Melissa van Wijk

+ 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

The Born Dancing Board of Directors are all volunteers who donate their time, expertise, and efforts to steer the organization and advance its mission and programs. Board Members participate in a ‘Give or Get,’ which covers all of Born Dancing’s core operational costs (administration, accounting, office supplies, insurance, website, marketing, etc). They are a pretty awesome bunch of people, and you should get to know them!


Teresa Castro  Secretary

Teresa Castro
Secretary

Teresa Castro was born in Kansas and lived there through her college years until the desire for adventure and cultural opportunities brought her to New York City. She received a Master’s degree from Columbia University and currently works in the field of human resources. She currently works at CallisonRTKL as a Human Resources Business Partner. Some of her past experience includes sitting on The New York Women’s Foundation Grants Advisory Committee, Catholic Charities Junior Board and Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish Finance Committee. Teresa’s love of the arts stems from her musical theater background, which includes performing as a company member at Music Theatre of Wichita. When she is not playing the piano, tap dancing or singing, Teresa can be found playing on a softball league in Central Park each summer.

+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

  • WSU, BFA, Musical Theatre
  • WSU, BA, Spanish
  • Columbia University, MS, Nonprofit Management
  • SHRM-CP
  • SHRBP-Strategic Human Resources Business Partner Certified
 
Emily Corona  Board Member  /  Development

Emily Corona
Board Member / Development

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)
 
Carey Cox  Board Member / Inclusion & Outreach

Carey Cox
Board Member / Inclusion & Outreach

Carey Cox is a disabled actor, writer, and artist. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Carey received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Santa Fe University of Art and Design and an MFA in Acting from UNC Chapel Hill. During her time at UNC, she was a member of the acting company at PlayMakers Repertory Company and taught acting to undergraduate students. After moving to NYC, Carey made her Broadway debut as Laura's understudy in Sam Gold's production of The Glass Menagerie starring Sally Field. She has been featured in At This Performance--a musical cabaret for Broadway understudies--and has performed stand-up comedy in NYC and North Carolina. Carey's playwrighting has been read and produced at Queens Theatre, UNC Chapel Hill, and Santa Fe University. She participated in Queens Theatre's inaugural "Theatre for All" training program for actors with disabilities. In addition to her acting training, she has trained in dance, visual art, improv comedy, and singing.

Along with acting and writing, Carey works as a Kid Expert with Curated Care and enjoys volunteering with DreamStreet Theatre Company from time to time. She is passsionate about diversity and inclusion and aspires to be a disability activist and to advocate for people with disabilities in the arts and media.

+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

  • Santa Fe University of Art and Design, BFA, Musical Theatre
  • UNC-Chapel Hill, MFA, Acting
 

Jessica Gallagher
Acting President / Marketing

Jessica Gallagher is a Customer Success Manager at VisitDays, where she manages collegiate partnerships. 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
Board Member / 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
Board Member

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
 
Board Member

Board Member

Tracie Robinson is an attorney with nearly a decade of experience in federal, state, and local government relations. She has successfully advocated on behalf of nonprofit and for-profit organizations regarding a wide range of public policy issues, including education, technology, and nonprofit governance. She has lived in New York for nearly 10 years.

In her free time, Tracie can be found in the studio with her dance shoes on. She has been dancing for more than 20 years, most recently performing with a New York City-based salsa dance company. She is excited to serve on the board of an organization that makes dance accessible to everyone.

+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

  • Boston University, BA, International Relations
  • George Washington University Law School, JD, Law
  • Admitted to the New York State Bar
 

Sandra Wong
Treasurer / Donor Relations

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

ADVISORS TO THE BOARD

Sari Anthony

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.

+ EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS

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

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