Nunnbetter’s Faculty

Leath Nunn, leathArtistic Director

G. Leath Nunn began his career in Houston, TX under the direction of the renowned Patsy Swayze. Soon after, he joined the Houston Ballet. He danced with the Classical Ballet of Israel, the San Diego Ballet, the Eglevsky Ballet, and toured the world with the International Ballet de Caracas.

After ten years in Venezuela, Leath began teaching and directing. During his tenure as director of the San Angelo (Texas) Civic Ballet, he successfully developed the school and mounted several full-length productions.

Mr. Nunn joined the staff of the New Jersey Ballet in 1990. For the past several years, he was associated with the Artists in Residency program under the direction of Christine Todd Whitman.

Mr. Nunn has the singular distinction of being the youngest Eagle Scout in the history of the state of Texas!

In 1999, Mr. Nunn created the nunnbetter dance theatre and school to bring a higher and more professional level of dance to the Bergen County area.

See Mr. Nunn in action, performing in “Spring Waters”:


Wendy Otis, Regisseure

wendyWendy Otis is a lifetime resident of Teaneck, NJ. She began dancing at age 3. Her initial training was through the Royal Academy of Dance, but she has also studied at the School of American Ballet, at Dance, Inc., and with New Jersey Ballet.

Wendy is an accomplished teacher and choreographer who enjoys working with students of all ages and levels. In 1990, she took over as Artistic Director of Dance Inc., teaching Creative Movement, all levels of Ballet (child and adult), as well as all level of Jazz. During this time Wendy created Dance, Inc. Repertory Company. One of her greatest joys during this time was watching her students bloom into beautiful young artists.

Wendy graduated from Douglass College, Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry, as well as a Masters of Science in Elementary Education. Prior to becoming the Artistic Director of Dance, Inc., Wendy worked as an analytical chemist for the Hartz Mountain Corporation.

Wendy welcomes a new experience as she begins her first year on the faculty of Roosevelt Elementary School in River Edge, NJ after 8 years in the New York City School system.


Lili Griffiths Jenkins, BalletLily Griffiths

Lili began studying in Caracas, Venezuela and received her greatest guidance under Nina Novak in the Vaganova Method. At age 11, she was accepted into the Royal Ballet School in London, England. Four years later, she graduated to the Royal Ballet Upper School, where she studied for 3 more years while also performing as an apprentice with the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden.  She was offered a contract with the Saddler’s Wells Royal Ballet, dancing in the corps de ballet and was soon thereafter promoted to coryphée and then soloist.

Lili was fortunate to work with, and create roles for, some of the most prominent choreographers of the 20th century including Dame Ninette de Valois, Sir Peter Wright, Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Rudolph Nureyev and David Bintley, to name but a few. While with the Saddler’s Wells Royal Ballet she participated in the company’s many international tours, dancing in all the major classics as well as contemporary works.

Upon arriving in the United States, she performed a variety of principle guest work with other companies, including the title role in Cinderella with Ballet Arizona.
 Since retiring from performing, Lili has taught at many studios throughout California, Arizona, New York and New Jersey, at elementary, intermediate and advanced levels. Throughout her teaching years, Lili has given private lessons and coached students for upcoming roles and auditions. She has also choreographed, rehearsed and mounted productions for bi-annual performances, as well as creating small group pieces for competitions, which won top awards.

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Yael Levitin-Saban, Ballet

 

Yael trained in her native Israel, where she danced with the Haifa Ballet for three years. In 1991, she joined Bat-Dor Dance Company as a principal dancer. In 1992, Saban represented Israel at the Paris Opera Dance Soloist Competition, receiving a silver medal for her performance.
In the U.S. she worked with Complexions, Connecticut Ballet and Ballet Hispanico of New York, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the Lyric Opera.
Yael choreographed for Opera productions in the US (Strauss’s Salome) at the Kennedy Center, the Saito Kinen festival in Matsumoto Japan, and the Dallas Opera.
She is currently a ballet mistress with Ballet Hispanico of New York.
Yael holds a BA in Dance from Columbia College.


Kerri Mather, Modernkerri

Kerri Mather has danced professionally for over fifteen years. As a long-time member of the modern repertory company, Rondo American Dance Theatre, she toured the United States and abroad. While with the company, she performed classic modern dance pieces by famous choreographers such as Jose Limon, Moses Pendelton, and Charles Weidman, as well as personally working with Anna Sokolow, Murry Lewis, Pauline Koner, Paul Sanasardo, Doug Verone and others.

Kerri was also a founding member of Rosanna Gamson/ Worlwide, a multi-media dance company now based in Los Angeles. Even though she no longer performs with Gamson, she had the extreme pleasure of traveling to Mexico City to help create “Aura”, a dance piece with Gamson, that received its United States premier in Los Angeles at the Redcat Theatre.

Kerri holds a BFA in dance from the University of Illinois / Champaign-Urbana. She currently teaches modern dance at the Nunnbetter Dance Theatre in Bergenfield and creative movement classes in Teaneck, where she lives with her husband and two children.


Robin Mahboeb, Balletprofileme-Copy

Robin Mahboeb was pleased to join the faculty of Nunnbetter in 2005 as well as joining other members of the teaching staff and school in Verissimo Opera’s production of L’Elxir D’amore by Donizetti.

Robin has trained with Larry Boyette in Denver, Colorado, Frank Bays and Pat Hon at the Cornish Institute of Arts in Seattle, Washington, and Maggie Black in New York City. She has performed with Ballet Arts in Company, Cornish Dance Theatre, Palisades Performing Arts Center, Debra Weiss Dance Company, and The Mantis Project.

