LAINIE SAKAKURA teaching artist, director, choreographer, writer, and mother.
Mother of 2 beautiful children and a former long time co-chair of William Sherman Elementary PS 87 Culture & Community Committee. A passionate advocate of multicultural awareness and education through performing arts- producing, directing, choreographing 30 family cultural performance events over 8 years.
Teaching Career of 32 years including American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, New York University, CAP 21, University of the Arts, Jacob's Pillow, Steps NYC, Broadway Dance Center, Alonzo King LINES Ballet Center, CCCEPA, New Jersey Ballet, and my own school, Dance Theatre Arts in CA where I developed a successful curriculum for toddlers, pre-professionals, and adults. I have experience teaching children with learning and emotional challenges that include ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, aspergers, and visual impairment. Currently adjunct professor at Pace University and NYU Tisch - New Studio on Broadway.
Professional Performing Career started with joining Ballet Hispanico in 1988 after training with San Francisco Ballet for 8 years. Since then, has been in the Original Cast of 6 Broadway shows (including THE KING AND I starring Ken Watanabe, FOSSE, CHITA RIVERA, THE DANCER'S LIFE). Also in NYC: Radio City Music Hall Rockette; Metropolitan Opera; 3 City Center Encores!
Choreographer - Recipient of the 2015 Joe Callaway Award for Best Choreography - Off Broadway RED EYE OF LOVE with co-choreographer Alex Sanchez; Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Choreography - DAMN YANKEES and Nominated for Best Choreography - HOT MIKADO both at the Marriott Theatre in Chicago. Most recently choreographed THE LITTLE DANCER at Theatre 71, NYC and ONCE at the Pioneer Theatre, Salt Lake City.
ALEX SANCHEZ New York based director, choreographer, educator and father.
Teaching Faculty at New Jersey Ballet for ballet and pointe. Dance faculty at Oakland School for the Arts then chaired the Theater Department, implementing a playwrights festival and student directing program as well as various acting techniques. Master classes: Japan for Carewaves, Mexico City for Dansing, Southern Methodist University Dance Department, Pace University, NYU Tisch Musical Theater Department, Manhattan School of Music, STEPS, Broadway Dance Center and Peridance Center.
Professional Performing Career includes 10 Broadway shows. As a standby, he played Ramon Fornos in the Tony Award winning play, Love! Valor! Compassion and The Fairground Boy in Carousel Lincoln Center. He was in the original cast of Fosse, Big, The Musical, The Red Shoes, Carousel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Chita Rivera The Dancers Life. Regional acting roles include: Ariel in Dallas Shakespeares Festival’s The Tempest. Tim Harper opposite Kristen Chenowith in Goodspeed Opera’s Strike Up The Band. John Leguizamo’s Mambo Mouth at Penguin Rep Theater. Ballet Companies: Ballet Chicago soloist, guest artist for Ruth Page Ballet, Festival Ballet, Southern Ballet Theater, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Company and The Chicago Rep Dance Ensemble.
Director/Choreographer Alex directed SWEET CHARITY, NEWSIES and EVITA, Marriott Theater in Chicago. IN THE MOOD, International/National tour. THE WORLD GOES ROUND, NYC Riverside Theater. Choreography: ROMAN HOLIDAY pre-broadway. In NYC: The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizon, New York City Center Encores!, and Amas Musical Theater. Regional credits: The Goodman Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, Williamstown Theater Festival, Guthrie Theater, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Berkshire Theater Group,Glimmerglass Opera, St. Louis Muny, Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Kansas City Starlight, Pittsburgh CLO, Riverside Theater, Woodminster Amphitheater and SDC Dancebreak.