Jeannette Neill is an enduring and moving force in the Boston dance and cultural community. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Jeannette Neill Dance Studio, one of the oldest and most respected studios in New England and that has served as a supportive and encouraging training ground for aspiring dancers since 1979. She is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Boston Youth Moves, as well as one of the Artistic Directors of the Boston Summer Dance Festival.
Jeannette has an extensive teaching background that includes The Boston Conservatory, Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts and residencies at many New England Universities. Nationally and internationally, she has taught at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, The Milan Opera Company in Palermo, Italy, Danschuset in Goteborg, Sweden and the AIC Studio in Tokyo, Japan.
As a choreographer, Jeannette has choreographed for ABC Television’s Spencer for Hire, and for numerous industrial film and business theatre presentations, including Digital, IBM, Skyr, Bose, Hasbro and Citicorp. Jeannette has been a guest artist in New Directions in Tap, starring Gregory Hines and with JAZZDANCE: The Danny Buraczeski Dance Company.
Jeannette was the first person in the performing arts ever to be recognized by the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston when, in 2000, they honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2002, she was the cover story of Dance Teacher magazine, an international dance publication, and in 2008 the Boston Dance Alliance presented her with their Dance Champion Award.
Jeannette’s careful, methodical and thorough warm-up is based on many principals of Simonson technique, which maintains that with mindful and careful attention to the body, a dancer can dance safely well into their mature years. Warmup begins standing with pliés, tendues and isolations. Careful stretching on the floor is also included. Experience Jeannette’s mantra “the secret of jazz is plié” in choreographed adagio and sequences across the floor, including turns and leaps. Her combinations can be funky or bluesy. Her style is classic jazz.
J. Allen Collier is a native of the Mississippi Delta, which he left in 1978 in order to pursue his musical career at Berklee College of Music. After playing the nightclub circuit as a pianist/singer, both nationally and internationally, he began to devote more time and training to dance. In 1985 he took over management of The Jeannette Neill Dance Studio, where he was also on the faculty. In 1989 he became a full partner in the company.
That same year Allen produced Rhythms of Hope, a dance benefit for the AIDS Action Committee. The program was hosted by Broadway star Ann Reinking and sponsored by John Hancock Financial Services. The evening of commissioned works by guest choreographers featured more than seventy dancers representing over thirty Boston-based companies.
Allen is the founder and creative director of ACE ENTERTAINMENT, an entertainment production company specializing in casting dancers and choreographers for live industrial presentations and for film and video. In the realm of business theatre, he has choreographed several national presentations for Spalding. In 1995, ACE ENTERTAINMENT was contracted to present to the Board of Directors of the Sara Lee Corporation (the parent company of Champion Sportswear) the prototype apparel line manufactured by Champion for the 1996 U.S. Olympic team and park personnel. Allen has also written and produced three live corporate cabaret shows for EMC Corporation as well as industrial presentations for Champion/Jogbra in San Diego, Atlanta and Cancun. He has produced and directed five industrial presentations for PUMA N.A., including shows in Las Vegas and Scottsdale. He has also served in production capacity for several shows for the Norwegian and Cunard Cruse lines.
In 1991, Allen was named one of the “Hot Choreographers in Film and Video” by Point of View Magazine. He was the founder and Artistic Director of the Boston Summer Dance Festival. He has judged many pageants, coached talent at Miss America and served as a judge in the Miss Ohio Pageant.
Tommy Coye, Managing Director of JNDS, has been a faculty member of The Jeannette Neill Dance Studio (JNDS) for more than thirty years, teaching jazz, musical theatre dance and video dance in the studio’s various adult and teen programs. He has served as Director of the Powered by Dance teen summer dance intensive since 2013 as well as Production Director of the JNDS bi-annual repertory concerts. Tommy is currently teaching musical theatre dance at the Boston Conservatory, has taught musical theatre dance at Emerson College as well as master classes and workshops throughout New England.
As a performer and choreographer, Tommy’s work has been seen both nationally and internationally: touring with major recording stars, opening for entertainment headliners, performing in product presentations for major sportswear companies, commercials, as well as at global corporate events, on cruise ships, and in regional theatres, supper clubs, casinos and arenas throughout the world.
Tommy was also deeply involved with Boston Youth Moves (BYM), a non-profit pre-professional dance training ground for teens, since its inception in 1990 through its closure in 2017. Having been actively involved in virtually every aspect of the BYM organization, he served as Board President for over 15 years as well as Chair of Fundraising and Development. Additionally, he served as an adjunct faculty member as a choreographer and styles instructor.