Yolanda's Academy of Music & Dance
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Yolanda Fernandez-Quincoces, Director
Yolanda Fernandez-Quincoces holds a bachelor’s degree in education from New York University and is presenting pursuing a master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. In addition to directing and teaching dance classes at our academy, she teaches music and dance at the Blue Ribbon Integrated Arts Public School Woodrow Wilson in Union City, New Jersey. Yolanda Fernandez-Quincoces holds a teaching license from the state of New Jersey and is a member of the National Education Association, the New Jersey Education Association and Dance Educators of America. Ms. Fernandez-Quincoces has received Outstanding Choreography awards and also two “Congressional Record” in 1999 and 2004 bestowed by Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
Cecilia Cardenas is a graduate of Yolanda’s Academy of Music and Dance and Kean College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts. Ms Cardenas is also a teaching member of Dance Educators of America where she additionally has met the requirements of the Ballet Medal Test program. Cecilia Cardenas has been involved with many different community based theatre projects and television programs with much success. She has choreographed and designed the lighting for Memorial High School’s “Leader of the Pack”, “West Side Story and “42nd Street”. Cecilia Cardenas has done freelance work as the stage manager for Kean College’s “Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat” and Park Theatre’s “El Zoológico de Cristal”. She has also directed “Fools Paradise” for Lunchtime Theatre. In addition, she has been part of the production team on Channel 9’s Steampipe Alley Show and several other documentaries, which have aired on Cablevision and CTN. Cecilia Cardenas is employed by Cablevision of New Jersey as a Local Access Supervisor and most importantly for us here at our Academy, she offers her expert teaching skills to our students. Ms. Cardenas choreographies have reached “Outstanding Choreography” Awards from Dance Educators of America and Cathy Roe Competitions in several categories. Ms Cardenas is an important and inspirational member of our educational and creative team.
Yolanda’s Academy of Music and Dance maintains an outstanding faculty of professional teachers. All have either graduated from our school, have degrees in education, dance or theater or have extensive experience performing professionally with Ballet companies and or on Broadway. Their involvement in all these media spans years of performing and teaching at all levels and for all ages. In addition to our resident faculty, prominent guest teachers are invited to teach master classes.
Marielena Quintanilla is a 2006 graduate of Yolanda’s Academy of Music and Dance, a teaching member of Dance Educator's of America and additionally has successfully met the requirements of Dance Educators of America’s Medal Test Program. Ms. Quintanilla has been a recipient of numerous awards at the MBC, Dance Educator of America and Cathy Roes Ultimate Dance Competitions. Marielena Quintanilla is also the 2007 New Jersey Network’s “Images/Imagenes” Talent Search winner in the Teen Dance Category, where she performed an outstanding flamenco dance to receive a scholarship, award and television interview and performance. In addition, Ms.Quintanilla has appeared on other television programs including “Sábado al Mediodía” and “Good Day New York” as well as a commercial for the town of Union City. Marielena Quintanilla holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in education from New York University and is currently working as a 1st grade teacher in Manhattan. Marielena specializes in instruction for our youngest students. Her choreographies have received many awards and top scores at Starbound, Cathy Roe Ultimate Dance, Step up 2 Dance, and Rhythms in Dance Competitions. We are very proud to have Marielena Quintanilla on our faculty.
Tara Webb began her training with Tomi Pollock, studying Levels 1 - Advanced Professional of the Cecchetti Method. During her summers she attended the Cecchetti International Summer School, attending on full scholarship in 2003. In 2004 Ms. Webb completed the Teacher's Seminar at the Summer School. Ms Webb continued her dance education in college, attending Webster University in St. Louis, MO. She earned a BFA in Dance and a BS in Mathematics, graduating Magna Cum Laude and with Departmental Honors. In college she received the bulk of her training from Gary Hubler and Beckah Voigt. Tara Webb also studied with Nick Pupillo, Eddy Ocampo, Jennifer Medina, Maggi Konkel, Christine Kardell, and Iyun Harrison. In 2006 Ms. Webb was chosen for an internship at The American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. She also performed in the Student Concert at the Festival and presented her own choreography at the Staff Concert. After college Ms. Webb continued teaching, dancing, and performing in St. Louis at various festivals including Dancing in the Streets and the St. Louis Dance Festival. Most recently she has made the move to NYC and is pursuing her career here. Ms. Webb has been studying at The Taylor School and other schools in Manhattan. Tara Webb is our Classical Ballet and Modern Dance Guest Artist.
John Pickup received his early training from Leeanne Rutherford at Ballet Theatre Australia and later with Peter Shortland and Kathryn Hailey at The Studio. As a dancer he performed with The Wiggles, Lithuanian National Ballet, AURA Dance Company and Untitled Collective NYC. Mr Pickup began teaching at Essendon Academy of Ballet, Melbourne Australia before teaching at various schools throughout Sydney and Melbourne. During this time he studied the RAD syllabus under Kathryn Hailey.
After relocating to New York he began training under Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov as both a dancer and teacher, later teaching for their children’s and After-School program. John is very excited to be a part of the team at Yolanda's Academy and sharing his love and knowledge of classical ballet.
John Pickup appears courtesy of the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet.