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+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

  • Fellow, Jubilation Foundation, 2018-2019
  • NYU, MA, Dance Education
  • Hofstra University, BFA, Theater
  • Hofstra University, BA, Dance
  • NYS Teaching Certification Dance K-12th Grade
  • NYS Teaching Certification Theater K-12th Grade
  • NYS Teaching Certification Students With Disabilities 7th-12th Grade
  • NYS Teaching Certification Students With Disabilities Birth-2nd Grade
  • NYS Teaching Certification Early Childhood

Melissa van Wijk, M.A.

Founder & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Melissa van Wijk, M.A. was born and raised in The Netherlands where she attended Dansakademie Brabant and performed with the Elisabeth Dancers and Dans Studio Gerda Zaandam. She holds five NYS Teaching Certifications and has taught dance at NYC Public Schools in all 5 boroughs, working primarily in Special Education. Melissa has choreographed performances at The Cunningham Studio and Mulberry Street Theater among others. She has a Master’s degree in Dance Education from NYU and is working on her second Master’s degree. Previously Melissa worked as a Teaching Artist for New York City Ballet and Young Audiences. On the side she runs a small business, Signing Up LLC, teaches Baby Sign Language, and has produced several children's DVD’s and Videos. Melissa is the Program Director of an infant movement program at Gymtime/York Avenue Preschool and works as a SEIT (Special Education Itinerant Teacher) and Early Intervention Specialist. The Jubilation Foundation selected Melissa as a Fellow for the 2018-2019 year.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Suhadee Henriquez
President & Secretary

Suhadee Henriquez is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist. Intensively trained in dialectical behavioral therapy, Suhadee was one of the founding clinicians of the first Spanish-speaking DBT programs in the United States. She is currently the Coordinator of International Spanish DBT Programs across the world.

She has been trained in prolonged exposure for post-traumatic stress disorder and is experienced in providing cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, family connections, and life skills. She works fluently in both English and in Spanish. As a Diplomat of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, Suhadee has provided lecturers in numerous countries in her field of expertise.

+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

  • CUNY Queens College, BA, Sociology
  • CSULA, MSW, Social Work
  • LCSW, California + New York
  • ACT
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ACT
  • Prolonged Exposure
 

Deborah Abel
Development

+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

  • Brooklyn College, BA
  • Bank Street College of Education, MA

Deborah Abel is a retired NYC public school teacher. She taught on the Early Childhood level for 30 years, initiating the Early Childhood Science Program at P.S. 135. Throughout her career, she taught a variety of subjects including science, art, music, dance, and performing arts to students in Pre K to 3rd Grade—including many with special needs. In addition to being the Director of the North Waterside Nursery School for 4 years, Deborah was also a Board Member of Dancers over 40 for 3 years.

Since her retirement, Deborah has worked with people with disabilities through various nonprofits including Gallop NYC, a nonprofit that uses horses as therapy. She has sat on the Board and Committees of several organizations such as: The Lupus Foundation of America, The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, The American Diabetes Association, The Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, and AID’s Walk New York. Deborah was honored by the City of New York for her volunteerism in 2015.

 

Sandra Wong
Treasurer

 

Jessica Gallagher
Marketing & Social Media

Sandra Wong is an Associate in the Direct Equity Partners group at Credit Suisse, where she evaluates growth equity and buyout investment opportunities. She previously worked in Credit Suisse’s Financial Sponsors Investment Banking Group, analyzing leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, and project financings. In her time at UCLA, she was a dancer for the Synthesis Dance Theater and Samahang Modern.

+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

  • UCLA, BA, Business Economics, Accounting
 
 
 
 
 

Jessica Gallagher is the Resident Unicorn at The University Network, where she manages strategic partnerships and helps brands small and large communicate their core values to their target audience. Jessica brings nearly 10 years of marketing, communications, and branding experience to Born Dancing. In a former life, she was a communications consultant to Fortune 500 companies.

A New Orleans native, Jessica studied dance at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and was a dancer with the Delta Festival Ballet. She is a certified private dance instructor. In her spare time, you can find her perfecting her fouetté rond de jambe en tournant at the Joffrey Ballet School, running along Brooklyn Bridge Park, or planning her next travel adventure.

