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Meet the Staff


Interested in joining the team? Apply for open positions here.
 

Kent

Susan McGreevy-Nichols | Executive Director

Susan recently moved back east to become the new NDEO Executive Director after living in Santa Monica, CA for the past 10 years. While in CA, Susan worked as an independent National Arts Education Consultant. Her consulting work included coaching districts in Los Angeles County as part of the Arts for All initiative and in Northern California in Alameda County as a part of that county’s initiative Revitalizing Classrooms Through Arts Learning: Strategic Plan. Susan also was a part time lecturer at Loyola Marymount University and California State University Dominguez Hills. As a teacher at Roger Williams Middle School in Providence, Rhode Island from 1974-2002, Susan found and developed that institution’s nationally renowned middle school dance program. The program treated dance as a core subject and emphasized the creating, performing and responding processes as they link to the arts and other disciplines. She is the developer of a cutting edge reading comprehension strategy that uses text as inspiration for original choreography created by children. This literacy-based methodology combines the creative process with reading instruction. In 1995, Susan was honored as the National Dance Teacher of the Year. Susan McGreevy-Nichols is the co-author of five books: Building Dances (1995), Building More Dances (2001), Experiencing Dance (2004), Dance about Anything (2006) and Exploring Dance Forms and Styles (2010). Contact Susan

Jane Bonbright | Director of OPDI; Founding Executive Director (1997-2012)

Jane earned her doctorate in education at Temple University. Dr. Bonbright dedicated fifty-five years to the field of dance specializing in performance, education, research, administration, and dance/arts advocacy at national and state levels. She began her career as a professional ballet dancer and toured the United States and Europe with major ballet companies. She is founding director of the Maryland Youth Ballet (MD), home school of artists Susan Jaffe, Julie Kent, Cheryl Yaeger, Roger Plaut, Joanne Danto, and hundreds of other professional ballet dancers .She taught for thirty-five years in professional-oriented training academies, K-12, and colleges and universities before focusing on national issues involving policy, legislation, and funding for arts and education. Dr. Bonbright served as President and Executive Director for the National Dance Association before joining NDEO as Founding Executive Director in 1998 where she worked to establish NDEO as the national service organization for dance arts in US education. Dr. Bonbright served as Project Director for Research in Dance Education (2001-2005) and Professional Teaching Standards for Dance in the Arts (2005) and many national task force commissions. As Founding Executive Director of NDEO, Dr. Bonbright worked with over 100 federal/state government agencies and arts/education associations to ensure dance arts is included in the national agenda in U.S. education. She is the recipient of CORD’s Outstanding Leadership in Dance Education Award (2005), CODA’s Alma Hawkins Award of Excellence in Dance in Education (2007), and NDEO’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2009). She is grateful to every dance educator in America who works on a daily basis to advance dance as art in education, culture, and life. Thank you! Contact Jane
Monts

Melissa Greenblatt | Managing Director

Melissa is originally from Houston, Texas and first began dancing at the age of six. At her parent’s insistence, she pursued business and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. After graduation, she worked in the corporate world of consumer products, spending thirteen years with Procter & Gamble in the sales/business development and brand management functions. She continued dancing off and on throughout college and while working.  In early 2006, she had the unique opportunity to go back to school full time at the University of Maryland, studying dance with NDEO member Karen Bradley. At a Laban workshop at Maryland, she met NDEO former Executive Director Jane Bonbright and realized the opportunity to combine her marketing background with her love of dance. She joined NDEO in 2007 as the Director of Marketing and Membership. A few years later, Melissa’s work at NDEO  broadened to include honor society, board of director programs, and state affiliate development. Recently, Melissa has transitioned into the role of Managing Director with oversight of all NDEO programs and services, including NDEO's online education program, OPDI, while also maintaining her marketing and membership responsibilities. Contact Melissa
Wood

Vilma Braja Rama | Director of Finance and HR

Vilma is originally from Albania and came to the US as a young girl. She has always loved dance but hasn't had the chance to pursue it. She worked for six years at Chevy Chase Bank as a Branch Manager. This is where she met Jane Bonbright and started learning more about NDEO. In 2009, she decided to return to school full-time; and was able to join NDEO part-time. After completing her degree in Finance from the University of Maryland, Vilma took over as the Director of Finance for NDEO. Meanwhile, she has decided to also pursue a degree in Accounting while remaining a dancer at heart. Contact Vilma
Krasnow

Betsy Loikow | Director of Conferences and Events

Betsy Loikow, CMA, grew up in Washington, D.C., and began studying dance with NDEO founder Rima Faber, performing with The Primary Movers Performance Company as a child. She continued her dance education at the Washington School of Ballet and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. She continued dancing and choreographing through college and graduated with a B.A. in film and political science from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. She has worked on both local and national electoral campaigns in the U.S. and abroad. She joined NDEO in 2009, combining her love of dance with her passion for advocacy. Betsy continues dancing on a daily basis in the D.C. area as a founding member and Co-Artistic Chair of Glade Dance CollectiveContact Betsy
Isaac

Shannon Dooling-Cain | Special Projects

Shannon Dooling-Cain, MFA, was born in New Mexico, spent most of her life dancing in the suburbs of Philadelphia, spent six years in the Metro D.C. area, and currently lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona. She holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a BA in Dance from DeSales University in Center Valley, PA. Shannon is a dance artist, educator, advocate, and writer, and is active as a guest teacher, choreographer, adjudicator, and coach for studios, community programs, and dance companies. She has taught in K-12 schools, universities, and private studios. Shannon began working at NDEO as an intern in January 2013, and was a member of the office staff for 3 years. As a Special Projects Coordinator, she is currently involved in writing, research, marketing, and programming for NDEO. Contact Shannon

Ariana Spinelli | Administrative Assistant / Member Services

Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Ariana began dancing at age 2 and teaching dance at age 16 at her aunt's own award-winning "Body Language Dance And Theatre Arts Studio” of Massapequa. With her entire family's commitment to the arts, it wasn't long until she was well-trained in vocal performance, theatre, and dance. Ariana holds B.A. with honors in Dance and in Spanish Languages and Literatures from the City University of New York (CUNY)-Queens College. During her time at QC, she was co-founder and Vice President of the Queens College Dance Union and the dance student representative for the Kupferberg Center of the Arts where she strongly advocated for dance and dance education in the arts. She was asked to perform twice at the American College Dance Festival of 2014 and 2016 and competed nationally at the Universal Dance Association Competition in Orlando, Florida with the athletic department's Queens College Dance Team. Since moving to the D.C. area, Ariana is teaching and dancing at the Metropolitan School of the Arts in Alexandria, Va. and for Strictly Rhythm Dance Center of Franconia, Va. She is very excited to join NDEO's administration team! Contact Ariana