About TBDC

- a note by Tyler

Touring internationally as a principal dancer for Alvin Ailey's second company, I learned that there's much more to dance than just correct execution of the choreography. As a dance teacher, I strive to keep the spark of spontaneous joy alive in young dancers, and see a rigorous study of technique simply as a key to a more profound and fulfilling dancing experience. Only this way can all the practice and training actually be fun, and only this way can a child's passion for dance occasionally blossom into a great career.

 

The performances we put together at the end of each semester are a core feature of my teaching method. The cooperation and dedication that it takes to put together a performance, and the courage and bravado that it takes to perform in front of an audience, are valuable skills which carry into all aspects of life.

 

In my interaction with my students, I bring a keen focus on proper nutrition and positive body image, on precise alignment and overall health, which I believe makes every one of my students better prepared for whatever life may throw at them, on and off the dance floor.

Dancing taught me not only how to move my body, but also how to think creatively and independently, how to think for myself and overcome challenges. These are skills, not a talent, and while impeccable technique and alignment are crucial for the few who will end up being professional dancers, it is my earnest hope that I will be able to pass on the confidence and self-esteem that a career in dance has given me, to all my students.

About Artistic Director Tyler Garacci

Originally from Owings Mills, Maryland, TBDC Founder and Artistic Director Tyler Brown started dancing at age 9. Her formal training started at the Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore; under the direction of Carol Bartlett and Melissa Stafford. Here she was trained in classical ballet and fell in love with the art of dance. She then attended the Ailey School with a full scholarship and after one year, was recruited into Alvin Ailey's second company.

 

Prior to starting the TBDC, Tyler had an illustrious career as a performing dancer and spokesperson.

 

From 2012 through 2014, Tyler toured internationally as a principal dancer and poster girl for Ailey II. She received  glowing reviews of her performances from the New York Times, and was featured in a spread of Essence Magazine's May 2013 issue.  Ms. Brown was interviewed by Dance Spirit Magazine, and performed on Dancing With The Stars - Bulgaria. In 2014 she was featured on NBC New York representing Ailey II's 2014 New York Season and 40th Anniversary. She also appeared on MTVU, and performed for the 2014 Mercedes Benz car show. From 2014 through 2016, Tyler performed domestically and internationally with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, with noteworthy performances such as the 2015 Meet in Beijing Dance Festival. Ms. Brown was also a member of Kachal Dance, under the direction of Alia Kache with performances such as the 2016 Cistermúsica festival in Alcobaca, Portugal and the 2016 Fringe Festival in New York City. Other performance credits include workshops with the Merce Cunningham Trust in 2017. Tyler has also performed works by Kate Skarpetowska, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Jessica Lang, Robert Battle, Judith Jamison, and more.

"In a solo from Jessica Lang’s “Splendid Isolation II,” Tyler Brown commanded attention as an Ailey queen should, her outsized white skirt spilling in a vast circle around her. The first twist of her torso was worth the whole underdeveloped dance."

                                                                     Brian Sabert, New York Times

"The most potent sense of individuality came from Ms. Skarpetowska, whose “Cuore Sott’olio” set adventurous, high-velocity partnering against the slow-motion progression of a lone dancer, the stately Tyler Brown"

                                                                     Sibhan Burke, New York Times

See a recent interview for the Florence Belsky Foundation

TBDC Faculty

Chisato Yanagisawa

Pre-Ballet, Ballet, Pre-pointe, Pointe

Born and raised in Japan, Chisato started her training of classical ballet at the age of five. When she was 17, she was selected to perform as the soloist in “Sleeping Beauty” at the Yokohama Port 150th anniversary performance in Yokohama, Japan. Her passion for dance led her to come to the United States, and she continued her studies at SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Dance, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance.  While there, she performed some of the most renown American choreographers’ works, such as Bill T. Jones, Merce Cunningham, Attila Joey Csiki, Gabrielle Lamb, Rosalind Newman and more.

Chisato has worked with various choreographers and performed at multiple venues in New York City. She has been a company member of NSquared Dance directed by Nick Neagle since 2015, performing with them throughout the East Coast area. She was also a company member of Monica Hogan Danceworks directed by Monica Hogan. Chisato often collaborates with Japanese artists based in NYC. For example, she has performed with the award-winning New York Japanese Women Jazz Composers. Chisato has been teaching dance such as ballet, pointe, contemporary and lyrical in some dance studios in NY and CT.

Natalia Sheptalova

Advanced Ballet - Adult division

Natalia Sheptalova-Robinett grew up in Moscow, Russia and received her training at The Moscow Academy of Choreography(The Bolshoi Ballet) and  Russian Academy of the Theatrical Art - GITIS. She toured internationally with The Russian National Ballet company. Her repertoire included various roles in classical ballets like Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, La Bayadère, Cinderella,and Paquita. Natalia continues to perform and teach. She Is very dedicated to share her love and passion for classical and character dance with the audience and her students.

