Five College Dance Department


The Five College Dance Department loves hearing from our alums! Please help us stay in touch by sending updated contact info, as well as news about what you're up to these days for inclusion in the annual FCDD newsletter to

FCDD Alumni and News 2013-14

Christiana Axelsen (MHC ’03) is a freelance performer/choreographer living in Brooklyn. Last summer, she began dancing with Molissa Fenley and performed in her reconstruction of Energizer (1980) at New York Live Arts. This spring, she performed with Beth Gill and Michou Szabo, and was recently hired to be the Development Associate for John Jasperse projects. 

Rachel Aylward (UM ’13) lives in NYC and appears on Veria Living TV. She answers health and wellness questions from viewers on air.

Erica Berman (MHC '05) moved to Wisconsin where she is the Director of Education & Community Engagement for the Children's Theater of Madison. Erica has choreographed many musical theater productions for youth.

Rebeccah Bogue (SC '08) has choreographed, directed, publicized, raised funds for, and presented nine shows in NYC since 2010, and is working on her tenth production.

Nicole Bindler (HC ’99) received certifications in Embodied Anatomy Yoga and Embodied Developmental Movement and Yoga from the School for Body-Mind Centering. She also taught anatomy for a yoga teacher training program for Palestinians and Israelis in Palestine.

Kim Brandt (HC ’01) presented new work as part of CPR's 2013 Spring Season, and performed her work Today at JACK in Brooklyn in November. She also showed new work at Movement Research at Judson Church in February with artists including Addys Gonzalez (HC ’05).

Becky (Engler-Hicks) Brittain (MHC ’70) has worked as a dance-movement therapist in St. Louis for over 30 years, and credits her experience as a student advisor to the formation of the FCDD with setting her on her life path. She also has a private practice as a mothering coach.

Mora Cantlin (MHC '05) works in Audience Engagement and Marketing at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College, and is pursuing a M.Ed. in Health Promotion.

Nichole Canuso (HC ’95) toured around the country performing her solo work Midway Avenue, including performing at FringeArts in May.

Yanira Castro (AC ‘94) returned to the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) for the first of two residencies to develop Court/Garden, a dance for her company, a canary torsi. Court/Garden features installation/lighting design by Kathy Couch (AC ’95). The company returns to MANCC in June to continue developing the piece.

Laura (Simeral) Chevalier (UM) is the fitness director at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires, and works with Kristen Duffy Young (UM ‘99) in Accumulation Dance.

Olivia Chin (MHC ’13) works as a teacher at the Encore Performing Arts Center where she teaches hip hop, contemporary, jazz, cheer, and baby ballet. She also co-directs the Encore Dance Company.

Ariel Cohen (SC MFA '07) is a contemporary dancer in Europe. This summer she’s taking a rest to enjoy true love while exploring British Columbia and learning how to rock climb. In January 2015 she starts an 18-month job dancing in a circus piece based on Fellini’s La Strada, which will tour throughout Switzerland and Germany. Ariel was featured in the December 2013 issue of Dance Magazine.

Marylloyd Claytor (MHC ’74) produces a series called Claytor Studio and Gallery, which airs weekly on She produces fitness and interdisciplinary art programming, including her original modern dance choreography and costuming, fiber art and vintage fashion.

Kathy Couch (AC ‘95) has been busy working on lighting designs for several productions. One of these, The People To Come, choreographed by Yanira Castro (AC '94) was nominated for a 2013 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production.

Bridget Cronin (UM ’13) lives in NYC and dances with Reject Dance Theater.

Lauren Curry (MHC ’07) is a ballet/contemporary instructor and production manager at Midland Festival Ballet. She continues to choreograph and has twice presented work at the Regional Dance America/Southwest Region Festival.  She recently completed a pointe piece to Bobby Darin songs.

Milena Dabova (AC ’05) continues to work and perform with Double Edge Theatre touring throughout the US and in Europe. She’ll be featured in the 2014 Indoor/Outdoor Summer Spectacle Shahrazad

Eva Dean (HC ‘82) Eva Dean Dance made a special guest appearance at the Tord Gustavsen Quartet's performance at St. Peter's Church in February. Eva Dean Dance company member Jessy Smith performed Poise set to Tord Gustavsen’s Token of Tango.

Brendan Drake (UM '09) showed Mapping at The Current Sessions Volume IV, Issue I at the Wild Project Theater in the East Village.

