Managing Director, Head Instructor, ABT Certified, ABT Affiliate
Terpsie Toon received her early training at the School of American Ballet in New York City as a Ford Foundation Scholarship recipient. She later danced with the Radio City Ballet Company and Rockettes and spent 13 years dancing in musical theatre. Her many tours included Mame, Makin Whoopie, Chicago, No NoNanette, Anything Goes, and on Broadway, Sugar Babies.
Ms. Toon has taught ballet, jazz, lyrical dance, and tap for over 20 years. She earned a BA from Empire State College with a concentration in Dance and Theatre, and her Masters Degree in Dance Education and American Ballet Theater Pedagogy at New York University. Three years ago, Terpsie relocated to Lake Placid, New York to become the Managing Director and Head Instructor at the Lake Placid School of Ballet. Since arriving, Terpsie has choreographed musicals in the Tri-Lakes Region as well as for concert dance. Ms. Toon became affiliated with the North Country Ballet Ensemble as guest choreographer for The Nutcracker in 2010, and is now the resident choreographer there.
Instructor, ABT Certified, ABT Affiliate
Alice Schonbek holds an MA in Dance Performance from the Tisch School/Gallatin Division of NYU. While living in New York, she studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, where she was a merit scholar, and also was a scholarship student at Steps on Broadway. Ms. Schonbek studied and danced with Modern Dance legends Bertram Ross, Pearl Lang, and Joyce Trisler among others. While at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, she danced with Warren Spears and Friends and the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble. Ms. Schonbek moved to Plattsburgh in 1983 and began teaching at SUNY Plattsburgh and Guibord’s North Country School of Ballet in addition to studying and performing in Montreal. She was a founding member of the North Country Ballet Ensemble and is currently the Artistic Director.
Ms. Schonbek has been on the staff of the Lake Placid School of Ballet since 2007. Alice is an ABT Certified teacher in Levels Primary through 7 of the ABT National Training Curriculum and is an ABT Affiliate. Her other artistic and community affiliations incude the board of the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts/Strand Theater, and the board of Rebecca Kelly Ballet.
Brooke Bushnell Toohey
Instructor: Level 1 A&B
Brooke Toohey studied Ballet, Tap and Tumbling starting at the age of 3. By the time she was 10, she had chosen to focus on Rhythmic Gymnastics. Brooke was on the USA Rhythmic Gymnastics National Team from the ages 17-23. She went to 2 World University Games and 2 World Championships representing the US. Ms. Toohey's training included daily Ballet and Pilates Class. After she retired in 1995, and while she was head coach of the Rhythmic Academy of Marin Team, she continued her dance training at Roco Dance of Mill Valley, where she studied Ballet, Modern and Hip Hop, and performed with the resident dance company. Brooke has continued to work with dancers in Pilates. She is a US judge in Rhythmic Gymnastics and is the Future Stars Coordinator for the US Rhythmic Program. She works at the national level at Rhythmic Gymnastic camps held at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid NY, where dance training is part of the daily training
Instructor: Hip Hop I & II, Adult Jazz, Children's Jazz, Jazz/Funk I, & Tap I/KinderHop, Children's Tap 2/3
Emily Brown started dancing when she was 4 years old in Western New York. She was a competition dancer for more than 10 years. During that time, she was a member of an award winning competition dance team. She has attended dance conventions with notable teachers including Kent Boyd, Travis Wall, and Mark Biz Burke. She has also assisted established choreographers such as Ade Obayomi and Nick Gonzalez. Ms. Brown attended Canisius College in Buffalo, NY where she studied (Hotel & Restaurant) Management, and graduated in 2015. While in college she was a restaurant manager and waitress as well as a dance teacher. Her strengths are Early Childhood Dance Education and the Hip-Hop Style.
Instructor: Adult Tap, Teen Tap, Teen Jazz/Musical Theatre and Children's Tap 3/4
James Coleman has been deeply involved with theater and dance for more than 50 years having studied from numerous sources to include Gregory and Maurice Hines, Danny Daniels and The Tap Dance Kid. He describes his approach to teaching dance as one that involves explosive rhythms, razor-edge timing, percussive jazz phrasing, and polished performance technique as he takes pride in his many students who now work professionally in theater, dance, television and the movies. Although he takes the art of dance performance seriously he likes to assure his students that the classroom atmosphere will always remain relaxed and fun. Since relocating to the North Country in 2015 he has directed four plays for the Upper Jay Art Center. His musical pursuits include singing and playing the tenor ukulele in a duo act called Jim & Dave.
Karen Courtland Kelly
Instructor: Pre-Primary & Primary A/B
Karen Courtland Kelly is a figure skating Olympian and has performed professionally in Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade among other productions. Karen studied dance as a child along with Figure skating. She continues her dance studies at the Lake Placid School of Ballet and Dance with Terpsie Toon, who motivated and inspired her to come back to dance. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and also holds an MA degree from Concordia University and a BA from Bishop’s University. She trained in NYC with Romana Kryzanowska, to complete her Pilates certification and teaches at Peak Edge Performance’s Pilates Studio. She works with artists and athletes of all ages and abilities. Karen was inducted in 2014 to the New Jersey Figure Skating Foundation’s Hall of Fame and the 2015 World Figure Hall of Fame.