Born in Annapolis, MD, Meredith Reffner-Callender grew in the Baltimore/D.C. area. From a young age she studied the Cecchetti method of ballet and won numerous awards such as Dance Masters of America's Junior Miss Dance, the East Coast Cecchetti Council scholarship, and the National Cecchetti Council of America scholarship two summers in a row. At 13, she decided to put her primary focus on ballet and attended the Washington School of Ballet in Washington, D.C. There she trained with such world renowned teachers as Lupe Serrano, Patricia Berrend, Rudolf Kharatian and Mary Day, She would then spend her summers at the School of American Ballet in NYC and the Chautauqua Institute, dancing with their Festival and professional ballet companies. While finishing up her last years of schooling, Meredith was awarded with the Maryland Distinguished Scholar in the Arts award, a Level 1 award from the National YoungArts Foundation and the highly prestigious Presidential Scholar of the Arts award which won her an invitation to perform for and meet President Clinton. After graduating high school, Meredith started her professional career with the Washington Ballet, where she had the opportunity to work with Ms. Suzanne Farrell and perform in the Kennedy Center's 25th Anniversary celebration. She then moved on to work for Paul Mejia at the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet in Texas where she performed several soloist and principal roles. Later, she moved back to the east coast to work with the Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia, again having the opportunity to perform several soloist and principal roles. Some of Meredith's favorite roles include the Siren in George Balanchine's Prodigal Son, the Swan in Chris Wheeldon's Carnival of the Animals, and Coffee in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Meredith retired from the stage in 2010 but continues to teach in the Philadelphia region. Between her classes, she can be found enjoying her free time with her husband, fellow dancer/teacher Rick Callender, and their two daughters.
Rick Callender is from Miami, Florida and began his training with Marta Mahr School of Ballet and New World School of the Arts. He then moved to Seattle to study at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. He later took a position with the Washington Ballet in Washington, D.C. After working at the Fort Worth Dass Ballet (Texas Ballet Theater) for five seasons, he moved to Philadelphia. Rick has also danced with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet Company, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet X, Miro Dance, Jeanne Ruddy Dance, Brandywine Ballet, and many others in the Philadelphia area. He has gotten to perform many wonderful roles and has enjoyed performing around the world.
Ms. Crystal holds a degree in Dance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she is now a faculty member. Television credits include the VH1 Fashion Awards with Macy Gray, The BET Awards with Will & Jada Pinkett Smith, BET’s Comicview, Lip Service and Global Groove on MTV, Monk, and the feature film Beloved. Live stage credits include The Groovaloos Show in LA, the Italy Tour with Kathy Sledge, Illadelph Legends, and Crystal was a featured dancer and choreographer for recording artist Jill Scott’s Big Beautiful Tour. Crystal’s choreography has been featured with Garden State Dance Festival, Philadelphia 76ers Dance Team, Drexel University, Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts, Hip Hop Extravaganza in Bermuda, Taipei University of the Arts in Taiwan, Cruzan Dance in St. Croix, and Encore Danses en Tourneau in Canada. She was a co-founder of the Montazh Performing Arts Company and continues to perform with the Rennie Harris Puremovement dance company while also teaching for several dance organizations. With her broad range of talents and impeccable classes, Crystal is a valued member of the Dancers Inc. Competition family, where she has been a director since season one. Bravo Dance Center is proud to have Ms. Crystal as a Guest Choreographer for the Competition Team.
Gianna "Gia" Martello is the assistant choreographer at Abby Lee Dance Company. She is a dancer, teacher and choreographer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She started dancing at the age of four. Her raw talent and intensive training under the direction of Abby Lee Miller and the faculty at Reign Dance Prodcutions earned her numerous titles as well as regional and national high score awards at competitions as a child. At the age of 16, Gianna began choreographing routines alongside Ms. Miller as well as on her own which led her to discover her passion for teaching and choreography. Her award-winning routines have earned her much recognition throughout the convention circuit. Most recently, she co-choreographed Alexx Calise’s, “Cry” music video and appears as the onscreen choreographer and cast member of Lifetime’s hit reality series, Dance Moms.
Molly Misgalla was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduation from Point Park University, Molly danced with the modern based Mary Miller Dance Company and with the Philadelphia based-jazz dance company "Waves". She performed in the feature film "Living Out Loud" starring Holly Hunter, Inatoriso Cabaret Show in Tokyo, Japan and in numerous industrial and commercials for companies such as Glaxo Smith- Kline. An assistant professor of dance at the University of the Arts since 2000, Molly is a prominent choreographer and guest instructor working regionally, nationally and internationally. Teaching engagements include Jacksonville University, DeSales University, Pennsylvania State University and the Manhattan Dance Project. Molly was an artist-in-residence at Ecole de Ballet and Just Move Dance in Luxembourg. She has also taught Master classes in Luxembourg, Paris and London, as well as studios and conventions throughout the US. Molly maintains a direct connection with MSA Dance Agency in New York, and is a frequent panel member for dance scholarship auditions such as A.S.H The Workshop Experience, and Jazz Dance World Congress. She has been a professional representative to “National Dance Week” celebrations and has produced many “Celebrate Philly Dance” performances. Molly continues to study and develop her own technique and experience of dance, recently travelling to Tel Aviv, Israel where she attended an immersion program in ‘Gaga Technique’, under the direction of Ohad Nahrain and the Batsheva dancers.
