Introducing 2024 Convention Faculty
Nick Pupillo – Ballet
Jay Fagan – Tap
Misty Rascon-Smith – Jazz
Casie “Tynee” Goshow – Hip Hop
Thayne Jasperon – Contemporary
2024 Bios and Pictures coming soon, but in the meantime we invite you to check out our amazing faculty from 2022 & 2023. They are an amazing lineup of professionals that are true leaders in the industry!
Get the inside scoop on our faculty. Click below for full bios.
Sam Allen Bio
Sam Allen is a graduate of the University of Southern California and Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (the “Fame” School). He teaches regular classes at major dance studios, including Playground LA, and Broadway Dance Center in NYC. Sam is also a faculty member of the Studio School at Hussian College where he teaches Commercial Dance as part of their BFA program. Throughout his career, he has been fortunate to share his passion for dance both nationally and internationally. He has had multiple
teaching tours across Japan, China, Philippines, Switzerland, France and Germany. Sam also created his own 3 day Hip Hop dance camp in Belgium. Besides teaching, he has choreographed multiple feature films, the musical production “In The Heights”, a music video for
Keith Urban, a live tour for Todrick Hall, the tv show “Love Victor”
and many commercials for major companies. Check out his website at www.SamAllenSwag.com and follow him on social media @samallenswag_
Rhonda Miller Bio
RHONDA MILLER is proud to be the Director of the BFA Commercial Dance program at Pace University. She holds her BFA from the University of Utah: Ballet/Musical Theater emphasis and her MPA from Oklahoma City University: Vocal Performance/Directing.
A founder and co-owner of L.A.’s premier dance studio, The Edge, she was the leader for many years of its successful convention business, L.A. DanceForce. After relocating to New York, Rhonda’s work caught the eye of Broadway director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who included her on his team for the renowned Broadway Bares. Some of her choreography stage credits include: Hello Dolly, All Shook Up, Chicago and Sister Act Maine State Music Theatre Mary Poppins for Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and On Your Feet: Westchester Broadway
Rhonda’s television choreography credits include Younger for TV Land, American Film Institute Awards with Catherine Zeta Jones, General Hospital, The Boys for HBO and It’s Garry Shandling’s Show for HBO. Her work has also been seen in commercials and industrials for such Fortune 500 companies as Chrysler, Toys R Us, Warner Brothers and Exxon-Mobil. Recently, you may have seen her on a National Avon Commercial and in the movie promo for the Romantic Comedy “Isn’t it Romantic?”
Ray Hesselink Bio
Ray Hesselink is a director and choreographer living and working in New York City. Ray has had the privilege to help train the children performing in Broadway’s Billy Elliot: The Musical.
As a dancer, Ray created the role of Mr. Happy in Derick Grant’s Imagine Tap! As a performer, Ray’s favorite performances include originating the role of “Bud” in Batboy: The Musical. He has also been featured as a principal dancer in Nayikas, a classical Indian Dance Company.
Ray has choreographed for many venues including New York Musical Theater Festival, The Duke Theater, Symphony Space, Yale Drama School and as a contributing choreographer to Heatwave: The Jack Cole Story, and co-writer/choreographer to I Heart Bob at Joyce SoHo, which won a rave review from the NY Times. Ray is also on faculty at The Juilliard School, Broadway Dance Center, Pace Commercial Dance and Steps on Broadway.
Check out www.TapDanceU.com for Ray’s instructional tap videos.
Ray’s tap class emphasizes technique through warm-up, across the floor, tap turns, and combination. His style is greatly inspired by the MGM films of the 1930–50s, reminiscent of such tap greats as Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, and Ann Miller. Ray uses intricate rhythms and fun footwork to create challenging, musical, and entertaining choreography.
Dane Burch Bio
Dane grew up in Oregon where he started dancing for fun at the age of 10. He quickly fell in love with movement and the emotional release that came with it. He trained and danced competitively under the instruction of Michelle Holt. Dane moved to Los Angeles when he was 18 with a scholarship to EDGE Performing Arts Center. While there he trained under Doug Caldwell, Mandy Moore, Terri Best and more! After completing his scholarship he continued to gather knowledge and experience through performing and choreographing in the Los Angeles area. He worked as an assistant with Tremaine Dance Convention for 5 years in the office and on the road. He has worked for Move Dance Competitions where he judged and taught master classes around the US. In 2008 Dane moved to Austin, TX. There he Co-director Rise Dance Company and Reverence Dance Project. He trained and performed with Kathy Dunn Hamrick from 2012-2013. He has spent the last 10 years working with numerous studios and high school dance teams in the Central Texas area. Dane loves to share his methods of movement with all human beings that are willing and open to self discovery. Dane is ready to connect, communicate and DANCE!!
Nick Pupillo Bio
Nick Pupillo, Founder and Artistic Director of Visceral Dance Chicago, is an award winning choreographer recognized for the power and versatility in his work.
A graduate of Indiana University and former dancer with Giordano Dance Chicago, Pupillo’s focus quickly became concentrated on teaching and creating.
In 2006, he decided to focus on training and mentoring young talent by developing the now reputable, pre-professional company, Visceral Studio Company. In 2007, he founded Visceral Dance Center to provide the Chicago community with a new venue for artistic and technical growth. This facility continues to be a Chicago dance landmark. TimeOut Chicago lists Visceral Dance Center as “A bustling, well-appointed facility…with instructors from top companies and in-demand guest teachers.” Utilized by a number of Chicago-based companies, Visceral Dance Center is home to its resident company, Visceral Dance Chicago.
Pupillo founded Visceral Dance Chicago in the fall of 2013. This repertory company presents his daring vision to explore the infinite possibilities of contemporary movement. The dancers of Visceral demonstrate this choreographic invention and are recognized for their technique, passion, and athleticism. Since inception, the company has developed a diverse and respected repertoire by new emerging voices and distinguished, world renowned choreographers. Visceral Dance Chicago has been named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch, recognizing the company’s accomplishments and potential in the national community. Pupillo has led the company in a forthright direction, establishing a repertoire described as “expertly devised and stylish as they come.” (Chicago Tribune) He has created fifteen signature works for the company, as well as four collaborations with The Chicago Philharmonic.
Pupillo teaches master classes in the U.S. and around the world and has taught for the Jazz Dance World Congress, Culver Academies, Chicago Dance Connection and Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, where he received the 2018 Artistic Achievement Award.