Our faculty at the Martha Graham School are experienced dance professionals.
Most of our Graham teachers performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company and several danced with Martha Graham herself.
Jennifer Patten, John and Lorraine Oler Head of School

Jennifer Patten holds a B.A. in English and Music from Boston College, an M.M. in Musicology from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and an M.A. in Arts Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to moving to New York in 2014, she served in the pilot Rhode Island Teach for America Corps and was hired as the founding humanities teacher at the Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts in Providence. Ms. Patten led arts integration initiatives with fellow academic instructors and artists-in- residence, crafting the trajectory of the school’s curriculum. After several years in the classroom, she served as Curriculum Director and formalized the school’s approach to arts-integrated education, oversaw all curriculum development, and provided administrative leadership. She is a recipient of the Laetitia M. Blain Award for Excellence in Music Performance and the Boston College Arts Council Award. Ms. Patten was also acknowledged as the 2012 Rhode Island District Teacher of the Year and a Regional Representative for the Sue Lehmann Award for Excellence in Teaching. Passionately dedicated to the arts and education, she actively seeks to intertwine these disciplines in both her life and professional philosophy.

Virginie Mécène, Program Director and Inger K. Witter Director of Graham 2

Director of Graham 2 since 2007 and Director of Programs, Virginie is a former Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company touring the world and performing many roles of the repertoire from 1994 to 2006. Her direction has focused on training next generations of dancers for the Martha Graham Dance Company and other companies around the world as well as next generations of Graham teachers through her pedagogic instructions. She has served as the Director of the Martha Graham School from 2007 to 2015 maintaining and developing the School curriculum while sustaining the integrity of the Martha Graham technique and nurturing the process that continues its development. She created the Intensive Graham Teacher Workshop for teachers of all background. She has re-staged, reconstructed, and directed numerous works of Martha Graham in Universities and dance companies as well as taught the Graham TechniqueTM at multiple national and international conferences. In 2017, she reimagined and choreographed Graham’s lost solo, Ekstasis, for the Martha Graham Dance Company. Ekstasis was featured at The Palais Garnier, in Paris, performed by Étoile and Director of the Paris Opera Ballet, Aurélie Dupont. Ms. Mecene’s choreographic work has been presented in other venues such as New York City Center, The Joyce Theater, in New York City, The Adrienne Arhst Center and the Broward Center, in Florida, and Kaastban International Dance Center, in New York State. Ms. Mecene was also Principal Dancer with Buglisi Dance Theater since its inception in 1994; the Pearl Lang Dance Theater; and Battery Dance Company. A native of France, she graduated from the University of Bourgogne with a Licence Professionnelle in Artistic and Cultural Management. Ms. Mecene has also served as a Lecturer at Barnard College, NY, in 2004 and served as the president of EFSD (Emergency Fund For Student Dancers) regrouping member schools: the Ailey School, Limon Dance Institute, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Peridance Capezio Center, and the Martha Graham School, from 2012 to 2016. Ms. Mecene also serves as an adjudicator for dance competitions nationally and internationally.

Lone K. Larsen, Program Director

Lone Larsen left her native Denmark in 1986 to study at the Martha Graham School, where she was awarded a full scholarship sponsored by the Helena Rubinstein Foundation. She joined the Martha Graham Ensemble in 1986 and subsequently the Martha Graham Dance Company, where she performed until 1993. She also danced for seven years as soloist with Pearl Lang Dance Theatre and performed for many other leading modern and ballet choreographers here and abroad. While working in Denmark, she co-founded and was co-Artistic Director of BALLET PLUS, and from 2002-2005 she served as Rehearsal Director for Danish Dance Theatre. Lone has taught numerous master classes and workshops nationally and internationally. Currently serving on the faculties of Marymount Manhattan College and the Martha Graham School, she teaches technique, repertory, composition, and performance workshop. Lone also restages Martha Graham’s works for universities, as well as reconstructs and stages works by Pearl Lang. Her own choreographic works for concert dance and theatre have been presented both in New York and abroad. Lone holds a B.F.A. in Dance from Boston Conservatory and M.F.A. in Choreography from Jacksonville University.

