Celebrating our love of dance

Yesterday was National Dance Day, but we celebrate dance every day at Berkshire Pulse!

With our Youth Performing Arts Program and Community Classes in full swing, our studios are alive with movement and life.

Berkshire Pulse is Hiring
We are expanding our staff and hiring for a few positions, both part-time and full-time, including a full-time Operations Manager, part-time Development Manager, and Front Desk Staff. View our open positions here.

Wacky Wednesday Workshops

a rotating workshop series with classes for all levels

Our newest workshop series is off to a great start!

Each Wednesday, we’ll have rotating workshops with guest teaching artists. All workshops are open to absolute beginners, meaning you don’t need any related experience to participate. Just bring your curiosity and an open mind!

WACKY WEDNESDAY SERIES

for ages 12 to adult

📅 Wednesdays

🕡 6:45-8pm

First up – 4 weeks of Improv Theater with Liz Butler and Ben Jardine! Next, join us for 3 weeks of Salsa with Luana Dias David.


Youth Classes Open for Registration

It’s not too late to sign up for our Youth Performing Arts Program. There is still time to get your young dancer signed up for class!

We are so excited to welcome every new mover to our studio (and welcome back so many familiar faces).


Upcoming Hip Hop Workshops

with Andres Ramirez, Dashawn Davis, and Shakia Barron

for beginner and intermediate levels, ages 16+

📅 Fridays starting October 13

🕕 6:15pm

Join us for a special series of Beginners Funk Box Breaking for Adults and Teens with Andres Ramirez, on October 13, 20, 27 and November 3 from 6:15-7:15pm.

Then, come dance with Dashawn Davis on November 17 and Shakia Barron on December 1, 8, 15, and January 12 & 19 from 6:15-7:45pm!

Join us for our first week of classes!

Classes for our fall session are officially in full swing!

It’s not too late to sign up for our Youth Performing Arts Program classes—and drop in to try one of our Community Classes for movers of all ages and levels.


Introducing Wacky Wednesday

a rotating workshop series with classes for all levels

Circle of teens doing improv

We’re excited to announce a new workshop series called Wacky Wednesdays!

Each Wednesday, we’ll have rotating workshops with guest teaching artists. All workshops are open to absolute beginners, meaning you don’t need any related experience to participate. Just bring your curiosity and an open mind!

WACKY WEDNESDAY SERIES

for ages 12 to adult

📅 Wednesdays starting September 13

🕡 6:45-8pm

First up – 4 weeks of Improv Theater with Liz Butler and Ben Jardine!

Improv theater is the practice of building a scene or a story one piece at a time, in the moment, without any planning or scripting. Working with a group of others, or by yourself, you create a supportive environment where anything goes. It’s a joyous, uplifting, and deeply rewarding exercise where you can learn about yourself and have fun in the process.


Swing for Teens and Adults

Two people Swing dancing in a park on the road

📅 Thursdays

🕓 6:45-7:45pm

for beginner and intermediate dancers ages 12 to adult

This class teaches the partnered basics of East Coast Swing with a particular emphasis on rhythm, artistry, and jazz dance history. We’ll explore movement patterns that establish the foundations of Lindy Hop as a social, vernacular jazz dance. The goal is to boost your confidence to hit the dance floor and have fun, while celebrating the music, movement, and spirit of the Harlem Renaissance and Swing Era! 

No partner necessary – come as you are!


Ballet Zen is Back!

with Melissa Elstein

Melissa Elstein doing Ballet barre

for beginner and intermediate levels, ages 21+

📅 Thursdays

🕑 2-3:30pm

Learn gentle core strengthening exercises at the beginning of class, followed by ballet barre and basic center work, with a guided deep relaxation and short meditation to close. This class emphasizes leg and core strength, weight shifts, and balance work while learning ballet technique. 

These skills are useful for fall prevention – so important as we age – and combined here with beautiful music, the gracefulness of ballet movement, mental focus and relaxation, students will have a holistic movement class experience.

Spirits of Chesterwood

Thursday, July 27 at 4pm and 6pm

Rain date: Friday, July 28

Spirits of Chesterwood is an intergenerational dance project created by seven local choreographers in the Berkshire Pulse community. This roving, site-specific performance will be presented as a part of Chesterwood’s Arts Alive! series on Thursday, July 27, once at 4pm and again at 6pm, to allow an intimate group of audience members to follow the performers along the route. 


Dunham Technique Workshop Series

With Saroya Corbett

A group of dancers pose for a photo in a studio.

