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Rebecca Tew (Owner/Director)

Rebecca Tew began her training as a young teen in upstate New York. She studied under principals from Russia's Bolshoi Ballet, Andrey Shakhin, Yuliya Akopyan, and Kirov Ballet's Ilya Gaft. Her training then took her from upstate to New York City and New Jersey, where she learned an approach that suits a broader range of physical facilities and adapts, as needed to the anatomy of each dancer. After graduating, Ms. Tew went on to perform principal, solo, and corps roles in several classical and non-classical ballets such as Paquita, Giselle, Les Sylphides, Stars and Stripes, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Cinderella, Iolanthe,  Alice in Wonderland, Valse Fantaisie, Italian Symphony, along with several contemporary works as a freelance artist until accepting a full-time position with Connecticut's state ballet company, Connecticut Ballet where she performed seven seasons.

In 2012, Ms. Tew saw a need for proper ballet training in Rockland County, New York, and decided to open Ballet Rockland. Having chosen to teach full-time, she is currently dancing professionally part-time throughout the tri-state area as a freelance artist.

Knowing the importance of staying current in today's ever-evolving ballet world, she keeps her dance education fresh by taking regular ballet classes and working closely with Dance Physical therapists; this ensures her students receive the best possible training.


Mary Beth Hansohn (Ballet/ Pointe)

Mary Beth Hansohn received her classical training from The Arlington Center for Dance (now, Ballet Nova Center for Dance), Maryland Youth Ballet, and American Ballet Theater. She has performed with Twyla Tharp Dance, The Metropolitan Opera-LIVE in HD, The Ohio Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, The Cleveland Opera, Neglia Ballet, and The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on CBS. Mary Beth has also worked with Edouard Lock at La La La Human Steps in Montreal. She is a registered yoga teacher and received her 200-hr teacher training from The Yandara Yoga Institute. She has created custom Barre Fitness, yoga, and ballet classes for studios in New York City, including Broadway Dance Center and Ballet Arts.

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Yuliya Akopya  (Ballet/Pointe/Variations Coach)

Yuliya Akopyan graduated from the Moscow Dance Academy. Ms. Akopyan joined the Bolshoi Theater as principal dancer and soloist in 1977 where she danced for 20 years. During this time she had the opportunity to dance with Marina Semenova, Galina Ulanova, and Maia Pleisiskaya.

Hers was an unprecedented array of more than forty principal roles in such performances as Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Chopiniana, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Raymonda, Le Corsaire and Divertissements.

She toured worldwide. These performances took Ms. Akopyan to USA, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Great Britian, Brazil, France, Mexico, Austria, Japan, China, Korea, Hungary, Czechoslavkia, Poland and Holland.

Yuliya has over ten years of experience as a teacher and choreography assistant at the Bolshoi Theater. Ms. Akopyan was selected to represent the Bolshoi Ballet in the International Ballet Competition held in Moscow.


Cesar Ortiz (Ballet /Pas De Deux)

Cesar Ortiz, a native of Columbia, began dancing as a child. His professional training has taken him across the world from South America to Russia, Europe and the USA. Cesar began his career as a principal dancer for Ballet de Cali Company dancing the role of Don Quixote, The Nutcracker and other great works such as Barrio Ballet, Coppelia and much more. He has danced with notable companies such as the Ohio Dance Theater, Black Door ensemble, Ganesville Ballet Theater, Sacramento Ballet, Saratoga Springs Ballet, Westchester Ballet Company & the Joffery Ballet NYC prior to beginning his teaching career.

