Biographies

Martha Merideth

In 2013 the Town of Oyster Bay Arts Council honored Martha Merideth’s School of Dance, Theatre and Drama in appreciation for performing and promoting the Dance Arts on Long Island.  Also recognized for her charitable Fund-raisers though her Dance Theatre Eclectic Co. and Families Unite for Life, which she founded in 1979 and 1985.

Martha loves her work more than ever and the relationships and connections which serve children and families through the Performing Arts.

Martha acknowledges she was born to dance and theater.  However, born to it or not, this professional bundle of power was taught by her brother, mother and no-nonsense teachers.  The list is long!  Arnold, Martha’s brother, took notice of her passion and drive to dance as well as advance in her academic studies. At age 10, and in her first year of training in the Vaganova Russian Classical ballet under the tutelage of Pavlovas’s rival Mme. Anderson Di Iranzova and the modern dance pioneers (Ted Shawn, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman and Martha Graham), Martha landed her first of many dance scholarships.  An academic scholarship to the private Mace School for young professionals soon followed.  At graduation Martha received the Willard Mace Good Fellowship Award.

By age 12, Ted Shawn, the famous pioneer of modern dance, awarded Martha a full scholarship to Jacob’s Pillow, the University of the Dance.  The Lodge School and Quintanos, both schools for young professionals also awarded her full scholarships.  She was the youngest person to receive the scholarship at Jacob’s Pillow.

Beginning at age 13, Martha performed at Jacob’s Pillow, Town Hall and Carnegie Hall.  These performances led her to the Joffrey Ballet and Adelphi University where she was trained and coached by Bill Dollar, Merideth Baylis, Maria Grandy, Ann Parsons, Perry Brunson and Robert Joffrey.

Martha retired from the stage with the goal to encourage children and people of all ages to discover the uplifting magical powers and phenomenal joy of dancing, singing and acting.  Encouraged by her late husband Dr. Howard V. Merideth, she created her school which has provided jobs for professional teachers and people in theater related capacities.

In 1979, Martha founded the Dance Theater Electric Company, an offspring of the Martha Merideth Dance Ensemble.  Both companies donated professional performances and performance training, which have led to many alumni’s successful careers worldwide.  In 1985, Martha and Alan Passeroff founded Families Unite for Life which was dedicated to raising money for precious babies and children with AIDS.

Since 1960, the Long Island community has also benefited.  In the early years, performances were donated to Mineola Theater, Eisenhower Park Theater, libraries, and hospitals.  Concerts with the Orchestra Di Camera Pro Arte (Hofstra) and Huntington’s Lively Arts Festival at the Harry Chapin Theater were thrilling. Performances expanded to the Tilles Center Festivals, Adelphi’s Olmsted Theater, Farmingdale University the Stage Theater, Town of Oyster Bay Arts Council, the Syosset Chamber of Commerce and the Long Island Dance Consortium Annual Festivals.

For the last 25 years, Martha has donated time to the Town of Oyster Bay Board of Directors and has served as 1st and 2nd Vice-President on the Board of Directors.

“I am deeply grateful!  Consider being dedicated to the performing arts, to the families and children I love, respect and teach.  It’s a fortuitous honor! Truly a healthy, balanced, beautiful life!”

Martha's Philosophies

  • At all ages, children and adults have the opportunity to expand and reinvent themselves through the performing arts.
  • A lifetime of fun dancing, singing and acting translates into a life that stays creative, forever young and physically fit.
  • To dance is to breathe and to stay alive.
  • Dance moves us from apathy to energy.
  • Dance moves us from discipline and serious fun to freedom.
  • While some people want to dance, others must dance.
  • What a teacher says is only valid when the student is receptive and reacts intelligently.
  • Therefore everyday is filled with welcome surprises, fantastic changes and growth, which leads to unexpected long-term miracles.


