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, Ballet, Lyrical and Young Dancer Classes
Kristin Wagner is a dance performer, choreographer, and educator living and working in Boston, MA. Kristin has been performing with KAIROS Dance Theater as a principal dancer since January 2012. She has also performed with Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works (2015), The Danny Swain Dance Company (2015), Grant Jacoby and Dancers (2015), Angie Moon Dance Theatre (2014) and Omar Carrum and Claudia Lavista (2014). Independently, Kristin has presented choreography at the American College Dance Festival, Boston University, The Dance Complex, and the Third Life Choreographers Series. She has been teaching for Miss Maria's School of Dance since 2013, has been running the modern program at Koltun Ballet Academy since 2014, and is very excited to join Wilmington Dance Academy this year! Kristin holds a B.A. in Hospitality Administration and a minor in Dance from Boston University (2012) and has continued her dance education at the Bates Dance Festival (2014), where she trained with Cathy Young, Omar Carrum, and Claudia Lavista.
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!
Caren Barnes – Tap, Jazz
Caren Barnes is a graduate of Oklahoma City University's Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management, where she earned in a degree in Dance Performance with a specialization in jazz and tap. She spent the last four years performing nationally and internationally, most recently as a production dancer with Carnival Cruise Lines. Other credits include the Sandcastle Theatre in Saipan, CNMI, The Rob Lake Magic Show, and repeated summers in the musical Oklahoma! with Discoveryland, USA! in Tulsa. In between performing opportunities, Caren has always sought to share her passion for tap dance with other dancers throughout the country, through summer workshops and master classes, in addition to continuing her own training in the art form. A native of Nashville, Caren comes to the Boston area to return to her pursuit of dance education in the dance/movement therapy program at Lesley University in Cambridge.
Ashton Lites – Hip Hop
Ashton Lites is a native of Boston and has been dancing for 8 Years. Ashton started training primarily in Krump, under the wing of Russell Ferguson (Season 6 winner of So You Think You Can Dance). Lites developed quickly as a dancer/peer mentor while working closely with Sidestreet, a local krump movement led by Russell. Inspired by what he was learning, Lites branched off into the classical and cultural styles of dance, starting with the Reach Program at Boston University. Lites continued his classical training at the Dance Studio of Braintree/Braintree Ballet Company, where he trained and worked closely with Melissa Kelly Clark. After a year of intense training, Lites moved on to pursue dance on a college level receiving his AA in performing arts from Dean College.
Ashton also has an extensive teaching background, teaching at about 15 different studios and art centers in and around the Boston area. Those studios include well known, Phunk Phenomenon, Boston City Lights, Urbanity, Artist for Humanity, and the Winchester School of the Arts.
Lites helped pioneer the urban dance section of a curriculum that is now being offered in the Boston Public Schools through Urbanity Dance. He taught at Excel High School (South Boston) and West Roxbury Academy for 3 years before moving to Rhode Island where he currently lives. Lites implemented his passion for motivational speaking into the urban dance curriculum he helped create in which he encourages a healthy attitude in life as well as in approaching dance education.
Lastly, Stackz is very involved in the street dance community where he competes at multiple street dance events. Stackz along with his street dance crew “New Skool Assassins” recently won a major competition which granted them the opportunity to be the first to represent the USA in Europe at SDK (Street Dance Kemp), a high level summer dance camp that brings high level street dancers from multiple different countries to compete and learn from pioneers and founders of street dance. Lites also competed in Puerto Rico, Philadelphia, New York, and Connecticut. Ashton “Stackz” Lites plans to continue to perform, teach, and compete as well as build on his passion for motivational speaking. He has goals to travel worldwide and collaborate with many different inspirational artist and influential people that he may be blessed to come across.
Allison Dancwicz – Lyrical
Allison Dancewicz has been dancing since she was two years old. She has danced with the Donna Miceli Dance Center, North Shore Dance Academy, Lorraine Spada School of Dance, North Reading School of Ballet, and Wilmington Dance Academy.
Allison has performed a variety of roles in many nutcrackers including the Albany Berkshire Ballet Nutcracker, Jose Mateo's Ballet Theatre Nutcracker, Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker with BalletRox, and the Pioneer Valley Ballet Nutcracker. She has also trained at the Burklyn Ballet Theatre in Vermont, Green Street Studios, Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, and Boston Ballet School.
Allison is a class of 2011 graduate of Wilmington High School and a class of 2015 graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Bachelor of Business Administration in Management. While at school Allison was able to perform in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Boston’s Symphony Hall, American College Dance Festival, and do a yearly tour of Western MA with the University Dancers.
Allison was one of WDA’s first students and is now excited to join the staff and pass on her love for dance to her students!
Jennifer Keller Rathbun – Young Dancer Classes, Musical Theater, Lyrical, Jazz/tap
Jennifer Keller Rathbun has studied various forms of dance including ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, tap, Latin and theatre for over 25 years, receiving her primary instruction from Genevieve Severens.
She is Assistant Director of School Outreach Partnerships & SummerARTS at Community Music Center of Boston through which she teaches dance and drama in the Boston Public Schools in addition to overseeing more than 25 school sites and teaching artists. She has taught for many years at various metro-Boston dance studios and is thrilled to be dancing with her WDA family again this year!
