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Faculty / Staff

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Nichola Johnson, MFA

Director

Dance Faculty

Dance - ballet, modern, jazz/contemporary, choreography and composition, tap

Director of The Complex Dance Theatre.  

 


• Nichola began dancing at the age of three under the direction of the late, Roy Perrault.  Nichola studied Dance Pedagogy and Performance at The Hartford Camerata Conservatory,  holds a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts and a Master's of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.  Nichola has spent her life immersed in the performing arts and brings a passion to this community that is infectious.  Nichola founded The Complex in 2004, then named - Nichola Johnson's Studio of Dance.  In the past 18 years The Complex has grown and evolved into an anchor  for the town of Putnam. 

Nichola is an Adjunct Professor of Performing Arts/Dance at Eastern CT State University and a creative contributor through the development of new work and serving as Director for Main Stage Musicals.  Nichola served as the Associate Director of The Cultural Center at Eagle Hill and as a Professor of Dance at Nichols College.  Ms. Johnson has performed, developed, and presented work to national acclaim and has had the honor to be in creative conversation with  artists, educators, and learners from varying communities. Nichola is passionate about creating, nurturing and sustaining arts programs that advance the development of our youth and emerging artists.  

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Julie Watt, MFA

Co-Director

Creative/Visual Arts Faculty

Visual and Creative Art - painting, drawing, creative process, photography, creative writing, 3-dimensional art, community art, graphic design

• Julie Watt brings a wealth of knowledge, passion, and inspiration to The Complex Community.  Julie holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Graphic Design from Northeastern University and an Master's of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.  Julie is the Graphic Design and Digital Media Department Head at Norwich Technical High School and an Adjunct Professor of Painting at QVCC.  Julie has also served on the faculty at the University of New Haven teaching Multi-Media Design.

Julie spent much time in the professional world of Graphic Design working for companies such as Time Warner NYC, Valassis Communications CT, ADVO CT, and ADCO MO.  Julie is passionate about education and the arts and is currently working towards her administrative certification in Educational Leadership at Central Connecticut State University.

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Sarah Andrews

Studio Manager

Dance Faculty

Dance - ballet, early childhood dance

• Sarah has been a part of The Complex community for 15 years, first as a dance, theatre, and visual art student, then later joining on as an assistant turned administrator turned teacher! 

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts Administration from Rhode Island College. She also works at The Woodstock Academy in advancement. Sarah is also a member of Collective Moments Dance Company, a contemporary dance company out of Boston, where she has many wonderful opportunities to perform in both dance films and live performances around New England!

When Sarah is not at the front desk, she is having the best time teaching Creative Movement, Intro to Dance, and beginner ballet classes. 

Sarah’s favorite part about working at The Complex is that she has the opportunity to get to know each and every student, and is surrounded by incredibly creative teachers and students every day!

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Emily Zornado

Director of Theatre

Music - ukulele and voice, music theory.  

Theatre - acting, playwriting, theatre arts,  musical theatre  

• Emily Zornado is the director of The Complex Theatre Department, has been working as a member of the music faculty since 2015,  and a private voice instructor.  She is a composer and playwright, and regularly creates original content for student performance.  Emily has written, directed and music directed a wide variety of productions and she shares her love of the written word with The Complex students in her popular playwriting classes.

Emily's original musical, Open Strings, co-written by Adam Greszcowski, premiered in  2014 and then went on to record a cast album and additional workshops.  

Emily Zornado holds Bachelor's degrees in Social Work and Music, with a focus in Education.

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Alex Plucenik

Dance Faculty

Madison Palmerino

Music and Theatre Faculty

Theatre - musical theatre

Music - voice, guitar and piano

• Bio Coming Soon!

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Kelly Mackay

Dance Faculty

Dance - tap and jazz/contemporary

• Kelly has been a member of the Complex faculty since 2015.  She began her dance training at the age of three, at Mass Motion Dance (formerly Terri Gordon Dance Centre).  Kelly is a graduate of the Hartford Conservatory, where she studied Dance Pedagogy and Performance.  Her internship included study with Jacques d’Amboise (former NYC Ballet principal dancer) and the National Dance Institute (NYC), whose
focus is hard work, team building and joyful learning, which she tries to embody in the classroom.  She has performed as a guest with the Sonia Plumb Dance Company as well as at the 5X5 Dance Festival and throughout New England.  Kelly believes teaching is a process of learning from students and encourages her students to question their assumptions and explore their potential.  Her teaching is informed by her knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology.  She
believes in creating an inclusive, supportive  environment which focuses on strong technique, personal study and the freedom to fail.  Kelly also works as Maternal Fetal Medicine Sonographer.

