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Our Staff

Hampstead Dance staff

Donna Schipani – Owner/Director

In 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 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. She has studied with such notable instructors as Eleanor Rubino, Mandy Moore, Travis Wall, Twitch, Ray Leeper, Allison Holker to name a few.  Miss Schipani exposes her students to a variety of workshops and conventions to expand and broaden their knowledge in dance and to prepare them for what ever avenue in the Performing Arts they wish to pursue.  Donna prepares her students for Professional Auditions, College Auditions, Dance Teams and Community Theatre Auditions. Donna also offers Teacher Assistant Training opportunities for those wanting a career as a Dance Instructor. Her students have performed at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida on 5 separate occasions and return every four years. We have performed at Canobie Lake Park in Salem, NH, the Monarchs Hockey Games, Recycled Percussion, Fisher Cats as well as several community events.

Here at the Academy we strive to have well educated, certified and very dedicated staff who will instill their passion of dance with your child.  We offer an atmosphere where every student will feel safe and comfortable.  It is our goal to have your child Be The Best They Can Be.

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.  (Please read our Alumni accomplishments below)

Students of the Academy have volunteered their services for innumerable community and school programs for the Arts including: Atkinson Library Enrichment Day, 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, and Move 4 the Movement a charity benefit for Breast Cancer Research.

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.

Leah Vaillanacourt – Jr. Classroom Assistant

Leah has been dancing with Hampstead Dance Academy for 8 years, and love assisting the children in the preschool classes.  Her dance styles include tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical and pointe.  Leah is part of the HDA Dance Team and recently received the highest scoring award for her duo tap routine in their age division. She has performed at Canobie Lake Park, Dance Ovations, and Elite Dance Challenge. Leah is a student at Pinkerton Academy and is also a gymnast at Palaestra Gymnastics Academy.

HDA Alumni who have gone on to pursue their dance careers

Natalie Livingston | Student for 15 years

Natalie Livingston is a New York City-based actor, dancer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. Natalie has performed regionally as both an actor and musician. Currently, she is working as part of The Satin Dollz, an international jazz pin-up style singing group founded in Los Angeles 17 years ago, and then expanding to London, Rome, Paris, and most recently, New York City. Natalie is part of the inaugural NYC cast, and has made appearances across the Tri-State area, including at the world-renowned Birdland Jazz Club. 

Nat is actively pursuing her music career as a singer/songwriter. She released her debut EP Still To This Day, which was produced by her brother Justin, in October 2021. Natalie co-hosts a concert series called Siren Songs, showcasing and empowering women in music. Siren Songs has a residency at Heaven Can Wait on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Check out Natalie’s website www.NataliePLivingston.com to stay up to date on her projects! Natalie graduated from The Hartt School at The University of Hartford with a BFA in Musical Theatre.

Isabel Povey | Student for 15 years

Isabel Povey, has taken the many valuable skills she’s learned in the studio to many other experiences. Currently holding the title of Miss Seacoast’s Outstanding Teen, and formerly Miss Exeter’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Kingston’s Outstanding Teen, Isabel has been making her mark in the Miss America Scholarship Organization. This year she placed in the top 12, earned the scholastic achievement award, community service award, and overall interview award at the Miss New Hampshire’s Outstanding Teen competition. At age 14 she is a published author and was recently nationally recognized for her dedication to community service. She traveled to Washington, DC for the Prudential Spirit Of Community Awards as the New Hampshire Honoree. She has donated over 2,000 pounds of food to the New Hampshire Food Bank alone, and has also worked tirelessly with countless other organizations throughout the country and even overseas. Isabel is grateful for what the staff at Hampstead Dance Academy has taught her- for she believes her drive to help and care for others was sparked by the values instilled in the dance room such as dedication to reaching goals, teamwork, and simply kindness and poise.

Christine Dulong | Student for 14 years

A graduate of the University of NH with a B.A. in Musical Theater, Christine toured with The Center of the Arts in Quakertown, PA and was in productions of Grease, Footloose and Chicago. Christine was also a cast member with the Seacoast Repertory Theater for several years.

Jay Reynolds, Jr. | Student for 14 years

A graduate of Northwestern University in Illinois Jay studied voice, drama, dance, and musical theater and ranked as top tenor in the state of NH for the two consecutive years. Jay was in the national touring company of Broadway’s Wicked! He has dance captained and performed professionally at numerous reputable theaters throughout the country. Jay starred in the Chicago production of A Chorus Line under the direction of Broadway’s original cast member, Mitzi Hamilton.

Keri Lynn Pratt | Student for 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.