Brittany Dunn (UM ‘07) dances in Jubilee at Bally’s Las Vegas.  

Martha Eddy (HC ‘79) co-founded and directs Moving for Life, a dance-based exercise program for cancer recovery.

Jess Edkins (MHC ’07) recently completed her Master's degree in Performing Arts Administration at NYU and as works as the Creative Producer at Performance Space 122 in the East Village. 

Emma Elizalde (MHC ’11) has moved back to MA and has a new Ed.M. degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she was in the Mind, Brain, and Education Program.

Olana Flynn (HC’13) and Katie Aylward (UM ’13) received a grant from the Northampton Arts Council to create Workbench, a monthly series designed to provide local choreographers a venue to perform and discuss their works in progress.

Mollie Fredricksen (MHC ‘13) is starting a physical therapy program at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, a top-ranked graduate school for nursing and rehabilitation sciences.

Kyla Ferguson (HC ’09) has enrolled in the Smith College graduate program in Social Work.

Lily Gold (HC ’04) presented new work at Arts at Renaissance in Brooklyn, NY in June 2013.

Stacey Goodrich (MHC ’80) is a licensed mental health counselor who uses dance therapy and other body-based modalities in her practice.

Jillian Grunnah (SC MFA '09) directs the dance program at the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, MA. She is also the artistic director of SPUNKandCOmpany Dance where she works closely with Andria LaRocco (UM '10) and Audrey LaVallee (UM) to create theatrical contemporary dance in Cambridge. 

Jeff Gugliotti (UM ’13) is presently dancing with ELSCO Dance company, Artistic Director, Ellenore Scott. He has also been teaching at Broadway Dance Center.

Zoe Henrot (MHC ‘12) is interim artistic director and company dancer with Saint Paul City Ballet.

CJ Holm (HC ’04) premiered Rare Birds, an evening-length duet with Krista Jansen in February at FLICfest, a unique festival for long-form work, now in its fourth year at the gorgeous Irondale Center in Brooklyn.

Jeff Janisheski (AC ‘90) is the Head of Acting at Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA). He returned to Amherst College in November to lead workshops for current students.

Emily Jawadekar (MHC ’10) lives in Northampton where she teaches dance and piano lessons to children and yoga to seniors. She does salsa, belly dance, and contra dance for fun. She also writes music, and recently choreographed a music video for her latest song, which you can catch on local TV soon.

Jane Jerardi (HC ’93) presented a piece in the SUPERNOVA Performance Art Festival in Rosslyn, VA. The piece takes listeners on a short walk outside through a meditation on distance and memory via a short audio walk that viewers can access via their cellphones.

Julie Klein (MHC ’02) is in her eighth year of teaching at Middle School 51 in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She directs two student dance companies who regularly perform including at NYU and in area schools. She continues to perform, and danced in the NYU Masters Concert this spring. She also keeps busy raising her daughter Sanai. 

Terri Kruzan (MHC ’75) moved to Minneapolis after graduation and co-founded an improvisational dance company called Contactworks. They toured the Midwest and were successful enough to provide a salary for the four company members. Terri also started a dance therapy program for drug rehab centers, which served as another source of revenue. She learned to be entrepreneurial to support what she wanted to do, and this entrepreneurial drive has served her well throughout her career. Terri earned an MBA from Emory University in 1985, and has worked as an organizational culture change expert for the last twenty years. To keep her body whole, she practices Feldenkrais.

Brittni Laquidara (UM ’13) has been dancing with Fusionworks Dance Company in Rhode Island this year.

Audrey LaVallee (UM ‘?) just received her certification as a Dance Movement Therapist, and has been dancing with other FCDD alums in Spunk and Company in the Boston area. 

K. Louise Layman (MHC ’09) lives in NYC, and is working on an excerpt of the new duet by fellow alum Alexis Zaccarello (MHC ‘10) which will be presented at Center for Performance Research next fall.

Lona Lee (SC MFA ’09) resides in Phoenix, and works as the Associate Director of Admission at All Saints' Episcopal Day School were she leads efforts in multicultural education and inclusion. She is trained in Bikram Yoga, and performs solo dance work in collaborative community festivals with a focus on narratives and spoken word. She is married to Erin Kearney and together they care for a grumpy old dog.

Justine Lemos (HC ‘99), Michelle Maroquin (HC ‘93) and Akshaya Tucker performed in Guru Ranjanaa Devi’s Nataraj Dancers on a concert of classical Indian dance highlighting Odissi and Mohini Attam dance at MHC in February.