Matthew Prescott, born and raised in Idaho, graduated high school from Interlochen Arts Academy and attended the inaugural year of the Joffrey/New School University in New York City. In 2000, he joined the Joffrey Ballet for a number of years before setting out as a freelance artist. Working as a freelancer, Matthew has worked and performed with Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theater, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Ballet NY, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Amanda Miller, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, The Alabama Ballet, Armitage Gone! Dance, BalletX, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Morphoses the Wheeldon Company, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Matthew was featured in Robert Altman’s film The Company. Matthew has choreographed works performed by Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Chamber Dance Project, the Joffrey Ballet School, BalletX, Interlochen Arts Academy, for Misty Copeland for Prince’s Coming to America 2010 Madison Square Garden performances, as well as the Vail International Dance Festival. Matthew was the Resident Choreographer on the national tour of Billy Elliot as well as performing the roll of Older Billy. Matthew made his Broadway debut on Broadway in the cast of Phantom of the Opera. Matthew is currently the Artistic Director for the Joffrey Ballet School’s Summer Intensive.
Samuel Antonio Reyes
Mr. Sammy graduated from The University of the Arts in 2000. While at UArts, he received the Cushman Acting Award and the ensemble theater award for his outstanding achievements in dramatic arts. After college, Sammy continued his dance training with Ronen Koresh, Rennie Harris and Kip Martin. He was rehearsal director and member of dance theater X, directed by Charles O. Anderson. He recently completed touring the nation with television and radio artist Raven Simone. Sammy continues to choreograph independently for numerous events including the opening of the Philadephia Gay Pride Event at the Kimmel Center in May 2001. He has also worked with the Prince Music Theatre, the Cat Scratch Theater Company, Luna Theater and Jeffrey Marsh La Cabaret. Recently, he was commissioned to choreograph for Zen One Dance Collective, Montazh Dance Company, Darimar Productions, the singing group BADD and the New Jersey Garden State Arts Festival from 2004-07. Sammy is currently a teacher of jazz and hip hop all over the Philadelphia area and is currently an instructor at Temple University. Bravo Dance Center is proud to have Mr. Sammy as a Guest Choreographer for the Competition Team.
Ziegler began dancing at the age of two and currently attends the Abby Lee Dance Company. She has won numerous titles at regional, state, and national levels in the dance world. Since 2011, she has starred on Lifetime's Dance Moms a program that documents the day-to-day lives of the young dancers on the Abby Lee Dance Company Elite Competition Team. On the program, Ziegler appears alongside her mother and younger sister, Mackenzie. In 2012, Ziegler landed her first professional acting job, portraying the character of Young Deb on the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva. She continues her acting career with guests spots on the Disney Channel series Austin & Ally. Ziegler has appeared in music videos for artists including Alexx Calise, Sia, and Todrick Hall. Sia's "Chandelier", which Ziegler stars in, received nominations at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year and Best Choreography, winning the latter. The video was also nominated for Grammy Award for Best Music Video at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. Ziegler later starred with Shia LaBeouf in "Elastic Heart", also by Sia. Since the release of "Chandelier", Ziegler has performed on several shows, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dancing with the Stars, and Saturday Night Live, as well as at the 2014 Hollywood Bowl. On February 8, 2015, alongside Sia and Kristen Wiig, Ziegler performed at the nationally televised 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
Alex Wong was born in Canada and began his Tap and Jazz traning at the age of seven. At age ten, he started his ballet studies with the Goh Ballet Academy in Vancouver, Canada. In 2000, Alex won two Junior World Titles in Tap and Showdance. Awarded with the Royal Academy of Dancing Solo Seal, Alex won the Audience Choice Award and was a Bronze Medallist in the 2003 Genee International Ballet Competition. In 2004, he became the first Canadian to win the Prix de Lausanne competition in Switzerland, and later that year joined the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. In 2005, Alex danced briefly with American Ballet Theatre before joining Miami City Ballet. In early 2007, Alex was promoted to the rank of soloist at MCB. Alex’s repertoire of leading roles include Balanchine’s Symphony In Three Movements, Agon, Western Symphony, The Nutcracker, Twyla Tharp’s Push Comes to Shove, In the Upper Room, The Golden Section, Mark Morris Silhouettes, Edward Villela’s Don Quxiote, Paul Taylor’s Funny Papers, Bournonville’s Conservatory, Stephen Mills Hush, Anton Dolin’s Variations for Four and La Fille Mal Gardee. In 2010, Alex chose to audition for the FOX dance reality show So You Think You Can Dance and made the Top 10. On the fourth week of the season, Alex injured himself during a Bollywood rehearsal, snapping his Achilles tendon, which would unfortunately take him out of the race as America's favorite dancer. He then received surgery in Los Angeles and was given a timeframe of a year to fully recover. Alex has began to focus on commercial and theatrical work landing multiple roles including the TV series "Smash" directed by Steven Spielberg, "Glee," and as a semi finalist on "American Idol." On Broadway he portrayed Sniper in the original cast of "Newsies" and later in "The King and I." In 2014/2015 he landed roles in NBC's "Peter Pan Live!", "Ted 2" and "Crazy Ex Girlfriend" and a co-starring role in the Starz series "Flesh and Bone." Alex also continues to return every season as a reoccurring All Star on "So You Think You Can Dance."