Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
Meet Logrea Dance Academy Alumni.. This distinguished page will help our students to view the positive aspects of life in a different light. This will motivate our current students to do much better in the future by the suggestions and notable examples displayed by our former students. The rich experiences of our previous students will help in the growth of our present students.
Meet The Logrea Dance Academy Alumni
I trained with Logrea Dance Academy for 15 years—primarily in ballet, but I also took classes in jazz and modern. I was a member of Westchester Ballet Company and attended various ballet summer intensives. I attended Cornell University for undergrad, majoring in Chemistry & Chemical Biology, and attended Washington & Lee University School of Law for law school. I currently work as a lawyer in Oakland, California. While I didn’t make dance my career, I’ve continued to find ways to make dance a part of my life. At college, I was a member of Cornell’s Edge of the Gorge Ballet Company and joined two student-led dance groups where I explored choreographing and directing dance productions in addition to dancing in them. And even today, I try to attend a ballet class once a week. My experience at LDA shaped how I approach and view new (and out of my comfort zone) opportunities. It instilled in me the belief and confidence that through dedication, practice, and repetition, I can succeed at seemingly new and difficult tasks. I am grateful for my experience and for the people at LDA.
Taylor Massa is a dancer, choreographer, and movement director from White Plains, New York. After ten years of classical ballet training at Logrea Dance Academy and dancing with The Westchester Ballet Company, she joined Ellison Ballet Professional Training Program. At the age of seventeen Taylor was hired as a trainee into The Washington Ballet where she performed at
the Kennedy Center for one year including ballets such as Giselle, Peter Pan, and Theme & Variations. After, Taylor performed with the second company at Ballet Austin for two years. She then was accepted into The Juilliard School where she received her bachelor’s in fine arts. At Juilliard she worked directly with choreographers and dancers such as Ohad Naharin, Bobbi Jene Smith, Twyla Tharp, Alejandro Cerrudo, Desmond Richardson, Robert Battle, Wendy
Wheelan, among many others. Now living in Los Angeles, Taylor has taught and choreographed at The Winward Academy and The Lauridsen Ballet Academy. Very much interested in collaboration, Taylor has choreographed, movement directed, and danced in films created with directors and musicians of different mediums coming together to create multidisciplinary dance
and theater films. Such films include, The Desert Piece, directed by George Miller, Fire, directed by Sasha Douglas- Nares and Arlington, written by Enda Walsh, and directed by Miles Jacoby for The Juilliard School. She has most recently danced in multiple commercial film and photo shoots for brands such as Amazon Fashion and is performing with an LA based contemporary
ballet company called ContempoArts.
Melissa Barthelmes attended the Logrea Dance Academy after earning a Bachelors in English Secondary Education at SUNY New Paltz in 1991. As a child, she studied classical ballet with The Dance Connection in Buchanan, NY, under the instruction of Audrey St. Vincent, and then returned to the study of ballet at the New Paltz School of Ballet in New Paltz, NY, while attending college. Upon graduating from SUNY New Paltz, Melissa chose to continue to pursue her love of ballet with LDA due its kind, nurturing atmosphere, familial setting, and high standards in the world of classical ballet. Performing with The Westchester Ballet Company until the year 2000, some roles in WBC’s The Nutcracker include Tea from China, Chocolate/Spanish, Dew Drop, Flower Soloist, and Snow Soloist. During the LDA Spring Seasons, she has performed as the Cobweb Fairy in Midsummer, The Lady in Tales from Vienna, the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, Mazurka in Les Sylphides under the direction of the
late Russell Fratto, and other works including Coppelia, and the premier of Glen Miller’s Nutcracker, amongst others. She made many lifelong friends and connections at LDA that have transcended the ballet studio. Melissa is an English teacher with the Hendrick Hudson School District in Montrose, NY, teaching 10th grade Honors English and 12th grade AP Literature and
Composition. As well, Melissa is happily married to Owen Barthelmes, and has twin sons, Paul and Ian, who are aspiring mechanical engineers.
Ari Brandsdorfer is an alumnus of the Westchester Ballet Company and Logrea Dance Academy. He joined the school in 1998 after watching a performance of The Nutcracker by the Westchester Ballet Company at the Westchester County Center while on a school field trip. After 9 years of dancing at the Logrea Dance Academy Ari went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA with a major in Biology and minor in Dance and then Magna Cum Laude from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA. Following medical school Ari was accepted to Montefiore Medical Center/ Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Ophthalmology
residency program where he served as Chief Resident in his final year. He then
completed his Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery Fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center. He is currently a board-certified Ophthalmologist and member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Cornea Society. In his current role at Consulting Ophthalmologists PC in central Connecticut Ari performs hundreds of surgeries each year including cataracts, corneal transplants and complex anterior segment cases. He headed the Collagen Cross Linking program
for Hartford Health Care to reduce disease burden for patients with degenerative corneal diseases such as Keratoconus and Post LASIK Ectasia and he is currently one of 27 physicians in the country accepting patients for a National Eye Institute funded study on the effects of diabetes on Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) a type of partial thickness cornea transplant. Ari lives in West Hartford, CT with his cats, dog and beautiful wife Caitlin. His first daughter is scheduled to make her debut June of 2022!