolk County Community College for a year and a half before transferring to Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. As a vocal music student she studied under Ms Veda Rogers (formerly of the Kansas City Civic Opera) She performed a featured role in each of Southwestern’s music department’s productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Scrooge, HMS Pinafore, Trial by Jury, George M, Godspell, Company, and The Medium. It was also at Southwestern that she met her future husband Steven Hailey. She graduated with a Master of Arts degrees at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.
In August of 1978, they returned to Long Island living first in Blue Point, NY, where she substitute- taught vocal music in the Blue Point schools and also taught vocal music in the West Sayville Christian School, as well.
Then came the children: John Steven in 1982, James Robert in 1986, and Joseph David in 1990. All three are grown now and occasionally perform locally with their parents via “Opera Et Al”. In 1996 she and Steve created the Sayville Young People’s Opera Workshop which has conducted a vocal music workshop for young singers each summer for the last 23 years.
As one can tell, other than her family, Donna’s life is music. Several of her students not only have Masters degrees in vocal performance but have performed professionally in both local as well as regional venues including NYC.
So what keeps this 60+ dynamo going? Two things – young people and music.
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