|CURT STEINZOR, PhD
CURT STEINZOR began his career as a classical clarinetist. He received his BA in Music from Wesleyan University (Middletown CT) in 1977 and his MFA in Clarinet Performance from California Institute for the Arts (Valencia CA) in 1981. At both institutions he also studied classical Javanese gamelan music under master musicians Sumarsam, Harjito, and KRT Wasitodiningrat. He earned a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1996. His dissertation surveyed dance music published in Italy between 1600 and 1640. Steinzor also has a Master of Library Science degree from the University at Buffalo. Steinzor has published several books and articles on music history and clarinet-related topics.
In 1982 Steinzor and his wife dancer/choreographer Elaine Gardner founded Pick of the Crop Dance, a Buffalo NY-based contemporary repertory company devoted to collaborations between dancers, musicians, and visual artists. During its 25 years of active production, the company delivered over 2,000 performances, workshops, master classes, educational projects, and other services to audiences throughout western New York, the Northeast, and abroad. In addition to performing, teaching, and serving as Executive and Music Director, Steinzor created some 35 original dance scores using a combination of computer-based composition, live recording, and live performance. Steinzor's music was featured in performances with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and other prominent local cultural institutions. His album-length dance soundtracks – HANSEL & GRETEL, THE SNOW QUEEN, and CINDERELLA – are available worldwide on services such as Amazon, Apple Music, and Spotify.
Steinzor became Director of the New York State DanceForce in 2009. His responsibilities include management of the infrastructure including fiscal administration; selection, supervision, and mentorship of the members; grant writing; public relations, marketing and advocacy; and planning of biannual membership conferences.
|D. CHASE ANGIER
D. Chase Angier is an active artist, educator, curator and arts advocate. Angier Performance Works are created in collaboration with dynamic artists in the visual and performing arts; and have been exhibited internationally (Japan, Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, The United Kingdom, Iceland, France) and nationally in theaters, galleries, and visually inspiring sites. Angier is the Chair of Alfred University’s Performing Arts Division, and a Professor of Dance in the School of Art and Design + Performing Arts Division. She is the Artistic Director for the Marlin Miller Dance Residency Program since 2002, and has collaboratively developed a dance program at Alfred University based on creative place making, site specific choreography and interdisciplinary performance. She has been a member of the NYSCA/NY State DanceForce since 2016 and has worked to bring artists such as Wendy Whelan, Brian Brooks, Eiko Otake, Saakumu, and Cameron McKinney to audiences in western NY. Angier was a curator for the 2019 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, and a Curriculum Specialist in Dance for Juilliard’s Global K – 12 Program. Angier is an International Juror for the Exhibition of Countries and Regions at the 2023 Prague Quadrennial. She received her MFA in choreography from The Ohio State University and her BA in dance from The University of California, Los Angeles.
|JENISE AKILAH ANTHONY
Jenise Akilah Anthony, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, is an international dance educator, choreographer and performing artist well-known for her work within the African Diaspora. As an Associate Professor of Dance at SUNY Brockport, she serves as the Artistic Director of The Sankofa African Drum & Dance Ensemble. Her creative works have been presented at conferences worldwide including ACDA Gala, World Dance Alliance Assembly, COCO Dance, Trinidad and the Dance Africa Festival. With her passion for African-based work, and intensive study with African dance masters, Ms. Anthony founded Echoes of Africa, an international dance collective that reflects the heartbeat and energy of African culture through concert and community performance.
ARTIST, CHOREOGRAPHER, ARTS ACTIVIST
Sukanya Burman is a first generation Indian American dancer and choreographer trained in various styles such as Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Modern, Contemporary Dance, and Ballet. Sukanya toured internationally with Rhythmosaic Dance Company and later trained at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York City. She teaches and performs extensively in the US and India. Recently, she founded the Sukanya Burman Dance Company in Jamestown, NY. Sukanya's passion lies in bridging Western modern and Indian classical dance, fostering cross-cultural alliances. She strives to increase awareness, accessibility, and opportunities in dance through her curated performances and arts education efforts. She has demonstrated the commitment to the success of women and people of color through creating paid opportunities for dancers of color and women/women identifying dancers. Notable achievements include being a 2022 fellow at Jacob's Pillow Curriculum in Motion Institute and a recipient of the NYSDanceForce NYSCI Award. She is also a 2023 NYSCA Support for Individual Artists grantee.
