OUR PEOPLE

We are full of passionate people dedicated to helping New York City youth

Board of Directors

Elizabeth Candido Petite

Elizabeth Candido Petite

President

Elizabeth Candido Petite is an associate attorney at Norris McLaughlin and Marcus, P.A. in Bridgewater, New Jersey, focusing on estate planning and tax. She also assists nonprofit organizations to incorporate and obtain federal tax-exempt status. She has been involved with DMF Youth since its inception and has always volunteered her time to ensure that it is in compliance with all corporate matters and tax requirements.

Ms. Petite is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey. She received her B.A., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania; her J.D., cum laude, from New York Law School; and her LL.M. in Taxation from New York Law School.  She is a member of the Junior League of Morristown and enjoys staying active, cooking and spending time with her family and dog.

Lindi Duesenberg

Lindi Duesenberg

Executive Director & Vice President

Lind’s passion for dance began as a toddler and drove her to pursue a career as a professional dancer and educator. She has performed and taught for nearly 20 years in both Los Angeles and New York and has been seen in numerous music videos, industrials, musical theatre productions and tours across the country. She has also served as an adjudicator for several national dance competitions. She has worked with children for over 15 years in many educational capacities—teacher, dance instructor, tutor and mentor.

Since retiring from performing, Lindi has been forging her path in the NYC fitness and education world, working as a personal trainer, a leading instructor at Physique 57, creative movement director at the Nursery School at Congregation Habonim and founder her own company, Dance Motivation Fitness (DMF). She built DMF into one of the leading dance cardio workouts in NYC and become well known for her upbeat, motivational, and positive approach to wellness. Though she loved working with adults, her true passion is working with kids and teens and motivating them to achieve greatness is in all aspects of their lives.

While working as a “big sis” mentor, and teaching specialty DMF classes to inner-city youth, Lindi was blown away by the lack of physical exercise in NYC schools and the dramatic rise of childhood obesity. After further research, she found the majority of NYC public schools fail to meet the state PE requirements due to lack of space and lack of teachers. Afterschool opportunities for low income and transient families were also extremely limited and she knew she could create a program to help alleviate these issues.

Lindi’s motivational approach to teaching worked extremely well with K-12 children, but she wanted to create more than just a dance-fitness program. She wanted a program that exposed children to imperative life skills like goal setting, dealing with emotions, and facing fears. By working with educators, phycologists, and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) specialists, she created a unique curriculum that increases her students’ self-esteem and confidence, helping them realize their ultimate potential.

Holly Hendricks

Holly Hendricks

Treasurer

Holly M. Hendricks hails from Orange County, California. She graduated magna cum laude with honors receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from The Ohio State University. Holly has performed professionally internationally and across the United States since moving to NYC and is currently dancing with Amy Marshall Dance Company and Vissi Dance Theater.

She was on faculty at Broadway Dance Center from 2004-2007 where she taught a cardio-conditioning class for dancers and fell in love with teaching group fitness. Holly is currently a Master Trainer at Physique 57. She has a group fitness certification with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

She has traveled to Nassau, Bahamas, Hong Kong, and London to teach fitness as well as worked alongside Physique 57 co-founder Tanya Becker at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Conference in Washington, D.C. Holly is the creator and lead instructor in Physique 57’s Cardio Sculpt online fitness streaming video/DVD, as well as the beginner modifier in the Physique F.I.T. online video. Holly’s clear passion for fitness and health coupled with her love of children fuels her dedication to DMF Youth.

Laura Henry

Laura Henry

Secretary

Laura Henry is a dancer, actress, personal trainer and philanthropist. She holds a BFA in Performance from Hofstra University, where she graduated with high honors. She performs locally and internationally as a soloist with Vissi Dance Theater under the direction of Courtney French. She has also appeared with Ensemble Dance and Synapse Theater Ensemble.

Recently, she began showing her own work throughout NYC with her own company, IMPACT MOVEMENT COLLECTIVE: Artists aligning themselves with causes they care about. Laura founded Impact Movement NYC: in 2015, a personal training and performance company that gives back. She looks forward to her continued growth as a performer, choreographer and fitness professional. To learn more, visit www.impactmovementnyc.com.

