Faculty

Academy students have the unique opportunity to study with professional artists from national and international companies and institutions in all classes and levels. All instructors have a comprehensive knowledge of tradional techniques as well as a shared understanding of the latest, most effective methods of training. As accomplished, experienced artists themselves, they bring a caring and and up-to-date perspective to the classroom experience.

Lisa J. Bibeau

Founder and Artistic Director - Ms. Bibeau is a native of Westport, MA and is a graduate of the Hartford Ballet’s Teacher Training Program, one of the most highly respected programs in the United States to train and certify teachers.  At Hartford Ballet, Ms. Bibeau studied Vaganova technique, pedagogical study and modern training in Graham, Cunningham and Limon techniques.  Ms. Bibeau has also studied classical ballet with Mikhail Korogodsky from the Riga Ballet Academy in Russia, David Howard of the Royal Ballet in London, and Margilyn Caselli of the New York City Ballet.  In addition to her ballet training, she has studied with respected jazz artists Frank Hatchett, Gus Giodano and Luigi.

Ms. Bibeau has performed with Hyannis Ballet, Island Moving Company, and Cape Ballet. She has performed a wide variety of roles from classical to contemporary. Principle roles include the title role in Cinderella and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker.  As a choreographer she has received critical acclaim for her original short and full length works.  These include A Meadow Fantasy, an original full length ballet based on the children’s book of tales, Mother West Wind written by Thornton Burgess, Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella,  Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the Princess and the Pea.   In addition she has restaged several classic ballets including Coppelia, Giselle and Sleeping Beauty.

In the fall of 1987 she established The Dance Academy.  The schools philosophy is to provide the highest quality of professional instruction in conjunction with creating a nurturing and positive atmosphere that will teach students how to simply enjoy dance and understand movement. Our goal is to not only create beautiful, skilled dancers, but for all our students to grow into adults with a strong sense of responsibility, independence and success in every aspect of life.  The Academy has firmly established it’s reputation for excellence in dance training and offers a completely graded syllabus for ages 2.5 years through adult.  In 1995 Ms. Bibeau became the founder and Artistic Director of Spindle City Ballet, the South Coasts only non-profit professional ballet company.

Ms. Bibeau is a well known master teacher, working with students as well as professionals.  She is well known for her holistic approach and broad knowledge of technique, theory and history of ballet.  In addition to teaching she is also a popular coach, working with dancers of all levels participating in ballet competitions not only here in the United States but abroad as well.

Chelsea Cousineau

Children’s Division and Tap - Chelsea spent her early dance and performance training in various towns and cities in Southern, Massachusetts. She studied at Rhode Island Ballet Arts Academy under Nancy McAuliffe for classical ballet and pointe as well as character and mime. In her teenage years she studied at Miss Janice's Dance Studio under Janice MacDonald and expanded her dance education to include styles such as jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop and musical theatre. She continued this training while joining several performance groups in high school including show choir and dance squad, which she was captain of for three years. These groups gave her the opportunity to dance in Walt Disney World twice. Chelsea attended Bridgewater State University for Dance Education where she had the opportunity to work with the Anna Sokolow Dance Company and study Bharata Natyam under Kausalya Srinivasan. She served both as Public Relations and as President for the BSU Dance Company during her years there as well as dancing in thirteen performances on the main stage and choreographing over fifteen pieces for the Dance Company. After University she worked with children's theatres and competitive show choirs as an instructor and choreographer and at local studios in the area in various styles. In 2015 Chelsea had the opportunity to be the guest teacher for the Emerson College Dance Company and work as the Dance Counselor at a camp for international students from Thailand, China and Australia. Chelsea currently dances with Kinetic Synergy Dance Company out of Boston. She is excited to bring her knowledge and passion to her Dance Academy Students.

Danielle Dragon

Ballet - Received her ballet training at The Dance Academy, Nutmeg Conservatory of the Arts, Ballet Theatre of Boston, New York School of Classical Dance, and American Repertory Ballet. She is a founding member of Spindle City Ballet, where she performed for 18 seasons. During this time, she completed her bachelor’s degree at UMass Dartmouth. She has trained in pedagogy under Lisa Bibeau, enhancing her understanding of the Vaganova style and the syllabus of The Dance Academy. After 13 years of instructing all levels at The Dance Academy, Danielle took a hiatus to complete a graduate degree at Boston College. During this time, she continued as children’s rehearsal mistress for Spindle City Ballet, and coached students participating in Youth America Grand Prix. Her passions as a teacher include providing students with the tools to develop strong technique, an appreciation for the art form, and a way of thinking about their work as dancers that will carry over to anything they choose to pursue in their lives.

Michelle Sheehan

Jazz/Hip-Hop - Ms. Sheehan is originally from Plymouth, MA and has received her BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory of Music, Dance and Theatre. She has studied many types of dance such as Ballet, Modern, Tap, Jazz, Flamenco, Hip-Hop, Lyrical and Musical Theatre. Michelle has studied with some of the "greats" in the dance world such as; Edward DeSoto, Jennifer Scanlon (Jose Limon Dance Company), Sam Kurjian, Tony Williams, Clyde Nantais, James Reardon (Boston Ballet) and Clara Ramona. Over the past 23 years Michelle has been a professional dancer, successful studio owner, guest teacher for dance conventions and award winning choreographer. She continues to pursue professional development and inspiration through continued study of dance. She passes on her knowledge, love and passion for dance to students of all ages at several Massachusetts studios.

Stephanie Stanford Shaw

Modern -  Stephanie has worked with Fusionworks Dance Company since 1992 and serves as assistant to the director for the Dance Company and director and primary choreographer for the Junior Company, Fusionworks II. Stephanie retired from her professional dance career with Fusionworks in 2013 to concentrate on teaching. She currently teaches in a variety of studios as well as conducting curriculum-based modern dance programs in public and private schools throughout the area. Her formal study began with prima ballerina, Anamarie Sarazin at the Sarazin School of Dance, she then went on to perform as a principal dancer with Cumberland Company and received her BFA in dance from the Boston Conservatory. Stephanie is a senior member of the Fusionworks Educational Team and is a member of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts' Artist in Residence Educational Roster. She is exicted to be joining and sharing her talents with The Dance Academy this season.