DANCE AND MARTIAL ARTS FACULTY
Bonnie Gombos
Director
Queens College; New York School of Ballet; College of Aeroautics
Bonnie Gombos, Director of Dance & DAC Summer Workshops, has been teaching for over 30 years in Queens and Fairfield County. She has been at DAC for more than 20 years working with students from ages three to adult; with a wide range of dance styles from classical ballet, to jazz and modern. She has also worked at the Connecticut Ballet for many years as a teaching artist; working with Kids in Crisis, Trailblazers and in Juvenile Detention Centers. Bonnie is one of the founders/directors of the Reach Dance Project, a group that produces Dance Productions to raise funds for local charities. Bonnie was a Dance Theater major at Queens College,N.Y. and received most of her training from Hannah Kroner and the New York School of Ballet, and has received a degree in Avionics from the College of Aeronautics. She is the artistic Director of the Darien Arts Center's Adult Troupe which performs for many local nursing homes and senior citizen centers, and directs and choreographs for the annual adult showcase performance every October and "Scenes from the Nutcracker" every December. Bonnie is also the creator of “Fiona’ an original ballet series. Bonnie has achieved the rank of 4th degree black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate and also teaches in the DAC Martial Arts program.
Jordan Cassetta
Connecticut Ballet Center's Trainee Program
Jordan, an alumni of the Darien Arts Center Dance Department was a member of the DAC Junior, Senior, and Performance Companies and was one of the three original producers and choreographers of DAC's "So We Think We Can Dance". For the past 6 years, Jordan has performed and assisted with the DAC's An Evening of Dance, "Scenes from The Nutcracker", numerous DAC dance classes and outreach performances as well as DAC's Fiona. Jordan traveled twice with the DAC to perform in Disney World's Dance the World Showcase in Florida and was part of Darien's Got Talent in 2013. She has assisted with the DAC’s Danceabilities program for the past 4 years. Jordan also earned her Green Belt from the DAC's Shaolin Kempo Karate Program. Outside of the DAC, she has been in numerous Connecticut Ballet's productions including Alice in Wonderland, Giselle, Cinderella, and The Nutcracker. She also had the privilege of dancing in Connecticut Ballet Center's Trainee program from 2013-2014. She has experience in a range of dance styles including ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, tap, and Bollywood. Her intensive study has included Perry Mansfield's Young Artist Intensive and Joffrey Ballet School's Summer Jazz and Contemporary Program, Connecticut Ballet's Summer Intensive, and Double Up Dance Group.  An avid advocate for the arts, Jordan is eager to help others discover and explore their love for the arts and express themselves through dance. She is honored and excited to be on the DAC faculty.
Emily Frangipane
BFA, Emerson College; Broadway Dance Center; Dancespace; Alivn Ailey American Dance Theatre
Emily Frangipane holds a BFA in dance from Emerson College. She then went on to study dance in New York. Her choreography has been performed at the Magestic and Suffolk theaters in Boston and venues throughout Fairfield County as well as various choreographers showcases in New York City. As a performer, she toured the U.S. and Canada with the national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar as well as various roles in regional theater such as Fastrada in "Pippin". Emily is currently working in film, TV, commercials, industrials and print. Emily also dances and presents her choreography with the Adult Company.
James Gombos
Shaolin Kempo Karate, 4th Degree Black Belt
Sensei James Gombos is a 4th degree black belt in the art of Shaolin Kempo Karate. He has been studying various types of Martial Arts for over 20 years and has taught many students throughout Fairfield County.
Elizabeth Hall
BA, Dance and Literature, Hunter College; Teaching Diploma, Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing, Singapore
Elizabeth has been teaching dance and exercise for over 30 years. She first started teaching in New York City in corporate fitness. She continued to teach in Connecticut, Singapore and Malaysia. Elizabeth holds a BA in Literature and Dance from Hunter College, and holds a full teaching diploma from the Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing in Singapore, and is certified in personal fitness, yoga and aerobics. Elizabeth also teaches " Dance For Health" and pilates at the Darien Senior Center. Elizabeth has performed with the Windmere Ballet and Fellow Performance Group, and now performs with the Darien Arts Center Dance adult troupe.
