Meet The Team

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Dennis Moench

Vice President of Education

Dennis has worked for the past 6 years to enhance and expand SPAC’s arts education offerings throughout the Saratoga, Adirondack, and Capital Regions. In his first 3 years as director, the program grew from reaching approximately 5,000 students annually to reaching more than 49,000. Prior to his arrival at SPAC, Dennis worked for 12 years in New York City as an AEA actor, and he performed on Broadway as well as in theatres across North America with the companies of Les Miserables, Mary Poppins, All Shook Up, and Fame. He studied theatre, music, and dance at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and he holds a BFA in Drama from NYU. As an educator, Dennis has worked for nearly two decades as a teaching artist in New York City and throughout the greater Capital Region and has developed and taught various courses in dance, theatre, and vocal performance.

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Jacqueline Raymond Wegman

Theatre Department Chair

Originally from Malta, NY Jacqueline has spent more than 13 years working as a professional actor and theatre maker in New York City, Romania, Italy, Thailand, and Cambodia. As an actor Jacqueline is a member of both SAG-AFTRA and Actor’s Equity Association and has credits in television, film, Off-Broadway and regional theatre. As a theatre educator and teaching artist, Jacqueline has taught in conservatory settings, including AMDA in NYC, as well as at several cultural and nonprofit organizations and in NYC public schools. Jacqueline holds an MSEd in Educational Theatre from The City College of New York and a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University at Buffalo and is an Arthur Miller Foundation Scholar.


Jacqueline is an arts education advocate and Co-Founder of the nonprofit International Girls Ensemble where she has created and facilitated theatre programs in migrant communities in Southeast Asia since 2016, as well as programs and workshops in the Bronx, Harlem, and Queens for identifying girls and women of all ages. Her work and interest is specifically in using theatre as a tool for social justice, anti-racism, and gender equity. Jacqueline’s goal as an educator is to guide her students to find their own voice; empowering themselves not only as artists, but as informed critical thinkers and global citizens.


Jill Moffett

School Administrator

Jill is at home in the arts world, having caught the desire to create early. Born and raised in Burnt Hills, NY, she loved being both on and behind the scenes. She earned her bachelor's degree in Theatre from SUNY Potsdam, and her master's from SUNY Albany, also in Theatre Arts. She has been on the stage in some form or another since the second grade at Charlton Heights Elementary school and never looked back.   From an early age Jill was civically minded and very aware that being part of the community where you live has a huge impact on the lives around you. Volunteering with and fundraising for local organizations keeps her in touch with the happenings of local businesses. Working with the students, families, and faculty of SPAC School of the Arts allows her to use her strengths of organizational skills, multi-tasking, and making people smile. The best part of any job. Seeing someone realize just how a dance step, or a line in a play, or even the correct chord makes sense in the phrasing for the first time is priceless. Being there from the beginning of that process, creating where to go next, and watching the student progress, is the most amazing and fulfilling experience a person can have in life.

Teaching Artists


Lauren T. Berkman

Theatre and Voice Instructor

Lauren is an actor, singer, and teaching artist originally from Scottsdale, Arizona. She has performed and taught throughout the U.S. and internationally, from Argentina to Switzerland. After receiving her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Boston Conservatory, Lauren studied theater at L’Ecole de Comédie Musicale in Paris, France. In Paris, she performed with companies American Musical Theater LIVE! and Broadway au Carré, premiering new musical theater works in France, and taught English through theater and song to children of all ages. Since returning to the states in 2016, Lauren has directed children’s theater and performed regionally throughout the U.S. Favorite performance credits include Into the Woods, Ordinary Days, Next Thing You Know, Rock of Ages, and singing at Carnegie Hall, Feinstein’s 54 Below, and on Radio France! She is thrilled to join the team at SPAC School of the Arts, and for the opportunity to work with the young artists of this community!

Allie Bullard

Dance Instructor

Allie started dancing at the age of three, and in her 23 years of training, she has studied and taught tap, jazz, ballet, and hip hop at the Dance Center of Queensbury. Allie has been with the Adirondack Ballet Theatre for many years, first as a performer and more recently as a choreographer. As the founder of Dynamic Dance Works, Allie has choreographed award winning routines that have been performed at competitions, local fundraisers, and The Adirondack Wine and Food Festival. Allie graduated from Keuka College with a B.S. in American Sign Language-English Interpreting, and she now holds a master’s in Special Education and works as a preschool Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

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Mary Anne Fantauzzi

Dance Instructor

Mary Anne has been a fitness professional since 1981 with certifications through AFAA, ESA and Balletone, eventually establishing Total Body Trifecta Fitness Studio in 1997. She was a New York City Ballet Workout instructor from 2001 until the program ended in 2011. Mary Anne is the president of the Capital Region’s Dance Alliance and the founding artistic advisor of its teen outreach program MOVE Dance. Her association with the National Museum of Dance was as a longtime volunteer. Thirty-two years later she was hired as its Docent Coordinator after retiring in 2018 as a mathematics teacher in the Saratoga Springs City School District.