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Shannon Jutras

Dance Faculty

Dance - ballet and jazz/contemporary

 

• Shannon Jutras is passionate about the intersection of art and community. Her classes focus on anatomically safe technique and helping people of all ages find joy in artistic expression. Shannon is a graduate of UMASS-Amherst, where she earned a BFA in Dance and a BA in English. She has performed with companies throughout New England, including José Mateo’s Ballet Theatre, TEN31 productions and Metamorphosis Dance Company. Shannon enjoys exploring the connections between music, literature, and history and considers herself a lifelong student of the arts.

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Katelyn Cramer, MA R-DMT

Dance Faculty

Dance- ballet, tap, jazz, movement therapy

• Katelyn has been dancing for over 25 years and is a 2009 alum of The Complex. After The Complex, Katelyn relocated to Western MA, where she attended Springfield College under the direction of Dr. Cynthia Nazzaro. She earned a Bachelor or Arts in Dance with a minor in Disability Studies, focusing her studies on choreography, modern dance and improvisation, and pedagogy. She continued her education at Antioch University New England where she earned a Masters of Arts degree in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling, where dance and movement is utilized in tandem with psychology to promote the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual. Over the years, Katelyn has worked in several different therapeutic settings focusing her work on infant through childhood development, attachment, and the Autistic and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities communities. Over the years, Katelyn has balanced her therapeutic dance work with creative work teaching dance, performing, and choreographing throughout Massachusetts. She is incredibly grateful to return to The Complex for another year as a staff member. 

Dance - jazz/contemporary, modern, musical theatre

• Alex Plucenik holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Dance performance from Rhode Island College and is the Director of Dance at Putnam Science Academy. At the age of 3 Alex fell in love with dance and carried that passion with her to college and beyond. As an alumna of The Complex she believes in the mission of this beautiful arts space which has help build her teaching philosophy over the years. Alex was fortunate enough to do an independent study in college and spend time with Nichola Johnson, truly immersing deep into her core values of teaching. It was here that she discovered her true purpose with dance which was dance education. 

While a part of the Rhode Island College Dance Company Alex studied with many artists from all over including Angelica Vessella, Kathy Smith, Eva Marie Pacheco, Adrienne Hawkins, Daniel Singh, Bridgman and Packer, and many more. Alex is extremely excited to continue her love for dance education here at The Complex. Thank you to Nichola and Julie for creating such a beautiful space for the arts. 

Catie Verostick

 Theatre Faculty

Theatre - introduction to theatre arts

Catie Verostick is very excited to be joining The COMPLEX faculty! They recently graduated from Anna Maria College with a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy, and currently living in Worcester, MA. Catie has been a member of the theatre community for many years and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and experiences with her students. In their free time, Catie loves spending time with friends, reading and performing in shows!

Corey Stanley

Dance and Theatre Faculty

Theatre - acting, musical theatre, theatre arts

Dance - tap, hip hop

Visual Art - drawing, painting, 3-D, conceptual, 

Corey is reaching his 10th year in the world of performing arts! He started out as a student in The Complex’s first original theatre company, and made his way through each discipline of the studio. After graduating he studied with professional acting and dance teachers, and independently studied scenic art. Corey has won a Kennedy Center American College Theatre award for his scenic work at Western Connecticut State University. During the pandemic Corey worked with us at the studio as an interdisciplinary arts intern. Corey now works as the assistant to our studio manager, and teaches ballet, tap, hip-hop, acting, musical theatre, and visual arts! When Mr. Corey isn’t seen in the studio, he will be found performing all over! He is also a singer and tap dancer for The Catnip Junkies, a NOLA jazz group that performs in the tri-state area. He has been blessed to perform on stages of all kinds, and is able to apply firsthand what he teaches his students here at the studio!

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