SUNY AT POTSDAM
Dr. Robin Collen is a Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at SUNY Potsdam, where she has taught since 1998. She teaches courses in Laban Movement Analysis, modern dance, ballet, dance history, Pilates, improvisation, pedagogy, and composition. Robin has a master’s degree in dance from the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in Dance and Related Arts from Texas Woman’s University. She is also certified in Laban Movement Analysis—a system that greatly influences her work. Her DanceForce work has supported residencies by 10 Hairy Legs, Bridgman|Packer Dance, Hettie Barnhill, JoAnna Mendl Shaw, and Lehrer Dance. Robin also enjoys supporting the field of dance through her work as associate editor for the Journal of Dance Education.
FOUNDER, NYS DANCEFORCE
Ms. D’Anne joined the staff of the New York State Council on the Arts in October 1977 and assumed the position of Director of the Dance Program at NYSCA from February 1980 until summer of 2011. Prior to that she was, for six years, Administrative Associate at the National Association for Regional Ballet and Project Director for NARB’s Craft of Choreography Conferences.
A love of dance and a dedication to the furtherance of the highest standards of artistic quality within the art form have occupied Ms. D’Anne from her earliest years to the present. As Director of the NYSCA Dance Program, she took on the role of dance advocate, fighting to help quality dance continue to flourish through the development of new funding initiatives that evolved out of the needs in the field. Among these initiatives have been the Long Term Residencies Program, Subsidies for Rehearsal Spaces, the New York State DanceForce (for reinvigorating statewide activity), the Commissions Program, and the Building Ballet Repertory category. These innovations have been instrumental in sustaining and elevating the landscape of dance in the state of New York.
Ms. D’Anne began ballet training at the age of three and studied in Denver, Colorado, with Lillian Cushing, one of the American pioneer dance teachers. Later, she came to New York City to study at the School of American Ballet and also studied with such well-known teachers as Valentina Pereyslavec, Vera Nemtchinova, Igor Schwezoff, and Vladimir Dokoudovsky. An injury brought an end to a brief performing career with American Ballet Theatre.
Ms. D’Anne, a recipient of the Dance Notation Bureau’s Distinguished Service Award in 1990, is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, with a major in Literature (Shakespeare, Folklore & Mythology and Comparative Drama) and minors in Pre-Law and French. She received a 2002 Bessie Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance.
Ms. D’Anne is an Advisory Council Member at the School of American Ballet. She currently serves on the Advisory Committees of Dance/NYC and the 92nd St. Y Dance Center and on the Advisory Council of New York Live Arts. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the New York Dance and Performance Awards (The Bessies) and on the Advisory Board of Trustees of the Hospital for Joint Diseases/Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. She was invited to be a juror for the Prix Benois de la Danse in Moscow (May 2014); and recently became a Member of the Dance Committee, supporting the Dance Collection of the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
THE COLLEGE AT BROCKPORT
Jacqueline Davis, professor emerita of dance, brings more than 50 years of teaching and presenting experience to DanceForce project planning. SUNY Brockport has an extensive history as a dance presenter and residency host with one of the country's largest and most comprehensive dance departments. Jacquie consistently supports community partnerships between a wide variety of visiting dance artists and her Western New York colleagues, facilitating wonderful dance residencies that have included performances, teaching, and choreographic projects for all ages. In "retirement", Jacquie is also a Village of Brockport arts advocate and special events organizer. She is the recipient of the New York State Dance Association's first Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Dance Education Organization's Visionary Award and Wayne State University's Arts Achievement Award.
