Alumni Connection

Xander Weinman

C.A.T.S Performance Company & Tap CATS of Center Stage -Xander is a dancer for the legendary Brenda Bufalino’s “new” American Tap Dance Orchestra and has danced in her shows, “Primordial Memories” and “Sound Check,” and in Tony Waag’s “Tap City”. He was dance captain for Emmy award winning choreographer Jason Samuels Smith’s ensemble for “Take it To the Stage,” and has danced for “Cirque Du Soleil” choreographer, Jared Grimes, in his show “Broadway Underground” at the B.B. King Blues Club. Xander has worked with choreographers Michelle Dorrance, Derick K. Grant, Chloe Arnold and Lynn Schwab and has performed in Ayodele Casel’s “Tappy Holidays.” He dances with Germaine Salsberg’s “Les Femmes Plus” and is dance captain of Shelby Kaufman’s “Mazel Toes.” Xander has performed at Lincoln Center, Joseph Papp’s Public Theater (Joe’s Pub), Symphony Space and The Apollo Theater; he was a guest tap dancer on “Sesame Street” and “Today in New York.” Currently, Xander directs his own tap company in New York City, Sophisticated Sounds, and is a frequent guest teacher at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway; he has had the privilege of sharing the stage with three of his greatest inspirations, Brenda Bufalino, Barbara Duffy and George Warren.

Brittany Young

After graduating the C.A.T.S performance Company, Brittany received her Dance BFA in at the University of Arizona in 2010. Brittany has been fortunate enough to perform at Dance New Amsterdam, The American Dance Festival, and The Art-if-Act Dance Project in Tucson and will be rejoining the company in December as they prepare for a month long tour around Asia this May. Brittany was honored to perform the role of “Anita” in The West Side Story Suite at the American Dance Festival. This fall will be her first season dancing and assisting directing with CONDER/ dance in Phoenix; and will be dancing for MarioCoDahlhaus Dance in their premiere performance this October in Tucson. Brittany is so thrilled to be living and breathing her dreams… People can only push you so far but it’s what YOU DO YOURSELF that makes the difference!

Lisa Tharps

C.A.T.S. Performance Company, Center Stage. Lisa graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts, then went on to make her Broadway debut with the role of Tanya in ”King Hedley II”; “Romeo & Juliet” and the musical “The Women of Brewster Place”. Lisa was also in the National Tour of “Vagina Monologues”, “Wit”. Her theatre credits include “Othello” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “School House Rocks”, “Madea” where she played the lead and was nominated for Best Leading Actress. Lisa’s television career is quite extensive and includes: “Cold Case”, “Saving Grace”,11th Hour”, Law and Order”, “Sex and the City”, “ER”, “Criminal Minds” and “Third Watch” among others. Her Film credits include: “Something for Nothing”, “I am through With White Girls”, “Marci X” and “Space Scraper”.

Beth Tarnow

Beth is a proud 2005 graduate of the C.A.T.S Performance Company of Center Stage. She received her BFA in music theatre from Shenandoah Conservatory in 2009. Beth went on to perform in the National Tour of “The Wizard of Oz” where she was in the ensemble as well as the understudy for Glinda. Currently Beth is performing the role of Shelly (as well as the understudy for Tracy) in “Hairspray” at the Papermill Playhouse. Love, love, love to all the C.A.T.S and Center Stage!!!♥

Michelle Scarpa

Alumni of the C.A.T.S Performance Company of Center Stage. Michelle went on to play Diana Morales in the national tour of “A Chorus Line”, under the direction of Baayork Lee. She was also seen as Anita in “West Side Story with the Nashville Symphony. Michelle’s other credits include the national tour of “The Who’s Tommy”, “Sweet Charity” and a featured dancer as well as assistant choreographer in the world premiere of “Only a Kingdom” at the Pasadena Playhouse. She also served as assistant choreographer for the national tour of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” starring Rip Taylor. As an on screen actress she can be seen in episodes of “Sex and the City, “The Sopranos” and the independent film “The Entrepreneurs”.

Tera-Lee Pollin

C.A.T.S Performance Company of Center Stage Dance & Theatre. Tera-Lee will be performing in the upcoming “Cool Papa’s Party” Broadway workshop with Maurice Hines. Her Broadway credits include: “Hot Feet “, ensemble as well as understudy for Kalimba; “Urban Cowboy”, role of Candy Cane. Other credits include: “Spamalot” National Tour (dance captain). The Wiz (La Jolla Playhouse), “Fame” –North American Tour, “Swing”. Film: The Smurfs Movie, Old Dogs. TV: Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Saturday Night Live, Disney Fairytale Weddings, Fashion Rocks, The Battery’s Down. Tera-Lee also performed for the Festival of Music in San Remo Italy with David Parsons.

