Our Amazing Instructors are Why Pineapple Dance is Such a Special School
All the faculty know that teaching is a truly awesome responsibility. Our love for the art form and the students shows in the way we teach, creating a superior dance experience for all.
The quote below right, from Rhee Gold (a nationally renowned teacher, mentor, and lecturer) sums it up:
Owner, Artistic Director
Ballet, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Tap
Charlotte E. G. Doyle
began her training at the Connecticut Ballet, under the direction of Robin
Welch and Robert Vickery. She was a
member of the Junior Company, and toured New England in CB’s numerous
Nutcracker productions. After graduating
from the Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, Charlotte received her BA
in Dance from Mount Holyoke College.
While at MHC, Charlotte was honored with being chosen to represent her
school at the American College Dance Festival, with her choreography The Place, and was a two-time
scholarship student to the Bates Dance Festival. Charlotte has enjoyed learning from Lance
Westergard, Trisha Brown, Ellen Sinopoli, Pam Lindsay, Debbie Poulsen, Therese
Freedman, Jim Coleman, Peter Jones, Bebe Miller, Mark Taylor, Madame Darvash,
Frank Hatchett, David Howard, Tekla Kostek, Violette Verdy, Finis Jhung, Mollye
Maxner, Fritha Pengelly, and Ruth and Noble Barker. Currently, she studies with Lesley Makings
and Daniel Lozada.
Charlotte has performed with Mary R. Barnett’s In Good Company, Feuer/Matheke,
Sandra Kopell, Molleye & Kelly Maxner, Sarah Eley, Katrina Hawley, and
Nancy Hughes. Charlotte has been
teaching full-time since college, has been a guest artist at Yale University,
the Chautauqua Institution, and the Boston Symphony’s Days in the Arts program,
which breaks down social barriers through arts immersion. Charlotte was a founding member of Ruth and
Noble Barker’s East Street Ballet, directing the Children’s Program, the Adult
Extension, and the East Street Youth Ballet Apprentice Company. Charlotte is very grateful for her experience
teaching at the Hackworth School and New England Dance Quarters.
Now, Charlotte teaches and directs Pineapple
Dance, where everyone is welcome. She
strongly believes that everyone can enjoy learning to dance, develop their
artistic awareness, and learn to move correctly for their own bodies with
Charlotte resides in North Amherst with her husband, Jonathan, their sons, Tommy and Geoffrey, three dogs, and two cats.
Aimee teaches Tap at Pineapple Dance. Aimee has studied Tap for 33 years, teaching for the last 18 years. Along with Tap, Aimee has also taken Jazz, Ballet and Lyrical dance for 33 years and taught all 3 for 18 years to all age groups.
From age 13 to 18, Aimee competed with her dance school in Greenfield, MA where she won multiple first place awards, including a national first placing. Following that, Aimee continued to compete, winning at more competitions with Hutchinson Dance Studios, where she spent 18 years teaching.
She says, “Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts because it needs no more translations or abstractions from life; it is life itself."
Aimee lives in West Hatfield with her partner and her 6 cats. She loves to dance and write poetry. She also collects angels.
Aliza is a contemporary teacher at Pineapple Dance Studio. She began studying modern dance at the age of four. This is her first year stepping into the teaching role at Pineapple Dance, but as danced with the school for two years.
Aliza was a dancer in the Performance Workshop group with the Valley Dance Project for three years, 2004-2007. While in high school she danced and choreographed with The Dance Theatere Ensemble (DTE). She also choreographed and dance in the school musical Merrily We Roll Along. Aliza also held many roles in the Academy of Ballet Arts Production of the Nutcracker for two years and acted as stage manager for the third year. Currently she is a member of the school’s newest performance group, Pineapple Dance Company (PiDaCo).
“Dance is my life; there is no other way to describe it. I cannot imagine my life without dance. I use dance to communicate what I feel, as therapy, as a release and a break from the stresses of everyday life. Dance brings people together and asks them to use their bodies and minds differently. Through teaching dance I want to bring these experiences to others. While teaching technique and correct alignment, I want to create a safe, fun classroom for dancers to build a community and learn about themselves and each other.”
Aliza is a sophomore at the
University of Massachusetts, Amherst creating a Dance Therapy program with the
Bachelor’s Degree with an Independent Concentration. When not dancing or in
class Aliza holds jobs with the Resdential Academic Programs at Umass and
Dave’s Soda and Pet City on the
weekends. She has two cats she loves dearly. Aliza is extremely excited and
honored to join the faculty at Pineapple Dance School. She is looking forward
to a great year!
Irish Step Dance
Irish dancing is a life long tradition and expression of culture for Miss Alycia. Her family owned and taught at the Duffy Academy of Irish Music and Dance, based out of East Hartford CT for many years. Mrs. Mary Duffy, owner of the academy and Ms. Alycia's grandmother, came from Dublin Ireland and became the first certified Irish dance instructor in North America. The school taught music, performance dance and competition dance, sending many dancers to the American Championships and to the World Championships in Ireland. Several generations of students have been taught by the Duffy family. Ms. Alycia grew up in this world of Irish dance and deeply cherishes the dances learned, the culture they preserved and the dancers that became family to her.
After moving to Massachusetts and retiring the academy, Ms. Alycia quickly began to miss sharing her love of Irish dance with her community. Once she befriended Ms. Charlotte and started swapping dance stories it was only a short while before Pineapple Dance offered their ﬁrst Irish dance classes!