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. Her passions for both the performing arts and fitness inform her teaching each and every day.
Most recently, Jennifer performed with the Lexington Womens Dance Ensemble. She worked for several years with the Albany Berkshire Ballet as rehearsal mistress for The Nutcracker and often stage manages productions for local dance groups. She is delighted to share the joy of dance 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.
Tanya McDonald - Adult Ballet, Acro/Tumble
Tanya's dance experience began at the age of 3 years old. She has been instructed in all areas of dance including ballet, pointe, tap, jazz and lyrical. Tanya danced at Mary Flynn Murphy's Dance Studio in Somerville, MA where she was also part of the New England Repretory Dancers under the direction of Kathy Kozul. Her dance teaching experience also began there. She has danced roles in productions including the Nutcracker and Carmina Burana as well as competed in numerous competitions at both the regional and national levels. She has attended several dancer and teacher workshops through Dance Masters of America and The Dance Teacher's Club of Boston. Tanya holds a Bachelor's degree in elementary education from Salem State and a Master's degree in Special Education from Cambridge College. Aside from being a full time special education teacher she is a dance, baseball, and basketball mom of three.
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.
Kim Lamoureux - Voice and Piano
Praised for her “clarion upper range and delicate tone,” soprano Kim Lamoureux is a dynamic and versatile artist based in the Boston metro area. Kim has performed with many companies across New England, including but not limited to Odyssey Opera, Commonwealth Lyric Theater, Juventas New Music Ensemble, Lowell House Opera, NEMPAC, Opera del West, Longwood Opera, The Savoyard Light Opera Company, the Concord Orchestra, Riverside Theater Works, and the Hanover Theater. Recent favorite engagements include Adele (Die Fledermaus), Azzurina in the world premiere of The Little Blue One, and Lakmé (title role, cover). Also heavily involved with interactive theater, Kim has performed lead roles in Cry Innocent, Folkways, The New England Pirate Faire, Pinocchio, and The Boston Ghost Cruise. In TV and film, Kim was featured as accused witch Sarah Cloyce in National Geographic Channel’s special Salem:Unmasking the Devil and as Ann Putnam, Sr. in The True 1692 with Cinema Salem. This season, Kim’s work is focused on a self - produced musical theater concert series, and an upcoming production of Romé o et Juliette (Stéphano) with Opera51.
As a pedagogue, Kim maintains a full time studio where she teaches voice students of all ages and ability levels, as well as beginning piano for young children. Kim has appeared as a guest lecturer and recitalist at Gordon College, and served as a Theater Outreach Specialist for NE GASS, Drama Director for the JCC Kaleidoscope Camp, and Music Director for Break-A-Leg Productions. Kim is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of Rising Stars Productions, a performing arts initiative designed to bring arts education and enrichment to the communities of the greater Boston area. She currently teaches at Brookwood School in Manchester, MA, and is a Board Member with the Boston Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).
Master of Music with Distinction, Longy School of Music
Bachelor of Music, Summa Cum Laude, Gordon College
Co-Chair, National Student Auditions, NATS.
Boston Artistic Director, Rising Stars Productions.
Lilly Cryan - Young Dancers and Tumble
Lilly grew up in the New England town of Haverhill, MA. She began her dance training at a young age after seeing her older cousin's dance recital. She trained at The Salem Dance Network under the Direction of Teri Desrosiers. There she studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, and Modern dance. After her senior year of high school she ventured down to Towson, Maryland to earn her B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Towson University. There she studied Ballet, Modern, and Aerial dance with Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, Catherine, Horta Hayden, Ronqiao Du, Jayne Bernascone, and Vincent Thomas.
Lilly has performed for Towson University Dance Company, Boston Community Dance Project, Kairos Dance Theater, and Pantos Project. She has choreographed for Onstage Dance Company, Nachmo Boston, and aMaSSiT. In addition to performing she has also stage managed A State of Grace directed by Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell.
Lilly enjoys sharing her love of dance by teaching. She believes in the importance of inspiring our youth to connect with their bodies through dance and to become lifelong lovers of dance.
In addition to dance, Lilly also practices and teaches Vinyasa Yoga. She discovered yoga after a dance teacher incorporated yoga into a warm up. While at Towson Lilly began practicing yoga at Sid Yoga Center. In 2014 Lilly completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certification at Sid Yoga Center.
Davor Cakaric - Conditioning and Private sports massages
Davor Cakaric was born and raised in Split, Croatia. He began his athletic career as a young boy and became several times Croatia’s National Champion in Triple Jump. After his career in Track and Field, Cakaric began dancing for Croatia’s National Theater where he completed ten successful seasons. In parallel with dance, Cakaric coached young athletes in jumping and sprinting events in the athletic club -ASK Split. He received his degree for physical and massage therapy from the Modern University in Split, Croatia. He currently is an assistant coach for the Track and Field team at the La Salle Academy. Cakaric is also pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Accounting at Johnson & Wales University.
- Kelsye Trouville
- Rachel Donovan
- Emily Bean
- Danielle Gillis
- Erin McNulty