Staff Bios

Allen Maniker headshot

Allen Maniker

Chairman of the Board, Steps Beyond Foundation

Allen Maniker, M.D. is a graduate of the Juilliard School with a BFA in dance. He went on to perform with Bat Dor of Israel, The Joyce Trisler Danscompany, a guest season with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and several other New York contemporary dance companies. After finishing his performing career he went on to obtain an M.D. degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit Michigan, his hometown. After Internship he completed his Neurosurgical training at the New Jersey Medical School (now Rutgers University) and remained on faculty there rising to full Professor. He is the author of 48 peer reviewed papers, 18 book chapters, 35 abstracts and a text book. He recently retired as Chairman of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel and Professor of Neurosurgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is on the Board of the Martha Hill Dance Fund and is Chairman of the Board of the Steps Beyond Foundation.

Diane Grumet headshot

Diane Grumet

Artistic Director, Board member, Steps Beyond Foundation

Diane Grumet has been the Co-Artistic/Managing Director, now Artistic Director of Steps on Broadway for over 27 years.  Prior to joining Steps, as artistic director of Studio 400, she created the Contemporary Masters Program.  At the Ailey School she held the positions of instructor, company teacher, International Student Advisor, and school’s business manager. She danced with the Cincinnati Ballet and Opera Ballet companies, Contemporary Dance Theater, Edgecliff Summer Theater, Disney, New York City Opera Ballet, Bat-Dor Dance Company (Israel) and the Joyce Trisler Danscompany.  She was a guest artist with Jose Limon Dance and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and on the roster of artists for New York Foundation for the Arts. Diane frequently served as a master teacher and on the faculties of The New School and Parsons School of Design, Ailey School, Steps on Broadway, University of the Arts, University of South Florida, and Sarah Lawrence. Her training included Joffrey Ballet and Metropolitan Opera Ballet. She received her degree from College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. Ms. Grumet is on the Advisory Board of Dance Magazine, Board of Directors for Buglisi Dance Theater, and on the Bessie selection committee.

Patricia Klausner headshot

Patricia R Klausner

Managing Director, Board member

Patricia Klausner’s theatrical experience includes: Broadway: Co-Producer on The Band’s Visit, Pippin, Trip to Bountiful, Stick Fly, The Scottsboro Boys; Managing Director of Shotgun Productions/Global Arts Initiative, General Manager of The Donald Byrd Dance Foundation, Assistant Director of Beyond Measure (Kampo Cultural Center, NYC), The Boys Next Door (Theater 22, NYC) and A Girls’ Guide to Chaos (Innerspace Theater, NYC), and conceived/curated The Tides of Intolerance (The Asia Society, NYC). Business experience includes the Dance Advisory Board at Marymount Manhattan College, Director of Marketing for Steps on Broadway, editor of a weekly financial trade publication, consulting for various cable television companies and arts businesses and past VP of Media Audits International and member of the Board of Directors. Ms. Klausner has a Ph.D. in sociology and has taught women’s studies, race relations, and criminology at the University of Delaware and Montclair State College. She has published academic articles on women’s roles in society, and has written plays, screenplays and short stories with similar themes. She was the Program Director for the Producers Development Mentorship Program for Theater Resources Unlimited and is a graduate of the Commercial Theater Institute.

Temple Kemezis headshot

TEMPLE KEMEZIS

Production Coordinator, Board member
Temple Kemezis is a Northern Manhattan based dancer and coordinator of events and cultural productions. As a ballet dancer, she performed with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Dances Patrelle, Texture Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Neo, and Sensedance, among others, and with choreographers such as Cherlyn Lavagnino, Gemma Bond, Pascal Rekoert-Valdez, and James Canfield. In 2016, she joined the cast of Isaac Mizrahi’s Peter and the Wolf with choreography by John Heginbotham at the Guggenheim Museum. Other noted venues and events include: Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Festival, Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center, and New York Fashion Week. As an event coordinator, Temple began her long employment for celebrity chef Julian Medina in 2008. Rising to Assistant to the Chef and Senior Event Manager, she oversaw events of all scales for the Toloache restaurant company’s establishments (Toloache, Toloache 82, Toloache Thompson, Tacuba, Tacuba HK, Yerba Buena Perry). She organized private events for high-profile clients including Broadway Shows Mama Mia the Musical and Godspell, Hugh Jackman, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and lead Toloache’s team for large collaborative catered events at the Guggenheim, the Waldorf Astoria, and Sotheby’s. Additionally, Temple organized the chef’s celebrity media appearances on the Today Show, CBS This Morning, and Beat Bobby Flay, and edited and organized his recipes for articles in publications such as Time Out, and Men’s Health. In 2015, she co- founded the Higher Ground Festival in NYC with Pablo Francisco Ruvalcaba, HGF has brought over 250 Northern Manhattan artists together and has produced 38 interdisciplinary collaborations presented free to the uptown community. www.creatinghigherground.com. Combining her events skill set with her passion to produce live performances, in 2018 Temple became production coordinator for Steps Beyond Foundation and in 2020 was asked to join their board. Presently she also works as production coordinator for Steps on Broadway and teaches Beginner Ballet at the acclaimed dance studio.

Selena Robinson headshot

SELENA ROBINSONS

Selena Robinson received a BA in Performing Arts Management from NYU’s Gallatin School where she presented her colloquium on “The Economics of the Performing Arts Industry – Commercial Theatre and Concert Dance.”

Selena spent several years working at American Ballet Theatre as the recipient of their Project Plié: Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship, and has held a number of roles across the Development, Executive, and Marketing departments, including the Assistant Manager of Marketing. She is also a certified Diversity & Inclusion Consultant who assisted LaDuca Shoes with the release of the LaDuca Palette.

Selena has danced works by John Vincent Leggio and Nick Palmquist in New York City; has performed at Hersheypark and Dorney Park during their Christmas and Summer seasons; and has been seen in regional productions of Little Shop of Horrors and Chicago. She is currently based in both Chicago and New York City, and is repped by Take 3 Talent.