Lori E. Cunningham
Lori E. Cunningham is a SAG-AFTRA & EQUITY performer, choreographer and stunt woman residing in the NYC area.
Ms. Cunningham holds her BFA from Rutgers University- Mason Gross School of the Arts. She has also trained at Princeton Ballet, NJ Ballet, Alvin Ailey and the Perm Opera Ballet School (Russia) and with dance greats Don Redlich, Claudia Gitelman, David Grenke, Brett Raphael, Nancy Turano, E. Laura Hausmann and Pauline Goddard. Lori is also a three time scholarship award winner and graduate of the NJ Dance Theatre Professional Training Program.
Known for her strong character work, Lori has professionally performed principal & solo dance roles with Atlantic Coast Ballet, Cape Cod Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, Acrodanse Theatre, and the NJ Dance Theatre Ensemble. She has also appeared in works by Kim Jones and with the Edgar Cortes Dance Theater and as a Guest Artist for the Boca Ballet, Bergen Ballet, Lumiere Ballet, L.I., & the RU Opera Co. At the age of 12, Ms. Cunningham danced her way into her first Principal spot in commercials for Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club, after winning a TKR Cable/Showtime talent contest. And at 16, she traveled to Russia for a summer exchange program with The Bolshoi Ballet, appearing as a soloist on Moscow tv.
A lover of Musicals, Ms. Cunningham has been a featured dancer in over 10 productions sponsored by Plays in the Park, NJ. (Most notably, Postcard Girl, Oklahoma! ’15; and, Dream Maria, West Side Story ‘96). Behind the scenes, she has also been a Resident Choreographer for the M.C.C Youth Arts Feld and R.U. Cabaret Theatre. Her work has also been presented in the “Built on Stilts” (BOS) Dance Festival from 2000-2007. And, in 2010, her choreography was featured in the award winning YouTube Web series, “Saved by the Pole”.
From 2001-2007, Lori presided as the Artistic Director of the Martha’s Vineyard Dance Theatre (MVDT)- a preprofessional, youth training program and performance company, located on Martha’s Vineyard Island. In 2005, the company received recognition from the MV Times as ‘Best in Island Arts and Entertainment’ for their debut performance in the aforementioned BOS Dance Festival. Then, in 2006, Lori wrote, choreographed and produced an original ballet, “The Crazy Cracker”- again set on the MVDT- which received rave reviews. This was in addition to her First Act staging and choreography for the annual Nutcracker Gala presented in conjunction with the Cape Cod Ballet.
Additionally, Lori has worked in the capacity of Company Manager and Rehearsal Director for the NJ Dance Theatre Ensemble and Acrodanse Theatre as well as Dance Captain for Plays in the Park and the Cape Cod Ballet. She has also worked as an Actor and Dancer in commercials, local and major network tv shows and both independent and commercial films. Lori even has a stunt credit under her belt! But, she takes most pride in her legacy of successful dance students and is thrilled to be a part of the JZT Dance Faculty.