MEET THE SISU DANCE ACADEMY TEAM

SiSu Dance Academy Staff

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"SiSu"

Extraordinary determination, courage and resoluteness in the face of extreme adversity.

This is the action mindset that enables individuals to see beyond their present limitations and into what might be. Take action against the odds and reach beyond observed capacities.

Potential exists within all individuals.

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Sisu Dance Staff Albuquerque
Megan Berlint-Nicko

Megan Berlint-Nicko

Founder/Director SiSu Dance Academy

Megan Berlint-Nicko began dancing at the age of 2.5. She received her early training in the Cecchetti method under the tutelage of Karen Alwin. Megan trained with Marin Ballet in San Rafael, CA under Margaret Swarthout, and Nutmeg Conservatory with Sharon Dante. Megan danced with The Performer’s Ballet and Jazz Company under Lynn Cox, The New Mexico Ballet Company under David Chavez, as well as Ballet Theatre of NM. For these companies, She has danced leading roles, including The Nutcracker, Petrushka, Carmina Burana, Jungle Book, The Red Shoes, Christmas Carol, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rite of Spring, Dracula, Cinderella, Carmen, and Sleeping Beauty.

Megan started her teaching career at the age of 15 and has taught for a number of studios in New Mexico, including Lana’s School of Dance, Ballet Theatre of NM, New Mexico Ballet Company, Alwin’s School of the Dance, Fishback's, The Performer's Ballet and Jazz Company, and Magnify Dance Center.

Megan is the Founder/Director of SiSu Dance Academy. She teaches Cecchetti, Ballet, Cross conditioning, Cross Conditioning for Pointe, Pointe, Jazz, Contemporary, Acrobatic’s, Tap, and is a Freelance Coach and Choreographer. She is invited as a Guest Teacher around the USA and Canada. Her choreography has been featured in studio recitals, competitions, and several productions.

Megan is a Qualified Licentiate Member of the Cecchetti Council of America and holds her Teacher Certification for Grades I - Intermediate, as well as her student certifications. Megan was awarded the “Jane Caryl Miller Scholarship” for the CCATC 2017. She is currently working toward her Advanced Teacher exam.

Megan started Progressing Ballet Techniques (PBT) training in 2013 and traveled to Sydney Australia in 2014 where she trained directly with Marie Walton-Mahon on the PBT program. She then served as Director of PBT, USA Division, until 2021. She has traveled and trained many teachers around the USA and Canada in the PBT Program.

Megan also is trained and certified in the following programs:

  • Cecchetti Council of America - Certified Licentiate Member
  • Certified Yoga Instructor - Yoga Renew 220 Hrs.
  • The Ballet Blog by Lisa Howell, Physiotherapist.
  • The Band It’s by Sally Harrison, Physiotherapist.
  • Sugarfoot Therapy, Physiotherapy
  • Acrobatic Arts - Level 1-7
  • Leap N Learn - Beverly Spells
  • PBT Level lll and former USA Director
  • Alixa Flexibility

CEU's:

  • Of Course Online - Tanya Thompson
  • Rolling Along The Anatomy Trains - Tom Myers & Jill Miller

As a natural progression, Megan has created her own Cross Conditioning and Fasciability classes for SiSu Dance Academy, based on her training and experience. She is passionate about teaching dancers how to train safely along with emphasizing the love and dedication to the art.

She is married and has two children.

Susan Berlint

Susan Berlint

Administrative Support

I am a proud mom of 3 very successful kiddos. I have been a dance mom for 44 years. All 3 of my kids danced and performed.

I worked in the medical field for 53 years. I was a Secretary for Sandford H Kinne, DO., and then went to work for Perinatal Associates as a receptionist. I was promoted to Assistant Office Manager and then Front Office Manager for the main office and several of the satellite locations. I retired on Valentine’s Day in 2018.

Now I am enjoying helping my youngest daughter, Megan Nicko, in her office at the Dance Academy. 

Gabrielle Browder

Gabrielle Browder

Artistic Staff

Gabrielle began dancing at the age of 2. She danced for multiple studios throughout the central Iowa area and has performed both recreationally and competitively throughout the Midwestern region. During this time she studied ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical, modern, hip hop, and acrobatics.

Gabrielle moved to Portales, NM for her high school education. While in high school, she participated in competitive cheer and musical theatre programs. She was given the responsibility to choreograph the musicals she participated in, including Thoroughly Modern Milly, The Addams Family, and Cinderella. Her choreography featured in The Addams Family was nominated by the NM Enchantment Awards for Best Ensemble.

