Christina Addabbo Prete, FCCA
Owner and Artistic Director
Miss Christina has taught ballet, jazz, and tap dance in the Washington, D.C. area for over 30 years, beginning during her junior year of high school at age 15. Specializing in the Cecchetti Method of ballet, in which Miss Christina is a Professional Advanced Certified Fellow, she has worked with children, teens and adults during the course of her teaching career. Miss Christina was a principal dancer with Metropolitan Ballet Theatre in Rockville, Maryland for nine years, playing lead roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and The Firebird. In addition, Miss Christina danced with the Virginia Civic Ballet, performing the title role in Cinderella.
Miss Christina received her primary dance training at the Corinne Phelps Robertson School of Dance and began as an assistant teacher there in 1990. For her Cecchetti work, Miss Christina coached with Kathleen Dineen Brown (Intermediate Professional Exam) and Pamela Moore (Advanced Professional Exam). Miss Christina also trained with Suzanne Erlon in the Balanchine method. In jazz, Miss Christina has studied with Luigi, Helen Hayes, Douglas Yeuell, Parker Esse, Jeff Shade, Frank Hatchett and Bob Rizzo.
Miss Christina acted as the Executive Director of the Corinne Phelps Robertson School of Dance for the last fifteen of its sixty years of operation, until the school’s closing in 2011. Miss Christina balanced her directorial duties with teaching creative movement, ballet, jazz and tap classes; coaching teachers and students for Cecchetti ballet exams; and choreographing, coordinating and staging the school’s annual dance recital. In 2003, Miss Christina started her own Summer Dance Camp program, creating a captivating environment of creativity, imagination and artistry for 5- to 7-year-olds. Miss Christina later added a Mini-Intensive for Teens with classes in ballet and pointe technique, yoga, contemporary ballet, and jazz.
Miss Christina graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Finance from the University of Maryland. While at Maryland, she competed in collegiate ballroom dancing, traveling around the U.S. and to the U.K. She also directed and choreographed for the Ballroom Formation Team at Maryland during her senior year. While in college, Miss Christina started her own ballet birthday party business. She has celebrated over 60 birthdays with aspiring ballerinas, enchanting them with magical journeys of dance and imagination.
Miss Christina danced as a featured guest artist with Jazzdanz/dc and Jazzemotion, resident dance companies of Joy of Motion Dance Center in Washington, D.C. In June 2010, Miss Christina performed on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center with Douglas Yeuell, Artistic Director of Jazzdanz/dc. Miss Christina was also a featured dancer in the Christmas on the Potomac 2012 Launch Event at the Gaylord National Hotel. Performance video here!
Returning to one of her original loves—musical theatre—Miss Christina appeared as Sheila in A Chorus Line with Rockville Musical Theatre, and as a Merry Murderess in Chicago with Kensington Arts Theatre (while also serving as Assistant Choreographer and Dance Captain). She was a featured dancer in West Side Story, also with RMT, and in Promises, Promises with The Arlington Players.
Miss Christina served on the faculty of the Black Rock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland, for nine years, teaching creative movement, ballet and tap. She also taught for two years at Ballet Petite, gaining additional experience in working with 3- to 5-year-old children. During her tenure with Metropolitan Ballet Theatre, Miss Christina participated in a number of Outreach Programs such as Athletics and the Dancer, a lecture/demonstration program for elementary school students. In addition, she taught creative movement at the Child Care Center at Montgomery College along with jazz and ballet to at-risk high school students as part of Educacion 2000 program at Richard Montgomery High School.
Miss Christina is a Certified Fellow Member of the Cecchetti Council of America (CCA) and has served as the Treasurer on the Board of the East Coast Committee of the CCA for over ten years. She is also a member of Dance Masters of America. She served as Secretary of the Board of Directors of Metropolitan Ballet Theatre for four years. She was proudly featured in a biographical documentary on Montgomery Community Cable and has been interviewed by Bethesda Now, the Montgomery Gazette, Potomac Almanac and Dance Studio Life magazine.
As the oldest of four children, Miss Christina has always loved working with and being around children. In December 2013, Miss Christina and her husband Michael welcomed their daughter to the world. This incredible blessing, along with a mission to instill a sense of grace, poise and confidence in her students, nurturing them to do their best and grow as dancers and as unique individuals, continues to inspire Miss Christina everyday.
