Laura Foti, Owner/Artistic Director
Mrs. Foti received her early training under the director of Sylvia Clay of Clay School of Dance. Throughout her later training she was also taught by Laurie Clay (Boston Ballet), C. Larry Robertson (University of NH), and Michelle Tolson (Radio City Rockettes). She trained as an assistant dance instructor for seven years, eventually teaching locally at area studios. Hired by New Hampshire Academie of Dance in 2000, she became the principle instructor in 2001. She has participated in hundreds of master classes with such greats as Edward Vilella, Al Gilbert, Frank Hatchett, Leslie Browne, Janice Barringer, Joe Lanteri, Bob Rizzo, Pete Rose, David Howard, Debbi Dee, and many more. Mrs. Foti danced competitively in the Miss America program, earning enough money to fund almost her entire college education. She danced her way to the titles of Miss Manchester, Miss Nashua, Miss Merrimack, and Miss Greater Derry and was a finalist for the title of Miss New Hampshire. With twenty years of dance teaching experience, Mrs. Foti also holds business and computer degrees. She has been a member of the National Dance Education Organization, Professional Dance Teacher's Association and the International Dance Entrepreneurs Association .
Miss Laura believes that dancing schools teach much more than steps, and is most proud of the life lessons she sees being learned daily within the studio. While she is well known for her technical knowledge and methodical teaching, she is equally as well known for the fun classes she creates for our youngest dancers. You can find her working with all levels of dancers, from our "babies" to our seniors. She brings a love and enthusiasm for dance together with technical dance expertise that create an unequalled experience for her students.
Leo Donahue, Assistant Director
Mr Donahue has teaching for over 25 Years in jazz, tap, contemporary,yrical and hip hop. He has had the opportunity to study with many master Teachers like Savion Glover, Bob Rizzo, Frank Hatchett and Matt Mattox and has served as an Adjudicator and Director for the past 15 years for Regional and National Competitions.
His students have won many overall awards and have gone on to perform in Off Broadway Shows, on Cruise Lines, at Disney and with Modern Companies throughout the United States. Many of his students have received Scholarships to dance programs like Julliard, Walnut Hill, Boston Ballet and Alvin Ailey. Leo is very proud of his students and due to their understanding of his Choreography has enabled him to receivemany Choreography Awards.
Leo enjoys teaching Master classes and Choreography throughout the United States. In 2004, Leo had the honor of being the Choreographer for 96 dancers at a National level Finals. He believes that all
children who love to dance should have the opportunity to perform, compete or express themselves on stage. He also believes that through the art of dance, children gain a multitude of life skills which they carry throughout their lives.
Amanda s started dancing at the age of five and has been doing what she loves ever since. She is a New Hampshire Academie of Dance alumna spending eight years in the Dance Company training with Laura Foti and Leo Donahue and competing around New England. Amanda spent several years under the direction of Laura assisting in her classes and working with the younger students. Over the years Amanda has attended numerous workshops and conventions to expand her knowledge in both choreography and technique. Amanda just finished her Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education with a certification in Special Education. She is continuing on to obtain her Masters in Curriculum Instruction and Educational Leadership.
Allyson Yennaco is a choreographer and dance educator with more than 18 years of teaching experience in all major forms of dance. Dancing since age three, she began assisting classes at 12 and teaching at 16. After graduating high school, she moved to NYC to train with industry professionals at the Broadway Dance Center and studied the Zena Rommett Floor Barre Technique for corrective body alignment and injury prevention at Broadway Dance Center and at STEPS on Broadway. Allyson is most influenced by her modern training under artists from the former Dance Space Center in SoHo (currently known as Dance New Amsterdam) where she also studied anatomy and kinesthetic body awareness.
Allyson successfully owned and operated Artistic Ballet and Creative Dance in Hampstead, NH for 8 years before marrying her husband and raising their two daughters. She is currently on staff at Phantom Gymnastics in Hampstead, NH where she coaches dance and choreographs competitive floor routines for NH State Champion gymnasts training in USAG Junior Olympic Program. Allyson is a graduate of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston Dance Education Training Course, a member of American Alliance and New Hampshire Alliance for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD and NHAHPERD), and the National Dance Association (NDA). She was certified in Leap 'N Learn in 2012. Allyson continues her own dance training by attending classes in NY and Boston, as well as dance conventions and professional educator seminars across the Northeast. Her creative ideas and choreographic style have earned numerous gold medals, overall high score awards, and special judges awards.
Holly grew up in Hooksett, NH where she started her dance career at the age of 3. She has had many opportunities to train with teachers and choreographers around the nation. Holly has a very strong background in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and modern and extensive knowledge and exposure to the world of competitive dance. Holly also participated in young choreographer and won high scores for her choreography in high school. Holly graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a double concentration in Ballet and Jazz. While at Point Park, Holly had the privilege to study with many amazing teachers and choreographers and performed in “Under-wear” by Pearlann Porter, “The Bench” by Kiesha Lalama-White, and “Faculty Show” by Ron Tassone. Holly is now judging both regional and national dance competitions, and loves seeing the different style and talent around the United States. Holly has an extensive amount of teaching experience and looks forward to inspiring and encouraging each of her students to find the love of dance the way she has.
Cheryl Donahue, Office Manager
Cheryl has been on both sides of the dance studio world for more than 30 years. She was a dance mom to two of her three daughters and learned the tricks and tips that she is famous for here at NHAD. Her husband is a former dance studio owner, and Cheryl became familiar with the office side of the business. A former Union Insurance representative, Cheryl's organizational skills are second to none. She is also an accomplished seamstress and is always helpful to everyone in our dance family providing services, instruction and advice. She is a born leader and is always at the ready to lend a hand.