Ricardo de Matos Simoes

When being asked why he is a dancer, Ricardo will explain that he worked as an extra at the RLT Neuss (Schiller’s Intrigue and Love) and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf Germany (Aida, The Abduction from the Seraglio) to pay his rent for his studio apartment as a student. At the opera he was exposed to the magic and beauty of numerous live operas and classical ballet performances in the evenings. Taking ballet and dance classes would offer significantly better paid jobs as an extra so he began his endeavor as an adult dancer. As a student at the University in Dusseldorf, he was able to attend a wide range of complimentary evening dance classes in ballet, modern and contemporary dance they offered, He has continued taking regular evening drop-in classes in universities and ballet schools in Germany, Austria, UK, USA and other countries for over 17 years. He has been trained by numerous notable teachers and currently with Sallee Slagle since early 2019. During the pandemic he continues training online at home with classes at Ballet Academy East.  Joined Forty Steps Dance 2019.

Open post photo: Teresa

Teresa Tobin

Teresa was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and grew up in Stoneham, MA after a short stint in Lugano, Switzerland. She began training at a young age at Sandra Marie’s School of Ballet in Melrose, MA which operates today as the Northeast School of Ballet in Reading, MA. During that time she had the opportunity to train with Minneapolis Dance Theatre under Gloria Govrin (who trained under George Balanchine) and also with the Boston Ballet School in Boston’s Back Bay. She performed various works including The Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and an original work with the Boston Musica Viva based off the tales of the Brothers Grimm.  She earned a BS in Psychology from Fordham College at Lincoln Center and had the opportunity to perform with some of Bushwick’s most avant-garde movement artists in the 2016 production, “Authority Figure” choreographed by Monica Mirabile (FLUCT) and Sarah Kinlaw. Since returning to Boston she has been an active member of Nozama Dance Collective and has participated in the Salem Arts Festival, Dance for World Community, and various other local festivals and events. She teaches ballet and tap at A Dancer’s Dream in Marblehead, MA and has been a member of 40 Steps Dance since December 2018.

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Lauren Beck

Lauren Beck is originally from Arlington, Massachusetts.  Lauren graduated with a BFA in Jazz Dance from the University of the Arts in 2008.  Lauren has performed in many venues in the Philadelphia area including the Merriam and Drake Theaters. After, graduating, Lauren continued on to the seas, working for PGT Entertainment, as a dancer,  on board the Sea Princess cruise ship. Lauren joined Forty Steps Dance in 2009, and has recently returned from a two-year sabbatical with her husband in Australia.  

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Michael Pidacks

Michael is from Winchester MA and is currently enrolled in a certificate program at Middlesex Community College in Lowell. He started learning ballet five 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 seven years. Returning for his third season with the company, Michael enjoys improving his technique and learning new elements of dance and creative expression. 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.

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Chelsea Zawadzki, Rehearsal Director

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 dancing, she can be found at Center for the Performing Arts in North Andover where she teaches dance and is Studio Manager. Chelsea joined Forty Steps Dance in 2013.