Sallee Slagle, Director

photo: Sallee

Sallee Slagle has been performing and choreographing professionally for over 20 years. Since receiving her BFA from the Boston Conservatory, she has performed throughout New England, the Caribbean and abroad with a variety of dance companies, as well as her own modern company, Forty Steps Dance. Her choreography has been presented locally and internationally by the Culture Connection, North Shore Dance Alliance, Windhover Performing Arts Center, North Shore Civic Ballet Co., Somerville Theater, Majestic Cruise Lines as well as the Saint Hill European Arts Festival in England.

Slagle is currently delivering her Increasing Creativity through Movement workshop locally and abroad bringing creative dance to everyone. Sallee is the director of Dance Dimensions, a dance and fitness studio serving Nahant, Lynn and Swampscott communities.


Deanna Beattie-Gallant

photo: Deanna

Deanna Beattie-Gallant has studied dance for over 25 years. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance and Philosophy from Plymouth State College. She has performed and choreographed in several venues across the country, collaborated with Kee Chin of the Dance Complex, and studied with Jody Weber of Weber Dance in Cambridge, and continues to perform and choreograph in the Boston area. While living in San Francisco, Deanna also performed with the Natasha Carlitz Dance Ensemble. She previously performed with Forty Steps Dance in Lux Aeterna in 2009, and is happy to be back for the 25th anniversary season! Deanna joined Forty Steps Dance in 2009 and returned in 2018.

Devon Boucher

photo: Devon

Devon grew up in a small town in Massachusetts and has been studying dance since she was four years old. She danced locally in a family owned studio until she graduated from high school. During high school she had the chance to perform on a cruise ship and in Walt Disney World. She also attended theater camp and was part of several musical productions in the Worcester area. Devon received her B.A. in dance with a minor in psychology from Dean College in 2012. While at Dean, Devon performed in dance and theater shows, including The Producers, and Dance Company. Devon had the opportunity to attend the American College Dance Festival in 2012, and the piece she was a part of was chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center in D.C. Devon began performing professionally in 2011 with Mill City Dance. Since graduation from college, Devon has had the opportunity to perform in the Silicon Valley International Dance Festival put on by The Lively Foundation, where she had the chance to perform in the San Francisco area. Currently, Devon is attending Lesley University in pursuit of her Master’s degree in Expressive Therapy, with a concentration on Dance Therapy. Devon joined Forty Steps Dance in 2013.

Etienne Hernandez

photo: Etienne

​Etienne began his training in his native Puerto Rico at La Escuela Julian E. Blanco and at El Conservatorio de Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico (Where he has also performed with The Company of Ballet Concierto). He continued his studies at El Instituto Superior de Danza Alicia Alonso of The Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid, where he graduated with a Masters in Performing Arts. He was a member of El Joven Ballet de la Camara de Madrid for five years, where he has performed throughout Spain. Subsequently, he has worked with Ballet Brio of Puerto Rico for two years and has guested and choreographed for many dance companies internationally. Presently he is a member of Forty Steps Dance and Danza Organica, with whom he has performed at Jacob’s Pillow last year. He presently resides in Massachusetts where he also teaches classical ballet around the Boston area. Etienne joined Forty Steps Dance in 2013.

Grace Kindeke

photo: Grace
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Grace Kindeke is a fine artist turned dancer living in the Boston area. She is a trained painter and passionate dancer who began dance training later in life while working at the Dance Complex. Grace enjoys exploring many forms of dance in order to find unique ways of expressing through movement and sound, the many threads that connect her to her history, community and deepest self.
Grace has danced and performed with a variety of Boston area choreographers including Jenny Oliver, Adrienne Hawkins, Marianne Harkless and Wendy Jehlen. She has performed at the ICA, in front of municipal buildings, on busy main streets and at the Julie Ince Thompson Theatre at the Dance Complex. When not dancing, Grace is majoring in Africana Studies at UMass, co-chairing the Committee for the Promotion of Diversity & Inclusion at MIT Libraries and finding interesting books to add to her ever growing collection. Grace joined Forty Steps Dance in 2017.

