Board of Directors

JR Linden

Dancers at Heart, President

Director of Finance, Easter Seals New Hampshire

JR, born and raised in Connecticut, began his dance career when he was only three years old and has made it his life’s passion. Since his early beginning in dance, JR trained under many notable teachers including Judy Bassing, Laura Hausmann, Bob Rizzo and Tom Ralabate. JR excels in many styles of dance and that versatility has earned him various roles in musical productions such as 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, South Pacific, and Music Man and ballets including The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. In the fall of 2014, JR was cast as a dancer in the 2014 national Wayfair.com holiday commercial.

JR graduated from the Dance Masters of America Teacher Training School at the University of New York at Buffalo in 1998 and received his certification as a dance educator in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. For 16 years he was a member of the Dance Teachers’ Club of Connecticut, Chapter 18 where from 2002 to 2004 he served on the Board of Directors. In the fall of 2014 he transferred his membership to Dance Masters of New England Chapter 5. From 2003 to 2005, he served as the National Co-Director of the Teen Miss/Mr. Dance of America title competition. He also taught and served on the Board of Directors for New England Civic Ballet (Lawrence, MA) from 2001 to 2004.

For the past decade, JR has served as an adjudicator at the regional and national levels throughout the United States and Canada and is a highly-sought-after master teacher and guest choreographer. He has gained immense experience working for companies including many Chapters of Dance Masters of America, the American Dance Awards, Dance Ovations, Star Systems, Dance Odyssey, Star Quest, Dance Xplosion and the Canadian Edge Dance Competition.

JR has been fortunate to teach master classes at various studios and conventions throughout the United States and Canada. For the past three years, JR has been a part of the Credit Unions Kids at Heart team raising money for Boston Children’s Hospital by running the Boston Marathon. Jr has raised over $100,000 during this time thanks to the generosity of the dance community. He also worked as a volunteer judge and choreographer for the Miss Hampton Beach and Miss New Hampshire preliminary pageants.

Currently, JR is a dedicated and enthusiastic faculty member at Melissa Hoffman Dance Center (Hudson, NH). He was also on the faculty for 10 years at Let’s Dance Inc (Stoneham, MA) and Concord Dance Academy (Concord, NH). He and his students are continually recognized for delivering clean, precise, and technical routines, winning many special, high overall and choreography awards at both the regional and national level. His students have held the titles of Dance Master’s of America National Teen Miss Dance of America 2017 and Junior Miss Dance of America 2016. Some of his students held the title of National Teen Miss Turn It Up and National Petite Miss Turn It Up in both 2013 and 2014. His students also won the 2012 Senior Solo at Dance Xplosion Nationals (Orlando, FL) and Step Up to Dance National Senior Soloist 2012 (Manchester, NH). His students have been selected as back-up dancers for young pop stars such as B-Capp and Kenzie, have performed with the Boston-based hip hop company StreetHype, and have traveled as apprentices with Excel in Motion and Motiv8 Convention Tours. Many students have been accepted to programs at the Boston Ballet, Kirov Academy, Walnut Hill, National Ballet of Canada and Juilliard. Others have succeeded in careers in dance as teachers, choreographers, and performers.

JR is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University where he received Bachelors of Science Degree in Accounting (cum laude) and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (magna cum laude). He works fulltime as the Director of Finance for Easter Seals NH located in Manchester, NH, and resides in Concord, NH, with his wife Cathy and their daughter Sophie.

Sandi Duncan

Dancers at Heart, Vice President

Faculty Member, Melissa Hoffman Dance Center; Director, Subtle Intuition

Sandi owned and directed Dance Productions in Woburn, MA for 9 years before coming onboard as a full-time MHDC faculty member. She is a member of Dance Masters of America and has served as a vice president, adjudicator and choreographer for the organization. She also has adjudicated for many organizations throughout the US and Canada. Sandi received a degree in Deaf Communications and Sign Language and trained at renowned dance institutions in Chicago and New York City.

She currently teaches Modern, Jazz, Ballet, Musical Theatre and preschool classes and serves as the director and creator of SUBTLE INTUITION, the resident dance ensemble at MHDC.

Sandi’s latest endeavour, Sharing the Dance of LIFE, specializes in bringing workshops, seminars, and life-coaching to teens, women, dance educators and aspiring performing artists.

Cathy Linden

Dancers at Heart, Secretary

Middle School Teacher, Shaker Road School

Cathy is a longtime lover of dance. She started dancing at the age of 3 at a studio in Concord, NH and danced through her sophomore year of high school. After taking time off from dance to complete her schooling, Cathy returned to dance as an adult attending the same studio she went to as a child. As luck would have it, Cathy had JR Linden as her adult tap instructor and the rest is history. Although she no longer dances, she still has a deep appreciation for the art of dance and enjoys watching talented dancers perform.

In addition to her love of dance, Cathy is also passionate about teaching. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Math Education and earned her Masters degree in Elementary Education in 2001 also from UNH. She’s been teaching middle school at Shaker Road School in Concord, New Hampshire for the past 17 years. When she’s not busy at work, Cathy enjoys skiing, swimming, and spending time with family and friends.