Jeffrey "Shecky" Schecter (Artistic Director/Teacher)
JEFFREY SCHECTER, better known in the theater community as “Shecky” has been a professional performer for more than 20 years. Jeff’s Broadway and National Tour credits include A Chorus Line, The Pajama Game, Wonderful Town, Beauty And The Beast, Guys And Dolls, West Side Story, Ragtime, and The Mambo Kings. He has appeared regionally at the Papermill Playhouse in New Jersey (On The Town), Reprise LA in Los Angeles (Babes In Arms) and City Center Encores in NY (Bells Are Ringing, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.)
Most people recognize Jeff from the documentary film, Every Little Step where he can be seen auditioning for the revival of A Chorus Line. Jeff ultimately won the role of “Mike,” (I Can Do That!) and went on to star in the revival for the entire run.
After the success of A Chorus Line, Jeff was in high demand as coach and teacher. He started teaching Broadway Master Dance Classes with a special focus on A Chorus Line.
Jeff has expanded his resume and taught all over the United States for dance studios, Schools and Organizations that include: STAGE DOOR CONNECTIONS in New York, AMERICAN THEATRE DANCE WORKSHOP on Long Island, THE BIZKIDZ in Los Angeles, HOLLYWOOD CONNECTION in California, various dance studios in Manhattan, PRINCETON DAY SCHOOL in New Jersey, and one on one instruction with a client as young as 14 and one as old as 60.
In 2014 Jeff and his wife, Melissa workshopped their first I CAN DO THAT NYC CLASS. The rest as they say is history.
Melissa Swender - Schecter (Owner/ Ballet and Dance & Theatre Teacher)
MELISSA SWENDER - SCHECTER began her performing career as a classically trained ballet dancer. She trained with the Houston Ballet and Ballet Met, among others. She made her Broadway debut in the 2004 revival of “Wonderful Town”. Other credits include many Broadway National/European tours: Meg in “Phantom of The Opera”, The Tango Dancer in ”Evita” and West Side Story. Other Theater credits include “Kiss Me Kate”, “Bye Bye Birdie”, “La Cage Aux Folles”, and “Chicago”. TV and film credits include “All My Children”, “As The World Turns”, ”Late Night with Conan O’Brian”, “Farm Girl in New York”, and The Sundance Award winning film, “Phoebe in Wonderland.” Since hanging up her dancing shoes Melissa has become the parent of 2, Helena and Mattias. She hopes to be able to pass on her great love of dance and theater to the next generation.
Erica Lynn Cenci - (Assistant Hip Hop/Tap/Musical Theatre Teacher)
Erica has taught Tap and Jazz for over 10 years and is especially proud of the summers she spent on faculty for the Summer Conservatory at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey. She graduated with a B.A. in Theatre and English from Muhlenberg College, where she danced all four years in many productions and concerts even being selected in her senior year to perform her piece, "Tango X Three" at the American College Dance Association Northeast Regional Gala Concert in 2006. After college she completed training programs at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and Manhattan School of Music. She has performed in many productions including 42nd Street, Fiddler on the Roof, and the national tours of CATS and A Chorus Line.
Jessica Sanford (Musical Theatre Teacher)
Jessica Sanford has been teaching and performing for over 10 years. She studied dance, gymnastics and singing from a very early age and began acting in her teens. Accepted to New World School of the Arts for her Bachelors in Musical Theater, she graduated in the top of her class with Summa Cum Laude. Her first professional show after college, Fear Up Harsh with Zoetic Stage in Miami, got Jessica her first nomination for a Carbonell Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Play. She moved to New York in 2016 where she continues to teach and pursue the stage.
Melissa Buriak (Musical Theatre Teacher and Tap Teacher)
MELISSA BURIAK, more commonly known as "Mel B" at I Can Do That (too many Melissa's gets confusing) is excited to bring her energy into the ICDT classroom! After graduating with a B.A. in Theatre Performance from Oklahoma City University, Mel began performing at regional theatres across the country and soon made the move to NYC! Favorite regional credits include Anytime Annie in 42nd Street, Cheryl Finfer in Miracle on 34th Street, Phyllis in 42nd Street (with original choreography staged by Original Cast Member Amiee Turner), Rhoda in White Christmas, and Purity in Anything Goes. She performs and choreographs regularly with GPC in NYC and loves spending any spare time she has with the incredible students of ICDT NYC!
