Meet Our Staff

Ashley Driscoll
Owner & Artistic Director
Ashley Bannish Nashoba Valley Movement

At three-years- old, Ashley Driscoll began her dance career at the Dance Slipper in Southwick, MA, under the direction of Brenda Barna—an award-winning dancer and choreographer. At the Dance Slipper, Ashley was fortunate to be cultivated by Brenda, as well as many other talented teachers and choreographers including Alicia Monaco, Derrick Yanford, and Laura Halzack.

For fifteen years, Ashley studied every style of dance within reach—ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, acrobat, pointe, hip-hop, and contemporary—each providing a fresh challenge and outlet for self-expression. Ashley danced competitively on a regional and national level, in group and solo routines, at American Dance Awards, Kids for Kids, Candance, and more, repeatedly receiving top scores—including the Sherry Gold Memorial Award of $5,000 at the American Dance Awards.

In between her own dedicated practice, Ashley spent her free time teaching and sharing her passion. She became an assistant teacher at the Dance Slipper at ten-years- old, and ran her own class by fourteen. Ashley taught a variety of dance styles and ages, and immersed herself in choreography—a passion that she shared with her hometown school system and carried to her college dance group.

Ashley graduated from Boston University, summa cum laude, with a degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Accounting and a minor in Spanish. After years working in the financial field, Ashley felt void of her roots. She sought the expression of dance, and soon discovered new forms of movement. She loved the diligence and tranquility of yoga, and the vivacity of a cardio class. More so, she loved how all forms of movement integrated, and she craved the positive energy of movement not only for herself, but for others.

Ashley is humbled and delighted to share this energy through the opening of Nashoba Valley Movement. In a modern world that’s too easily wrought with pressures, stress, and self-consciousness, Ashley wants to help kids, adults, and families, find joy, ease, and balance. She aims to create a family-friendly

environment that offers a class for all ages and inclinations to enjoy—so everyone has the opportunity to live their best life and explore the freedom of movement.

Whatever moves you, Ashley hopes you’ll find it at Nashoba Valley Movement.

Theresa Kniaz
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Theresa discovered her love for ballet at age ten, and started her training with Cathy Fallon in Hopkinton. She attended summer ballet intensives at American Ballet Theatre in NYC, Burklyn Ballet Theatre in Vermont, and Boston Ballet School in Boston. By age sixteen, she was enrolled as a full-time student at the Boston Ballet School. After graduating high-school, Theresa spent a full year as a student at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet where she trained under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. During her ten years of training, she performed extensively in corps de ballet and solo roles in The Nutcracker, Peer Gynt, Alice and Wonderland, and Snow White, as well as annual Spring showcases. In the spring of 2015, during college, Theresa performed contemporary ballet work by David Sun in his company, SundanceX. 

In 2017, Theresa graduated Summa Cum Laude from UMass Boston with a Bachelor’s degree in Business. While working fulltime as a business analyst at a fast paced financial company, Theresa was invited to join the faculty of Amazing Grace Christian Dance School in Hopkinton as a contemporary dance teacher. There she quickly renewed her passion for dance and discovered her love for teaching.  In addition to her faculty positions, Theresa continues her own dance instruction, attending ballet and contemporary classes and workshops in the Greater Boston area, and is studying to obtain a certification in personal fitness training.

Macy Woodard
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Macy has been dancing for over 20 years and has been teaching dance for 7 years. Growing up she attended many local dance studios including The Dance Center and Paula Meola’s Dance and Performing Arts. Following her high school graduation she attended Fitchburg State University where she was President of the Dance Club and taught the Broadway and Lyrical classes. She also was a guest choreographer for the university’s event “Dancing with the Staff,” a fun spin off of Dancing with the Stars.

 

Macy was an instructor and competition choreographer at the Academy of Dance Arts in Leominster for four years until the studio closed in 2017. She taught jazz, ballet, contemporary, lyrical, Broadway, Adult classes, and children’s combo classes while working there.

Macy  has performed in and choreographed for the Nutcracker, performed in Disney World, competed nationally with studios, and has performed many solos. During the day Macy is an elementary school teacher in Fitchburg. She loves working with children and enjoys helping kids see and reach their full potential through support, guidance, and encouragement. Dance has been an incredible outlet for her growing up and she loves sharing her love for the art with dancers of all ages. She is so excited and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of NVM’s staff this year!

Abbie LaFalam
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Abbie grew up as a competitive dancer at Paula Meola’s in Sterling. She began dancing at the age of 3 and immediately fell in love with it. Abbie had the privilege of being in a number of Nutcracker Ballets, Youth Ballets, as well as many other performances over the years. In 2012, she performed in “Another Impression III” at SymphonySpace on Broadway in NYC, alongside Amelia Lowe of So You Think You Can Dance season 9 and Chaz Buzan of Joffrey Ballet, who is also a protégé dancer for Mia Michaels. Abbie started dancing professionally this season with Project31 Dance Company out of Boston where she trains and performs in the styles of modern, jazz, contemporary and tap.

