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Sidebar: The Cast of Mad Hot Ballroom

Sidebar: The Cast of Mad Hot Ballroom

David Kelley Ph.D

2 Mins
March 30, 2011

June 2005 --


Class teacher Allison Sheniak is a loving, caring teacher who has a way of making you "feel her pain."

Alex Tchassov, a Russian-native, is the teaching artist from Dancing Classrooms, a project of American Ballroom Theater (ABrT), the organization that provides the instructors. With his gentle manner and his awkwardly translated analogies, he makes learning the dance steps a breeze.

Emma Biegacki stands out as the girl who is wise beyond her years. Reining in as a typical New York kid, she always has something meaningful to say.

If she has her way, Tara Devon Gallagher will be headed to Broadway or Hollywood sometime soon. An aspiring young actress, she is featured in another movie, Swimmers, which will premiere at the other festival in Utah in January.

If we see Cyrus Hernstadt as Senator someday, it would not be surprising. This smart, perspicacious kid is fun to watch.

Zeb Liburd is a sweet boy who really wears his heart on his sleeve in all that he does.

The other P.S. 150 dance team members are Richard R. Brown IV, Jao-Ke Chin Lee, Willie C. Gantt, Dominic Guglielmo, Quana Jones, Celia B. Ortiz, Zelaina Rodriguez, and Nile Roc Terry.


Michael Vaccaro is lovable, cute and confident.

Jia Wen Zhu and Priscilla Kwong are just two of the Asian girls in the class who give us some wonderful insight into their world.

Dancing Classroom/ABrT teaching artist Victoria Malvagno is charming and fun, and her analogies are playful.

The other P.S. 112 kids on the dance team are Ariel Escoto, Sharese DeBiasi, Benjamin Feng, Mohammad Hussein, Nathalie Perez, Bleron Samarxhiu, David Wong, Jean Xiaoyi, and Sherry Zeng.


Yomaira Reynoso, the teacher who guides her class through the dance lessons with more than a touch of "hard love," is vivacious, daring, and ambitious.

Rodney Lopez, the Dancing Classrooms/ABrT teaching artist, adds a touch of class to the dance setting with his mild, yet hip, mannerisms. He's someone these kids can relate to.

Wilson Castillo is the little boy with the big, beautiful eyes who takes everyone's breath away with his dance style.

Jatnna Toribio is confident, ambitious, and precocious.

Elsamelys Ulerio's dancing shows there's a lot more that goes on beneath that quiet exterior.

Kelvin Acevedo, referred to by the crew as the "gentle giant," almost never says a word, but his presence is noticed.

The other dance team members are Joshua Duran, Jeffrey Espinal, Kevin Heredia, Kelvin Muñoz, and Angie Toribio.

Reproduced with permission from “Mad Hot Ballroom Production Notes,” American Ballroom Theater.


David Kelley

David Kelley is the founder of The Atlas Society. A professional philosopher, teacher, and best-selling author, he has been a leading proponent of Objectivism for more than 25 years.