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In Step With DC
Jenn D’Auria to lead Wingman Program at Dance Connection
Written by Joe Naftal on August 25, 2018

Artistic Director Mary Naftal has announced the appointment of Jenn D’Auria as coordinator of the Wingman League Program at Dance Connection. D’Auria is a dance teacher and choreographer and has worked at Dance Connection since 2004.

Wingman is a powerful youth leadership program that inspires empathy, compassion and courage in all children. The Wingman program has been successfully used in schools and sports clubs throughout Connecticut and it has now been adapted for use in dance studios nation-wide.

The mission of Wingman for Dance is to inspire dancers, regardless of age, level or skill to become helpful heroes that go above and beyond for each other. Wingman boosts children’s confidence and recognizes their unique strengths. Wingman will improve the overall vibe of your studio by creating an atmosphere of connection and belonging.

Wingman is a project of Dylan’s Wings of Change, a foundation dedicated to the memory of Dylan Hockley, one of the first grade victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Dylan’s Wings of Change is a part of the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, a 501c3 registered public charity.

“I am very happy Jenn agreed to lead the Wingman Program at Dance Connection” Naftal said. “Her experience and dedication will make Wingman a success for our students and our entire studio community.”

D’Auria will coordinate the implementation of the Wingman program for Dance Connection’s Competition Team as well as studio-wide, mentoring student leaders and collaborating with students across the studio.

D’Auria has studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, and pointe and continues to study today. She has choreographed for our Competition Team and Recital Company.  She participated in many regional and nationally recognized competitions and was awarded the “Future Star” award by Dance Spirit Magazine.

Joe Naftal

Joe Naftal is the Marketing Director for Dance Connection. When not working at Dance Connection, Joe has a career as a theatrical lighting designer, assistant designer, and production manager. His experience spans the worlds of classical and contemporary theatre, musicals, ballet, modern dance, and opera. In addition to his work at Dance Connection, Joe collaborates with Dance Studio Owners across the country, is a member of the DanceStudioOwner.com Panel of Experts, has been featured in the business section of Dance Teacher Magazine, and was on the seminar faculty for the 2016 Dance Teacher Summit in New York City. Joe holds a BFA from UNC School of the Arts and is a proud member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).