Lyrical, Contemporary Jazz, Theater Dance and Musical Theater Bios

Jerome Vivona

Artistic Director: Jerome Vivona began his training on Long Island as a ballet dancer eventually landing in Ali Pourfarrokh's class in Port Washington. Shortly afterwards he was accepted on Scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC and made his debut with the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group. During that time Jerome was highly sought after for his portrayal of the Blue Bird in the pas de deux from Sleeping Beauty. He was then cast as the Nutcracker Prince in the New Jersey Ballet's holiday production under the direction of Carolyn Clark and Edward Villella. As a Soloist with the NJB he had the privilege of working with Agnes DeMille on "Rodeo", was cast as the lead in Robert North's "Let's Go South" and danced in Antony Tudor's "Jardin aux Lilas" among others. Jerome would then travel to Edmonton, Canada to join the Alberta Ballet under the direction of Ali Pourfarrokh. While there he featured in both new works and classic ballets such as: "Games", "Tango", "Coppelia" and the Nutcracker. He moved next to California to dance with the Oakland Ballet under the direction of Ronn Guidi. Jerome was featured in many new and contemporary ballets including the world premieres of "Gypsies" and the reproduction of the Nijinsky ballet "Le Train Bleu" featured in Dance Magazine. He returned to the NJB and began auditioning for Musical Theater. His first role was that of Paul in A Chorus Line at the Bucks County Playhouse, which led to him being cast in the National Tour of Jerome Robbins' Broadway where the legendary Jerome Robbins himself rehearsed him. Jerome then joined the Paris Company of West Side Story. Returning home, Jerome toured the US and Japan in Guys and Dolls Directed by Jerry Zaks and Choreographed by the late Chris Chadman, starring Lorna Luft. Jerome made his Broadway debut in the same show starring Nathan Lane. Soon after, Jerome opened on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying Directed by Des McAnuff and Choreographed by Wayne Cilento, starring Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullally, Sarah Jessica Parker and John Stamos. As Dance Captain, he took the show on the road with Ralph Macchio. Jerome assisted Wayne Cilento on his next Broadway project Dream, a Johnny Mercer Musical starring Leslie Ann Warren. Jerome went on to feature in the original Broadway casts of Seussical, the Musical Directed by Oscar Winner Rob Marshall and Choreographed by Tony Winner Kathleen Marshall, and then Kiss Me,Kate Directed by Tony Winner's Michael Blakemore and Kathleen Marshall. Jerome was then featured in the Kander and Ebb musical Curtains, directed by Tony Winner Scott Ellis and Choreographed by Tony Award Winner Rob Ashford, and starring the Emmy and Tony Award Winner David Hyde Pierce.

During that time, Jerome went on to become an award winning Director/Choreographer staging such shows as: How to Succeed…, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Sweet Charity, Footloose and The Producers. While also writing/directing and choreographing the original shows An American Canteen in Paris and Spotlight Broadway for the James L. Nederlander Organization and Celebrity Cruise Lines, respectively.

Theresa Diaz-DiLallo

Theresa Diaz-DiLallo graduated cum laude from Queens College with a BA in Dance and has a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. Theresa has performed nationally and internationally with the Circle of Dance Repertory Co. for over two decades and is currently artistic director. She has also danced with Patricia Kenny Dance Collection and the Dany Holdstein Dance Company. Over the years she has had the pleasure of working with choreographers: Nancy Brier, Carl Paris, Diane McCarthy, Jennifer Weaver, Ben Munisteri, Orion Duckstein and Patricia Kenny Reilly to name a few.

Ms. DiLallo teaches Modern, Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz and Tap at several Long Island studios and enjoys sharing her love of dance with students beginner to advanced. Theresa is also a teaching artist for Circle of Dance bringing dance to students in elementary schools throughout Queens and Long Island. Theresa has taught workshops for school teachers on how to integrate movement into the academic curriculum, based on the theory of Multiple Intelligences at Dellecave Institute and Dowling College. During the spring of 2016, Ms. DiLallo was faculty at Nassau Community College teaching Modern Dance to dance majors.

