Laura Osgood - Artistic Director and Owner,
Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, and Pre-Dance Classes
A native of Wilmington, Miss Laura has been a dance educator for over 20 years. She strives to produce well-rounded dancers, both recreational and competitive. As a choreographer, her students have won numerous overall high score performance awards as well as specialty awards at various national competitions. Miss Laura is always giving to the community and her dancers perform at many local benefit events and fundraisers. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in business management from Salem State College.
Laura’s dance background is diverse. Her primary training took place at Broadway Dance Academy in Tewksbury, MA where she discovered her love of dance. She has had the opportunity to train with top educators throughout Boston and New York such as Jeannette Neill, Thelma Goldberg, Barbara Duffy, and Marcus Schulkind. She is a graduate of the Dance Teachers’ Club of Boston Dance Education training course.
As a professional dancer, Laura’s credits include performing with Celebrity Cruise Lines, Lily Langtry’s Dinner Theater of Pennsylvania, touring Canada with the Simply Magic Show, and as a New England Patriots cheerleader. Laura enjoys using her professional dance experience in teaching her students.
Laura is fulfilling a lifelong dream in Wilmington Dance Academy. She has built a school based upon teamwork and community with a spirit and a passion for the art of dance. Many of Laura’s former students have gone on to study dance in college and some have returned to WDA now in the role of instructor. It is the highest compliment for a teacher to see a student become a mentor and Laura has been blessed to see this cycle completed time and again.
Lucy Warren Whitman - Ballet and Pointe
A proud native of the Boston area, Lucy Warren-Whitman started her early classical training under her parents Rachel Whitman and Skip Warren. She was then, mentored by Larissa Luvisichuk in the Vaganova Method until she was accepted to Walnut Hill, School of Performing Arts as a full scholarship student. There she had the pleasure of training under Samuel Kurkjian, Diedre Miles, and Sydelle Gomberg. She has since been a featured artist and choreographer dancing and creating new works for The Massachusetts Dance Festival, Spindle City Ballet, Boston Dance Company, Contrapose Dance, BalletRox, Pioneer Valley Ballet and is currently in her fifth season with Lorraine Chapman Dance Company. She also privately coaches students and professionals in the surrounding areas and is a teacher at Ballet Arts Center, Wilmington Dance Academy and Jeannette Neill Dance Studio. Most recently she has ventured into the role of Artistic Director for North Atlantic Dance Theatre creating Vivaldi's Four Seasons, A Sum of Volitions, & Scheherazade for NADT audiences.
Ruth Whitney - Ballet and Pointe
Ruth Whitney is a Boston based dancer who received her early training and performance experience with Boston Ballet, studying under Tatiana Nikolaevna Legat and Laura Young. She has performed regionally and internationally with companies including Boston Ballet, Teatrul De Balet Sibiu, and most recently as a principal dancer with Festival Ballet Providence. Her classical repertoir includes Odette/Odile, Aurora, Juliet (in Pavel Rotaru's Romeo and Juliet), Marguerite (in Gianni Di Marco's Lady of the Camelias), Firebird, and principal roles in The Nutcracker, George Balanchine's Apollo and Agon, Etudes, Carnival in Venice, Grand Pas Classique, Paquita, Les Sylphides, as well as featured roles in contemporary works by Gianni Di Marco (including Orpheus and Euridice with the Boston Baroque), Mihailo Djuric, Lorraine Chapman and Viktor Plotnikov (most notably Orchis and Coma), among others. She teaches privately and has taught classes regionally including Jeannette Neills Dance Company, Boston Ballet and Elite Feet Artists Company.
In 2005, Ms. Whitney graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English and Dance from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Ruth is thrilled to be returning for her ninth year as a Wilmington Dance Academy ballet instructor. This fall she is excited to watch her two year old daughter Juliet take her first dance class at WDA.
Kim Penta – Lyrical, Jazz & Young Dancer Classes
Kimberly Penta trained in many genres of dance at the North Reading School of Ballet, where she received much of her jazz, tap, and lyrical instruction from Laura Osgood. She also participated in the Albany Berkshire Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” for ten years, including roles with the professional company. Kim continued her study of dance at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI, graduating magna cum laude in 2010 with a BA in History and minors in Dance and Education. She participated in and served as the captain of Salve Regina’s audition-only Extensions Dance Company. In addition, she performed and choreographed for both the company and a student-run dance club and had many opportunities to perform throughout New England.