Alexandra Skibinski

Ballet, Pre-pointe, Jazz, Tap teacher

Raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Alexandra’s main training took place at the S.C. Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities in Greenville, SC. She continued her training and graduated from New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida with a BFA in Dance and Performing Arts. At New World she performed works by Paul Taylor, Peter London, Mark Morris, Gerard Ebitz, Merce Cunningham, and Ohad Naharin. Upon moving to New York City she has been training/performing with Rioult Dance NY’s newly founded Rioult Repertory Training Program and has been performing works choreographed by Pascal Rioult.

Ayaha Otsuka

Hip Hop teacher

Ayaha Otsuka, originally from Nagoya, Japan. She started her training in classical ballet at Hiromi Naruse Ballet Studio when she was 5 years old, later training in contemporary and jazz. Upon moving to NYC in 2012, Ayaha joined the International Student Program at Peridance Capezio Center where she trained in various styles. After she finished her program, she has worked with many companies, performed at Citi field as a backup dancer for BTS, Beacon theater as an opening act for TD bank annual event and so on. Ayaha is currently working with SHINSA directed by Bo Park, Cobu directed by Yako Miyamoto

Sabrina Petrelli

Hip Hop and contemporary teacher

Sabrina Petrelli started formal training with the Professional Performing Arts High School under the Alvin Ailey School. Her senior year, she performed Martha Graham’s “Panorama” at The Joyce and also joined Nathan Trice/RITUALS Dance Theatre. She is a BFA Dance Major at Montclair State University, Class of 2021. She is now also a member of Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, ARIM Dance, and has also worked with Antonio Brown Dance and AThomas Project. She has performed works of artists such as Alvin Ailey, Ohad Naharin, Trey McIntyre, Earl Mosley, Abdel Salaam, David Parsons, Stefanie Batten Bland, and Matthew Rushing. She has been an assistant to choreographers Dina Wright Joseph and Eddie Stockton in various genres of West African, Jazz, and Modern Dance; from the Ailey School, to traveling internationally. Sabrina has made an appearance on the Wendy Williams Show, and the 94th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and has also worked closely with commercial choreographers Tyce Diorio and Talia Favia from the hit tv show  ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’ ‘Dance Enthusiast’ has described her dancing as “the life-spirit of the world”. 

Bianca Delli Priscoli

Ballet, Pointe, Flexibility

Bianca Delli Priscoli is from Salerno, Italy. She began her dance training at age six at Artestudio in Salerno, where she graduated in 2012 in ballet, modern, contemporary and jazz techniques. She perfected her knowledge at A.N.D.( Accademia Nazionale di Danza) in Rome. Bianca came to New York in 2014 and she successfully completed the independent study programme at the Ailey School. She also received scholarships from Dance Theatre of Harlem, Dance Haus Susanna Belerami in Milan, M.A.C. in Rome. She performed works by Adriana Borriello, Robert Garland, Dionne Figgins, Darryl Quinton and Judinne Somerville and performed at multiple venues in New York City. She has danced for Artestudio Dance company, Forza Malizia dance Company,, Bianca Falco/Labilab Company, Long Island Ballet Theatre, Saya Spring Dance Theatre. Bianca is an ABT® Certified Teacher from Pre-primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Curriculum Training

Giorgia Vitali

Hip Hop and Bollywood teacher

Born and raised in Italy, Giorgia Vitali trained at the Joffrey Ballet School on a Merit Scholarship and  graduated with Honors from the Certificate Program at Peridance Capezio Center.

She performed works by Margo Sappington, Kevin Wynn, Francesca Harper, Archie Burnett, Candace Brown, Kim Holmes, Karen Arceneaux, Ephrat Asherie and Shirlene Quigley. She presented her own work at New York Fashion Week and at IDACO - Italian Dance Festival. She has worked as assistant choreographer for Diego Funes.

Giorgia is featured in the movie "Waiting in the Wings: Still Waiting” and danced in many music videos like "Hype Williams Video" by Jansport J. She recently released “Smile to me”, an experimental music video for the songwriter Mary Esther Carter. She's touring the US with the Bollywood show “Mystic India”, and she’s a member of ThruLines, Kalamandir Dance Company and Guilty Pleasures Cabaret. She recently became a trainer for the renowned Tracy Anderson Method LCC and she is also a certified Bollywaack teacher under the guidance of Kumari Suraj.

Reka Echerer

Pre-ballet and jazz teaching assistant

Réka Echerer received conservatory training in ballet and modern dance at SUNY Purchase, where she graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance. She has performed with the Vienna State Opera, Kathleen Helm and Kizuna Dance. She has performed works by Merce Cunningham, Gabrielle Lamb, Aszure Barton and currently dances with Sue Bernhard Danceworks, Megan Williams Dance Projects and the Metropolitan Opera. She has taught dance private and group lessons for the last five years.

Seneca Lawrence

Pre-pointe and ballet teaching assistant

Seneca Lawrence, a native of New Hampshire, grew up dancing since the age of 4. She received conservatory training in ballet and modern at SUNY Purchase, where she graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance. Currently, she performs as a freelance dancer, and actress, appearing in music videos and tv shows, including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Seneca also loves her job as a teaching artist, and firmly believes in the importance of spreading knowledge of dance and the performing arts to the younger generations of artists to come.