Former students of Vicky Simegiatos Dance Company have gone on to perform with some of the city's finest dance companies—a trait they have in common with the company's founder and namesake. Discovered by the directors of American Ballet Theatre during a trip to Greece, Simegiatos traveled to the United States to join the company, eventually leaving the professional ballet world behind to raise a family in Brooklyn. But the dancing bug never really left her. In the early '70s she founded what is today named the Vicky Simegiatos Performance Arts Center to teach young twirlers throughout the neighborhood Balachine-technique ballet, Greek dancing, and how to crack walnuts with their toe muscles.
Dubbed “the punk ballerina” for her audacity, ambition, and pure raw talent, Karole Armitage exploded onto the dance scene in 1981 with her groundbreaking work Drastic-Classicism. Since then, the artist has held numerous directorial positions at companies around the world and created genre-bending works inspired by such topics as theoretical physics, 16th-century Florence, and dance. Specializing in an aesthetic as precise as it seems improvised, Armitage and her daring company strive to challenge the preconceived notions of both audiences and the dance establishment.
As a dancer, Gelsey Kirkland was legendary. Not only did she jeté her way into the roles of principal dancer for the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, she inspired major choreographers such as George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins to create new works especially for her. As a teacher, Gelsey Kirkland is equally great. From coaching at the American Ballet Theatre, Royal Ballet School, and English National Ballet, she opened her own academy, where she works with a dedicated staff to revive the art of dramatic storytelling in ballet.
Valerie Mae Browne believes that ballet should be for everyone—and that the concepts of "high" and "low" art are antiquated ones. As the founder and artistic director of Pink Pig Ballet, her primary goal is to foster a love of dance in children from a young age. After that, everything just sort of falls into place: the instructors who share her vision, the students who enroll, and the jigsaw pieces that magically assemble themselves on the floor of the studio each night.
An artist, Distinguished Concerts International New York's website shares, is "an individual who continually seeks to improve, to grow, and aspires to perform at a higher level." The people behind this definition are DCINY co-founders Iris Derke and Jonathan Griffith, and it's a definition their musicians fulfill. To do so, they collaborate and express themselves while both performing famed Mozart compositions and leading educational events.
Owner and tour guide Tim Dolan has spent his entire adult life in New York City, pursuing a career in the arts. Over the years he’s played Abraham in Altar Boyz, taught at Rosie’s Theater Kids, appeared in the second season of Boardwalk Empire, and launched Broadway Up Close Walking Tours. Today, he and a team of certified guides draw from their experience as professional actors to provide a behind-the-scenes look at Broadway.