Success Stories

Over the years, many PDS dancers have graduated to pursue dance in college and some have become professional dancers. Below, are just four examples of PDS students who received their dance training at Progressive Dance Studio. All four have gone on to enjoy successful professional dance careers.

Shay Bland

Shay is currently on the faculty at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre School and teaches the Horton style of Dance. Shay began her dance training at Progressive Dance Studio under the direction of Jolene Perry, dancing at PDS for over six years. Shay graduated from the Professional Performing Arts High School in NYC and attended Rutgers University, where she was awarded the James Dickson Carr Scholarship. Shay trained at The Ailey School as a scholarship student and worked with choreographers Francesca Harper, Christian von Howard, Earl Mosley, Camille A. Brown, Christopher L. Huggins, Ray Mercer, Ronald K. Brown, and Danielle Agami. Shay became a member of Ailey II Dance Company in 2013 under the direction of Mr. Troy Powell, and she is currently a professional dancer with Elisa Monte Dance Company.

George Hirsh

George was a dance student and a Company Member at PDS for five years, developing a passion for modern dance. George graduated from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College receiving an Honors Degree in Dance. After graduation, George became a professional dancer with the following companies: Artichoke Dance Company, DanceTactics, David Capps/Dances, Daniel Gwirtzman Dance, Eva Dean Dance, GoCo, Liz Lerman, Liz Lerman/Dance Exchange, and Regina Nejman and Company. George teaches modern dance and has held dance workshops at Hunter College, Wesleyan College, and University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Jennifer Payan

Jennifer started dancing at Progressive Dance when she was 7 years old and was a member of the PDS Synergy Dance Company. Jennifer went on to attend the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where she graduated with a BFA in Dance. Jennifer is currently dancing professionally with UNA Projects (NYC) and Company SBB (NYC). She was previously a professional dancer with LeeSaar The Company (2012-2016).

Liandra Davis

Liandra danced at Progressive Dance from the age of 4 and was a member of PDS’ Synergy Dance Company. Upon graduation, Liandra immediately booked a job as a Disney World Dancer in Orlando, Florida, where she has played the role of “Princess Tiana” from the movie “Princess and The Frog.” Liandra has also danced with choreographers Chris Marks and Parker Blakely in NYC.

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“Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts. For it is no mere translation or abstraction of life. It is life itself.” – Henry Havelock Ellis