Staff

Addie Portrait

Adrienne (Addie) Black-Cannistra
Founder/Owner/Director

Addie is the founder/owner/director of Dance From The Heart. She graduated from SUNY Cobleskill in 1995 with an associates degree in early childhood education.

Addie has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She has studied many types of dance including: Acrobatics, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, and her favorite, Tap! Addie has competed all over the United States and has won many titles and awards including: Dance Elite Grand Champion 1994 and Miss Adult Dance Masters of 1995. Addie has studied with local choreographer Sandie Fukes and famous New York City choreographers such as Frank Hatchette and Savion Glover.

Addie’s love for teaching the art of dance started at a very young age. When she was 15 years old she was presented with the opportunity to assist and choreograph at Sandies Dance Academy in Oneida. At the age of 18, Addie’s choreography was getting recognition and praise at numerous competitions.

In the year 2000, Addie opened Dance From The Heart. A dance studio built on the philosophy that the only true way to dance, is from your heart. Her competitive students have won many titles and competitions all over the state for the past 13 years. Being recognized for outstanding choreography, stage presence and technique. In 2012 Dance From The Heart was awarded the high scoring studio at The Power of the Dance competition. The proceeds/cash given were given to a charity of their choice (The center for missing and exploited children), something they were proud to be a part of. Addie and the teaching staff at Dance From The Heart believe that every child is special and has their own gift. Believing in themselves is the most important goal to achieve.

Katie Portrait
Katie Masker
Dance Instructor

Katie has been dancing since the age of 2. She started out at Wende Weeks’ Dance Academy in New York Mills where she took classes until the age of 5. She then continued her dance career following Wende to the United Academy of the Performing Arts. While at United, she took classes instructed by Addie Black and multiple solos, duets and trios. Addie taught her all of her acro tricks and showed her the proper technique from a young age creating Katie into the dancer she is. Katie is honored to have learned from Addie and even more honored and excited to be teaching at her dance studio.

Katie has studied various types of dance through the years and would say that her specialty, as well as her favorite, is acro, but she loves every style of dance. She has won numerous dance competitions throughout the nation including the title of Miss DMA 9 year old for her ‘Thumbelina’ acro routine that was choreographed by Addie. In 1998, she performed in the Orange Bowl Parade in Miami, Florida along with other fellow dancers who were selected. She was also invited to dance at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

Katie has a strong passion for dance and is excited to pass that along to her students. She loves working with children and helping them grow stronger and achieve their goals both in and outside of dance.

Katie is a mom to her beautiful daughter Leah. Leah is following in her mommy’s footsteps and has a natural ability and love for dance. Katie would like to tell her students something her mother instilled in her from a young age and that is “the word can’t is not in your vocabulary!” She believes that if you work hard enough and you want to you will achieve whatever you are working for. Practice, practice, practice! Start with confidence within yourself and always strive to do YOUR best! If you are truly happy with the end result then that is what matters. Dance from your heart.

 

 

Emily Babcock

Dance Instructor

 

Emily began dancing in 2000 at the age of 3 when Addie Cannsitra opened the doors to Dance from the Heart. She soon realized she has an extreme love and passion for dance. At the age of 7 she joined the competition team. Emily spent the next 11 years traveling throughout New York State competing in several competitions. She competed in many solos, duets, trios, and groups in jazz, tap, acro, musical theater, ballet, lyrical and modern. At the age of 13 Addie gave Emily the opportunity to assistant teach classes at the studio and share her love with the younger generation. She quickly realized she not only loved dancing, but loved teaching the art of dance to younger girls who looked up to her. Emily became a head teacher in 2015.

Besides dance Emily also works full time at AmeriCU Credit Union, and spends a lot of time with her family.

 

 

Alina Janovski

Dance Instructor

 

Alina Janowski grew up dancing here at Dance from the Heart. She started dancing
when she was 6 years old and has never stopped. At the age of 10, she joined the competition
team and traveled throughout the state competing for 8 years. She has studied several styles of
dance including acro, jazz, ballet, musical theater, hip hop, and her favorite – lyrical. While in
high school, Alina was able to assist classes along with taking her own classes, and during her
senior year she was able to teach some of her own classes as well!

Alina graduated from St. John Fisher College in December 2021 with a degree in Inclusive
Childhood Education and a concentration in American Studies. While at college, she
participated in Fisher Dance Club as well where she was able to be part of several dances and
a recital each semester. Alina has always had a passion for dance, a heart for helping others,
and teaching has always been her dream. She is so excited to be able to bring those things to
life by teaching at school as well as at Dance from the Heart.

 

 

 

Katie Snyder

Dance Instructor

 

“Miss Katie Snyder” started her dance journey at the age of 2 and has been a part of the Dance From the Heart family for over 20 years. She learned and taught many styles of dance over the years, but has found her calling is working with the littlest learners and their families.

Katie graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 2018 with Degrees and NYS Certifications in Early Childhood Education and Childhood Education.

She earned her Masters in Literacy Education from SUNY Cortland in 2022. Katie has been a classroom teacher since 2018 with experience in Prek, Kindergarten, and 1st grade. She has also been a tutor, STEM teacher for summer school, and member of leadership committees at OCSD.

Katie enjoys blending her passion for teaching with her love of dance and is looking forward to a wonderful dance season. She is excited to see her students grow and learn this year while having fun alongside their dance friends.

 

 

 

Ella Diveronica

Dance Instructor

 

Hi! My name is Ella Diveronica.  I am 18 years old.  I’ve been a competitive dancer for eight years and have danced for 11 years.  I began choreographing at 14 years old.  I specialize in contemporary, hip-hop, and musical theater.  I love sharing my choreography with others and making people’s love for dance grow with that new choreography. I have been recognized for my choreography with previous solos I have taught.  The petite contemporary solo I taught placed in the top three at Nationals 2023.  Along with another solo placing 2nd at Nationals as well.  I’m proud to say that many of my pieces have received platinum adjudications.
I’m currently attending Utica College to get my bachelor’s degree in nursing.  I want to be close to home and stay active in my community.  I’m looking forward to joining the Dance from the Heart team.
Brittany Rizzo
Dance Instructor

Hello everyone, my name is Brittany Rizzo. I began dancing at the age of nine and joined the Dance From the Heart competition team in 2000 when the doors officially opened. I enjoyed all dance genres, but acrobatics and jazz were where my heart lived! Being able to grow and excel in these areas made my journey here so memorable and I can’t wait to share that with your children!

Growing up and still residing in the area has allowed me to share my love for dance with my daughter Addy!  It is her love for this place that has brought me back into the studio, not just as a parent but as a teacher. Knowing that walking through the ‘A’ and ‘B’ doors can turn a bad day into the “the best day ever” reminds me that ending your day with music and movement can make a huge difference.

I can’t wait to meet you and your children this year. I look forward to learning and growing with them. Let’s see what this year brings!

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