Ms. Alycia teaches traditional movements and steps. She then challenges students to use those movements in a very nontraditional, new age way. Her creative passion lies in original performance pieces. If you have a concept or theme you would like to put into motion (Irish dance motion) she is looking forward to have that talk with you! She embraces her heritage and looks for new ways to infuse Irish dance within other platforms!
Ms. Alycia is married to her very Irish "sounding" husband, Kelly Patrick Olanyk. Together they have a brilliant and beautiful daughter Aurora Aylish, who is eager to start her own Irish step class. They live not far from Pineapple Dance studio in Shutesbury. They love their local communities and are always trying to ﬁnd more time to connect within them..
Lindsay Comeaux Schnarr
Lindsay has been in love with dance and music for as long as she can remember. Her creative life began at the age of 3, exploring classes in ballet, tap, and jazz.
Throughout college, at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Lindsay continued to develop her skill in ballet and modern dance. At this time, she began to
practice yoga regularly, as advised by her ballet teacher, to “undo all the damage that ballet does” to the body, and focus on form and alignment.
After college Lindsay joined a dance company, Localmotion, led by professional dancer Lisa Navarro, in the Bay Area in northern California. Lindsay’s passion for exploring the multitude of movement styles fully emerged at this point. She began learning Contemporary, Hip Hop, Latin and African dance styles. She continued to explore a variety of yogic practices, including Bikhram, Anusara, and ultimately dedicated herself to the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, or Vinyasa “Flow”.
Lindsay moved to Amherst in 2008 with her husband, where she completed graduate studies in Architecture & Design at UMass. As a student, Lindsay remained connected with her love for movement by designing a performance arts center for her master’s thesis project. After graduating in 2011, Lindsay began taking dance classes with Charlotte Doyle and Daniel Lozada at Pineapple Dance, and helped establish the new dance company, Pineapple Dancers (PiDaCo).
Lindsay’s love for dance and the fluidity of movement has inspired her approach to practicing and teaching yoga. By continuously linking poses, asanas, through breath and music, Lindsay’s yoga classes create a deeply invigorating experience in which the body awakens through her gently guided sequences. To provide opportunities for the Pineapple Dance community to experience the strength, flexibility and balance that yoga brings, gives Lindsay the gift of being able to share the joy that she has found and continues to discover in her own practice with others.
Lindsay has been dancing for 27 years. Besides Tap, Lindsay has also studied Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet and Irish Step dancing. She currently teaches Tap at Pineapple Dance, which she has been teaching for 15 years. Lindsay previously taught at CJ Studios of Dance in Chicopee with Charlotte Doyle for 3 years.
Lindsay competed with the Hackworth School of Performing
Arts for 8 years. She competed in Tap,
Jazz, Lyrical and productions. She competed in Tap Solos, as well as with the dance
company. She also competed in Dance
Masters of America, American Dance Awards and Star Power.
Lindsay's philosophy on teaching is to have fun first and foremost. Dance is a way to connect with your community while sharing fun and passion.
Currently Lindsay lives in Hadley with her financee and their pets. When she isn’t dancing she is the co-manager of Dave’s Pet City in Ware, MA. Her hobbies
include any kind of crafts, especially knitting and crocheting, as well as spending time with her very large family.
Samantha teaches jazz for Pineapple Dance. She has been dancing for 18 years and has performed in various styles including jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary,
Broadway and African. She has co-taught children's summer dance programs for three years, and is so excited to share her love of jazz with dancers at Pineapple!
Samantha performed with Ja'Duke Center for the Performing Arts, the Sankofa Dance Project and, most recently, with the Pineapple Dance Company. She has
dance in several musicals including Guys and Dolls, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Footloose and more.
Samantha believes that dance is truly an expression of self, and knows that when danced with feeling, dance has the power to lift even the most depressed of
spirits! Samantha graduated from UMass Amherst in 2011 and holds a B.A. in Journalism and Anthropology. When not teaching dance, Samantha works as a
Literary Assistant at the Lisa Ekus Group, a culinary agency in Hatfield, Ma. She currently lives in Northampton, Ma, and enjoys cooking and eating with friends,
reading, traveling and hiking. Samantha is looking forward to a great year with Pineapple Dance!
Dancing since she was three, Michelle has been studying Jazz for 16 years, and teaching Jazz for four years. She recently graduated with an Associates Degree in
Dance, and is currently undertaking a double major in Arts Management and Psychology at UMass. Michelle took college level dance at Greenfield Community
College, including Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Contemporary, and Composition. She also studied at The Alvin Ailey School in New York City, including Masala Banghra, and
Michelle was on a competitive dance team for 13 years, dancing in small groups, large groups, productions, solos, duets, and trios. She competed at least 4 times a
year including our 3 day Nationals in Connecticut. As a part of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts since she was eight, Michelle competed in the
Nationals Competition, attending monthly workshops to dance with world renowned choreographers from all over. Through NADAA, she won many merit
awards, perfect attendance, 30 session award, 2008 Youth Representative, 2009 Pre-Miss NADAA, and 2010 Miss NADAA.
Michelle's philosophy of dance is expression. Dance is our way of speaking and describing ourselves. Some dances could be influenced by personal experiences,
and other can be caused of social issues. Dance is a way of communication and connection to everyone around us. It's a universal language.
Michelle currently lives in Williamsburg, MA with her big kitty, Bentley! She is a first grade Religious Education teacher and loves working with kids. She describes
herself as a little small town girl with big dreams. Michelle especially loves sharing her dreams with everyone at Pineapple Dance!