Teaching Artists


Bettina MontanoRuby AverAimee GelinasKim WatermanTom MastersJoanne DelcarpineIone BeauchampMimi RosenblattLindsey BerkowitzSarah DauntSusan QuinnCherilyn Zaretsky •  Rick ShrumJoanne BockemuehlRyoko KudoAnna MasieroLexie ThrashDella SchleunesMolly Gonzales •  Cindy GutterKathy and David CroweGUEST TEACHING ARTISTS


Founder/Artistic Director, Modern Dance Director

Bettina holds a BFA in Dance, Cum Laude, from Temple University. She has performed professionally with Philadelphia’s Sybil Dance Company, Artistic Director Eva Gholson, and Dance Conduit, Artistic Director Ann Vachon, with choreographer Dawn Lane, Artistic Director Community Access to the Arts, as an independent choreographer and as a member of choreographer/film maker Laurie McLeod’s Victory Girl Productions with whom she performed extensively throughout the Berkshires, New York, and abroad. Bettina’s dance training began with her mother Christa Montano, a student of renowned dancers Mary Wigman, Herald Kreuzberg, Martha Graham, José Limón, Alwin Nicolais, Murray Louis, and Louis Horst. Her early training continued under the direction of Truda Kashman, Debra Zall and later with Educators/Choreographers Eva Gholson, Ann Vachon, Hellmut Gottschild and Marilyn Middleton Sylla. Bettina’s passionate belief in accessible dance education led her to teaching and inspired the creation of The Flowering Child Performing Arts Program in 1995 which ultimately evolved into Berkshire Pulse in 2003. Bettina has been teaching classes in modern dance for students of all ages and levels throughout her 20 year directorship of the organization.  See REVIEW, PICS & VIDEO 



Performing Arts Program Associate Director, Ballet Director

Ruby Aver passes on the highest standards of classical ballet which she fully absorbed through my training and performing internationally. I applaud her for her commitment to the art of ballet. “- Master Teacher David Howard

Ruby is the Associate Director for the Berkshire Pulse Performing Arts Program and ballet instructor. She has been with Berkshire Pulse since June 2005.

Ruby’s primary ballet instructor Ed Parish was trained by Bronislava Nijinska. Ruby was awarded a full talent scholarship to the Harkness House for Ballet Arts by master teacher David Howard , where she went on to apprentice with the Harkness Ballet Company. She performed as a soloist with the Chicago Ballet Company and Ballet de Caracas. She was a principal dancer for Het Scapino Ballet of the Netherlands, where ‘Firebird ‘ was set on her by choreographer Job Sanders.

In addition to classical ballet Ruby has performed contemporary ballet by Hans van Manen and Nils Christie, Jazz choreography by Matt Mattox and dance theater work by company members from Pina Bausch Wuppertaal Tanzteater. Ruby has taught for Bard College at Simon’s Rock since 2004 and guest teaches for The Florida Ballet and Brooklyn Ballet.



World Music Program Director

Aimee is a musician and environmental educator who has been performing, teaching, facilitating, and developing educational programs for more than 15 years. She co-founded and performs in the all-woman world music drumming and vocal ensemble Gaia Roots, the Berkshire based original rock band Sifer and the Latin group, Trio Candela. Her educational business, Tamarack Hollow Environmental & Cultural Educational Programs, “Inspires environmental and cultural awareness, appreciation and stewardship” by providing drumming and nature programs for all ages. She has studied extensively throughout the Caribbean, Cuba, Mexico, Africa and the U.S. and co-produced her ensemble Gaia Roots CD entitled Mother Drum as well as the Afro-Caribbean Groove Dance instructional DVD with Live Drumming. Visit her website at www.tamarackhollow.com. Aimee has been teaching for Berkshire Pulse since its inception as the Flowering Child Performing Arts Program in 1996.



