Mary Pappagallo. A long time GNBC Member, Mary also teaches primary, beginner, advanced beginner and intermediate ballet for the company. She began her dance training from a young age locally in Buffalo, NY and furthered her dance education while attending the University at Buffalo graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. Since graduating, Mary has had opportunities to teach in local studios to dancers of all ages and choreograph works for both stage and video. She has also performed in places from community theaters to large commercial locations. Mary is a member of the Cecchetti Council of America (CCA) and holds both a Teachers and Professional Intermediate Certification in the CCA Method.
Mary Schnepf. In addition to co-directing the GNBC Mary teaches pointe, intermediate and advanced ballet for the company. She received her M.F.A. in Dance from the University at Buffalo and has completed various teacher training programs including Level 1 and 2 of Dance Masters of America and all levels of the Horton Teacher Training Workshops with Ana Marie Forsythe at the Ailey Extension in New York City. Under the direction of Beverley Feder, she completed all the Cecchetti student examinations including the Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma in April 2021. Mary currently teaches ballet, jazz and modern dance in higher education having taught at Erie Community College, the University at Buffalo, and the College at Brockport.
Mary’s main goal as a teacher of dance is to mentor proficient and innovative performers, scholars and artists who will contribute their talents to enrich and engage both the dance world and public at large. Her goal is for her students to gain a full understanding of their art and through this understanding push the boundaries of dance to reveal new ways of expression. Mary utilizes a somatic and physics-based approach with full consideration of anatomy for students to maximize their technique in a positive learning environment.
Phil Wackerfuss is a performer, teacher, and choreographer from Chicago, IL. He received his bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University, graduated from the Chicago School of Massage Therapy, and earned his Masters of Fine Arts in Dance at The University at Buffalo which focused on research of psychological flow states, ritual dance, and electronic dance art. He has presented classes at Chicago National Association of Dance Masters and taught at SUNY Fredonia, the University at Buffalo, Arthur Murray Ballroom Dance, and Center Dance’s contemporary series. His performance career includes various theater and dance companies across the country including First Folio Shakespeare Festival in Chicago, VADCO Modern Dance, INASIDE Chicago Jazz Dance, and LehrerDance in Buffalo. He
has performed an array of roles in the Nutcracker with American Academy of Dance, Neglia Ballet, and Configuration Ballet including Herr Drosseleyer, Nutcracker Prince, the Rat King, and Mother Ginger. With Shakespeare in Delaware Park, he has enjoyed playing Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream and Caliban in the Tempest. In the Buffalo community he can be seen fire dancing with Pyromancy circus troupe, organizing dance jams with Buffalo Contact Improv, and in many creative projects at ArtPark.
Dominic Giambra successfully completed his 200-hour yoga teacher certification course, facilitated by HEAL BFLO and Power Yoga Buffalo, in Spring 2023. He has spent the last decade studying, performing, and choreographing dance; he’s now excited to explore the possibilities of fusing the two disciplines! Dominic spends time as a Certified Wastewater Operator at the Buffalo Sewer Authority, happily supporting his community and the environment. He strives to be a leader for inclusion and accessibility, and an example of how to live a powerful life—on and off the mat. Join Dom at GNBC for an amazing season of flowing and growing!