Markus Kaitila

Born in Helsinki, in 1992, Markus Kaitila started playing the piano at the age of six. He studied at the Junior Academy of Sibelius Academy with Dr. Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna from 2006 to 2012 and at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany, with Prof. Till Engel from 2012 to 2013. He continues his pianistic training at the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, City University of New York, under the guidance of Prof. Nina Lelchuk. He has taken part in masterclasses i.a. with Hinrich Alpers, Paul Badura-Skoda, Dmitri Bashkirov, Konstantin Bogino, Pi-Hsien Chen, Bernd Goetzke, Angela Hewitt, Leslie Howard, Ivari Ilja, Emanuel Krasovski, Siegfried Mauser, Olli Mustonen, HaeSun Paik, Alain Planès, Jerome Rose, Henri Sigfridsson, Antti Siirala, Niklas Sivelöv and Boris Slutsky.

Markus Kaitila has performed as a soloist with the Joutseno Art Summer chamber orchestra and the Wratislavia Chamber Orchestra. In June 2013 he won the Köhler-Osbahr piano competition in Duisburg, Germany. He has won First and Second Prizes in national chamber music competitions (Juvenalia, E. Melartin) and remains an active and widely experienced chamber musician “on the line between mere gesture and great feeling” (Barbara Kaiser, General Newspaper of the Lüneburg Heath, 08/2012). “Very much artistic substance. . .a promising young individual. . .an uncompromising performer” (Ingo Hoddick, Rheinische Post, 05/2013). “Full of spirits. . .exceptional pianist. . .a uniquely original hand: awareness of form and crystalline clarity. . .Romantic salon culture at the highest level” (Konstanze Führlbeck, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 10.11.2013). Besides giving concerts throughout Finland, he has appeared extensively in Europe and the US. Events and venues include the Wiener Saal in Salzburg, Austria (2010); Musica Mundi Festival 2008, Belgium; Yamaha Artists Services Europe, Paris (2012); Theater Duisburg and Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, Klavier-Festival Ruhr 2013, Germany; Embassy of Finland, Budapest (2008); Palazzo Ricci, Montepulciano, Italy (2013); Muziekcentrum Enschede, the Netherlands (2010); Helsingborg pianofestival, Sweden (2009); RNCM, Manchester, the UK (2010); as well as Mannes Concert Hall and LeFrak Concert Hall, New York, the US (2012, -13). Mr. Kaitila has kindly been awarded grants and stipends by “Vantaan Perinnejazz ry”, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the endowment funds and bequeathed assets of Sibelius Academy as well as the B. Schacher-Myers Scholarship Fund.


Colleen Moore "Miss Twist"

Miss Twist's credentials as principal dancer, featured dancer and guest artist are extensive in films such as "Pulse" (IMAX), David Letterman, Jay Leno, MTV "Video" cliches etc. on television. She has been a featured model from Vogue (Tommy Hilfiger) to Dancers Delight in Japan to New York magazine etc. A few of the notables she has been featured with are Mariah Carey, Jay Z, LL Cool J and Will Smith to name a few. Miss Twist tours the world as choreographer and dancer. She has taught at Steps on Broadway, New York City Schools - Breaking/Hip Hop instructor. We are really happy Miss Twist is on our facility.
 


Michael Russo

Videographer

Michael is a Creative Visualist who is also a filmmaker, actor, voice-over-artist, photographer and an effects movie-makeover artist who just recently worked alongside Rick Baker on the set of "Men in Black 3". A man of many talents, Michael is what's often referred to as a "visual storyteller" as you will see from the many videos of his work on YouTube where you can also see the many celebrities he has had the pleasure of working with throughout the years. No matter what the project, you will find him either behind the camera, in front of the camera or anywhere in between working on any, and often, all aspects of it.

 

 

About Our Classes

Martha Meredith Studios offers Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Professional level classes for all age groups. Private lessons are also available year round.

Martha Merideth Studios

31 Ira Road
Syosset, NY 11791
1 block south of the
Syosset LIRR Station

516.921.2912

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