Gina Leung (MHC ’12) completed the Laban program in London in July and is now freelancing in London. She performed in several public dance events in Trafalgar Square last fall, and is working with Dam Van Huynh for Dance United. She is also training to become a Pilates teacher.

Karin Linden (UM ’12) is earning a Masters degree in Expressive Therapies: Dance/Movement Therapy with a Specialization in Mental Health Counseling at Lesley University.

Bethany Louisos (UM ’09) has worked with Maine-based modern dance companies Women’s Works, Collective Motion, and Bell and Buoy Physical Theater, and was a recent guest artist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra.  

Meredith Lyons (SC MFA ’08) is a dual-city artist, performing and creating in both Philadelphia and Portland, ME. She serves as Admissions Director of Bates Dance Festival and at guest teaches Colby and Bates Colleges. Since graduating, she has taught and presented her own choreography both nationally and internationally.

Korinna MacNeill (MHC ’13) moved to Florida where she teaches beginning ballet, creative movement, and tap at the Legacy School of Performing Arts in Quincy.

Michelle Marroquin (SC MFA '10) continues to teach and choreograph for Springfield College dancers. She also makes her own work, which is presented at local venues and festivals. Next year, Michelle will be training to become a Physical Therapy Assistant.

Rene Martin (UM ’95) works as a rehearsal assistant in conjunction with the Celebrity Series of Boston and Sylvain Émard Danse.  

Kaitlin McCarthy (MHC ‘09) is performing, making dances and writing in Seattle.   She has performed with over a dozen local artists and well as choreographing her own work, including her self-produced show Hot Mess. A staff writer for the blog Seattle Dances, Kaitlin has published over 30 articles.

Donna Mejia (SC MFA ’12) is Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She’ll be on leave during spring 2015 to complete a collection of essays analyzing emerging dance forms in the transnational fusion genre, and will return to assume directorship of Graduate Studies in Dance. Donna will be in the Pioneer Valley in October to teach an intensive at Earthdance. 

Desiree Monet-Anderson (MHC '74) studied jazz dance with Luigi in New York City for many years, and later taught jazz dance and performed in Indianapolis. Married, with a family and full-time job, she no longer dances, but writes that she has “such wonderful and satisfying memories”. 

Canace Morgan (MHC ’13) takes dance classes at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Fine Arts in Kingston, Jamaica, and performs whenever she gets the chance.

Leah Moriarty (UM ’10) has been dancing with the Harambee Dance Company, a Harlem-based African Dance ensemble. She’s also working with choreographer Souleymane Badolo and will be joining him in Burkina Faso summer.

Cathy Nicoli (SC MFA ’04) is in her second year as Assistant Professor of Dance and Performance Studies at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI. Her most recent choreographic work, The Red Thread, is an interdisciplinary approach to Barry Commoner's Four Laws of Ecology in which she collaborates with Heidi Henderson (SC MFA ‘87) and other movement, visual, and sound artists.

Leslie Palmieri (MHC ’74) graduated from the Juilliard School and worked for the Dance in Education Fund for 17 years as teacher, choreographer, staff leader and mentor, directing their concert groups and working as an artist in the schools. For the past 22 years, she has been a kindergarten teacher. She has a master’s degree in teaching and National Board Certification.

Sandra Parks (SC MFA '07) taught at Boston University, Bridgewater State University, College of Fenway, and Regis College as adjunct faculty after graduation. She then moved to Atlanta to serve as an assistant professor at Kennesaw State University. While in Atlanta, Sandra co-directed and edited a documentary on Chinese dance and culture. She now works as an Assistant Professor and Head of Dance at Louisiana State University.

Jennifer Passios (MHC ’13) spent last summer on scholarship at the Gus Giordano Dance School in Chicago. Since returning to Boston, she has been rehearsing and performing with Tribe and Hyperbole Dance. In October, she was in Boston Fashion Week’s dance-inspired runway show at the Institute of Contemporary Art. She also teaches jazz at the Northeast School of Ballet and substitute teaches at an elementary school.

Roberta Roll (MHC ’76) stopped dancing professionally a few years before the birth of her child in 1990, and dedicated herself full-time to her private practice in Bodywork and Movement Therapy in NYC. In 2011, she performed in the Global Water Dances project.

