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Our Staff

 

Donna Schipani Owner/Director

Donna SchipaniIn September of 1986 Miss Schipani opened the Academy in the Hampstead Town Gym, just two days a week with only 50 students. The Academy has now grown to accommodate students from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Donna is a certified and fully accredited member of the Boston Dance Teachers Club, Dance Masters of America and the National Dance Council of America.

A dance educator for over 40 years, Ms. Schipani has extensive training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, and Lyrical dance and has volunteered her services for innumerable community and school programs for the Arts including: St. Catherine’s Church Musical Theatre Camp in Nashua, Student Enrichment Day at Danville Elementary School, Timberlane Regional High School Career Day, St. Anne’s Summer Craft Festival-Hampstead, Sandown Old Home Days and the Miss Hampstead Pageant.

Miss Schipani is the past Secretary/Treasurer and Membership Chairperson to Dance Masters of America and held the position of stage manager to the Miss Massachusetts Program—a preliminary to Miss America— for 11 years. Donna established both the HDA Performing Arts Co. as well as the Northeast Performing Arts Co. Both companies represent the Academy and allows dance students the opportunity to perform as part of their dance training.

The Hampstead Dance Academy was awarded the Top Studio Award in both the Dance USA and Sophisticated Production Regional events and Miss Donna, herself, was awarded the Class Act [Teachers] Teacher Award for her dedication to her students.

Students of the Academy are regional and national dance champions and several have gone on to professional dance companies as well as careers in major motion pictures and television.

 

Andrea Francoeur

Andrea FrancoeurAndrea began her dance career with Miss Donna Schipani in 1988 at the age of three. During her time at Hampstead Dance Academy, she competed for 12 years receiving several dance awards and medals. While at HDA, Andrea studied with Miss Donna, Tammy Aspell and took class with Sandy Duncan and Ray Leeper among others. In the fall of 2003, she received Capezio’s Rising Star Award for her accomplishments in dance.

After graduating from high school, she attended the University of New Hampshire for two years, where she studied with Gay Nardone and Larry Robertson. While at UNH, Andrea was a member of the UNH Dance Company both years, and studied aerial dance for one year. She choreographed and danced in many student showcases as well.

In 2005, Andrea transferred to Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts for their outstanding dance program. She was a member of the prestigious Dean Dance Company and also received a performing arts scholarship for both years. Andrea performed in the chorus of the musical Anything Goes, Cabaret, Dance Team Show, and the Christmas Variety Show. At Dean, Andrea studied tap, jazz, ballet, and modern with: Nailah Randall Bellinger, Kristin Horrigan, Joan Palladino, Brian Steele, Jill Silverman, Maryanne Kodzis, Bob Thomas, Jean Wenzel, and Lisa Pari.

In May of 2007, Andrea graduated from Dean College with high honors and bachelors of dance and minor in psychology. We are so excited to have Andrea with us.

HDA Alumni who have gone on to pursue their dance careers

Christine Dulong | Studied with HDA 14 years

A graduate of the University of NH with a B.A. in Musical Theater, Christine toured with The Centre of the Arts in Quakertown, PA and was in productions of Grease, Footloose and Chicago and is currently performing with the Seacoast Repertory Theater.

Jay Reynolds, Jr. | Studied with HDA 14 years

A graduate of Northwestern University in Illinois Jay studied voice, drama, dance, and musical theatre and ranked as top tenor in the state of NH for the two consecutive years. Currently residing in New York, Jay is performing in the national touring company of Broadway’s Wicked! He has dance captained and performed professionally at numerous reputable theaters throughout the country. Last year, Jay starred in the Chicago production of A Chorus Line under the direction of Broadway’s original cast member, Mitzi Hamilton. He consistently returns to the Hampstead Dance studio to give master classes.

Keri Lynn Pratt | Studied with HDA 11 years

A major motion picture and TV star, Keri Lynn Pratt has appeared in numerous well-known productions, including The Help, Drive Me Crazy, Joan of Arcadia, Law and Order , Cruel Intentions 2, Fat Albert, House M.D., Bones, C.S.I., Smallville, That 70’s Show and many other well known titles. Keri Lynn was Miss Teen New Hampshire as well as Miss NH National Teenager.