 

Her passion for teaching dance began at age 17, while she was still in high school. Abbie teaches weekly classes in the styles tap, jazz, contemporary and hip hop and also choreographs for our competition team. She is so passionate about dancing and this translates in her teaching. Abbie is grateful to be part of the NVM family and have the privilege of watching her students grow as dancers and people.

Hayley Robichaud
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Hayley is a New England based dancer, educator, and choreographer. She graduated from Salve Regina University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary and Special Education and a minor in Dance. As a former company member with Extensions Dance Company, she has had the opportunity to work with and perform in pieces by artists such as Kat Pantos, Betsi Graves, Mike Esperanza, and Joshua Blake Carter. While at Salve she performed at American College Dance Association’s adjudicated concerts, as well as the National Dance Education Organization’s Jazz Dance: Roots and Branches in Practice Conference. In 2018 Hayley’s choreography was accepted into the Southern Vermont Dance Festival and performed at the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival. Since then she has been teaching children's dance at various studios throughout Massachusetts. Hayley is excited to be joining Nashoba Valley Movement this year!

Pamela Casavoy
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For over 30 years, Pamela has followed her passion for dance, learning from instructors such as Jim Caisse, Michelle Goodwin, and Carol Seretto. While she’s dabbled in almost every style, Jazz, Tap, and Ballet are her favorites. Through her career, she’s danced in community theatre productions with New Players Theater Guild, Theatre at the Mount, and Stratton Players; choreographed such shows as Dance in the Desert and The Three Trees; and performed her own choreography in the Thayer (now New England) Symphony Orchestra’s production of Amal and the Night Visitor.

The only thing Pamela loves more than dance is sharing her love for dance with others. For 15 years, she’s been sharing her experience through organizations such as Danceworks and Acton Community Education, teaching Jazz and Jazz Hip-Hop.  She can occasionally be found giving lessons in turns to her two year old granddaughter, who seems more than eager to follow in her footsteps. Pamela is excited and looking forward to sharing her passion for dance with NVM.

Merrick Henry
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Merrick has been dancing for well over 15 years. He has experience in hip hop dance, step dance, and video pop choreography where every movement is big enough for the last row to see. When Merrick is not dancing, he is a recording artist and the current CEO of The Zen Den Studios, a production company in Fitchburg. He is very grateful to have such a wonderful team behind him to help create whatever art he wants. He draws inspiration from some of the biggest pop music acts in the world like Justin Timberlake, Jason Derulo, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, and Britney Spears to name a few. He has interned with the Broadway Theatre Project and was able to study under Deb McWaters; Associate Choreographer for legendary actress, director, and choreographer Ann Reinking. He has taken various classes with Herman Payne, James Alsop, and Todrick Hall. He’s thrilled to be teaching at Nashoba Valley Movement and share his performing experience with a new generation of talented artists.

Alexis Renaud
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Alexis is a 20 year old dance teacher and nutrition coach. Dance and fitness are both big parts of her life. Ever since she was just 3 years old, she's been dancing away and hasn't stopped since! She's danced competitively in the style of hip hop for many years. She loves teaching others about the style and showing them the love and passion she has for it. Since dance and fitness go hand in hand, she recently got into weightlifting and nutrition. Alexis is currently a certified nutritionist as well as a personal trainer which has always been a dream of hers. She is currently studying business administration at SNHU and will receive her bachelors in hopes of opening her own studio one day! It’s been a lifelong goal of hers and she's so excited to see what the future holds. 

Julia Parenteau
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Julia is a 15 year old high school student at Clinton Regional High School as well as a dancer at Nashoba Valley Movement. She is class president of Clinton High's freshman class and is very involved in both her school and dance community. She began her dance training at the young age of 2. She grew up dancing at Dance Education Center (DRDC) for 10 years until recently when she came to Nashoba Valley Movement. She has been with us for 3 years now and we're so lucky to have her. In 2017, Julia and her dance team were invited to Broadway Dreams Tour with their lyrical routine entitled “We Build” choreographed by Shelly Scesney. This week long tour in NYC included musicals, tours, and master classes from Broadway stars which ended with a flashmob.

 

Julia says that when she came to Nashoba Valley Movement she knew it was where she belonged. Julia trains in the styles of ballet, jazz, contemporary, and tap and is a dancer on the Nashoba Valley Movement Competition Team. She has assisted many dance classes throughout her time at NVM and this is her first year with a class of her own. She not only inspires her own students, but she is a role model for many young dancers at the studio and even her peers. We are so lucky to have Julia at NVM!