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.

Madeline Despres-Chen

Madeline is a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist. She is certified in SomaSoul®: Somatic Therapy and Shake Your Soul®: the Yoga of Dance by LIFE Movement: Leven Institute for Expressive Movement, and she is registered with ISMETA (The International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association).

Madeline double-majored in psychology and dance at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and wrote her senior thesis on the healing benefits of Dance Movement Therapy. Following graduation, Madeline began training to become a Somatic Movement Therapist. She put a pause on her training when she moved to Shanghai, China, in 2016 to teach English, dance, and drama performance to children ages 3-6. She taught Shake Your Soul® at local studios in Shanghai before relocating to the Berkshires in 2020 to complete her somatic therapy training. 

As a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist, Madeline supports others in discovering a greater awareness and understanding of their lives using a mind-body healing modality that combines Body-Centered Gestalt Psychotherapy with the freedom of the expressive arts and the heart of contemplative practices. As a Shake Your Soul® Teacher and Facilitator, Madeline leads participants through a fluid dance repertoire set to world music that relaxes the nervous system, energizes the body, and awakens the soul.

Bettina Montano

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.

Kim Waterman

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. 

Molly Welch

Molly Welch (she/her) grew up in Dallas where she attended the Dallas Ballet Center for 15 years. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop, and lyrical. She was a teaching assistant while there and went on to teach Musical Theater dance in their summer workshops for the next 4 years. She attended Booker T. Washington HS for the Performing and Visual Arts, where she split her studies between theater and dance.

Molly has been involved in professional theater since a very young age and continues to love this form of expression more than twenty years later. She grew up performing with her musical parents on the road and has appeared in many productions in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area over the years. She performed on an Equity stage for the first time at the age of ten in a production of Peter Pan as Michael Darling. To this day she suffers from Peter Pan syndrome and refuses to ever truly grow up. Some favorite roles include Hen in Giggle Giggle Quack- Dallas Children’s Theater National Tour; Kelli in Hands on a Hardbody; Bess in The Human Comedy; Dre/Rhiannon/Evelyn/Others in Precious Little; Anna (Original readings) in Creep: The Musical; Eveline in (Original reading), The Manufactured Myth of Eveline Flynn. And the Cherry on top was dancing in the prominent LGBTQIA+ fundraising event, Broadway Backwards, in 2018.

Berkshire Pulse