Trinity Leite ’25 makes choreographic debut in NYC with works performed by Salve’s dance program
Members of Salve’s dance program will travel to New York City twice in the coming weeks to perform two choregraphed works by Trinity Leite ’25 – “Cat and Mouse” and “Artemis” – both of which have been selected as featured performance pieces at festivals in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
“I feel incredibly honored and grateful that my work has been invited,” said Leite, a double major in dance and finance at Salve. “These performances will be my choreographic debut in New York, which is a dream I never thought I would achieve.”
Leite created “Cat and Mouse” to embody the performance environment, energy and atmosphere exuded by live jazz musicians. It will be presented at Jazz Choreography Enterprises (JCE) Jazz Dance Project on Oct. 28-29 at KnJ Theater in the Peridance Center in New York City.
“Artemis” was inspired by the memory of Leite’s former dance teacher and mentor Erin Brady, founder and owner of the Cheshire Performing Arts Academy in Connecticut, who lost her battle with ALS at age 32. The piece will be performed at WAXworks on Sunday, Nov. 19, at Muriel Schulman Theater in Brooklyn.
“The choreographic process is incredibly vulnerable, as you are sharing the most innate, genuine, and authentic parts of yourself with the world,” said Leite, whose goal is to create work that evokes what she believes is the most profound human emotion – joy. “The opportunity to present my work at these festivals is a monumental step in my dance career and I am grateful that my Salve community is a part of this experience. I feel extremely blessed to share these experiences with my fellow Salve students performing my work.”
A total of nine dance majors will perform at the two separate events. Performing “Cat and Mouse” at JCE will be Livia Armstrong ’25, Ashley Blake ’26, Morgan Dubay ’24, Julia Paulo ’25, Mackenzie Robichaud ’24 and Jala Settles ’25. Performing “Artemis” at WAXworks will be Armstrong, Blake, Paulo, Settles, Aleah Begg ’25, Samantha Belekewicz ’26 and Julia Chiola ’26. In addition to those students who will perform in New York, Leite thanked Taylor Steeves ’25, who she said was an important part of the choreographic process.
“It became apparent last year that Trinity’s gifts as a choreographer are beyond her years,” said Lindsay Guarino, chair of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.
Guarino mentored Leite on both pieces while teaching DNC-400 Choreography and DNC-401 Dance Composition. Guarino suggested that Leite consider submitting her work to festivals, which is a great way for emerging choreographers to get their work seen.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for Trinity, whose works will be showcased alongside professional choreographers in the field,” said Guarino.
Guarino is also thrilled that Trinity is carving out an identity as a jazz artist, which is unique to the dance program at Salve.
“It gives me hope that this upcoming generation of dance artists will carry the jazz form forward by honoring its roots and origins while innovating through a rooted contemporary lens,” she said.
Leite said without Guarino’s guidance and expertise, she wouldn’t have had the courage to apply for these festivals.
“[She] encourages her students to dig deeper and expand their knowledge in both research and embodiment,” Leite said.
Leite also thanked the following for their guidance and support: Carlos R.A. Jones, adjunct faculty in Salve’s dance program and chair of dance at SUNY Brockport; Brandi Coleman, a guest artist in Salve’s dance program and assistant professor of jazz dance at Southern Methodist University; Kimberley Cooper, a guest artist from Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and artistic director of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks; Alvon Reed, adjunct faculty in Salve’s dance program and artist in residence in jazz at Southern Methodist University; and Monique Haley, guest artist at Salve and associate professor of dance and African American studies at Western Michigan University.
Salve’s dance program will also perform Leite’s “Cat and Mouse” locally at the Casino Theatre stage in “Uncommon Groove,” to be performed on Dec. 7 and 9. More details on this performance will be coming.