Open level, for ages 13-adult

📅 Saturdays, August 5 – 26

🕦 11:30am – 1pm

In this series, Saroya Corbett, Arthur Levitt Jr. ’52 Artist-in-Residence Fellow at Williams College, will share her expertise in Dunham Technique, an Afro-Modern dance technique. 


Sharing Summer Intensive Joy

A circle of student dancers surrounding a dance teacher in a dance studio

Our Dance Discovery Intensive brought together dancers ages 8 to 12 for two weeks of exploration! In particular, they loved their African Dance class with Nkoula Badila and Angel Lau (pictured here).

Upcoming Summer Intensives

It’s not too late to register for our upcoming summer intensives!

Hip Hop/Street Style Intensive
(July 31-August 4)
ages 12 to adult

Musical Theater
(August 7-12)
Day Camp: ages 10 to 14
Evening Series: ages 14 to adult

Deep Dive! Contemporary Intensive
(August 14-18)
for advanced teens and adults ages 17+


Dance with us this summer!

Summer Intensive season is finally in full swing! Here’s just a taste of what our schedule looks like: 

Want to participate in any of our intensives? Click below to learn more and register!  


Upcoming Community Classes

Basic Dance Composition with Rebecca Alson-Milkman

Beginner, for ages 16-adult

📅 Tuesdays beginning July 11 

🕠 5:30-7:00 PM

Have you ever been curious about making your own choreography but thought you missed your chance? Here it is!

Through group improvisations and assigned studies, budding dancemakers will be introduced to the building blocks of composition: movement theme and variation, varying ways to code and carve the dance space, and how to define relationships between dancers. 

Capoeira with Tarcísio Ramos Dos Santos

For beginner movers and all levels, ages 13-adult

📅 Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning July 11 

🕠 5:30-6:45 PM

Experience acrobatic movements, dance, powerful kicks, and the enchanting rhythms of traditional Capoeira music. This dynamic practice cultivates strength, flexibility, rhythm, and coordination. Suitable for all levels, come and embrace the spirit of Capoeira!

Community Musical Theater with Wendy Welch

Open level, for ages 16-adult

📅 Wednesdays starting July 5

🕠 5:30-6:30pm

For everyone who loves to sing!

In this class, you will learn healthy vocal techniques, breath support, and how to connect to the material! You will also explore ‘acting the song’ through improvisation and acting exercises, while also having the opportunity to learn solo and group songs.


Spirits of Chesterwood

Spirits of Chesterwood is an intergenerational dance project created by 7 local choreographers in the Pulse community. This will be performed as a part of Chesterwoods’ Arts Alive series on Thursday, July 27, with shows at 4pm and 6pm.

What’s New at Pulse

Our summer session is in full swing! We’re so excited for our Dance Discovery program to begin next week. Plus, our Community Classes with new and continuing class and workshop options for all ages and levels of experience.

Next Tuesday, June 27, join the Feel Into Your Wholeness Workshop Series with Madeline Despres-Chen, Registered Somatic Movement Therapist & Educator. Madeline will guide you through a gentle somatic yoga experience to connect with your heart and lungs, followed by a therapeutic expressive arts process. The workshop will conclude with a facilitation of guided movement to support your fluid nature and deepen your mind-body-spirit connection.


World Percussion & African Dance

with Angel Lau & Nkoula Badila

A group of dancers in an African Dance Class. They are moving and a drummer plays while looking on.

Starting next Monday, June 26, join Nkoula Badila and Angel Lau for back-to-back community classes.

World Percussion 
Open Level and Intergenerational, for ages 8-adult
📅 Mondays, June 26-July 17
🕓 4-4:45pm

The world of percussion is so vast and exciting! In this course, you will learn the basics of how to play any percussion instrument, learning different rhythms from all over the globe with a focus on Afro-Cuban and Brazilian percussion.

African Dance 

Open Level, for ages 14-adult
📅 Mondays, June 26-July 17
🕓 5-6pm

This class will focus on a combination of Central West African + Contemporary dances, getting in touch with your own rhythm and flexibility, and finding a strong foundation in the relationship between the drum and the dance.


Save the Date: Spirits of Chesterwood

Spirits of Chesterwood is an intergenerational dance project created by 6 local choreographers in the Pulse community. This will be performed as a part of Chesterwoods’ Arts Alive series on Thursday, July 27, with shows at 4pm and 6pm.


