The Company


Cecly Placenti

Artistic Director & Choreographer

Cecly Placenti, originally from Belleville, NJ, received her MA in Dance Education from New York University and her BFA in Dance from Montclair State University. She has had the good fortune to perform with freelance choreographers Julie Batson Carter and Sean Scantlebury and companies including Chris Ferris and Dancers, Lauren Beirne Dance Works, Catherine Gallant Dances, The Next Stage Project, and ESS/Danceworks. As a writer, Cecly has been published in Critical Dance and is currently on staff at The Dance Enthusiast where she writes previews, interviews, and reviews covering a wide variety of movement artists and initiatives. Cecly was a guest choreographer and teacher at Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts as well as Raritan Valley Community College and is currently the full-time dance teacher at Bronx Preparatory Charter High School.


Company Dancer

Shanise Dews

Shanise grew up in, San Diego, CA and started tap dancing at the age of four. As a child she also studied Jazz at San Diego Civic Arts, and ballet at California Ballet. Shanise earned a B.A. in dance from the University of California, Riverside. While attending college, she performed with the Bristol Contemporary Dance Company in LA. Inspired by her professors Wendy Rogers and Susan rose, after graduating, Shanise moved to the Bay Area to peruse her career in dance. She has been fortunate enough to dance with companies like The Sarah Bush Dance Project, Sarah Berges Dance, SOULskin Dance company, and Robert Moses Kin. Shanise moved to NYC to challenge herself and become a better, more well-rounded artist. Shanise joined Six Degrees Dance in 2018.

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Hannah McClean

Company Dancer

Hannah is a Brooklyn, NY based dancer and choreographer. She began her movement career as a competitive gymnast before training in ballet, modern, jazz and commercial styles and earning a BFA in dance from Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA. She has performed in works by artists including: Tiffany Rea Fisher, Alexandria Amirov and David Parker and produced her own choreography in Phoenix, AZ, Seattle, WA and New York City. Off stage, Hannah is an Arts educator and is on faculty at Manhattan Youth Program and UGot Inc. Hannah joined Six Degrees Dance in 2018.

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Eilish Henderson

Company Dancer

Eilish, originally from Chagrin Falls, OH, graduated Hofstra University with a B.S. in Dance Education in 2018. She has performed in work by choreographers Doug Varone, Sean Curran, Igal Perry, Giada Ferrone, Adam Barruch, Omar Carrum and Claudia Lavista, Robin Becker, and Robert Moses.  Her work “fractal salem” (2017) was presented at the Aragonese Castle in Agropoli, Italy and the New York City Dance Education Association (NYSDEA) Conference at Hunter College in 2018.  She has performed in a variety of professional settings including Florence Dance Festival and The Kraine Theater.  Eilish currently works as a freelance dance artist and teaches dance at I.S. 61, allowing students to experience movement through a lens that highlights contemporary dance, improvisation, and composition.  Eilish considers herself an artist at heart and is passionate about movement in all aspects: choreography, performance, and education. 

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Sarah Lapinsky

Company Dancer

Sarah Lapinsky is a dancer and choreographer currently based in NYC. Originally from Stowe, VT, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of dance with her BFA in performance, a composition concentration, and a minor in Arts Management. While at school, she performed works by Doug Varone, José Limón, Nejla Yasemin Yatkin, Sue Bernhard, Barak Marshall, and Dylan Crossman. Since graduating, she has worked with Monica Hogan Dance Works, Spare Change Dance, and Six Degrees dance among others. As a choreographer, her work has been shown at Small Plates Dance, Greenspace, 92nd Street Y, the Austin Dance Festival and more. 


Faustine Lavie

Company Dancer

Faustine Lavie was born in Toulon, France, where she started ballet training at 3 years old. She studied at the Paris Opera Ballet School and ESDC Rosella Hightower. In 2015 She moved to NYC to attend The Ailey School and graduated from their Certificate Program in May 2018. Faustine has had the opportunity to perform works by choreographers such as Winston Dynamite Brown, Amy Hall Garner, Fredrick Earl Mosley, Clifton Brown, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Manuel Vignoulle and Shay Bland. 
Faustine worked with An Nuo Spiritual Dance & Art, with whom she performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2018 and 2019. She is currently a company member with i KADA Contemporary Dance Company, Footprints Dance Company, Arim Dance, Keiko Fujii Dance Company, The DynamitExperience, and Nathaniel’s Dance Collective. Faustine is thrilled to be a part of Six Degrees Dance since  February 2020. 

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Chris Makens

Company Dancer

Chris Makens is a New York based artist, choreographer, educator and dancer.  He graduated from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and moved  to New York in 2016 to bloom as an artist. Chris enjoys to practice and teach yoga, meditation and dance. He formed his dance & multimedia company, MakensMove, in 2017.  Career highlights include acting and dancing in the movie 'Marry Me' with Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson; commercials for AT&T in NYC and Sekusui in Japan; performing at Lincoln Center; the Iguzzini Showroom in Paris France; and performing works by beloved mentors Max Stone, Cherice and Charissa Barton, Maleek Washington, the Next Stage Project, and Julia Ehrstrand.  Chris is grateful that he connected with Six Degrees Dance shortly after arriving in NYC and thoroughly enjoys dancing and collaborating with these intelligent artists. 

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Emily Relyea-Spivack

Company Dancer

Emily is a NYC-based Dancer, Choreographer, and Pilates Instructor. Undergraduate performance credits: Manhattan Research; John Heginbotham, Before/After; Jennifer Hart, Breed & Body|House; Leslie Frye-Maietta (UMASS Amherst) Turf Wars; Gregory Dolbashian, Debris; Loni Landon (The Hartt School). Professional performance credits: Six Degrees Dance; The Mark O’Donnell Theater, Chris Ferris & Dancers; NY City Center Studios, The Roulette Intermedium, Dixon Place, Triskelion Arts/WAXworks, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. Other performance credits include; Jennifer Muller/The Works: HATCH, and Bridge for Dance: Uptown Rising Series. Emily has been with Six Degrees Dance since 2018. She looks forward to premiering her first choreographed solo entitled: Nearance, sometime in the next year. 

Six Degrees of Separation: Choreographic Commissions

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Sean Scantlebury

2019 Guest Choreographer

Sean Scantlebury  is a performer and teacher who is equally adept within the styles of modern, ballet and hip-hop.  A native of Barbados, He moved to New York City as a child and at the age of 8 was invited to study at the New York City Public School for Dance. He became a member of Ballet Tech, the Company directed by Eliot Feld, performing in the Company’s Joyce Theater seasons in New York for 10 years.  During his first season with Battery Dance in 2003, he took part in a residency in Kraków, Poland, performing for the European Conference on Tolerance.   Since then he has performed, taught and led Dancing to Connect workshops in Algeria, Australia, Burma, Cambodia, China, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Philippines, Poland, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Vietnam.  His hip-hop classes have served as a magnet for urban youth everywhere.  

In 2017, Sean was named by as one of 15 black dancers who are changing the world, second only to ABT’s Misty Copeland.


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Madeline Talbot

Editor, Motion by Degrees

Madeline Talbot is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer. She has studied dance since she was a child and trained at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet. She now studies English and Creative Writing at The College of New Jersey and plans to pursue a career in literary editing after receiving her Master’s degree. Madeline has kept dance in her life by co-founding an on-campus club, Dancers of New Jersey. As part of the club, she teaches and choreographs for their annual showcase.