Terri Gordon ( Founding Owner/Director Sturbridge Location)
Founded Mass Motion Dance in 1983 in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Mass Motion Dance was formerly known as the Terri Gordon Dance Centre. Mrs Gordon began her training in the Worcester, Massachusetts area as a very young child. At the age of fourteen she received a scholarship to the Boston Ballet School and became an apprentice to the Company at age 15. After performing with the The Boston Ballet for six years, Terri moved to Germany and joined Tanz Forum, the modern dance company of the Cologne Opera. During her professional career, Terri performed throughout most of Canada, Western Europe and the United States. She has also performed with the Chicago Lyric Opera and Rhode Island Festival Ballet as a guest artist. Mrs Gordon has taught master classes at Eastern Connecticut State University, Mercyhurst College, Dance Educators of America and Dance Masters of America. Mrs. Gordon was on the faculty of the dance department at the Burncoat High School Arts Magnet program in Worcester from 1996-2001.
Irada Djelassi (Owner/Director, Boston Location and Metro West Location)
Miss Irada is the Owner of the Boston Location and Co-Owner/Director of the Metro West Location. She is also on faculty at the Sturbridge Location. Passionate about the art of dance, Irada is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, studio manager, director and arts enthusiast. She began her dance training in Central Massachusetts at Mass Motion Dance (formally known as the Terri Gordon Dance Centre). She continued her education at the University of Massachusetts, in the Five College Dance Department where she received a BFA in Dance. Irada was honored with a Chancellors Award in dance all four years. While in college Irada produced and performed in several different dance and theater performances throughout the Five Colleges. In 2000 Ms Djelassi moved to NYC to further her education. She studied at Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center and Dance Space. While studying in Manhattan, she taught at the American Youth Dance Theater on the Upper East Side. Irada was invited to teach at a Performing Arts Magnet School in Worcester, MA. Irada has performed choreography by Andre Tyson of Alvin Ailey, Leslie Partridge, Billbob Brown, Nia Love, Janis Brenner, Katherine Hooper, Jin Wen Yu, as well as others. In 2003, Irada founded BoSoma Dance Company with Katherine Hooper and was the Co-Artistic Director of BoSoma Dance Company for 13 years. She has taught and choreographed for a number of public and private schools in New England as well as in Germany. Recently she has set choreography on the dance department at The University of Massachusetts in Amherst, the Patricia Kenney Dance Collection in NYC and a faculty piece for The Dance Pointe in Greenwich, CT. Irada completed her 200-hour vinyasa yoga certification and now teaches power vinyasa yoga as well as dance. Her undying love for the expressionism of dance is seen through her work both in choreography and class as well as virtually every aspect of her life. She is excited about launching the New England Youth Dance Exchange in 2017.
Alexis Stansky Murphy (Owner/Director Metro West Location)
Miss Alexis is the Co-Owner and Director of Mass Motion Metro West and also on Faculty at the Boston Location. Alexis Murphy began her dance training in Worcester, MA, under the instruction of Charlotte Klein and formative years with Joan Sheary. She is a graduate of Burncoat Junior & Senior High School for the Performing Arts, and Hofstra University. At Hofstra, she received undergraduate degrees in Dance and History, as well as a graduate degree in Secondary Education. At age 17, Alexis began her professional career performing and assistant choreographing industrial events in New York City. While attending Hofstra University, she had the opportunity to perform in faculty dance concerts, choreograph drama department musicals, and serve as president of the dance club on campus where she choreographed as well as produced numerous dance concerts. While in New York City, Alexis studied with many world renowned choreographers as well as was an original cast member of Doug Elkins and Friends’ Fräulein Maria. Alexis’ passion for education and dance led her to teach at Performing Arts High School and develop a Teaching Artist program with the EPIC Theatre Ensemble.
