Julie Petrusak is New York City based choreographer, instructor, and certified Personal Trainer. She is the founder and artistic director of JP Dance Group. She earned her degree from the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. in Dance Program, after studying ballet extensively at the Maryland Youth Ballet. As a choreographer, Ms. Petrusak strives to use dance to illustrate stories that resonate in the hearts and minds of her audience members. In Spring of 2013 she co-directed and choreographed three productions at Riverbank State Park’s Cultural Complex that reached over 1,000 New York City school children and senior citizens. She has presented work at various venues in New York City including the Ailey Citigroup Theater, Arron Davis Hall, The Riverside Theatre, Triskelion Arts Center, and for Fashion Week 2013. In 2012, she Co-produced “New Works” at the TANK where she premiered her ghost story ballet, “Apparitions”. In 2010, she assisted Karen L. Arceneaux in setting Arceneaux’s “Chasing a Dream” on the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A class of 2014.
As a performer Julie has worked for companies such as Genesis Dance Company, Racoco Rx, and Millennium Dance Company. She has performed works by Alvin Ailey, Sarah Skaggs, Anna Sokolow Ronald K. Brown, Adam Barruch, and Daniel Gwirtzman, and has appeared in music videos for The Clox and Alex Young.
When not performing, Petrusak teaches dance and fitness throughout the NY Metropolitan Area and is a personal trainer at Pongo Power in Brooklyn, NY
Diego De Souza Aleixo began his studies in ballet, jazz, and contemporary in 2004 at Centro Cultural Vanessa Ballet in São Paulo, Campos Do Jordão ,Brazil. He has participated in social projects in Brazil and has won various awards in these festivals. Upon graduating in 2010, Diego moved to New York City to pursue ballet. He received a full one-year scholarship at the Ailey School which allowed him to further his training in modern dance. He has danced for companies including Cia Cooperdance, Artisy, and now with JP Dance Group.
Steven E Brown is a freelance artist living and working in Harlem, NYC. Born in 1957 in Montgomery, AL, he was reared in the Deep South and now claims Decatur, GA as his hometown. He began an employment career in visual design in 1984 in ATL., GA. Studying music and art at UGA he has progressed to the inclusion and implementation of dance, choreography, and performance as vibrant elements to his ever changing portfolio.
” I look to the art of collaboration as one of the highest forms of human creation, always thankful for the blessing to be able to share and experience the whole of life as a continuous creative peace.”
Deborah Chambers was born in New Haven, CT and raised in Atlanta, GA. She received her early training at the Academy of Ballet Arts and the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. Deborah’s professional training began at The Ailey School in New York City under the tutelage of various instructors, including Denise Jefferson. She went on to attend New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida under the direction of Daniel Lewis, before relocating to Atlanta. Deborah spent several years working as a freelance artist with various choreographers and companies, including, Daryl Foster, Juel Lane, Tracy Vogt, Lonnie Davis, Zoetic Dance Ensemble and a host of others. She made her professional choreographic debut during the 2010 season of Dance Canvas (An emerging choreographer’s showcase). Deborah was recently cast as a principal dancer in the feature film, Bolden. She is thrilled to have had the opportunity to explore this new path. Deborah currently teaches at several studios throughout New York City and performs with Hillsong Dance NYC. This is her debut season with JP Dance Group.
Diane Hutchinson trained in modern, ballet and jazz, studying at The Neighborhood Playhouse, The Mark Twain School for the Gifted and Talented and The Brooklyn College Preparatory Center for the Performing Arts. She also studied Near/Middle Eastern dance with Dalia Carella. She dances with The Dalia Carella Dance Collective, a global-fusion dance theater company, and JP Dance Group. She teaches dance and yoga in NYC.
Dale Jezwinski (Brooklyn, NY) began his training at the age of 17 in Waukesha, WI with Accent on Dance Studios and the Milwaukee Youth Ballet programs. He went on to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cites where he graduated with a BFA in Dance. Dale continued training at the TU Dance Center in St Paul, MN under the direction of Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands and after attending a professional division summer intensive at the Ailey School in NY was accepted into the professional division Independent Study Program at the Ailey School. Dale moved to NY in 2013 to attend the Ailey School and while completing his training has had the opportunity to perform works by Choreographers Carlos Dos Santos, Judine Sommerville, Hollie E. Wright, Brent Radeke of Radeke Dance Theatre, Chelsea Koenig of SPARK Movement Collective, and Julie Petrusak of JP Dance Group.
Brice Payet was born in Reunion Island. At age 24, Brice left Reunion to live his passion, Dance. After studying at the IFPRO Rick Odum’s in Paris for 4 years, he received his Jazz Dance Teacher’s Degree. Upon moving to New York, Brice studied at the Martha Graham School and became a company member of Graham II. This is his first season with JP Dance Group.
Debbie Schneider trained in ballet under the direction of Helena Baron, Brunilda Ruiz and Paul Sutherland and performed with the Baron Ballet and New Jersey Ballet. Debbie graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University in 2010 with a double major in Dance and French Literature. She has performed in showcases at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, in New Orleans, and abroad in Paris, Dublin and Rome. Debbie has danced with The Next Stage Project, Community Dance Project, Giada Ferrone, and Diane McCarthy. Debbie has modeled for Christopher Deane and has written articles for Dance Magazine and Industry Dance Magazine. She was awarded a merit-based fellowship by NYU to complete an MA in French Language and Civilization (Paris, 2012-2013). Once again back in the Big Apple, Debbie is maintaining her French, demonstrating for ballet classes at Peridance, and having a ball working with JPDG!!!
Erke Roosen was born in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands. She received her dance training and BFA at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, the Netherlands under the direction of Wim Broeckx where she performed works by Jiri Kylian and Lightfoot Leon. After moving to New York, she completed the Certificate Program with excellence of honors at the Peridance Capezio Center in New York under the direction of Igal Perry. Some choreographers she worked with during the program are Sidra Bell, Bryan Arias, and Manuel Vignoulle. Erke has worked with Netherlands Dance Theater 2 and performed works from Alexander Ekman and Ohad Naharin in several theaters in the Netherlands and Europe. She is currently working with the Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, Gwen Rakotovao Dance Company, and JP Dance Group.
Pei-Rong Wu is originally from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where she discovered her love and passion for dance. She began traditional Chinese dance and Ballet training at age 7. As a young dancer, she performed at prestigious theaters in all the major cities in Taiwan. At age 15, she was accepted by the dance department of Tsoying Senior High School(Kaohsiung, Taiwan), where she continued her professional training in all disciplines of dance. In 2008, she decided to move to the United States to pursue her dreams of working professionally and exceptionally in dance. She was not only accepted as one of 30 students into the BFA program over almost 300 perspectives auditioned, but also rewarded a scholarship to New World School of the Arts. There she continued her dance training with Daniel Lewis, Peter London, and Bambi Anderson. Throughout her time in New World School of the Arts, she had the opportunities to work with contemporary artists such as Robert Battle, Kate Weare, Robert Swinston, Darshan Bhuller, and Kyle Abraham. In 2012, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance and graduated with highest honor. After graduated from school, Pei-Rong decided to move to New York City to continue her dance journey. She explored the various and diverse dance communities in the city and had great opportunities to work with creative NY based artist such as Jennifer Archibald, Goldie Peacock, Nai-Ni Chen, and Julie Petrusak. Pei-Rong is thrilled to be a part of JP Dance family. She currently resides in New Work City where she continues to grow and expand her career as a performing artist.
photos by : Eric Bandiero