Meet the Faculty

LDA Artistic Directors

With more than a decade of combined dance training, teaching and performance experience, Janeen DeMartinis and Melissa Loperfido Dutra have dedicated themselves to helping children, adolescents, and adults develop their talents through the art of dance.

Janeen and Melissa have been dance educators for over 15 years. Although Janeen teaches a variety of dance classes, her forte are ballet, pointe, lyrical and modern. Melissa teaches jazz, tap, hip-hop, musical theatre and voice. Their students and choreography have placed top score overall, received several special awards, including a "Spectacular Studio Award," "Standing Ovation Award," and numerous gold and platinum medals at regional and national level dance competitions.

Janeen DeMartinis

Janeen has over 10 years of professional training from Boston Ballet. In 2001 she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from SUNY Purchase, New York. While at SUNY, Janeen studied ballet and modern intensively with teachers from professional dance companies including New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Martha Graham and Paul Taylor. She also performed with the Purchase Dance Corps and was featured as a principal dancer in several ballets. Miss Janeen has danced professionally with Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre and has been a guest artist for various local dance companies.

Melissa Loperfido Dutra

Melissa is a highly trained dancer and performer who loves sharing her passion and knowledge for the performing arts with children and adults. After graduating from Stoneham High School, she attended Dean College and majored in Musical Theatre. Melissa is also a professionally trained vocalist who studied with the Jeannie Deva voice studio of Boston and California. She has choreographed numerous musicals and has performed several lead roles in musicals such as "Grease," "Guys and Dolls," and "42nd Street." Melissa was a former competitive dancer and was a member of the Spotlight Theatre Company for several years. Melissa is also an adjudicator for Dance Xplosion and Bravo competitions.


LDA Faculty

Madison Capezzuto

Madison Capezzuto is a 2014 graduate of North Reading High School and a 2016 graduate of North Shore Community College, where she earned her Associate's Degree in Arts. At present, she is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Science of Communication with a minor in Marketing. Miss Madison began dancing at age 2 and continued training at various local dance studios prior to Loperfido Dance Academy's opening in 2005. While at LDA, Madison was a member of many award-winning dance companies. She has received numerous special judges' distinctions, as well as high and top scoring awards for production, large group, small group, and solo performances alike. When she’s not at the ballet barre, you can find Miss Madison working as LDA’s Marketing Coordinator!

Ricky Cushing

Ricky is an industry experienced dancer, choreographer and teacher. He began his dance training at the age of 9 on the North Shore. Over the past many years, he has been intensely studying Tap, Jazz, Jazz Funk, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet, Modern and Hip-Hop. Ricky has received several awards such as the “Future Star Award” presented by Dance Spirit Magazine and “Young Choreographer of The Year” at the American Dance Awards. Ricky studied dance arts and choreography at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. After attending Marymount, Ricky decided the Los Angeles dance industry would be the best fit for his work. He has choreographed for singer/songwriter, Kate Nash whose music has been featured on So You Think You Can Dance. Aside from years of company work, Ricky has been featured on television shows such as Pretty Little Liars, House, Criminal Minds, Gilmore Girls and many others.

He recently decided it was time to get back to his roots and relocate back home to Boston. Ricky looks forward to continuing his training, while sharing his love and knowledge of dance with his students.

Joseph Jefferies

Joseph Jefferies trained as a student at Yuma ballet Academy with Jon Cristofori and Kathleen Sinclair, as well as at Harid Conservatory with Olivier Pardina and Mia Michaels. Jefferies went on to dance professionally for 16 years, dancing with Pittsburg Ballet Theater and Ballet Arizona before joining Ballet Memphis for 9 seasons. Later, Jefferies joined Les Ballet Trockadero De Monte Carlo where he was able to tour over 25 countries around the world. During the course of his career he has danced principal roles in several ballets including Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Cinderella, Giselle, and Coppelia.

As a dance educator, he began teaching adult ballet and Jr. Company classes at Ballet Memphis's School. He was also a choreographer for several Ballet Memphis productions. Since then, he has taught at Boston Ballet School, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Northeast School of Ballet, Acton School of Ballet and Franklin School for the performing Arts.

Matthew Pignone

Matthew has trained at LDA for 10 years in many genres including ballet, modern, contemporary, tap and jazz. He was part of LDA's competitive program and received many special judges' awards. As a teacher, Matthew's choreography has been recognized and awarded at both the regional and national levels. Matthew's goal in Improv class is to build his students' confidence and allow dancers to be free to express their inner selves and become more open-minded. Matthew's method of teaching is positive, he and believes that his conditioning and stretching will allow his students to develop into strong, flexible and healthy dancers. He wants to forward his own passion for dance to his students and hopes to encourage them to try different things and experience everything his classes have to offer.


Brett Bell

Mr. Brett began his training at The Boston Arts Academy. Upon graduation, Brett worked with many renowned artists and companies, and has taught and choreographed at several dance studios across New England. He has also been featured as a guest choreographer with several dance companies, including Earl Mosley Summer Institute of Arts and Dean College, among others. In teaching at LDA, Mr. Brett looks forward to sharing his passion for the art of dance and movement.


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