Instructor Bios

Director

Lisa Davis Albright is now the owner and director of HRPAC, after leading the ballet program and Hudson River Youth ballet since their creation in 2003.  Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, she received her early training at the prestigious Ballet Western Reserve.  Although classical ballet technique is her specialty, Lisa has extensive training and professional performance experience in nearly all disciplines of dance.  During her time at HRPAC, Ms Albright has choreographed, staged, and directed numerous full-length ballet productions, including classics such as Swan Lake, Coppellia, La Fille Mal Gardee, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, as well as original works including Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, and Beauty and the Beast. Lisa is an active and award winning choreographer who prides herself on her ability to connect with students and families individually, while passing on the disciplined tradition of the dance arts.  With over 20 years of teaching experience, her students have been accepted into prestigious college and professional programs including Alvin Ailey, New York University, SLK Ballet School, SUNY Purchase, Pointe Park, Fordham University, The Ohio State University, and Oklahoma City University School of American Dance and Arts Management, to name a few.  Her students have danced professionally across the globe, on cruise ships, on Broadway, and in countless professional companies.  Many have gone on to become dance instructors or studio owners themselves.  Lisa prides herself on instilling passion, work ethic, dedication, pride, and self-confidence in her students.

Faculty

Erin Jennings is happy to join Hudson River Performing Arts Center. Having lived in NYC for almost 20 years, she enjoyed performing all around it–from Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center to parks, galleries, and windows.  Erin danced abroad with Pilobolus and as Graziella in West Side Story at La Scala Opera house in Milan and nationally on tour as Kristine in A Chorus Line.  She loves all kinds of dance and is honored to have performed dances by Nikolais, Pilobolus, Alvin Ailey, Jerome Robbins, Anna Sokolow, Doris Humphrey, Abel Costa and Charles Moulton among others.  Earning her B.A. degree in Psychology from Bucknell University, Erin furthered her studies at NYU and holds a Master’s degree in dance education and certification for teaching dance and yoga.  Erin danced recently in companies led by Germaul Barnes (ViewsicEx), Olsi Gjeci (Sublime) and Caron Eule (C. Eule Dance) and can now be found dancing in her new home in the Hudson Valley, where she lives with her husband, two children, and bunnies.

Robb Gibbs is a highly sought after actor/dancer/choreographer/teacher in the NYC area for tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, lyrical, acro, musical theatre, voice, piano, and acting.  He is a graduate of the American Musical & Dramatic Academy of NY. He has performed across the country and Canada in productions such as “A Chorus Line”, “42nd St”, “Singin’ In the Rain”, “Hello, Dolly!”, “How to Succeed…”, “George M!”, “Damn Yankees”, “Chicago!” and many more.  Robb is thrilled to be returning to HRPAC.

Kristen Polgreen has been dancing since she was three years old. She has studied at Broadway Dance Center and excels in hip hop. Kristen started teaching when she was 15 years old and developed a great passion for it. She teaches all ages and levels taking pride in her great relationships with her students.  Kristen is thrilled to be part of the HRPAC family.

Amber Wirthmann Mann, a Hudson Valley native, began her dance training at the age of four studying multiple forms of movement including modern technique, ballet, tap, traditional folk dance, Irish step, and Appalachian Clog dancing.  She has danced professionally with The Vanaver Caravan for over 20 years, performing in prestigious theaters such as Symphony Space on Broadway, Jacob’s Pillow in Becket MA, The Rudolstadt Folk Festival in Germany, and The Egg in Albany.  Amber has instructed and directed for their Dance Institute, bringing her passion for dance to children of all ages.  Amber has also had the honor of being a Teaching Artist in the Arts in Education programs for the Rondout Valley and Beacon City School Districts, enriching the curriculum with dances from around the world.  Amber has developed her unique percussive and modern dance technique working and learning from masters such as Yoa Kaddar, Sandy Silva, Amy Fenton-Shine, and Joel Hanna.

Hannah Bartush is a Hudson River Performing Arts Center alumni, having trained with the school from its opening 15 years ago.  After being taught from a young age by current owner Lisa Albright, Hannah is thrilled to begin passing on her knowledge to a new generation of students at HRPAC.  Hannah has attended world-renown summer intensive programs with the American Ballet Theatre and Joffrey Ballet School.  In addition to performing in numerous HRPAC full-length ballets, most notably as the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz” and Aurora in “The Sleeping Beauty,” Hannah has performed in New Paltz Ballet Theatre’s production of “The Nutcracker.”

Meridith Cullen is a Dutchess County native and a proud member of Actors Equity Association (AEA).  She earned her BA degree in Musical Theatre Performance from Wagner College and has been directing and teaching Voice and Acting for over 15 years.  A member of NATS, she is proud to say her past students are currently performing professionally in the business and attending college for Musical Theatre.  She served as Director of the Vocal Company at John Leggio’s Center For The Performing Arts while living in Florida and also ran Acting and Voice classes there, as well.  Meridith taught and directed throughout Dutchess County before moving to Florida, and is beyond thrilled to be back at HRPAC with Lisa, where she began in 2003.  As a professional Singer/Actress, she had the honor of taking center stage as a soloist at Carnegie Hall.  You may have also previously seen her on a poster in NYC for the Off-Broadway smash hit, “My Big Gay Italian Wedding,” where she played “Maria.”  Meridith has performed throughout Manhattan and regionally in such theatres as:  St. Lukes, Carnegie Hall, LaMamma, Actors Playhouse, Theatre Four, Jose Quintero Theatre (NYC), Westchester Broadway Dinner Theatre, Yorktown Stage (Westchester), and The Sharon Playhouse (CT.), to name a few.  Favorite roles include:  Maria in “My Big Gay Italian Weddin”, Jan in “Grease”< Antonia in “Man of LaMancha”, and Housewife in “Working” with Ken Jennings.

 

Hudson River Performing Arts Center and New York Dance Schools