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 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.
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 (she/her) is a dance artist from Indiana and currently based in the Berkshires. 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, Vertigo company members and more, study Gaga technique in Israel for 6 months, and direct a collaborative student-led show with dance and theater students. Veronica moved to the Berkshires to work at Jacob’s Pillow for a summer, and happily decided to stay in the area afterwards. She was a founding member of the dance community, “Dancers of the Berkshires”, and helped organize the first 2 annual shows. She is currently a company member of “Qualia Dance Company”, a freelance choreographer and dancer, and the Community & In-School Program Manager at Berkshire Pulse, a center for dance and the creative arts in Housatonic.
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, 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 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!
Liz Butler grew up in the Berkshires, surrounded by the arts, but they fell in love with improv the hardest. Liz is excited to be back and teaching improv, after spending four years in New Zealand. They’ve taught at the New Zealand Improv Festival, and have performed at the New Zealand Comedy Festival and at the New Zealand Fringe Festival, where they were nominated for Most Promising Emerging Artist in 2022 festival. Liz loves the possibilities that improv brings, and enjoys being wholly present with their scene partners. Liz believes improv is a skill that celebrates spontaneity, trust, silliness, and joy.
Liz Butler and Ben Jardine are improvisers who met in New Zealand four years ago, and have been performing with each other ever since. They recently finished touring their improvised music concert Live from International Waters around the United States, and have returned to the Berkshires after several months performing back in New Zealand. Their show Spitz & Crumple was nominated for five awards at the 2022 New Zealand Fringe Festival.
Saroya Corbett is a certified Dunham Technique teacher and Arthur Levitt Jr. ’52 Artist-in-Residence Fellow at Williams College. Additionally, Saroya has a Masters in Fine Arts degree in Dance from Temple University, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Culture and Performance at the University of California, Los Angeles. The recipient of numerous grants and awards, she participated in conferences and symposiums throughout the country, and her work is published in the Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America (2015) and Jazz Dance: A History of The Roots and Branches (2014). She performed with several dance companies, including Flyground Dance Company, Kariamu & Company and CityDance Ensemble, as well as her own Saroya Corbett Dance Projects. Currently, she serves as the history and theory chair for the Institute for Dunham Technique Certification and on the steering committee for the Coalition Diasporan Scholars Moving (CDSM).
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. Read more and hear samples of his music at www.DavidCroweMusic.com. 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.