Department: Dance - Modern
Joined Hochstein Faculty in: 2018
N’Jelle Gage-Thorne is Artistic Director; co-founder of FUTURPOINTE DANCE - a contemporary multi-media dance theater company based in Rochester, NY. and part of a dynamic duo of creative producers/choreographers and cultural ambassadors in the Upstate New York region; producing and performing in over 25 works bringing awareness to the Caribbean dance experience and aesthetic. She specializes in introducing cultural diversity and concepts of Afro-futurism to educational and community programing.
Born in Jamaica, N’Jelle’s dance career began as protégé of pioneering ballet mistress Norma Spence (Royal Academy of Dance) and as soloist with the country’s first classical ballet company. Her early teens were spent studying with acclaimed polish ballerina Nina Novak, attending Academia Ballet Clasico (Venezuela) and being mentored by Tatjana Sedunova (Artistic Director, Lithuanian Opera & Ballet theater).
N'Jelle was introduced to the work of Dr. L’Antoinette Stines and began dancing professionally at age 15 with Stines’ company, L’Acadco. It was at this pivotal time that the classical, folklore and contemporary dance genres became relevant for her as a unified single dance language. N‘Jelle trained extensively in L’Antech and traveled with the company to over 16 international cities in various capacities including senior dancer/soloist and assistant to the artistic director on several tours, festivals & film/video projects.
N’Jelle has studied extensively with renowned Cuban ballet and contemporary dance faculty at Instituto Superior/Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana (modern technique and folklore/Orisha dance). She concluded her internship with Danza Contemporanea de Cuba in 2000 and graduated with a teaching and performance degree.
N'Jelle is an international choreographer, 2014 recipient of the University of Rochester’s Lillian Fairchild Award for Creative Excellence, and the New York Institute of Dance Education award for Distinguished Accomplishment.
In addition to performing, training dancers, and setting work on the company, she is responsible for FuturPointe’s administrative leadership. As an international dancer and educator she has taught master classes in Afro Caribbean contemporary dance techniques (Tecnica Cubana, L’Antech™, Jamaican Urban Jazz) and movement philosophy throughout the United States, Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean. She is also the creator of Reggae Ballet™ which she introduces to students at college residencies, dance festivals, and ballet studios. N'Jelle curates a popular multi-generational dance, culture, and networking guest artist series "Enter The DanceHall" and enjoys connecting with students at local studios like the Draper Center for Dance Education, Dunwoody Dance, Mossa School of Dance, and Hochstein School of Music & Dance, among others.