About Us

(Dancers listed in order of seniority)

Matthew S. Berenbaum, Founding Artistic and Executive Director

Matthew S. Berenbaum began his dance training at the age of ten. He is a graduate of the School of the Staten Island Ballet, the Dance Department of LaGuardia High School, and the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. At Gallatin, he wrote a paper on the physics of ballet which he hopes to expand on and publish in the future. He appeared with Dances Patrelle in several demi-soloist roles before retiring from dancing to focus on choreography.

He was first inspired to become a choreographer by a Pink Floyd song on the Staten Island Ferry early one morning during his high school years, and continued to conceive and develop choreographic ideas while in college. Shortly after graduation, he began renting rehearsal space and gathered a few friends together with the simple aim of bringing some of his ideas to life. These few friends soon became the founding members, and that rehearsal space soon became the birthplace, of Homo Veritas Dance Theatre.

 

Laura DeLaurentis, Associate Artistic Director and Founding Member

Laura started her dance training at the age of 8 at the Stamford Academy of Ballet. She took a brief hiatus from dancing, but returned at the age of 15 and went on to achieve a professional ballroom title in International Latin and Standard at the age of 17. She competed nationally at the high rank of S class dancer and was awarded 2nd place as a 10-dance Champion. Soon afterwards, she was offered the Trustee’s Scholarship for rare talent in artistry to attend Dean College’s Dance program and completed a full certification as a personal trainer. During her college years, Laura also studied with the Casa Patas Flamenco Conservatory and performed with them in Madrid, Spain. She graduated Dean in 2011 with a B.A. in Dance and a minor in Psychology. She has studied and performed with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Spellbound Contemporary Ballet, Armitage Gone!, Cedar Lake, Emery LeCrone, Helen Pickett, New Chamber Ballet, Dawson Dances, Stefanie Nelson Dance Group and ExortoDanza at the Castello Aragonese in Italy. Her performances include works by Miro Magloire, Alexandre Proia, Stuart Loungway, Jennifer Muller, Jillian Davis, Benjamin Briones, Liza Barskaya, Matthew S. Berenbaum, Stefanie Nelson and Piero LeCesse. During her time in New York she has been a company member with Benjamin Briones Ballet, Jillian Davis Dance Project and Homo Veritas Dance Theatre. Laura is also freelancing with multiple artists dancing on film, in live collaborations and has had the privilege for dance to take her all over the world to perform. Laura has been with Homo Veritas Dance Theatre from the beginning and she is very excited to see what the future holds in store. 

Mathew Ortiz, Founding Member

Mathew Ortiz started his training in singing, acting, and dancing at Rosie's Theater in New York City in the 6th grade, and later continued his studies at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts, Ballet Academy East, and by participating in summer intensives at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Miami City Ballet. Mathew is trained in classical and contemporary ballet, the Graham and Horton techniques of modern, jazz, and tap. Mathew has appeared with Dances Patrelle, Catskills Ballet Theater, and Brass City Ballet, and is proud to be appearing once again with Homo Veritas Dance Theatre.

 

Lindsey Osteen

Lindsey Osteen started dancing at the age of ten at Ballet Arte in San Diego, California, under the direction of Sara Viale and Erlends Zieminch. During this time she attended summer intensives with ABT and Kaatsbaan, where she studied under Martine Van Hamel. She continued her dance and academic education at Duke University, where she took class with and performed original choreography by Julie and Tyler Walters. Upon graduating, she moved to New York to pursue a career in publishing without sacrificing her love for dance and the arts.

Barbara Samille de Lima Lins

Barbara Samille de Lima Lins began her dance training at the Ballet Eliana Cavalcanti in her native Brazil in 1998. She first came to the United States in 2013 to continue her studies at Ballet Chicago before moving to New York to study at the Joffrey Ballet School and the Peridance Capezio Center. Over the course of her career, she has danced principal roles in such famous ballets as Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, and Concerto Barocco.

Dafni Mari

Born and raised in Greece, Dafni Mari began her studies at the professional dance school of Despina Gregoriadou and the School of 

Pharmacy at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. After graduating from both schools, she was accepted to Trinity Laban 

Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, where she gained her Master's of Dance Science. While in London, she was an associate member of Ballet Black Neoclassical Company and also participated in many dance and artistic projects. Searching for new opportunities, she moved to New York City and has danced with Ajkun Ballet Theatre, Yuka Kawazu's Danse en l'air, Benjamin Briones Ballet, Eryc Taylor Dance, Ballet for Young Audiences and String Dance+Media. She also guests around the US with various dance companies. Dafni also works as a dance scientist and instructor as well as fine fragrance lab technician. She is thrilled to be dancing with Homo Veritas Dance Theatre!

Margot Hartley

Margot Hartley trained at the Joffrey Ballet School, and now freelances in New York City with several small ballet and contemporary companies. In addition to her professional work, Margot frequently workshops with the Merce Cunningham Trust. Last season she had the opportunity to learn and perform roles in Cross Currents, Changing Steps, and Torse, as well as study the chance operations process. This is her first time performing with Homo Veritas Dance Theatre.

