Zurie Adams

Zurie Adams has had a passion for the performing arts ever since childhood, participating in school theatre programs, dance lessons and Berkshire Children’s Chorus. In 2019 Zurie graduated from St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College with an Associates Degree in Fine Art, Design and Cultural Communication and in 2023 graduated from MCLA with a BA in Performing Arts (Major in Theatre, Minor in Music Production). Recent shows include Release (2023), What The Constitution Means To Me (2023) and Urinetown: The Musical (2023).

Zurie has a wide variety of interests but aims to always work in an environment where art of some kind is being created. 

Nkoula Badila

Nkoula Badila ~*~ A multitalented artist/healer born into a traditional Congolese dancing and drumming Family. Nkoula grew up performing these dances with her nine siblings at schools, community centers, block party’s and beyond, spreading the true beauty of her Kongolese culture for the world to see. Her family continues to share these gifts, teaching traditional dance and drum classes, storytelling, community theatre, and leading craft workshops. She is also part of a traveling Cosmic soul band “Ladymoon and the Eclipse” with two of her sisters. Nkoula also makes her own music (Nkodia) inspired by the traditional polyrhythmic Melodies from her homeland, and she is also the creator of her jewelry business also named “Nkodia” making custom handmade healing Adornments for people. You can find her Adornments online at www.nkodia.art. The name NKODIA symbolizes the spiral and honors the patience of the outward process like the snail.

During our class sessions we will be learning different Traditional dances of Ancestral Africa, accompanied by live percussion. These movements will be celebratory of the celebration of life. The students will learn Dances of cultivation, rights of passage, cleansing, dance of warriors, and welcoming in royalty. We will weave in the lessons of the day and share reflections from what we learned to support a wholesome experience of the class.

Shakia Barron

Shakia Barron is a choreographer, performer, and dance educator whose work is rooted in the African Diaspora, focusing on Hip-Hop, House and other African diasporic dance forms. She graduated with her MFA in Choreography at Wilson College, she holds an Associate’s degree in dance and psychology from Dean College, a Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Westfield State University, and she received the National Dance Institute’s teaching artist certificate in 2009.

Barron has choreographed and directed more than 50 Hip-Hop, modern, African and lyrical works that have been performed at Trenton Education Dance Institute, Rider University, the Princeton School of Ballet, Bates Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow. She has performed for numerous Hip-Hop events and has opened for concerts by Fat Joe, Jadakiss, 112, Charlie Baltimore, and Kima from “Total” and Omarion.

Gail Belmuth

Gail Belmuth has 30 years of experience in communications and marketing for a wide range of corporate, political, and nonprofit clients. Currently, she runs a communications consultancy, with a focus on helping organizations through major transformations, including mergers and acquisitions, automation and digitization, and other drivers of rapid expansion.

Gail’s current and recent clients include Marsh McLennan, CVSHealth, Novartis, Montefiore Medical Center, Siemens, Xerox, Alcoa, International Rescue Committee, Accenture, ITT/Xylem, Deloitte and Ingersoll Rand. Gail is the former global chief communications officer for International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. She also served in leadership roles at several global communications agencies, including Burson-Marsteller. 

Early in her career, Gail worked with reforming governments in the former Soviet Union and Latin America. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in Russian Studies and moved to the Berkshires from New York in 2015. Since moving to the Berkshires, Gail also served as Director of Advancement for Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires. 

Gail was introduced to the magic of Berkshire Pulse through her daughter, Cecelia, who was a tap and African drumming student here throughout middle and high school.

Joanne Bockemuehl-Jackson

Joanne Bockemuehl was born and raised in Bochum, Germany. Her flamenco journey began in 1995 with Regina Martinez and in Madrid at Amor de Dios with Ciro and Carmela Greco. In 2014, she immigrated to Great Barrington, MA and established a flamenco program at her local dance studio taking adults and children.

She is an alumni of the Spanish Dance and Flamenco Program at Jacobs Pillow (2019) and currently a participant of the Artist Development program with Flamenco Vivo in NY (2020-2022). Last year she was chosen as a finalist for the US Flamenco Certamen and performed at the Bruno Walter auditorium NY City.

She is a teaching artist/choreographer at Berkshire Pulse in Great Barrington, MA as well as a costume designer.

Veronica Bone

Veronica Bone (she/her) is a dance artist born in Indiana and currently based in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. She graduated from Indiana University in 2018 with a BFA in Contemporary Dance and a certificate in Arts Administration. While in school she had the opportunity to learn from Bill T. Jones, Gallim, Batsheva, and Vertigo company members, study the Gaga technique in Israel for 6 months, and co-direct collaborative shows with fellow dance and theater students. Veronica moved to the Berkshires to work at Jacob’s Pillow for the summer of 2018. She has been a member of the “Qualia Dance Collective” since the winter of 2020 and has created and performed as a freelance artist since 2019. She has performed at Jacob’s Pillow, the Foundry, Berkshire Theater Group, and Chesterwood, to name a few. Veronica is also a teaching artist working mostly with pre-teens to adults and focused on Contemporary Dance. She is also a 200-hour Yoga Certified Instructor. She is the Community and In-school Program Manager at Berkshire Pulse, where she’s working to better and more equitably serve each day.

