About NDT

Faculty and Staff

 

Kimberly Galberaith – NDT Co-Director

images/kim.jpgis proud and excited to be one of the new Directors at Nunnbetter Dance Theatre. Kimberly fell in love with Ballet at the age of 9 in Lakeland, FL at Highland School of Dance. She knew immediately that dance was her passion and continued to study, eventually training and apprenticing with the Tampa Ballet, the Milwaukee Ballet and then at North Carolina School of the Arts where she studied with such greats at Duncan Noble, Robert Lindgren and Balanchine ballerina, Melissa Hayden.

After shifting her focus from ballet to theater dance and moving to NYC, Kimberly was thrilled to be part of both the International and National tours of West Side Story. She was seen regionally in productions of A Chorus Line, Funny Girl, Fiddler on the Roof, Music Man, and other great musical theatre classics. After landing the role of Sister Leo, the “ballerina Nun” and putting her fouetté turns to good use in a production of Nunsense, Kimberly went on to perform that role in numerous companies across the country and in the Off-Broadway company in NYC.

As a choreographer, Kimberly’s work has been seen in productions across the country of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, Dames At Sea, A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Forever Plaid, West Side Story, The Wizard of Oz, Bye Bye Birdie, 42nd Street and others. She was also a Director/Choreographer for The Broadway Kids, a professional group of child Broadway stars who are most remembered for their musical CD series.

Kimberly has been the resident Director/Choreographer at Immaculate Heart Academy for almost 3 decades and has also worked at Don Bosco Prep and St. Paul’s to develop their musical theater programs. Together she has helped create over 50 different full stage productions, has helped hundreds of high school students experience the joys of being on stage. She is proud to follow many of these students as they become professional dancers, actors, and singers.

Kimberly’s passion is working with young dancers and helping them find and embrace their creativity. She believes that a strong foundation in dance, and of course proper technique, helps to build not only beautiful dancers, but confident and responsible people.

Kimberly’s most important roles by far are those of wife to her partner of over 25 years, Jodi, and mother to Grace and Jack. She is thrilled to be taking on this new role at NDT, and happy to carry on the traditions and integrity of Nunnbetter Dance Theatre.

 


Portia Moldez – NDT Co-Director

images/portia.jpgG. Leath Nunn began his career in Houston, Texas under the direction of the renowned Patsy Swayze. Soon after, he joined the Houston Ballet. He continued his career dancing with the Classical Ballet of Israel, The San Diego Ballet, the Eglevsky Ballet, and touring the world with the International Ballet of 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 brought a higher, more professional level of dance to the Bergen County area.

 

Ernie Prinz, Theater Dance and Artistic Director (NDT Company)

Ernie Prinz is a choreographer and dancer from Detroit, Michigan trained in musical theatre, ballet, jazz, and specializing in broadway jazz. He attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC on scholarship and graduated in 2006, continuing his BFA at the New School in Manhattan. He has performed regionally in numerous shows including 42nd Street, Me and My Girl, Jesus Christ Superstar, and GYPSY. Ernie had the pleasure to dance and perform in an original pas de deux, “Echo”, by Tony Award nominated choreographer Margo Sappington. He has worked with the Nunnbetter Dance Theatre for over 10 years, dancing in their annual production of The Nutcracker as the Snow Cavalier and Arabian Sultan, along with Prince Seigfried in Swan Lake, Spring Waters, Wolf in Peter in the Wolf and “Adiemus” by Thom Clower. He has also performed with Ballet for Young Audiences, and Direct Dance Ensemble.

Recently, Ernie was featured as Mother Ginger representing Universal Studios in the 90th MACY’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for NBC. His choreography has been featured across the nation, and recognized at Youth America Grand Prix succeeding to the New York Finals.

Ernie joined the faculty of Nunnbetter Dance Theatre in 2009, and recently became the Artistic Director under the guidance of his mentor Leath Nunn.

