Faculty

SOSD Directors

SOSD Faculty & Staff

A teacher affects eternity; she can never tell where her influence stops - Henry Adams

Shannon Marshall, Director

Shannon Marshall established the Shannon O’Brien School of Dance in 1992. Through her commitment to constant improvement and education, Shannon forged the pathway to our success as a school today. SOSD has grown to become one of the largest and most respected schools in Southeastern MA as well as RI.

Shannon received her early training with Susan Montgrain and Herci Marsden at the Brae Crest School of Classical Ballet. Shannon grew up dancing in competitions along the east coast where she made many ties with dancers who are still in the business today. As a company member of the State Ballet of RI she performed in such classics as Giselle, Coppelia, and Prince Igor’s Polovtsian Dances. Through the years, Shannon has had the opportunity to travel and study with many world pioneers in dance. In the early 90’s Shannon’s focus on dance education led her to further her training as a dance major at Dean College.

During the past two decades, Shannon has produced dancers who have gone on to successful careers in performance, choreography and dance education. Shannon’s training has awarded dancers acceptance and scholarship to some of the country’s finest dance institutions including Julliard and Alvin Ailey. In 2008, Shannon’s dancers were selected to represent the United States at The World Jazz Cup and Modern Dance Championships in Mikolajki, Poland. Dancers from over 30 countries were represented. SOSD Dancers brought home one silver and two bronze medals for the United States. Shannon’s reputation for providing dancers with a solid framework of training has resulted in her becoming a sought after Master Teacher at such organizations as Dance Masters and ADA.

Shannon is often asked to share her well respected business knowledge and teaching philosophy with the dance community through speaking engagements and nationally recognized dance magazines

Shannon travels the United States and Canada as an adjudicator with American Dance Awards, the most prestigious dance competition in North America. Shannon’s most rewarding role is mother to her three beautiful children Ellen, Sean, and Bridget.

Julie White, Director

Julie is an accomplished dancer, teacher, and choreographer. Holding degrees from both Dean College and Rhode Island College Julie continues to focus on education. Her knowledge of technique and choreography as well as basic anatomy and kinesiology make her an asset in the classroom. Over the years Julie has had the benefit of working with many prominent choreographers including, Denise Jefferson (Ailey School), Adrienne Hawkins (Impulse Dance), and Jeffrey Polston (Complexions Dance) to name a few. In addition to attending top dance conventions and seminars Julie travels several times a year to attend classes in New York, keeping herself inspired.

Julie produces award winning choreography pieces performed both nationally and internationally. In the competition dance community Julie has been commended for her unique movement vocabulary and innovative style. Julie’s choreography is presented annually with SOSD and continuously with her concert dance company, EMC.

As a dancer Julie performed key roles in several ballets namely Snow Queen and Spanish from the Nutcracker as well as Kitri from Don Quixote. As a contemporary dancer she has performed most recently with Andary Dance modern dance company.

Julie is proud to have achieved the title of Co-Owner and Director of our school. In addition to her position as Co-Director of SOSD she has held past positions as an Artist In Residence for the Highlander Charter School and Director of Senior Dance for Southeastern Massachusetts Arts Collaborative. Currently Julie is on the Adjudication Staff of American Dance Awards as well as Adjunct Faculty for the Dean College Dance Department where she teaches technique classes.

Courtney Asselin

Courtney Asselin has been with our studio since 1993, first as a dedicated student and company dancer and now as a teacher and choreographer. She teaches Jazz, Ballet, Acro, Tap, Modern, Hip-Hop and Lyrical ages 5 to 21. Courtney began teaching as an assistant in 2001 and continues to enjoy spreading her love and knowledge of dance with each student. She has won many awards for her dancing and more recently for her choreography. Courtney has received recognition for outstanding choreography at many competitions including being named Young Choreogra-pher at ADA regionals. She graduated from Rhode Island College where she attended on a four year full scholarship for Dance. While there she was able to experience bringing her own chore-ography to a college festival, ACDFA where professionals were able to critique and give helpful feedback. She is currently danc-ing professionally in a Modern company which gives her the abil-ity to keep growing as an artist and as a teacher, applying these skills while teaching her students. Dance is her passion and Courtney loves sharing her passion with others.

Stacey Baptiste

Stacey has been with SOSD since 1995, first as a dancer and now as a main teacher on staff. Stacey has been a choreographer and teacher for both the recreational program and the SOSD Dance Company for many years. Her choreography has been recognized and awarded at the regional level with a Diamond Award. Known for her commitment to her students, Stacey was asked to serve as teaching assistant for master classes at the national level and had the privilege of teaching and judging the scholarship classes for Dance Master of New England in November of 2008. Along with teaching and choreographing for SOSD, Stacey is also a main part of the office staff. Opening and closing the studio almost every day, answer-ing phone calls, signing up new students, working with current accounts or registering the Dance Company for their competitive season, Stacey loves every moment she spends at SOSD. Stacey holds a Bachelor’s Degree from RIC and studied at Lesley University with a focus on her Masters of Special Education. Stacey also worked for the Attleboro School system for 6 years but resigned from her teaching position to continue her passion for the art of dance.

