The Omega Dance Challenge Adjudicators
Mary Sacchieri-Spera - Artistic Director
Earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in dance from De Sales University, in Allentown, Pa. in 1989. She studied classical ballet, Limon, Graham, Humphrey/Weidman modern techniques, tap, jazz, dance education, choreography, performance, dance Labanotation, dance composition, kinesiology and dance therapy. She was involved with the On Your Mark Program in S.I.N.Y. where she has taught children with special needs. She is affiliated with United Activities Unlimited and Theatre Rehabilitation for Youth. Her work in Project Dance, sponsored and funded by the NYC board of education, received public acclaim. Bonded by the NYC board of education, she was P.D.T.R. licensed to teach grades K-12. She is a registered member of The International Dance Teachers Association, The Staten Island Bucks Business Network and UDMA. She founded Moving in Time Dance Studio in 1990 and established Moving in Time Dance and Talent Competition in 1996 where she continues to teach, choreograph, and produce recitals and talent competitions. She continues to teach at Moving In Time dance Studio and is currently co-owner, artistic director of Omega Dance Challenge. Mary has produced more than 40 dance concerts and musicals in the New York metropolitan area. Her students have gone on to dance with Alvin Ailey II, Staten Island Ballet, and have been featured dancers on Broadway in Grease, 42nd Street, and School House Rock, Hairspray, and Chicago. She is an accomplished choreographer. Her choreography was featured on HBO'S "911 5TH YEAR MEMORIAL" as well as the original works of James Genaro, "Pieces of our Life". Her modern dance company, Movers and Shakers has been touring since their inception in 1996. Also an artist/muralist and a devoted wife and mother, Mary is an active fundraiser for several charity organizations in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania including The American Cancer Society, Deborah Hospital Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Lustgarten Foundation . She is Vice President of the board of directors of Living Through Movement Foundation.
Sarah Machalani - Adjudicator
Sarah Machalani hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and earned her BFA in dance from The Ohio State University, graduating summa cum laude in 2009. While at OSU, Sarah was a two-time recipient of the Helen P. Alkire Dance Scholarship and performed in several works by faculty and international artists such as Melanie Bales, Maria Glimcher, and Olga Zitluhina. Sarah has been distinguished as a New York City Dance Alliance Regional Ballet scholarship recipient, as well as appeared in nationally-aired commercials on television. She has worked with Emmy Award-winning choreographer Bonnie Story and has been a featured dancer in performances across the Eastern US, Midwest, and Canada. Sarah enjoys investing her time in teaching and movement research opportunities. Sarah is currently based in New York City.
Alex Isenburg - Adjudicator
Alex Isenberg hails from the Steel City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He began his dance training at Lisa Marie’s School of Dance. Following High School, he attended Georgetown University leaving dance behind. After a year, the stage demanded his focus. Since moving to New York City, Alex has trained under many prestigious teachers at Broadway Dance Center and Peridance Capezio Center. Some of Alex’s performance credits include Madonna (Addicted to Sweat), Channing Tatum (Magic Mike Promotion), Liza Minelli (Richard Hinds, choreo.) and DJ Cupid (Dr. OZ). He is an original cast member of Coco and the Vanity Vixens, was in Vogue Magazine (Nick Kenkel, choreo), danced on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and is a company member of Dante Brown Warehouse Dance. Alex’s big screen debut came when he danced in the feature film, “My Dead Boyfriend” (Dir. Anthony Green) and can be seen in “Gangs of Las Vegas” (Geo Hubela, choreo). His choreographic debut on the big screen will be seen in the film, “Key Frame.” (Dir. Victoria Korty). He was an assistant choreographer for Kellen Stancil (Broadway Bares) and Brian Thomas (Lucid Dreams). Alex has taught at many studios around the country including: Millennium Dance Complex Pittsburgh and Broadway Dance Center. He enjoys working with the gamut of talent from children to professionals. Alex has a zest for life that is tangible and he brings an electric enthusiasm that is contagious. He is thankful for the opportunities he has been given and is excited for what the future holds.
Kate Hale - Adjudicator
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Kate Hale earned her BFA in dance in 2009 from The Ohio State University. Kate began her pre-professional training at Ballet Met in Columbus Ohio under the Artistic Direction of David Nixon. While there, she studied under distinguished ballet professional Yoko Ichino, Catherine Yoshimura, and Susan Dromisky. Continuing her training at OSU, Kate was a two-time recipient of the Stella J. Becker Scholarship. She also worked closely with national and international choreographers and artists such as Susan Hadley, Ming-Lung Yang and Vera J Blaine. Upon graduation, she became the graduate and undergraduate program coordinator for the Department of Dance at OSU, where one of her primary duties was coordinating and overseeing the entire audition process for all incoming students. She also sat on the selection panel for all auditions. Currently, Kate is living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband and their two daughters.
Kierstin Williams - Adjudicator
Los Angeles native, Kierstin Williams began her dance career at the age of 14. After taking a simple elective dance class in school, she looked for ways to expand on her growth as a dancer and transferred to the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) where she majored in dance. After a year and a half of training there under Don Martin of Alvin Ailey and Horton dance companies, as well as Lowell Smith of Dance Theatre of Harlem, she began her undergrad at the Ohio State University. Kierstin trained with Bebe Miller of Bebe Miller Dance Company and Susan Hadley, a former Mark Morris Dance Group member. She became well versed in complex rhythm-based movement, improvisation, performance, and choreography. Kierstin graduated in June of 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in dance. She now lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she is actively pursuing her career as a dancer. Kiersten is a welcome addition to Omega Dance Challenges Judges panel.
