Faculty 2017-2018

Heather Nuckley Giglio - owner/Director/choreographer

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Mrs. Heather Nuckley Giglio is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. She began her formal training with Mr.Derek Reese, The Dance Emporium, and was a member of the Jump Street Dance Company. In 1988, Mrs. Giglio performed on television as the winner of the Discovery Talent Search. She has also had the opportunity to dance for Opryland and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. In 1993, she qualified as a teacher of the arts and received her official teacher’s certificate. Miss Nuckley has had intensive training in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip-hop, and lyrical.
         In 1994, she continued to advance her dance education at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her degree mainly focused on ballet, modern, dance composition, music analysis, dance history, labanotation, improvisation, anatomy, and teaching methods. While at USM, Mrs. Giglio was the captain of the Dixie Darlings Dance Team, and a member of the Southern Misses. She was a two-year faculty member at La Studio in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and was the choreographer of the Hub City Dancers, the Oak Grove High School Choir, the Golden Spirits Dance Team, and the Mississippi Junior Miss beauty pageants. Mrs. Giglio's choreography was selected both her Junior and Senior year of college to represent USM at the American College Dance Festival in Alabama and Texas. In 1997, she was a faculty member at William Carey College in Mississippi. Mrs. Giglio received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance in December 1997.
         In 1999, she was a faculty member at St. Peter School in Covington, Louisiana. Also, a faculty member of Jayson Michael’s Energy Source Dance Camp in Panama City, Florida where she taught modern and hip hop. In 2000-2001, she was a faculty member at Our Lady of Prompt Succor School in Chalmette, Louisiana as the Decentralized Arts Grant Dance Instructor where she taught both hip-hop and jazz techniques. In 2002, Heather Choreographed and taught the tryout dance for the University of Southern Mississippi’s Southern Misses Dance Team.  Mrs. Giglio's continued dedication and past achievements have lent itself to the success of those dancers representing Modern Conceptions of Dance at a competitive level, and in-turn has earned her and her studio various awards. In 2003, Heather was selected as Teacher of the Year, sponsored by Dance Spirit Magazine, at the Rainbow Connection Dance Competition; she was chosen by the judges based on choreography, professionalism, and creativity. Modern Conceptions of Dance and Mrs. Giglio, were also honored as
Starlight’s Regional Dance Studio Champions; receiving the highest score based on criteria such as: choreography and technique. In 2004, Mrs. Giglio choreographed a competition routine for the USM Southern Misses. She also choreographed a competition routine for the Our Lady of Prompt Succor Patriettes. During this time, Modern Conceptions of Dance was chosen as Kids Artistic Revue’s Studio Champions in the Secondary & Elite Levels. In 2005, Star Systems Competition awarded Modern Conceptions of Dance with a Second Place Overall Studio Award.
         In 2006, Mrs. Giglio choreographed and taught the audition routine for the 2006 NFL New Orleans Saintsations, as well as participating in the judging of the preliminary and final auditions. In 2007, Mrs. Giglio successfully continued her relationship with the 2007 NFL New Orleans Saint Saintsations. She has also managed to find time to assist St. Scholastica Academy in compiling a Captain’s routine for them to take to the American All-star Competition. 
       
        

Katie Geeck - Choreographer/Assistant repertoire Director

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Katie Geeck, a native of Chalmette, Louisiana, began her formal training with Heather Nuckley at Modern Conceptions of Dance. She also served as captain of the Chalmette High School Charmers. Upon graduation from Chalmette High School, she assisted with choreography for the Chalmette High School Charmers leading them to many state and national titles.                    In 2005, she continued her dance training at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM). She studied modern, ballet, Bartineff Fundamentals, rhythmic analysis, music resources, dance history, improvisation, dance composition, classroom management and teaching methods. She was also a member of the Southern Mississippi Repertory Dance Company where she performed in numerous student and faculty pieces.                                                                     In 2009, Geeck received her BFA in Dance Education from USM as an honor graduate. Geeck attended the American College Dance Festival where she had the opportunity to perform in both the adjudicated and informal concerts. Miss Geeck was awarded the Most Outstanding Dance Educator Award from the dance faculty in 2009.                                                                While at USM, Geeck choreographed for La Studio’s Hub City Dance Ensemble for three years. She was also the Performance Company Director for Hattiesburg Dance Alliance in 2008. Her choreography has been recognized regionally and nationally. She has also had students represent the Southern region at NYCDA’s National Season Finale in New York City as regional outstanding dancers.                                                                                                 Currently, Katie is a 3rd grade teacher at Lacoste Elementary School. Se begins her 6th year of teaching as the new 3rd grade teacher leader. Most recently, she completed her MFA in Educational Leadership from University of Holy Cross.                                                                 Her passion for her MCD students is unparalleled.  She is the rehearsal director for the mini competition team at our Chalmette Location; she strongly believes in building a strong foundation for our youngest dancers.