Nina Deacon

Nina Deacon trained at the Nancy Whyte School of Ballet in Bellingham, WA. At 13, she joined the Mount Baker Ballet where she danced her way from Snowflake to Snow Queen and performed many soloist and principle roles.  Off-Broadway credits include “Tchaikovsky – A New Stage Play”, “Still on the Corner”,the title role of “Golden Bird” in “Finding the Golden Bird”, “First Coquette” in “Dances of Life and Death” and “Odile” in “Lake of Sorrows”. Dance company credits include “Ballet for Young Audiences” “Linda Diamond and Co.”, “Jersey City Ballet”and guest artist with “New American Youth Ballet”. Nina danced at the Minskoff Theatre as part of the Broadway Cares benefit, "The Easter Bonnet”. She would like to extend a huge thank you to her parents, teachers, choreographers, and fellow dancers, without them she wouldn’t be the artist she is today.

Shannon Grant

Shannon has performed professionally internationally and in many lead roles throughout the United States. She was trained by master teachers of the Kirov Ballet.  Shannon has extensive teaching experience and is a graduate of Columbia University.  She currently performs with Homo Veritas Dance Theatre, American Liberty Ballet, Jersey City Ballet Theatre, and Ballet Long Island.  She has performed with companies including Ballet de Printemps, City Ballet of San Diego, Ballet New England, Media City Ballet, BalaSole, Ballet Magique and more.  She danced in the Ovation Award winning musical Shag With a Twist, in music videos for bands Velvet Revolver, Avenged Sevenfold and others, as well as in commercials and fashion shows.  Shannon is excited to explore new possibilities in movement with Homo Veritas Dance Theatre. For more please visit: ShannonGrantDance.com

Quimen Sanchez

Quimen started his training at Orlando Ballet School with Orlando Molina, under the direction of Peter Starks. While dancing with Orlando Ballet School, Quimen has had the fortunate chance to perform with the main company of Orlando Ballet under the direction of Fernando Bujones. Under Fernando's watch, Quimen has performed many full-length ballets such as Spartacus and Coppelia as Dr. Coppelius, Giselle and many others. Quimen has also previously danced for Fort Lauderdale Ballet Classique, Cuban Classical Ballet, South Florida Ballet Theater, Sierra Nevada Ballet, and many more. Quimen is currently a proud member of Ballet For Young Audiences/Ballet Repertory NYC.  Under the direction and guidance of Edwin Kinter, Quimen has danced many principal roles, such as the Snow White's Prince, in Snow White, The Nutcracker Prince in The Nutcracker, and most recently, Prince Eric in the Little Mermaid. This is Quimen's first production with Homo Veritas Dance Theatre. 

Erika Keller

Erika Keller began her ballet training in Germany as a part of the Royal Academy of Dance as a scholarship student in Neumarkt and Nuremberg. Returning to the U.S. she continued her training in the RAD Syllabus at the Academy of Dance Arts under Jennifer Church and as well as at the Pittsburgh Youth  Ballet, Springs City Ballet and the Colorado Academy of Ballet. She has danced professionally with the Columbia City Ballet, Newcomb Ballet Company, Albano Ballet Company, Connect the Dots Dance Company, Jersey City Ballet and Dances Patrelle.

Guest Choreographers

Andrea Wachholtz, Andrea in Motion Studios, Staten Island, NY

Andrea Wachholtz began her training in Brooklyn, NY and went on to receive a scholarship with the New Ballet School associate school of the Feld Ballet Company, NY, NY. She holds a B.F.A. degree from Adelphi University and is an ABT certified teacher in Primary through Level 3. She toured the United States, Canada and Mexico performing with such companies as...The Empire State Ballet, Xing Ballet, Royal Dance Theatre, Mime Internationale, Buffalo City Ballet, The Staten Island Ballet, Ballet Deviare and Some Dance Company. As a soloist, Andrea had the opportunity to dance many classical roles as well as dancing the works of many prominent choreographers, developing extremely valuable experiences. She has been a teacher and a coach with such schools and companies as...The School of The Empire State Ballet Company, Summit Gymnastics,The Arts and Education Institute of Western NY, Paragon Gymnastics, Staten Island Ballet Company and School, Poly Prep Country Day School as well as Ballet Mistress for Staten Island Ballet Company for two years. Andrea has worked and trained dancers helping them to reach their full professional potential. Andrea has also been choreographer for Adelphi University Cabarets,The Broadway Theatre Collective, The Empire State Ballet Company workshops, Summit Gymnastics, Paragon Gymnastics, Staten Island Ballet School, Poly Prep Country Day School, various dance studios, Sweet 16’s & cheerleading squads. Andrea has had a wonderful experience working with the dancers of HVDT and looks forward to seeing them bring her work to life.

Ronnie D. Carney, Arts High School, Newark, NJ

Ronnie D. Carney is a native of Newark, NJ. He began his dance training with Alfred Gallman while studying theatre at Arts High School.  As an actor, Ronnie worked with The Whole Theatre Company and The Hole-In-The-Wall Theatre House. In 1995, he graduated from the University of the Arts with a BFA in dance performance.  During a short performance career  he performed with Ballet South Project and Douglas Dunn and Dancers. After, Ronnie turned his focus to Dance Education.  He began with a teaching position at Newark’s Arts High School.  Thereafter, he has taught for The Joffery Ballet School, ABT’s Summer Arts Institute, The Mill Ballet School, and New Jersey Performing Arts Center.  As a choreographer, his work has been shown at many festivals in NJ and on The Roxey Ballet and Prism Dance Works. In 2003, he earned his MA in Dance Education from NYU and was published in the Journal of Dance Education, which lead to him presenting in conferences across the US.  This will be his third year serving as co-director of AileyCamp Newark.

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