Oliver Tobin, Director of Teens@Graham

Oliver Tobin is a former dancer with Graham 2 and the Martha Graham Dance Company where he performed leading roles in Graham’s repertoire for over ten years.  His off-Broadway credits as an actor include, The Kentucky Cycle, Nirvanov, The Lesser Magoo, and Tallahassee.  As a Regisseur of the Graham repertoire, Mr. Tobin has restaged and directed Graham’s Diversion of Angles, Celebration, Episodes, Panorama, and Maple Leaf Rag.  In 2019, he reimagined and choreographed Martha Graham’s 1983 American Document, which received its world premiere in Los Angeles.  As a teaching artist, he has helped to create and teach dance programs for NYC-area performing arts high schools, Kaatsbaan, the Stapleton School, and the Martha Graham School.  As a dancer and cultural ambassador with Battery Dance Company, Mr. Tobin had the opportunity to lead choreography workshops throughout Germany and Africa.  Mr. Tobin is a graduate of the American Musical & Dramatic Academy, The Sivananda Yoga Institute, and Empire State College, from which he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance and theater.  He currently serves on faculty at the Martha Graham School and Adelphi University.  In 2016, Mr. Tobin was named Director of Martha Graham Resources where he oversees both the Graham archives and the licensing of Graham works.

Tami Alesson, Dean of Student and Government Affairs

Tami Alesson received a BFA from the University of Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music. She was a professional ballet dancer with the Cincinnati Ballet for nearly 20 years, where she also served as the Director of Education Outreach. She was also the Companies Union Representative where she negotiated many contracts for the American Guild of Musical Artists. During her time in Cincinnati she was one of the founding members of the Cincinnati Ballet School as well as a student rehearsal coach for all Company production. From 2000-2007, Ms. Alesson headed the Outreach Department at the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia. Many of Ms. Alesson’s former students now work in major companies throughout the world including: New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and English National Ballet in London. In 2007, Ms. Alesson was appointed Director of Education at the Martha Graham School where she provided instruction to teens and oversaw all aspects of the educational outreach programs, serving as the primary contact for teens, families, and New York public school staff.


Tami Alesson
Miriam Barbosa
Amélie Bénard
Ellen Graff
Susan Kikuchi
Lone Larsen
Peggy Lyman-Hayes
Virginie Mécène
Miki Orihara
Oliver Tobin
Elizabeth Troxler
Denise Vale
Claudia Vorwaller
Marni Wood


Nya Bowman
Jackie Bulnes
Jacqulyn Buglisi
PeiJu Chien-Pott
Jennifer Conley
Erica Dankmeyer
Penny Diamantopoulu
Janet Eilber
Carrie Ellmore-Tallistch
Jesse Factor
Gary Galbraith
Diane Gray
Joyce Herring
David Hochoy
Kim Jones
Sandra Kaufmann
Charlotte Landreau
Peter London
Kathlyn Maclellan
Masha Maddux
Susan McGuire
Maurizio Nardi
Lauren Newman
Amy Piantaggini
Lucy Postel
Pascal Rioult
Steven Rooks
Susan Sentler
Ben Schultz
Danielle Stinger
Stephanie Tooman
Kenneth Topping
Yung Yung Tsuai-Lerner
Stephanie Van Dooren
Blakeley White-McGuire
Myra Woodruff
Peter Sparling
Ari Mayzic
Xin Ying


Andreas Brade
Stahv Danker
Daniel Hyde
John Rich
John Stone
Dorian Wallace
Ryan Wolf

PHOTOS: Tadej Brdnik, Giacomo Bavutti and Cara McManus by Brigid Pierce.