Her choreography was selected to be adjudicated at the 2010 American College Dance Festival in Boston. As a graduating senior, Kim was the recipient of the Dance Award, given by the Theater Arts Department. More recently, she performed professionally in the “Philipsz Sound Installation,” a modern dance performance, at the Peabody Essex Museum. She also danced at the 2014 U.S. Prudential Figure Skating Championships in its 100th Anniversary Opening Ceremonies at the T.D. Garden. Her choreography has been represented at both regional and national competitions, and her students have won many high score and special awards. She joined the WDA family in 2010 and is excited to continue sharing her passion for technique and choreography with her students each year.
Tara Hurley - Acro/Tumble
Tara Hurley grew up in Somerville where her passion for cheer and dance started at age 7. Tara coached High School cheerleading from 1995-2012. Along the way, she also coached at the youth and All Star levels. Her
teams earned countless league, regional and National titles. After taking over her former High School cheer team she started directing regular youth cheer clinics for the city of Somerville. For years, Tara also ran tumbling programs for cheerleaders of all ages at the Winthrop Gymnastics Academy and for the City of Everett.
Tara holds certifications with the National Federation of High School Cheerleaders, the MIAA and the MSAA for coaching instruction and safety. She was also a certified Massachusetts tournament line and penalty judge for over 6 years. Tara has a teaching certificate in early education and has always worked full time in the childcare field until opening her home daycare when becoming a mom to her own little cheerleader and dancer! Tara also began growing her other passion of photography 2010 and opened her full time studio in 2014. She is super excited about working with young athletes again!
Kristin Wagner – Contemporary and Conditioning
Kristin Wagner is a dance performer, choreographer, educator, and administrator based in Boston, MA. Since 2012, she has had the honor of performing at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Boston Center for the Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Jordan Hall, among others. Kristin has been dancing with KAIROS Dance Theater since 2012, and currently serves as Principal Dancer and Rehearsal Director for the company. Kristin also performs with Brian Feigenbaum and Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion, and creates duets regularly with Tony Guglietti in addition to creating independent works. She is the Creative Director of Lady BOS Productions, which supports the development and sustainability of local, independent dance and performance art. Kristin is passionate about supportive, rigorous dance education, and currently teaches youth and adults at New England Conservatory, Koltun Ballet Boston, and Free Form Dance Academy, in addition to WDA.
Brittney Bythrow – Tap, Jazz, Lyrical and Young Dancer Classes
Brittney Bythrow has been dancing since age 3. She received most of her training from Nancy Chippendales Dance Studio, and Susan Woods Dancenter/Dance Academy of Stoneham. She has been trained in tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, and other styles. As a senior at Salem State University, she is double majoring in Elementary Education and Sports and Movement Science with a concentration in Dance. Brittney is one of the two student coordinators of the Salem State Dance Ensemble. She launched Accent Tap Company’s summer intensive which gives students opportunities to explore the art of tap. Brittney danced with the Boston Tap Company in 2013. She is excited to continue teaching students at WDA!
Mike Camire – Tap, Boys jumps and turns
Mike Camire has been flapping his feet since he was walking. Mike attended New Hampshire Academie of Dance at the age of 3 and traveled the country with the competitive team under the tutelage of Laura Foti. After his time in college at University of Massachusetts-Lowell double majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship he created his own business; Tap Dance Archive Productions. T.A.P. digs deep through the web to find the best tap dance highlights of the past and present and share it with the community while making a database of videos. During his time in college he danced with professional company’s Boston Tap Company and Subject:Matter and traveled the country with both groups. Currently Mike is one of the captains for #taplife and member of Drumatix. Throughout the week Mike teaches tap, hip hop, contemporary, ballet and jazz at 4 different schools in Southern NH/Northern MA area.
Jennifer Keller Rathbun – Musical Theater, Jazz and Young Dancer
Jennifer (Keller) Rathbun has studied various styles including ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, tap, Latin and theatre dance for over twenty-five years, receiving her primary instruction from Genevieve Severens. Over the past sixteen years, she has taught at various metro-Boston dance studios and public schools and is thrilled to be dancing with her WDA family again this year!
In her current role as Director of School Outreach at Community Music Center of Boston she oversees music, dance and drama outreach programs throughout Boston reaching over 3,000 children annually, providing access-based arts initiatives for some of the city's most underserved populations. When she is not at work or teaching, she can be found either on a yoga mat, cuddling her pup Tessie-Lou, cooking for her family or training dogs at the local animal shelter.