World Music and Dance Program Director, In-School Program Coordinator

Kim has studied a variety of dance styles and has come to love the traditional dances of Africa. She has been studying, teaching, performing and sharing these dances with children and adults for over twenty years. Kim holds a Masters Degree in Education and her extensive classroom teaching experience makes her dance classes accessible to students of all levels. In addition to the Pulse, she currently teaches throughout the Berkshire public school system in grant funded programs. Kim choreographs traditional dance and performs with her students, and local talent, such as Gaia Roots and The Berkshire Bateria. She has been working with Berkshire Pulse since its inception as The flowering Child Performing Arts Program in 1996. See REVIEW, PICS & VIDEO



Dance for Boys, Musical Theatre Dance, Tap, Modern Dance, Repertory

Tom Masters holds an MS in Special Education from The City College of New York and a BS in elementary education with a concentration in dance and movement for elementary school children. As a performer he has danced with The Park Avenue Dance Company in Rochester, NY, The Alvin Ailey Student Ensemble in New York City, and with various musical theatre productions both nationally and internationally. He has taught dance and creative movement since 1990. Most recently he was on staff at the Center for Kinesthetic Movement in NYC as an educational tutor using dance to teach literacy, and using movement to increase the attention span of students with ADHD. See REVIEW, PICS & VIDEO 



Ballet, Intro to Dance, Creative Movement

Sarah Daunt teaches Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, and Yoga. She has been teaching classes ranging from ages 2 through adult since 2006. Sarah maintains individual student needs and supports injury prevention through proper instruction and preparation. She has broad training in the Cecchetti and Vaganova techniques. Sarah has trained competitive student dancers, who have subsequently placed at the national level. Sarah consistently attends workshops and master classes to further her dance and yoga education and develop her teaching techniques. In 2004, Sarah apprenticed with Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet Company in CO. She attended the Dance Teacher Summit in 2008 and 2009 in New York City. Sarah performed and choreographed with the local Buffalo, NY troupe Habit Dance Project. She has trained with Hilton Head Dance School in South Carolina, the Alabama School of Fine Arts, and Ballet South in Savannah, Georgia. Sarah has danced as a soloist, pas de deux, and corps in various traditional ballets, including but not limited to Coppelia, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, and Romeo and Juliet. Her experience also includes work by Fosse and numerous contemporary variations. In July 2011 Sarah received her 200hr yoga certification from the Kripalu center of yoga and health. She is also a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. Sarah received her Grade One Cecchetti Council of America Certification in June 2012.



Dance Making, Modern

Susan Quinn loves to dance and to encourage others to make dance; it’s her first language. To share and foster choreography, she co-founded Choreo Collective, a laboratory for choreographers to engage in the creative process and produce new work. She also developed the Choreographers’ Workshop Series to showcase artists across North Carolina and provide them with feedback. Her work has been produced in a variety of venues in New York and North Carolina, including the American Dance Festival’s Opening Acts. She collaborated with and choreographed Arrow In for director Nina Morrison as part of the Hot! Festival at Dixon Place in NYC. She directed the dance department at Cardinal Gibbons High School, and schools and colleges have sought her out as a guest choreographer. She has been fortunate to study composition with Donald McKayle, Marlies Yearby, Neil Greenberg, Faye Driscoll, David Dorfman, and Liz Lerman Dance Exhange and contact improvisation with David Beadle and Mark Dendy. Susan has also performed with many dance companies, including HMK Dance, Thread Dance Theater, Insurgo Stage Project, Carol Finley/The Postcards Project, Caroline Williford and Five Chick Posse Productions.



