Photo credit: Susan Epstein

Board of Directors for New York State Dance Education Association

For information on Board Member positions and duties, download:

Board of Directors Duties Board of Directors and General Duties

2019 Board of Directors:
Kerrianne Cody: President
Shirlene Blake: Treasurer
Deborah Lipa-Ciotta: Secretary
Andrew Jannetti: Past-President
Kristina Walton: Director of Communications
Karen Camp: Director of Scholarships and Awards
Mara Sherwood-Katz: Director of Fundraising
Lisa Herlinger-Thompson: Director of Conferences
Cynthia Hanna: Director of NHSDA
Sandra Stratton Gonzalez: Member at Large
Allison Bohman: Administrative Assistant
Kristin Dowdy: Student Representative

Kerrianne Cody, MA, Dance Certification K-12 NYS (President)
Location: New York, NY

Work Environment:Dance Educator at PS 165 Edith K. Bergtraum School. NYCDOE: Delta Citywide Dance Facilitator, Arts Mondays District Facilitator. NYSED: Dance Crosswalk, 2017 NYS Learning Standards for the Arts-Dance Writer,  Content Advisory Panel, Arts Coalition Representative.

Area of Expertise/Interest: BFA in Dance Performance and MA in Dance Education. Public Sector Elementary Dance Education working with PreK-5th grade with a focus on integrating creative movement and technique for performance. Private studio instruction in Modern, Jazz, Ballet Basics, and Tap.

Shirlene Blake, MEd, NYS K-12 Dance Certification, Advanced Certificates in Administration and Supervision (Treasurer)
Location: New York, NY

Work Environment: Dance Educator at Harvest Collegiate High School; NYCDOE: Citywide Dance PD Facilitator; NYSED: Arts Standards Revision Committee; Scorer for the New York State Dance Teacher Certification Exams (NYSTCE)

Area of Expertise/Interest: BFA Dance Performance; MEd Dance Education; also a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified MELT Hand and Foot Practitioner, Training in Childbirth Education and Accounting; Interested in inspiring the next generation of Dance Educators; Educational Leadership and Educational Collaborations

Deborah Lipa-Ciotta, BS Dance, MA Dance Education, PK-12 NYS Certification in Dance (Secretary)
Location: Buffalo, NY

Work Environment: K-5 Dance Educator Tapestry Charter School, Director/Teacher Creative Dance for Children Classes Ages 3-18 and Pleien Dance Company Ages 7-18

Area of Expertise/Interest: Dance Educator in public school (experience in elementary, middle and high school programs teaching creative dance, modern, dance history, folk and traditional dance, arts integration) and private school setting (creative dance, modern, folk and directing a children's modern dance company).

Andrew Jannetti, MA, Dance Certification K-12 NY & NJ (Past-President)
Location: New York, NY

Work Environment: K-5 dance instructor at PS 79 in Whitestone, Queens, Director of School Break Programs at Brooklyn Arts Exchange in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Group Fitness and Dance Instructor at various private studios and clubs in Manhattan, Personal Trainer, Choreographer, Andrew Jannetti & Dancers

Area of Expertise/Interest: Choreography, Pedagogic Practice and Mentorship K through Higher Ed, Director for School Breaks and Summer Arts Programs, Arts Liaison for NYC DOE, Private Studio and Dance and Fitness Instructor for all levels of Modern and Jazz Dance, Ballet Basics, and developmentally appropriate Stretching and Strengthening Techniques.

Kristina Walton, MA, PK-12 NYS Certification in Dance (Director of Communications)
Location: New York, NY

Work Environment: The Gateway School (NYS Independent School) and All Souls School (NYS Early Childhood Independent School)

Area of Expertise/Interest: Early Childhood, K-12, working with children with learning differences, integrated curriculum design, private studio teaching in ballet, modern, tap, jazz, creative movement, pre-professional choreography for students, dance performance, multicultural dance, web design, and communications

Karen Camp (Director of Scholarships and Awards)

Work Environment:

Area of Expertise/Interest:

Mara Sherwood-Katz, M.A. (Director of Fundraising)
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Work Environment: Founding member of the Heights Community Dancers an award winning inter-generational dance company. Currently teaches dance in various schools throughout Brooklyn. Has chaired two annual fundraisers for NYSDEA.

Area of Expertise/Interest: Public and private sector teaching in dance education, fundraising, presented workshops as NDEO and NYSDEA conferences, performing, choreography, completion of DEL I and II certification program at 92nd Street Y, trained at Joffrey Ballet School, PeriDance, and Gibney.

Lisa Herlinger-Thompson, BA, MA (Director of Conferences)
Location: Queens, NY

Work Environment: NYCDOE elementary school Dance Educator: PK-5. Community center Dance Educator. Hula practitioner.

Area of Expertise/Interest: BA in Dance and MA in Dance Education. Experience teaching PK-12, as well as public sector children and adults. Expertise both in teaching and choreography. Interested in Improvisation and Creative Movement as technique, dance for the camera, and cultural dance, with particular experience in the traditional dances of Uganda and Hula from Hawai'i.

Cynthia Hanna, BA, MS in Exceptional Education, NYS Certification Dance Physical Education and Health, LPN Licensed Practical Nurse (Director of NHSDA)
Location: Buffalo, NY

Work Environment: Nardin Academy K-8 Dance Program. Teaching Artist for Young Audiences of Western New York, and Buffalo schools

Area of Expertise/Interest: Interactive Dance Programs that work with young, old, and academics.

Kristin Dowdy (Student Representative)
Location: Brockport, NY & New York, NY

Work Environment: MFA candidate at The College at Brockport SUNY, Dance and Fitness Activity Head at Camp Wicosuta, and Freelance Dance Educator and Personal Trainer

Area of Expertise/Interest: BFA dance performance, Minor in business, Studio and private classes in choreography, jazz, musical theatre, tap, ballet, modern, conditioning and physical fitness