Student Life Staff

Our dedicated Student Life staff oversees all of the non-artistic components of our students’ day to day lives at SAB. The Department of Student Life aims to ensure that each student has the support they need to grow and develop across our divisions.

Student Life Staff

Sion Harrington

Dean of Student and Alumni Affairs

The Department of Student Life, which Sion oversees in its entirety, supports students outside of the studio with resources that are integral to their development. Programs and resources in his purview tend to students’ evolving physical, mental, academic and social needs, spanning the School’s full student body. Sion began his career at SAB in 2005 as an Assistant Residence Hall Director. His tenure at the School was largely focused on Residence Life leadership roles until 2016 when he assumed the role of Dean of Students. In 2023, his role expanded to envelop oversight of the School’s alumni engagement strategy. As an advocate for students, he strives to lead with empathy and compassion, meeting students where they are and helping them to examine and refine their pathways to success. For SAB’s alumni community, Sion seeks to be a conduit for engagement and connection, providing opportunities to celebrate the broad success experienced by generations of SAB dancers. Sion received his bachelor’s degrees at Appalachian State University in North Carolina and holds a Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University.

Katy Vedder

Director of Student Life for Children’s Division and Wellness Programming

Katy Vedder joined SAB in 2011 as the School’s Receptionist. In 2012, she transitioned to working within the Student Life Department overseeing family and wellness programming and was promoted to Director of Student Life for Children’s Division and Wellness Programming in 2019. Katy is responsible for supporting the non-artistic developmental needs of students across all levels. She also directs the School’s comprehensive wellness programming and curriculum, including physical therapy, mental health, nutrition, and Personal Enrichment Programming. Katy’s work is committed to holistic student development and supporting the various needs of students and families. Katy received dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Cinema & Cultural Studies from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. 

Elise Drew León

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Elise Drew León joined SAB in 2017 as the School’s Manager of Diversity and Inclusion. As a member of both the Student Life and Public Relations, Recruitment, and Outreach departments, Elise is part of the student experience before and after students join the SAB community. She oversees SAB’s Alumni Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, the National Visiting Fellows Program, and programming around diversity, equity, and inclusion for the entire SAB community. Elise received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Fordham University.

Nate Guarino

Assistant Director of Student Life for Residential and Transitional Programming

Nate joined SAB in 2021 after working 3 consecutive Summer Courses in 2015, 2016, and 2017. In his role as the Assistant Director of Student Life for Residential and Transitional Programming, Nate oversees daily operations in the Meredith Willson Residence Hall. Nate also oversees the New Student Experience and Capstone programs, supporting students in their first year at SAB, and in their final year of training with the School. Nate’s work is guided by over ten years of experience working in Residence Life as he seeks to help students develop the skills they will need to successfully navigate SAB’s unique environment while supporting them in preparing for independent adult life beyond the SchoolNate completed his Bachelors of Science in Psychology at Eastern Connecticut State University and his Masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Roz Ruiz

Assistant Director of Student Life for Academic and Cultural Programming

Roslyn Ruiz (Roz) currently serves as the Assistant Director of Student Life for Academic and Cultural Programming.  Roz returned to SAB following five years as the Dean of Student Affairs at the Miami City Ballet School where she oversaw the Student & Residence Life Department, the Pre-Professional Division, and International Relations for the school. She joined SAB in 2002 as a Residence Life Assistant and subsequently served 18 years as a Residence Life Associate, Residence Life Manager & Alumni Liaison.  For more than 20 years, she has been a student-centered professional with a demonstrated history of building relationships and collaborating with students and their families.   

Roz holds National Professional Certifications in Spanish Medical Translation & Interpretation and Non-Profit Management. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Binghamton University (SUNY).

Lindsey Gainey

Senior Manager of Student Life for Community and Programming Development

Lindsey Gainey began her career at SAB as a Resident Director for the Summer Course in 2010. She held the position of SAB’s Receptionist from 2012-2013. She then worked at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School as the Manager of Communications and Student Resources until 2021. She returned to SAB in January of 2023 as Senior Manager of Student Life for Programming and Community Development. Her role is to create holistic and engaging programming opportunities for SAB students. Lindsey received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Coker College and is certified as both a Whole Person Coach and Functional Nutrition Coach. 