Christina Schallenberg - office manager

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Jenna Alfonso - Hip-hop instructor

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Jenna's passion for dance and performing has existed her entire life. She began training all styles of dance at Modern Conceptions of Dance in 1999. In 2002, Jenna auditioned for the Repertoire team at MCD. She trained and competed at MCD for 12 years. Upon graduating High School and MCD in 2011, Jenna pursued a bachelor's degree in Communication, Sciences and Disorders. In 2012, she decided to further her dance career as a professional NBA dancer. She auditioned for the New Orleans Hornets Dance Team, The Honeybees, and then continued onto the Pelicans Dance Team where we focused on Jazz and Hip-Hop styles. As an NBA dancer Jenna was given many amazing opportunities, such as getting to dance in the movie, "Daddy's Home." In 2016, she traveled to China with the New Orleans Pelicans dance team twice to promote the NBA and perform in Beijing and China. As much as Jenna loves to dance and perform, she feels so grateful that she now get to share that love with the upcoming dancers at MCD! "I hope that I am able to give my students as strong a background in dance as I received so that they can pursue any dreams they have!"

Jessica Battaglia - Pre-combo/3-6 yr old combo instructor

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Mrs. Jessica Battaglia is a native of Chalmette, Louisiana.  She began her dance training with Mrs. Glenda Hoselle, Glenda Hoselle School of Dance.  In high school, she was a member of the Chalmette High School Charmers where they were awarded many state and national titles.  In 2002, she formally trained at The University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  She received extensive training in ballet, modern, tap, jazz, rhythmic analysis, dance history, improvisation, and dance composition.  She performed in numerous faculty, student and guests artists' pieces throughout her training including Frank Vega, Aaron F. Girlinghouse and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.  She also choreographed a piece titled “You Inspire Me” which was selected as part of the Evening of Dance program.   Battaglia attended the American College Dance Festival on 2 occasions where she studied advanced ballet, advanced modern, advanced jazz technique, and a number of other styles offered.  Both times at ACDF, she had the opportunity to perform in the adjudicated concert.  While at ULL, she also trained in the technical side of the stage which composed of music, lighting, and stage director.  In 2006, Mrs. Battaglia, a ULL honor graduate, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Performing Arts with a concentration in Dance. Upon graduation, Mrs. Jessica was a guest faculty member of the Summer Dance Workshops for Dance Works Center in southern Louisiana.  She often is a judge for DWC Company.  In 2012, she started assisting at Modern Conceptions of Dance.  The very next year and since then has taught at MCD.  Mrs. Jessica also directs Modern Conceptions of Dance: Princess Camp and Diva Jazz Camp each summer. This year Mrs. Jessica will be teaching all ages of combo classes.  She will also be assisting with the beginner level hip-hop.  Mrs. Jessica is very happy to work under the direction of Heather Giglio and to have the ability to spread the love of dance to her students.

Rachael Bergeron - combo/jazz/lyrical/progressions instructor

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Rachael has been part of the MCD staff for four years.  She is knowledgeable in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, contemporary, and hip hop.  Rachael received a Bachelors of Liberal Arts in Mass Communications from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  She trained extensively through the University’s Dance Program where she performed in pieces through the Modern Department. Rachael was a member of her college dance team, ULL’s RAJUN’ JAZZ, as well as dancing for the LOUISIANA ICE GATORS, an ECHL Professional Hockey League. Rachael’s passion for dance is exemplified through her teaching and working with her students to further their dance education.