Joanne Bockemuehl-Jackson recently immigrated to the Berkshires, was born in Germany, where she began her flamenco dance studies at the age of 19. Since then, while working as a nurse and as a cranio sacral therapist, she danced and studied Flamenco. Falling in love with Flamenco, she went to Madrid to study at the traditional Flamenco School “Amor de Dios”. She has taken classes with Ciro, Camela Greco, Tomas de Madrid. She continued to study with Regina Marinez, Amparo de Triana, Antinea, Maria del Mar, Manuel Sancez, Michela Lama, Rafaela Stern and took Workshops in Tanzhause NRW. See REVIEW PICS & VIDEO 



World Music

Rick Schrum has been drumming since age 3 when his dad (also a drummer ) gave him his first drumsticks and began teaching him classical percussion. Rick played in school orchestras, concerts stage bands,drum and bugle ensembles,percussion ensembles and rock bands . He credits Arthur Hull, from Santa Cruz, as his primary teacher of African drumming. He began studying Afro-Cuban drumming in his 20s and has been playing and teaching this art for the last 30 years. In the 90s Rick played for Dance Kinetics (now called yoga dance ) at Kripalu. Having been a Waldorf teacher for almost 20 years Rick has taught drumming to all of his classes incorporating rhythm into the learning process. He has played for Afro-Caribbean dance classes at the Berkshire Pulse for the last six years . Rick has led drum circles at Mountainside drug alcohol rehab center for the past year . Having a Masters degree in neurobiology Rick has been a registered nurse from 2010 to present.



Modern, Limón Repertory & Pilates

Ryoko Kudo MFA, has worked with the Limón Dance Company since 2001 and has had the privilege to dance works by world-renowned choreographers such as Graham, Taylor, Lubovich, Kylian, Linke, Koner, McKayle, multiple works by Limón and Humphrey. Kudo is also an aerialist with Airealistic and has performed at the Beijing Olympics, Hangzhou, China, Bregenz Opera, and in the show Breaking Surface in NYC. She teaches and restages Limón works and has taught at various institutions such as Marymount Manhattan College, Canadian Children’s Dance Theater (Canada), Congresso Brasileiro de Dance Moderna (Brazil), Arte Centro (Guatemala), Bratislava Academy of Dance (Slovakia), ArtEz (Holland), Puglia Talenti (Italy), Casa de la Cultura (Mexico), and schools in the U.S. such as SUNY Purchase, Point Park College, Bryn Mawr, Mont Clair, University of the Arts, Drexel University. Kudo is also a certified Pilates instructor (read more…) since 2008. Kudo received her training from Emerson College, The Boston Conservatory, Ailey School, Graham School, Limón Institute, and Kane School of Core Integration.

Ryoko’s classes will explore movement based on the principles of the Limón Technique, which incorporates the effect of gravity and use of breath as an initiation of movement. We will explore coordinating breath and weight in terms of falling, recovering, and suspending. The class will also address use of space, time and energy with clear intention and musicality for greater dynamic range of movement and richer coloring of human expression.



Hip Hop

Anna began her dance training at Cantarella School of Dance as well as Studio One in the Berkshires. In college she studied Ballet Pedogogy at the Hartt School, furthered her dance education at Bates College and Duke University and completed her undergraduate work at UMass Amherst, where she also served as captain of the Dance Team.

Working with children and teens has been Anna’s passion since 2010. She taught at Art OMI for three consecutive summers, guiding children in their discovery of interdisciplinary arts. With her students, Anna explored combining dance with one and two-dimensional art forms while collaborating with visiting international artists.

Anna has spent time teaching in California at low income schools as well as serving as an assistant to the Directors of the non-profit Discovery Arts Organization by bringing the healing power of the arts to children with cancer and blood disorders.

Through her twenty years of studying and performing dance, Hip Hop is where Anna found her nitch. Her goal as a teacher is to let her students find their self expression through the open doors of Hip Hop as a diverse and contemporary art form.




