Debbie Tiffany has been an accredited instructor in the Rochester dance community for over 45 years. Beginning her training in Rochester under the tutelage of Donna Throumoulos, she went on to receive her professional training from Brian Foley and Deborah Lundmark in Toronto, CA, Ronn Daniels in Miami, FL, and Judy Bassing in New York City, NY.† Her continued studies included many master classes at Broadway Dance Centre, Steps, Woodpeckers, David Howard Dance Centre in New York City, as well as the School for the National Ballet of Canada. Debbie has choreographed many musicals for local organizations and schools, and has juried final practical exams at SOTA by personal invite. Graduates of her school, the Deborah MacKay School of Dance, have gone on to pursue long standing professional careers with companies including Carolina Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor Dance, Santa Fe Opera, as well as contracts with the Metropolitan Opera House and the Kennedy Center. Alumni of her school have graduated from programs such as the National Ballet School, in Toronto, CA, Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, and the Boston Conservatory of Music, as well as being accepted into many elite summer intensives including The Ailey School, American Ballet Theatre, Broadway Theatre Project, Joffrey Ballet School, North Carolina School of the Arts, Nutmeg Ballet, Quinte Ballet School of Canada, the Washington National Ballet, and NYSSA at Saratoga Springs for both the ballet and modern programs.
Debbie continues to study dance through classes and dance seminars. She is a member of Dance Masters of America.†This is her††
school's 39th year in business.
Gina Ferraro began her early ballet training with Pamela Wilkens White in Rochester, NY. After finishing high school, she attended and graduated from Mercyhurst College. At Mercyhurst, Gina earned her B.A. in Dance, with a concentration in teaching and choreography. She also gained the privilege of being a substitute instructor within the college's dance department. While residing in Erie, PA, she had the opportunity to perform with the Erie Ballet Theater. She enjoyed her time performing in classical ballets and new choreographic works. Some classics performed were Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Song of Norway, Coppelia, and The Nutcracker. Gina was able to work with instructors that came from many renowned ballet companies, both ongoing and through master classes. These teachers came from companies such as, Ballet West, Boston Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, New York City Ballet, Cleveland Ballet, Ballet Met and many more. In her sophomore year, Mrs. Ferraro was chosen to be in Bolero. This was a ballet choreographed by world renowned flamenco dancer Luis Montero. Mrs. Ferraro also taught at Erie Bayfront Ballet, and helped stage classics such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Gina moved back to Rochester eight years ago and has taught locally since her return. She has choreographed/directed a full length ballet of Alice in Wonderland and has had the pleasure of being on the exam jury at School of the Arts for the last three years. She has been at the Deborah MacKay School of Dance since fall of 2002. Gina continues to take master classes when they are available and thoroughly enjoys teaching.
Megan Fess studied ballet, tap, and jazz at a local studio from the age of 5. She continued her studies at that studio through high school. Her freshman year she started demonstrating and her junior year started student teaching. Megan attended the NYSSSA program for modern after her junior year of high school and was accepted back after her senior year. From this early training, she received a scholarship to attend The Hartt School of Music through the University of Hartford in Hartford, Connecticut.
Dancing at the Hartt School, Megan studied ballet with Franco DeVita of the Cecchetti method, Elaine Werner, and Peggy Lyman who was a principal dancer for Martha Graham.
Transferring to SUNY Geneseo, Megan studied under the direction of Jonette Lancos, whose background is in the Humphrey- Weidman modern technique. Megan attended many Garth Fagan Dance Company master classes given at Geneseo. For two years Megan performed and took master classes for a week at the American College Dance Festival, where colleges from all over the Northeast came to dance and win a chance to perform at the Kennedy Center. Dance classes here ranged in everything from classical ballet to pilates to hip hop.
During her Geneseo year Megan also taught and choreographed at the town dance studio, Valley School of Dance. Megan was also a teacher's assistant for Jonette Lancos, when Ms. Lancos developed and incorporated a dance curriculum into the Wayland- Cohocton school district. The program included using dance as a way to teach mathematics, ELA, music, science, and physical education.
Since fall of 2002, Megan has been teaching for the Deborah MacKay School of Dance. This will be her 16th year here. (Can you believe it!)
I have truly loved teaching at this school and have loved being with all of your children. I'm excited that my own daughter is beginning her 8th year of classes here. So, let's start another great year!
†is from Rochester, NY, and began dancing at the age of four. She trained with the Deborah McKay School of Dance, the American Academy of Ballet, and on Scholarship at the Garth Fagan School. She joined Carolina Ballet Theater in 2004, under the artistic direction of Hernan Justo, and in 2009 became one of the company's Resident Choreographers. Francesca is now in her third season with Rochester City Ballet †after joining in 2015. She has performed as a guest artist with Olney Ballet Theatre (Olney, MD), Configurations Dance Theatre (Buffalo, NY) and continues to perform with Carolina Ballet Theater (Greenville, SC). She has also performed with and choreographed for Springfield Ballet Company (Springfield, IL). Some of her favorite roles she has performed include Odile in Swan Lake, the title role in the ballet Carmen and the Silent Solo in Alonzo King's MAP.
Carrie Herrman has been teaching at the Deborah MacKay School of Dance for the past thirteen years. As a student, Carrie attended the Deborah MacKay School of Dance for nine years and was privileged to have received the Outstanding Dancer Award in 2003.
As a student, she studied 12 hours per week taking classical ballet, pointe, tap, and jazz. She participated in the New York City Dance Alliance, Joe Tremaine and Manhattan Dance Project workshops. Carrie demonstrated for 4 years which helped prepare her to teach at the studio. As a teacher Carrie still attends classes at the Deborah MacKay School of Dance with guest teachers that have included Jody Dombrowski, Janet Wentling, Joe Cippola and Todd Shanks. She stays current by attending workshops at Brockport, 24/7, and DMA.†
Carrie graduated from Nazareth College in May 2009, with a degree in elementary education. She teaches at Spry Middle School in Webster during the day.