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Modern Dance Ensemble

Modern Dance classes are taught by Ms. Debra Befumo, who has been running the program for twenty years. She has studied dance at the Harkness Institute, the Martha Graham School, and at several colleges. SJP dancers are fortunate to be able to avail themselves of such instruction, since college admission auditions to dance programs always require a demonstration of the Modern genre.

Each year the team competes at Long Island University's Student Choreography Conference, C.W. Post's Tilles Conference, and other venues, including the Ninth Avenue International Festival. Although membership in the performing group is competitive, open workshops for instruction are held in the Fall semester and open to all. The past few years have been quite exciting for the SJP dancers! The Modern Dance Ensemble has been honored with several awards, including one for choreography at the Tilles Center of C.W. Post, a gold medal at the American Dance Awards Competition, and special merit for musicality and technique at the DanceArts Convention. 

Ms. Befumo is proud of the talent and dedication of all the dancers, the respect they have created for their program in the dance community is a tribute to their many accomplishments. She also notes that perhaps the most moving tribute to the program as a whole is the concern and effort shown by many of the dance alumni over the years, who do not hesitate to rearrange work and school schedules to stop by and lend a hand (and sometimes a foot!) prior to each performance! 

Dance Alumni
Former St. John's Prep dancers have been making dance and other moves in the media! James Sosa '04, appeared as a dancer in a recent Verizon commercial and will tour Europe in the Spring with The Movement, a hip-hop dance company. Christine Juarbe '03, appeared in a recent issue of Vogue as a model, and is featured in Xtreme's video "Hilana."  She will also appear in the Spotlight Players Production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with Jennifer Peralta '04. Saul Tejada '02, has performed around the tri-state area with Piel Canela Dance Company, most recently performing at Manhattan's River to River festival and at Rockefeller Center. Ms. Befumo is especially proud of these four alumni, all of whom never danced before coming to SJP! John Gonzalez, class of 2000, who never danced before he came to SJP, is a professional dancer in the shows at Disneyworld.