Faculty & Staff
Dr. Thelma Larkin Goldberg, PhD, Director, started The Dance Inn in 1983 while on a leave of absence from teaching in the Boston Public Schools. Her early dance training was in Cambridge with Grace Bates and Joan O'Brien. She taught dance while earning her B.S. Ed. From Lesley College and then taught special needs students in Boston while earning her M.S. Sp.Ed. from Regis College. In 2020, Thelma completed her doctoral degree in Tap Education from Lesley College, officially becoming Dr. Goldberg.
In addition to being the Artistic Director of the performing companies of The Dance Inn, Thelma is very active in the classrooms teaching tap to all levels and supervising and mentoring her staff. She is also an active participant in the local and national dance community, serving as teacher, program coordinator, volunteer and student at tap and jazz festivals across the country, most recently the NYC Tap Festival and the Mass Dance Festival.
Sheila Brotherston received her BFA in acting from Emerson College where she also studied dance with Tracy Tedesco. Her background includes significant experience with the Boston Children's Theater, where she was a performer and teacher as well as choreographer for Oliver and The Wizard of Oz. You may have enjoyed her arias when she was an opera singer at Romano's Macaroni Grill. Sheila studies regularly with Hip Hop master teachers, such as Brian Friedman and Jimmy Locust.
Ryan P. Casey is a performer, educator, choreographer, and dance writer formerly named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.” In addition to his solo work, he has danced for Michelle Dorrance, Aaron Tolson, Billy Siegenfeld, Lorraine Chapman, and Adrienne Hawkins. As an educator, he has worked for colleges, festivals, studios, and arts programs throughout the country, including Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard. He has presented choreography throughout the Northeast with his company, Off Beat, including the Inside/Out series at Jacob’s Pillow. A frequent contributor to Dance Magazine, Ryan is an alumnus of The School at Jacob’s Pillow and the National YoungArts Foundation. In addition to The Dance Inn, where he initially trained under Thelma Goldberg and Kelly Kaleta, he is also on faculty at Endicott College. Ryan holds a B.A. from NYU’s Gallatin School and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Maria LaRossa is an active and recognized dance educator, choreographer, and performer in Boston's prestigious dance and theatre community. Her background includes rigorous training in jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary, modern, musical theatre, acrobatics, and partner work. Maria has been a teacher and choreographer at the Dance Inn for the past 12 years, and she previously served on the management team for the Legacy Dance Company for four years. She has over seven years of professional performance experience and has performed at several regional theaters, including Lyric Stage Company, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Greater Boston Stage Company. Maria has had the privilege of working with Mignon Furman (American Academy of Ballet), Gerry McIntyre (Fosse), and serving as a demonstrator for Broadway and Film Choreographer Joey Pizzi, and she has studied Chekhov Technique with Scott Fielding of Michael Chekhov Actors Studio as well as Laban Movement under Dr. Jennifer Uhl, Certified Movement Analyst of the Laban Institute. In 2016, Maria started a wellness program at Somerville High School to give her students access to Dance, Yoga, and Pilates in public education, which she led for six years, and she was the advisor of the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts. Maria is currently a full-time faculty member of the Theater Department at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. She has also led classes at Boston Ballet and several universities. Maria holds a Master’s degree from Boston University and is certified in Pilates and Yoga.
Rebecca Robichaud grew up in New York and studied dance on Long Island and in New York City. A theater major at Adelphi University, she dropped out after being hired by Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus as a dancer and Dance Captain. After touring for 2 years, she was hired by Radio City Music Hall as a Rockette. Rebecca began teaching at The Dance Inn in 1986 and co-founded the Legacy Dance Company with Thelma Goldberg.
Locally, Rebecca has performed with Rainbow Tribe, Reagle Music Theater, The Umbrella, Concord Players, and other New England theaters. She also choreographs the musical for many local middle and high schools.
After Rebecca’s youngest son who has Down syndrome was born, her focus at The Dance Inn has been teaching students with special needs. A dedicated advocate for all students, she continues to educate herself and others about various special needs topics. Most recently, Rebecca was a guest teacher at The Riverview School in Sandwich and completed Boston Ballet’s Adaptive Dance Teacher training.
Kellie Spillane loves the commitment, the mentoring, and the inspiration that she receives from her colleagues at the Dance Inn. She has been on the faculty of our studio since 2012 and has a passion for dance and education. Her second home growing up was her childhood dance studio where she was mentored by Joan O’Brien for over 25 years. Kellie is a reading specialist, special educator, and classroom teacher for elementary and middle school students. She currently teaches 4th grade during the day and preschool and elementary dance on Saturdays at our studio. Kellie loves that the Dance Inn is a part of her extended family and looks forward to sharing the joy of movement with your children.
Nicole Chaput, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition sciences, has been dancing for over twenty years. Specializing in tap, hip hop, jazz, and contemporary, she has performed at Jacob’s Pillow, Disney World, the Hatch Shell, and many venues in New York, Chicago, and the New England area. She received her training at The Dance Inn in Lexington, MA, and spent time studying dance at Arizona State University. Nicole teaches dance six days a week to students of all ages. She is committed to staying up to date with current teaching methods and has attended Rhee Gold's dance teacher training, the Dance Teacher Summit in New York, and works closely with Thelma Goldberg, author and creator of Thelma's Tap Notes. Recently, she teamed up with the University of Massachusetts Boston to work with a team of researchers on a pilot research study that focuses on teaching dance to teenage girls with mental and intellectual disabilities. Nicole is also a performing member of the Off Beat Tap Company, directed by Ryan P. Casey, where she helps to choreograph, set pieces, and design costumes. Nicole was recently promoted to Assistant Director of The Dance Inn and has been Director of the Legacy Dance Company and Youth Intensive Company since 2022!