Erin Pelikhov

photo: Erin

Erin grew up in Newton, Mass., and began her training in ballet, jazz, tap and modern at Paulette’s Ballet Studio. She also competed on the team at Gymnastics Academy of Boston as a child, and later on Newton South High School’s varsity team. She further refined her dance education at Emerson College, where she minored in Dance and received her Bachelor of Arts in New Media. Erin has danced with Boston’s Lady Panthers Dance Team, Jhumka Dance Company, Kelley Donovan & Dancers and Firelech Jewish Musical Theater. Other notable roles include swinging to Duke Ellington in the Party Scene and tapping as Mother Ginger in Anthony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker, and grooving in the musical “Hair” at Turtle Lane Playhouse in Newton. Erin has taught all styles of dance to all ages and levels at Paulette’s Ballet Studio, Tony Williams Dance Center and Lucky Ten Young Talent Studio. Erin is also a freelance graphic and web designer, a work-from-home mom to twins, and a teacher for Sallee Slagle’s Dance Dimensions. Erin joined Forty Steps Dance in 2009, with a brief maternity leave in 2013.

Michael Pidacks

photo: Michael

Michael is from Winchester MA and is currently studying at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. He started learning ballet four years ago to help recover from an injury that occurred during his other main athletic passion, Brazilian jujitsu. He holds a purple belt in jujitsu, and has been training in that discipline for nearly five years. Returning for his second season with the company, Michael is enjoying improving his technique and learning new elements of modern dance. Michael has previously appeared in productions of the Nutcracker with the Winchester Ballet Conservatory, and in various youth productions both the cast and part of the pit playing the violin. Outside of dance, Michael is also passionate about history, film, and jurisprudence. Michael joined Forty Steps Dance in 2016.

Amanda Scott

photo: Amanda

Amanda Scott grew up dancing with LaPierre School of Dance and performed in Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker. She later rebooted her love of dance, pursuing adult ballet studies at The Brookline Ballet School. Today Amanda frequents the school at Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre and The Dance Complex. She has performed in summer workshops with Claire Bletz of The Brookline Ballet School and Molly Wheat of Ballet with Molly. Amanda performs regularly with Backattitude Dance Company under Catherine Lenard Gerberding and proudly makes her debut this year with Forty Steps Dance. When not dancing, Amanda wishes she were dancing while working as a pharmacist in clinical trial biotech drug supply. Amanda joined Forty Steps Dance in 2018.

Alysen Vilhena

photo: Alysen

Alysen is from Florence, Oregon where she took ballet and danced in local productions. In college, she danced with the student-run company Penn Ballet for four years. Since relocating to the Boston area, she has performed in various productions including Across the Ages Dance Project, Tiny & Short: A drop in the Bucket, The Festival of You, Us, We, and Them, and OnStage Dance Company’s Season 13 performance. In addition to performing, Alysen was also selected as a resident choreographer for OnStage Dance Company in January 2017. During her residency, Alysen choreographed a disco-era piece.

When not dancing, Alysen works in business operations and enjoys yoga, reading, and spending time with friends and family. Alysen joined Forty Steps Dance in 2017.

Samantha Wilson

photo: Samantha

Samantha Wilson holds a B.S. in Mathematics and a minor in Dance from Salem State College. She has danced with Perceptions Contemporary Dance Company, Weber Dance, Caitlin Corbett Dance Company and many more. Previously, she has been a Producer for Shared Choreographer’s Concert. Currently, Samantha dances with Forty Steps Dance and Kelley Donovan & Dancers. Samantha, also, is a moderator for the Boston-based Dance group, Dance-Action-Network. She is a faculty member of Prospect Hill Academy Charter School where she teaches Dance along with many other subjects. Samantha joined Forty Steps Dance in 2009.

Chelsea Zawadzki

photo: Chelsea

Chelsea Zawadzki grew up in Bangor, ME, where she trained at the School of the Robinson Ballet and danced with the Robinson Ballet Company for eight years, performing throughout Maine and New Hampshire in their annual “Nutcracker” and Spring Concerts. Chelsea received her B.A. in dance at Dean College in 2012, where she graduated with the Trustees’ Prize for the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance. At Dean, she was a member of the Dean College Dance Company and performed in faculty and student productions. Chelsea began dancing professionally in 2011 with the Adagio Big Band, a jazz band based in Lowell, MA performing at dinner theaters, sporting events, and the annual Merrimack Valley Jazz Festival. December 2012 and 2013 she performed in Tony Williams’ production of the Urban Nutcracker in Boston. When Chelsea isn’t performing, she teaches dance to children and adults at several dance studios and is a Program Director at her local YMCA, where she directs a dance program and other youth and adult programming. Chelsea joined Forty Steps Dance in 2013.