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Illustrious Alumni « The Abby Lee Dance Company

Illustrious Alumni


Michelle Pampena

(15 year student)

Miss Pampena made her dancing debut in The 1982 Maryen Lorrain Dance Studio Annual Dance Concert and made her Broadway Debut on November 21st, 2004 in Dame Edna – Back With A Vengence! A 1996 Penn Hills Graduate, another member of the Dream Team. Left high school a month before the actual graduation ceremony to jump start her career with her first professional dance job in the Beauty and the Beast Show at MGM Studios in Walt Disney World Orlando, FL. While others are enjoying their parties and friends and summer trips to the beach, this talented seventeen year old is already in her own apartment, paying her own bills and getting up for work every day… and loving every minute of it!!!

Michelle didn’t sit still for long she was one of two girls selected to travel on a seven month national tour promoting Disney’s Birthday Celebration! Back in (more…)

Danee Litman

(15 year student)

Upon graduating from Alderdice High School in Squirrell Hill this young socialite was ready to leave her Pittsburgh Pirates far behind as she moved west to Arizona to major in Musical Theater! Soon after graduating Danee decided that the cold snowy winters were a thing of the past and settled down where all the beautiful people live…Beverly Hills 90210! This stunning red head works for one of the top advertising firms in California. She also does most of her work using her raspy seductive voice in national voice-overs and radio commercials. She also does print work and films. Ms. Litman just finished filming a yet to be titled movie with Jodi Foster in New York, more about that later!

Erin Murphy

(15 year student)

Erin Murphy, 1996 Penn Hills graduates recently left her “kid” position at the Kids of the Kingdom show inside Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. She is trying life the grown-up the way; a World Tour on board the Royal Caribbean luxury liner. Erin will work? her way through Austria, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Africa, Egypt and Greece. She will also visit Alaska, Hawaii and the Panama Canal before returning home to the wonderful world of Disney! Erin has no reason to go to Epcot, now does she?

Sara Kosinski

(15 year student)

Sara Kosinski, 1997 Penn Hills graduate, went from “Learning French in Dancing School” to living in Paris – all with an education from The Maryen Lorrain Dance Studio – Ooh La La! Sara spend months out at sea touring Europe abroad the Mistral, a French Liner. Performing nightly, she is the Dance Captain as well as the Company Manager. When the ship docks, she continues to work assisting with the Audition process for the Entertainment Corporation based in France!

Update: After September 11, Sara and her new husband were eager to return to the States. After a few weeks here in Pittsburgh, they were both hired by Busch Gardens in Virginia. She is now directing the Main Stage Theater and he is the Sound Supervisor for the Park!

Update: Sara was just certified in Pilates and will add this to her extensive resume’!

Asmeret Ghebremichael

(11 year student)

This 1998 Woodland Hills graduate, is currently understudying the Lead Role of “Lady of the Lake” in Monty Python’s SPAMALOT!
Update: Asmeret graduated from NYU with a degree in communications but, she is communicating through movement – using instead her education from The Maryen Lorrain Dance Studio, performing in the ensemble of the National Tour of “AIDA”!

Update: Once again Asmeret has connected with Abby’s long time dance colleague AC Ciulla who spotted her at NYCDA and DMA Conventions and hired her for Footloose. He is directing and choreographing a Broadway Review with fierce innovative movement that only well trained divas can do. The Show at Ceaser’s in Atlantic City is getting rave reviews!

Katie Hackett

(13 year student)

Katie had quite a successful competition career before turning pro. She held the prestigious titles of Petite Miss Dance of PA, Junior Miss Dance of PA, Junior Miss Dance of America, Teen Miss Dance of PA, Teen Miss Dance of America and Miss Dance of Pennsylvania – all for the Dance Masters of America Organization. Before starting her Senior year of high school, Katie was cast in the principle role of “Cynthia” in the national tour of the Broadway Show “Big”. She traveled around the country complete with tutor and school books in tow, doing what she loves most, performing. Since graduating from Penn Hills in 1999, Miss Hackett has been busy studying on scholarship in NY and LA.

Katie couldn’t take the cold miserable Pittsburgh weather for long. She is fulfilling her most recent goal… living the vida loca in LA! Katie will have her own pad in the Valley between Hollywood and Studio City. Look on the bright side – now every dancer has a place to stay in LA! (more…)

Ira Cambric

(5 year student – Age 14 to 19)

Ira Cambric – Ira is the reigning Mr. Dance of PA and the New York City Mr. DEA. After returning from the national competitions this summer, where he earned the Title, Mr. Personality from his peers, he decided to begin his professional career. Now he is working right along side Kristi in the “Tarzan Rocks” Show at The Animal Kingdom! Ira gets to improvise and be creative on stage every day, this is right up his alley. He brings a fresh and innovative quality to every show!

Update: Ira finished his first professional contract in August and began his second in August. He nabbed a coveted eight month contract for Tokyo Disneyland. Ira is living in the American Village/ Tokyo, Japan and performing the the stunt spectacular, “Mystic Rhythms”. He stopped in Thailand to vacation before returning to the Burgh! (more…)

Kristi Grachen

(14 year student)

Our recent 2001 Plum High School graduate is living on the wild side. Kristi was offered a position from Walt Disney World Entertainment last April but due to previous commitments to the Maryen Lorrain Dance Studio had to tell them , NO. Kindly, the folks at Disney Casting respected her integrity and called again in July to hire Kristi to perform in the “Tarzan Rocks” Show at The Animal Kingdom! Kristi is making the most of her own apartment complete with pool, sauna, work out room, etc. She has also made a great connection though some of our other alumni, working on three industrials this month. On her days off she has traveled to Tampa, Sacramento and Dallas to perform!

Update: After 911, many Disney Dancers were cut, but not Kristi! She was offered another contract to continue in “Tarzan Rocks” Show at The Animal Kingdom! (more…)

Lindsey Hensler

(3 year student, formerly w/ DMA colleague)

2001 Bethel Park High School graduate. She is touring Europe with the Wolfgang Bosch production of the musical “Grease”. She is a dancer in the ensemble and also the understudy for the lead of “Patty” which she has performed many times already. The 22 city tour began in Berlin. She will be performing in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.

Update: Lindsey came home to visit for several weeks this summer, but the showbiz bug got to her and she headed back to Germany! She negotiated a 6 month contract to play the principal role of Patty Simcox!

Update: Miss Hensler is back on American soil for a while, we were glad to see her at the studio lending a helping hand at this busy time. She is currently (more…)

Brittany Markle

(12 year student – age 3 to 16)

Brittany Markle – Brittany began her professional career at the ripe old age of 12. She was cast as “Clara” in the Branson, MO production of The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. She has done print work for Cicci’s Costume Company and the Discount Dancewear Catalog. Brittany has returned to the Radio City Stage this Holiday season in Nashville, TN.
Petite Miss Dance of PA 1999
Petite Miss Dance of America 2000
Junior Miss Dance of PA 2001
Junior Miss Dance of America 2002
Teen Miss Dance of PA 2003

Update: Brittany had an awesome summer attending DEA, NYCDA and DMA all on full Scholarship! She gave up her title of Junior Miss Dance of America 2002 and (more…)

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