Instructor Bios

Owner/Director

Lisa Davis Albright was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, receiving her early training at the prestigious Ballet Western Reserve.  Although classical ballet holds a special place in her heart, Lisa has extensive training and professional performance experience in nearly all disciplines of dance.  During her 15 years 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 American Ballet Theatre, 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

Michele Ribble  Born and raised by showbiz parents, Michele is an award winning choreographer, master instructor, producer, and emcee, who has spent a lifetime sharing her vast knowledge of dance across America in the disciplines of classical and contemporary ballet, classical and street jazz, theater dance, rhythm tap, and all styles of tap.  She has choreographed for both stage and screen including:  assistant choreographer for the film “Beetlejuice,” HBO, Miramax, Circuit Productions, Hanna-Barbera, MTV, Kor Films, and several off-Broadway shows.  Michele has danced as a guest artist with the Kirov Leningrad Ballet, as a member of the NYC Classical Jazz Dance Company–Ronn Forella and the Second Century Dancers, as a featured soloist with the American Tap Dance Foundation, and is known as tap dance partner to Charles Goddert and the late Harold Cromer.  In demand worldwide for her choreography and unique teaching skills, Michele is constantly on the move sharing her talents anywhere dancers are eager to learn.  Her choreography has been enjoyed on such prestigious stages as Jacob’s Pillow, Symphony Space NYC, the Joyce Theater, the Duke on 42nd Street Theater on Broadway, the Rainbow Room, the MGM Grand and Harrah’s Casino’s Reno/Tahoe, and Norwegian Cruise Ships just to mention a few.  Michele was on the summer staff at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center as an instructor and choreographer for the Extreme Ballet Pre-Professional Intensive Summer Ballet Program under the direction of Martine Van Hamel, she was the former Artistic Director of The New York Dance Center NYC, and instructor and dance educator for Edwin Fion’s New York Dance Residency for Hip-Hop Kids, Master Instructor for Omega Institute Summer Arts Intensives, and adjudicator and adjunct professor of dance at SUNY New Paltz College as well as guest artist for master classes at Vassar, Bard, and Dutchess Community Colleges, NADAA (National Association of Dancers and Affiliated Arts) and CSA (Community School of the Arts) in Marion, Indiana.  Michele has been an adjudicator for Starbound, Olympic Miss, Step Up 2 Dance, Legacy Dance Champions, NADAA, Backstage Performing Arts, Celebration Talent, and Cathy Roe’s Ultimate.  Michele is the creator of the New York City Tap Festival Youth and Pre-Professional Programs as well as writer/director/choreographer and emcee for the Tap Youth/Tap Future Concerts for Tap City Festivals 2000-2010.  She is a former columnist for the International Tap Association and is currently a faculty member and dance education adviser to the American Tap Dance Foundation and a guest instructor for Steps on Broadway.  She has a 13 year affiliation with the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts, a 15 year affiliation with the American Academy of Ballet, a 29 year affiliation with the American Tap Dance Foundation and a lifelong affiliation with members of the Royal Academy of Dance.  She has studied Dance Injury Prevention with Anuschka Roes (Head of Teacher Training for Canada’s National Ballet School), with Dean Vollick at American Academy of Ballet and participated in Dance Injuries:  Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention webinars at Johns Hopkins Medicine with presenter Raj Deu, MD.  There have been featured articles on Ms Ribble in Dance Studio Life, Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, Dance Teacher Now, Dance and Dancer Magazines, The International Tap Association Newsletter, The New York Times, and The New Jersey Star Ledger.  We are thrilled to have Michele Ribble join our faculty to teach tap classes.

Kathleen McAree  A consummate dance professional, Kathleen McAree is well-versed in a number of genres, including ballet, jazz, musical theater, modern, and lyrical.   She has toured both nationally and internationally with such well known companies as The Jette Performance Company, The Mantis Project, Kelly Drummond, and The Jennifer Krease Dance Ensemble.  She has also appeared in movies such as Carlitos Way and The Stepford Wives, and was a featured dancer in MTV London’s Speedracer video.  Ms. McAree holds a BFA from Montclair State University with a concentration in Dance.  She is a certified teacher of ballet by The American Ballet Theater (ABT) through their National Training Curriculum.  Kathleen is also a member of The New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, and Dance (NYS APHERD) and has been a Dance Conference Presenter for the organization.  For 13 years, Kathleen taught in the Dance Department for CUNY at Queensborough Commuity College and had the privilege of working with such esteemed choreographers as Robert Battle, the current Artistic Director of The Alvin Ailey Dance Company.  In addition to her collegiate position, Kathleen has taught at such reknown studios as Steps on Broadway, Central Park Dance, The Ridgewood Conservatory, Dance Plus, and DDA Dance ACademy.  She also served as the master class series director for The Elan Awards, which honored such amazing choreographers as Susan Stroman and Robert Marshall.  Ms McAree joins the faculty at HRPAC to teach Musical Theatre Dance and jazz classes.