Miss Jenn is certified in group exercise by AFAA and is also a licensed Zumba instructor. Her graduate work at Lesley University in Elementary Education specialized in creative arts in learning. A passion for the performing arts, fitness and the transformative power of creative youth development inform her teaching each day. She is delighted to share the joy of dance and drama with her students and strives to make her classes creative, safe spaces for dancers of all ages and abilities to explore and enjoy movement.
Lisa Cataldo – Pilates & TRX
Lisa Cataldo, a native of Wilmington, has always been extremely active. From an early age, she kept active dancing, cheerleading and weight training. She has her Bachelor of Science in Sports, Fitness & Leisure Studies and her Associate of Science in Physical Therapy. She has worked as an Exercise Physiologist, Physical Therapist Assistant, Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor or Pilates Instructor since the early 1990s. She came upon Pilates taking a continuing education course in 2001 when she was pregnant with her first child. She discovered then, and continues to love, how Pilates is challenging and inspiring at every level of fitness and for every individual body. She began teaching Pilates in 2003 with her first certification through the IWA to teach Pilates Fundamentals and in 2007 got certified through Peak Pilates with Clare Dunphy, a notable and highly respected instructor in the field, who trained with Master Teacher Romana Kryzanowska. Lisa is an Advanced Mat Certified Pilates Instructor and has been trained in the MVe Fitness Chair, Barrel, and TRX. She loves sharing her passion for Pilates and fitness at Wilmington Dance Academy.
Emily Bean - Young Dancers, Lyrical, Jazz & Tap
Emily is a proud Boston native who began dancing at the age of three and instantly fell in love. Her training includes ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary, among other styles. In 2016 she received her degree from Roger Williams University in Dance and Performance Studies and Global Communication. At RWU, she’s performed in numerous dance theatre shows, at the American College Dance Association, and has had the opportunity to work with and perform with some wonderful guest choreographers. Emily is continually taking classes in the Boston area and looks forward to returning back to WDA to share her passion with the students.
Nancy Murphy – Ballroom
Nancy began dancing at the age of 3. Her early dance experience was in ballet, tap & jazz. As an adult, she performed with the Mandala Folk Dance Ensemble for several years and moved into the world of partnered dance. She began teaching in 1989. Nancy has performed at many local events over the years, such as CIABDA's Cape celebration of National Ballroom Dance Week and the Boston Tango Society's annual Boston Tango Festival. She teaches in the Boston area, in Merrimac, and is on the guest faculty at the Marblehead School of Ballet. Nancy also periodically guest teaches at other venues, such as teaching Argnetine Tango in Bangor, Maine, Salsa at the annual fundraiser for the North Shore Civic Ballet, and Swing at Swing City in Boston. She also runs a monthly dance social in Amesbury.
Erin McNulty - Contemporary, Improve/Choreography, Young Dancers
Erin McNulty (B.S., Magna Cum Laude, Boston University; and Postgraduate Diploma, Distinction, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance in London) is a contemporary dance artist and educator based in Boston. Erin was a principal dancer with Kairos Dance Theater from 2011-2015, and has also performed in projects with Zoe Dance Company, Bethan Peters, Kelley Donovan & Dancers, and Paula Josa Jones/Performance Works. Her own choreographic work has been produced by Trinity Laban, ArtBeat by Somerville Arts Council, Dance for World Community, Salem Arts Festival, Natalie Johnson Dance, NACHMO Boston, Sasso & Company, Providence College Dance Company, and Third Life Studio Choreographer Series. Erin also choreographed and produced a dance film with filmmakers Chris Di Nunzio & Skip Shea and musician Josh Knowles in 2018, with grant support from New England Foundation for the Arts. Notable recent study includes the Gaga/Batsheva Summer Intensive at Mark Morris Dance Center in New York; and a course completed with distinction through the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) on the Professional Teaching Standards for Dance Arts (2019). Erin is currently a Modern/Contemporary Instructor at Boston University, and Lead Teaching Artist & Instructional Coach with Boston Ballet’s Education & Community Initiatives.
Holly Ann Jennings – Musical Theater
Holly Ann Jennings enjoys a well-rounded career as a performing and teaching artist. Her forte being musical theater, she has worked alongside award winning directors and actors in world premiere musicals as well as more traditional productions in Boston and throughout New England. Some of her favorite roles include Mary in Jack the Ripper: The Whitechapel Musical (premier), Luisa in The Fantastiks, Cosette in Les Misérables, and Carrie in Carousel, for which she received an IRNE nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Holly received her formal training at Boston Conservatory, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Vocal Performance. She has taught at Community Music Center of Boston and is currently on voice faculty at South Shore Conservatory.