Lexie Thrash was raised in Frederick, Maryland and began her dance training at the age of two at the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and Mid-Maryland Performing Arts Center. She graduated in May 2016 with dual degrees in Dance and Media Arts and Design from James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, VA. During her time as an undergraduate, she was a member of the Virginia Repertory Dance Company (VRDC) and the Contemporary Dance Ensemble, served as the co-director of the Freshman Dance Ensemble, and had the pleasure of working with artists including: solo actor Tim Miller, Christopher K. Morgan, Shane O’Hara, Pamela Pietro, John Dixon, danah bella, Ryan Corriston and Alex Springer + Xan Burley/The Median Movement. A lover of travel, Lexie has been to London, England with the JMU Contemporary Dance and Performance Intensive in 2014, and to Martinique to perform and teach with VRDC in March 2016. After incredible experiences interning at the Forbes Center Public Relations office, and at Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project in Los Angeles, CA, she was accepted to the internship program at Jacob’s Pillow Dance, where she now works as the Programming Apprentice and Assistant to the new Director.



Music Direction

Cindy was raised in Manhattan and graduated from the High School of Music and Art. She received her undergraduate and masters degree from Boston University with a major in music education. After teaching music in Bedford, Massachusetts she moved back to Manhattan and worked for a film and commercial production company. She owned a successful outerwear business for twenty years. Since moving to the Berkshires twelve years ago she has never looked back. After making the Berkshires her home she has taught music regularly, as a vocal coach, choral conductor, piano accompanist, and music director. She has music directed the Monument Mountain High School musicals for the past five years along with other musicals regionally. It’s pure joy to be part of the Pulse family again!




Della Schleunes holds MA is in dance from the Univerrsity of California at Long Beach and an AA from Finch College, NY in French. She has had a professional career in Ballet and Modern dance performing with the Kansas City Ballet, as a principle dancer with the Arlington Dance Theater, and for nine years with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in New York City.   Della’s ballet training took place at ABT, Harkness Ballet,  with Sallie Wilson, Richard Thomas and Marjorie Mussman. She studied modern dance with Paul Sanasardo and with the Martha Graham company in Lake Placid, NY. Della has been teaching throughout her dancing career.  She has run her own school, and has taught in high schools and for ballet studios in NYC, CA and locally,  teaching Modern Dance and Choreography at Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass., and ballet for community classes at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Mass.  She is delighted to be joining the excellent Pulse teaching staff this fall, and working with their Performing Arts Program dancers!



Molly holds both an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and an MA in Dance Education with Pre-K-12 Teacher Certification from the College at Brockport, and a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of the Arts. In 2004, she was awarded Teacher Certification from Katherine Dunham, and is honored to have the privilege of carrying on her legacy through her artistry, teaching, and scholarship. Molly has conducted music and dance research in Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Senegal which continues to inform her artistic and academic work. She co-founded and managed Trio Dourado Brazilian Dance Company and Cuban Latin Cabaret Productions, and has performed, choreographed, and costumed a range of modern, Brazilian, Cuban and West African based companies. She has taught extensively within elementary through university level school and community settings for over twenty years, designing curriculum and directing programs for children through adults within diverse dance educational and performance environments, as well as in the Pilates and HIV/AIDS risk reduction education fields. She is currently an adjunct professor at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.

ione beauchamp


Contact Improv

Ione Beauchamp lives in East Chatham, NY and teaches dance and somatic movement at UAlbany. She has danced with Wire Monkey Dance since 1999. Ione is also a member of several Hudson Valley Dance Labs, including ESL ( Emergent Scores Lab ). She is a practitioner of The Trager Approach, Body-Mind Centering, is a registered yoga teacher and was certified to the apprentice level in gyrotonic/gyrokinesis. Ione lived in NYC for 25 years where she received her BA from Barnard College, her MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and danced with numerous choreographers, including Bill Young, Peggy Peloquin, Danny Lepkoff, Diane Frank & Debby Riley, Renee Wadleigh, Nina Weiner, and was a founding member of Teri Carter’s Mixed-Ability group Mobility Junction, as well as creating and performing her own work.

