Emily Bartnicki graduated summa cum laude in 2020 from Roger Williams University with degrees in Dance/Performance Studies and Political Science. There, she trained with numerous artists including Cathy Nicoli, Michael Bolger, Kathy Smith, Gary Shore, Christina Robson, Netta Yerushalmy, Sean Curran, Jenny Rocha, Tiffany Mills, and Shawn Ahern. She has performed at the American College Dance Association conference, NYU Tisch School for the Performing Arts, Salem Arts Festival, Brooklyn Dance Festival, and more. Emily also spent Fall 2018 in London studying under Stephen Pelton, Tory Trotter, and Renaud Wiser. Currently, she is a company dancer with Project31, teaches at several studios in the New England area, while also working in software licensing and contract law at a software company
Marisa began studying dance at Joanne Langione Dance Studios and continued on to complete her B.A. in Dance at Connecticut College. During her studies she performed in works by David Dorfman, Lisa Race, Shani Collins-Achille, Heidi Henderson, Shawn Hove, Derrick Yanford, Martha Meyers, and Nicholas Leichter, in addition to several years directing various student run productions and as captain of the CC Dance Team. She went on to graduate from Simmons University with a Masters of Social Work and is currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing clinical therapy to children and adolescent youth. Marisa has taught dance in a variety of different schools and youth programs to encourage creative expression and healthy living including four years on faculty at The Dance Place in Arlington (2017-2021). She has previously danced with Boston based dance companies including OnStage Dance Company (2015-2018), OnStage Repertory (2015-2018), Rainbow Tribe Inc (2018-2021), Paradise Moves (2018-2020), and as an artist in "What is Love?" by Jennifer-Kuhnberg (2015, 2019). Marisa currently performs with Double Rainbow Dance Company, Covering New England - Material World (2020-2022), and has returned for her fourth season with Project31.
Lilly graduated from Cardinal Spellman High School in 2021. Lilly is a freshman at Fordham University. Lilly trained with The Gold School as a member of Project Moves. Lily joined Project31 in 2020 as a senior apprentice and is embarking on her first season as a member of the professional company.
Director of Operations
Michela began studying dance at Raquelle's Dance Studio in Cohasset, MA. After graduating from Scituate High School, she attended Roger Williams University where she earned a B.A in Dance & Performance Studies and Communication & Media Studies in 2017. Michela was a dancer and choreographer in the RWU Dance Theatre and RWU Dance Club. While at Roger Williams, Michela worked with several guest artists including Takehiro Ueyama, Kellie Ann Lynch, Fritha Pengelly, K.J Holmes, Hillary Easton, and Jenny Rocha. Michela also studied dance and theater in London where she worked with artists including Katie Lusby, Freddie Opoku-Addie, Jorge Crecis, and Jean Abreu. Michela is currently pursuing her M.S in Arts Administration at Boston University. Michela is a founding member of Project31 and currently serves as its Director of Operations.
Madie began dancing at the age of three at time at Manomet School of Dance in Plymouth, MA where she had the opportunity to compete and assist classes. She continued her dance studies at Rising Tide Charter School studying under Charlotte Rosen. While under Charlotte's mentorship, Madie gained hands-on experience teaching dance and choreographing. Charlotte also introduced Madie to Project31 Dance Company where she has found her dance home. Madie started as an intern and an apprentice with Project31 before auditioning for for the company. In 2020, Madie graduated from the Joan Phelps Palladino school of dance at Dean College with a BA in dance and pedagogy. .During her time at Dean College, Madie gained a great interest in psychology and its relation to dance. In the future, Madie plans to begin work on a master's degree in dance therapy with the hope of opening her own studio and practice.
Bets Kalalau is originally from Belize, Central America where she began her dance training at the age of 13. She continued her training at the Vista Dance Company (Belize City) and Dramatic Force International (Belmopan) until she relocated to West Virginia at the age of 18. Bethany has been teaching consistently for 15 years along with pursuing her dance education. Her dance teacher education includes American Ballet Theatre Certified, Acrobatic Arts Certified, Progressive Ballet Technique Certified, & Member of (NDEO) National Dance Education Organization. She recently traveled to Ghana, Africa as the lead ballet instructor for a two week intensive at Vivi’s Dance Factory where she trained teachers and students. As a choreographer, her dances have achieved overall wins, choreography awards, and performance invitationals.
