Olga BerestMrs. Berest developed her early love of dance as a child in Manhasset with her teachers Roy Kreiser and Brenda Morgan. She continued training in NYC at the American Ballet Theater School and the Martha Graham School, as well as through college while she earned her B.S. in Speech and Hearing Pathology and her M.S. in Special Education.
Alison Berest Busching
Krista Billard grew up in Long Island, NY where she received classical training at The Berest Dance Studio, under the direction of Olga Berest. She has a a M.A.R. (Masters of Arts in Religion) as well as a BFA in art. In 2013, Krista Billard opened Eden Ministries under The Healing Tree LLC Pastoral Counseling center, which seeks to introduce dance to the Christian community as a form of therapy and inner healing. Through the discipline of sacred dance, individuals are drawn deeper into the presence of God and experience inner healing through worship. All training and therapy addresses the body, mind, soul, and spirit in accordance with the first commandment as the foundational principle for change, bringing a deeper revelation of the love of God.
Cindy BurtonReceived her BA in Dance Ed from Manhattanville College and her MS in Elementary Education from St. John’s University. She has 24 years experience teaching modern dance, dance improvisation and creative arts at the Berest Dance Center and also taught at USDAN Center for the Arts and Holy Child Academy.
The Berest Dance Center instilled in Celine Coles a holistic approach to dance and movement at a very young age. By the time she was in college, many of her peers were taking improvisation for the first time, while she had been studying it for years. Celine Coles graduated with a BFA in Dance from SUNY Brockport, during which she spent one summer studying at The Taylor School and another at the American Dance Festival. She studied internationally in Spain and Belgium taking workshops in Classical Ballet, Flamenco, Modern dance, and Sevilliana (a Spanish Folkloric dance form). While at SUNY Brockport, she was exposed to African and Irish Step Dancing. She decided to escape the cold and take a semester at the University of Hawaii in Manoa where she enrolled in Hawaiian Hula, West Javanese, and Philipine dance forms. She identifies herself as a Modern Dancer, however acknowledges that all these experiences have made her a strong choreographer and has influenced the person she is today.
These days you can find her teaching music and movement at a local pre-school where she heavily relies on her improvisational skills to develop a curriculum that is fun and diverse. Celine Coles has been choreographing for the Youth Dance Theater for the past two years, and is pleased to be joining us as a member of the teaching staff for the year 2020.
Molly joined the faculty of Berest Dance in 2016. Growing up, she pursued her ballet studies at Ballet Arts Minnesota and Minnesota Dance Theatre and received additional training with School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet School, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She went on to dance professionally with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Colorado Ballet, and Boulder Ballet. Her roles included Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Dewdrop in Nutcracker, and ensemble roles in Concerto Barocco and Serenade. Molly later received her B.A. in English from Stanford University and M.F.A. in Writing from Arizona State University and has previously taught ballet at the School of Ballet Arizona and Parker Dance (Colorado).
Since expressing her interest in dance at age three, Melissa has been exploring movement and performing ever since. She received her training in ballet and modern at the prestigious Baltimore School for the Arts anreceived her BFA in Dance from Adelphi University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. At Adelphi she performed a wide range of roles from world-famous works by Jiri Kylian to classical ballet roles, and just about everything in between. Her most recent performance credit includes dancing "I Can Dream, Can't I?" in Orion Duckstein's re-staging of Paul Taylor's Company B.
Floryn began her training under Olga, Karen, Heather, and Cindy here at Berest as a young child. She went on to study Theater and Dance at Skidmore College, and has been a working triple threat performer since then. She is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association, the union for stage performers, and has performed in the ensembles of musicals such as 42nd St., and in leading roles such as Velma in Chicago. Those are only two of the many productions Floryn has performed in nationwide, as well as with Tony winners here in New York. She most recently performed with Broadway and NYCB stars in American Dance Machine at The Joyce Theater. Floryn loves to share her passion for dance and performing, and is grateful she gets to make art with the incredible students at Berest!
Nicole started dance relatively late at the age of twelve in a small town in Illinois, where she fell in love and has been dancing since. During her teenage years, she was selected to study at The Houston Ballet Academy, The Joffrey Ballet School, and as a teen apprentice with the Limón Dance Company summer program. She was one of a few select recipients to receive a full 4-year talented student tuition scholarship at the University of Illinois (Champaign/Urbana), where she earned her BFA in dance. After graduation she moved to NYC where she has danced with several downtown modern dance companies, and has found her passion in improvisational dance performance and performs at various venues throughout the city. Nicole is also is a certified personal trainer and yoga teacher, has been successfully working in the health and fitness field for the past decade. Recently moving to Port Washington, she is thrilled to be part of the Berest family and able to share her studies and passion with the students she teaches!
Maggie is a product of the Berest Dance Center. She went on to graduate from Mount Holyoke College as a dancer and choreographer, with degrees in Dance and Psychology. She has performed in works by Pilobolus, Bebe Miller, Bill T. Jones, Kinsun Chan, Rodger Blum, Deborah Goffe, Barbie Diewald and Margaret Wiss. Maggie has presented work at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center (2016), New England American College Dance Association (2017), and the NYC Dance and Music Festival (2018). Through grounded, rhythmic movement Maggie expresses the physical and emotional effects of human interaction and communicates our constant need for growth and development. She is also influenced by her practices as a musician and psychologist.