L’aura Bagdiziunas 

Laura Bagdziunas earned her BFA in dance from Marymount Manhattan College and studied acting at the historic HB Studio in NYC. She is graduate of the Long Island High School for the Arts and is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the dance department. She has performed in works by Jeff Shade, Larry Keigwin, Mark Morris, Pascal Rioult, Twyla Tharp, Cherice Barton and numerous others. She was cast in was in a workshop for a new musical entitled Revival directed by Christopher d'Amboise. She was a member of the Hamptons HITFest Theater Company as well as ShakespeArts and has performed in productions such as The Tempest and 12th(Ish) Night as well as a workshop for the musical Eco at the acclaimed Guild Hall theater in East Hampton. Laura also stared in a production of Our Town at the Tony Award winning Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut. She was a member of Yellow Brick Road Theatrical INC, Mad Cap Dance Company and is the lead choreographer for CPSM at Queens College. Laura is currently a member of Peconic Ballet Theater Company and teaches dance all throughout Long Island and NYC. 

Kathleen Tillis

Kathleen began her dance training with the Eglevsky Ballet at the age of six and then with American Theater Dance Workshop and Huntington Ballet Theatre. She continued studying Ballet seriously and later had the honor of training with renowned ballet instructor, Maggie Black , who coached many ballet legends such as Gelsey Kirkland, Kevin McKenzie, and Natalia Makarova. Kathleen got to dance at the prestigious summer program with Boston Ballet. Directly after finishing High School she joined the Eglevsky Ballet as a professional dancer. After mostly pursuing only ballet, she later decided to cross over to jazz and began training at Broadway Dance Center and STEPS on Broadway in Manhattan. She worked for Royal Caribbean International dancing in the production shows and traveling the world. She also worked for Tokyo Disney where she was an aerialist playing the lead role of Ariel in the show, “Under the Sea.” Kathleen has appeared on the Nickelodeon show, “The Naked Brothers Band” and “Saturday Night Live” dancing in a skit with Katie Holmes and Will Ferrell. Kathleen danced for recording artist, Rietsa, and has done commercials and industrials such as Lee Jeans, Toyota, Coca Cola and Royal Caribbean. Kathleen teaches ballet and jazz for all ages. She is also a certified Pilates instructor.


Michelle began studying dance at the age of 4 at her parent's studio, in Pittsburgh, Pa. Her parent's, both veterans of Broadway television and film, having worked with Luigi, Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Jack Cole, Michael Kidd, Peter Gennaro, Carol Haney and many other luminaries of the time as well as featuring on the Perry Como show. Michelle followed her dreams to NYC and shortly thereafter landed her first role as the Tap Leader in the National Tour of On Your Toes starring Leslie Caron and Natalia Makarova. She then was cast as Lorraine in 42nd Street, which led to her Broadway debut in Sweet Charity directed by Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon starring Debbie Allen, Bebe Neuwirth and later Ann Reinking. Anything Goes was next starring Patti Lupone, followed by working for Jerome Robbins in Gypsy with Tyne Daly and Linda Lavin.

Michelle then joined the Paris Company of West Side Story. Returning home, Michelle toured the US and Japan in Guys and Dolls directed by Jerry Zaks and choreographed by the late Chris Chadman, starring Lorna Luft. Soon after, they were married and moved to Long Island. Michelle joined the line at Radio City Musical Hall as a Rockette. Michelle was then cast in Thoroughly Modern Millie directed by Tony Winner Michael Mayer and choreographed by Tony Winner Rob Ashford, starring Tony Winner Sutton Foster. She has appeared in music videos, as a Westinghouse Babe on Late Night with David Letterman, One Life to Live, numerous national commercials, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, The Today Show, and was directed by Woody Allen in Zelig.