Gabrielle relocated to the Albuquerque area in 2020 and is attending NMSU. She is studying for her Bachelors in Family and Child Science. She is excited to share her passion for dance while working at the SiSu Dance Academy.

Meredith Brown

Meredith Brown

Artistic Staff

Meredith began dancing with Southwest Ballet when she was 7. She attained the coveted role of ‘Clara’ in the Nutcracker for two consecutive years in her youth, and she was a soloist with Southwest Ballet when she was only twelve years of age. She continued to excel in her training, receiving full scholarships to Dance Aspen and La Cienega summer dance programs.

She has had the opportunity to work with renowned instructors, including Violette Verdy, Jillana, Irina Kolpakova, Irek Mukhamedov, Luk de Lairess, and Attila Ficzere, just to name a few.

Her passion and dedication to dance carried into adulthood when she started teaching and coaching rehearsals. She is also a certified LaBlast® instructor, which is a dance fitness program created by ballroom dance champion Louis van Amstel.

Meredith has discovered a passion for emotional healing techniques and is the founder and owner of Emotional Weeding® & Wholistic Healing LLC. By removing limiting beliefs and trapped emotions, and providing tools to help dancers create and maintain emotional health, a dancer’s highest potential can be achieved. Meredith is passionate about beautiful ballet and helping dancers reach their dreams. She is ecstatic to be part of the Sisu Dance Academy team!

Jonathan Guise

Jonathan Guise

Dancer/Choreographer/Teacher

Jonathan has been working in the entertainment industry for 28 years. He started his career in Colorado Springs, dancing with local dance groups and companies at the age of 15. Mr. Guise went on to dance with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Boston Ballet and The Eugene Ballet, to name a few.

He has been a Dance Educator for 25 years, teaching at numerous studios, companies, and universities around the globe. Mr. Guise is so very excited to be the Artistic Director of Dance Arts Los Alamos again, "DALA is my family." Mr. Guise would like to thank his three amazing children Maici, Landon, and Ryder for their support and patience while he dedicates his time to rehearsals and productions.

Amy McConnell

Amy McConnell

Executive Assistant/Artistic Staff

Amy began dancing at the age of three and danced for many studios in the Albuquerque area. She received the majority of her training under Ms. Patricia Dickinson and Mrs. Suzanne Johnston at the Dance Theater of the Southwest and New Mexico Ballet Company.

Through her time there she studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, modern and hip hop and was blessed to learn from the amazing talents of Bill Evans, Rosalinda Rojas, Deanna Encinias, Mel Tomlinson, Mark Yonally, and Melissa Hayden of the Balanchine Foundation.

After leaving the New Mexico Ballet Company, Amy went on to dance at the University of New Mexico for the competitive collegiate dance team, the Chaparrals.

While at UNM, Amy received her Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medicine and then went on to receive her Master of Education in Secondary Science.

Amy is married to a handsome firefighter, Mark, and the two of them have two children, Kassidy and Parker.

Meredith Montoya

Meredith Montoya

Administrative Support

Meredith has spent the last 15 years raising a ballerina here in Albuquerque, NM and CA. She now joins SiSu Dance Academy as our newest office assistant.

Meredith has been inspired watching Ms. Megan teach and mentor her daughter, Faith, through the years. She looks forward to giving back to our local dance community. She is very happy to be working with Megan and all of her coworkers and supporting the dancers at Sisu Dance Academy.

Jessica Sanchez

Jessica Sanchez

Artistic Staff/Dancer/Choreographer

Jessica Sanchez is a dancer/choreographer from Seattle, WA. She has been dancing since she was 3 years old, studying styles including ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, modern and improvisation. Throughout her high school years, Jessica was dancing with Elite School of Dance and decided to attend college at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX, to further her career with dance.

During her time at the university, Jessica performed in many school shows and was selected to be a part of two dance companies in the Dallas area: Dallas Dance Company and Pedestrian Dance Movement. During her 6 years in Texas, she worked with Justin Giles and his Soul Escape Company, taught at various studios such as Misfit Dance Company as their lead technique teacher, and did numerous performances for local dance festivals.

In 2017, Jessica moved back home to Washington and started teaching at her home studio where she has choreographed many winning solo numbers. She now resides in New Mexico, wanting to spread her passion.

505-226-1153

3321 CANDELARIA ST NE, ALBUQUERQUE NM 87107

3321 CANDELARIA ST NE

ALBUQUERQUE NM 87107