Madisyn Boussie

Madisyn Boussie (she/her) is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer, whose work is centered around engaging and uplifting the community through the art of dance. Madisyn graduated from Oakland University in April of 2022, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and a Minor in Business. During her time at Oakland University, she was a member of the Oakland University Repertory Dance Company and trained under the direction of Gregory Patterson, Thayer Jonutz, Ali Woernor, Jennifer Harge, Teresa Muller, Elizabeth Riga, Stephanie Pizzo, and Christina Tasco, among others. While completing her undergraduate studies, Madisyn had the opportunity to perform in works created by professional companies in residency at Oakland University, including both Take Root Dance Company and Eisenhower Dance Detroit. Not only this, but Madisyn has received training from outside choreographers including DIAVOLO, Bailey Allshouse, Frederick Davis, Ivan Ivanovich, Lauren Anderson, and more. 
Alongside completing her undergraduate studies, Madisyn served as the student-body president for Oakland University’s Department of Dance and was a student-intern for Take Root Dance Company. Upon graduating from Oakland University, Madisyn was a company member with Suttle Dance Company, a professional modern-based dance company located in Novi, MI for the 2022-2023 season. Her work entitled Not Then, Not Now, Not Ever premiered at the American College Dance Association’s East-Central Region Conference in March 2022 and was most recently selected to be shown at the Detroit Dance City Festival taking place in September 2023. Currently, Madisyn serves as the School Programs Coordinator at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and is so excited to begin teaching at Berkshire Pulse this year!

Vincent Brewer

Vincent Brewer, a native of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, trained at Berkshire Pulse and Albany Berkshire Ballet and continued his dance studies at Indiana University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Ballet with an Outside Field in Religious Studies. Vincent danced professionally with Festival Ballet Providence, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Island Moving Company, and Albany Berkshire Ballet. He has performed choreography by George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, and August Bournonville and originated roles by Tony Williams, Mark Harootian, and Janelle Gilchrist. Vincent is a certified ABT National Training Curriculum Teacher, Levels Pre-Primary-3, and a 200-Hour Kripalu Yoga certified teacher. He has taught ballet, yoga, and outreach dance at various locations, including Berkshire Pulse, Festival Ballet Providence, and Berkshire South. Vincent earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mount Holyoke College in 2021 and teaches French at Taconic High School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in addition to performing and teaching dance.

Genève Brossard

Genève Brossard has been running a grassroots boxing program here in the Berkshires for the past 7 years, coaching kids and teens, adult newcomers, and competing athletes.

She is delighted to be partnering with Berkshire Pulse for Youth Boxing. This rhythmic sport can be a deeply positive presence in a young person’s life-providing mastery, confidence, community, and health.

Genève is a 2 x New York Golden Gloves and an NY State Empire Games Champion. She was an athlete on the USA Elite Women’s Boxing team in 2006, and represented the USA at the Pan-American Games, among other tournaments. She was also the first woman to represent the London Lynn Boxing Club, the oldest club in England- established in 1892, and was a London ABA tournament finalist.

Genève has devoted much of her life to boxing, and she loves coaching as a way share the embodied joy, power, freedom, and fun to be found in this ancient sport!

Laura Cabrera

Laura Cabrera is a Mexican singer, who grew up in Veracruz, México and now lives in the Berkshires with her children Liberty and Gael. Laura has always had a passion for helping others and for getting to know the various cultures that surround us. Laura loves anything related to traditional Mexican music, art, and culture. Her goal is to share her cultural background with the local community and the rest of the world, as well as exposing the Latin population to the Berkshires’ culture, with its rich diversity of arts institutions and programs. 

On a personal achievement note, Laura is the co-founder of three Berkshire County groups. First, Amor A Nuestras Raíces (love to our roots), was a Hispanic artist collective that focused on promoting all types of artistic and cultural expression while appreciating and embracing each other’s diversity. . The experience learned through this project led to the formation of the second group named Latinas-413 whose mission is to empower Latinas to expand their social and economic outreach, serving as a bridge to resources available in our county. Latinas-413 aims to increase the representation of the voices, talents, and interests of Latinas across Berkshire County. 

Laura is also the founder of YO SOY ARTE (I am art). In this project, Laura focused on increased Latinx local artist representation in cultural spaces and activities.

Berkshire Pulse