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, Director of Education
Kristen received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Performance studies with minors in Business and Psychology from Roger Williams University. Shortly after receiving her degree she came to Brooklyn and found Dancewave! In 2013, Kristen began exploring her passion for arts administration as Dancewave's Education Intern.
After her internship ended, she was brought on as Dancewave's School Administrator. As the School Administrator she continued to connect with Dancewave's mission and community of passionate empowering dancers. Four years later, she is excited to become Dancewave's Director of Education.
As Director of Education at Dancewave, Kristen is excited to manage Dancewave's annual winter and spring performances, and work on continuing to grow programs at Dancewave!
Laura Mercer, D-Wave in Motion Manager
Originally from the UK, Laura holds a BA in Dance and Culture from the University of Surrey. Before relocating to NYC, Laura worked as a Projects Manager and Teaching Artist for a number of dance organizations across London and the wider UK, including the Royal Academy of Dance and London's Southbank Centre. For the last five years, Laura worked as Projects Manager at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in the Learning and Participation department. She managed large-scale youth dance festivals, workshops, school projects and a scheme mentoring young people to develop leadership, teaching and project management skills. Laura joined the Dancewave team as the Youth Leadership Council Coordinator in 2017 and is excited to transition to the role of D-Wave in Motion Manager.
Jen Henriquez, Associate Director of Design & Marketing
Jen holds a BA from Bard College and an 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 over 12 years. She is a founding Board Member 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.
Jenny Boissiere, Special Events Coordinator
Jenny Boissiere is a choreographer, Pilates Instructor, and event coordinator from New Orleans. She graduated in 2007 from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in Dance and Marketing.
Her choreography has been presented at Gibney Dance Center, Chen Dance Center, Brooklyn Ballet's First Look, FABx Salon, and Movement Research. In 2017 she was selected to participate in Doug Varone's DEVICES Choreographic Mentorship and Chen Dance Center's New Steps Choreographer's Series. In 2018 she was a choreographer in Boulder's first ever Spring Break ChoreoFest.
As an event coordinator, she has worked for brands like Midleton Whiskey and Hennessy. In 2017 she acted as the Parade Production Lead for Dance Parade, the biggest dance event in New York City.
Sarah Dodd, Operations Manager
Sarah Dodd is a New York City based dancer, performer, and artist. Originating from Syracuse, NY, Sarah has been dancing and creating her whole life. She graduated from the University at Buffalo with her BFA in Dance Studies in 2016.
Since moving to New York, Sarah has performed for a multitude of companies across a variety of spaces and also began her journey into arts administration. With a deep investment in her surrounding arts communities, Sarah is excited to help continually grow and develop these communities through her work at Dancewave.
Phoebe DeVincenzi, School Manager | Youth Leadership Council Coordinator
Phoebe is a New York City native and has been dancing since the age of 4. For the past five years Phoebe has been working in art education as both an educator and administrator. She has worked in the public schools as a teaching artist, as well as in many cultural institutions, including Jacob’s Pillow, St. Ann’s Warehouse and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
After graduating from Macalester College in 2013 with a Theater/Dance Major and a specialization in Choreography and Performance Studies, she continues to make dances and explore the healing connection between mind and body to this day.
Phoebe first discovered Dancewave as a dancer in the Adult Modern Company class, and quickly fell in love with Dancewave and its supportive and nurturing atmosphere.
Yama Oge, Development Assistant
Yama Oge holds a BA in Arts Management from the State University of New York at Purchase College. Yama has had arts administration internships at Cherry Lane Theatre and Westchester Philharmonic. She has supported Cherry Lane Theatre in its annual gala fundraising efforts. While at the Westchester Philharmonic, Yama contributed to the maintenance of the organization’s online platforms for promoting events.
Yama grew up in Westchester County, New York and is a proud White Plains native. She is passionate about using her administrative abilities and fundraising experience to create positive social change through art.
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.
2018 Summer Intern Team