mimi rosenbaltt


Cardio-Groove Fitness and Barre Classes

Mimi’s early career (pre-children) included practicing law, nonprofit arts administration and film and television production in San Francisco. While living in the Bay Area, Mimi studied ballet, modern dance, Afro-jazz, American show jazz, contact improvisation and tap. She performed with the Gloria Unti Modern Dance group for several years. After moving to Austin, Texas in 1989, Mimi became a nationally certified ACE Aerobics Instructor and Personal Trainer. Mimi combined her dance experience with her knowledge of body mechanics to create a unique style of aerobic dance. After two years of intensive Iyengar yoga training, Mimi opened her own yoga studio in 1995. Mimi continued to teach in large fitness clubs throughout Austin and also maintained a vibrant personal training business. Mimi has taught every possible format of land aerobics including cardio-funk, cardio-yoga, step, Zumba, cardio-sculpt and circuit training. Mimi believes that it is imperative to keep growing and learning, and to that end she has received certifications in Indoor Cycling (Spinning), Advanced Mat Pilates, Zumba and Barre since moving to the Berkshires in 2004. Locally, Mimi has taught fitness classes, yoga, Pilates and Zumba at Berkshire South Community Center, Simon’s Rock, Cranwell Resort, Berkshire Functional Fitness and Berkshire Pulse. Mimi also wrote and produced her own weekly radio show,” Mimi’s Morning Mojo” for WSBS. Mimi is co-founder and managing partner of CATWALK Boutique which benefits Berkshire Humane Society, and she also sits on the Advisory Board of PURRADISE. Mimi lives in Great Barrington with her lovely husband Mark Lefenfeld and 3 Siamese cats (all rescues). Mimi fervently believes that exercise is the “fountain of youth” and plans to just keep moving. See review, pics & video.




Lindsey Berkowitz began ballet classes at 3 years old and hasn’t been able to stay away from dance since. She discovered her true love for dance through the Flowering Child Performing Arts Program at age 9, and has been exploring world music and dance rhythms through Berkshire Pulse since age 13. Now 26, after a few years away in Philadelphia, she is back in the Berkshires and a licensed Zumba instructor. She loves teaching this fun, accessible and energizing form of dance fitness, blending Latin, pop, Bollywood and belly dance for a class that is suitable for all ages and skill levels. She is motivated by her passion for dance and love for her community. See REVIEW, PICS & VIDEO

Cherilyn Zaretsky

Early Morning Fitness

In 1999, while recovering from a dance injury, Cherliyn took her first yoga class at the studio across the street from her apartment in New York City, Dharma Yoga, and never looked back. What she once used solely for physical exercise and rehabilitation, has now completely changed her life.

After several years of practice, she completed her 200hr certification with Sri Dharma Mittra and continue her studies as often as possible while being mommy to her two children. Cherilyn enjoys leading several levels of dharma yoga and her own flow classes.

Kathy and David Crowe Berkshire Tai Chi

Tai Chi

Berkshire Tai Chi is a traditional, lineage school. Sifu David Crowe and Sifu Kathy Crowe, with 18 years experience, are certified lineage tai chi and qi gong instructors under the Kuoshu Federation of the Republic of China. They trained under Master Eric Sbarge, a member of the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame, at The Hall of the Peaceful Dragon In Charlotte, NC. Outside of teaching tai chi, Sifus David and Kathy lead busy and creative lives. Sifu David is a composer and teaching artist, whose works have been performed across the country. Sifu Kathy is a web and graphic designer, including the design of websites, logos, brochures, etc. You can see samples of her work at www.KathyCrowe.com.



Dances of Africa/Afro-Caribbean Dance

Joanne is a 1998 graduate of the University of Colorado – Boulder, College of Music. She holds a Bachelor’s of Music with high honors, with concentration in Voice Performance and Theater Arts. In addition, Joanne attended the Blue Tribe School of Music and Dance in Albuquerque, NM from 2001-03. There she studied West African and Zimbabwean dance, drumming, and song. Ultimately she became the lead singer for the troupe, and a drummer for the dance classes and performances. She has participated in numerous camps, workshops, and classes with master teachers from Zimbabwe, Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, Cuba, and Haiti studying song, drumming and dance. Her performance experience is extensive. Joanne has crisscrossed the United States playing venues ranging from 20 seat coffee shops to folk festivals attended by thousands.




