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Jovonna Parks

JOVONNA PARKS is a Philadelphia native where she began her intense formal dance training in ballet, Horton and Graham techniques. She attended the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program under the direction of
Ana Marie Forsythe and graduated in 2012 with her BFA in dance. While in college she was a member of Ballet Hispanico's BHdos under Nicholas Villenueve. Upon graduation she was invited to perform with John-Mark Owens Presents... in Requiem. She has had the pleasure of working with and performing works by Mary Anthony, Camille A. Brown, Ronald K. Brown, Donald Mckayle, Hofesh Shector, Robert Battle, Jill Echo and many others. JoVonna has also had the extreme pleasure of working with Ty Jones and The Classical Theatre of Harlem in their productions of MacBeth (Soldier/Ensemble) and The Three Musketeers (Kitty/Ensemble). She also previously worked with Ballet Inc before joining EMD. Alongside dancing with EMD, JoVonna also enjoys teaching ballet and modern techniques in the New Jersey and greater New York area. Past studios include, CenterStage (East Brunswick), Brighton Ballet Theatre: School of Russian American Ballet, Essential Elements, and DreamMakers Performing Arts. She currently teaches at the Academy of Dance Arts in NJ and she also has the opportunity to be on faculty with the Police Athletic League of NYC! Jovonna is excited to start her fourth season with the company!


Thomas Varvaro

THOMAS VARVARO (dancer) began his formal dance training with The Ailey School as a Junior Division student at age 11. He is a graduate of Fiorell H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Ars. Upon graduation Mr. Varvaro was awarded the Jacques d'AmboiseBallet scholarship. In addition, he has studied at The School of American Ballet, and The Joffrey Ballet School. In 2010, Mr. Varvaro attended The School at Jacob's Pillow's contemporary program. He was a member of Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theatre during the fall 2010 season and graduated from the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program with dance honors in May of 2012. Mr. Varvaro was a member of Ailey 2 from 2011-2013. During Mr. Varvaro's time in Ailey 2 he had the opportunity to perform on So You Think You Can Dance Poland and Dancing With The Stars Bulgaria. Mr. Varvaro will be appearing as a dancer in an independent film entitled Life of An Actress to be released this fall.


Brynlie Helmich

Brynlie Helmich grew up and began dancing in Phoenix, Arizona. Upon finding a love for both commercial and concert dance, she pursued training in Los Angeles in an effort to further diversify her training. With training from the New York City Dance Alliance that consisted of time with choreographers such as Joe Lanteri and Suzi Taylor, Brynlie was awarded a scholarship to the Summer Study: Contemporary Intensive at Steps on Broadway. Her time dancing in the city through the program has lead her to Elisa Monte Dance. Before turning 18, amongst Phoenix and Los Angeles, she trained and performed in cities such as San Diego (TwitchCon), Anaheim, Dallas, Portland, Kansas City, and more. Under the direction of Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Brynlie has performed in New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., Lake Placid, and at venues such as the National Gallery of Art, The Flea Theater, and New York Fashion Week with designer Paola Hernandez. As a dancer and singer in The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Antigone last summer, Brynlie pursues her second production with the company in The Bacchae.


Daniela Funicello

DANIELA FUNICELLO (EMD Company Member) is originally from Laurel Springs, New Jersey where she began her dance training with Debra DiNote. She then furthered her education and training at The Southern New Jersey Academy of the Performing Arts at GCIT. In 2016 Daniela graduated with a BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College. During her time in the program she had the opportunity to be a member of the Dance Company and perform the works of Paul Taylor, Aszure Barton, Pedro Ruiz, Emery LeCrone, Alexandra Damiani, and Adam Baruch. In 2016 Daniela joined Elisa Monte Dance as an apprentice. She has performed at numerous venues including the Apollo Theater, Joe’s Pub, New York City Center, Baby’s Alright with singer Janelle Kroll, The National Gallery of Art in D.C., and The Red Bull Arena. Most recently Daniela premiered “Spirit Celestial” a solo work choreographed by Tiffany Rea Fischer. She has also performed with the Classical Theater of Harlem in “Antigone” (Ensemble/Singing Chorus) and “A Christmas Carol in Harlem” (Ensemble/Mrs.Fezz). Daniela is currently on faculty with the Police Athletic League of NY and The Lake Placid School of Dance. This is Daniela’s second season with EMD as a company member!


Ashelyn Larosa

Ashley LaRosa is a Bay Area native from Albany, CA where she began dancing at the age of four. After she discovered her passion for dance, she began training at City Ballet School of San Francisco under the direction of Galina Alexandrova, which opened up a world of possibilities. Ashley graduated from high school in 2012 and continued her academic and artistic career at the University of California, Irvine receiving a BFA in Dance Performance in 2015. At UCI, she was given amazing opportunities, such as choreographing and producing a 30-minute dance thesis concert and performing works by Donald McKayle, Molly Lynch, Tong Wang, Idan Cohen and many others. UCI also gave Ashley the opportunity to train and receive a certification in Pilates from Diane Diefenderfer. In addition, Ashley trained with San Francisco Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Ashley moved to New York City in 2016 to accept an apprenticeship with Elisa Monte Dance under the direction of Tiffany Rea-Fisher. She could not be more thankful for the path she has led thus far and can not wait to see what else will come!

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Sai Rodboon

Sai (Napat) Rodboon is originally from Bangkok, Thailand. She began her dance training at Aree School of Dance Arts and has a BA, major in Dramatic Arts from Chulalongkorn University. She recently graduated from the scholarship program at The Ailey School. Sai has performed works by Matthew Powell, Danielle Polanco, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Patrice Leroy, including Alvin Ailey’s “Memoria” with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2017. She recently performed with Classical Theater of Harlem’s revival of Antigone. Sai is now a company member of Elisa Monte Dance and is starting her first year with the company.

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Tracy Dunbar

Tracy Dunbar, originally from New Jersey, graduated, magna cum laude, from Montclair State University with a BFA in Dance Performance. Since graduating he has had the opportunity to dance with Bare Dance Company, Nimbus DanceWorks, The Von Howard Project, & NOW Dance Project to name a few. Tracy is so excited to be in his first season with Elisa Monte Dance Company, which he joined in the summer of 2018.