 

Wendy Otis, Company Regisseure, Ballet and Jazz

Wendy Otis is a lifetime resident of Teaneck, NJ. She began dancing at age 3. Her initial training was through the Royal Academy of Dance, and she continued her studies with the School of American Ballet, Dance, Inc., and New Jersey Ballet. A graduate from Douglass College, Rutgers University, Wendy graduated 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 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. (Teaneck), teaching Creative Movement, all levels of Ballet (child and adult), as well as all levels of Jazz. During this time Wendy created Dance, Inc. Repertory Company and one of her greatest joys was watching her students bloom into beautiful young artists.

Wendy has been working alongside Leath Nunn since NDT was founded in 1998, assisting with all NDT school and company productions, as well as working individually with students as a private coach. She has been on the faculty of Roosevelt Elementary School in River Edge, NJ for 11 years, following 8 years in the New York City Public School System. Wendy has been awarded Teacher of the Year at Roosevelt Elementary School and is praised for her teaching both in the dance studio and in the classroom.

Wendy is very excited to work under the new direction of Kim Galberaith and Portia Moldez, and is thrilled to be part of the continued excellence of dance training at Nunnbetter Dance Theatre.

 

Eleanor D’Antuono, Ballet

Prima Ballerina and Master Teacher Eleanor D’Antuono was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and studied dance with Maria Papporello and E. Virginia Williams who later founded the Boston Ballet. In 1954 at the age of fourteen, she began her professional career with the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. Within two years, she was performing solo roles in the Company’s full repertoire and on a world tour. After leaving the Ballet Russes, in 1960, she danced 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 Principal and Prima Ballerina 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,” said the New York Times. Her leading roles have included Coppelia, Etudes, Giselle, Raymonda, the Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, Tales of Hoffman, La Fille Mal Gardee, Gaite Parisienne and many other classical ballets. 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, Brahams Quartet, Elektra, Balladen de Lieber, Kinderzanen and Lorenzo Monreal’s Romeo and Juliet. Other ballets in Ms. D’Antuono’s repertoire include La Bayadere, Jardin Aux Lilas, Corsaire, Theme and Variations, Diane and Acteon, Don Quixote and was granted permission by Bolshoi Ballet’s Yuri Grigorovitch to perform his spectacular pas de deux from “Spartacus” which she danced at the metropolitan Opera House. A much sought- after partner, Ms. D’Antuono performed with the leading premier danseurs, including Rudolf Nureyev, Alexaner Godunov, Royes Fernandez, Paolo Bortoluzzi, Fernando Bujones, to name a few.

Ms. D’Antuono has been invited to perform all over the world. She appeared at the International Ballet Festival in Havana for several years at invitation of Alicia Alonso. She was the first American ballerina to appear as a guest artist with the legendary Kirov Ballet in Leningrad and the first American Ballerina to appear as a guest artist with Mainland Chinese Companies. As a performer, Ms. D’Antuono’s fiery virtuosity has been applauded by audiences on virtually every continent of the world, and her unique lyricism and bravura technique have made her one of this century’s great ballerinas.

Since her retirement from active performing in 1986, Ms. D’Antuono has been Artistic Director to Festival Dance Theatre and Artistic Advisor in residence, teaching and coaching to The New Jersey Ballet, also Resident Coach and Artistic Advisor for the Nutmeg Ballet. She is highly in demand to teach and coach professional and regional ballet companies nationwide including American Ballet Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet School, and has staged many classical ballets. Her affiliations include serving as the Artistic Director of the New York International Ballet Competition since 1994, serving on the board for the Harkness Ballet Foundation and as a dance panelist to the New York State Council on the Arts.

Recipient of many dance awards including First Gubernatorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Dance, New York State, 1979, Arts Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Art of Ballet, Columbia University, 1979, Rebekah Harkness Dance Award, 1980, the UNICEF Femme Mystique-Legendary Women Recognition Award for being the first American Ballerina to be invited to dance with the Kirov Ballet and to be invited to dance with Mainland Chinese companies,1997.

