JCC Mid-Westchester Welcomes New Director of Dance

The JCC Mid-Westchester, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the community by providing cultural, social, educational, and recreational/fitness programs, is delighted to announce Aaron Thao as the new director of dance. With an extensive professional background in dance, Aaron brings a wealth of experience, creativity, and innovation to lead the Dance School of the JCCMW into a new era of artistic exploration. 

Aaron Thao was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He received his bachelor’s degree in human biology from Brown University. While pursuing a degree in medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Aaron began his dance training in Minneapolis and then continued to NYC, where he danced professionally with various ballet and theater companies. In 2015, Aaron co-founded a youth ballet program for Westchester County, which evolved into the Hudson Ballet Theatre where he serves as co-president and artistic director. Aaron is the recipient of several industry awards and accolades and has successfully developed many innovative and socially responsible dance productions. He is truly dedicated to honoring the art of storytelling through dance.

Aaron is the perfect fit for the JCCMW’s dance program as he brings an inclusive and collaborative approach to his work, fostering an environment that nurtures creativity and empowers dancers to push boundaries and discover new horizons while experiencing the pure joy of movement. His commitment to mentoring and cultivating emerging talent will undoubtedly strengthen our dance school and contribute to the development of the next generation of dancers.

With his exceptional talent and leadership skills, and his impressive track record in arts administration, Aaron will play a pivotal role in shaping the strategic direction of the dance program. Building on the accomplishments of our previous directors, he will work to take every element of the program to even greater heights of artistic achievement, community engagement, and educational outreach. Aaron will work closely with our entire JCCMW dance team, including our beloved Jayne Santoro who has been teaching ballet at JCCMW for over 35 years.

“We are so excited to welcome Aaron Thao, one of our wonderful teachers, as our new director of dance. His creative vision, leadership skills, professionalism, and dedication to the art of self-expression make him the perfect fit for the JCCMW,” shared Elise Dowell, CEO at the JCCMW. “Under Aaron’s guidance, we are confident that our dance program will continue to provide comprehensive, holistic training in a wide variety of dance styles while sustaining a nurturing environment where students of all ages—young children through adults—can explore their artistic potential, build confidence, develop important life skills, and experience the transformative power of dance.”

The JCC Mid-Westchester is a nonprofit organization that supports the community by offering outstanding recreational, cultural, educational, and human services programming to all people regardless of age, background, religion, or sexual orientation. Our programs are grounded in Jewish values, and we welcome all! We enrich families, connect friends, strengthen the community, and help people lead joyful lives.