SDA’s Host & Emcee
BUDDY CASIMANO is a performer with 25 years of working experience in all mediums of show business. Before tumbling into show business, he was a competitive elite level gymnast, as well as a three time Jr. Olympic swim champion. In the 80’s,(after beating her in his High School talent show…), he became a back-up dancer & choreographer for teen pop sensation Debbie (Deborah) Gibson, touring the world with her for 7 years. After his 3rd world tour with Deborah, he pursued his dream of dancing on Broadway. If you stay focused, & work hard?sometimes your dreams come true! Some of his favorite show credits include: Broadway’s Miss Saigon, Starlight Express, Hercules Live, Red Hot Broadway, Miss Saigon 1st National Tour, That’s Christmas & most recently, POP goes BROADWAY (starring Deborah Gibson and co-choreographed with fellow judge, Eddie Bennett). Buddy has been kicked by Madonna, had his nose broken by Sandy Duncan, fell down the stairs with Sally Struthers, & sipped tea with George Michael… A pair of his dance shoes are displayed in the Hard Rock Cafe, as well as in the Smithsonian pop-culture exhibit. He has appeared in numerous music videos on MTV, & worked with other recording artists such as… Sylvester, Deborah Cooper, Darlene Love, Paul Young, & Tommy Page. His legs were the model for Elvis in the international “ABSOLUT Memphis” ads. Buddy has danced for some of the best choreographers & directors including; George Schlatter, Twyla Tharp, Jerry Mitchell, James L. Brooks, Arlene Phillips, Michael Peters, Otis Salid, Jodi Moccia, & Paula Abdul, and has directed and choreographed some incredible performers such as: Ben Vereen, Karen Ziemba, Jennifer Holliday, Adrian Zmed, Asa Somers, Eugene Fleming, Andrea McArdle, Anthony Rapp, Norm Lewis & Lea Salonga. Buddy has been teaching dance & judging National talent competitions for 20 yrs, and currently teaches master classes in jazz, musical theater, lyrical, & his own athletic, jazz-infused style, “Buddy-ography”. Now… LET’s DANCE!
NUALA DEGEORGE, a native New Yorker, holds a BA in Theatre from C.U.N.Y. Queens College. Her proximity to New York City allowed her opportunities to regularly perform and work with artists from major companies such as Martha Graham Dance Company, American Tap Dance Foundation, Limon Dance Company, Dance Theatre Etcetera, Manhattan Tap and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Nuala’s career of 20+ years encompasses a wide variety of techniques including Modern, Tap and Hip-Hop as well as competitive Latin Ballroom; she appeared as a featured tap dancer on the PBS Dance in America Series for the Gregory Hines Special. In addition to performing, Nuala has established herself as a teacher, director, judge and choreographer. The eclectic teaching style she has developed, led her to be recruited to implement dance programs for several of Canada’s leading dance institutions. Her choreography has been recognized by The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, NOW (National Organization for Woman) and amFar (AIDS Research) as well as regional and national Dance Competitions. While running her successful quilting business, Keepsake Stitches, Nuala also continues to teach and choreograph, and in 2017 began her new role with SDA as Regional Event Manager.
KIMBERLY CALORE-SEDLAK returns to Rhode Island after an extensive career in both stage and TV/Film. She is currently on faculty at Salve Regina University as an Adjunct Professor of Jazz & Tap. In addition, Kimberly has been a part of the master class series for both Providence College & Rhode Island College. She also teaches and choreographs for all levels in the private sector of dance education. A proud union member, AEA, SAG/AFTRA, AGVA, some of Kimberly’s favorite performing credits include: The Radio City Rockettes (Asst.Choreographer and Dance Captain, 13yrs); “The Producers”; “Crazy For You”; “42nd Street”; “Disney’s Beauty and The Beast”; The Tony Awards; “A Christmas Carol”; PBS Special, “Broadway: The American Musical”; “When In Rome”; “The Stepford Wives”; Las Vegas productions and television commercials. She has been seen featured in Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, The Oprah Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine and in the recently published book, “The Radio City Rockettes: A Dance Through Time-75th Celebration Edition”, as well as the DVD series “Rockettes Kick Into Fitness” & “The Radio City Christmas Spectacular”. She has had the honor of working with such legends as: Chita Rivera, Ann Reinking, Maurice Hines, and Mel Brooks to name a few. Kimberly is an active member of the National Dance Education Organization and Dance Alliance of Rhode Island, and she has been a Teaching Artist/Choreographer for the past 20 years. She has served on the creative team as an Instructor/Choreographer for Broadway Dance Center’s: The Broadway Experience, The Rockette Experience, and The Rockette Summer Intensive as well as Disney’s Magic Music Days’ Master Class series. She was on faculty for the theatre program at NYC’s Steps, BDC, New Dance Group and has served as a national spokesperson for New York Offstage, Madison Square Garden’s Cheering For Children, & Career Transitions For Dancers. Kimberly continues to pass down her passion for the performing arts by guest teaching and choreographing nationwide, and has recently signed on as one of SDA’s Regional Event Managers.