 

Holly Elise Jarboe, Ballet, Jazz and Tap

Holly Jarboe has been dancing since she could walk! She grew up in a small river town, working as a performer in dinner theaters until she went to Stephens College in Columbia, MO, where she received her BFA in Dance. Since then she’s been living in the New York area working with regional dance companies such as the modern company “The Movement Collective”, hip hop crew “Taste”, jazz/funk group “CaRu Entertainment”, burlesque/jazz group “Viva Glamour”, flapper group “The Cat’s Meow” and currently a member of the modern group “MarDel”! She also was a dance member of “The Unofficials of the New York Giants” dance team and Super Bowl Championship winning season of 2011-2012! She has appeared on many television broadcasts such as Good Day New York, CBS2 and Fox 5 and was featured in a 2010 film short “Henry”. Between gigs she teaches many forms of dance and performance arts, such as Musical Theater, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Modern, Hip Hop, Technique, and Drill Team for Sukha Arts Center, Nunnbetter Dance Theatre and Opus Dance Theatre Inc. Holly also gives annual master classes and workshops through the tri-state area (NYC, NJ and PA).

 

Lili Griffiths Jenkins, Ballet

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 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.

ABT® Certified Teacher in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

 

Robin Mahboeb, Ballet

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.

 

Kerri Mather, Modern

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 works by 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 New York City’s Rosanna Gamson/ Worldwide, 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. She’s also performed leading dance roles with Verissmo Opera Company at Bergen PAC in Englewood, NJ.

In 2009 she had the incredible opportunity to teach a master class for Nina Novak (of Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo) in Caracus, Venezuela, as well as for Martha Gomez on the beautiful island of Margarita.

In 2012 she was chosen to create a children’s movement program for the research project, Optimal Defaults in the Prevention of Childhood Obesity, under Dr. Katharine Loeb in the Clinical Psychology Dept. at Fairleigh Dickinson University. .

Kerri holds a BFA in dance from the University of Illinois / Champaign-Urbana. She has taken great pleasure in teaching modern dance at Nunnbetter Dance Theatre and creative movement classes for the township of Teaneck since 2003.

 

Courtney Catalana

Ms. Catalana received her dance training from the Timothy M. Draper Center for Dance Education in Rochester, NY. Courtney joined Rochester City Ballet in 2009 and remained with the company until the summer of 2013. Ms. Catalana's favorite roles with the company include Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, and Russian Girl in George Balanchine's Serenade. She also had the opportunity to perform work by Artistic Director, Jamey Leverett at Jacob's Pillow. Courtney later joined BalletMet Columbus where she danced roles such as Cygnets from Swan Lake and was a featured soloist in Edwaard Liang's Of Heaven and Earth. Following BalletMet, Courtney joined the Dayton Ballet where she enjoyed such roles as Wendy in Septime Webre’s Peter Pan, the title Role in Cinderella, the Snow Queen in the Nutcracker, the dual role of Katerina/Lucy in Karen Russo Burke’s Dracula: Bloodlines, as well as featured contemporary works by Amy Seiwert, Jessica Lang, Septime Webre, and Melissa Barak. Ms. Catalana was chosen to compete in the prestigious New York International Ballet Competition (2009), and the Boston International Ballet Competition (2012).

 

Joshua Beaver

Joshua Beaver, from Thompsontown, Pennsylvania, began his early training with his mother
Cynthia Beaver’s gymnastics studio, Movement Laboratory, and American Ballet Theatre's
Summer Intensive. After high school, he attended Boston Conservatory on full scholarship and
graduated with a BFA in dance in 2011. While at the Conservatory he performed works by
Limon, Tudor, Sokolow, and Nikolais. After graduation he joined Teatrul de Balet Sibiu,
Romania, where he spent three seasons rising to first soloist and choreographer. He was featured
as Paris in Rotaru's Romeo and Juliet, Barbanto in Le Corsaire, and principal soloist in Gardner's
Four Seasons. During this time he toured and performed in Germany, Austria, Sicily, Hungary,
and New Zealand. In the summer of 2014, Josh joined Prague Chamber Ballet touring to Mexico
and also winning 1st place in the Lila Lopez Contemporary dance competition in Saint Luis
Potosi, Mexico. Shortly after returning home from his years in Europe, Josh joined Dayton Ballet
in Ohio where he spent two seasons as a featured soloist. Some of his featured roles included The
Prince in Cinderella and Cavalier in The Nutcracker. During this time he also performed various
repertoire from choreographers such as Septime Webre, Melissa Barak, Jessica Lang, and Gina
Patterson. Josh has recently become a resident of New York City and is making his transition
into theater. Josh is so excited to be performing The Nutcracker with Nunnbetter Dance Theater
and is grateful for the opportunity.