Shelbia Djelassi Spence (Assistant Director Sturbridge Location)
Ms Spence Graduated from Mass Motion Dance in 2001 and moved to Los Angeles to become a member of the Young Americans, a young Broadway touring company. She was a founding member of BoSoma Dance Company in the fall of 2003. In the fall of 2007 she returned to Boston from Chicago, where she was performing with Hip Hop ConnXion Chicago, one of Chicago’s premier Hip Hop Dance Companies. Now back in Massachusetts, Shelbia is on faculty at the Mass Motion Dance Sturbridge and Boston.
Rachel Lacasse (Assistant Director, Boston Location)
Began her dance training at the age of two at Mass Motion Dance in Sturbridge. After graduating in 2006, she began her undergraduate education at Simmons College. She is graduated in 2010 with a Bachelors Degree in history and political science. While at Simmons she was a member and choreographer for both the Colleges of the Fenway Dance Project as well as the Simmons Dance Company. Rachel has taught at the Boston location since 2006. Miss Rachel began her position as Assistant Director of the Boston Location in 2022.
Jeffrey Bird, Jr. is a Boston based tap dancer, actor, and historian originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and History from Butler University and a Masters Degree in US History from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Jeffrey began dancing at 8 years old and trained with Gregg Russell, Ryan Lohoff, Mark Goodman, Cory Finn, and Julie Sizemore. Since graduating from high school, Jeffrey has had the opportunity to train closely with Jenefer Miller, Suzy Guarino-Hall, and Cindy Hsu, and has benefited from classes with Sarah Reich, Ryan Johnson, Barbara Duffy, Ray Heselink, Sam Weber, and many others. Jeffrey joined the Circle City Tap Company in 2015 and served as the Artistic Director and Pre-Professional Company Director from 2018 through 2022. He performed in various shows with the company and directed several of the company’s shows, including the highly praised “Dear Diary” in 2019. Jeffrey is also a member of Tap24.7 out of Phoenix, Arizona and has toured the country performing as a main character in “TAPspeak,” “Murder at the TAP’ocho,” and “Tap Side Story.” In fall of 2022, Jeffrey co-founded Fourth Dimension Tap Company in Boston with Isla Niezgoda and serves as the Executive Artistic Director. Faculty credits include: Circle City Tap Festival, Tapapalooza Phoenix, Tapapalooza Seattle, and Tapapalooza Detroit! Jeffrey believes that a full and rich tap education must include more than just technique, but also music theory and tap history. Much of his training and passion for these two aspects of tap he credits to his mentor Jenefer Miller. He is incredibly excited to share his love of tap with the dancers at Mass Motion!
Nikki has earned her Bachelors of Arts in both Dance and Business Administration from Muhlenberg College in Allentown Pennsylvania. She grew up in central Massachusetts, where she studied at Elite Academy of Dance where she danced competitively in all styles. In her time at college, she choreographed numerous contemporary works, developing an easily recognizable style, incorporating juxtaposition within the body between free and bound movement. She also performed in works by professional artists such as Randall Anthony Smith. She worked on other projects, such as fundraising for her jazz dance team, marketing for the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, and continuing with circus training and performances. In her summers, she taught creative dance to middle school aged students at Exploration Summer Programs at Wellesley College. Nikki aims to create a learning environment focused in creativity and exploration of the body by allowing students moments of improvisation and dance choreography.
Began her dance studies at the Terri Gordon Dance Center 20 years ago and has been with the MMDA faculty since 1997. She received her Dance Masters of America teacher certification in Buffalo, New York in 1998.
Sierra was born and raised in Hanover, NH. She began studying ballet at the age of eight spending seven years studying at Lebanon Ballet School in Lebanon, New Hampshire. During those years she also performed with City Center Ballet in such ballets as The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Coppélia, and The Nutcracker. She then spent three years studying under the private tutelage of master ballet teacher, Bryan Lewis. When she was seventeen, Sierra moved to Watertown, MA where she spent another three years studying with Alexandra Koltun and Alex Lapshin of Koltun Ballet Boston. After spending a year in Los Angeles, CA studying Theatre Arts at Loyola Marymount University, Sierra returned to the Boston area where she performed as a company member with José Mateo Ballet Theatre in their annual production of The Nutcracker. Sierra currently teaches in the school at JMBT and will be participating in their production of The Nutcracker once again this year.