Ingrid Ullrich - Adjudicator
Graduating from Point Park University with a BFA in dance, Ingrid Ullrich started her professional career as a dancer performing in award winning productions showcased in theaters, casinos, and cruise ships all over the world both international and national. Dynamic and eye catching are the most common words used when seeing her in acting. Through her dancing career she discovered her skill for singing and acting, shaping her into a very versatile performer. Recent shows include “Le Grand Cirque”- a show of death defying, acrobatic, and jaw dropping Vegas acts, featuring Ingrid as a dancer and assistant for America’s foremost master of crossbow as seen on America’s Got Talent, Ben Blaque. Other recent shows include “Christmas Wonderland” performing for over 50,000 audience members in a span of two months. Ingrid also writes, directs and produces her own productions that she travels with as a guest entertainer including her most current, “A Stroll Through the Ages” a rollicking revue featuring classic hits ranging from 1950's-Present Day.,
Virginia Erianne - Adjudicator
Virginia Erianne received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance with a concentration in Musical Theater from DeSales University. Prior to attending DeSales University, Virginia attended Centenary College where she appeared as Edith in the first Equity production of Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” in 1986. After college, Virginia taught ballet, tap, & jazz at Melanie’s Dance Center in Ogdensburg, NJ. During that time, she also appeared as Rosie Alvarez in “Bye- Bye Birdie” at The Pax Amicus Castle Theater in Bud Lake, NJ. Virginia has also worked as a singing waitress for The Show Place in Beach Haven, NJ, and has been performing in wedding and rock cover bands for more than 20 years. She has performed with Eddie Money, The Tramps, and The Nerds. In 2011, she performed in Centenary Stage Company’s Equity production of Alan Menken’s “A Christmas Carol, The Musical” in Hackettstown, NJ. She was thrilled to work with Dir/Choreographer, Michael Blevins, who is most widely known for his portrayal of Mark, in the movie, “A Chorus Line.” Virginia currently sings lead vocals in her husband’s NJ cover band, Trippin’ Carla, while raising her beautiful daughter, Allyssa Grace.
Daniel Holt - Adjudicator
Daniel Holt hails from California, USA. He received his BFA in Dance from The Ohio State University, Spring 2011. Daniel now resides in Brooklyn, New York where he teaches dance, and runs his dance company, Dirt. He has performed at Joyce SOHO, Jacob’s Pillow’s Inside/Out stage, The New York International Fringe Festival, among others. Additionally, Daniel participates in the NYC street dance battle circuit, including the international event, Juste Debout.
Tara Rosencrance Atkins - Adjudicator
Tara Rosencrance Atkins' experience in dance started in North Eastern Pa. She studied from a young age with Helen Gaus and Joan Manze continuing under the direction of Constance Reynolds and performing with Ballet Theater of Scranton. She continued her dance education at Centenary College and Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, now DeSales University. She has taken special studies and performed with New York Baroques Dance Co., Footpath Dance Co., Pennsylvania Ballet Co. and participated in Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Dance Educators of America and The Professional Dance Teachers Association and the Royal Academy of Dancing workshops. During college she studied under many great instructors and performed with her college dance company at many local schools, colleges and performed in the sixth annual Invitational Festival of Dance at the University of Delaware. Tara was also a dance instructor, high school musical choreographer and certified aerobics trainer in N.E. PA/ and S.W. Ohio. Tara now resides in Dalton Pa. with her husband Timothy and two sons. She now pursues a healthy lifestyle through gym training, Pilates, outdoor exercise and volunteer work with local schools, non-profit organizations and the arts! She teaches Master Ballet classes at local studios and continues her dance education dancing with local ballet companies.
Katie Stehura - Adjudicator
Katie Stehura earned her BFA from the Ohio State University in 2010, graduating magna cum laude with honors and distinction in dance. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, she began her pre-professional training as a member of The Collaborative Dance Project under the artistic direction of Tony Calucci, studying with both national and international choreographers from a very young age. Her training continued at OSU, where she worked closely with distinguished artists Bebe Miller, Ming-Lung Yang, Victoria Uris, Tania Isaac, and Nik Haffner. Katie was a founding member of the Performance Improvisation Ensemble, a student run improvisation group that performed across the east coast. As a student she also performed with local companies including Natalie Marrone’s The Dance Cure and Columbus Movement Movement. Awarded a grant to train in Vienna, Austria, Katie joined forces with fellow artist Victoria DeRenzo on a two-year long collaborative research project. Their choreography was selected for the American College Dance Festival Association's east- central regional conference in Akron, Ohio and was subsequently presented in Columbus, Tampa, Brooklyn, Queens, and Jersey City. Currently, Katie is working out of New York City, choreographing and dancing professionally with artist Emily Faulkner.
Jennifer Sagan Michel - Adjudicator
Upon graduating magna cum laude from The Boston conservatory with a BFA in Dance, I sang and danced my way through the field of musical theatre. I played such roles as a New Ziegfeld girl in WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, a Zangler Girl in CRAZY FOR YOU, and a Radio City Rockette in the RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR and the RADIO CITY SPECTACULAR. I also had the privilege of performing as a featured dancer at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Working with such greats as Tommy Tune, Sandy Duncan, Maurice Hines, Susan Anton and Paige O'Hara and Pat Boone, I enjoyed a career full of blessings.
Currently, I teach seminars where we develop the presence dimension and the physical dimension of charismatic leadership in women. We teach people how to own a room through compelling presence, correct posture and alignment and fluid movement whether in flat shoes or four inch heels! We strive to help people thrive in work and in life by building a solid foundation for self-image, self-confidence and self-esteem.
Continuing in the vein of “Making People Better,” I am also a Senior Brand Partner for Nerium International, a company that is changing people’s lives every day.