Jen Rosenblit (HC ‘05) was one of the inaugural recipients of The Award, a new mentorship prize for young choreographers in NYC’s experimental dance community. She continues to teach, curate concerts and present work in NYC.

Laura Ann Samuelson (HC ‘11) performed her new work EVERYTHING IS IN at the Community Dance Collective in Boulder, and was featured as part of Susan Froyd's 100 Colorado Creatives blog series.

Noelle Serafino (HC ’09) is the Administrative Assistant & Educational Outreach Coordinator at Pioneer Valley Ballet in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Meagan Seufert (MHC ’11) has been busy since graduation with volunteer work at a local theatre, both performing and running tech. She also does freelance photography, with a focus on capturing live stage performance. She is employed as an Account Executive at Ocala Style Magazine, with opportunities to perform radio spots and to develop a video series for the publication.

Karinne Keithley Seyers (HC ‘96) will be presenting work in the River to River Festival and has returned to Mount Tremper Arts to continue to collaborate on new work with Sara Smith (HC ’90) and Luke Cantarella, with whom she presented Another Tree Dance at the Chocolate Factory Theater in Long Island City, NY.

Tony Silva (UM ’94) is in his tenth year of accompanying dance classes for the FCDD. He recently finished the musical score for his seventh documentary and continues to play for dance jams at Earthdance, VIDAM and elsewhere.  

Joshua Shane (HC ’13) is an entertainment writer at the Guardian Liberty Voice in New Hampshire.  

Stephanie Simpson (SC MFA '12) resides in NYC where she is developing the dance program at Riverdale Country School. She continues to create and produce work with fellow Smith alums, Rebecca Hite Teicheira (SC MFA ’12) and Stephen Ursprung (SC MFA ’12) with their company Reject Dance Theatre. Stephanie is also the dance coach for My College Audition and directs and choreographs musicals throughout the city.

Amy Softic (SC MFA ’06) is working towards a MA in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling at Antioch University New England, and is interning as a counselor at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Prior to this, she served as an instructor in the Theatre and Dance Department at Franklin Pierce University.

Rebecca Steinberg (UM ’12) has been dancing with Vertigo Dance Company's International Training Program in Israel for the past year. She has performed on Batsheva's home stage at the Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater, and in the Tower of David Museum for Israel's Independence Day celebration. 

Jennifer Trowbridge (MHC '72) was in the first MHC class with a dance major, and she’s still dancing, teaching, performing and learning! Pilobolus was an early inspiration and she continues to work with Alison Chase. She runs a private studio in Sedgwick, ME and teaches and choreographs in the region.    

Mariana Valencia (HC ‘06) presented on the bed on the floor in March at New York Live Arts with fellow HC alum Lydia Okrent (HC ‘06). They did a residency at HC in May to keep developing this work.

Chrissy Vanyur (UM ’12) is in her second year dancing with the Boston Celtics, traveling around the world.  

Cat Wagner (SC MFA '13) has settled in Brooklyn. In April, she presented Oh, a Cup. Again. at Triskelion Arts Comedy in Dance 2014. She is collaborating with Kelly Silliman (SC MFA '13) on dance theatre duet Hear/See.

Autumn Welt (SC MFA '12) lives in Florida. She performs and choreographs in the Orlando area with companies such as Universal Studios, Nickelodeon, and DreamWorks.

Chelsea White (MHC ’13) lives in Chicago where she works at Arabesque dance store, takes class at Visceral Dance Center, is on the substitute teacher list at a few studios. She is in the process of applying to graduate school.

Teana White (AC ’10) works at the non-profit Phipps Community Development Corporation as a College Awareness Advisor for two Bronx schools, and dances with West African dance company Harambee.

Christa Whitney (SC '09) works at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst where she serves as the founding director of the Wexler Oral History Project, a growing archive of over 600 hours of video interviews about Yiddish language and culture.

Dyana Winkler (MHC ’03) is directing a feature-length documentary, United Skates, about an underground dance scene that fuses hip-hop, breaking and animating – all while on roller skates. The project raised nearly $60,000 through a Kickstarter campaign and starts filming soon. 

Lauren Wolter (MHC ’13) relocated to NYC and spent fall 2013 as a student in Broadway Dance Center's Professional Semester program. Living in NYC has afforded her lots of opportunities, notably performing on the Dr. Oz Show with Richard Simmons and dancing in a Neon Trees music video.