 

Marie Brown - Tumbling Intrsuctor

Libby Cotter - Ballet/Pointe Instructor

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Libby Cotter began her classical ballet training at age 8 in Andalusia, AL. She studied at Andalusia Academy of Ballet under the direction of Meryane Martin Murphy. Her summer study includes American Ballet Theatre, North Carolina School of the Arts, Joffrey Ballet School, Nutmeg Conservatory, Ballet Hawaii and American Dance Festival. After high school graduation she attended the University of Southern Mississippi and earned a BFA in Dance Education. After graduation from USM in 2008 she moved to Mobile, AL to teach in the public school system. She taught 4 years at Old Shell Road Performing Arts School (k-4) and 2 years at Dunbar Magnet School (6-8). She served as the president of the Dance Teacher Association while in Mobile. She moved to Madisonville, LA in 2014 and became a MCD faculty member. She currently teaches ballet in Challemette and Covington and the homeschool program in Challemette. She loves sharing her passion for classical technique, dance education and professionalism to create a well rounded dancer. She is married and has three super cute kids!! 

Christian Delery - ballet instructor

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Christian Delery was born in Salisbury, Maryland and started dancing in 2004 with the Salisbury Dance Academy. He performed in The Eastern Shore Ballet Theater’s “The Nutcracker”, “Coppelia” and “Swan Lake”, The Atlantic City Ballet Theater's “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “The Nutcracker”, “Dracula” and “The Mikado”, The Virginia School of the Arts “The Nutcracker”, “Strings and Things” and community outreach programs. He trained at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC under a full scholarship and the School of American Ballet and was chosen to perform choreography by Justin Peck. Christian has been trained by many famous dancers such as Jock Soto, George De La Pena, Era Jouravlev, Francesca Corkle, Dermot Burke, Phyllis Papa. He danced as an apprentice with the Dayton Ballet's in “Tales from the Shadows”, “The Nutcracker”,“Dracula”, “Casanova & Eve of Frankenstein”, “A Streetcar Named Desire”, “New Music for New Dance” and as a guest artist with L.H. Ballet Classique, Delta Festival Ballet, Kansas Youth Dance Center and more. He has judged and taught for Dance Teachers United Competition and Convention. He has taught ballet master classes and workshops across the country.

Joshua Eddington - hip-hop instructor

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Joshua Eddington is a teacher/professional dancer born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Josh started dancing at the age of 4. He grew up as a street dancer being inspired by the late Michael Jackson and James Brown. Josh never once stepped foot into a dance studio until attending college at University of Southern Mississippi. Once there, he began training in Ballet, Modern, and Jazz. Josh received 3 years of training in those genres.                                             Josh has taught at various studios throughout Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, New York, and California. Although Josh received his formal training in Ballet, Modern, and Jazz, he also very proficient in Hip Hop and Break dance. He is known for his unique incorporation of all styles of dance as well as the details within his choreography. Josh has won many awards for his choreography. Many of Josh’s students have won national titles with his choreography as well. Through his travels, he was able to work with people such as Nick Jonas, PSY, Alicia Keys, Maxwell, Master P, and many more. He has also been casted in movies such as The Campaign, Pitch Perfect 2, and the hit tv series The Magician.                         He also choreographs dances for many dance schools around the country as well as hosting master classes open to the public. Josh’s main goal is to give back to under-privileged kids, because he believes that every dancer should have a chance at success. Josh is also the co-owner and creative director of ENRGZ MOVEMENT CO. which is a company that provides professional level training for dancers who want to pursue it as a career.

Susan Grady Foster - Tap Instructor

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Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, "Suz" is a proud holder of a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from The University of Michigan – GO BLUE! Suz performed locally with the Gulf Coast Theatre on Tap, and previously performed in 42ND STREET on the Asia Tour and in Moscow, Russia, in THE SOUND OF MUSIC Asia Tour, as well as the U.S. National Tours of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. Regional work includes Roxie Hart in CHICAGO, Judy Haynes in WHITE CHRISTMAS, Leading Player in PIPPIN, Audrey in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, and Goodspeed Opera House production of HIGH BUTTON SHOES. Favorite role played was the Countess/Bolero Dancer in GRAND HOTEL. Susan has choreographed for the Victory Belles at the National WWII Museum, as well as many musicals across the Midwest and Northeast. She has taught dance and theatre at Interlochen All-State Musical Theatre Intensive, The University of Michigan Musical Theatre Intensive, The University of Findlay, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera Academy of Musical Theatre, as well as numerous studios across the Northeast, Midwest, and the greater New Orleans area.

