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FCD Alumni Updates
For additional alumni updates please visit our 2019-2020 Newsletter.
Martha Mason (MHC ’88) co-owns Upward Spiral Studio in Cambridge, MA. She is a Level 2 Specialized Master Trainer (Teacher Trainer) for the Gyrotonic Expansion System and enjoys traveling and sharing her passion for this method with studios around the world. From 1997 to 2007, she directed and toured with her dance company, Snappy Dance Theater. Her 30-year dance career influences her work with high-level athletes, with whom she uses the Gyrotonic method to promote ease, grace and strength in all planes of movement.
Ian Melchinger (AC ’92) trained with Wendy Woodson and thinks often of her teachings. He lives in New Haven, CT, as part of a five-person family with a backyard urban chicken-bee farm, and he teaches writing and video art at a prep school, where he also runs a project-based learning program. Melchinger works with music, movement, comix, animation, theater, martial arts, writing and performance art, all of which he began to put together with Wendy Woodson, Suzanne Dougan and Peter Lobdell at Amherst. He owes them a lot.
Loren Roberston (MHC ’06) moved to the Bay Area after graduation and began a business in videography for dance and performance, which she still runs today!
Milena Dabova (AC ’07) has worked as actor and choreographer at Double Edge Theatre for more than 10 years now, and she is a parent of a daughter, Yulia. Other current projects include a monthly series of video dance self-portraits. One video in particular feels very relevant for her in this moment because it relates to cleansing, reflection and being in nature, as well as to all the ineffable qualities of water: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YV7q-uINcA.
Meghan Frederick (HC '07) is a dance artist and activist based in Philadelphia, PA, and the director of Meghan Frederick / Practice Project. Her choreography has been shown in such venues as Movement Research, Center for Performance Research, Brooklyn Studios for Dance, Triskelion Arts, Dixon Place, the Wild Project, Dance New Amsterdam, Green Space, Bates Dance Festival and Rutgers University. Frederick was the 2016 (M)mix artist in residence at Marymount Manhattan College (NYC). She has recently performed the artists Liz Lerman, iele paloumpis, Kendra Portier and Catherine Galasso, and was a member of the Brian Brooks Moving Company from 2008 to 2014. Frederick teaches dance technique, composition and partnering, and has recently taught at Rutgers University as an adjunct faculty member. She was a guest artist at Hunter College, Bates College, Dance New Amsterdam, Gibney Dance Center and the Vermont Dance Alliance. Frederick is an active Pilates instructor.
Emma Jaster (AC ’07) posts videos related to her performance practice on Instagram as @notapapercrane and @mamaisamaker—sometimes short dances, sometimes creative ways to exist at home or engage with children. Jaster also works on reimagining a production of Lady M with Heartbeat Opera to include a virtual artist residency and online performance gatherings. (Stay tuned!) She is working with Opera Lafayette on home-based family workshops fun,and collaborates with the Lab for Global Performance and Politics through Georgetown University.
Emily Rosenberg (AC ’07) lives in Düsseldorf, Germany. She designs and makes costumes and formal gowns.
Kaitlin McCarthy (MHC ’09) is a Seattle-based dance artist, writer and teacher. She has choreographed and performed across the city, as well as toured nationally and internationally as a dancer with Malacarne Dance Company under the direction of Alice Gosti. As a freelance writer, she has regularly contributed to City Arts magazine, Dance International magazine and SeattleDances.com, where she is also the editorial director. McCarthy is a teaching artist at Velocity Dance Center.
Crystal Menninga (MHC ’10) is living in Toulouse, France. Menninga originally went there as part of an exchange through UMass, where she is pursuing a second master’s degree. She helped found Toulouse's first professional tap company, Sounds of the Sol, and also performs with Tapage, an internationally famous tap company. She coaches aerial circus and trains in flying trapeze.
Rebecca Steinberg (UM ’13 BFA) is in her fifth season as a dancer, choreographer and educator with New Dialect in Nashville, TN. She is a 2019 Jacob’s Pillow Choreography Fellow and has most recently been commissioned to create work for New Dialect, Nashville Ballet, OZ Arts Nashville and Middle Tennessee State University. She is a collaborator alongside visual artist Jana Harper on a multidisciplinary performance and community engagement project titled This Holding. Steinberg leads workshops and master classes for young dancers, adults of all abilities and professionals. She serves as a curriculum design consultant and is currently working on a National Science Foundation research grant at Vanderbilt University, exploring the educational potential of dance for mathematics learning.
In September 2019, Lila Alice Reid (MHC ’15) took a position as coordinator of Social & Artistic Dance for the Physical Activity Department at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. There, Reid teaches 8 or 9 credits per term of dance technique for both social (partner) dance and artistic dance forms. The program offers a wide range of dance classes at three levels, as well as a certificate program for training social dance teachers. She’s excited to announce that she will be offering Modern I next fall for the first time as an honors college course!
Rose Carr (HC ’17) lives in Los Angeles, where she is a freelancer and artist assistant. She creates stop-motion animation and makes puppets for a children’s media production company, leads craft workshops for a private craft studio, and works as a nanny! Carr hopes to attend grad school in the future. She was an intern at Pieter Performance Space in October and November of 2018, and likes to think she is a part of the movement community there. They remind her a lot of FCD because they are so strongly rooted in somatics.
Recently, Amanda Somma (UM ’17 BFA) spent her summer as a magician’s assistant with Masters of Illusion at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. In fall 2019, Somma danced in Six Flags Great Adventure’s circus spectacular Unleashed, and continued through the winter in Frost. In February, she was one of 17 dancers selected in Cirque du Soleil’s general dance audition in Montreal to workshop and create a profile.