UALBANY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
For twenty years, Kim Engel has been the Associate Director of the UAlbany Performing Arts Center, a five-theatre complex which hosts over 600 events annually in all of the performing arts. Previous to this appointment, Kim was the General Manager of The Egg and, during her twelve years there, she programmed the venue’s dance series and administered long and short-term residencies with their visiting artists. For six years, Kim has been collaborating with The Egg on Dance in Albany, a collaborative series planned, promoted and packaged by the two venues. Kim is a former company member, teaching artist, board member and volunteer staff of the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company, the Capital Region’s premiere modern dance company and the resident company of The Egg. Kim studied dance at Adelphi University and holds a BA in Communication from the University at Albany. She has worked at Jacob’s Pillow, has served on the board of directors of the Dance Alliance, has been a reviewer for the New England Foundation for the Arts’ Center Stage program and has acted as a panel member for the New York State Council on the Arts, Dance/NYC, New York State Presenters Network, Saratoga Arts, CREATE Council on the Arts and the Arts Center of the Capital Region.
ARTIST, EDUCATOR, ACTIVIST
Margarita Espada is a performance artist, cultural maker and educator.
Margarita is the founder and director of Teatro Experimental Yerbabuja, an art organization with the mission to use the arts as a tool for social change (www.teatroyerbabruja.org). She is part of the faculty at the Department of Women Study at Stony Brook University where she teaches theater and activism.
Margarita received her Master of Fine Art in Dramaturgy from Stony Brook University and her Bachelor of Art in Education from Puerto Rico University. She is a New York State and Puerto Rico-certified theatre teacher with over 30 years of experience as an educator, performer, playwriter, arts activist, and cultural and community organizer.
She has conducted research, supported school and organization change efforts, and facilitated teacher / professional learning around applied theater, culturally responsive practice, curriculum design, problem solving, and reflective communication. Margarita advocates on the importance of arts and culture for the social and economic well-being of the local and global community. Her work advancing the art of Black, Indigenous, and artists of color on Long Island has made her one of the most prominent leaders in Suffolk County. She is a board member for the New York State DanceForce, and a member of the Arts Advisory Council for the Suffolk County Legislature.
She has received numerous awards and proclamations for her leadership, her art and community work including 2021 Faces of Long Island, Newsday, 2018 Martin Luther King Living Legend Award, NAACP Islip, NY, 2018. Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times and by the Associated Press, Newsday, and numerous other media outlets.
DORIS DUKE FOUNDATION
Ashley Ferro-Murray's curatorial practice focuses on expanding histories of performance and technology artworks while supporting artist-centered approaches to media in contemporary performance. Recent commissions include works by Maria Hassabi, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Su WenChi, and Ni’Ja Whitson.
Most recently, Ferro-Murray has published in TDR: The Drama Review (2022) and has a book chapter forthcoming in Informatics of Domination from Duke UP. She co-teaches Curatorial Theory and Practice at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and currently serves on the boards of TURBA: The Journal for Global Practices in Live Arts Curation and Body, Image, Movement Biennial in Madrid, Spain. She has received major awards from The MacArthur Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and has served as an advisor for the Institute of Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University. Ferro-Murray holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.
Danspace Project Executive Director Judy Hussie-Taylor has over twenty years of experience in arts administration and community relations. The former Executive Director of the nationally acclaimed Colorado Dance Festival (CDF), she has also served as Artistic Director for Theater Programs at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and Deputy Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver. She taught in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Colorado-Boulder and served as a director of the Department's prestigious Visiting Artist Program. Through her work at CDF, she participated in the National Performance Network and the National Dance Project. Recently, she served as a consultant for the National Dance Project's Regional Dance Development Initiative and Contemporary Art Centers Initiative. Her interviews, articles and essays have been published in Colorado newspapers, journals, and in catalogues and gallery brochures.
|MARGARET L. KAISER
Margaret L. Kaiser is an independent Arts in Education consultant. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the NYS Dance Force and is a Facilitator for the Lincoln Center Institute for Arts in Education's online aesthetic education course. Ms. Kaiser is a member of the NYS Regents Professional Standards and Practices for Teaching Subcommittee, a docent for the Burchfield Penney Art Center, and a Board member of Pick of the Crop Dance. Ms. Kaiser was Executive Director of the Arts in Education Institute of Western New York in Buffalo, New York for the past 17 years, where she directed an in-depth multi-cultural focus for the Institute's aesthetic education program. Among her many projects, Ms. Kaiser co-produced and co-commissioned a Native American dance production, THE MAID OF THE MIST AND THE THUNDERBEINGS, funded by the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Arts Partners Program, which toured the East and West coasts. Ms. Kaiser has also served as a dance panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts, Arts MidWest, and the Ontario Arts Council (Toronto). Ms. Kaiser received an M.A. and B.A. from SUNY College at Oswego.
