Matt Dittes (Assistant Artistic Director)
Matt Dittes was born and raised in Minnesota, where he began dancing at the age of eight. After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College with a degree in dance, Matt traveled the world as a performer onboard Holland America Cruise Lines.
A member of Spark since 2010, Matt is currently the Assistant Artistic Director. His choreography, including the pieces Foundations and Best I Can, has been featured in several Spark performances. He is also the dancer representative on the company's Board of Directors.
Brent Radeke (Development Associate/Dancer)
Brent Radeke was born and raised in in the Midwest where he honed his dancing at the University of Minnesota. Since graduating, he has danced with the Jose Limon Dance Company and Danceworks Performance Co. in Milwaukee, WI. In addition to his dancing, his choreography represented the University of Minnesota for the 2009 ACFDA conference. When he's not working at the Juilliard School or dancing with Spark Movement Collective, he can be found trying to read every book in the New York Public Library.
Heather Conn (Dancer)
Heather Conn was born in Locust Valley, New York. She attended the Long Island High School for the Arts as a dance major, and upon graduating was awarded the “Seymour Weiner Scholarship”, the school’s highest honor. During some of her early training, Heather extended her studies with The Joffrey Ballet School, The Bolshoi Ballet Academy, The Boston Conservatory, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company, among many others. She graduated with a BFA in dance from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. While at Tisch, she had the honor of being selected to study abroad at the Music and Dance Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Heather has also had the privilege of performing works by Kyle Abraham, James Sutton, Emily Schoen, and Brice Mousset, and has been given principle roles in both film and theater works. She is currently dancing for the up and coming recording artist Ana Kay and will be seen in her music video premiere of the song "Show Off (Do Ya Thing)".
Kailee Combs (Dancer)
Kailee Combs was born and raised in Annapolis, MD, where she received excellent ballet, jazz, and contemporary training. Kailee graduated from George Mason University with a BFA in Dance and a BA in Economics. She was lucky enough to perform works by such notable choreographers as: Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch, David Parsons, Susan Shields, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Martha Graham, and Bill T. Jones. After college, Kailee traveled the world with Royal Caribbean Cruiselines. She is now living and dancing in NYC, as well as choreographing for various dance studios around the country.
Melissa Herchakowski (Dancer)
Melissa Herchakowski was born and raised in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. She began her dance training at age 3 with the Performing Arts Ensemble under the direction of Evelyn Gardell. Melissa attended Red Bank Regional High School where she majored in dance and began to develop her choreography skills.
Upon graduating from high school, Melissa enrolled at Towson University in Maryland. Here she obtained degrees in Dance Performance (BFA) & Mass Communication (BA). During her time at school, Melissa also became a certified Yoga instructor. Melissa has had the privilege to perform at venues such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney World, and the Count Basie Theater.
Melissa continues to train at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and Mark Morris Dance Center.When she's not dancing, teaching yoga, or working full-time at Jo +Jax in marketing, you can find Melissa loving dogs. Melissa is so excited to be working with Spark.
Kristen Santos (Dancer)
Kristen Santos studied at Coupe Theatre Studio in Nanuet, New York from age 4 throughout high school. She trained in Ballet/Pointe, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Hip-hop, and Theatre Dance. Over summers she trained at intensives including NYSSSA, Miami City Ballet, Greenwich Ballet Academy, and Jacob’s Pillow: the School of Jazz and Musical Theatre. She continued to pursue her study of dance at Muhlenberg College where she received her BA in Dance in 2013. After graduating, she was seen in the production of the musical Crazy For You in the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre and also performed in Los Angeles as an ensemble member in the Turkish operetta, Cloth Peddler. Besides dancing with Spark, Kristen works full time at Bazaarvoice Advertising and also teaches dance at Coupe Theatre Studio.
Aaron Thao (Dancer)
Aaron Thao was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He received his Bachelors of Science with Honors from Brown University, and began his dance training at Minnesota Dance Theatre while pursuing a degree in medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Aaron continued his dance training throughout New York City as a recipient of a Fisch Arts Award, and has danced professionally with Ballet Theatre Company, Ballet For Young Audiences, Continental Ballet Company, Spark Movement Collective, and Exit 12 Dance Company among others. He currently serves as the ballet director for Hudson Valley Youth Ballet based out of Westchester County and was featured in the July 2014 issue of Minnesota Medicine.
