Ashford Ballet Company was founded in 2009 by director Caitlyn Redmond. Shortly after, Caitlyn talked about her dream of a special needs program that offered self contained and all inclusive classes where all students could shine. She spoke of growing her small studio of 12 three-five year olds into one which offered a variety of classes to all age levels, and to eventually compete. She now has Rochester’s largest special needs dance program, and over 100 students ages 3-12!
Caitlyn is a NYS Certified teacher in Special Education, Elementary Education, and Dance Education. It is her background in education that is the foundation of her dance classes, and inspired her to develop our program for children with special needs.
“Ashford Ballet Company was founded on the principle that dancing should be fun. That’s it. It sounds so simple, but I think it’s easy for dance schools to lose sight of what dance class is all about. When your children comes to class at my studio, my teachers will make them feel special. We will respect them, support them, and praise them as they grow as dancers. We will also encourage hard work, kindness, and teamwork. Growing up, dance class was my favorite place to be. I recall running into the studio, because I was so excited for class… This is the feeling I want to emulate for my dancers. If you entrust your child to me, I will provide solid technical training. Equally as important, I will do my best to build their confidence and foster a love of dance.”
Miss Caitlyn Redmond-Culotta
Caitlyn is the proud owner of Ashford Ballet Company. She has been dancing in the Rochester area for the past 20 years. She began formal training in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern dance under the direction of Trichia Bertino at LaDanse Workshop at the age of 8. While at LaDanse Workshop, Caitlyn competed throughout Rochester earning group and solo awards, performing dozens dances in annual recitals, and acting as a demonstrator for tots and beginner classes. Caitlyn attended Nazareth Academy, and became active in their dance department. With Nazareth, Caitlyn attended several national competitions and conventions. Upon graduating from Nazareth, Caitlyn went onto SUNY Geneseo where she majored in Special Education with a concentration in dance. During this time she acted as president of the on campus dance club, taught classes at the Valley School of Dance and LaDanse Workshop, and acted as student assistant director of Geneseo Dance Ensemble. Caitlyn choreographed a modern dance piece which was selected to be adjudicated at the American College Dance Festival in Spring 2009. In 2009 Caitlyn graduated from SUNY Geneseo with teaching certifications in early childhood education, elementary education, special education, and dance. Caitlyn is currently a Special Education Teacher at Spencerport Central Schools. Ashford Ballet Company is her heart and soul. She never feels happier than when she is watching the joy on her dancers’ faces each week.
Jami has been involved with dance since the age of 7. She graduated with a BS in Dance from SUNY Brockport, December 2003. During her time at college, she performed with Rosalie Jones of Daystar (contemporary Dance of Native America); in addition, she performed two pieces for the Faculty Show that were choreographed by Santo Giglio & Eddie Murphy.
Jami is excited to begin her new adventure with Ashford Ballet and would like her students to have a fun & rewarding experience, while learning proper technique and dance vocabulary. She also would like to encourage her students to be the best dancer that they can be.
Her many accomplishments have included numerous competition awards & trophies, as well as “Dancer of the Year” at one of the studios she attended. Other awards she received were Choreography Awards. She has performed with the Moscow Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet in the Nutcracker Ballet. She has performed with Greece Ballet in numerous ballet performances.
Kristie Schillaci received her Bachelor of Science in Theatre from SUNY Brockport in 2003. She began her dance training in Central NY studying and competing in all forms of dance. She was trained by Miss Delia Foley, under the Royal Academy of Dance standards for Ballet, graduating grade 6 with distinction, and also trained by Sandie Fukes and Wende Warne of the United Academy of the Performing Arts in Oneida, NY. After completing her Bachelor’s degree from Brockport, Ms. Schillaci began her teaching career at Nazareth Academy, where she was a Dance Educator for grades Pre-K – 12 and the Artistic Director and Choreographer for the Nazareth Academy Theatre program. In 2010, she shifted her career to The Aquinas Institute of Rochester, where she currently teaches dance to students in grades 6-12, is the Director of The Aquinas Dance Company for both Junior High and High School students, and is the Middle School Theatre Director. Ms. Schillaci was Co-Founder and Co-Director of 25 North Dance Academy and Theatre from 2010-2015, and is now the Director of the Teen Performance Company at the Ashford Ballet Company. Ms. Schillaci teaches all styles of dance, with concentration in Musical Theatre, Tap, African and Contemporary styles.
Miss Lindsay Jewett
Since the age of two, Lindsay Jewett has been in love with dance. Lindsay has over 16 years of competitive dance experience with NFSD and Visions in Henrietta. Her training includes ballet, contemporary, lyrical, tap, jazz and hip hop. Lindsay brings with her years of teaching children with guidance, direction, understanding and the love of dance. She is a 2007 graduate of Nazareth College with a Bachelors degree in History. She is a 2010 graduate of St. John Fisher College with a Masters degree in Organizational Learning and Human Resource Development…. She has worked with TNT Dance Explosion, American Dance Academy,Elite Studio of Dance and Platinum Dance and Cheer Company. Lindsay has also worked for the Brighton Central School District within their Special Education Program. Lindsay is currently working for Best Buddies International and is their Program Manager for the Western New York Region. Lindsay enjoys working in all levels and styles of dance but is especially excited about sharing her love of hip hop!
Courtney has been teaching dance for over 10 years. She began her training at OnStage dance studio and Lockport City Ballet. In 2007, she graduated from SUNY Brockport with a BS in Biology, Psychology and a minor in Dance. Then she obtained a MA in Creative Arts Therapy with a specialty in Dance/Movement Therapy from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. She is a registered Dance/Movement Therapist (R-DMT) through the American Dance Therapy Association since 2010. While in Philadelphia, Courtney continued her dance training at Symmetry Dance Wellness and Koresh. In 2013, she graduated with her MS in Occupational Therapy from Utica College and is currently an Occupational Therapist at Liberty POST providing early intervention and preschool services. Courtney has taught dance in Lockport, Buffalo, Albany and Philadelphia to recreational, competition and dancers with special needs. Courtney is a wonderful, warm, kind hearted teacher, and we love having her as part of the Ashford Ballet Company Staff!