Leighann Kowalsky is a dance artist and a producer. She choreographs and performs Irish & Contemporary dance with the d’amby project, Hawkins style of Modern Dance with Erick Hawkins Dance Company, and independently with individual artists including painters, photographers and sculptors. Kowalsky is currently the Director for Dance at Millbrook School & Executive Director at the d’amby project. Collaborative in nature, Kowalsky teams up both onstage and behind stage with dancers and artists of all genres & traditions to create new and exciting interdisciplinary work. Production credits have included IheartRadio Music Festival, The Tony Awards & NBA All Star Game. Performance venues have included Jacob’s Pillow’s Inside/Out Stage, The Queen Elizabeth Theater in Vancouver, B.C., The Fisher Center for Performing Arts at Bard College, and a residency term at DANCEHOUSE in Dublin, Ireland.

Matt Pardo - Head ShotMATT PARDO

A 2007 graduate of the University at Buffalo with an advanced honors B.F.A. in dance, Matt Pardo has danced for the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, Groundworks Dance Theater, RG Dance Projects, and the River North Chicago Dance Company (apprentice). He was recognized as one of the “Top 100 Dancers in the World for 2010-2011” by Dance Europe Magazine. Teaching and choreographic credits include Skidmore College (Guest Choreographer 2014/2015; Guest Faculty, 2013/2014), Montclair State University, Universidad de Las Americas Puebla, the University at Buffalo, and Point Park University (Guest Choreographer 2015; Adjunct Professor 2015/2016), to name a few. In 2011, Matt joined the Lucinda Childs Dance Company and now teaches company class for LCDC while on tour. His opera credits include the world tour of the Olivier award-winning Philip Glass opera Einstein on the Beach and performances with the Pittsburgh Opera in the Daughter of the Regiment, directed and choreographed by Séan Curran. Pardo is a co-founder of the Pittsburgh-based organization called The Blanket, a project which aims to expand the dance community in Pittsburgh. He is a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Union and is an M.F.A. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Ze eva nowZE’EVA COHEN
Chair of the Dance Department, Associate Professor

Dancing professionally starting at age sixteen, Ms. Cohen came to New York from Israel in 1963 to study at the Julliard School and perform with the Anna Sokolow Dance Company. In 1971, she initiated her pioneering and highly acclaimed solo dance repertory program, which toured throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Israel for twelve years. In the mid eighties she founded Ze’eva Cohen and Dancers, a company for which she developed a diverse group repertory, performing in New York and on national tours. Cohen has also choreographed works for the Boston Ballet, Munich Tanzproject, Batsheva Dance Company, Inbal Dance Theater of Israel, The Alvin Ailey Repertory Dance Company, and many other national dance companies. Since 1996, she has been choreographing, producing, and performing Negotiations and Female Mythologies, programs dealing with cultural, political, and social issues with a focus on women’s myths and lives.

Linda Jenkins

Artistic Director, The Florida Ballet

Linda Reifsnyder Jenkins’ professional career as a dancer, teacher and choreographer spans more than 35 years. She studied as a scholarship student with the Joffrey American Ballet Center in New York, the Ruth Page Foundation School of Dance and the Ed Parish Dance Foundation in Chicago. She studied with Robert Joffrey, Ruth Page, Larry Long, Ed Parish, David Howard, Ben Stevenson, Yves Casiti and many others. As a dancer, she appeared as soloist with the Chicago Ballet, Kiel Ballet (Germany) and the National Ballet of Peru (South America) dancing the full range of classical repertoire including “Swan Lake,” “Nutcracker,” “Les Sylphides,” “La Sylphide,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Giselle” and a full list of modern and contemporary ballets with choreographers such as Rosemary Helliwell, Anthony Taylor, Heinz Weitz, Ruth Page and Larry Long.

