introducing the staff of mary ann fortune's dance studio

MARY ANN FORTUNE

Mary Ann Fortune has been studying dance since the age of 3. She continued her training throughout high school and at the age of 17 opened her studio in Mechanicville, NY. Mary Ann attended Union College in Schenectady, NY and continued to teach while advancing her own technical skills in dance. Upon receiving her B.S. degree in psychology she was able to devote herself full time to her ultimate dream - DANCE! Mary Ann continues to study today with master teachers for her own self-enjoyment, to perfect her technique, and to bring new and innovative ideas to her students. Mary Ann is proud to announce her dedication to the dancers of the Capital District.

MICHELLE BAFARO

Michele Bafaro has been dancing since the age of 3 studying tap, ballet and jazz from local studios in the capital region. Graduating with a degree in physical education she went on to work as an instructor at an area gym, continuing to teach dance fitness programs at a local studio and through continuing education programs at area schools. She introduced young children to gymnastics with a preschool program and at a local summer camp. Michele has been instructing at the studio for over 30 years and enjoys teaching gymnastics, tap, ballet and jazz classes to our youngest dancers through our adult students.

KAREN FOX

Karen Anne Fox has been at Mary Ann Fortune’s Dance Studio for over 29 years, starting off as a student and as an assistant instructor and now as instructor. Karen graduated from Dean College with an A.A. in dance and a B.A. in Theatre/Dance. Karen was also a Tap Instructor at Russell Sage College in Troy, NY. Karen competed in dance at many New York County and State Fairs, along with Regional and National Dance Competitions such as Dance America and DEA (Dance Educators of America). She also attended Emma Willard’s summer dance programs and well as Dance Alliance’s Dance + workshops. She has also danced at many fundraising events and appeared on television several times in the “For Kids Sake Follies”. Karen also competed in college at the New England Dance Festival that was held at Springfield College. Karen has taken many master classes in many different styles of dance such as Tap, Modern, Latin and Ballroom. Dean College provided the venue and connections for many of the master classes with Denise Jefferson of Alvin Ailey, Michael Taylor of Gus Giodeno, Maurice Hines, Offer Ben and Avi Miller, Charles “Honi” Coles and Jason Samuels Smith. Some of the other most notable master classes taken in Capital District were with: Savion Glover, Mark Morris Dance Company and Faynard Nicholas of the Nicholas Brothers.

LAURA GRASSMAN

Laura has been dancing with Mary Ann Fortune since 1997 and started teaching tap in 2007.  She has been dancing since the age of two and studied at a number of studios before her time with Mary Ann.  Laura has over 20 years experience in competitive dancing and has danced on professional dance teams within the Capital Region.  She enjoys presenting her students with new and challenging material while providing a fun atmosphere.  When Laura is not tapping, she is enjoying the outdoors whether she is in the Catskills or Adirondack high peaks.

MEGAN PIZZO

Megan has been dancing with Mary Ann Fortunes Dance Studio since the age of 2 1/2. Megan's passion for the art of dance became a reality when she started to compete at the age of 5. Throughtout the next 13 years Megan won numerous awards within solo's, duet/trios, and groups. Early on Megan became a student teacher, and in 2007 she was asked to be a full time tap teacher. Megan brings fun and innovated ideas to the kids throughout each class. Megan curantly is studying to become a beautition, and will graduate September of 2011.

CHELSEY  HAYWARD

Performed with the Phyllis Latin Dance Company as an apprentice throughout New York State. She performed with the company in Russia and was one of two American dancers chosen to perform with dancers from the Bolshi Ballet and Moscow Classical Ballet companies in the production of Patar Olympian. She also performed the Spanish Variation & Butterflies with the Moscow Ballet Company performance of Nutcracker at the Palace Theatre for two years. She has obtained an advanced level in Ballet and an intermediate level in Tap and Jazz. Chelsey will be teaching Ballet and Musical Theatre.

LAURA TEETER

Laura Teeter hails from Minneapolis where she began her early training. She graduated magna cum laude from The Boston Conservatory with a BFA in Dance Performance. While in Boston she co-produced a concert of her choreography and performed as a guest artist with Zoé Dance. She is currently in her eighth season performing with the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company, resident company of The Egg in Albany. Their performance season spans almost the entire year, and has seen Ms. Teeter in various venues throughout the Capital Region, as well as New York City, the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, and several points North. She has choreographed for ESDC and continues to collaborate and perform in several side projects in Troy, Albany, and Woodstock. She has been teaching ballet and modern for Mary Ann since 2006.