Ramiro Vaughan (Purpose) is street wise dancer of many diverse styles from Boston, MA. He has trained at Boston Ballet, Chu-Ling Academy in Chinese Dance, Boston University’s “Reach Program” and has curated his own style of Hip-Hop through the years of Hip Hop through years of street dance with crews, Hooligan Squad, Gooniez and Side St. the company. In his professional career he has been featured with Tony Williams “Urban Nutcracker”, Lorraine Chapman the Dance Company, North Atlantic Dance Theatre, Mystique Illusions Dance Theatre, Castle of Our Skins, and Jazz Inc. He has performed at Earth Dance, Outside of the Box with Tony Tucker, Dixon Place (NYC), and at the Alvin Ailey Citi Group Center (NYC) to name a few. Ramiro has been awarded first place in MIT 2 vs 2 All styles battle, 1 vs 1 All styles battle at Deborah Masons School of Dance, and awarded “Battle of the Night” at the East Session. He has been training younger generations in Hip-Hop for almost a decade teaching at Tony Williams Dance Center, Green St. Studio, The Dance Complex, Boston University’s Children’s program, and the Boston Public Schools. He is on staff at Wilmington Dance Academy and is bringing his Be Urself Youth Program to the Cambridge Public Schools and IPAC.
Ronnie Terrell Thomas – Hop Hop
Ronnie Terrell Thomas has grown throughout the years into becoming one of the most accomplished performing artist from the state of Boston, to the concrete jungle of New York City, San Francisco, Kansas City, to dancing abroad in Romania. With his extensive knowledge and experiences spawns in using dance to build cultural bridges, educate and share his love for performance. Ronnie’s belief in being a teaching artist is more then educating dancers in proper technique. In his eyes dance opens a world of possibilities, helping students express themselves while building necessary life skills. Teaching his students how to care for their bodies focusing on strength, flexibility, body alignment and conditioning.
As a teacher /mentor Ronnie has taught for DanceArtists Ballet Academy, Hybrid Movement Company's Movement As Metaphor Summer Intensive Program, Edra Toth's Academy of Dance and Music Summer Intensive Program. New England Movement Arts. GreenPoint Beacon Center of Brooklyn NY, Beginning with Children Charter School, BlueHill Boys & Girls Club; Dorchester, MA, Gardner Pilot Academy/ BPS Dance Pathways, Boys & Girls Club: Yawkey Club of Roxbury. Tony Williams Dance Center.
“I believe that dance like art or theater can create positive opportunities for kids and that everyone deserves equal access to the arts.”
Julie Diorio – Voice and Piano
Julie is an active member of the Boston music scene and an award-winning songwriter and performer. She plays and sings with her original band, The Dirty Dottys, as well as several other ensembles in the New England area. Julie takes great joy from passing on her knowledge and helping others to achieve their goals. She has been teaching children and adults, both privately and in a group setting, since 2002. Julie’s lessons are fun, energetic, and customized to each student’s unique learning style and personal objectives. She teaches voice, guitar, piano, ukulele, drumset, songwriting, and recording, and she loves teaching a combination of these instruments and skills to give her students some variety!
Harry Yamakawa – Ballet
Originally from Japan, Harry received formal training with Nowa Ballet School in Kanagawa, Japan, as well as with John Cranko School in Stuttgart, Germany. Harry believes strongly in teaching ballet from the fundamentals to ensure health and safety in the development of professional dancers. By participating in ballet, young dancers can learn life lessons including patience, respect, listening deeply, and finding one’s own way to improve and express.
Harry performed professionally with National Company of Portugal, Colorado Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Festival Ballet Providence. Also, Harry performs often as a guest in Japan and the USA. Harry enjoys classical ballet, and also contemporary choreographers, including working with George Balanchine, Wayne McGregor, Dwight Rhoden, Helen Pickett, and Mauro Bigonzetti. His repertory includes the Nutcracker Prince and Cavalier from The Nutcracker, James from La Sylphide, Peter from Peter and the Wolf, and various roles inSwan Lake, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Who Cares?, Kazimir’s Colours, Dracula, Four Seasons, Moments of Dis, Rush, Eden/Eden, and Prayer of Touch.