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Marisa Paull Gorst (Ballet/ Pointe)

Marisa Paull Gorst was born in New York City.  She trained at the School of American Ballet in New York and the Kirov Academy in Washington DC.  Most recently onstage in CATS the Musical, she has also danced professionally in the Las Vegas production of The Phantom Of The Opera at the Venetian Hotel and Casino, and with New York City Ballet, Miami City Ballet, New Orleans Ballet Theatre, Dances Patrelle, Bergen Dance Theater, Westchester Ballet Company, Neville Dance Theater, and other regional companies in and around New York.  In addition to her onstage career Ms. Gorst enjoys teaching the art and discipline of classical ballet to all ages and levels. She has served on faculty at the School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in Colorado, as the Artistic Director and Head Instructor at the International Ballet School of Bled, Slovenia, and as the Director of Youth Dance at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. She has taught at Peridance, Broadway Dance Center, and Studio Maestro in New York City, and The Rock School in Las Vegas, NV.  Ms. Gorst holds a BA from Smith College, graduating summa cum laude with Highest Honors in English Language and Literature.


Claire Beebe (Contemporary/ Choreography)
Claire is an accomplished dancer and dance instructor who has studied and taught ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, modern, and hip-hop. She has been affiliated with the Hudson Valley Conservatory for approximately ten years as a student and instructor and has also studied voice and flute at the Conservatory. Claire is also a member of the Hudson Valley Contemporary Company under the direction of Paige Constable Cummings and has played major roles in their productions including Pearl: Billie Holiday; Janis Joplin; and The Giving Tree. She has also performed several principal roles throughout the greater NY area for companies such as Warwick Center for the Performing Arts as well as Hudson Valley Ballet Company. Claire choreographed Chester Academy's 2016 musical Fame and will be choreographing there 2017 musical Rent. Claire's formal training began when she was in third grade when she joined the Valley Central High School Dance Team. Claire continued her dance education through Rockland Community College.


Alan Brown (Cross Training/ Conditioning)

Fitness and health have always been at the forefront of Mr. Brown’s lifestyle. After graduating from Cuny Queens College and spending a few years in physical education, he decided to enter the fitness industry to pursue his true passion. Pivoting away from solely strength and conditioning, he began to focus his energy on creating a FUNctional boot camp with the intention of helping people live a healthy, strong, and pain-free life. Mr. Brown brings a plethora of knowledge based on correct movement patterns that have our FitFamily learn about their bodies while they’re working up a sweat. 


RockTape FMT Movement Specialist

NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist

FAI Functional Aging Specialist

Anchor Point Training Certified

USA Track and Field Level 1 Certified

Layne Norton Science of Nutrition Certified

Parisi Speed School Certified Speed Coach


Samara DiMattia, M.S.P.T. (Physical Therapist/ Annual Evaluations/ Injury Prevention)

Samara is founder and director of Connecticut Dance Physical Therapy. She has over 20 years of experience working with elite dancers, gymnasts, and figure skaters. Samara grew up as a dancer in NYC and was a scholarship student at both Joffrey and Steps before attending Laguardia High School of the Performing Arts as a dance major. She went on to graduate with honors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she designed her own field of study in Dance Medicine and Science. Samara then danced professionally with various companies while working as a certified personal trainer and as physical therapist aide at Westside Dance Physical Therapy. She worked under the tutelage of Marika Molnar who is one of the pioneers of the field of Dance Medicine and  PT for New York City Ballet. Samara then attended New York Medical College, where she earned her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy and graduated cum laude. 

Samara has been practicing in Fairfield County since 2000 and in 2007, founded Connecticut Dance Physical Therapy. She has been asked by numerous dance companies and studios to lecture on the topics of injury prevention, pointe readiness, summer intensive preperation, and building better turn out. Samara can be seen in the instructional DVD Points on Pointe with Stephanie Marini.  She is a physical therapist in residence at several dance schools where she conducts on-site PT evaluations and helps to administer pointe readiness exams. 

At the heart of Connecticut Dance Physical Therapy's practice is Samara's integrative approach to PT, drawing from her background in dance, manual therapy, and personal training. She loves connecting with her patients on a personal level and helping them to accomplish their goals. Samara has had patients go on to dance with American Ballet Theater, Paris Opera Ballet, Boston Ballet, Ballet West, LA Ballet, and Riverdance, as well as participate in the Olympic games. 

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Brianne Traver - Office Administrator
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