Began her dance training at the Priscilla Gibson School of Dance Arts, home of The Manchester Ballet, in CT. She continued her studies at Mass Motion Dance in Sturbridge, MA and graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a BA in Dance and a BA in Early Childhood Education. While there, she also earned the Chancellor’s Talent Award in Dance. She has performed with Plexus Dance and ACF Dance. Meghan teaches third grade in Brimfield, MA and has been a faculty member at Mass Motion Dance since 2001 and has been performing with the BoSoma Dance Company since its conception in 2003.
Jennifer Savage Hooker
Began her dance training at the age of two in Worcester under the study of Joan Sheary. Jen has studied with many famous choreographers such as Frank Hatchett, Mia Michaels, Joe Tremaine, Finis Jhung, and Savion Glover. She attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Quinsigamond Community College, and Worcester State and holds a degree in Early Childhood Education. Jen has been teaching dance and Gymnastics for over 20 years and has taught all levels and styles of dance at several studios throughout New England. From 2003-2008 she owned and operated her own dance studio where she received numerous awards for her creative choreography. In 2009 she became a Zumba Instructor and has certificates inZumba Basic, Zumba toning, and Zumba Circuit. Jen is very excited to be a part of the MMDA Faculty!
Rachael Hooker is currently a senior at Dean College and is in the process of earning her BFA in dance with a concentration of performance and choreography. She previously served as captain of the college’s pom team and now serves as the team’s president. At Dean, both her choreography and performance skills have been chosen to be presented on stage several times. Growing up, Rachael received her training and inspiration from the faculty at Mass Motion Dance, and now continues to share her knowledge and passion for dance with all of her own students.
Pattie grew up in Boston and began Irish Step Dancing at the age of five. Pattie is an award winning champion dancer who has successfully competed both nationally and internationally, including the All World Championships held in Galway, Ireland. Pattie is a certified T.C.R.G. and a member of the Irish Dance Teachers Association of New England, the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America and An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha in Dublin, Ireland. Pattie is currently on the faculty of Mass Motion Dance and teaches in their Brighton, Peabody and Sturbridge studios
Nichole is trained in a variety of dance styles including: ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, musical theater, modern, and contemporary. She has worked with multiple choreographers such as Sam Fiorello, Maurice Hines, Brian Friedman, Mia Michaels, and many more.
She graduated from the Dance Teachers Training Course/Dance Teachers’ Club of Boston, in 2003. She later went on to become a member of the Dance Teachers’ Club of Boston. Nichole studied dance at the Palladino School of Dance at Dean College, and is cur
Miss Nichole began her dance training at the young age of three with Rosemarie Flanagan Beltis. She grew up dancing at RDS Performing Arts, where she developed a passion for the art of dance. She student taught at RDS and completed her internship under Rosemarie’s mentorship in 2004; she then joined the RDS teaching staff from 2004-2017. RDS Performing Arts closed its doors in 2017, arently in the process of completing her degree in Early Childhood Education.
In addition to teaching dance, Nichole teaches Prekindergarten in Walpole. She has been working with children her whole life, and has been in the early education field since 2005. She has a strong background and understanding in early childhood education and development. Through her passion for dance, she is able to foster and promote children’s physical development, self-confidence and social skills.
