Monroe Dance Academy 838 Main Street Monroe, CT 06468 in Tollgate Plaza

Summer Dance Intensive

Experience amazing master classes with professional artists from NYC! See our daily schedule, faculty bios, and class descriptions below.
Ages 11 & up – Intermediate/Advanced Levels
Fee: $400/Entire Session or $30/Single class

2014 Summer Intensive Staff Bios and Class Descriptions




Christina Cardosi began her dance training at Monroe Dance Academy. From MDA Christina was accepted into the Professional Trainee Program at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. While completing the Trainee Program, Christina worked for the Martha Graham Dance Company as a Development Associate and as the Assistant to the Artistic Director. Accomplishments include collaborating with members of the Graham Company and designers from Danskin and Bloomingdales to create a clothing line based on Martha Graham’s costume designs. Upon leaving the MGDC, Christina performed with Isadora’s Dance Legacy, performing many of Isadora Duncan’s legendary works. While residing in London, Christina studied at the Laban Centre, the London School of Contemporary Dance and performed in “The Blitz” at Royal Festival Hall and with Jason Lewis at The Place. Upon relocating back to NYC, Christina danced in Jacqulyn Buglisi’s “Suspended Women” at the Juilliard Theater at Lincoln Center for the Dance Collection of the New York Public Library. Christina also performed the works of Anna Sokolow with Linda Diamond and Company in Woodstock and NYC. Christina, a certified Gyrotonic Instructor, worked at Studio Riverside, helping dancers rehabilitate from various injuries. Christina also studied the Zena Rommett Floor Barre Technique and demonstrated in the video archives of Zena’s technique filmed at Steps on Broadway. Teaching accomplishments include Fairfield University Dance Ensemble, Connecticut Ballet Theatre’s Dance Exposure Project, Darien Dance Theater, and Steps in Stamford. Choreographic accomplishments include winning the Juror’s Choice (Peter Pucci) at ARTSPCACE in New Haven for “This Woman’s Work.”
Graham-Based Modern Class Description
The Contemporary class is Graham-Based. The class begins with floorwork designed to create an awareness of the power of the breath in the contraction and release of the torso and the physical and energetic movement of the spine in the spiral. Upon rising from the floor, plies, tendues, degages and grand battements are performed without the barre. This helps the dancers truly find their “center” while focusing on the shift of weight when their legs are extended. The dancers then perform walks, runs, triplets, skips and leaps across the floor expressing various dramatic qualities and exploring a more daring transfer of weight. The class concludes with the dancers learning an original piece of choreography created specifically for them.

Eric Otto was born and raised in Westchester, New York. He began dancing at the age of seven with the School of American Ballet in New York City. He has danced professionally with the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and BalletX. Most recently, Eric was an original Broadway cast member of Twyla Tharp’s “Come Fly Away”, where he danced the lead role of Sid. In 2003 Mr. Otto was invited to join the Broadway and touring companies of Ms. Tharp’s “Movin Out” where he danced the principal role of James. Eric has performed an extensive repertoire including ballets by Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, John Cranko, Jiri Kylian, Kenneth McMillan, and Jerome Robbins. He has had roles created for him by Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Matthew Neenan, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, and Natalie Weir.

Ballet Class Description


Allison Sale is an NYC based freelance artist. She began her training at Dancensations Dance Center in Alexandria, VA, and continued at The Kirov Academy of Ballet, Washington, D.C. Ms. Sale graduated with Honors and Excellence Awards from The University of the Arts. In college she was featured in works by Twyla Tharp, Paul Selwyn-Norton, Christopher Huggins, Ronen Koresh, and MOMIX. Additional performance credits include Amsterdam (Dansgroep Amsterdam), Costa Bravo Spain (American Dance Company), Cali Colombia (Diversity in Dance), and Santiago, Chile (UArts); as well as with choreographers Debbie Allen (Kennedy Center), Itzik Galili, Earl Mosely, Troy Powell, and Nathan Trice. She recently performed at Jacob’s Pillow with Nicholas Andre Dance, and with Alexis Convento + Artists at many NY venues. She is currently touring with Seattle based company, zoe|juniper and with Dance Iquail the past seven years. She is scheduled to be in the opera Prince Igor, at the Met this winter. She has been teaching Contemporary, Ballet, and Jazz for the past three years at Dance Dimensions, in New Milford, New Jersey. She has also taught adult classes at Peridance Capezio Center (NYC), Koresh Dance Company (Philadelphia), and Velocity Dance Center (Seattle), and taught master classes in Lancaster, PA, Ridgefield CT, Ashburn VA, Alexandria, VA. Jazz Class Description
This class is a culmination of the intricacies that derive from a very specific movement and musicality. These tight subtleties and nuanced styles are rooted from the Jazz pioneers of the 20th century. Styles will be pulled from, Talley Battey, Fosse, Luigi, Vegas and Dolphin ‘Studies’. The warm-up will start with isolations and ticking that will begin to overlap and layer aimed to confuse the brain. The rest of the body will follow with acute foot working and shaping, leading to body angling and positioning. As we progress we will start to paste together the work leading to a phrase that we will continuously build throughout the week.


Shannon Durig
This triple threat performer holds the title of longest run starring as Tracy Turnblad in the hit Broadway musical Hairspray! She can also be seen in recurring roles on Disney Channel’s Handy Manny & Jonas LA.
Born and raised in Overland Park, KS, Shannon grew up with a desire to entertain. Now, splitting her time between New York and LA, Shannon is thriving as she continues to realize that dream. Shannon is an actor who has been featured on Television, in Films and Commercials, and on Stages nationwide.
Shannon has also found success in many other areas of the entertainment industry; working as a choreographer, dance, singer, dance competition judge, and as a passionate and inspirational teacher.