LAKE PLACID CENTER FOR THE ARTS
James Lemons is the Executive Director of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts in Lake Placid, NY. During his tenure, the organization has revitalized its programming, increased community involvement, and experienced significant growth including a 75% increase in operating budget and a 40% increase in overall attendance. James has served as a guest speaker for the Association of Presenting Arts Professionals and South Arts, served as a panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts, and was a member of Autopistes – a collaboration of venues looking to increase the presence of international circus. James was formerly the General Manager of Florida Studio Theater, one of the largest producing houses on Florida’s West Coast, managing a budget of over $4.5M and producing 25 shows per season. James also oversaw the renovation of the Gompertz Theatre, a 100 year old historic theatre, and the creation of two new performances venues.
For forty years Nancy Long has been active in the dance world as a performer, educator, choreographer, presenter, producer, and activist. Building on the Mohawk Valley Dance Partnership's vision to enrich people’s lives through dance and to inspire people to make dance a meaningful part of their lives, Nancy Long has launched a new business, Utica Dance, that will preserve and build on the integrity of regional dance offerings instruction, training, and increase awareness and participation in dance throughout Central New York. Nancy attended CalArts before joining Donald McKayle's Inner City Repertory Ensemble. In 1974 she became a member of the NYC-based Joyce Trisler Danscompany, performing around the U.S. and Europe. Nancy appeared as a guest with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Jose Limon Dance Companies at City Center. For the past thirty-two years Nancy was the coordinator of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute's Dance Program and, in July 2014, she established Utica Dance, Inc to guarantee her continued interest in sharing dance with members of the community. Nancy has created numerous dances for her program. She is proud of the continuing success of her students in the field of dance.
KUUMBA DANCE & DRUM
Elena Mosley, Director and Founder of Kuumba Dance and Drum, began her dance career in various community centers in New York City. She performed with the Lady Helena Walquer Dance Company, Harlem, NY, Brothers and Sisters United of Staten Island and Haitian Dance Theater, under the direction of Louines Louinis. She participates in cultural programs for Columbia, Greene, and the Capital Region Schools and community arts programs. Elena serves as facilitator for the Kuumba adult company, which functions as a collective of African influences in modern society. Elena’s dedication to bring dance to Columbia County has been successful due to community partners such as Columbia Greene Community College, Hudson Hall, and the City of Hudson. Elena is currently the Executive Director of the Operation Unite Education and Cultural Arts Center, a choreographer, instructor for the Petronio Youth Summer Dance Program, a founder of Hudson Waterfront Wednesdays and a curator of dance for local projects.
FLAMENCO VIVO CARLOTA SANTANA
Carlota Santana, Artistic Director and Founder of Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, has been designated "The Keeper of Flamenco" by Dance Magazine in recognition of her commitment to creating new works and developing young artists and choreographers. She has dedicated her company to the mission of building bridges between cultures, using the universal spirit of Flamenco. The company was founded in 1983 by Carlota Santana and Roberto Lorca; it was their vision that new Spanish dance should not only find a permanent home in the U.S., but also an environment in which its creation and performance would thrive. Since Mr. Lorca's death in 1987 the Company, under Ms. Santana's direction, has expanded its repertory by presenting new music, dramatic works, and a mixture of various dance vocabularies, as well as by integrating Hispanic-American influences. Recent creations include "Bailes de Ida y Vuelta", flamenco's journey through Latin America, "Mano a Mano", a tribute to the bullfighter Manolete, and the contemporary flamenco story-ballet "Federico", a celebration of the life of Federico Garcia Lorca, all at The Joyce Theater.
Ms. Santana created the company's innovative arts-in-education program, integrating Spanish dance and culture with the school curriculum, and travels widely implementing this program. She is a member of the dance panel for the New York State Council on the Arts and has served on the panel for the National Endowment for the Arts. She is on the faculty of Duke University and has taught at Long Island and New York Universities. Under her artistic direction, the company has performed at Lincoln Center, The Joyce Theater, The New Victory Theater, Summerdance Santa Barbara, Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota, Universidad Bucaramanga in Colombia, South America, Palacio de Congresos in Granada, Spain, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, among many others.