Lindsey Leduc (Southbridge, MA) began training with Terri Gordon in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. At age 13, she became a Trustee Scholar at Wilbraham Monson Academy for her dance ability, exposing her to knowledge and cultural diversity that shaped and inspired her. She graduated cum laude from Hofstra University with a B.A. in Dance and Community Health. While in New York, Lindsey performed in many projects including Robin Becker Dance, her choreography was showcased in the 2003 ACDF gala, and she earned her Actors Equity performing off-Broadway under Tony Award winner Hinton Battle. Lindsey went to Chicago on Scholarship to Giordano Dance School, was promoted to Giordano II and performed with Giordano Dance Chicago for seven years. She has performed works and taught master classes nationally and internationally by Mia Michaels, Ron De Jesus, Gus Giordano, Liz Imperio, Randy Duncan, Christopher Huggins, Davis Robertson, Rennie Harris and more, in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Latvia, Guatemala, Turkey and Hawaii. Her work has been featured in Dance Chicago several times. She has works in the repertoire of Inaside Chicago Dance, Chicago Dance Crash, Movement Source, Continuum Dance Theatre, BoSoma, and her own Giordano Dance Chicago. She teaches and choreographs throughout the nation for Youth Companies and Orchesis groups. While in Chicago Lindsey taught for the Jazz Dance in Science and Health program in underserved Chicago Public Schools, on Master Faculty for Jazz Dance World Congress, served on Faculty at The Joffrey Academy of Dance and was a founding Faculty member of Foster Dance Studios. Lindsey serves as an adjudicator and Master Teacher for the premiere dance competition, World Class Talent Experience and a Judge for StarQuest International. Lindsey was honored to be published in Dance Magazine’s “Why I Dance” in the January 2013 issue, and appeared on the cover in March 2013.
Kiana is an artist born and raised in Southern New Hampshire. She currently dances and choreographs for Boston Community Dance Project and Saving Grace Dance Ensemble, focusing on contemporary/fusion, improv, modern, ballet, jazz and hip hop. Kiana also choreographed for Danceworks Boston Season 12.
Currently, she teaches at various studios in New England and continues her training in Boston and NYC as her passion incorporates storytelling through teaching the art and technique of dance while creatively exploring music!
Stephanie (Pru) Robitaille
As an 11 year Equity dancer veteran, Stephanie has a vast experience as a dancer/performer with the Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Florida. She has spent the majority of her time as an Equity Swing in ‘Beauty and the Beast—Live on Stage!’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, performing for thousands of people every day. She was also a featured dancer in the castle stage show ‘Dream Along With Mickey’ at Magic Kingdom. Stephanie has also held theater administration positions, as a substitute equity scheduling lead, directing daily operations through various venues on property with Disney. While in a Orlando, she worked with Voci Dance, a modern dance company which invokes and brings awareness to performance art and installations throughout the community. Stephanie was also a dancer and dance captain at “Capones Dinner and Show” in Kissimmee, a speak easy style venue and show. She has done film work as an extra, modeled accessories, and danced in various conventions and parades, all throughout Florida. She has worked with HFCC in Oscoda, MI, choreographing and collaborating for their productions of ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Oklahoma’.
Stephanie received her BFA from the Boston Conservatory under the direction of Yazi Tokunago. Her studies there included ballet and modern pedagogy, contact improvisation, visual anthropology, nutrition, and kinesiology, in addition to her daily dance classes. She holds a Massachusetts Provisional License in Dance and is actively continuing education in dance.
Graduated from Dean College earning her BFA in dance studies with a concentration in choreography in 2022. Her work has been featured at Starlight Theatre with the Dance Complex’s Tiny and Short series as well as at Salem Arts Festival. At Dean, her work was chosen for multiple stage performances as well as to attend the American College Dance Association Conference in Vermont. Hannah has also worked on multiple video sets and concerts with artists such as Sydney the Singer, C-DOT, Flo Rida, and Talons of Spring. Currently, she is a Celtics Dancer and is teaching workshops and performing around New England.
Hannah not only loves dancing and choreographing, but she also has a passion for teaching! Cultivating a safe and encouraging environment for her students to learn is her top priority.
Received her BA Dance, BA Early Childhood Education, Master Ed. Creative Arts, Lesley University. Krystin has been a MMDA faculty member since 1992. In addition to teaching dance at the Sturbridge location, Krystin also teaches kindergarten in Brimfield, MA.