Get to know ourstaff
Song & A Dance
Professional Instruction in the Arts
Ms. Ronnie Bertani is the heart behind S&D. Ms. Ron has worked with children her entire life even creating "summer camps" for kids, just a few years younger than she, since the age of ten. She saw a need in her community early on for a safe, non-competitive environment where children would be able to learn and flourish and later, created just that. She has fostered a genuine love for the arts in, not only her three boys, but an entire neighborhood for generations. She has used her keen business sense and intuitive personality to not only start the school we love, but also to help make S&D a success for nearly 40 years. She herself has studied piano and lived surrounded by music and dance for years but prides herself on being the friendly face behind the front desk. She is always welcoming and there to share with!
Mr. Rick Lionarons is the soul behind S&D. As a true professional musician, businessman, and director of the music program, he recognized the genius of Ronnie's idea early on and brought to the table an innate ability to communicate and teach the arts. He always promotes community involvement, and gives of his time to local churches, community causes and charitable organizations. He has enjoyed much success in his musical career touring the world with his bands, playing professionally at weddings and other functions, and writing his own music. He specializes in playing jazz, rock, pop and spiritual music. He also prides himself on being musical director for several theater groups, including those at St. Mary's, St. Adalbert's and many more. He spends his days creating music teaching materials for the next generation of students, writing musical compositions, singing in the Brooklyn Diocesan Vicariate Choir and playing at St. Paul's Church in Corona. Above all, he has a knack for supplying the right teaching strategy to ensure that your child will learn properly. Rick thinks learning music should be fun and interesting and has mentored many of his students to success.
Miss Katherine Arreaga is our newest beginner acrobatics teacher. A former student of both Ms. Kristen and Ms. Susie, Ms. Katherine has long been assisting in dance classes and our summer camp. More info to come!
Miss Carly Barnes has been a student at S&D for over TEN years having studied all types of dance, musical theater and music.
Mr. Larry Brown has been teaching drums in the rock and roll style for 15 years. He has performed, recorded, and toured with bands since 1975. In 1980 his band, April Dancer was signed to the Teen Beat record label. In 1985 he toured and recorded with the band Persian Gulf, signed by Raven Records. Larry is known by his peers as a NYC club scene veteran, and has over 1,000 performances with various bands in venues across the city.
Larry studied most notably with jazz legend Jim Chapin and at The Collective with Fred Klatz.
His students benefit from his knowledge of the rock genre and his ability to relate this to them in a clear and organized way.
Mr. Andru Cann has been teaching music at Song & A Dance for 17 years. He teaches piano, guitar, bass, drums, voice, and violin. He has a New York State teachers license and a Masters degree in music composition.
He works professionally, playing in jazz clubs, yoga schools, and has been the resident pianist/organist in the oldest and largest Baptist church in Manhattan for the past 20 years. He intuitively knows how to guide a student to excellence. His past work is featured in award winning movies, top forty singles, and is currently being played continuously on three radio stations in Brazil.
Sensei Matthew Cleveland has been studying karate for 25 years. He began teaching 15 years ago. He proudly holds a black belt in Shotokan karate. He is also trained in Jiujitsu and Tae Kwon Do. He prides himself on passing on the virtues of discipline and training to his students and, while doing so, he always maintains a caring but authoritative persona in his classes.
Miss Alanah Cuffe has been dancing and flipping at S&D since she was four years old. A graduate of the instrumental music program at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, she has come to have a love and appreciation for all things in the arts. She has assisted Ms. Susie with various dance classes and continues to assist Ms. Kristen with many of her acro classes since the age of eleven. Her love for all things dance and acro makes her a regular substitute teacher and familiar face in almost every class. She is beyond thrilled to be continuing to teach her own baby acrobatics classes this fall, as well as summer dance classes and new teen dance classes during the week.
Miss Lori-Ann Fordunski has been dancing since she was three years old. She participated on the awarding-winning Moves and Motions, New York, competitive dance team for over ten years. She attended the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts where she majored in a pre-conservatory dance program. She graduated with an Arts endorsed diploma in 2012. Lori attended College at the University at Albany and graduated in 2016 with a Business degree in Management and Marketing. While at UAlbany she participated in an organization called Dance Council. She choreographed 14 dances and performed in approximately 45 pieces. Lori ran for the Executive Board of Dance Council during her junior year and was elected President. She ran the club as President during her senior year. Lori has performed at venues such as Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera House. Lori-Ann is so excited to be going into her second year as a dance instructor at Song & A Dance. She loves sharing her love and passion for dance with children.
Miss Kristen Kopec is a NYCDOE certified public school teacher. She enjoys working with children of all ages and seeing them learn and progress. She has been doing acrobatics since the age of 5 and teaching it for over
10 years now. She is a seasoned gymnast, having competed during her childhood, but overall loves the art of acrobatics. She prides herself on having created the contortion class at S&D, which is truly one of a kind!
Mr. Hugh McNulty is a professional working musician specializing in guitar and voice. He has a sweet personality and a calm, relaxed persona in the classroom. This enables him to work well with all of his students, who range from the littlest beginners up to seasoned professionals. He performs every week for senior centers, is a loving husband, father and grandfather and is a motivated and caring teacher. Hugh is also very
happy to work with the man who started him in the music business, his long-time mentor and from Mr. Rick.
Miss Charlee Ray Price is a seasoned teacher and music professional. She has been with S&D for over 10 years. Charlee teaches piano, guitar, vocal, ukuelele and violin students. She is currently studying Classical Guitar as a Music Education major at Queens College. She is also working towards a Recording Studio Engineer minor at Queens College. Charlee has written and recorded many of her own songs. She brings a poetic and creative approach to each lesson and strives to help her students find their own musical voice.
Mr. Jonathan Ramirez started his music career by playing rock, jazz, and blues in various bands. He is currently studying Classical Guitar as a performance major at Queens College. He is lucky enough to say he has performed at various venues in NYC, including Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Mr. Jonathan looks forward to a great year at S&D with his new students.
Miss Emily Fung is a full time student by day and dance teacher by night. She is currently studying secondary mathematics education at Queens College. The Performing arts have been a part of her life since she was young, learning ballet, jazz, musical theatre, auxiliaries, piano, guitar, and flute. Miss Emily is looking forward to her new journey at S&D and is excited to see what is to come next.
Mr. Prathan Phakdeephon "Gai" The beauty of music inspired Prathan into the endless curiosity of music knowledge. He earned a Bachelor degree in Music Education in Thailand as a Classical Guitar Major and studied Jazz Performance at City College, NY. Mr. Prathan has been teaching for over 15 years. He has also performed and recorded with bands in various styles including: blues, jazz, soul, funk, and R&B. Mr. Prathan has a passion for music and hopes that passing this knowledge to his students will help each student to achieve their goals.