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 served as Associate Director and Ballet Director for the Berkshire Pulse Performing Arts Program from 2005-2017. Her extensive contributions included curriculum development, establishing policies and guidelines essential to interdisciplinary dance training for youth and teens, and mentoring of teaching artists throughout her tenure.
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.
Aimee Gelinas M.Ed is a musician and naturalist educator who has been performing and facilitating educational programs for over 25 years. She is a skilled percussionist and singer specializing in djembe, doun doun, conga, bongo, shekere and various percussion instruments. She co-founded and performs drumming and singing in the world music ensemble Gaia Roots (World Music/West African/Caribbean) and Trio Candela (Caribbean/Latin) and the rock band SIFER. She previously performed as a lead percussionist in the Cuban ensemble Iroko Nuevo for over 5 years. She teaches drumming throughout Western, MA and beyond and produces a yearly fundraiser event for Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center, the Berkshire Drum and Dance Fest and leads her student drum performance ensembles: The Berkshire and Valley Rhythm Keepers. She co-founded and directs the Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center in Windsor, MA a non-profit organization conserving 32 acres of boreal forest land that is dedicated to “Inspiring environmental and cultural awareness, appreciation and stewardship” by providing nature & drumming programs for all ages throughout Western MA and beyond. Aimee has traveled to West Africa, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico and throughout the US to perform and study percussion with master drummers including: Mamady Keita & Tam Tam Mandingue, Bolokada Conde, Namory Keita, Moussa Traore, Ismael Bangoura, M’Bemba Bangoura, Mague Sylla, Sidiki Sylla, Baros Gomis as well as Joe Platz, Raul “Lali” Gonzalez, Alexis Zayas, Pedrito Martinez, Titos Sompa, Frisner Augustin, master artists at the Conjunto Folkloriko in Havana and Los Munequitos de Matanzas and many more. She co-produced the 19-track CD Mother Drum by Gaia Roots featuring music from West Africa, the Caribbean and originals.
\You can reach Aimee at:
facebook.com/motherdrum (Gaia Roots)
Bettina holds a BFA in Dance, Cum Laude, from Temple University.
In Philadelphia, she performed professionally with Philadelphia’s Sybil Dance Company, Artistic Director Eva Gholson, and Dance Conduit, Artistic Director Ann Vachon, for the reconstruction of Doris Humphrey’s “Dawn in New York.”
In the Berkshires, Bettina performed 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 and Louis Horst. Her early training continued under the direction of Truda Kashman, Martha Graham technique with Debra Zall, with various teaching artists at the Murray Louis and Alwin Nicolais Dance Lab 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 2005. Bettina has been teaching classes in modern dance for students of all ages and levels throughout her 25-year directorship of the organization.
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
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 more than 30 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, is a faculty artist at IS183 and program coordinator for parent/child education at CHP. She has been working with Berkshire Pulse since its inception as the Flowering Child Performing Arts Program in 1996.