Upcoming Performance This Week

Two dancers lay on their stomachs behind a row of assorted stuffed animals and toys. A third person holding a guitar kneels next to them.

why are you all still here

📅 Friday, June 23
🕢 7:30pm
📍 The Foundry, 2 Harris St, West Stockbridge

Pulse Teaching Artists Gillian Ebersole, Shannon Nulf, and Benjamin Court perform this Friday at The Foundry in West Stockbridge! Set to a soundscape of ambient blues music, their show why are you all still here explores the connection between knick knacks and nostalgia through movement and poetry, inspired by the items that stick with us, persisting even after every iteration of spring cleaning.

Thank YOU for making our Spring Celebration a success!

Thank you to all of our community members, teaching artists, families, and dancers who made our 2023 Spring Celebration a huge success! 

On May 27 & 28, our dancers performed in two sold-out shows at the Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock. 100% of the proceeds from these performances will benefit our Tuition Assistance program.

We are so grateful to our generous sponsors for making this year’s performance celebration possible:

Alander Construction
Berkshire Mountain Bakery
Indian Mountain School
Jacob’s Pillow
Nature Works Organic Land Care Inc
Gail Belmuth
Joan & Peter Coombs
Alan & Benès Glackman
Claudia & Joe Gold
Bruce Humes/Tall Tree Productions
Diane Pearlman & Jeff Diamond


Join us this Saturday at the upcoming Housatonic Party in the Park! Come learn more about Pulse’s summer programming and join an African Dance and Drumming class. 


Music & Storytelling (ages 4-6)

with Jeffrey Howard

📅 Mondays, July 3 to Aug 21
🕞 3:45-4:45pm

Using basic percussion instruments like shaky eggs, djembes, and the ukulele, this class will engage young children in music! Activities include: using rhythm to say your name in syllables; using the sounds of the instruments to cook a recipe; and acting out animals using sound and motions.

Plus, the class incorporates books like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “How Things Work in Busytown,” teaching young musicians to augment the stories and scenes using the sound from their instruments and the motion of their bodies.


Pride Ballet Workshop

📅 Saturday, June 17
🕤 9:30 to 11:30am

Set to pop tunes of queer greats, this workshop gives beginning and experienced dancers a chance to take up space, play with weight and momentum, and reframe their experience with ballet as one of joy.

This class centers queer folks but all are welcome! Dress in whatever way supports your identity and range of motion; rainbows encouraged. 🌈

*All proceeds from this class will be donated to the Elizabeth Freeman Center, an organization that offers hope, help, and healing to all experiencing or affected by domestic and sexual violence through free, accessible, and confidential services in Berkshire County.


Summer Intensive Highlight

👟HIP HOP & STREET STYLE INTENSIVE (Ages 12 to adult)

Introducing our Teaching Artists: Isaiah (Critical) Artis, Ben Court, Dashawn Davis, Miriam Piilonen, Andres Ramirez, and Peter (P-Boogie) Reynolds Jr. Read their bios here.

📅 Monday to Friday, July 31 – August 4
🕘 9am – 3pm

All levels, two groups: ages 12-14 and 15 to adult

Join these teaching artists to learn foundational movements and techniques of hip hop and street style dance, alongside discussions about the cultural meaning and significance of these dance forms.

The program will create an encouraging space to try out what you learn and most importantly show off your unique style and personality while freestyling in daily cyphers.


Join us for our Spring Celebration!

There is still time to buy your tickets for our annual Spring Celebration this weekend!

All tickets are general admission and available on a first-come, first-served basis. 100% of the proceeds will benefit our Tuition Assistance program.

Sponsor Spotlight

We are so grateful to our generous sponsors for making this year’s performance celebration possible.

Alander Construction
Berkshire Mountain Bakery
Indian Mountain School
Jacob’s Pillow
Nature Works Organic Land Care Inc
Gail Belmuth
Joan & Peter Coombs
Alan & Benès Glackman
Claudia & Joe Gold
Bruce Humes/Tall Tree Productions
Diane Pearlman & Jeff Diamond


Save the Date

Mohican Roots: Building Community through Council Dialogue

Alliance for a Viable Future will be holding community peacemaking dialogues to build relationships toward ancestral healing and reconciliation this June.

Wanonah Spencer, a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohicans, received a six-month fellowship from Alliance for a Viable Future to deepen her relationship with her ancestral homeland—the Berkshires.

Join us in dialogue at Pulse on June 22 at 6pm. You can register here. The program is free and open to all.