Sarah Strong is a young and exuberant ballet teacher in Northern Mass, where she has resided her whole life. After graduating from Dean College in 2018, where she earned her BA in both Dance and Arts & Entertainment Management, she decided to dedicate her life to teaching dance to the upcoming generations. During her studies at Dean, she partook in various disciplines including Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Horton, Tap, Hip Hop, and Ballroom. Additionally, she focused on the anatomy of dancers through Bartinieff fundamentals, Anatomy classes and working with her athletic trainer. Originally trained at New England Civic Ballet under the direction of Roshni Pecora and Phyllis George, Sarah has performed in many ballet productions in both soloist and corps roles, including Mouse Queen and Spanish in The Nutcracker, and as Sleepy in Snow White. While at Dean, Sarah was also cast in multiple pointe companies and was asked to be a part of the re-staging of William Evans' "Rhythms of the Earth" to be performed as part of a William Evans production. Additionally, Sarah was selected multiple times to be a choreographer for the New Dancer Showcase for freshman dance majors at Dean. Notable teachers include Jill Silverman, Laura Young, Todd Shanks, Kristina Berger, Jeremy Ruth Howes, Roshni Pecora, William Evans, and Adrianne Hawkins. Sarah is excited to continue sharing her passion for ballet and terrible puns with her students!
Hannah Geller started her training at The Dance Inn at the age of six and is an alumni of the Legacy Dance Company. Hannah graduated from Skidmore College in 2020 with a B.S. in Education and minors in Dance and English. She taught children at a local dance studio throughout college and also was involved in multiple programs teaching dance to individuals with disabilities. After graduating college, Hannah returned to her home at The Dance Inn, where she has been teaching full time ever since. She teaches six days a week to students of all ages and abilities, preschool through adult, and has helped grow the studio’s adaptive programming. Hannah is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree of Inclusive Education at Lesley University and is passionate about a lifetime of learning and spreading the joy and benefits of dance to all.
Delaney Meyer began dancing at the age of five at The Dance Inn where she spent her childhood studying under Thelma Goldberg. She was a member of the Legacy Dance Company where she studied with many Dance Inn staff members. While getting a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of Connecticut she continued dancing with the UConn Dance Company and was President of the UConn Tap Team. Currently, Delaney is a member/choreographer of DanceWorks Boston and a professional company member of Fourth Dimension Tap Company. She loves being a member of the Dance Inn family.
Marcel Santiago Marcelino is a queer Dominican and Puerto Rican dance artist born in Boston, MA. Marcel lived part of his childhood in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico before returning to the states. In Puerto Rico under the instruction of his father Jorge Santiago Arce and cultural pioneer Modesto Cepeda Brenes, Marcel began his life-long relationship with Bomba, one of the first Afro-Indigenous music and dance forms of the Archipelago. His movement practice is heavily influenced by the language of Bomba as well as other Caribbean, contemporary and improvisational dance methods. He is a Director’s Scholarship recipient and 2021 BFA graduate of the University of the Arts School of Dance, Dir. Donna Faye Burchfield. During his undergraduate studies, Marcel spent part of a semester studying classical and contemporary dance at the Conservatorio Superior de Danza "María de Ávila" in Madrid, Spain. During his time at UArts, he collaborated and performed in work by Lauren Bakst at the Camping Dance Festival in Paris and Lyon, France. He has also had the pleasure of performing works by Katie Swords-Thurman, and Juel Lane. In 2021 Marcel joined Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers (Philadelphia) and danced with the company as an apprentice for one season. In 2022, he returned to Boston and joined Urbanity Dance as a company dancer and faculty member. He also currently dances with companies Danza Orgánica, under the direction of Mar Yael Parrilla, as well as BeHeard.World, directed by Anna Myer. Recently, Marcel and fellow collaborator Anito Gavino were recipients of the MAPfund Grant to research and explore historical and cultural bridges between the Philippines and Puerto Rico, two archipelago’s with strongly tethered colonial histories.
Lucia (Lou) Kidney worked at The Dance Inn, as Office Manager, back in the 80’s, for several years. After spending 25 years supporting other small businesses, in 2006, she returned to The Dance Inn, as our part-time Bookkeeper and Accounts Manager. When Lou is not working, you will probably find her gardening, cooking, or most likely…..playing with her eight beautiful grandchildren!
Ally Michitson joined The Dance Inn staff for the 2019-2020 season as our Office Manager. Ally, a graduate of UMass Amherst, grew up in the dance world and is returning to her roots! Ally comes from a dance family as her mom was a dance teacher for many years in Haverhill, MA. Growing up, Ally performed in many different musicals while studying at McNally's School of Dance & Drama for 10 years. She took some time off from dance to join the varsity cheerleading team at Haverhill High School but she longed to be back in dance class so she joined Karla Pattavina's Dance Academy in Haverhill for her last 2 years of high school where she studied tap & jazz, which were always her favorite disciplines. She then attended UNC Charlotte for two years before transferring back to MA to UMass Amherst where she graduated with a Bachelor's in Journalism with a minor in Psychology. She is so excited to be back in the dance world and surrounded by the thing she loves the most every day.