EDDIE BENNETT has established himself as a professional entertainer with over 18 years of continuous work in the theatre industry. His first professional credit landed him in the lap of well-known L.A. based choreographers, Helene Phillips and Barry Lather. Eddie soon moved on to national tours and regional theatre credits in such shows as A Chorus Line, Gypsy, & Bye Bye Birdie. Continuing to exceed, he joined the Broadway show “CHICAGO: The Musical”; he has toured and still continues to work with the Broadway company. This past year marked Eddie’s 14th with “CHICAGO”. He has played every male ensemble role in the Broadway stage production, still running at the Ambassador Theatre in NYC. In 2008 Eddie made his debut as a choreographer, putting up two full production shows. The first was “Deborah Gibson’s, Pop Goes Broadway”, starring 80’s pop sensation Debbie Gibson, at Harrah’s in Altlantic City for which he received rave reviews for his choreography; “superb” and wonderfully animated” – The Courier Post and The Daily News. It was hailed as “the very best” in production shows featured in all of Atlantic City. Next was “The Flunky” A New Musical”, in LA. Eddie worked with top LA director Kay Cole on this hilarious new musical, marking his first show in pre-production for Broadway! Eddie’s choreography has since been in high demand. Additionally he has choreographed “Mira Quien Baila” star Bianca Marroquin’s sold out show, “Luz”. Other choreographic credits include: his first major film, “FISH: A Boy In A Man’s Prison”, based on the acclaimed novel by the same name; his first major concert, “Debbie Gibson And Tiffany: Journey Through The 80’s”, kicking off the tour on “GMA Summer Concert Series”; his first music video, “Electric Youth: Reloaded”, with it’s debut on the season finale of the popular “The Jace Hall Show”. Eddie was also featured on Season 5 of “Celebrity Apprentice”, and has been a guest judge on the widely popular “Dance Moms”. Along the wat, Eddie has had the chance to work and dance with a slew of celebrities, inluding Patrick Swayze, Patti LaBelle, Angela Lansbury, Usher, Debbie Gibson, Wayne Brady, Lisa Rinna, Bebe Neuwirth, Michelle Williams, Wendy Williams, Billy Ray Cyrus, Chita Rivera, Jerry Springer, George Hamilton, Kevin Richardson, Ashlee Simpson, John O’Hurley, Marvin Hamlisch, and Carol Woods (also his son’s Godmother).
LIZ PICCOLI (AEA/AGMA/SDC Associate Director/Choreographer) enjoys a professional career as a dancer, instructor, choreographer and director. Among her performance credits are: “West Side Story” (Virginia and Lyric Operas); off-Broadway, “Shafrika, the White Girl,” (Vineyard Theatre); “Fat Camp” at NYMF. Liz also performed with the Metropolitan Opera in productions of “Romeo et Juliette” and “The First Emperor”. Her choreographic credits include: Assistant Director/Choreographer to Tricia Brouk, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” (Central Coast Theater); Assist. Choreographer, “Ionescopades” (York Theatre/Lucille Lortel Nomination); SDC Observer, Dan Knechtges (“Lysistrata Jones”, off-Broadway and Broadway); Assist. Choreographer, the TVLand Awards opening number starring Liza Minnelli; Erotic Broadway at The Triad; and Choreographer for the Tennessee Williams play “Now The Cats With Jeweled Claws”, off-Broadway at La MaMa in NYC. Additionally, Liz choreographed for a new musical in workshop based on Pink’s album “Misunderstood”, and is part of the NYC Jazz Choreography Project at Alvin Ailey and the Cool New York Festival in Brooklyn. Most recently she choreographed “The Wizard of Oz”, “Oliver”, and “Footloose” fpr the Ohana Arts Program in Oahu, HI. In May 2013, Liz Co-Directed and Choreographed a new musical, enjoying a successful off-Broadway run, about the 80’s fitmess craze. “Spandex, the Musical”, will return to the NYC stage this spring and is proudly sponsored by Crunch Fitness, and American Apparel. Other recent projects include choreography for “Hip-Hop High”, which has been picked up by Universal Studios, the creation of a new show for John G of Derek David Productions, and commercial work for Smirnoff Vodka and Resorts World Casino. Liz strives to inspire artistic passion and growth in others; www.lizpiccoli.com.