Tootsie Olan

C.A.T.S. Company, Center Stage- Tootsie graduated Cornell Univeristy with a BA in Psychology and Dance. She is a NYC choreographer who captures the electricity of contemporary funk/jazz and translates it into television, musical theatre and concert stages. Tootsie choreographed the original rock musical “The Possession of Mrs. Jones” for the LA Film Festival and was nominated for three Ovation Awards. Tootsie’s work can be seen on MTV, HBO, the WB, UPN, New York City’s Metro Channel. She has appeared on the Today’s Show, and her work has appeared on ESPN and internationally on Spain’s Telecino channel, and was an Associate Producer of several HBO documentaries. Her musical theatre credits include: LA Film Festival’s Stage to Screen, New York City Fringe Festival, and NYC Children’s Theatre. Tootsie is the creator and director of The Dance Workshop in Manhattan.

Stephanie Klemons

Center Stage CATS Performance Company Graduate- Stephanie is currently the Associate Choreographer of the new musical “Bring It On”, based on Universal’s movie, alongside of Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbeuler. Stephanie was an original cast member of “In the Heights”, as well as serving as dance captain. She was also co-choreographer for the National Tour of “In the Heights”, and member of the Drama Desk Award winning ensemble. Other credits include: “Bombay Dreams”- National Tour, “Automatic Superstar” –Off B’way, “In the Heights” – Off B’way, “Repo: the Genetic Opera” – Off B’way. Stephanie recently played the lead role in “Chachaji”, originating the role of Amma. She has appeared in numerous national TV commercials, as well as dancing with pop starts Ciara, Don Omar and others. She was also featured in the Bollywood film “Jaaneman”. Outside of her performances,Stephanie is launching a non-for profit website in November 2010 www.dididothat.org.

Alaine Kashian

An ORIGINAL C.A.T.S. Dancer, went on and graduated from Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. Her Broadway credits include; Sillabub in the Broadway show “CATS: Tywlay Tharps “These Times They Are a-Changin’”. Alaine has performed in the National B’dway Tour of “CATS” National tour of “Rent”, as well as “Jesus Christ Superstar” and the workshop for “Spring Awakening” Her TV credits include; “Cavemen”, “Skip Tracer”, “Carmen SanDiego” and Mad TV. Alaine’s Film credits include: “Zombie Prom”, “Guess Who I Saw Today”, “The Hollywood Project”. Recently Alaine sang with Wayne Brady , Sam Harris and Busy Phillips in a benefit for breast cancer at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood. You can also see Alaine in her acclaimed You Tube Video – All the Single Ladies Pregnant Red Head.

Greg “Dutch” DeSantis

In 1997 Greg began his training at Center Stage Dance and Theater School and became a member of the C.A.T.S. Performance Co. After high school, Greg attended the University of North Carolina, School of the Arts, where he was trained by ABT principal dancer Ethan Stiefel (originating the roles of Arabian, Herr Drosselmeyer, and Cavalier in his production of The Nutcracker)and received a BFA in Ballet in 2010. While enrolled at UNSCA, Greg was granted a leave of absence as he performed as “James” in Twyla Tharp’s National Tour of the Tony Award winning “Movin’ Out”. He has performed choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton, Karole Armitage, Merce Cunningham, Agnes de Mille, Jerome Robbins, and George Balanchine among others. Greg has performed as a guest with the Greensboro Ballet and Urban Ballet Theatre. He is currently in his first season with the Colorado Ballet.

Christina Chen

A proud graduate of the CATS Performance Company, Center Stage, Christina earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Dance and Psychology from Northwestern University, where she studied under Laura Wade, Jeff Hancock, and Billy Siegenfeld. Since graduating, Christina has had the privilege of working with AMEBA Acrobatic and Aerial Dance Company, Corpo Dance Company, and Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre. Christina was most recently seen on stage at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Chicago, performing with Cerqua Rivera as part of the city’s “Made in Chicago” Jazz Series. One of Christina’s most rewarding experiences is having served as the Choreographer for Mac ‘n Cheese Productions’ “Dance Experiment”. She is currently heading up “Dance Experiment 2”. She has performed in the Show “Duets for My Valentine”. Christina is also humbled to have worked with and performed works by Michelle Manzanales (the rehearsal director for Ballet Hispánico). Christina is also a certified and licensed massage therapist and encourages you to be good to yourself! Go in Beauty!

Cheryl Carson

Cheryl graduated C.A.T.S Performance Company of Center Stage Dance & Theatre in 1994, she received her BFA in Dance Education from the University of the ARTS in 1999. She was the company member of Winged Woman Dance Company from 1998-2004. She has presented her own choreography at the CLUE Performance Series, The Kimmel Center, Koresh Artist Showcases and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. She established the Koresh Children’s Studio (Best of Philly – 2007), the Koresh Kids Dance Outreach Program, as well as the Koresh Artist Showcases. In 2008, she became the Director of External Relations at Group Motion Dance Company. Cheryl moved on to The Rock School for Dance Education as the Program Manager. Currently, she is the Director of Development at the Painted Bride Arts Center, a presenting organization now in its 41st season. BESIDES dancing, Cheryl has worked in film and Television. In 2001, she made her television debut on Forensic Files for Court TV. She maintains a working relationship with her favorite indie film company, Super-Nerve Entertainment. She has starred in numerous feature films such as Misdirected and Victim’s Song, which won Best Feature Film in the Big Bang Film Festival in 2009.