Catrina Kubek joined Project31 in 2018 after graduating magna cum laude from Adelphi University with her BFA in Dance. At Adelphi, she performed works by Paul Taylor, Adelheid B. Strelick, Orion Duckstein, William Briscoe, and Jennifer Kreichman. During her junior year, she was nominated for and awarded the Lois Betts Scholarship Award for Dance 2016-2017. She has attended and performed at the American College Dance Association Northeast Conferences in 2017 and 2018. To further supplement her dance training, Catrina has attended the Boston Conservatory Dance Summer Intensive and Urbanity Summer Dance Intensive. In addition to Project31, she has performed professionally with the Julia Kane Dance Collective (New York), Douglas & Co. (New York), and Sasso & Company (Boston). Catrina is the Company Director at KC Dance Expressions, and is a guest teacher and competition choreographer for Kenzie Finn’s Project31 Dance Studio.
Abbie began her dance career at Paula Meola Dance and Performing Arts in Sterling, MA, under the direction of Paula Meola. For 13 years, Abbie studied ballet, pointe, tap, lyrical, contemporary, modern, jazz, acrobatics and hip hop. Abbie danced competitively for 6 years on a regional and national level. In 2011, Abbie was invited along with 5 other dancers to the World Dance Championships Series in Dallas, Texas to perform their group routine titled, “What’s a Girl Gotta Do,” choreographed by Javin Hammond, based on their regional and national success. In 2012, Abbie was invited to perform in the show, “Another Impression III” at SymphonySpace on Broadway, NYC, directed by Joelle Cosentino, alongside dancers such as Chaz Buzan of Joffrey Ballet and Amelia Lowe of So You Think You Can Dance season 9. Abbie discovered her passion for teaching dance at age 17. She currently teaches at Nashoba Valley Movement in Clinton, MA and choreographs for the studio’s competition team in the styles of tap, contemporary, lyrical, jazz and hip hop. Abbie is currently pursuing an Associate’s Degree from Southern New Hampshire University in Liberal Arts and plans on pursuing a BFA in dance. This is Abbie’s first season with Project31 and she is thrilled to have found a home within this dance company.
Melissa Mirza began dancing at the age of two and began dancing competitively at the age of 8. She trained in a studio setting in North Attleboro, MA in a variety of styles including Jazz, Tap, Acro, Ballet, and Lyrical with a focus on Broadway Jazz until the age of 18. Melissa attended Simmons College and graduated in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in exercise science. Melissa is currently a student at Simmons University in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program. She is also a Certified Laban Bartenieff Movement Analyst from Integrated Movement Studies. Over the past three years, Melissa has presented work at the American College of Dance Association’s New England Conference and the Opening Our Doors Festival in Boston. She was a Session VII Choreographer in Residence through the Onstage Dance Company Residency Program. She has performed alongside the Bill Evans Company, as well as in work created by Catherine Siller, and is currently an Apprentice with Kairos Dance Theater. Melissa is so grateful to be dancing with Project31 this Season!
Avery Pelosi began dancing at the age of 11 at Center for Performing Arts Dance Studio & Acting School located in Methuen MA. At age 13 she was invited to join their competitive team where she had the opportunity to further her training in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop and contemporary while performing regionally across the Northeast until the age of 18. In 2018 she directed and organized a dance workshop for kids ages 4-18 that became an annual dance event at Center for Performing Arts named ”Day of Dance”. Currently, Avery is a dance instructor at CPAM and choreographs high-scoring competitive routines for their dance team. Avery is in her final year of undergrad at Boston University where she is completing a minor in Dance and working as a Hip Hop instructor for BU Academy. She performs and choreographs works mentored by Micki Taylor-Pinney with Boston University’s Dance Theatre Group while serving as the group’s Concert Coordinator. Her most recent work has been selected to represent BU at the American College Dance Association regional conference in March of 2022. Avery is excited to be dancing with Project31 for her first season!