Cherie grew up dancing at Berest Dance Center and Movement of the Children Dancenter in the styles of ballet, jazz, tap and african. She is the daughter of beloved Berest teacher, Karen Ferby-Guy. During her teen years she was a featured tap dancer for the promotion of the LI Dance Consortium on WLIW 21, in addition to various outreach experiences with the youth dance groups in both studios. In college, Cherie was a dancer and choreographer in the Molloy College Dance Team while completing her 5-year MBA Program in Business Management and Finance. Currently, she is working for Merrill Lynch in √Wealth Management, but her passion for dance and work ethic guides her to teach in both of her childhood studios. Cherie has also spent time training at the Ailey School, Broadway Dance Center, Mark Morris Dance Center, Jamaica Arts Center and Ripley Grier Studios.
Has been with Berest Dance Center since 1978. Karen began dancing at Springfield College in MA with Frank Hatchett and continued with Nat Horne in New York City, also taking classes at the Alvin Ailey School and Steps. While pursuing her MA in Education Karen danced with the African dance company Liberation Ensemble and performed with Dance EPIC (Educators and Performers In Concert). Karen has been teaching dance to children and adults since 1976 and recently retired from teaching in the Manhasset public schools as a Special Education teacher and Director of the After-School Dance program.
Krissy is a professional dancer residing in Brooklyn, NY. Her performance training began at the age of 9 in theatre, hip hop/breakdancing, Lithuanian folk dancing, as well as ballet. She is a 2013 BFA graduate from the Adelphi University dance program. She is a Teaching Assistant at the Mark Morris Dance Center, and in 2014 worked with the Battery Dance Company (NY) Dancing to Connect Institute, a teaching artist program with a social activism and community building platform. Krissy performs and collaborates with various modern dance companies and independent performing artists in NYC, and her dance collective, Krissy and the Works, is actively rehearsing and performing professionally in New York City and beyond.
Ioanna grew up training at Berest Dance Center before going on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Adelphi University with a B.F.A. in Dance (minors in psychology and French). While at Adelphi. she was privileged to perform in works by Gregory Askins, Orion Duckstein, and most recently in Paul Taylor’s Company B. She has also studied at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, the Paul Taylor School, and the Mark Morris Dance Center. Ioanna is excited to begin the next chapter of her life at Berest, and is extremely humbled to be working alongside the faculty that inspired her to pursue a career in dance.
Sharon has studied dance throughout the USA and Europe. She was a Radio City Rockette for 2 years, danced with the Nevada Ballet, the Lido de Paris, and in productions at the Sands and the Stardust in Las Vegas. She also performed on the Ed Sullivan Show and the Merv Griffin show and has been a guest artist and/or teacher with professional companies in Las Vegas, Philadelphia. Ms. Jones also owned and directed her own dance studio and company Nassau Dance Theater for 25 years.
Lance E. Theobald Jr.
Before his professional acting, dancing and choreographic career, Lancelot played football in Europe. He has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, with Indigo Dancers at the famous Kit Kat club on Broadway, and appeared in both Television and film. Lance is a choreographer and assistant director for the hip-hop artist Reyn. He has choreographed several hip-hop numbers for the Knick City Dancers at Madison Square Garden and has received the award for outstanding tap choreography at the teen tap conference in NYC in 2000. Lance created and choreographs for Momz-N-Da-Hood, the world’s first hip-hop group of ladies in their 40’s & 50’s.
Elena is currently a dancer based in NYC, training at the Ailey School and pursuing her bachelor's degree in Dance and Commications from Hunter College. Elena has been dancing since she was four years old but found her passion for movement at Berest when she was 12. Elena has trained at the School at Steps in the pre-professional program and attended the summer intensives at Ellison Ballet, ABT, Peridance, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Irina &Maxim International Ballet. She has taught creative movement and ballet classes at the Gold Coast Arts Center and developed a dance curriculum for Oasis Day Camp in 2018. Elena was also a featured dancer in the animated music video "Dancing in a Room" by EZI. Elena works closely with Movement Exchange as a dance diplomat to find ways of making dance more accessible and inclusive for all populations. Most recently, Elena became an RYT 200-hour yoga instructor. She is humbled to be joining the faculty at BEREST to share the gift of movement;nt in the very place that solidified her lifelong passion for dance.
Beth is a Senior Adjunct Professor in Dance at the Post Campus of Long Island University. She also teaches dance at Stony Brook University and Nassau Community College. She has danced extensively in New York as well as with regional companies. Her work in ballet includes leading roles with U.S. Terpsichore, the resident company for the New York School of Ballet, directed by Richard Thomas, Barbara Fallis and Daniel Levans. Ms. Trimm’s work in modern dance includes several years at the Merce Cunningham Studio, taking company class and performing in workshops and student choreography. While at U.S. Terpsichore she performed in Cunningham’s Cross Currents. She is a certified Zena Rommett Floor-Barre® instructor since 1999. She has taught floor barre® classes across the USA and Italy. Ms. Trimm holds a B.A. in History from LIU and a M.A. in Dance Education from NYU.
Jess began dancing with her mother, Sharon Jones, at her studio from a very early age. It was here that her passion for dance and teaching began. She attended Long Island High School for the Performing Arts and continued to pursue dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, receiving a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance. After graduating she received a fellowship with Lincoln Center Institute, working in New York City public schools with teaching artists. Here, she realized her deep passion for teaching. Jess continued her education at Bank Street College of Education, receiving her MSEd in Elementary General and Special Education. She spent eight years working as a 3rd-5th grade special education teacher and currently works as a program director, instructor, and advisor at Bank Street College of Education. She feels privileged to be working with the passionate students, families, and faculty at Berest.