What our community say about us

My favorite part about DMF is the teachers. I love them. C.J.

5th grade student

Teaching Staff

Alison Giampolo

Alison Giampolo

Teaching Artist

Alison has a BA in dance from Rider University’s School of Fine and Performing Arts. She has trained with the Walnut Hill School, Princeton Ballet School, and Martha Graham School of Dance, and is currently a dancer with Vissi Dance Theater and rehearsal director for Impact Movement Collective. In addition to performing, Alison has also taught a variety of styles of dance for almost 10 years, and is is a firm believer that dance is a multifaceted art because it can be a form of expression, entertainment, and supplemental learning.

She is currently an instructor for Nimbus Dance Works’ Dance to Learn program, which collaborates elementary school academics and movement to further students’ understanding of the topics they’re learning in school through exploration of the three tenants of dance: time, space, and energy. Alison is thrilled to be a part of the DMF Youth team to bring dance, fitness, wellness, and fun to the underserved youth of NYC!

Leah Tubbs

Leah Tubbs

Teaching Artist

Leah Tubbs, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, studied dance at Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) and the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. She has been blessed to dance with Dayton Contemporary Dance Second Company (DCdC2), Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre (CCDT), Lula Washington Dance Theater, Project 21 Dance, L.A. Choreographers and Dancers, Donna Sternberg and Dancers, Jazz Ballet Company, Ballet Afrique, The Zifadanz Group, and Jazz Ain’t Dead.

ModArts Dance Collective (MADC) was established in 2011 by Leah Tubbs to celebrate minority female choreographers while building a safe, sustainable community of artists in Harlem, as well as other underexposed cities. She has a passion for sharing the arts with young minds and has taught all over the United States including Joffrey Ballet School, University of Alabama, Harlem Holistic Center, Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, and Texas Empowerment Academy to name a few.

Italy Welston

Italy Welston

Teaching Artist

Italy Welton is an emerging dance artist based in Harlem, NY. She is a graduate of Coker College (SC) where she received a B.A. in Dance Education and Dance Performance and Choreography. She also attended Joffrey Ballet School’s Jazz and Contemporary program.

Italy currently works with Aeternus Dance Company, Asha Dance Company, Fiyah Dancehall Theater, and Marguerite Hemmings.  She has worked as an educator in several capacities and loves sharing the arts with bright young minds. Welton can be found traveling and focusing on creating work that portrays the rawest layers of human experiences alongside other local dancers and musicians.

Marissa Graham

Marissa Graham

Teaching Artist

Marissa Graham, a Long Island native, began her professional dance training at Ohman School of Ballet, under the direction of former NYCB soloist Frank Ohman. She graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance, Magna cum lade. She worked as a dance therapy assistant at George Mason with the Mason LIFE program, which provided educational and assistance to young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Post graduation, she has taught at Mark Morris Dance Center and several Long Island studios. She has performed with Jessica Gaynor, Impact Movement Collective, eSKay Arts Collective, Victory Dance Project, and two international tours with Vissi Dance Theatre. She is also a NCCA certified personal trainer and exercise fitness specialist. She is so excited to be part of the DMF Youth team and feels honored to be a part of the mission.

Kayla Accordino

Kayla Accordino

Teaching Artist

Kayla Accordino received a BFA in Dance Performance and a BS in Interdisciplinary Arts for Children from State University of New York, The College at Brockport.   She has worked with children in numerous educational capacities both in school and afterschool.  Most recently, Kayla served as a teaching artist in the Brockport Central School District and Drama Zone afterschool program in NYC.

Kayla’s background in arts integration and multiple intelligences help her create and implement successful lesson plans for children with various learning styles.  Kayla believes all children should have access to numerous art genres and learning methods to promote a successful and well-rounded education.  Kalya is ecstatic to be a part of the DMF Youth team where she can help students build strong character, confidence, self-esteem, and self-expression through the arts.

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