The company


CHANEY BRIGGS is originally from Sacramento, California where she began her performance career in musical theatre. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan in 2016 where she received a BFA in Dance with a modern concentration. Ms. Briggs has performed works by Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, Bill T. Jones, Doug Varone, Anthony Morigerato, Catherine Cabeen, and Elena Comendador. Ms. Briggs joined RIOULT Dance NY in 2016.




CHRISTOPHER BURSLEY is a recent graduate of the Marymount Manhattan College Dance Department. He trained at the Martha Graham School where he completed the Accelerated Professional Program and was also a member of Graham II. He has worked on projects with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Merce Cunningham Trust, Buglisi Dance Theater, and Alison Cook Beatty Dance. Mr. Bursley joined RIOULT Dance NY in 2018. 



CATHERINE ALEXANDER is originally from Fairfax, VIrginia. She received her BFA in dance from Marymount Manhattan College under the direction of Latie Langan where she performed works by Loni Landon, Maxine Steinman and others. Ms. Alexander is a certified yoga instructor. Alexander joined Rioult in 2013.  



ALEXANDER DRUZBANSKI is from Atlanta, GA and trained at the Georgia Ballet under Janusz Mason and Gigi Hyatt. In 2011 he moved to Pittsburgh, PA to train with the Pittsburgh Ballet where he performed pieces by John Neumeier and George Balanchine. Mr. Druzbanski graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University, where he performed works by Martha Graham, Bill T. Jones, Jose Limon, Antony Tudor, and Joost Vrouenraets. He joined RIOULT Dance NY in 2017.


CHARIS HAINES is originally from Carpinteria, CA. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BFA in Dance, where she received 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. She is a teaching artist wtih RIOULT’s DanceREACH program and is also a certified Pilates instructor. Ms. Haines was first introduced to the company while working at The Joyce Theater as the Assistant House Manager. She joined RIOULT Dance NY in 2007.


JERE HUNT is a native of Huntsville, AL, holds a BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College. While there, he performed works by David Parsons, Christopher d’Amboise, Martha Graham, Molissa Fenley, Edgar Zendejas, and others. Mr. Hunt was an apprentice with the Alabama Ballet under the direction of Wes Chapman. In NYC, he has worked with Veracity Dance Theatre, SYREN Modern Dance, and DeMa Dance. He also had the privilege of staging Pascal Rioult’s Bolero at Adelphi University. Mr. Hunt joined RIOULT Dance NY in 2010.


CORINNA LEE NICHOLSON is originally from Houston, TX. She graduated summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University, receiving her BFA in Dance Performance with an award for Outstanding Achievement. While at SMU, Ms. Nicholson performed the works of Martha Graham, Maurice Béjart, Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor, Robert Battle, and Pascal Rioult’s Wien. Since moving to NYC, Ms. Nicholson has worked with Amy Marshall Dance Company, Mazzini Dance Collective, and Taylor 2. Ms. Nicholson joined RIOULT Dance NY in 2015.


MICHAEL SPENCER 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 of restaging Mr. Rioult’s work. He joined RIOULT Dance NY in 2002 and is co-founder of RIOULT Circle.


SARA E. SEGER, originally from New Jersey, attended high school at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she performed works by Mark Morris, José Limón, Larry Keigwin, Diane Markham, and others. She then attended the Fellowship Program at The Ailey School and performed Memoria with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater during their New York City Center Season. Other credits: Lincoln Center Institute, Cool NY Dance Festival, Triskelion Arts, Jennifer Muller/The Works Hatch Series, and American Dance Festival. Ms. Seger joined RIOULT Dance NY in 2011.


SABATINO A. VERLEZZA grew up in Shaker Heights, OH. He received a BFA in Dance from Kent State University, where he graduated summa cum laude with honors from the National Honors Society for Dance Arts. While at Kent State, he also sat on the Board of the National Dance Education Organization. He began his dance education at the Cleveland San Jose Ballet/Cleveland School of Dance and continued his training with Nancy Lushington and his parents Barbara and Sabatino Verlezza. He has performed multiple works by May O’Donnell and is a certified teacher of the O’Donnell technique. Mr. Verlezza joined RIOULT Dance NY in 2012.


KATHARINE RYGIEL, originally from Largo, FL, attended the Miami City Ballet School where she performed works by George Balanchine, Marius Petipa, and August Bournonville. In May of 2017, she graduated magna cum laude from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Dance Performance, Outstanding Achievement, and a BA in English. At SMU Ms. Rygiel danced works of Martha Graham, Adam Hougland, Joshua L. Peugh, and others. She performed in the Dallas Dance Festival and the NEXT@Graham festival in NYC. Ms. Rygiel joined RIOULT Dance NY in 2017.



CHARLES SCHELAND attended the Ailey/Fordham BFA in Dance program and is an alumnus of Jacob’s Pillow’s Contemporary Program. He has danced with Michael Mao Dance, Awaken Dance Theater, Choreographer’s Collaboration Project, Clifton Brown Dance, and Vertical Shadows Dance Company. He also has been a guest artist with Princeton Dance Theater and New England Dance Theater. He has performed works by Alvin Ailey, Elana Anderson, Robert Battle, Amy Hall Garner, Jae Man Joo, Bill T. Jones, Jessica Lang, Milton Myers, Paul Taylor, among others.



LILI TEWES is originally from Hamburg, Germany and recently graduated from the Martha Graham School under the artistic direction of Janet Eilber, where she danced principal roles in several of Graham's ballets, including "Woman in White" in Diversion of Angels and "Pioneer Woman" in Appalachian Spring.

She has performed works by Merce Cunningham, Virginie Mécène, Henning Rübsam and collaborated on projects with Alastair Macaulay and the Buglisi Dance Theater.

She is a teaching artist with RIOULT's DanceREACH program.

Lili joined RIOULT Dance NY  in September 2019.

RIOULT Dance Center

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34-01 Steinway Street, Astoria, NY 11101  |   Entrance on 34th Avenue  |   (212) 398-5903

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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.