Jen Donohoo (Dance & Theatre Teacher)
JEN DONOHOO started assisting and teaching dance classes at the age of 11. She has since been on faculty and guest taught at The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Ruth Page Dance Center, Lou Conte Dance Studio, Ball State University, and SUNY Purchase. She serves as the rehearsal director for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s OceanAria on the Allure of the Seas. Most recently, she served as Assistant Choreographer for TheatreWorks USA’s Fly Guy and Other Stories, Associate Choreographer for Guys and Dolls at Goodspeed Opera House, and Assistant Director/Choreographer for the Off-Broadway production of Soul Doctor. She has been seen in Regional productions of Follies and Timon of Athens (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), A Chorus Line, Brigadoon, and A Christmas Carol. She has had the privilege of serving as dance captain many times, as well as working with so many wonderful choreographers and directors. She’s a true collaborator that loves to share her knowledge of dance with people of all ages. Jen is thrilled to be joining I CAN DO THAT NYC this Fall!
Haley Nachlas (Hip Hop/Jazz Combo teacher)
HALLEY NACHLAS comes to I CAN DO THAT with years of dance and teaching experience. She has taught extensively in Maryland at the Studio of Ballet Arts, the Savage Dance Company and Company One Canvas. She recenly appeared in the musicals Beauty and the Beast, and High School Musical and is recent graduate of Pace University as a commercial dance major.
Emma Gassett (Dance/Theatre Combo teacher)
EMMA GASSETT is a professional dancer, singer, actress, and choreographer based out of New York City. Originally from St. Louis, Emma continued her training at Oklahoma City University, where she earned her Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance Performance. Most recently, Emma performed alongside industry legends Chita Rivera and Tommy Tune in The Centennial Gala at The Muny in St. Louis. Additionally, she has starred as Louise in Carousel, directed by Broadway’s Ken Page. Other credits include performing in Gypsy of The Year at the New Amsterdam Theatre and in many other regional shows across the country. Emma is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Triple Threat Training Ground, an educational theater company based in Long Island, NY, whose mission is to make superior training in the arts accessible to all. While pursuing her own performance and choreographic career, Emma continues to be an advocate for the arts, striving to ensure funding for arts programs in public schools.
Allie Trimm (Musical Theatre Teacher)
ALLIE TRIM is a San Diego native and so excited to be teaching at "I Can Do That!"
Broadway: Critically acclaimed Broadway debut originating the role of “Patrice” in Jason Robert Brown’s “13”. “Kim MacAfee” in the Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of “Bye Bye Birdie”. Regional: “13” (Goodspeed), Eponine in “Les Mis”, Mary Lennox in “The Secret Garden”(Lambs Players), How The Grinch Stole Christmas (The Old Globe). Hannah Campell in "Allegiance” (The Old Globe). Film /TV: Disney’s PROM, “30 Rock”, “Private Practice” and Lifetime series “Cinnamon Girl”. Pursuing a dual degree in Psychology and Human Biology at Stanford University.
Matthew Elliot (Assistant Teacher)
MATTHEW ELLIOT comes to the I Can Do That family by way of Kansas. A native mid-westerner, he made his way to NYC right out of college in 2012. He's focused his energies on performing (stepping in and out of the city for gigs/shows all over the country) but has had a very fulfilling opportunity in NYC to follow one of his other passions - teaching! Matthew has spent the last 5 years at New York Kids Club and has loved every minute of it. After spending all of 2015 performing on the Main Stage of a Disney Cruise Ship, he realized just how much joy he gets from introducing theatre and dance to kids of all ages. Through a wonderful twist of fate, he landed at I Can Do That NYC and has never been happier.
Matthew brings to the table over 15 years of professional experience on the stage. Some of his favorite roles have been Troy Bolton in High School Musical, Seymour Krelborn in Little Shop of Horrors, and Leaf Coneybear in Spelling Bee (along with his Disney Cruise Line experience). Matthew not only wishes to pass along an enthusiasm for music, theatre, and dance, but also hopes to teach the value of self-worth and the importance of friendship and community.