Ms. Carey is a graduate of the Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida. She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in dance from The Juilliard School and a master of arts degree from New York University. In addition, she is a certified Pilates instructor. Ms. Carey has performed in a number of venues in both New York and Florida. She has taught at various schools in South Florida and remains on the faculty of the Dreyfoos School of the Arts. She is also the founder of Ballet Florida, a not-for-profit organization that facilitates cultural exchanges between South Florida dancers and those in Haiti. Ms. Carey joined HARID’s faculty in June 2015.
Nutrition Instructor / Dietician
Karen Gauci has a bachelor of science degree in dietetics and nutrition (concurrent with the C.U.P program), and a master’s degree in public health from Florida International University. Ms. Gauci has been recognized as “Dietetic Technician of the Year” by the Florida Dietetic Association and Broward Dietetic Association. She is presently a consultant dietitian for various centers and athletes in Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach counties.
Dennis Lue earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in dance performance at SUNY Purchase. He danced professionally with Alberta Ballet, Tulsa Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem before joining the cast of The Lion King on Broadway where he served as dance captain. Other theater credits include associate choreographer of Hello Dolly and The Wiz at the Hangar Theatre, Contact at Virginia State Company, Side Show at the Gallery Players, and performer and dance captain for West Side Story at La Scala Opera. In addition, Mr. Lue has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, and appeared in the feature film Zoolander and on television in Blue Bloods and the Today Show. He has taught at Ithaca College, Penn State University, and Elliot Feld’s New School. In addition to teaching jazz classes at HARID, Mr. Lue is a faculty member at Boca Ballet Theatre.
Pilates / Physical Therapy
John Mahoney received his bachelor of science degree from Mercyhurst College and his master’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Miami. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a certified instructor of the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning. Mr. Mahoney, an officer in the navy reserve, has worked extensively with military personnel; professional, intercollegiate, and interscholastic athletes; and HARID’s dancers. He specializes in body conditioning and physical therapy.
Rosa Mercedes, originally from Barcelona, Spain, has received critical acclaim touring the United States, Europe, South America and Canada as a soloist and principal dancer with many of the world’s leading Spanish dance companies based in both Spain and the United States. She is in much demand for her innovative choreography, which has been featured by symphony orchestras, dance festivals and dance companies such as Ballet Español Rosita Segovia, Maximum Dance Company and Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco, symphony orchestras and dance festivals throughout the United States.
Ms. Mercedes has also had both her dancing and choreography featured by many of the world’s most important opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, Opera di Roma, Michigan Opera Theatre, Baltimore Opera, Florentine Opera, Austin Lyric Opera and Florida Grand Opera. She has worked with renowned artists such as Renata Scotto, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, Franco Zeffirelli, Denyse Graves, Charles “Honi” Coles, Gypsy Kings, David Bisbal, Sara Montiel and Savion Glover.
As Founder and Artistic Director of DUENDE Ballet Español, she has created numerous productions that include both traditional and innovative works born out of the various styles of Spanish dance. She is the recipient of the Choreographers Fellowship Award from Miami Dade Cultural Affairs. With over 25 years experience teaching professionals, students, singers, etc., Ms. Mercedes continues to give master classes and workshops throughout the United States and is a master teacher for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.
Christine O’Shea studied dance with Betty Kovac in Raleigh, North Carolina. She earned her bachelor of science degree in dance education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 1984, Ms. O’Shea joined Ballet Florida as a part-time instructor and was subsequently promoted to the position of principal teacher and director of education and outreach. She also served as a faculty member at Palm Beach County School of the Arts, where she taught ballet technique, dance history, and body conditioning, and at the Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach. Ms. O’Shea has Florida Certification in both K-12 Dance and K-6 Elementary Education. Currently, she is a full-time teacher at Chancellor Charter School in Lantana, Florida.
Kim Smith has a bachelor of science degree in kinesiological studies from Texas Christian University, and a master of science degree in physical therapy from the University of Miami. She credits her interest in anatomy and human movement to the ballet training she received as a child, and she continues to take ballet classes regularly. Currently, Ms. Smith is the rehab coordinator for Cornell Rehab, a 28-bed inpatient rehab unit of Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach, Florida.
Bertha Valentin began ballet studies at the age of six in her native Colombia. When she was twelve, she was sent to Russia to study dance and dance teaching. While there, she received a bachelor’s degree in dance and a master of arts degree. Ms. Valentin has been teaching ballet and character dance in South Florida since she moved to Miami in 1984. She joined HARID in 1988.