Sharon Addabbo, TCCA
Tap Department Director Emerita
Miss Sharon has been a professional dancer and teacher for over 45 years. With her wealth of knowledge about tap, she uses “old school” techniques to bring bright new ideas to life. Specializing in Broadway tap, Miss Sharon likes to put the “kapow” in all of her dances, inspiring her students to put that wow on the stage in front of an audience.
In addition to tap, Miss Sharon taught Broadway jazz for over 30 years and holds a Level III Teacher’s Certificate from the Cecchetti Council of America. She has taught all ages, but especially enjoys teaching teens who bring so much enthusiasm and exuberance. She still enjoys performing and was seen most recently as Grandmother in the Nutcracker. Backstage, Miss Sharon works in community theatre, enjoying being on the crew, assistant stage manager or stage mother to Miss Christina (her favorite!). Her greatest role is being the mom of Miss Christina, Miss Stephanie, and sons Mike and Pat, and the grandmom (Mimi) to her beautiful grandchildren. When asked why she chose the above photo, Miss Sharon said “I was about 5 months pregnant when this photo was taken. I just wanted folks to know that Miss Christina was almost literally born dancing!”
Sarah Davis, TCCA
Studio Manager and Instructor
Ms. Sarah began taking lessons at the Corinne Phelps Robertson School of Dance at age six. At CPR, Ms. Sarah studied levels I-V of Cecchetti ballet as well as tap and jazz. Ms. Sarah went on to Juniata College where she participated in the student-run Dance Ensemble, as well as Kickline, an auditioned group of dancers who performed during halftime at basketball games and various college events. Within the dance ensemble Ms. Sarah co-taught various jazz classes and assisted with choreography for the kickline routines. Ms. Sarah designed her own degree in English Literature and graduated with Honors in the department. Since graduating from Juniata in 2012, Ms. Sarah has been involved in the dance scene in DC, performing in a lecture/demonstration at the Kennedy Center for National Dance Day in 2013, and dancing as a guest artist with Glade Dance Collective during the 2015 Capital Fringe Festival. Ms. Sarah is an instructor in all styles of dance while also working as the Studio Manager at RCDA. She also continues to pursue her teaching certification in the Cecchetti Method, being coached by Miss Christina.
Miss Hayley studied dance at The American Theater Dance Workshop in New York for 10 years. During her time there she studied Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Theater Dance and Musical Theater. She attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. While at UMCP, Miss Hayley continued her training in Jazz and Tap while adding classes in Modern and West African dance. Miss Hayley has experience working as a substitute teacher in a Reggio preschool with classes for children ages 2-5. In addition, she was the substitute teacher for the preschool’s creative movement class which focused on developing age-appropriate gross motor skills. Miss Hayley enjoys spending her free time dancing in and choreographing for various community theater productions. She is a current member of the Kinor Dance Company in Rockville.
Diana Samata Phillips, TCCA
Administrative Advisor and Instructor
Miss Diana studied ballet and tap at the CPR School of Dance for 10 years before graduating a year early from Walter Johnson High school and beginning her college career at the University of Maryland, College Park. In May of 2009, Miss Diana graduated from UMCP with a double major in Communication and Criminology/Criminal Justice. Miss Diana assisted Miss Christina for many years while being coached for her Level I-IV Teacher’s Certificates with the Cecchetti Council of America.
While assisting in the direction of RCDA and teaching ballet and tap of all levels, Miss Diana also manages her own business, RentACoop. In her free time, she dances with Carpathia Folk Dance Ensemble and enjoys performing traditional national dances at various festivals all over the DC area. In addition, Miss Diana sits on the Board of Directors of Carpathia, helping to direct the future of the folk dance group.