◾June 1st – In-person Council @ Flying Deer Nature Center
◾June 22nd – In-person Council @ Berkshire Pulse 
◾July 20th – In-person Council @ Random Harvest


Summer Community Classes

A teacher looks on as a group of students do a three-legged downward dog in a dance studio.

Our summer community class schedule is on our website, and we are adding classes every day!

Many classes we currently offer will be continuing this summer, as well as some exciting new classes and workshops! Summer community classes include:

African Dance
African Drumming
Basic Dance Composition
Ballet (Beginnning, Adv Beg/Int, and Int/Adv)
Contact Improvisation
Jazz
Modern (Beginning, Int/Adv)
Musical Theater
Shake Your Soul® 
Swing
Tap

Plus special workshops, including Pride BalletQueer Men of the Berkshires Dance Workshop, and a new Feel Into Your Wholeness series!


In the Spotlight: Pulse Seniors & Alumni

We are so proud of how hard our dancers work – keep reading this email to see all the places Pulse dancers go!

Tickets are on sale now for our Spring Celebration, taking place on May 27 & 28 at the Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock.

Did you know 100% of the proceeds from these performances will benefit our Tuition Assistance program?


Graduating Dancers

MALINA JACKSON

Malina Jackson rides a bicycle with tulips in the front basket.

Malina has danced at Pulse since she was four years old. She’s a leader in our community, serving as a peer role model and teaching assistant. Malina lights up every room she walks into, always has a fun fact to share, and is positive, committed, and silly all the while. 

In addition to dancing at Pulse, Malina is an accomplished artist (see the photos in this post)! In the fall, she will attend Tufts University in Boston, where she will pursue a BFA in Art through their School of the Museum of Fine Arts!

Malina’s choreography demonstrates her unique perspective on dance and visual art. She will be performing a self-choreographed solo at our Spring Celebration, centering on themes of time, memory, and the warmth of her experience dancing. 

RUBIELLE NEJAIME

A dancer in a blue jumpsuit jumps, looking down, with her hands thrown above her head.

Even though Rubi performed her graduating solo last year, we have been so lucky to have her continue her training at Pulse. Rubi has been a vital part of the Pulse community as a teaching assistant and class leader, all while working and taking classes at Berkshire Community College.

After years as a member of the Young Choreographers Initiative, Rubi now assists our Young Choreographers Workshop, mentoring the next generation of dance makers and creative movers.

Rubi is kind, dedicated, and has a secret sense of humor. Her smile always brightens any class, and her quiet leadership, as an artist and role model, has shaped us forever. Her choreographic voice shines through her movement.

This summer, Rubi will attend the Bates Dance Festival in the Professional Training Program, and in the fall, she will attend Boston Conservatory at Berklee to pursue a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance. Rubi’s encore performance during this year’s Spring Celebration will feature a duet she co-choreographed with fellow Pulse alum Laura Coe.


In the News: Pulse Alumni

VINCENT BREWER

Vincent is an alum of Pulse and a professional ballet dancer. After returning to the Berkshires to teach French at Taconic High School, Vincent has been teaching ballet at Pulse and will be a guest performer in Alex Bloomstein’s piece.

LAURA COE

Pulse alum, founding Young Choreographers Initiative member, and graduating Harvard student Laura recently presented her thesis “Falling Together.” Inspired by her ballet background and her newfound love for breakdancing, Laura’s work combined several styles of dance into one immersive evening. Read about Laura’s thesis here.

KATHERINE HUMES

A Pulse alum and a founding member of our Young Choreographers Initiative, Katherine is completing her second year of study at NYU Tisch, where she is earning a BFA in Drama and a BFA in Dramatic Writing. This summer, she will be working backstage at the Pulse performance, assistant directing The Stones at the Great Barrington Public Theatre, and performing at Chesterwood. In the fall, she will be studying abroad in London as a part of a highly selective playwriting program at NYU.

CECILIA KITTROSS

Last year’s graduating senior Cecilia will be interning at Bates Dance Festival this summer. The BDF internship program offers an opportunity to work with professional artists, receive mentorship from staff, participate in classes, performances, and other events, and create lasting relationships with the community of staff, interns, and artists.

MOSCELYNE PARKEHARRISON

This spring, Moscelyne was appointed Associate Artistic Director of Post:ballet in Berkeley, California, where she will continue to serve as Resident Choreographer and Company Artist. In addition, Moscelyne continues her partnership with Pulse through residencies with BODYSONNET, most recently creating a duet in our studios and teaching a partnering workshop.


