Debbie Tiffany

Debbie MacKay Tiffany has been an accredited instructor in the Rochester dance community for over 47 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 summers and 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, has juried final practical exams at SOTA by personal invite, and runs the after-school Musical Theater program at Klem North.

Graduates of her school have gone on to pursue long-standing professional careers with companies including Carolina Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor Dance, and Santa Fe Opera, as well as contracts with the Metropolitan Opera House and the Kennedy Center. Alumni of her school have been accepted into many elite summer intensives.

Debbie is certified to teach through the Fred Astaire Performing Arts Association and Dance Master of America. This begins her school’s 40th year in business.

Lindsey Short

Lindsey Short was a student of the Deborah MacKay School of Dance during its inaugural season and remained there for the next 13 years. She attended several workshops and training opportunities including the summer program at Point Park College. Lindsey continued her dance training at the University of Buffalo and received her Minor in Theater and Dance. Lindsey followed her passion for working with children and families and completed her training to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with children surviving childhood trauma in domestic violence households through the Society for Protection and Care of Children in Rochester NY.  Lindsey continued her interest in dance and trained as a Zumba instructor throughout this time and took several courses on movement and mental health.  Lindsey became the dance instructor and developed and implemented the DoodleDance program at the Doodlebugs facility in Webster, NY.  Lindsey's love of dance and its healing nature came full circle as she found her way back to the studio and worked with other teachers at Deborah MacKay School of Dance to create the Ready, Set, Kindergarten program and helped to develop our early childhood curriculum.

Lydia Marbach

From Age 4, Lydia Marbach grew up dancing in Kingwood, Texas, where she was able to compete in competitions and participate in Regional Dance America southwest region. Through RDA, she had the opportunity to perform in the Young! Tanzommer European tour. Then Lydia decided to get her college degree and graduated Suma Cum Laude and Outstanding Senior at the University of Arizona School of Dance. The professors at U of A provided many opportunities for growth in performance and teaching. From there, Lydia got a contract with Rochester City Ballet! She has found that Rochester has been the perfect place to cultivate her growth not only in her professional ballet career but also in life. Since moving to Rochester, she has achieved certifications in Yoga, exercise fitness, and Pilates. All while honing in on teaching dance. She hopes to continue to bring her accolades to life by teaching young dancers and passing on what she has experienced in her lifetime.

Carrie Herrmann

As a student, Carrie Herrmann attended the Deborah MacKay School of Dance and was privileged to receive the Outstanding Dancer Award in 2003. She trained in classical ballet, pointe, tap, and jazz. After high school, Carrie decided to pursue teaching in all aspects of her life. She earned her degrees in psychology, inclusive education, special education, and literacy from Nazareth College. During college, Carrie started teaching at the Deborah MacKay School of Dance in the fall of 2005. Over the last 18 years, Carrie has loved teaching students of all ages at the studio and continues to take classes locally and online.

Claudia Swinson

Claudia Swinson has been teaching at Deborah Mackay School of Dance since 2021 and is also an alumni of the studio. She came to the studio as a student at the age of 8 and graduated in 2017. During her time at DMSOD, she received a term scholarship and was a recipient of the Outstanding Dancer Award in 2015.

After graduation, she attended the University of Dayton and graduated in May of 2021 with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. During her time at UD, she participated in a student-run dance organization called Life Itself Dance. LID gave her the opportunity to perform during semester recitals, teach classes, and lead as President of the organization.

After college, she wanted to continue her love of dance and decided to return to DMSOD and teach current students. She loves sharing her love and passion for dance each year and is excited to see what the future holds.

Gina Ferraro

Gina Ferraro began her early ballet training here in Rochester, NY. After finishing high school she attended and graduated from Mercyhurst University. At Mercyhurst, Gina earned her B.A. in Dance, with a concentration in teaching and choreography. She also earned the privilege of being a substitute instructor in the college’s dance department. While residing in Erie, PA, she had the opportunity to perform with Erie Ballet Theater. She enjoyed her time performing in classical ballets, new choreographic works, and the chance to work with instructors from many renowned ballet companies, among them were, Ballet West, Boston Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, New York City Ballet, Cleveland Ballet, Ballet Met, and more. Gina began her teaching career at Erie Bayfront Ballet, where she helped stage classics such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Shortly after moving back to Rochester, she began teaching at Deborah MacKay School of Dance and has continued there for over 20 years. Gina enjoys working with students of all levels and looks forward to many more years working with young dancers.

Nicole Lanzafame

Nicole Lanzafame has been teaching at Deborah MacKay School of Dance since 2015 and is an alumni of the school. She began dancing at Deborah MacKay SOD at the age of five and continued there until she graduated from the school in 2014. Following graduation, Nicole went on to Nazareth College, where she pursued a degree in Physical Therapy, and continued her education and love of dance through various master classes, participation in ACDA, and performances in Spring Dance Concerts.

Nicole graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2020 and enjoys working with dancers following injuries, on injury prevention, and in targeted strengthening to improve dance technique, both as a teacher and through her profession.

Bios coming Soon!


Guest Teachers

Francesca Genovese

Francesca Genovese 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), and 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.