Paul Guerin - Progressions/Ballet/Jazz/Lyrical instructor

Michelle Hearty dubos - pre-combo/3 yr old combo instructor

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Ms. Michelle Hearty Dubos is a lifelong resident of Chalmette, Louisiana. She has always had a passion for dance, which started at a very young age. She attended dancing school and graduated with 14 years of training. She now has 33 plus years of dance experience.       Michelle was a member of the Chalmette High School Charmers. She was lieutenant her sophomore year and finished off her senior year as co-captain.  She’s received several awards and was selected to travel with The American All-Stars Dance Team. In 2013, she began assisting combo classes at Modern Conceptions of Dance.  She truly enjoys dedicating her time to young children and teaching the beginner techniques of dance. The past two years, she was assistant choreographer for St. Catherine’s Gatorettes Officer Dance, which placed first both years. Teaching dance camps, stretch classes and private lessons, Michelle is always helping the kids at Modern Conceptions of Dance grow in any way they can. She loves to assist with the mini competition team when extra help is needed.  Michelle attends most competitions to show her support. With her associate of General Studies Degree, she currently handles all administrative duties for BOE-TEL Communications LLC and teaches at Modern Conceptions as much as she can. Michelle would like to express how grateful she is to be a part of the MCD family, and thank Heather Nuckley Giglio for entrusting her with the students of her studio.

Jenny lacoste - tumbling instructor

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Mrs. Jenny Lacoste, originally from St. Charles Parish, started dancing and tumbling at the age of 5. She had 10 years of dance training and 12 years of tumbling lessons. Although Jenny loved dancing, she realized her passion was cheerleading. She went on to cheer at J.B. Martin Middle School (Captain), Hahnville High School (1st Co-Captain) and at Nicholls State University, where she held the Captain position for two consecutive years.  While in college studying Public Relations, Jenny was a member of the Universal Cheerleading Association staff for four years and spent her summers traveling all over the southern United States teaching cheer camps and coaches clinics. Along with teaching cheerleading camps she also worked with individual middle and high schools on choreography, stunting and tumbling. Jenny graduated from Nicholls State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication.  In May of 2007 she became a member of the New Orleans Saintsations and danced for both the 2007 and 2008 NFL Saints’ seasons. While a New Orleans Saintsation she traveled with the team to London, was part of an NFL Mexico tour and was selected to teach two Super Bowl cheer clinics in Phoenix, AZ and Tampa Bay, FL.  Jenny is excited to have her first year with Modern Conceptions of Dance be their 20th year in business. She welcomes the opportunity to take the MCD Chalmette tumbling classes to the next level and produce some of the best tumblers Chalmette has ever seen! Currently, Jenny is the Director of Events at Holy Cross School. Jenny and her husband, Lance, live in Chalmette with their daughter Evie.

"Behind every dancer who believes in themself, is a teacher who believed in them first."

 

Dani McNeil - tap instructor

Rebekkah tran - modern/contemporary/musical theatre Instructor

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Born in Chalmette, LA, Rebekkah Unbehagen Tran graduated from the Theatre and Dance college preparatory program at the Mississippi School of the Arts in 2009.  She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Education from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2013. While at USM she performed with the USM Repertory Dance Company, was inducted into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts and served as the National Dance Education Organization chapter President. Following her undergraduate studies, she moved to Boston, MA to pursue her master’s degree in Arts Administration at Boston University, graduating from the Metropolitan College with her Masters degree in 2014. While in Boston, Rebekkah performed with the BU Dance Theatre Company.  Rebekkah has taught both Performing and Visual Arts at various charter schools in the New Orleans area and she is currently an adjunct guest artist at her Alma Mater, MSA, in Brookhaven, MS. She specializes in modern, contemporary, jazz and musical theatre techniques. Rebekkah holds a certification in Elementary Labanotation from the Dance Natation Bureau and k-12 Dance Education certifications from the state of Louisiana and Mississippi. Rebekkah and her husband, Jeff, currently live in Abita Springs, where she is in her third year as a teacher at Modern Conceptions of Dance.

we are looking forward to celebrating our 20th year with all of our talented dancers!  -MCD FACULTY

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