Elizabeth Stough Ridenour, LCCA
Miss Elizabeth first developed an interest in ballet when she was six years old, after her mother read her the story of The Nutcracker out of the World Book Encyclopedia. Ever since, her dance passion has been ballet. Initially, Elizabeth took tap, ballet, and gymnastics in Jacksonville, NC. When the military moved her family to Maryland, she began to study ballet with Leslie Parreco and Cherry Dowsley of Les Cher Classical Ballet Academy (Les Cher). She continued at Les Cher throughout her childhood and returned, as an adult after college, to begin her teaching certification. As a child and teen, she danced in the Ballet Theater of Annapolis’s (now Maryland) Nutcracker production. Elizabeth holds Cecchetti ballet teaching certificates up through the CCA Intermediate (Level VI) Professional level and has been teaching ballet for over 15 years. Because of her own physiological challenges, she has become adept at helping students overcome their challenges and succeed in the dance studio. Over the years she has also dabbled in Ballroom and Flamenco. Elizabeth holds a Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Tennessee, is a Washington DC registered architect, and practices with Atelier Architects.
Miss Jackie began tap dancing at age three and tap continues to be her favorite dance style and one of her greatest passions in life. She was a student at the Musical Theater Center for 11 years where she studied tap, jazz, ballet, and lyrical jazz, was a member of their performing ensembles, and appeared in their student productions. Miss Jackie has also been trained in modern, ballroom, and Latin dance. Beginning in high school, Miss Jackie was an assistant in tap and jazz classes, was dance captain of the performing ensemble, and served as assistant choreographer for a few musicals. Since 2013, Miss Jackie has appeared in a variety of theater productions both locally with Rockville Musical Theater, The Victorian Lyric Opera Company, and FlyingV and further afield at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and Durham University, UK. She worked as a choreographer for Adventure Theater MTC’s summer musical theater camp from 2014 to 2019. Miss Jackie has also choreographed three productions for The Victorian Lyric Opera Company, mostly recently their 2020 production of The Pirates of Penzance for which she was also a member of the ensemble. Miss Jackie holds a B.A. in Archaeology and History from Dickinson College and an M.A. in Biological Anthropology from George Mason University.
Miss Kathie studied dance for twelve years, primarily at the Musical Theater Center in Rockville, MD, as well as at Ballet De Volle and DC Dance Connection. She received training in jazz, ballet, Broadway tap, and lyrical jazz. From 2006 through 2012 Miss Kathie also performed with the Musical Theater Center in both their theater productions and performing ensembles. Since 2014 she has been involved with local theater companies Rockville Musical Theater and the Victorian Lyric Opera Company. She graduated in 2018 from Susquehanna University with a B.A. in Psychology. While at SU she continued to take classes in jazz, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, Broadway and rhythm tap, and taught modern and musical theater dance with Susquehanna Dance Corps, a student run dance organization. In 2020, Miss Kathie graduated from Catholic University of America with a M.A. in Psychology. She is excited to have the opportunity to continue teaching dance and hopes to focus on both the technical and the artistic, expressive elements of dance with RCDA.
Melissa Lineburg began training at a local dance studio in Charles Town, WV, and continued her training under the direction of Joyce Morrison at the Frederick School of Classical Ballet. Melissa graduated from Radford University with a B.F.A. in Dance in 2011. She has been a company member with Misako Ballet Company since 2011, and she also performs with Agora Dance, Connect the Dots Dance Company, and Metropolitan Ballet Ensemble in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. Ms. Lineburg has danced at the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra. Melissa works as the Database Manager at Dance/USA in Washington, DC; teaches yoga at The Dailey Method DC; and has returned to school for graduate studies in nutrition.
Photo Credit: Ed Hubert
Erin McNerney recently performed in FOOTLOOSE at the Fulton Theatre on Lancaster, PA as Betty Blast, while also understudying Ethel. She spends her time between New York City and Frederick, MD.
Erin took her first dance class when she was 3, and has never stopped since, studying and alternately falling in love with tap, ballet, contemporary, theatre dance, to name a few. From small-town dance studio, to such prestigious schools as Syracuse University, KORESH Dance, Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, and Joy of Motion, she continues to study and perform.
Her warm-up starts with the breath, and has a bit of a modern jazz/contemporary feel, as it focuses every move on the joy of dance. After the warm-up and stretch, combinations draw on the technique of ballet, incorporating, lyrical, theatre dance and story-telling movement.
Ultimately, Erin strives to open your heart and smile through movement. Dance is an expression of the soul, impossible to speak through any other medium, and if you aren’t dancing with your heart, you aren’t dancing, so come prepared to let your soul shine!