Robin has taught at the Community Playgroup in Piermont, New York, and the Palisades Performing Arts Center. In addition to teaching ballet at Nunnbetter she has also choreographed several pieces for the student company.

Robin lives in Rockland County, New York with her husband and four children.


Ernie Prinz, Theater Dance
ernie

Ernie Prinz is known for his contagious energy and enthusiasm. At a young age Ernie realized his passion for the arts and joined local community theater programs. Growing up in theatre, he was involved in musicals, dinner theatres, and cabarets regionally and locally. Inspired by the late, great Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins, Ernie grew an extensive knowledge of their theater dance styles. Following his dreams, he moved to New York City, where he graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. His New York City credits include Tulsa in Gypsy and Bill in Me and My Girl.

Ernie joined the faculty of Nunnbetter Dance Theatre in 2009, after several seasons of performing in the Nutcracker. Currently Ernie is achieving his BFA from the New School University in New York City.


Alison Owusu, Hip Hop

Alison A. Owusu is a native of the Bronx, New York.  Alison2011Dancer003She began her dance training at Bronx Dance Theater, studying classical ballet, tap and jazz.

She then moved on to train at the world renowned Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway, in NYC where she studied ballet, hip hop, modern, contemporary jazz, world dance, tap and jazz. Her experience has allowed the opportunity to train amongst esteemed teachers/ choreographers in the business. She had studied the Horton technique for over 3 years under the direction Karen Gayle at MontclairStateUniversity.  Alison will graduate in the fall of 2011 with a bachelor in science with physical education and health teaching degree from MontclairStateUniversity. She will also graduate with a dance pedagogy certification from MSU.

Alison has been working with young dancers all over the Northern New Jersey area for over 7 years now with a passion in choreography and modern dance. She is a current member of the Queenz NYC Hip Hop Dance group.  In the fall of 2010 she formed the youth contemporary dance performance company Passion Flux.


Samantha Lazzaro, Jazz

Samantha Lazzaro, former student of Nunnbetter Dancesamantha Theatre, has been dancing since she was three years old. She is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and hip-hop. She studied under the instruction of Leath Nunn and Wendy Otis when Nunnbetter Dance Theatre opened in 1999. She joined the faculty in 2003 and taught tap and jazz classes until she went off to college.

Samantha went on to dance at Montclair State University where she received a minor in Dance. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education and is currently a teacher in the Palisades Park School District.

Samantha is pleased to be back on the staff of Nunnbetter Dance Theatre and looks forward to joining the wonderful community Mr. Nunn has established.


Marianne Delehanty, Contemporary
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Marianne Delehanty, a native to north New Jersey, has studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe, hip-hop, voice, and acting from a young age. Marianne continued her dance education at DeSales University where she studied ballet and modern dance. She graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. While at DeSales, Marianne has worked with professionals such as Trinette Singleton, Tim Cowart, Kristin Fieseler, Tara Madsen, Kate Jewitt (of Shen Wei Dance Arts), and Ashleigh Leite. She has also taken her dancing worldwide with DeSales dance majors to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she took classes with famous Brazilian choreographers as well as taught dance to underprivileged children. While at DeSales,

Marianne also founded her own dance company, MarDelDance, a contemporary dance company aimed at introducing audiences to dance-drama. In the summer of 2011, Marianne traveled to Ireland where she was asked to teach master-classes and set work.

Her work has been performed at Steps on Broadway in NYC, the Painted Bride Arts Center in Philadelphia, The Carnegie Arts Center in Ireland, and Rosa Parks High School, in New Jersey to name a few. She has also won Dance Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award for her piece Patsy.


Eleanor D’Antuono, Special Instructor–Ballet
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Eleanor D’Antuono was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and studied dance with Maria Papporello and E. Virginia Williams, who later founded the Boston Ballet. At the age of 14, she began her professional career with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Within two years, she was performing solo roles in the company’s full repertoire and on a world tour. After dancing a season with the Robert Joffrey Ballet, Ms. D’Antuono joined American Ballet Theatre as a soloist in 1961. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1963. In 20 years as a professional dancer with ABT she received accolades from public and press alike. “Eleanor D’Antuono has long been one of the glories of American Ballet Theatre. She has a style and beauty that are all her own her technique is stunning,” noted The New York Times. Her leading roles have included Coppelia, Giselle, Raymonda, the Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, Tales of Hoffman and La Fille Mal Gardee.

Inspired by her fiery virtuosity and her unique lyricism, many leading choreographers created original roles for Ms. D’Antuono in ballets such as Alvin Ailey’s The River, Brahms Quartet, Elektra, Balladen de Lieber, Kinderzanen, and Lorenzo Monreal’s Romeo and Juliet. Other ballets in Ms. D’Antuono’s repertoire included La Bayadere, Etudes, Jardin Aux Lilas, Corsaire, Diane and Acteaon and Don Quixote.

Ms. D’Antuono has been ivited to perform all over the world. She appeared at the International Ballet Festival in Havana for several years. She was the first American ballerina to appear as a guest artist with Chinese Companies. Since her retirement from active performing, Ms. D’Antuono has been Artistic Director to Festival Dance Theatre and Artistic Advisor to the New Jersey Ballet, also Resident Coach and Artistic Advisor for the Nutmeg Ballet. She is highly in demand to coach professional and regional ballet companies nationwide and has staged many classical ballets. Her affiliations include serving on the board for the Harkness Ballet Foundation and the New York State Council of the Arts.