Tina Fretto

Dance Instructor

Bio coming soon...

Alex Grandy

Ukulele Instructor

Alex is a local musician, born and raised in Saratoga Springs. He holds a B.A. in Music Industry with an emphasis on Audio Arts Production from SUNY Oneonta. After getting his degree in 2015, Alex began giving private guitar and ukulele instruction as well as managing the Saratoga Guitar Store. He went on to teach ukulele and chorus at the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs. Currently, Alex teaches guitar and ukulele at Rural Soul Music Studio in Schuylerville. He enjoys being an active member in the music community as he continues his passion for teaching. 

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JP Hubbs

Piano Instructor

JP Hubbs is a Queensbury native who has been fostering a passion for piano, singing, and music for years. He graduated from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 2015 where he studied piano, and participated in a variety of vocal and musical ensembles. JP stays connected with the community by accompanying local choirs and theater shows, as well as playing in a variety of bands and teaching piano lessons.

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Patrice Hemsworth

Ballet Instructor

Born and raised in NYC. Studied at the School of American Ballet for 11 years. Joined Chicago City Ballet at 17. Joined Feld/ Ballets NY at 24. After retiring from performing, became teacher and ballet master for Feld Ballet and the affiliate school Ballet Tech. Became director of faculty for the Ballet Tech school when the company disbanded. Retired and moved to Saratoga Springs last year after 34 years with Ballet Tech. 

Johnny Martinez

Dance Instructor

Johnny Martinez was born and raised in Brooklyn NY, moving up to Saratoga Springs almost 18 years ago.  He began his dance career in concert dance, performing with the Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theater and the Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theater.  Johnny then found himself performing in musicals both regional and touring, performing in national and European tours of West Side Story and Damn Yankees.  Locally he has performed, choreographed and directed with the Homemade Theater, Glens Falls Community Theater, Capital Rep in Albany, Opera Saratoga, Adirondack Children's Troupe, the Schenectady Theater for Children, the Lake Ave Elementary Drama Club, Nacre Dance Group, Saratoga City Ballet, Tango Fusion, MLK Saratoga and some featured commercials.  With wife and partner Diane Lachtrupp, Johnny co-directs Tango Fusion Dance Company and Studios teaching all forms of ballroom and partner dance to children and adults.

Aaron Moore

Acting Instructor

Aaron Moore is an actor, director, playwright and acting instructor. Aaron comes from Albany NY and always had a heart for the stage and screen. He trained in the Drama Program at SUNY Potsdam (2014), where he earned a degree in Theatre with a concentration in African American Theatre.  He continued his education at The Alvin and Ally Dance Company, and the Classical Theatre of Harlem. Aaron has performed and worked with companies such as Pendragon Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, Proctors Theatre, the Roundtable Theatre Company. He has appeared on NBC, Showtime, The History Channel, and much more. In 2014 Aaron created his performance art education company Acting with Aaron. Its mission has been to provide acting experiences to underserved communities. 

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Frankie Soldevere

Dance Instructor

Frankie Soldevere (she/her) is an Upstate New York-based dance educator, choreographer, and scholar. She holds an MFA in Dance from SUNY Brockport and a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Dean College where she was the 2016 recipient of the Board of Trustees Prize for the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance. Her legacy lives on at Dean as the Founder and President of Loose Screws, the Dean College Tap Team. She has performed professionally with Ryan P. Casey’s Off Beat tap company in their 2016 regional tour of “Unbound: a rhythmic romp through classic literature,” The Boston Tap Company, and Dropkick Murphys. Currently, Frankie travels nationally to set choreography, teach master classes, and adjudicate dance competitions. Frankie is thrilled to be joining the team of educators at SPAC School of the Arts!

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J. Michael Zygo

Voice and Choral Instructor

Mike is a former Broadway Actor/Musician and has performed, directed, and music directed all over the country. He was an original cast member/musician of 8 time Tony Award winning "Once" on Broadway and featured on the Grammy Award-winning Cast Album. He also performed in “School of Rock” on Broadway and myriad other productions Off-Broadway, National Tours, and Regional Theaters. Mike holds a B.A. in Music from SUNY Geneseo with a focus in Classical Voice Performance. He is currently the Lead Teaching Artist for the SPAC Dance Residency which allows thousands of local elementary school kids the opportunity to experience the life-enhancing benefits of dance every year. Mike is so excited to join the team at SPAC School of the Arts and to make music with all you wonderful people! Come join us at SOTA!!

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Samantha Retell

Dance Instructor

Samantha is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and creative artist located in Saratoga Springs, NY where she has grown up and danced all her life. She graduated from Skidmore College, earning her B.S. in Dance and Social Work. Samantha's dance training and teaching experience is primarily focused in contemporary, modern, ballet, pointe, and improvisation. She also enjoys choreographing and is passionate about continuing her journey as a creator in the future. Samantha hopes to inspire movers through fostering an open, supportive environment where dancers can learn, explore, and grow.