Sherrell D. Bush

Special Programs & Production Coordinator

Sherrell Bush joined SAB in 2016 as part of the School’s Front Desk team. In 2017, she transitioned to Student Life & Production Assistant and planned a host of family programs developed for young SAB students. She was appointed to oversee the child talent supervisors during New York City Ballet (NYCB) Productions that feature some of the School’s young students. In 2022, she was promoted to the  Student Life & Production Coordinator and organizes the communication and logistical planning of youth programs and events. While managing the young performer experience, she is dedicated to supporting and motivating them through their pre-professional journey. Recently, she became the coordinator of SAB’s Little Dancers Program. Prior to SAB, Sherrell was a child talent supervisor for NYCB and was part of the child talent team for HBO’s Sesame Street. In addition to Sherrell’s arts administrative experience, she was also a teaching artist for Lydia Johnson Dance & New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). Sherrell received dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Dance and Public Relations from Hofstra University. 

Assistant Resident Hall Directors

SAB’s Assistant Resident Hall Directors are live-in staff members supporting residence hall operations and the development of community among our residents. Staff in these roles are typically working towards the completion of their Master’s degree in a variety of areas including Higher Education. They are responsible for providing on-duty rotation coverage, planning and facilitating educational and social programming, and assisting the Senior staff in the areas of academics, advising, and student leadership supervision. Currently, Cami Hancock and Michele Quiles serve in these roles. 

Residence Life Associates

The Residence Life Associates at SAB staff the 14th floor desk of the Residence Hall Monday through Friday from 8 am – 12 am and are great resources for our residential students and their parents/guardians. As frontline representatives for our residence hall community, this position provides key oversight for our students and support for their daily responsibilities and schedules. Katharine Rygiel serves as the Daytime Residence Life Associate on weekdays from 8 am – 4 pm. Hope Sanders serves at the Evening Residence Life Associate on weekdays from 4 pm – 12 am (midnight). 

Wellness Professionals

Rebecca Alcosser, RD
Rebecca is a non-diet Dietitian, specializing in the treatment of Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating. Having previous experience in Eating Disorder treatment centers including The Renfrew Center NYC, Rebecca’s career has centered on providing nutrition support in higher levels of care. Rebecca also provides nutrition counseling to students at Barnard College. In her private practice, Rebecca incorporates principles of intuitive eating and gentle nutrition to support her clients on their journey toward improved relationships with food. Rebecca brings her all foods fit, weight inclusive approach, and science-based nutrition education to SAB to guide students toward a better relationship with food and body image.

Acanthus Fairley, LCSW
Acanthus works with SAB students who have individual counseling needs and conducts New Student Experience and Capstone groups for social-emotional learning and support. She received her Master’s degree at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College- specializing in individuals and families. Acanthus runs a private practice while also working at the Mount Sinai Medical Center supporting healthcare professionals through their mental health needs. Acanthus approaches every clinical interaction with the goal of planting the seeds for balance, healing, and growth.

Adrienne Gregorek, Physical Therapist
Adrienne officially joined SAB as the school’s physical therapist in Fall 2016. Adrienne received her BFA in dance performance from Western Michigan University, where she had the privilege of performing Balanchine’s “Serenade”. She danced in a small contemporary company here in New York before going back to school to study physical therapy, graduating from Columbia University in 2016 with her Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree. Adrienne also works at Westside Dance Physical Therapy where her patients include dancers with New York City Ballet and various Broadway shows.

Joan Lantz, R.N.
Joan has worked in both pediatric and adolescent medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital and Columbia University Health service, where she ran the travel medicine program focusing on infectious diseases and vaccine preventable illnesses. During the Winter Term, Joan maintains office hours two days each week and is available to both resident and day students. Joan’s office operates every day in Summer Course.

Dr. Nicole Marcus, Psychologist
Dr. Nicole Marcus is a Licensed Psychologist who meets with SAB students on an individual basis for counseling issues and conducts periodic group workshops. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, within a specialized track for adolescent issues. Nicole also maintains a full-time private practice for adolescents and adults on the Upper West Side. She is a graduate of the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

Heidi Skolnik, MS, CDN, FACSM
Heidi oversees the Performance Nutrition program at the School of American Ballet (since 1997). Heidi also manages the nutrition program at the Juilliard School (since 2008) and has worked with numerous Broadway shows, supporting the artist as athlete. Heidi has been part of The Women’s Sports Medicine Center at Hospital for Special Surgery, the first of its kind in the United States, for over 25 years and has experience working with many professional sport organizations including the NY Knicks Basketball, NY Giants Football, NY Mets Baseball. Holding two Master’s degrees in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition, Heidi is a Fellow with the American College of Sports Medicine and has sat on the board of The Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation. She has also authored five books including a NY Times Best Seller and has been featured on several TV media outlets including The Today Show, The View, Good Morning America, Live!, and others. Heidi works with students to translate hard science into actionable steps to integrate into daily life. As a realist, Heidi believes M&M’s can fit into a healthy eating style along with red peppers, red meat, broccoli, and fresh fruit.