Faculty

Kristie Schillaci is the founder and director of The Floor Dance Company. She began her dance training in Oneida, NY under the direction of Sandie Fukes and Wende Warne at the United Academy of the Performing Arts. She received her ballet training from Ms. Delia Foley, under the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) standards for Ballet. Ms. Schillaci graduated from SUNY Brockport in 2003 where she studied dance and theater. She began her teaching career at Nazareth Academy, where she was a Dance Educator for grades Pre-K – 12 and the Artistic Director and Choreographer for the Nazareth Academy Theater program. In 2010, she shifted her career to The Aquinas Institute of Rochester, where she currently teaches dance curriculum to students in grades 6-12, and is the Director of The Aquinas Dance Company for both Middle School and High School students.


Solange Rodrigues is a recent graduate from SUNY Purchase College, Class of 2020, with a BFA in dance, and a concentration in composition.  Born and raised in Rochester, NY, she grew up training at Little Red Dance Studio.  At Purchase, she performed works by José Limȏn, Trisha Brown, and Melanie Gambino. While studying a semester abroad at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, she performed in a work by Kuik Swee Boon.  She has choreographed several pieces within the conservatory at Purchase, as well as the Conservatory of Theater Arts production of Langston Hughes’ Blood Wedding.


Rita Santos is a native of Philadelphia, PA and began her ballet training at Dance Elite under the tutelage of Eva Szabo and Maxim Ponomarenko. She went on to receive a scholarship to train at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet with Margarita de Saá and John White of the National Ballet of Cuba and attended summer intensives with Richmond Ballet and Nashville Ballet. As a professional, Rita danced with The Sarasota Ballet of Florida and Nashville Ballet. She received her Vaganova teacher training certificate from John White and has been teaching for over 7 years. In addition to her dance career, Rita holds a BFA in Costume Design from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and has had the opportunity to work on costumes for Pennsylvania Ballet and BalletX. 


Andrea Rockefeller grew up in Webster, NY where she trained and danced competitively. She attended The Ohio State University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and a Minor in dance. While in Columbus, Andrea danced with Xclaim Dance Company, participating in student outreach programs, inspiring children in diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds through dance. Andrea has Masters degrees in Psychology and Mental Health Counseling and has spent the last 8 years working with children and adults with developmental disabilities. Andrea has over 10 years of experience teaching and choreographing for dance studios and is a certified Rhythm Works dance instructor, bringing her passions together and allowing her to adequately train dancers with specialized needs.


Kara Heald has been dancing since the age of four. She trained at the Draper Center for Dance Education in Rochester. She has been a ballet instructor since the age of 18. As a former company member of Rochester City Ballet, Kara has danced professionally in numerous productions. Highlights of her performance portfolio include the Arabian Princess, Spanish Chocolate, and Waltz of the flowers in The Nutcracker, as well as multiple roles in Cinderella, Swan Lake, Little Red Riding Hood, and many more. She has received many special awards including choreography and technique awards from numerous dance competitions throughout the years.