Teaching Artists


Julia Ferra – Teaching Artist

Julia Ferra trained at the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, under Natasha Zieger and Mariaelena Ruiz, performing classical roles including Giselle and Chopiniana as a participant in the Youth America Grand Prix. Julia has attended summer training programs at the Joffrey Ballet School, Miami City Ballet, The Bolshoi Ballet, Ballet Austin, and RIOULT Dance NY on scholarship. Julia graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in 2016, honored with the Golden Key in BFA Dance: Ballet Concentration. Her performance experience includes original works by Anthony Ferro, Elena Comendador, David Flores, and Jae Man Joo. She currently teaches for BAE’s Young Dancer’s Division, is a guest Teaching Artist for RIOULT Dance NY’s DanceREACH arts education program, and is the rehearsal assistant for Jae Man Joo (setting work on the Ailey/Fordham BFA program to premiere in the Fall 2016).

Anastasia Mercedes – Teaching Artist


Ms. Mercedes, a New York native, graduated with a B.F.A. in Ballet and Dance Pedagogy from The Hartt School Dance Division, and has performed works choreographed by Stephen Pier, Pascal Rioult, Charlotte Griffin, Jose Limon, Martha Graham, George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, and August Bournonville. She has appeared in Hartford Stage’s productions of The Crucible and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and was a featured dancer in The King and I. Ms. Mercedes is currently a dancer with Chris Ferris & Dancers Six Degrees Dance and works with children at The Joffrey Ballet School, Ballet Tech, and Ballet Academy East. She has been a teaching artist for RIOULT Dance NY’s DanceREACH program since 2014.

Michael Spencer Phillips – Teaching Artist


Mr. Phillips is a graduate of the University of Michigan (BFA, Dance) where he was also a member of the Peter Sparling Dance Company. He attended the Merce Cunningham School on scholarship and performed in the Cunningham Repertory Group. Other performance credits: New York City Opera, Battleworks Dance Company, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Risa Jaraslow and Dancers, and an apprenticeship with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Mr. Phillips is a teaching artist with RIOULT’s DanceREACH program and has had the privilege to restage Mr. Rioult’s work. He joined RIOULT Dance NY as a dancer in 2002, is co-founder of RIOULT Circle, and began teaching for DanceREACH in 2007.

Charis Haines – Teaching Artist


Ms. Haines is originally from Carpinteria, CA. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BFA in Dance, receiving the Alice Condodina Performance Award upon graduation. In NYC, Ms. Haines has performed with Wendy Osserman, Silver-Brown Dance, Jessica Gaynor Dance, Katherine Howard, Sue Hogan, and Lux Dance. A teacher for RIOULT’s DanceREACH program, she is also a certified Pilates instructor. Ms. Haines was first introduced to RIOULT while working at The Joyce Theater as the Assistant House Manager. She joined RIOULT Dance NY as a dancer in 2007, and began teaching for DanceREACH in 2010.

Danielle Marie Fusco - Teaching Artist


A professional dancer, choreographer, and Teaching Artist, Ms. Fusco is currently a principle dancer, soloist, and dance captain for the Rachel Klein Dance Theatre and dances for The Edgar Cortes Dance Theatre. She has performed for the Martha Graham Dance Company and Graham II; has worked with Jaclyn Buglisi Dance Theatre, Noemi LeFrance, NejlaYatkin, Kelley Donovan and Dancers, Whitney Hunter Performance Group, Chi Chi Valenti, Daniel Mendoza, Abdiel Cedric Jacobsen, among many others; and  has toured internationally. Ms. Fusco has a BA in Dance and Dance Education from Marymount Manhattan College and Teaching Certification from the Martha Graham School. Ms. Fusco has worked as a RIOULT Dance NY Teaching Artist since 2012.



Anna Gichan - Teaching Artist


Anna Gichan is a Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts graduate with a B.F.A in Dance. She also spent a year studying Dance at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in Israel. In 2017 Anna completed her 200 HR RYT Vinyasa Yoga certificate from OM Factory NYC. She is a Deaf Artist.  






Anastasia Soroczynski – Administrative Director of Youth Programs


A New Jersey native, graduated with a BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase in 2002, where she worked with choreographers Donald Byrd, Kevin Wynn, Kazuko Hirabayashi, Ayako Kurakako, Michael Blake, Astrid Von Ussar, and Tracie Stanfield. She danced for RIOULT Dance NY for 12 years and currently co-directs and teaches for RIOULT Dance NY’s DanceREACH program and youth classes. Ms. Soroczynski has restaged Pascal Rioult’s repertory in Rhode Island, Bermuda, and France, taught in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, and France, and is a summer intensive faculty member at Point Park College. In addition to her responsibilities at RIOULT, Ms. Sorozcynski is a manager and production coordinator/backstage advisor at BAE.


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RIOULT Dance NY supports the creation and performance of the choreographic works of Pascal Rioult, and provides the community with an accessible and affordable center for dance and enrichment through the arts.