Staff

Adrienne (Addie) Black-Cannistra – 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.

Emily Babcock- 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 spert 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.
Besides dance Emily also works full time as a loan officer at AmeriCU Credit Union, and spends a lot of time with her family.

Katie Masker- 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.

Felix LaBella III- Felix is currently working for REVEL Conventions & Competitions as the Head Emcee for their 2020/2021 “READY, SET … GO” twenty-one cityInternational Tour. Prior to relocating back to his hometown of New Hartford, NY where is a guest teaches at many local dance studios, he worked forNorwegian Creative Studios in Tampa, FL as a Resident Show Director, Production Show Supervisor& Creative Consultant for Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas.
With a background in dance and musical theater, he is a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association (AEA) and holds a bachelor’s degree in dance and business from Skidmore College where he graduated honors cum laude before moving to NYC, where he resided for over 10 years.
His national and international touring credits include 42nd Street (Broadway Revival), Oklahoma(1st National Broadway Revival, Dance Captain) and CATS. Regional theater: Around the World in 80 Days(World Premiere, Fulton Opera House), West Side Story, A Chorus Line, Crazy for You, Sweet Charity,national TV commercials and he has appeared as a guest artist with the Saratoga City Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Cohesion Dance Project’s Nutcracker on the Rocks in Helena, MT and most recently CNY Academy of Dance’s Nutcracker Dinner Theater as “Drosselmeyer”.
As a director/choreographer, Felix most recently worked on Rodger and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma at Naples Players in Naples, FL and Little Venice Theater, in Venice, FL. Also, Mr. LaBella directed and choreographed an award-winning production of Bob Fosse’s Chicago in Saratoga Springs, NY, that garnered critical acclaim by being voted “Best of the Capitol Region” by the nationally accredited Times Union Newspaper.
Mr. LaBella has trained in dance, voice and gymnastics for over 25 years and at the young age of 10 was awarded a full year’s scholarship to Broadway Dance Center by one of the school’s prestigiouscofounders, the late great Mr. Frank Hatchett. He has judged, adjudicated and been an emcee for national dance conventions/competitions such as National Dance Showcase and Turn It Up Dance Challenge.
Felix is a passionate dance teacher and educatorwho has taught and continues to teach master classes for studios and colleges across the country including the Alvin Ailey School in NYC, Jeanette Neill Dance of Boston, Arizona State University, and the Princeton Ballet Academy.

Brandi (Eddy) Rowland- Brandi was born and raised in Oneida, NY. Just before her 3rd birthday, Brandi’s parents started her in dance classes at Sandy’s Dance Academy, now known as United Academy of the Performing Arts. Her love for dance started way back then and grew more and more each year. Of course, the experience you have and teachers that invest in your life play a big role in placing the building blocks for your future. Addie (Black) Cannistra was a beloved teacher that did just that! Brandi was a student of tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, and specialized in acro. After 15 years of recitals, competition dancing, student teaching and master class workshops growing up, Brandi graduated high school in 2004 and went on to study dance in college. Roger Williams University gave her 2 years of very intense modern and ballet classes. She then transferred to Eastern University for an education at a Christian college. There, she finished her BA in dance where she gained a wider knowledge of contemporary, African and liturgical dance. Following graduation, Brandi resumed teaching at the United Academy for 3 years followed by Bogardus Performing Arts Center for 9 years. She now has a 4 year old daughter who has been dancing since she was 18 months old, and another baby girl on the way with hopes for another tiny dance in the making!

Julia Felici- Julia began dancing at the age of two. She studied ballet with Delia Foley, ARAD (advanced) under the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus. She was also a competitive dancer at Dance From The Heart for seven years. She danced as a soloist with the Mohawk Valley Ballet Company for five years while it was under the artistic direction of Delia Foley. Julia has received training at Le Centre De Dance et de Formation Artistique in Nice, France; Walnut Hill School of the Arts; Boston Ballet School; Ellison Ballet school in New York City; and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. In 2018, she was named one of the top twenty-four ballet soloists in the Youth America Grand Prix semi-finals in Massachusetts. In 2019, she was accepted and attended the Joffrey Academy of Dance’s pre-professional program in Chicago as a full-time student. Julia is happy to have returned to her roots and to have the opportunity to share her knowledge and love of dance with the next generation.

Alexandra Roy- Alexandra grew up in Central New York and began studying classical ballet under the instruction of Delia Foley at the age of 4. While dancing under Ms. Foley, she studied the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus, passing her Advanced 2 Examination with High Honors. She performed numerous lead rolls in multiple performances, including The Sugarplum Fairy and The Snow Queen in “The Nutcracker,” Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” the Fairy Godmother in “Cinderella,” and various others. Along with her training from Delia, her education extends into summer dance intensive for the Royal Academy of Dance in Long Beach California, the NYS Summer School of the Performing Arts in Saratoga and the Pre-Professional Program and STEPS on Broadway.
After graduating, she continued to study ballet and became a registered ballet teacher through the Royal Academy of London. She went on to teach at various studios and share her love of dance.
Along with her love of ballet, Alexandra extended her dance career when she became a member of the inaugural season of the AHL’s Utica Comets Dance Team. She danced for the Comets organization for two years before becoming the coach of the team for an additional two years.
Currently, Alexandra teaches 3rd grade at Clinton Elementary School and is obtaining her master’s degree from SUNY Cortland. Alexandra is excited to have joined the Dance from the Heart family and continuing to spread her love of ballet.

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