Kim Chartier

Kim danced for several years as a child, but left to play sports. She always regretted that decision and re-entered the dance world with her daughter, Brette, who began dancing with SOSD in 1999 and continued until graduating in 2015. Kim’s relation-ship with SOSD was one of a Dance Mom, while working as a teacher with the Pawtucket School Department until recently. Kim began working at SOSD in 2015 as an o(ce sta) member. She has continued in that capacity, while “+lling in” wherever help is needed. Although she doesn’t teach dance, she helps to keep the studio on track with its day-to-day needs. Kim has been teaching for over 27 years, working with children in first grade and kindergarten. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood with a concentration in Special Education. She has her Master’s Equivalency in Education and serves as Teacher Leader K-2 for Nathanael Greene Elementary

Cara Harrold

Cara has been dancing with SOSD since 1995 and was a mem-ber of our company from 1998-2011. She joined our teaching staff as an assistant in 2009, managing the classroom and learn-ing from the choreographers and in 2013 began choreographing herself. Since then, Cara has choreographed multiple numbers in all genres for our recreational program and most recently ex-panded her teaching abilities to our dance company. Cara has participated in many master classes, workshops and conventions including Co. Dance, Dance Across America, Jump and ADA in Class. She has performed up and down the East Coast with the SOSD Dance Company. Performance highlights include Boston, Orlando and Disney’s Magic Kingdom. In 2009 and 2011, Cara earned top honors in the Dance Off competition for ADA Nation-als in Hollywood Beach, FLA. 

Mikayla Kolb

Mikayla began her training at Shannon O’Brien School of Dance in 1992 and was a dedicated dancer for over 15 years. She be-came a classroom assistant in 2003 and then a teacher in 2007. She was a member of Evolution Movement Company where she performed at dance concerts, festivals and events throughout New England. Mikayla was selected to be part of the 2008 USA Dance Team which traveled to Poland to compete with the best dancers from around the globe. Mikayla was awarded the Bronze Medal at the World Modern Championships. She has traveled the East Coast with the award winning SOSD Dance Company, per-formed at The Magic Kingdom in Disney and earned Top Honors at Nationals in NYC, Boston and Hollywood Beach. Mikayla is now a valued member of the teaching faculty and office staff where she loves to share her lifetime passion of dance with co-workers and students. Mikayla proves to be a great role model for all of our dancers as she is always striving for improvement. She is very thankful to be a part of the SOSD family!

Devon Larcher

Devon Larcher attended the Jacqueline M Walsh School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Pawtucket, Rhode Island where he graduated in 2013. Devon started dancing at SOSD in 2011 where he was a member of the Dance Company and awarded the prestigious title of America’s Dancer of the Year in 2015. Recognized for his talent, Devon was asked to be a part of the Bill Evans Touring Company for the 2014- 2015 season. During that time he had the opportunity to perform in venues all over New England including the Ailey Dance Theatre in NYC. Soon af-ter Devon received a contract and worked for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a dancer and an aerialist. Devon continues to pursue his passion for the arts, dancing with Urbanity and teach-ing all over Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Julia Neto

Julia was a student at SOSD from the age of four until she went off to college. During that time she performed and competed re-gionally, nationally, and internationally, and her passion for dance grew. After her time at SOSD, Julia attended Hofstra University in New York, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2015 with a degree in Dance and a minor in business. Since then she has moved to NYC to pursue her dance career. Some of her notable performances include a workshop with the esteemed Merce Cunningham Trust, and the Amalgamate Guest Artist Series, both at City Center Studios. Most recently Julia performed with the Amy Marshall Dance Company at the Battery Dance Festival, outdoors in Manhattan. When not performing and taking class, Julia is an instructor and personal trainer for a dance-based fit-ness method, Body Conceptions by Mahri. She loves returning each year to teach and set choreography on the fabulous SOSD dancers! 

Caitlyn Shepard

Caitlyn starting dancing at SOSD at the tender age of two and continued as a student and company member until she was nine-teen. As a company member, Caitlyn traveled all over the east coast earning top awards at both the regional and national level. In 2008 Caitlyn traveled with SOSD as part of the United States Dance Team and competed against other Countries from around the globe in the Jazz World Cup held in Poland. Caitlyn and her teammates from USA earned top rankings and took home the sil-ver medal. Caitlyn went on to attend Dean College where she graduated in 2012 with a B.A. in Dance. While at Dean Caitlyn had the privilege of being in cast in many shows and perfor-mances and was a member of the prestigious Dean College Dance Company. As a choreographer Caitlyn was honored to have her choreography chosen at Dean for a special concert where industry professionals were able to give her valuable feed-back and critques. Caitlyn has gone on to be recognized for her choreographic style and has been awarded both ADA’s Young Choreographer and Diamond Award. Along with her classes at SOSD, Caitlyn teaches at other dance schools and many fitness clubs. 

GUEST ARTISTS

In addition to intensive training with the SOSD faculty, the dance company members routinely participate in master classes from industry professionals. Dancers in the company have had the benefit of working with Scott Fowler whose credits include Jerome Robbins on Broadway, Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out, and the movie Chicago featuring Catherine Zeta Jones. Tim Fournier has performed in “Peter Pan”, Radio City Music Hall, Tokyo Disneyland, West Side Story (European Tour), Crazy For You, Sea Doo, Reebok, Compac, Intel, Beauty and the Beast (Walt Disneyworld) to name a few. Crystal Chapman is currently on the faculties of Broadway Dance Center and Steps in New York where she teaches tap and theatre dance. She has appeared at Radio City Music Hall with Bernadette Peters and at Lincoln Center with Tommy Tune and Ann Reinking. Other esteemed guest artists include Nailah Bellinger, Tara Iacobucci, Tovah Bodner, Joshua Carlson, Debra Nunes, Sandi Duncan, Stacie Eastman, and Robert Robinson.
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