Artistic Director, Choreographer & Company Dancer
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 a full-time dance teacher at The School at Columbia University.
Director of Community Engagement, Company Dancer
Eilish Henderson (B.S. Hofstra University | M.A. New York University) is a movement artist working with subjects of the body based in NYC. She is interested in nourishing the practice of translation through interdisciplinary methods. Her work seeks to explore resonance, discord, decay and healing. As a choreographer, she draws upon butoh, contemporary floorwork, Capoeira, and release technique. Through movement she navigates the infinite patterns of a body’s relationships— negotiating touch, desire, intimacy and disgust. She develops the nuance of the movement work through accessing visual art, words, and fleeting images. Her work has been presented as a part of the Emerging Artists Festival: New Works Series, Smush Gallery, Arts, Letters, and Numbers, and Agropoli Dance Festival in Italy. As an educator, she works as a teaching artist for Dancewave, Brooklyn Arts Council, and Notes in Motion. She is the Director of Community Engagement with Six Degrees Dance and has been a company dancer since 2018.
Shuning Huang, born and raised in Nanjing, China, received her MA in Dance Education with a focus on Teaching Dance in the Professions from New York University, and her BA in Dance Studies from Beijing Dance Academy. She started formally studying Chinese dance and ballet at the age of 6, and shifted her focus to modern dance in undergraduate school to continue her studies. Her training encompasses Chinese (classical and folk), Modern/Contemporary, Ballet, and Jazz Dance. Her performances have taken her to China and the United States, among other places. As an educator, by combining various teaching methods to stimulate her students' potential, Shuning strives to create a more effective learning environment for her students. She believes that dance is a form of expression that has no boundaries and allows for different sparks to emerge.
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.
Sara Pizzi (she/her) from Italy, began her dance studies with Urban Dances performing in concerts, music videos & TV shows. In 2017, Sara moved to NYC with a scholarship from Steps on Broadway; later joining the Certificate Program, Contemporary/Ballet Track at Peridance Center, graduating in 2020. Sara is a company member of The Next Stage Project, Valerie Green/Dance Entropy, Light Painting NY, Six Degrees Dance, sarAika movement collective co-founded with Aika Takeshima & She define her creative space/identity S|R|P|Z in 2020. She was a guest artist/choreographer at CreateArt, Dixon Place, Green Space, City Center Studios, Lincoln Center Plaza, Movement Research, Gibney, HERE, The Brick & more; in 2022 she premiered her first commission for “Et Alia”. Sara is also educator for Musicamente, dance program for people with disabilities and Woodside on the Move, a preschool program for seniors and kids besides being teaching artist for Valerie Green/Dance Entropy and sarAika movement collective for community classes and residencies. Lastly, Sara is a photography/videography assistant for BECCAVISION.
Editor, Motion by Degrees
Miranda Stuck is a professional dancer from Seattle, Washington and currently resides in New York City. Prior to graduating from the Ailey/Fordham Bachelor of Fine Arts program, Miranda trained classically at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Miranda was Class of 2021 for a Master of Arts in Multi-Platform Journalism from Fordham University.
Miranda currently dances with Eryc Taylor Dance, is signed with Stetts Model Management, and writes as a contributor for The Dance Enthusiast and Motion by Degrees magazine. As a performer, Miranda has previously danced with Alison Cook Beatty Dance, Matthew Westerby Company and Buglisi Dance Theatre. Miranda has danced in several music vidoes and was invited to perform in the Marc Jacobs Fall 2020 New York Fashion Week closing runway show. Most recently, Miranda appeared in Aubrey Plaza’s episode of NBC’s Saturday Night Live portraying “Lucia” in a White Lotus spinoff sketch.
Miranda is extremely passionate about performing arts, visual and digital arts, chronic illness advocacy, as well as genuine human connection.
Originally from Connecticut, Joseph Heitman is a graduate of the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and the University of Hartford, Hartt Dance Division, BFA. At the Hartt School, Joseph had the opportunity to work with renowned choreographers Gregory Dolbashian, Norbert de la Cruz III, Doug Varone, and Stephen Pier. Joseph was featured in modern dance classics, restaged for the Dance Division, including Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels as well as José Limón’s There is a Time, Psalm, and A Choreographic Offering. He has performed at The Joyce Theater, Dixon Place, The Mark O’Donnell Theater, Lincoln Jazz, Salvatore Capezio Theater, McCallum Theater and the Mohegan Sun Arena. Joseph is currently a company member with Catapult Entertainment and has worked with companies such as Yu.S.Artistry, Hanna Q Dance Company, Peter and Co., FJK Dance, and Abarukas. His movement was described as "Animalistic yet graceful" with the ability to highlight "intricate choreography with precision and abandon" (The Dance Enthusiast). Joseph has also been a dance educator since 2019 sharing his knowledge with students within elementary and middle schools in the Bronx and various studios throughout New Jersey and Connecticut.
Former Company Members
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Dance.com as one of 15 black dancers who are changing the world, second only to ABT’s Misty Copeland.