Lacey Sasso is the founder and Artistic Director of Sasso & Company, a Boston-based modern dance company. She attended Missouri State University where she earned a B.F.A in Dance Performance with a minor in Psychology. She has taught and performed internationally in South America, Europe, and the United Kingdom. Lacey has performed work by Akram Khan, Shirlie Ririe, Susan Dodge, Adrienne Hawkins and studied with Nan Giordano, Amy Marshall, Virginie Mecene and Linda Dadd. Lacey is NGCP® certified in the Basic-Advanced levels of Giordano Jazz Technique. She is certified in Progressing Ballet Technique®, has completed the Dance for PD® Introductory Dance Teacher Training Course, and Martha Graham School Intensive Teacher Workshop (NYC). Lacey spent six seasons with Undertoe Dance Project (NYC) where she served as the Jazz Captain, the resident Jazz teaching artist and as a featured choreographer. She was a member and featured choreographer for Six One Seven Dance Collective (Boston) for four seasons. She has served on the faculty at Boston University, the Royal Academy of Dance (London), Montage Theatre Arts (London) and Emil Dale Dale School of the Performing Arts (U.K.). Lacey is an independently licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) and holds a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy from William James College. She is a founding company member of Project31 dance and is in her 5th season with the company. She currently teaches on faculty at Urbanity Dance and Project31 Dance Studio. Lacey is the Head of the Classical Ballet Program and Modern Dance Program at South Shore Ballet Theatre, where she has been on faculty since 2017.
Project31 Apprentice Training Program Assistant Director
Erin Saunders recently earned degrees in Dance and Performance Studies and Arts Administration at Roger Williams University, where she trained with artists such as Christina Robson, Netta Yerushalmy, Ephrat Asherie, David Parker & The Bang Group, Hilary Easton, Sydney Skybetter, K.J. Holmes, Gary Shore, France Hunter, Cathy Nicoli, and Michael Bolger. In 2018, Erin performed at Tisch School of the Arts for choreographer Christina Robson, in a concert of works by the dancers of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. Erin has also performed at the Dance Complex, Green Street Studios, the Somerville Theatre, BU Dance Theater, Onstage Dance Company, and more. Her own choreography has been featured at Boston University during the American College Dance Conference as well as many performance venues throughout Boston. Erin spent a semester abroad training in London with Katie Lusby, Stephen Pelton, and Jorge Cercis and participated in training intensives of the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Pantos Project, and Urbanity Dance. Currently, Erin is a company dancer with Project31, a Co-Director for B-A-R Dance, and teaches at several studios in the Boston area.
Kit began her dance training at age 4 after receiving a pink sequined tutu and ballet lessons as a birthday gift. A native Bostonian, she studied and performed extensively at the Boston Ballet School as a scholarship student under respected teachers such as Laura Young, Tamara King, Franco DeVita, and Kathleen Mitchell. She expanded her dance training by attending the Boston Arts Academy for high school and attended summer intensives at the San Francisco Ballet School, the School at Jacob's Pillow, and Ballet Adriatico with Anna-Marie Holmes. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 13, Kit proudly identifies as a disabled dancer and supports the Arthritis Foundation by serving as a committee member for the Boston Walk to Cure Arthritis. Kit holds a B.A. in Marketing Communications and an M.S. in Health Communication, both from Emerson College, and she is a health communication professional at a Boston public health nonprofit. She is thrilled to be returning for her second season with Project31.
Dance Captain &
Gelsey studied dance for fifteen years in the Boston area, including as a member of Project Moves Dance Company. She attended Vassar College, where she was a member of the Vassar Repertory Dance Theater under the direction of John Meehan while receiving her BA in English. At Vassar, she performed works by Leslie Partridge-Sachs, Stephen Rooks, and Kathy Wildberger, and her choreography was featured in multiple dance showings. Gelsey is currently a dance instructor and choreographer— teaching ballet, jazz, and modern, among other subjects— at multiple studios in MA. She is also a dance photographer; in 2018 she studied the art of dance photographer under Rose Eichenbaum at Jacob’s Pillow. She has photographed numerous dance companies and studios in the Boston area and beyond.
Theophile Victoria recently graduated from Salem State University with a degree in Dance and Theatre. He is a 2018 presidential Arts scholar and Dean's List recipient. Theo (for short) participated in the Bates Dance Festival as a student and performer in 2017 and 2018. Locally, Theo has performed shows such as The Urban Nutcracker as a Hip-Hop Soloist (2014 - 2016) and Boston Rock Opera's production of Hair (as an ensemble member). As a choreographer, Theo's work was shown at the ACDA festival in 2018 at Boston University and the Salem Arts Festival in the same year.