MAUREEN BROWN is a singer, dancer, choreographer, teacher, and voice over & recording artist who has performed in television, theatre, radio, videos, & concerts worldwide. Some of Maureen’s television credits include singing with opera celebrity Paul Potts, NBC’s Today Show, MTV Awards, Billboard Awards, Cosby Show, Arsenio Hall Show, Dave Chapelle Show, and All My Children’s Anniversary Show. Her theatre performances have included the west coast tour of “Dreamgirls”, “Aida” in Amsterdam, European tour of of “Bubblin’ Brown Sugar”, the National tour of “The Wiz” with Stephanie Mills, “Harlem Suite” with Jennifer Holliday & Maurice Hines, Radio City Music Hall’s “Christmas Spectacular”, “Red Hot Broadway”, “Salute to Broadway”, and a world wide tour with C&C Music Factory. As a voice over and recording artist, Maureen sang for the audio recording for the west coast tour of “Dreamgirls”, and she can be heard on radio and television public service announcements, as well as in music promotions and comedy skits. Maureen has been honored to sing at events such as the US Marines/NYC Toys for Tots Gala and Hurricane Sandy Benefit Relief in NYC. As a private coach for vocalists, she continues to teach dance and voice, as well as internationally judging dance competitions. A multi talented performer and teacher, Maureen is an active member of Actors’ Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, American Federations of Radio and Television, and the American Guild of Variety Arts.
VANESSA SALGADO is a New York City based Performing Artist, Teacher, Visual Artist & Model. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University BFA Program at Lincoln Center in New York City. Vanessa received her early classical training in MD with Tatiana Akinfieva-Smith, Elena Manakhova and Betty Webster and has studied at American Ballet Theatre, Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center, Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Theatre, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet. In 2004, she was honored as a Maryland Distinguished Scholar of the Arts. Professionally, Vanessa has performed for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on CBS, L’Oreal Professional, New York International Beauty Show, Ad Hoc Ballet, NY2Dance, Eastern Shore Ballet Theatre, Ailey/Fordham Student Dancers, and at galas in Barcelona, Spain and Miami, Florida. Currently, Vanessa can be seen performing with CONTINUUM Contemporary/Ballet. In addition, she has been on faculty at the School at STEPS on Broadway, the Ballet Hispanico School of New York, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater School. Last spring, she was featured in Dance Teacher Magazine for her work at the Joffrey Ballet School of New York, and Vanessa has recently published the children’s book “Crafterina” with her sister merging her passions of Visual Art, Education, and Ballet.
SHAWN MAHONEY has a distinguished list of credits throughout his career as a dancer. His early training included The Boston Ballet Center for Dance and the American Ballet Theatre School, where he was an ABT apprentice. Shawn subsequently went on to become a principal, soloist and a corps de ballet dancer with The Boston Ballet for six years before becoming an invited member of Twyla Tharp’s “Twyla Tharp & Dancers”. Through his career, Shawn has had the honor to perform at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and as a guest artist with the Washington Ballet, Suzannne Farrell & Company and The Balanchine Project to name a few. In 2001 he founded Mahoney Agency, epresenting dancers to provide them opportunities for performance engagements. He has since continued to teach master classes, as well as choreographing, coaching, and adjudicating. In 2006 Shawn was appointed a faculty position at Emerson College, and he proudly sits on the Chelsea Cultural Council.
At Spirit of Dance Awards, our judging panel may also include pre-screened/trained judges from Impact Dance Adjudicators.