Jim Self, described as a “post-modern bad boy” and a “uniquely eccentric artist” by the Village Voice, works in dance, painting, performance, writing, and installation. Dance commissions include: the Boston Ballet, the Rome Opera Ballet, American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Sundance Institute/Ballet West, and Cornell University. Other credits include: Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award. Since 2007 he has been a member of the New York State DanceForce, creating Tompkins County projects: Ithaca LoveShoe Festival, Dancing Green, Figures in the Field, and June Dance at the Cherry.
As a Cornell dance faculty from 1989- 2014, he taught movement and performance explorations, created Dancing Iguana Consciousness, Dada ART Barking, Booda Fairyism, and staged the first gay wedding ceremony at NYC’s Lincoln Center (Getting Married—1990). Sanctuary: Ramona and the Wolfgang Work for a Cure was chronicled in David Gere’s book, “How to Make Dances in an Epidemic.” Other work has been detailed in Sally Bane’s book, “Writing Dancing in the Age of Postmodernism.”
|MISSY PFOHL SMITH
UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER / BIODANCE
Missy Pfohl Smith is a choreographer, performer and collaborative artist who directs the Program of Dance and Movement and the Institute for the Performing Arts at University of Rochester. She founded and serves as artistic director for the contemporary repertory company, BIODANCE, based in Rochester, NY. As an enthusiastic collaborator, Smith enjoys creating site specific, multi-disciplinary work and her socially conscious choreography, performance and teaching has spanned across the US and internationally, most recently in Greece, Germany, Finland and Scotland. Since 2010, Missy has been volunteering to teach limited mobility dance classes for elders at Community Place of Greater Rochester, where BIODANCE also offers gratis performances each year. Missy currently keeps an active choreographic, performative, teaching and collaborative practice creating new work for BIODANCE as well as performing with choreographers and communities. Smith and BIODANCE have also collaborated with multiple artists including soprano Kearstin Piper Brown, Dave Rivello Ensemble, Eastman Percussion Ensemble, sculptor Allen Topolski, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Rochester Oratorio Society and more. Her long-term collaborative partnership with media artist W. Michelle Harris has fostered site-specific, full-length and repertory works for various spaces and theaters, including a planetarium, for over a decade. Smith has also been commissioned to create work at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester and the Everson Art Museum in Syracuse, NY. As an educator, Missy specializes in composition and performance studies, contemporary modern dance, dance and social justice, somatics, and community-engaged work. She has earned her certification in Bill Evans Somatically-based Pedagogy, which influences her teaching practices and philosophies in fundamental ways. Her teaching has spanned medical humanities, offering workshops to address noticing, non-clinical touch and somatic communication. She developed a course called Dance and Interdependent Community which engages with elders and with women in addiction recovery in the Rochester community. She also recently created an evening-length work focused on stories of catastrophic climate change, along with glimpses of hope for the healing of the earth.
CAPITAL REGION DANCE ACTIVIST
Toni Smith, M.F.A., is a dance activist from the Capital Region of New York. She has been the Artistic Director of the National Museum of Dance and on the dance faculty for Skidmore College, Union College and Schenectady County Community College. Toni served as Faculty Advisor for month long residencies for Dean of Special Programs at Skidmore College (1999 to 2019). She was the Artistic Director of Toni Smith & Dancers from 1978 to 1986 in New York City. She has toured worldwide with various dance companies including the Vanaver Caravan. Toni is the recipient of grants in choreography from the New York State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, National Arts and Letters Society and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council among others. Toni Smith is the Founder of Partners in Dance: a Consortium of Capital Region Dance Sponsors, and Artistic Directorof Rebound Dance Company, a company that supports the work of independent choreographers,fine arts and educational body work programs. Toni is a Body-Mind Centering Practitioner and Infant Development Movement Educator with a private practice specializing in chronic pain and neurological disorders. She is currently a guest lecturer in dance and somatics, while offering classes in adaptive yoga for all ages and abilities.