Reginald Webber Jr. (Dancer)
Reginald Webber Jr.began training at California State University, Fullerton. While studying at CSU, he was invited to perform a piece choreographed by Robin Johnson that was featured at the Los Angeles Dance Invitational in 2006. He also worked as a dancer and character during the world renowned Block Party Bash dance show and parade at Disney’s California Adventure. In 2009, Reginald studied jazz and hip-hop under Sasha Mallory at Civic Dance Center in Bakersfield, CA where he was a featured dancer in The Nutcracker. In 2010, he advanced his training and teaching experience at Camarillo Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA) before he was cast a lead role in The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker with Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy in Los Angeles with actors Raven Simone and Jaleel White. While residing in Los Angeles, Reginald has haven given the opportunity to train with artists such as Tina Landon, Kathryn McCormick, and Leslie Scott and was cast as a lead dancer in the musical, Nubiah!. He was invited to perform at West Hollywood Pride opening for global superstar Lil' Kim. Reginald also was chosen to participate in the Wall Breakers Web-series and was mentored by G Madison, Gina Starbuck, JJ Villar, Leslie Scott, Mykell Wilson and Calvit Hodge.
Reginald’s experience landed him a full-time contract with the internationally touring production, Mystic India: The World Tour produced by the award-winning dance company, AATMA Performing Arts. Reginald's strengths as an artist lay in the vastness of his training, the power and grace in his movement, and his intense passion for the art of dance. His ability to combine an extensive dance vocabulary with broad experience on stage makes him an extraordinary performer.
Hannah Wojszynski (Dancer)
Hannah Wojszynski grew up in the D.C. metropolitan area, where she started her training at local studio, Buffa’s Dance Studio. After attending the University of Maryland for one year, she graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in December 2017 with a BFA in Dance and Choreography and a minor in Nonprofit Management and Administration. While in college, Hannah performed in works by artists such as Doug Varone, Dawn Bazemore, Autumn Proctor Waddell, and Helen Simoneau, and presented her choreography both on stage and in film. She performed as a guest artist with Company E at the Atlas Theater in Washington, DC in March 2018 and aboard the Oosterschelde tall ship in Sunderland, England during the Tall Ships Festival in July 2018. Now based in New York City, Hannah works remotely as the Development Officer for Company E and continues to audition. She is excited to be part of Spark Movement Collective's work, 1984.
Nayanika Vyas (Apprentice)
Nayanika Vyas is a dancer from New Delhi, India. At the age of 5, she started to train with The Danceworx and later joined the repertoire company. She set foot in the US to pursue a BFA in Dance and Minor in Business from The University of the Arts under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield, where she graduated from in 2019.
Nayanika was awarded the International Presidential as well as the Dean’s Scholarship for all four years of her education at The University of the Arts. Trained in classical ballet, modern, contemporary and jazz among others, she has performed in works set by Eryc Taylor, Lamont Joseph, Sidra Bell, Jesse Zarrit, and Jimena Paz.
Being from India where western dance is an unconventional career, Nayanika broke boundaries and inspired other young artists back home to build their passion into a career. Nayanika brings a unique contrast of her cultural diversity into her art form. In the future, she aspires to bridge barriers and give back to dance and her Indian roots what it gave to her.
Nayanika currently works as a Teaching Artist and Performer in New York City.
Mikaela Papasodero Photo by Rachel Russel Photography
Photo by Rachel Russel Photography
Mikaela Papasodero (Dancer)
Mikaela Papasodero is originally from Middleboro, MA. She received her training from The Gold School under direction of Rennie Gold. While there, she was a member of Project Moves Dance Company and had the opportunity to work with artists such as Tyce Diorio, Teddy Forance, and many more. Growing up she was also a member of Boston Community Dance Project under the direction of Sarah K (Skooj). Mikaela graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance from The University of Hartford. She performed works by Shannon Gillen, Paul Taylor, José Limón, Manuel Vignouelle, Bryan Arias, Martha Graham, and many more.
Mikaela has taught for multiple studios in the New England region, and organizations such as Boston Children’s Theatre, and Project Contemporary Competitiveness Summer Program. She currently teaches for Sparkidz (an organization offering extra-curricular activities for children with special needs). Her choreographic works have been presented at Versatility Dance Festival, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, I Kada Dance Festival (held at The Ailey Citigroup Theatre), and the Rioult In-House Artist Concert. Mikaela currently lives in New York City and is dancing with Rioult Repertory Project, Spark Movement Collective, and Amirov Dance Theater.
Melissa Galano Photo by Celena Sinko
Melissa Galano Photo by Celena Sinko
Melissa Galano (Dancer)
Melissa Galano was born and raised in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. She began dancing at 3 years old with the Performing Arts Ensemble under the direction of Evelyn Gardell. She attended Red Bank Regional High School where she majored in dance. Melissa received a BFA in Dance Performance and a BA in Mass Communication from Towson University. She is also a 200HR certified yoga instructor.
She has had the privilege to perform at many venues such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Count Basie Theater and various venues in NYC. She has had the honor of dancing with Spark Movement Collective since 2015. Melissa enjoys sharing her passion for movement with others! In 2019, she founded the Manasquan High School Dance Department (in NJ) where she teaches dance. She is so grateful to perform with Spark!