Dancewave prides itself in being an organization completely run by women. Our staff members, including our interns, are immensely talented and committed towards the cause of Dancewave's mission, bringing a wide range of experience, expertise and enthusiasm to the table.
Diane Jacobowitz, Executive & Artistic Director (BFA, Ohio State University; MFA, Connecticut College) has a distinguished career in performing, choreography and arts administration. She has taught dance to youth and adults of all ages and backgrounds for 26 years at numerous institutions. She has directed and taught at several programs including the Dance Department at Westchester Music and Arts Camp and Hunter College Dance Department. She was instrumental in establishing the Dance Major at Long Island University, where she was a professor for 9 years teaching ballet, modern, choreography, aerobics and speech. She taught and directed the middle school dance program and afterschool dance elective at the Berkeley Carroll School in Park Slope for 6 years. Diane choreographed and directed her own company, the Diane Jacobowitz Dance Theater for 15 years, during which time, the company toured, performed and engaged in residencies throughout the Northeast. Her company, DJDT performed at BAM in 1992. Diane has also performed with several prominent choreographers including Kenneth King, Marta Renzi, Grethe Holby, Kathy Duncan and Annabelle Gamson. She founded Dancewave in 1995 with the mission of bringing dance to a broad spectrum of the city youth population, particularly to those talented dancers who lacked the means to afford pre-professional training. Her main focus has been working with young people as artists in the making and connecting them early to the rigor of high level performance and exposure to world renowned dance artists. As Executive/Artistic Director of Dancewave for the past 20 years, she has developed innovative programming to capture the talents and imagination of young dancers. Some of the programs she has developed, in addition to the Dancewave Company model, include Dancing Through College and Beyond, the Dance Career Symposium and the Kids Cafe Festival. Under her leadership, Dancewave currently reaches over 3,000 young people citywide through programs both at the Dancewave School and in partnership with over ten New York City public schools. She is currently leading the campaign for Dancewave's capital project - the opening/launch of a brand new dance center in downtown Brooklyn in 2019.
Lusheena Warner, Managing Director
Lusheena is the inaugural Managing Director at Dancewave. In partnership with the Executive/Artistic Director, she is charged with implementing Dancewave’s strategic plan, providing oversight of the organization’s annual budget and operations, leading fundraising initiatives, and managing the construction of the new Dancewave Center in Gowanus.
Prior to joining Dancewave, Lusheena served as Deputy Chief of Staff at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. She worked closely with the President to develop and execute priority initiatives and policies across the organization. In partnership with elected officials, city agencies, and community leaders, she led a redevelopment strategy to revitalize La Marqueta, a public market in East Harlem, as a vibrant fresh food market and cultural center. She engaged local communities in projects such as the creation of a memorial for a former African Burial Ground in Harlem, construction of the East River Waterfront Esplanade in Lower Manhattan, and the Inwood NYC community planning initiative to bring investments to the area. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Lusheena worked at Hunter College in the President’s Office as the Director of External Affairs. In this role, she established partnerships within East Harlem in connection with the relocation of the Silberman School of Social Work to the neighborhood. She also secured funding from elected officials to support various initiatives and capital projects.
She holds a Masters Degree in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College School of Public Affairs and a Bachelors Degree in Women and Gender Studies from Hunter College.
Kristen Majoros, School Manager
Kristen received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Performance studies with minors in Business and Psychology from Roger Williams University.
After graduating in 2012, she continued to explore her passion for dance by moving to Brooklyn.
She joined the Dancewave team in 2013 and enjoys her current position as School Manager.
Michelle Maso, D-Wave in Motion Coordinator
Michelle Maso is a New York City certified Dance Educator. In 2010, she founded the dance program at Leadership Prep Ocean Hill EA Charter School. During this time she taught Kindergarten through 4th grade dance, choreographed and directed annual dance concerts and assisted with training new enrichment teachers within the charter network.
Michelle holds a bachelor's degree in Dance from Rutgers University and a master's degree in Special Education from Long Island University. She received her teaching certification through American Ballet Theater teacher training program and holds a NYC professional teaching certificate in English and Special Education.
Jen Henriquez, Associate Director of Design & Marketing
Jen holds a BA from Bard College and is currently completing her MS in Communications at The Newhouse School for Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Jen has worked in program development and communications for non-profits and educational entities in New York City for 12 years. She is a founding Board Members of International School of Brooklyn and served on the Executive Team for the launching of Green Ivy Schools in Lower Manhattan.
She has also worked with several Brooklyn arts education organizations, like Dancewave, and she continues to enjoy working in this sector.
Jessica Zippin, Special Events Coordinator
Jessica received her bachelors degrees from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Dance and Media & Society, with a minor in Arts in Education. She studied Dance/Movement Therapy and received her MS from Pratt Institute in New York City.
During this time she interned at the child & adolescent inpatient psychiatric units of Queens Children’s Psychiatric Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital and was the student liaison to the American Dance Therapy Association. Her thesis research was conducted at Mt. Sinai Hospital focusing on sensory integration and dance movement therapy in child inpatient psychiatry.
Jessica was previously employed as the creative arts therapist at St. Michael’s Home, a residential adult care facility, and currently works with students with autism for the Fred and Adele Astaire Awards Dance Therapy Program. Jessica is a teaching artist at Dancewave, Dance Therapist for the D-Wave in Motion program, and the Special Events Coordinator.
Valerie Marchesi, Development Manager
Valerie received a BA from the State University of New York College at Geneseo where she studied Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies.
After graduating in 2015, she served as the Development Coordinator at Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, where she remains an active advocate.
A lifelong dance student, Valerie is so excited to combine her passions for dance and non profit fundraising as Dancewave's Development Manager.
Maleni Cruz, D-Wave In Motion Assistant
Maleni, an alumnus of Dancewave Company I, graduated from SUNY The College at Brockport with a Bachelors of Arts in Dance. She was awarded the Susan S. Collier Dance Award during her time at the College at Brockport.
She began working at Dancewave as the D-Wave in Motion Intern and was then promoted to D-Wave in Motion Assistant.
Being involved with Dancewave for so many years, Maleni is extremely interested in learning and being a part of Dancewave's staff.
Janelle Barclay, Office Assistant
Janelle is a native Brooklynite (born and raised with a sprinkle of Queens). Janelle started dancing at 3 years old, in Queens NY. She met Diane Jacobowitz as a junior at Benjamin N Cardozo High School, Diane was there to recruit high school dancers for a free high school workshop she was teaching at Long Island University. Janelle jumped at this opportunity and found not only a place to expand her dance knowledge but the University that she would attend, receiving a partial scholarship.
Graduating from LIU Brooklyn in 2001, she continued to teach and dance with a few dance companies and well-known artists like Clare Byrne and Duane Cyrus.
Since having her own little dancer, Janelle has obtained her MSEd in Special Education from Brooklyn University, teaching in a DOE middle school in Brooklyn. Because of her love of dance she continues to work at Dancewave's office ensuring all adult dancers are checked and prepared for class.
Annie Heath, Operations Manager
Rochester native, Annie Heath, is a creative researcher, dancer and administrator. She received her BA and BS in Dance and Environmental Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, during which, she also trained with Vertigo International Dance Program and San Francisco Conservatory of Dance.
Annie is thrilled to be part of Dancewave’s team as Operations Manager. Currently, she also works as an Administrative Assistant for Patricia Noworol Dance Theater and develops her own work through her project based company, Heath in Progress. She hopes that through her love of creating and traveling, she can better understand the diverse peoples that build a community, nation and world.
2017-2018 Intern Team