MEET OUR TEACHERS
We have a fantastic team of caring and supportive instructors. All Thread City Classical Dance staff are passionate about making a lasting impact in the lives of our students, through their tireless dedication and drive to share their own knowledge and experiences. Get to know our committed team and their role in continuing our students' dance education.
AMY REUSCH CHIBEAU
Amy Reusch/Chibeau began her training with Paris Opera trained Germaine Pacaud and her husband Roger Pacaud with whom she headlined the ballet company resident for decades at Radio City Music Hall. At the age of 11, Amy transferred to New Jersey School of Ballet, the official school of the professional company New Jersey Ballet. There she studied with teachers who had been soloists with American Ballet Theater, The Joffrey Ballet, Roland Petit’s Ballets des Champs Elysees, Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, Iranian National Ballet, Vienna State Ballet and The Australian Ballet. In high school, she taught young children in her basement to raise money for pointe shoes. As a dance major at SUNY Purchase, she studied with principals and soloists of New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theater, as well as with dancers and repiteurs from the Martha Graham company, Jose Limon company and Merce Cunningham company. She studied Improv with Mel Wong and Composition with Kazuko Hirobayashi. After college she continued to study ballet in New York City, at David Howard’s, NY Conservatory of Dance, Steps and Ballet Arts. Realizing that a 5’10” woman faces an unlikely professional ballet career, she transitioned from pursuing a professional performing career into capturing dance on video. She worked as a NABET generalist for TimeWarner in their Manhattan Cable television studio. While living in Philadelphia, and working as the company videographer for Pennsylvania Ballet, a former classmate brought her in to teach and choreograph ballet at Ballets des Jeunes. She has shot dance all over the country (NY, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, Lexington, Kansas City, Hartford, Stamford), working as house videographer for Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the National Doris Humphrey Society, as well as many many smaller companies and independent choreographers. She was awarded a Pew Charitable Trust National Initiative to Preserve American Dance grant to preserve 5 Humphrey masterpieces which was reviewed by the NY Times, and was honored to shoot several coaching videos for the George Balanchine Foundation’s Interpreter’s Archive. She never stopped studying ballet, continuing to take class at The Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, The Ruth Page Foundation, The School of the Hartford Ballet, and in New York. She takes class when she travels, and so has studied in Boston, Seattle, London and Paris. Amy has taught ballet continuously here in Connecticut since 2007.
Tap & Jazz
Alana J. Mahdalik holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Dance and Economics from James Madison University, Virginia and has received training at the Hartford Conservatory and Trinity College. She has been teaching various styles and levels of dance to all ages since 1989, first with Dance & Company, in VA, next with Greater Mansfield Council for the Arts and with the former Arts In Motion(AIM) from 1995-2007 where she also served on their Board of Directors for several years. She has been the Artistic Director, instructor and choreographer for the Dance Ensemble she founded in January 2002 and historically the group had performed for numerous public events throughout Eastern CT. She began teaching at Capitol Theater Arts Academy in the Summer of 2007 through the year 2016 and is currently enjoying teaching with Thread City Classical Dance in Willimantic. Alana represented AIM and was featured in CPTV’s May 2002 documentary, CT and Its Cities, The Challenge of Renewal. Her modern training specializes in the Limon and Horton methods with additional training in Modern techniques such as Bartenieff, Cunningham, Duncan and Graham. Her training also covers Folk Dance and Swing Dancing. She has studied Anatomy and Kinesiology focusing on the mechanical analysis of movement. Alana has a background in Live Mannequin work and choreographed thirteen Stafford High School musical productions from 1994 to 2006 along with the 2004 AIM Kid’s Co. production of Once On This Island. She has worked with Adult Education programs and Arts commissions on dance workshops and is also a National Baton Twirling Association judge and has been actively judging competitions since 1994. Alana holds a full-time National Supplier Relationship Management position with United Natural Foods, Inc. where she has worked for nearly 23 years. Alana enjoys gardening in her spare time and is an avid collector of frogs (not real, of course!).
Becka Lazur, MS, R-DMT is an ADTA Registered Dance/Movement Therapist with her M.S. Dance/Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute. A student of ballet first, Becka’s personal experience has inspired and informed her work with therapeutic movement, as well as her instruction of classical dance. Becka began her training locally at the Lebanon School of Dance, and the Northeast Academy of Dance where she studied both Vaganova and Cecchetti methods, as well as theatre jazz, and Graham based modern. Becka has performed in the full-length productions of Coppelia, Les Sylphides, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, dancing the role of Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty, as well as the lead in Cinderella. Becka has also studied at several intensive dance programs including the American Academy of Ballet and the American TheatreDance Summer Workshop. In May of 2008, Becka earned her B.S. Communication from Eastern Connecticut State University. During this time, she represented ECSU at the collegiate level dancing at different events including the 5X5 Dance Festival at Saint Joseph College and performances at the Welte Theatre at Central Connecticut State University. Becka was a company member of the Albano Ballet Co. of Hartford, CT for four seasons, and danced several roles in Albano’s Nutcracker at Mohegan Sun Arena in addition to Graham inspired modern choreography at both the Cabaret Theatre at Mohegan Sun and area elementary schools. Additionally, Becka has danced for dancEnlight, Allonge Dance Variations, and Hartford City Ballet. Performance credits include Ink Passion, Paquita, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, and Cinderella. Becka has instructed group and individual dance classes for children and adults at several area schools including the Northeast Academy of Dance, Mansfield Academy of Dance, New England Dance, and Hartford City Ballet. Becka instructed ballroom dance lessons at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio of Bloomfield, CT where her students earned first place awards in competition and performance. Additionally, Becka has instructed children and adults with developmental disabilities in dance technique and choreography for performance, as well as facilitating adaptive dance and creative movement/music sessions for this population. Becka strives to share the therapeutic essence of dance with all of her students, which she believes to exist in every opportunity for movement from the traditional context of a classical ballet barre, to the pedestrian dance of two strangers passing on the sidewalk.
Paige Woods has been teaching introductory ballet classes for three years, starting at the Capitol Theater Arts Academy before joining her teacher Amy Chibeau and peers in the establishing of Thread City Classical Dance. She has been studying ballet for 16 years and has never lost her love for it. In addition to dancing and teaching here, Paige is a biomedical engineering graduate from the University of Connecticut and is involved in several communities on campus.
Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop
Eric was trained at the Waterbury Arts Magnet School focusing on performance and artistry. Eric has trained in ballet, modern, contemporary, hip-hop, jazz and tap. One of Eric’s passions is choreography where he had opportunities to share his work in High School and at Uconn. Eric continues to dance with the Uconn Dance Company which is a student lead and choreographed dance company that focuses on artistry. Eric also dances with ENCORE Dance Team with is a hip-hop and contemporary company. Eric loves to blend techniques in his contemporary style.
I strive to be a positive and energetic dance teacher, showing a love for dance and an enthusiasm for how dance can promote health, grace, and confidence in children, youth, and adults. I started dance at the age of three. I continued in ballet and tap until the age of 10 in which I decided to focus all my time on competitive gymnastics. After an injury ended my gymnastics career, I moved into competitive TNT (power tumbling and tramp), which opened the door for me to enter into a fun new dance world called Acro-dance. I competed in that throughout my adolescence. I stopped in High school to focus on school athletics- cross country track, basketball, diving, and track and field, but my love for dance and tumbling never left me. I returned to dance as an adult after finishing my bachelors degree in math and secondary education. My adult dance passion quickly became tap. I studied and performed with the Springs Academy of Dance in Colorado, performing several shows including my favorite, the Urban Nutcracker, doing tap, contemporary, and acro. I’ve since taught acro, tap, beginning ballet, and parent child movement classes in Colorado, Georgia, and now Connecticut. I’ve found that I love helping children and teens find their confidence and passions through exploring the world of dance and what it has to offer. It is so fun watching them come to life on stage and blossom into strong, confident, bold individuals that are ready to take on whatever they desire.
Maya Shieber began studying Ballet in Kindergarten, but has been dancing from the heart since she learned to walk. She has appeared in countless shows, including Connecticut Ballet's productions of The Nutcracker and Coppélia. She has danced, choreographed, acted, and served as Stage Manager for E.O. Smith's Drama Club, and been recognized for her advocacy and leadership skills. She has worked and volunteered with children of all ages and abilities. A National Honor Society member, Maya is currently enrolled in UConn's School of Allied Health, studying to become a Physical Therapist.