Natalie Arneson (Director, Choreographer, Voice teacher) Natalie graduated from the Guildford School of Acting in England with a BA in Musical Theatre. While overseas, she played Princess Jasmine opposite Britt Eklund and Issy van Randwick in the pantomime Aladdin, toured England and Germany as Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest, and played Cunegonde in Candide. She has worked extensively in her native Houston, with credits at the Alley Theatre (A Christmas Carol, Much Ado About Nothing), Houston Grand Opera (Manon Lescaut, La Cenerentola), Arneson Productions (Side Show), Bayou City Concert Musicals (Follies, Fiorello), Houston Shakespeare Festival (The Tempest), Main Street Theater (Nine, Lady in the Dark), among others. She performed her original show “Mama Drama” at The Metropolitan Room, The Duplex, and Don’t Tell Mama, subsequently winning the 2016 Manhattan Association of Clubs and Cabarets Award for “Best Female Debut.”
Natalie has extensive experience several teaching disciplines, including ballet, tap, jazz, singing, acting, and stage combat. Her career as an actress has expanded into that of director and choreographer of many children’s musical theater performances. She has directed and choreographed for several companies, including her own company, Spotlight Performing Arts, in Manhattan. She is excited to join the team at Croton Academy of Arts!
Nic Coccaro (Creative Dramatics, Acting I teacher and Stage Combat Choreographer) BA Theatre, has fight directed numerous comedic and dramatic works here and abroad for community theatre, college and professional theatre. From Genesius Theatre’s Hamlet at Theatre Under St. Marks, NYC to SUNY Binghamton’s Anne Boleyn to CAA’s She Kills Monsters to Cider Mill Playhouse’s Deathtrap, Nicolas has worked with both children and adult actors. He is a certified Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors and has studied at the British Academy of Stage & Screen Combat. Nicolas is happy to teach young actors and educate them in how to act out violence on stage in a safe and clear manner.
Nancy Griffin (Yin Yoga) Nancy’s urge to make yoga a regular practice surfaced in 2010 and she has been practicing ever since. It unfolded into a passion as she found it to be beneficial physically, mentally and spiritually. Realizing these benefits at a later stage in life has been a truly healing experience. She graduated from Yoga Haven’s 200 hour yoga teacher training with Betsy Kase and found it to be transformative. Her exposure to Yin yoga started at Croton Academy of Arts with Catherine Reidel as her teacher. This culminated into her attaining her certification in Yin yoga from Integral Yoga Institute. She is looking forward to teaching Yin in the same studio she first discovered her love of Yin.
Jennifer Jiles (Coaching - Acting, Auditions, Scenes and Monologs) Jennifer is an Emmy Award-winning host and multi-award winning actress, writer and producer who’s worked with such stars as Tim Conway,Tom Poston, Samantha Eggar and Carl Reiner. She is also perhaps one of the best known Ex-Radio City Rockettes because of her critically-acclaimed Off Broadway solo show, “KICKING & SCREAMING, The Musical!” about her years at The Music Hall. Ms. Jiles is the Executive Producer and starred in the short film “The Waiting Room” by Debra Markowitz for which she’s won BEST ACTRESS, and she is the 2 time BEST ACTRESS winner for the multi-award winning short film “Mother of the Week” in which she is the lead actress, wrote the original story, co-wrote the screenplay, and co-produced. She’s been on the web series “Small Miracles” starring Judd Hirsch, and has appeared in the films “Flat Brim”, “Hey, You Never Know” and “Restaurant” starring Adrian Brody, as well as on television, including “100 Centre Street”, “Guiding Light” and “As the World Turns.” Jennifer can be seen and heard in numerous commercials (TV & radio), and narrates children’s, young adult, non-fiction and fantasy genre audio books. Ms. Jiles is also a popular acting coach, specializing in kids and teens. www.jenniferjiles.com
Catherine Riedel, (Yin Yoga)
Has taught acting, comedy and movement to children and adults for the past 20 years. She has produced and performed off-Broadway plays and served as artistic director for theatre companies in New York City and the Hudson valley. Catherine is also a professional choreographer and a certified yoga instructor. Catherine’s undergraduate degree is in Dance and she has studied acting at the Herbert Berghof Studio and The Acting Studio, both in New York City.
Emily Riedel (Dance, Choreographer) is a choreographer and performer based in Westchester County, New York. For the past fourteen years she has trained in classical ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, theater dance, contemporary, lyrical, and is especially well versed in tap dance. She has taught and assisted beginner to advanced levels of dance at Westchester Ballet Center, Croton Children’s Theatre, and the Croton Academy of Arts. As a choreographer, Emily has created dances for Croton Children’s Theatre, PVC Middle School, Dance for Peace, Croton Academy of Arts, and served as Dance Captain for Actors Conservatory Theatre of Westchester. Emily is a sophmore in Temple University's BFA Musical Theatre Program.
Joseph Riedel (Prepare for Impact, caca Company Improv instructor) is a Writer, Director, and Performer who returned to New York after spending six years in Chicago. During his time in the midwest Joseph performed on improv teams at the IO Theatre, and worked as a writer, director, and producer on a number of Transmedia productions for web, television, commercials, as well as live theatrical events. A lover of television critical analysis, Joseph has also dedicated a lot of time working with publications such as the online scholarly resource "The Watercooler Journal" where he wrote journalistic articles on television studies. The creation of his autobiographical web series “A Good Sense of Tumor” was featured on NPR’s Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson.
Rory Scholl (Improv) lives in New York and has been an improviser and entertainer for over 14 years, and is currently a teacher for and member of the touring improve troupe, Chicago City Limits (www.chicagocitylimits.com) In addition to teaching corporate comedy and workshops to such companies as Disney, Time Warner, and Nokia, Rory is the lead guitarist in the all improvised rock-n-roll storytelling band, the BTK Band, who start touring in the summer of 2011. He is co-director of The Creative Outlets, promotions and events company that uses comics to assist agencies in campaigns (www.thecreativeoutlets.com) He eats almonds to lower his cholesterol.
Janice Paganelli (CONNECTIONS) comes to CONNECTIONS with many years of experience working with children as the Resident Choreographer for Actors Conservatory Theatre. Janice is an Ossining Girl Scout leader for 24 years as well as the Community Director for 8 years and has worked as a Child Behavior Specialist for Andrus Children's Home.