The Kennedy Dancers Professional Company

The Kennedy Dancers

performing the

“O’ Gracious Light”

at the yearly Holiday Showcase at the

Loews Jersey Theater

Kat Reese

Kat is a a graduate from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts and is trained in Ballet, Modern, Tap, Lyrical, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Musical Theatre. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance and is currently a dance instructor as Kennedy Dancers.

Eli Cano

Eli Cano holds a BFA in Ballet from Texas Christian University & has studied with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre & The American Dance Festival in Duke University. He has performed choreography by Robert Battle, Mark Dendy, & Dance China NY. Eli is active as a dancer & teacher with The Kennedy Dancers, Inc. & the Calpulli Dance Company. His film & television experience include “Gossip Girl,” “Law & Order SVU”, & the original HBO movie “The Normal Heart.” Eli lives in New York City.

Jeanann Dorobis

Jeanann graduated Florida State University with a B.F.A in Choreography and Dance Performance. She is trained in Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, and Hip Hop. Dorobis has been both a Ballet and Contemporary Instructor for Dance Mixx Studio and Florida State University. She has also performed for the Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre under Florida State University.


Steven Etienne

Steven is a graduate from Point Park University with a BA in Theatre Arts with a Dance Minor. He has performed, choreographed, and starred in numerous TV programs, films, music videos, and commercials. Making it to Vegas Week in Season 12 of So You Think You Can Dance, Etienne is trained in various dance styles.

Mamiko Nakatsugawa

Mamiko is a graduate from SUNY Fredonia with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Theatre. Nakatsugawa is a trained dancer and choreographer. She is currently a company member for Jon Lehrer Dance Company and Rumbamena Dance Company.  She has starred in Musicals, Film and Theatre.



Dane Burch

Dane is a Montclair State University graduate. He is trained in Modern Dance, African Dance, Musical Theatre, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, and Ballet. Burch was a part of the Montclair State Dance Company and currently trains at the Broadway Dance Center, New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble, and Art of Motion Dance Theatre.

Marquita Marie Christian

Marquita is trained in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Character, and West African Dance. She has trained in the Ailey School and the American Ballet Theatre Intensive to name a few. She has also starred in numerous commercials, theatre, and tv/film.



The Kennedy Dancers is a non-profit Jersey City Based Professional, American Dance Company established in 1976 with a mission of bringing high quality dance training and professional performance opportunities to the NY/NJ Metro area.  Since it’s inception, the company has grown to responds to the community’s special needs serving low income/at risk/incarcerated teens/senior citizens through diverse dance classes offering fun/fitness/performance opportunities.

The company was founded by Artistic Director, Diane Dragone, in 1976, to bring high quality dance performances to Jersey City, greater Hudson County, and the tri-state area. Since it’s inception, the company has responded to needs in the community, and has grown to include a community dance school, dance programs in local public school systems, including programming designed specifically for the learning disabled, physically challenged and urban youth, dance programs for the elderly, and Dance Vista, a television program reaching 20 states focusing on emerging women and minority dance artists.

The professional dance troupe performs a regular season each year in and around its home base, Jersey City. Each year the company reaches 6,500 through its public performances, with an additional 2,000 reached through touring performances. Kennedy Dancers tours have ranged the mid-Atlantic coast, from New England to Washington, DC. Video footage of the company has also been shown in international venues in France, Spain, Malta, Germany and Austria. Additionally, the Kennedy Dancers’ performance of Artistic Director Diane Dragone’s Variations on a Folk Song: Giles and Josephine, a work which portrays the American immigration.

New Jersey University certified teacher of dance by NJ Department of Education.  Taught special education dance 1984-1992 at Hudson County Schools of Technology.  Performer/Teacher/Choreographer Regional and National Broadway Tours and North Jersey Dance Company.  Frequent guest teacher at several grammar/high schools and universities.  Executive producer of award winning Dance Vista cable television program-now in its 25th season.  Artistic director/choreographer for the Kennedy Dancers.