DANCE ACTIVIST AND CONSULTANT
From 1976 to 2013, Ivan Sygoda was a Director of Pentacle, a service organization to which many dance artists outsource administrative functions such as accounting, grant writing and booking. He designed many of Pentacle’s special projects, such as its Help Desk mentoring programs; co-founded the New York State DanceForce; contributed to many arts publications; served on numerous panels; lectured widely on aspects of arts administration; and has served on the boards of Dance/USA, NAPAMA, Arts Presenters and the Western Arts Alliance. He was a long-time member of the New York City Arts Coalition and the New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Awards selection committee. He helped inaugurate and was for a decade a consultant to the South Arts Dance Touring Initiative. He was awarded Dance/USA’s “Ernie” in 1996, the Arts Presenters Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award in 2000, the South Arts 2013 Mary Beth Treen Award and the 2018 Arts Presenters North Alumni Service Award. In 2013, after 37 years at Pentacle, he transitioned to the position of Founding Director, and has now retired. For more than 40 years he functioned as Eiko & Koma’s Manager and continues to advise Ms. Otake on professional issues.
PAZ TANJUAQUIO (she/her) has been active in New York City since 1990 as a choreographer, performer, artist, and educator. Paz is Co-Founding Director of TOPAZ ARTS, Inc. - a creative development center for contemporary performance and visual arts founded in 2000 with collaborator Todd B. Richmond. Paz has been a member of the NYS DanceForce since 2009. She currently serves as Chair of the Steering Committee for The Bessies/NY Dance & Performance Awards. Her works have been presented by LaMaMa Moves, Wassaic Projects, 92Y Harkness Dance Center, Danspace Project, Movement Research at Judson Church, among others; nationally, at Operation Unite in Hudson NY, San Diego Trolley Dance, American Dance Festival Screen Dance, Philadelphia Fringe Festival; and internationally at Le Commun in Geneva, Switzerland, and residencies in Japan, Korea, and her birthplace, the Philippines. Awards include City Artist Corp, USArtists Relief, National Endowment for the Arts, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, New York Foundation for the Arts, and The Suitcase Fund’s Mekong Project in Cambodia and Vietnam. Currently teaching movement as Adjunct at The New School/College of Performing Arts and at NYU Tisch School of the Arts/Experimental Theater Wing, Paz has taught at SUNY/Nassau, and as guest artist at CUNY/Queens College, Sacramento State University, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, and Vargas Museum at Univ. of the Philippines. She received her MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and BA in Visual Arts from University of California, San Diego.
TOPAZ ARTS, Inc. is a nonprofit organization located in Woodside, NY in NYC's borough of Queens. TOPAZ ARTS fosters the creative process, producing the collaborative works of its founders and providing public programs for contemporary performance and visual arts, enabling artists to realize their projects and the process shared with diverse audiences. www.topazarts.org
HOBART & WILLIAM SMITH COLLEGES
Cynthia Williams received her BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah, and her MFA in Dance from Connecticut College. She has been teaching at Hobart and William Smith Colleges since 1986, receiving tenure in 1992 and promotion to full professor in 2002. Cynthia teaches modern dance and ballet techniques, dance history, dance composition, improvisation, teaching methods, and interdisciplinary dance courses. She has been certified to teach Rommett Floor-Barre, is an active choreographer and lighting designer for dance. She has built a dance performance series at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in spite of limited funding and space and facilities challenges that has included Jane Comfort and Company, David Dorfman Dance, Molissa Fenley, Maureen Fleming, Lingo dancetheater, Bebe Miller, Claire Porter, Lisa Race, and Marlies Yearby among others.
ARTIST, ARTS ADVOCATE, PILLOW FORT ARTS CENTER
Glenna Yu is a movement artist based in Andes, NY and the proud co-founder of Pillow Fort Arts Center, an artist residency and community. Having danced as a freelancer in NYC for several years, Glenna understands firsthand the challenges of being a freelance artist. She created Pillow Fort to be a resource for artists; to build a vibrant, creative community; to provide a space for exploration, sensitivity, and rest; and to imagine more sustainable, alternative futures. As a mover/performer, Glenna is drawn to work that is improvisational, interdisciplinary, collaborative and that honors everyone's individual humanness. She currently dances with NK&D / a movement company, BIRDHOUSE under the direction of Raven White, and H.T. Chen & Dancers.