Cindy Hargrove
Cornish School for Performing Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet
Cindy trained as a dancer with the Cornish School for the Performing Arts and Pacific Northwest Ballet, and has performed with the Joffrey Ballet. She has studied dance in Paris, London and New York. Cindy holds a BA from Yale and has performed with the Yale dancers troupe, and has a teachers certificate from the CT ARC program.
Troy Kelley
Connecticut Ballet Center
Troy has been dancing since he was 9 years old. Tap was his very first style, and then began ballet when he was 11. Since then, he has danced at numerous schools; studying modern, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, and more. Troy has studied at Connecticut Ballet Center, Ballet School of Stamford, Joffrey Ballet School, and Walnut Hill School for the Arts. He has been part of the DAC family since 2014. 
Raymund Lagdamen
Performing Arts Center of Connecticut
Raymund Lagdamen, born and raised in Iloilo, Philippines, started dancing in Central High School Bridgeport CT. He studied dance, mostly in hip hop, at the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut. He was a member of the Double Up Dance Company’s Team Leggoo and is now the Assistant Choreographer. He appears in many artist’s music videos such as international singer Kat DeLuna, Rickstarr (London, UK), John Thomas, and the local favorite Gabriel Brunot. He has also taught in many dance workshops such as “Be Inspired” and “The Y.A.R.D”. His goal is to soak up as much knowledge as he can in the field of dance and hopes to share it with his students.
Neeta Maniar
Ballet Theater of Scranton
Neeta has performed, choreographed, and studied with the Darien Arts Center since 2006. She has explored a wide range of dance styles, including ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, salsa and Bollywood. She received her earliest dance technique training with the Ballet Theater of Scranton in PA and went on to perform and choreograph for the Penn State Orchesis Dance Company. She has completed dance intensive training with the Martha Graham Dance School, the Alvin Ailey Horton Teacher Workshop, Complexions Summer Intensive, Mark Morris Dance School, Limon Repertory Intensive, Shen Wei Dance Arts, the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company, Finis Jhung's ballet technique workshop, Double Up Dance Studio's hip hop workshops, and the Connecticut Ballet School. She has performed with Stamford's local theater Curtain Call in "A Chorus Line" and "Spamalot". Neeta continues to do freelance choreography and performances throughout the local area. She is also a certified vinyasa yoga teacher and a Shaolin Kempo Karate Martial Artist. In her spare time, she has a full time job doing cyber security at Live Nation Entertainment.
Marie Maccarone
BA & Early Childhood Certification, SUNY Purchase; Leap 'N Learn Certification, Alvin Ailey, NYC; Dance Education for Special Populations Certification, National Dance Institute, NYC.
Marie has been dancing and teaching for over twenty five years in Darien and Brooklyn, NY. She recieved her dance training in NYC at DanceSpace where she studied under Laurie Devito and Lynn Simonson.  Marie is a master teacher of Leap 'N Learn, the premier dance curriculum for early childhood dance education as well as an NDI-certified instructor in dance education for children and adults with disabilities.
Danette Meigel
Dance Certificate, Modern and Ballet, Cultural Arts High School, Long Island
The DAC welcomes Miss Danette back to the teaching staff. Danette received her Dance Certificate with Majors in Modern and Ballet from the Cultural Arts High School, Long Island and continued her dance education at Nassau Colleege. Danette then danced with Club MTV for many years.
Dana Rodriguez
Dance Degree, University of South Florida; MFA, Brooklyn College
Dana graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Dance. She toured extensively with Shari Lewis' Lamb Chop & Friends. She is certified in Active-Isolated Stretching by Maximum Performance International and received her Pilates mat/ equipment certifications from the Kane School of Core Integration in NYC. After receiving her Master of Fine Arts degree in performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College, Dana worked as an administrator for NYC Ballet, Dance Theater Workshop and New York City Center. Dana is the Co- Artistic Director of Monroe Dance Company and Arts Education Consultant.