Michaela Vivona

Coming Soon

Josephine McSwane 

Josie McSwane is a New York based Dancer, Choreographer, Actor and Singer. She earned her BFA in Dance Studies from Long Island Post University and received her certification as an instructor for the Zena Rommett Floor-Barre® Technique. Ms. McSwane spent some time in Los Angeles where she focused on her hip-hop training and performed as a backup dancer for singer/songwriter Abrina. In later years, she had the opportunity to perform with the Martha Graham Dance company through a residency led by associate dance director, Susan Kikuchi. She performed with, formerly known, Broadhollow Theatre Company, and choreographed for some of their children’s theatre productions. In addition to Ms. McSwane’s dance training, she has trained in various acting methods such as Stanislovsky, Meisner and Strasberg and has acted in and directed numerous short plays as well as acting in short films. Josie has received vocal training in her youth as well as continuing on through college and dedicated some time in her performing career to her music. She wrote and recorded an EP called “Levels” that she performed live at local venues and had the opportunity to be featured with other local artists. Miss Josie is honored to be able to share her knowledge and passion with the incredible students at American Theater Dance Workshop and she hopes to inspire her students of any genre to pursue their dreams and never stop.

Deborah Walker

Deborah Walker began teaching musical theater at ATDW in 2014.

She continues to be musical director and pianist for all levels of classes, and various productions there.

Deborah is a graduate of New York University, with a masters degree in musical education and piano at the New England Conservatory, and Boston University. Her diversified career has included being Choral Director in the Herricks school district for over 30 years. Her passion for musical theater included directing numerous productions at the Herricks Community Center. ‘“A Class Act “ in NYC and the Sid Jacobson JCC in Roslyn are among other venues where Deborah has been musical director. 

Deborah continues to follow her love of musical theater, and also teaches voice and piano privately. 

Her strong connection with the multi-talented and dedicated students at ATDW, is something she is proud to be a part of! 


Ashley is a Long Island native who began her dance training at the age of two. She was a competitive dancer during high school and graduated from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a BFA in Dance Performance. After graduating, she went on to perform in “Christmas Wonderland”, a holiday show at the Palace Theatre in Myrtle Beach, SC. Since then, Ashley has had the privilege of performing in both Live Performances and Film/TV. She has had the opportunity to work on sets for Amazon Prime’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and NBC’s “Blindspot.” Most recently she had the opportunity to work with Award Winning Photographer Howard Schatz in his Motion Gesture Dance Study. Ashley is represented with The Movement Talent Agency for Dance and Acting. When she isn’t performing herself she teaches at dance studios on Long Island and judges for dance competitions across the US.

OLIVIA REED (ATDW Studio Theater Program Director)

Olivia Reed (B.M. Musical Theatre, The Catholic University of America) is enthusiastic about joining the American Theater Dance Workshop faculty this year. An alumni of ATDW, Olivia has developed a successful career as a professional actor, teaching artist, and educator in the DMV and New York areas. Olivia has a strong background in dance, training in Ballet, Pointe, Theatre Dance, Tap, Musical Theatre, Modern, and Jazz. While earning her degree she focused seriously on Ballet, Tap, Theatre Dance, and Jazz. Vocally, Olivia is a classically trained Soprano, and while attending CUA studied with Doug Bowles who helped transform and blossom her voice to be versatile in the world of theatre.

Upon graduation from CUA, Olivia joined the National Tour of "Mamma Mia!” and then immediately went on to work in Equity houses regionally. Theater has allowed Olivia the opportunity to live and perform internationally in Seoul, South Korea while doing “Dreamgirls”, and music has allowed her the opportunity to travel Western Europe with an honors chorus. Her journey as an actor continues to be fruitful, working with Broadway choreographers, directors, and cast-mates. In addition to work on the stage, Olivia has a growing on camera career in commercial print. Some of her favorite credits and show photos can be found on her website at and IG @livreed26.

Olivia continues to work professionally in theater while cultivating a career as a higher education lecturer of dance. Before joining ATDW, Olivia was on faulty at Catholic University teaching Tap and Theater Dance. One of the beauties of being a teaching artist is that Olivia can bring what she is learning and experiencing in real-time to her students. That way, the perspective is always fresh and the information accurate for what the business is currently seeking. More than anything, Olivia is passionate about helping students cultivate strong technical skills so that no matter what field they may find themselves in, they can instantly recall the discipline that it takes to master new skills. The theater industry is multi-faceted, and Olivia believes her students should be as well. It brings her joy to share the beauty of the arts with her students and create with them every day.