Summer Intensive Highlight

🤿 Deep Dive! Contemporary Intensive (Ages 17+)

📅Monday to Friday, August 14 – 18 

🕙10am-4pm

with Sayer Mansfield and Sydney McManus

Beginning each day with a somatic warmup and contemporary class, this intensive will lead advanced dancers through improvisation, partnering, and workshop spaces. Sayer and Sydney come together to teach and exchange with young, curious minds. As a pair, they hope to deconstruct our habits of what it means to “work” as a dancer and creator. 

Can we train and create from a place of play and joy? Can we take care while we push our physical and artistic boundaries? These are all questions that are at the core of how they wish to share in this space together. 

Come to the woods for a week of pleasure, play, and expansive physicality!

Upcoming Spring Workshops & Events

Tickets are on sale now for our Spring Celebration, taking place on May 27 & 28 at the Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock.

Did you know 100% of the proceeds from these performances will benefit our Tuition Assistance program?

This year, we’re inviting our community to help sell program ads in support of our Tuition Assistance Program. Whoever sells the most ads wins a Pulse sweatshirt! Learn more here.


Structural Yoga Workshop

with Jovanina Pagano

📅 Saturday, May 6
🕑 2-4pm

In this workshop, we will focus on specific areas of our skeleton and its associated musculature and how they function to support every yoga pose – or asana – in our practice. Focusing on our internal systems can profoundly enrich any movement practice and can help us find curiosity and freshness even in poses that we have done over and over.

If you find anatomy fascinating, then this workshop is perfect for you! And if anatomy is a foreign land, then this workshop will present a new landscape for you to explore.

We will come together with the knowledge that all bodies are deeply wise. Questions, curiosities, and confusions are all welcome, as are all identities, bodies, and levels of experience.


Contemporary Partnering Workshop

📅 Saturday, April 29 
🕦 11:30am to 1pm

Pulse alum Moscelyne ParkeHarrison and collaborator Chase Buntrock will lead participants through fundamental principles of contemporary partnering. The workshop will culminate in learning a section from ‘newave’, a duet that Moscelyne and Chase are restaging for BODYSONNET’s Season 4. The workshop approaches partnering through a post-gender lens and encourages listening and mutual support.

This workshop is open to dancers ages 13 to adult.


Summer Intensive Highlight

🎭Musical Theater (Ages 10+)

A teacher leads a musical theater class.

📅 Monday to Saturday, August 7 – 12  

with Tom Masters, Molly Welch, and Wendy Welch

All levels, full-day program for ages 10-14, evening series for ages 14+

🕘 9am – 3pm (day program)

This week-long intensive gives students the opportunity to jump right into the world of musical theater with classes in tap, broadway jazz, voice, acting, and improvisation. Students will learn healthy warm-up practices for the voice and body, and work on character development, expression, ensemble, and more. The program directors will work with students to produce an informal performance for the program’s final day.

🕔 5pm – 7pm (evening series)

This-week long evening series for students ages 14+ will give the students an opportunity to take a daily musical theater workshop rotating between singing, acting, and improv and work on developing something for an informal performance at the end of the week.


You’re Invited: Our Annual Spring Celebration

Tickets are on sale now for our Spring Celebration, taking place on May 27 & 28 at the Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock.

Did you know 100% of the proceeds from these performances will benefit our Tuition Assistance program?

This year, we’re inviting our community to help sell program ads in support of our Tuition Assistance Program. Whoever sells the most ads wins a Pulse sweatshirt!


Contemporary Partnering Workshop

📅 Saturday, April 29 
🕦 11:30am to 1pm

Pulse alum Moscelyne ParkeHarrison and collaborator Chase Buntrock will lead participants through fundamental principles of contemporary partnering. The workshop will culminate in learning a section from ‘newave’, a duet that Moscelyne and Chase are restaging for BODYSONNET’s Season 4. The workshop approaches partnering through a post-gender lens and encourages listening and mutual support.

This workshop is open to dancers ages 13 to adult.


Summer Intensive Highlight

👟Hip Hop and Street Style (Ages 12+)

📅 Monday to Friday, July 31 – August 4
🕘 9am – 3pm

All levels, two groups: ages 12-14 and 15+

In this week-long program, dancers will learn foundational movements and techniques of hip-hop and street style dance, alongside discussions about the cultural meaning and significance of these dance forms. The program will create an encouraging space to try out what you learn and most importantly show off your unique style and personality while freestyling in daily cyphers.


Berkshire Pulse