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.
Abby is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. She has worked with choreographers such as Mimi Quillin, Joanna Mauer, Salvatore LaRussa, Jennifer Muller, and Mary Seidman. Abby is currently also dancing with Beth Soll and Company, Zco/Dance project, Katharine Pettit Creative, and Dance Visions NY. She has performed on stages such as Radio City Music Hall, the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, Jazz at Lincoln Center, BAM Fisher, University Settlement, New York Live Arts, Dixon Place, Westbeth Theatre Center, Steppingstone Waterside Theater, The Episcopal Actors Guild Hall, Triskelion Arts Center, and multiple performances at the Owen J. Grundy Pier and at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. Along with being a multidisciplinary movement artist, Abby is also a teaching artist with Mark Morris Dance Center.
In his second season with Emerge125, Dennzyl Green is a graduate cum laude with a BA in Dance
from California State University, Fullerton 2020. He has danced professionally with Nannette
Brodie Dance Theatre and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. He has performed works by
Darshan Bhuller, Milton Myers, Bernard Gaddis, Colin Connors, and Doug Varone to name a few.
He has attended American Dance Festival and has performed at Jacob’s Pillow. He is also a
company artist with Axelord Contemporary Ballet Theater based in Holmdel, New Jersey.
Erica is originally from Connecticut where she danced with Ballet Hartford, Dimensional Dance and Mystic Ballet before going on to become a co-founder of New England Ballet Collective in 2019. Since moving to New York in 2020, Erica has performed in productions of Ballet Bloom Project, New Rising Sun Dance Project, the Muse Brookly and American Liberty Ballet.
Caleb is a naturally talented professional dancer/choreographer. His original piece, “Recalculating.is a fun play on those GPS systems that can never quite get directions right!
Alycea LaHay moved to New York City when she was 18 years old to pursue a career in dance. Since being here she has been able to work as a choreographer for an off-Broadway musical, dance in contemporary showcases, and teach classes for dancers from 18 months to 35 years old, and many more projects. She’s looking forward to continuing her career and acquiring a diverse plethora of experiences along the way.
Jamia Nicole received her BA in English from the University of Mary Washington in 2012 and most recently received her Masters of Arts and Certification in Dance Education K-12 at New York University as a 21st-century scholarship awardee. Originally from northern Virginia, Jamia has studied dance with LillyVonn Dance and the Creative & Performing Arts Center (CAPAC)
Ella is a dancer, choreographer, dance educator, and aerialist. She currently dances for Mixrz Urban Contemporary Company at Brickhouse NYC. Ella has also performed on the Sybarite stage and performed for NYC Dance Studio Alliance. She has worked with choreographers such as Dominique and Danielle Russo, Kelly Peters, Kyla Bullings, Julia Alaimo and Brianna Davis. She is excited to continue her career in the arts and share her passion through performance.
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.
Nikola Palivoda began dancing at a young age with his church’s traditional Serbian Folk Dance group, Dukati, where he learned, performed and eventually choreographed professional and traditional repertory for 20 years. He trained and performed with the dance programs at Middlesex County College, Montclair State University and Raritan Valley Community College. Nikola has performed with the Nikki Manx Dance Project, T.MAJ Dance, HealthQuest Fitness, Luminarium Dance Company, for Freespace Dance, at several Dance New Jersey events and at the Koresh Showcase Series. He also Produces and Directs two annual dance concerts. Nik is one of the newest members of Kennedy Dancers Repertory Company.
Abigail Haugh is a dancer, teacher, and personal trainer originally from the Philadelphia area. She
obtained her BFA in dance performance at Hofstra University, where she trained extensively in
modern and ballet. Additionally, she has trained in various jazz, contemporary, tap, and musical
theatre techniques. During her time at Hofstra, she performed in pieces by Max Stone, Adam
Barruch, Earl Mosley, Maxine Steinman, Rachel List, and Larry Keigwin. She continues to
perform in dance projects and companies throughout New York City. Most recently, she has been
in rehearsals with Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre, Chutzpah Dance, and Anna Paterson Dance
Company! In addition to performing, she works as an independent personal trainer, a dance teacher
and condition coordinator at Divine Rhythms Dance Studio, and as an Assistant Teaching Artist
with the Mark Morris Dance Group. Abigail is excited to be dancing with the Kennedy Dancers
this holiday season!
Anna Antongiorgi is a choreographer, dancer, and writer from Redondo Beach, California. She received her B.A. in English from Harvard and was awarded the Suzanne Farrell Dance Award for her contributions to Harvard’s dance community. She works as a math and biology tutor and just graduated with her MFA in Creative Writing at The New School in New York City. Anna is currently performing with The Kennedy Dancers Repertory Company.
Dree started dancing at the age of 8 at Ballet Tech in New York City after being scouted at his middle school P.S 7. Through training and dedication to the art of dance, he had the opportunity to dance at Lincoln Center with a Russian ballet company Bolshoi, performing The Pharaoh’s Daughter when he was 14 years old. Dree took a break from dancing once he joined high school and dove into music, making trumpet his primary instrument. In time, he found his way back to dance through the involvement of the marching arts where he discovered color guard, which shape and encourage him to pursue expanding his education in dance. He is currently sharing his passions by choreographing and instructing color guards in high schools and for non-profit organizations throughout New Jersey. He touches hearts and shares his passion for dance everywhere he goes. His hope is to give the minds of his audience a break from their daily lives and dive into the vulnerabilities that is being a dancer.
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.