DANCE ARTIST / PRODUCER
Gregory Cary is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music. He studied with Vladimir Dokoudovsky, Hector Zaraspe, Margaret Craske, José Limón, Martha Graham, and at the American Ballet Theatre School. He toured with American Ballet Theatre in 1977-1978. In addition, he danced professionally with modern choreographers including José Limón, Helen McGehee, and Kazuko Hirabayashi. In 1990, with Bentley Roton, Kevin McKenzie, and Martine van Hamel, Cary co-founded the 153-acre Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, now Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, in Tivoli, NY. Cary wrote the original business plan and designed the Studio/Theater Complex and Dancers' Inn at Kaatsbaan and for 30 years was the founding Artistic and Executive Director. Cary served on the dance panel for the New York State Council on the Arts and was a member of the dance faculty of the State University of New York for 10 years. He is a nationally recognized visual artist with stained glass commissions in public buildings throughout the Washington, DC area and Hudson Valley. He collaborated with husband Bentley Roton on the set design for SO LONG EDEN for the Paul Taylor Dance Company.
PICK OF THE CROP DANCE
A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Elaine Gardner studied ballet and modern dance in Syracuse, Phoenix, Los Angeles, London, Boston and New York. She performed in contemporary dances by Margo Sappington, Bill Evans, Charles Weidman, Donald Byrd, Kei Takei, Doris Humphrey and Laura Dean as a member of the Los Angeles-based touring repertory company Dance/L.A. from 1978 to 1980. In 1980, while living in Los Angeles, she founded Pick of the Crop Dance, a contemporary repertory company and in 1982 she re-established the company with her husband Curt Steinzor in Buffalo. Since then, she has performed individually and with the company throughout the northeastern United States as well as in Scotland and Latvia, creating a repertory of over 100 pieces as well as commissioning works by guest choreographers. Among the artists who have created works for the company are Colin Connor, Richard Colton, Terry Creach, Laura Dean, Itzik Galili, Gail Gilbert, Linda Kent, Jessica Lang, Kun Yang Lin, Peter Pucci, Nicholas Rodriguez, Marcus Schulkind, and Kevin Wynn. Gardner has served as a panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts Dance Program. She teaches contemporary dance, ballet, and choreography at Nichols School in Buffalo, where she also directs the Nichols Dance Ensemble.
AMERICAN DANCE ASYLUM
Lois Welk was inspired to pursue a career in dance after seeing a dance performance by Daniel Nagrin (The Peloponnesian War). She earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Dance and American History at State University College at Brockport NY, where Richard Bull became her mentor. In 1972, she founded the American Dance Asylum Inc. (ADA), a producing and service organization for the performing arts. From 1973-1979, she co-directed the ADA (then based in Binghamton, NY) with Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane. For more than 25 years the ADA has produced Welk’s artistic projects, among them The Parking Ramp Dances, The Train Station Dance, The Carousel Dance, The Hiawatha Island Dance, and most recently, Moving the Music. She been a member of the dance faculty at 171 Cedar Arts Center (Corning, NY), Alfred University (Alfred, NY) and has taught for various arts-in-education programs across New York State. Her work as executive director of 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning, NY (1988-2002) earned her a New York State Governor’s Arts Award in 1998. At 171 Cedar Arts Center, Welk developed a nationally recognized presenting program that included concert dance, artists’ residencies, a jazz series, family programming and a world folk music festival. Program growth warranted a capital campaign and expansion project that more than doubled program space adding a 170-seat black box performance space, exhibition space, and two additional dance studios.
From 2003 to 2006, Welk served as artistic director of The Yard Inc., a performing artists’ colony on Martha’s Vineyard. In January 2005, she was appointed the Director of the New York State DanceForce, a network of organizations and individuals working to increase the quality and quantity of dance in New York. As Director, Welk brought leadership to the restructuring of the organization and expanded the reach of the programs.
Welk directed Dance USA’s Philadelphia branch office from 2007 to 2015. She served as Company Representative for BalletX, Philadelphia's premier contemporary ballet company, from 2015 to 2018. Currently, Welk is the Project Coordinator for the Western NY Choreographers' Initiative.