Meet Our Dance Class Instructors!
Lisa Taylor - Director, Owner
Lisa Taylor is the owner and director of Lisa Taylor Academy of Ballet and Dance Arts, now beginning its 25th year in North Buffalo. She received her main training as a performer and teacher of classical ballet from Norma Ferrara Gelose of the Ferrara Studio of Ballet Arts and has over 40 years experience teaching dance. She also studied modern dance technique under Marie Ziccarelli; tap, and several styles of jazz, Character Dance, and Mime Theater.
Mrs. Taylor was a performer, rehearsal director, and choreographer for the Young Dancers' Workshop, Ken-Ton Ballet, and National Theatre of Dance from 1976 -1990 during which time she performed leading roles in Les Patineurs, Rodeo, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, Coppelia, and Swan Lake; as well as children's ballets Fox Hunt, Hansel and Gretel, and Peter and the Wolf, and Mime Theater.
She is a Fellow member of the Cecchetti Council of America through which she holds Professional Advanced Teaching Certification. She has directed liturgical dance at several area churches as well as presenting workshops in liturgical dance. Mrs. Taylor also directs the Academy's performing troupe, which performs children's works at area schools and church and community functions, and the Towne Players' annual Christmas Show. She taught dance for the Arts in Education Institute of Western New York for more than 10 years, and worked with Pick of the Crop Dance as a Teaching Artist, Rehearsal Director, and Assistant Production Manager. Mrs. Taylor was also on faculty in the Fine Arts Department at the Buffalo Seminary for 5 years, and created a dance education program for Oracle Charter School in Buffalo, NY.
Romney Taylor's - Karate, Boys Dance, Partnering
Sensei Romney currently holds the rank of 2nd degree Black Belt in Isshin-Ryu Karate. His certification comes from Okinawa, Japan, through Angi Uezu. He began his training under John Overton, one of the original founders of World Fighting Arts. Over the 30 plus years, he has been training, Sensei Romney has taught Karate under John Overton and later Tony Overton at World Fighting Arts, as well as at Kodokan under Skip Coones. Additionally, Sensei Romney holds a 4th degree Black Belt in Goju-Ryu from Kodokan Goju-ryu and Matayoshi Kobudo under Kimo Wall and Curtis Haynes.
Students enjoy his respectful teaching style and thorough instruction. Parents of younger students appreciate his emphasis on discipline, self-control, and character development.
In addition to his qualifications as a Karate Sensei, Mr. Taylor is also an accomplished dancer. He studied for many years under Norma Ferrara Gelose of the Ferrara Studio of Ballet Arts during which time he performed leading roles in many ballets for the National Theatre of Dance as well performing in Mime Theater.
Nancy Hughes - Modern, Pilates
As an adult, Nancy has studied modern dance and contact improvisation and she graduated magna cum laude from Texas Woman's University. Nancy's primary dance vocabulary is contemporary dance based in release technique and she has also practiced modern dance styles such as Graham, Limon and Cunningham; and her dance research has led her to take classes from many teachers including David Dorfman, Janet Wong, David Parsons, BeBe Miller and Kathleen Hermesdorf. Nancy's love for contemporary dance has not limited her exploration of movement and she has also studied ballet, folk dance and tap; her love for movement leads her to explore other physical styles as well and recently has dabbled in practices like breakn', aikido and skate boarding. As a performer she has danced work by Michael Foley, Suchu Dance and Johannes Birringer. Relatively new to Buffalo, she performs with local companies Nimbus Dance, Anne Burnidge Dance and BCIJPG at venues such as Hallwalls, Big Orbit Gallery and Clifton Hall.
As an independent dance maker Nancy has choreographed on companies such as Ormao Dance Company and Dance Connect, and her choreography has been performed across the U.S. including Colorado, Oregon and Washington D.C.; and recently she was a guest choreographer for U.B.'s Zodiaque Dance Ensemble. Nancy teaches contemporary dance and contact improvisation regularly in the city of Buffalo and also has been a guest teacher at Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey as well as at Brockport College for Dance Awareness Days. In the summer of 2012, Nancy participated in a workgroup with Nancy Stark Smith and Mike Vargas in London, England studying a container for dance improvisation named the Underscore. You might have seen Nancy's daughter Hannah dancing and practicing Karate. Hannah has been studying at Lisa Taylor Academy of Ballet & Dance Arts for about 3 years. First as a student of Mrs. O'Brian and now she is studying Karate with Sensei Romney.
Sarah Seiler - Ballet
Sarah Seiler began studying with Lisa Taylor as a young child in Creative Movement. Over the many years of her association with Lisa Taylor Academy of Ballet and Dance Arts she has studied Ballet, Character, Pointe, Jazz, Theater Games, and Repertoire. Sarah has completed all four Cecchetti Council of America student performance grades.
As a long-time member of Lisa Taylor Dancers Performance Group (LTD) she has danced in such ballets as Les Patineurs, Fox Hunt, Hansel and Gretel, Peter and the Wolf, Les Sylphides, and many other short works in such venues as area public and private school assemblies, community events, and with the Towne Players. Sarah began working as an Academy Class Assistant at age 10 and worked her way up to Assistant Teacher by age 16. She has been teaching independently for the last three years as she continues being mentored by Mrs. Taylor. Sarah has just completed her CCA Grade II Teacher’s Examination and presented her first group of students for examination. In addition to continuing to develop her teaching skills, Sarah is a Communications Major at Canisius College.
Mary Pappagallo - Ballet
Mary Pappagallo began studying at a young age with Lisa Taylor in Pre-Ballet. Throughout her training at Lisa Taylor Ballet and Dance Arts she has studied Ballet, Character, Pointe, Partnering, Modern, Jazz, Contemporary, Theater Games and Repertoire. Mary has completed all four Cecchetti Council of America student performance grades, and her Professional Elementary and Professional Intermediate grades.
As a long-time member of the Lisa Taylor Dancer Performance Group (LTD), Mary’s ballet repertoire includes performances in Les Sylphides, Les Patineurs, Giselle, Fox Hunt, Hansel and Gretel, and Peter and the Wolf, and other short works for public and private schools, community events, and the Towne Players Group. She has also performed with The Greater Niagara Ballet Company in performances of The Nutcracker and Coppelia.
Mary began working as an Academy Class Assistant at age 10. She has been teaching independently for over 7 years while continuing to be mentored by Miss Lisa. She furthered her dance education at SUNY Buffalo graduating with a BA in Dance and a Minor in Education. Her studies also provided opportunities in choreography, performance, and residencies including Bill Gentes, Brendan Fernandes, Dorrance Dance, and Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company. Mary is a member of the Cecchetti Council of America and has completed her CCA Grade III Teacher’s Certification with plans to continue under coaching of Miss Lisa.
Sharon Detweiler - Guest Ballet Teacher
Sharon Detweiler has over 20 years teaching experience. She has taught, judged and trained in all settings throughout the US, UK and Canada. Mrs. Detweiler is a member of the Cecchetti Council of America, Dance Masters of America Chapter 8, and a Post Graduate of Dance Masters of America's Teacher Training School, where she received her certification to teach. In addition to preparing/presenting students for CCA Ballet Exams, she also writes and produces children's ballets. She enjoys opportunities to teach with her mentor and coach, Lisa Taylor.