+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

  • LSU, BS, Marketing
  • Accredited Business Communicator
 

Suzanne Lamberg
Education Liaison

Suzanne Lamberg was a dance educator in the NYC public school system for more than 30 years until her retirement. During that time, she served as the artistic director of her school's dance company, supervised undergraduate and graduate-level student teachers, mentored new teachers, and served on various task forces interested in expanding and improving arts education in NYC. She is currently an adjunct professor in the dance education program at NYU/Steinhardt, instructing and supervising MA candidates during their student teaching. She also serves as an educational consultant for the NYCDOE, 92nd St Y (DEL), The Fund for Public Schools, Battery Dance Company, Gibney Dance, and NDEO in various capacities related to dance education.

+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

  • CUNY Queens College, BA, Physical Education Teaching and Coaching
  • NYIT, MS, Educational/Instructional Technology
 

Charles Martinez
Sound Designer

Charles A Martinez is an accomplished producer, engineer and mixer both in and out of the studio. Charles has toured the world mixing artists such as Steely Dan and Kaïssa. He has worked on several Grammy-nominated recordings. Notable recording credits include the Original Cast Recording of Doctor Zhivago, Grammy-winning Toots & The Maytals' "True Love," and Donald Fagen's "Sunken Condos.”

+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

  • St. John's University, BS, Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry

ADVISORS TO THE BOARD

Sari Anthony

+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

  • University of Wisconsin, BA, Art History
  • NYU, MA, Early Childhood Education

Sari Anthony has more than 30 years of experience with nonprofit organizations. Her expertise includes the successful planning, implementation and management of annual and capital campaigns, major gift cultivation and solicitation, and special events. She also has experience in marketing and public relations that increase public awareness and expand an organization’s donor and friend base, and in the area of Board Development and Administration.

Most recently, Sari served as Director of Development (interim) for the National Council of Jewish Women New York Section and the Director of Development and Communications at the Kennedy Child Study Center. Sari has also worked with The American-Scandinavian Foundation where she worked to raise more than $20 million to establish a cultural center in midtown Manhattan to showcase Nordic arts and culture. A life-long Upper Westside New Yorker, she is committed to New York City’s arts community and currently volunteers at the Morgan Library and Museum and the New York Public Library. She is the proud mother of two adult children and three fabulous grandsons.

 

Samuel Caraballo

Samuel Caraballo is, in no particular order, an actor, dancer, director, choreographer, theatre educator, and mask-maker--with a special emphasis in physical theatre. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he trained with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, and Deaf West. As a freelance artist, he has conducted many school artist-in-residency programs, summer camps, and workshops for both adults and children. His artistic and educational partners include New York Deaf Theatre, Theatre Access Project/Theatre Development Fund, and Sign of the Times Theatre Company.

+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

  • New Foundling Hospital Center for Part and Child Development, Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Training Program
  • Dell'Arte International School of Phyical Theater
  • Hunter College, Understanding Mental Illness
  • Helen Keller National Center, Professional Training in Deaf-Blind Awareness

  Emily Corona,  Press / Grants

Emily Corona, Press / Grants

Emily Mathis Corona is a master's candidate in Performing Arts Administration at New York University. She holds degrees in English and music (ethno/musicology and voice) from the University of Texas at Austin, and was a 2014 Writing Fellow with the Dallas Observer, a Village Voice Media Group publication, where she focused her coverage on immigration and education. She has covered culture and politics for the Village Voice, the Texas Observer, and KUT News (an NPR affiliate), among others. Emily worked in the higher education editorial division of Oxford University Press on the economics, business, and finance list before moving to her current position at NYU as the Program Manager for the Moore-Sloan Data Science Environment initiative in the Center for Data Science. Emily maintains a vibrant artistic and creative life, performing in plays, musicals, and choruses around the New York City region.

+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

  • UT-Austin, BA, English
  • UT-Austin, BA, Music
  • NYU, MA, Performing Arts Administration (in progress)