UMass Boston

Sharon Montella

Performing Arts
Associate Lecturer

Areas of Expertise

Dance, Choreography


MFA, Boston Conservatory

Additional Information

Sharon Montella teaches Hip Hop, Multicultural Dance and Urban Contemporary Dance at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Ms. Montella also serves on the faculty at Pine Manor College, where she directs the student Dance Ensemble and teaches ballet, jazz, contemporary dance, multicultural dance, hip hop, and self-defense. She is also a registered yoga instructor and a black belt practitioner of Tai Chi and White Dragon Fist Kung Fu. 

Ms. Montella has choreographed for members of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in an independent project titled The Moses Project and a promotional, for Macy's, for Justin Timberlake's cologne "Play."  Her choreography has been presented in New York at Jennifer Muller Works HATCH Presenting Series, WAXworks, Movement Research Open Performance in Fort Greene, Tenjune, Pearl Studios and Fertile Ground Series at Greenspace. In New York, she also danced in Kelley Donovan's company at Joyce Soho Theater, Dinosaur Dance (Michael Mao) at City Center and with Bicycle Shop Dancers at the Cunningham studio. With Dinosaur, she danced in works by Lotte Goslar, Senta Driver, Toby Armour and Remy Charlip, and artistic director Michael Mao.  

National and international presentations of her choreography include Fantasy, as performed by Project Concern, a youth hip hop company, at Paris Music Festival, the Luxembourg Garden and Disneyland Paris, at Disney World Florida and across the United States; and Tonight’s the Night, performed by singer/songwriter Jordan Zed in New Brunswick and broadcast on Canadian National Television. In Boston, she choreographed and danced a hip hop duet with celebrity personality Joyce Kulhawik for Springstep’s ‘Radiance’ event honoring cultural award recipient Ben Vereen. Her hip hop and contemporary choreography has been shown at MIT, the Strand Theater, Berklee Friends Recital Hall, the Bayside Expo Center, the Dance Complex, UMass Boston and Pine Manor College and Curry College.

Ms. Montella has danced with Boston Dance Company, artistic director James Reardon, Elizabeth Lapuh’s Chamber Ballet, Impulse Dance, artistic director Adrienne Hawkins, Dance Collective Young Audiences and many others. With Dinosaur Dance, she also toured the U.S. Recently she completed Level I and Level II Horton Pedagogy at the Alvin Ailey studios and trains in ballet, musical theater and hip hop at Broadway Dance Center and Steps in New York, as well as at Millenium Dance Complex in L.A, and ballet with Elizabeth Lapuh in Boston. At UMass Boston, she has been blessed to present her lecture, Hip Hop History and Its Evolution, at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Previous teaching appointments have included Harvard University (ballet for Business School students); MIT (hip hop to the dance club participants); Boston University (jazz, hip hop and club funk); and Tufts University (hip hop to Taiwanese English Language students).

Ms. Montella has choreographed a number of musical shows, including Grease, Sweet Charity, Smokey Joe's Café, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Hello, Dolly!, and The Wiz.  She has also choreographed stage movement and dances for Macbeth, Comedy of Errors, Twilight L.A and Our Country's Good.  As a teenager, Ms. Montella choreographed movement for a young James Spader in a production of Equus at The Brooks School in North Andover. She has also taught Musical Theater jazz to children at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly, MA.  Ms. Montella is also a singer and recently performed the role of Faye in Elizabeth Addison’s This is Treatment at the Dance Complex in Cambridge, MA, where she teaches hip hop. 

Well versed in a broad spectrum of dance styles, ranging from ballet, contemporary and jazz to Hip Hop, African, Afro-Haitian and Latin Dance forms, she eagerly shares these styles with her students. Known for her energetic yet patient teaching style, dynamic choreography and expertise in warming up the body, her classes are both challenging and uplifting.

A full list of her professional activities can be found here.