Ms. Jenkins was Director of the Florence (Ala.) School of Ballet, the Academy of Nevada Dance Theatre, Dance with Distinction at Jacksonville University, Pharcyde Dance Center and Principal Ballet Teacher for the School of Ballet Oklahoma. She has conducted workshops and taught Master Classes for Dance Educators of America and the Cecchetti Council of America. In 1989, Ms. Jenkins and nine of her students traveled to Moscow, Russia to study with the Bolshoi Theatre School. Ms. Jenkins completed her BFA in Dance at Jacksonville University. In Jacksonville, she has taught at Jacksonville University, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Landon Middle School of the Arts, and Pharcyde Dance Center. From 1993-1997 Ms. Jenkins was the Artistic Associate for the First Coast Nutcracker. From 2011 to 2014, she was Administrative Director and Ballet Faculty for The Florida Ballet. In 2014, Ms. Jenkins was a grant panelist for the Florida Department of State – Division of Cultural Affairs. In 2014 she became Artistic Director with the passing of Founding Director Laurie Picinich-Byrd., continuing the established standard of excellence. Ms Jenkins is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® National Training Curriculum Teacher Training Intensive in PrePrimary through Level 7 & Partnering.


Ian Spencer Bell has been dancing his own work since 2001 when he received a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Bell grew up in Middleburg, Virginia, and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. He trained at North Carolina School of the Arts, School of American Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Atlantic Center for the Arts, Connecticut Ballet, Inside/Out at Jacob’s Pillow, New Chamber Ballet, Summer Stages Dance, and David Parker’s WET series have presented his choreography. He has taught for American Ballet Theatre, Jacob’s Pillow, and New York City Center and is currently an artist-in-residence at the Nightingale-Bamford School. His writing on dance has been published in Ballet Review and Zen Notes.

African Music & Dance

The Percussion Ensemble of Diata-Diata International Folkloric Theatre is led by Pamela Badila, accompanied by their children, who were raised on the stage in New York and France. Her Husband Elombe Badila, was co-founder of the First National Ballet of the Congo, which brought peace to many villages and united them in dance. This unity played an important role in Congo’s independence in the 1960’s. Today the family performs original song and dance from Central & West Africa led by Pamela, also former Dancer Emeritus with “Les Grands ballets d’ Afrique Noirs”after touring the Ivory coast with world famous ‘Rose Marie Guiraud’. Founded in 1985, Diata Diata presents folkloric dance of ancestral Africa as international theatre, including wildly popular performances at schools along the eastern coast.

don-jordanDON JORDAN

Don Jordan taught and performed with Teatro Studio and I Gesti di Roma in Italy for fifteen years before being invited to perform with Mummenschanz on Broadway. He directed the Pan Twilight Circus’s 1995 production of Creatures of the Lawn, and served as Artistic Director of the Pickle Family Circus. He held the position of Assistant Professor in the MFA Professional Actor Training Program at Ohio University for five years, and has taught as adjunct faculty at Smith College, Barnard College and the Juilliard School. His credits as a guest teacher include the University of Paris, the Instituto De Teatro in Barcelona, the Festival du Cirque, Châteauroux, France, and the Dell’Arte School in California. A graduate of the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, he is the founder and director of Nutshell Playhouse, a company dedicated to producing original theatre for children and families in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Founding Faculty

Christa began her dance studies in Germany with Suzanne Kabitz, former assistant of Rudolf Von Laban. She continued her studies in Germany with Modern Dance innovators Mary Wigman and Herald Kreuzberg, and in the USA with Martha Graham at the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance in New York City, as well as with other renowned choreographers/educators such as José Limón, Alwin Nicolais, Murray Louis, and Louis Horst. In 1962, Christa established a Modern Dance Department in a private high school in Windsor, CT. For many years, she taught Modern dance for students of the now Oxford Kingswood High School, as well as Creative Dance for children and adults throughout Hartford, CT, and NY. Christa is a founding faculty member, now in her late 80’s, she enjoys participating in the morning modern classes at Berkshire Pulse.