Emily Copeland is a dance artist from New Paltz, New York  She started tumbling and jazz at seven years old.  As she got older, she expanded her training to ballet, modern, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, and musical theater.  Throughout her education, she was able to gain significant performing experience from a very young age. She performed at the magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World for the first time at just 11 years old.  Her childhood training also includes the American Academy of Ballet, and Adelphi University’s pre-college program.  As an adult she has performed with various modern and contemporary ballet companies all over the United States.  Most recently, in April 2017, she danced on an episode of legendary choreographer Laurieann Gibson’s upcoming Lifetime TV show “Star Maker.”  Emily graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, Magna Cum Laude, from The College at Brockport, State University of New York in 2016.  There she was fortunate enough to have the guidance of an incredible faculty including William “Bill” Evans, Mariah Maloney, James Hansen, Karl Rogers, Stevie Oakes, Vanessa Van Wormer, and Maura Keefe.  She also had the privilege of working with guest artists such as David Dorfman, Monica Bill Barnes, Alexandra Beller, Laura Peterson, and Netta Yerushalmy.  At SUNY Brockport she studied a diverse series of coursework both in the dance studio and classroom.  During her time in college, she was selected to perform in various student and faculty works, some of which toured nationally, as well as show her own choreography in the department shows.  She was also a member of the university dance team.  Additionally, Emily studied at the No. 1 ranked school for dance research in the UK, The University of Roehampton, in London, England.  While living in London, she performed for multiple British choreographers and set her own work on university students.  Her experience studying and dancing abroad ignited a passion for international performance that she hopes to pursue in the future.  Today, Emily teaches and choreographs all over New York.  Her choreography has won numerous top overalls, high scores, and special judges awards.  She also is the Registration Coordinator for Artistic Dance Exchange, an internationally recognized dance convention and competition company.  She works closely with top choreographers in the industry to provide incredible experiences for dancers all over the world.  She is currently preparing to head out on ADE’s 11 city, 2017-2018 international tour.  Emily is thrilled to join the faculty at Hudson River Performing Arts! She will be teaching Stretch and Tumble, Contemporary, Lyrical, and Jazz.

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 in 2007 and developed a great passion for it.  She is the current assistant director of a dance school in Carmel, where she teaches and choreographs most of the classes including ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop.  As the artictic director of their dance companies, her responsibilities include choreographing advanced routines to be performed at various venues.  Kristen has run various dance programs including being the Dance Director at the Town of Pawling Summer Camp, hip hop classes at the Pawling Recreation Center, and a 4 week Dance Camp in Carmel.  Aside from her teaching and choreography skills, Kristen’s greatest asset is the close relationships she easily builds with her students and parents alike.  Miss Kristen teaches all ages and levels and is thrilled to be part of the HRPAC family, teaching hip hop and lyrical.

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.”  Ms Bartush returns again this season to teach Tutu and Tumble, combo and ballet classes.

Catherine Stabe has been dancing since she was 3 years old.  She has studied at Hudson River Performing Arts Center for 11 years. Catherine also enjoys going into NYC and taking classes at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway.  She has studied a variety of dance including classical and contemporary ballet, pointe, jazz and Fosse jazz, flamenco, tap and rhythm tap, modern, lyrical, and hip hop.  Catherine has been accepted into numerous summer dance programs including the NYC Joffrey Experience taught by Mia Michaels, Joffrey Ballet in New York, Joffrey West LA, Joffrey Miami, Joffrey Southwest Dallas, Joffrey NYC Character and World Dance Program, Joffrey Florence, Italy, and American Academy of Ballet (all on scholarship).  She was also accepted to The Rock School and Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory for their summer program, as well as their full year high school program.  Catherine attended the American Academy of Ballet 2015 Summer Intensive where she received Gold Award for AAB Performance Awards level 8.  Catherine enjoys choreographing her own pieces as well as group pieces.  She has choreographed pointe pieces for Edwin Fion and his nonprofit organization Move and Dream and has choreographed a Broadway jazz piece for HRPAC’s Repertory Company.  Catherine has been assisting at HRPAC for 5 years and has subbed for the past 2 years.  She is looking forward to sharing her love of dance with others.  Ms Stabe will be teaching Tutu and Tumble, Tapping Toes, combo, and jazz/tap A.

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 Wedding”, 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