 

Alayna Raye Simpson

Alayna Raye Simpson, was raised in Teaneck New Jersey and has been dancing since she can remember.  After graduating from Teaneck High School, she decided she was serious about her craft and attended Hofstra University. It was at Hofstra that she majored in Dance & minored in Business. Wanting to continue her dance training, Alayna was accepted into The Alvin Ailey Dance School's Independent Study Professional Program for a year. At the school she extensively studied in Ballet, Modern (Horton/Graham), Jazz, Dunham and African.  During that time she also began teaching Modern, Jazz and Hip Hop dance to kids at local dance studios in NY & NJ.

While still training at The Ailey School she was scouted in a Hip Hop class at Broadway Dance Center by one of the top dance agencies in New York, Bloc Talent Agency. Since signing with Bloc, Alayna has worked with artists such as Shakira, Sia, Pharrell, Yandel, The Dream, Ne-Yo, OMI, Silento & Sean Paul just to name a few. She has toured, danced in many music videos, Industrials and has performed in numerous TV/Award Shows including: Ugly Betty, Americas Got Talent, Comedy Awards, American Music Awards, Latin Grammys, So You Think You Can Dance, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel & the NBA All Star Half Time Show. 

Believing anything is possible, Alayna wants to continue to learn and grow as an artist and inspire many along the way. Always eager to share her passion for the arts with the world is what has led her to choreograph shows & teach kids and teens. The younger generation is our future and Alayna feels it’s important to help mold them into becoming the best dancers that they can be.

 

KYLA HEINZ

Kyla Heinz has been dancing since the age of three and has a background of musical theater, dance and art. Kyla was a member of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble for seven years performing at venues such as NJPAC, SOPAC, Memorial Auditorium and several elementary schools for educational performances. In addition to performing in over twenty five musicals, she performed in a medley of “Urinetown” and “West Side Story” at the Helen Hays theater twice receiving the award for best musical along with other nominations from Helen Hayes and Papermill Playhouse. Kyla performed 2017-2018 as Joanne in Celtic Fyre at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg VA, USATODAY named Celtic Fyre "Best Amusment Park Entertainment". She is a True Talent Dance Competition judge and is a teacher at Mind Body Sole Tap Intensive. Most recently, Kyla tap danced at Radio City Musical Hall for Youtube’s 2019 Brandcast Event with Mark Orsborn’s Jam Project performing choreography by Kyle Hanagami. She danced in Gil Stroming’s “Break the Floor Productions” and Mike Minery’s Off Broadway show “Slide”, accompanied by the Duke Ellington Orchestra, tapping at New World Stages, Acorn Theater, The Supper Club and Terminal Five. She performed in Pier I, Riverside Park South’s Show “Tap Happens” and Joelle Cosentino's Impressions IV with Jason Luks' Tap Ensemble at Symphony Space. Kyla has appeared as a guest artist at In the Spotlight’s Benefit performance from 2010-present raising funds to donate to local organizations. She currently teaches at Kick performing arts and has directed and choreographed for the Saddle River Youth Theater's show choirs performing at Hershey Park and Disney World. Kyla has her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from William Paterson University.

 

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.

 


G. Leath Nunn – Founder

G. Leath Nunn began his career in Houston, Texas under the direction of the renowned Patsy Swayze. Soon after, he joined the Houston Ballet. He continued his career dancing with the Classical Ballet of Israel, The San Diego Ballet, the Eglevsky Ballet, and touring the world with the International Ballet of 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 brought a higher, more professional level of dance to the Bergen County area.