The Festival Experience

See below for an idea of what to expect for SVDF 2018!

What did Festival 2017 have to offer?

  • 106 Classes at every level over 4 days
  • 2 Galas in our historic Latchis Theater Thursday and Friday
  • An outdoor Promenade performance showing the work of 10 artists at Scott Farm and the Stone Trust
  • 2 concerts in the historic and newly renovated Stone Church
  • A Resistance/Social Justice Performing Arts walking tour that brought people into local venues to see dance, theater, vocalists and musicians.
  • A collaboration with VPL’s Open Lab, coinciding with SVDF
  • A free community dinner with performances
  • Dozens of free community events that included dance, live music and workshops around Brattleboro
  • A Movement Inspired Visual Art Tour
  • Some guerrilla style performances
  • A mini dance film festival within the festival

…and much more…all in 4 days!

Brattleboro is a great destination for a summer weekend. We’ve put together resources to help you plan your visit.

Below find an overview of 2017 classes and faculty.
For a complete class schedule and full faculty bios go here!
A complete list of choreographers, companies and performances will be available in March

Last year’s classes that were taught include:
Ballet at all levels, Modern at all levels, Jazz at all levels, Giordano Jazz Technique, Sylvestre Modern Technique, Simonson Jazz, Teaching Symposium, Finagling Flexibility, Contemporary, Visceral Improvisation, Hot In Heels, Fusion Style Belly Dance, Tap All Levels, Hue Men and Women Dancing With Color, Contemporary Fusion, Anya Pilates Mat, 3D Projection Mapping, Acro Yoga, West African Dance, Hip Hop/Street Dance, Partnering and Partnership, Making Space for Dance in Rural and Suburban Communities, Injury Basics, Upper Body Urgency, Body Work and Mechanics, Israeli Contemporary Dance, Body Release Essentials, Tap Teasers and Tricks, Cabaret Style Jazz, Dunham Technique, Contact Improvisation, Collaborative Composition, Bollywood, Making Political Dances, Assisted Thai Yoga, Dancing Yoga, Contemporary Ballet, Dancing Upside Down, Sevillanas, Afro-Brazilian Dance Forms, Turkish Style Belly Dance, Efficient Chaos, Wake Up Your Vinyasa, Isadora Duncan Technique, Improvisation, Open Jazz Technique, Rainbow Tribe, Shim Sham Shimmy, Yogea, Floor Barre, Contemporary Simonson Jazz, Country Swing, Hip Hop Your Modern Dance, Socially Conscious Choreography; Protest in Motion, Site Specific Exploration, Naam Yoga and Meditation, Afro Jazz, Cha Cha, Stomp Percussion, Let your Feet Sing, Embody Yoga Pilates, Body Tuning, Contact Jam, Sambe Pagode, Performance Workshop for Voice and Vessel and more!


See below short bios of last year’s faculty.

Mucuy Bolles
Mucuy Bolles’ career spanned over 26 years as a principal dancer with companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Complexions, and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company as well Broadway credits which include The King and I, The Lion King, and The Red Shoes. Her most recent performances were as Sleeping Beauty in Lar Lubovitch’s retelling of the ancient tale entitled The Black Rose, which premiered at the Joyce Theater in NYC in October 2014.

Ted Thomas
Thomas earned a Master of Arts degree in dance and higher education from New York University an is a ABT® certified teacher. He danced with Ballet Hispanico, Elisa Monte, and the Murray Louis and Nikolais Company prior to joining the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

Billbob Brown
Billbob Brown was Chair of the School of Dance at the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, and before that the director of the Dance Program at UMass Amherst, part of the Five College Dance Department. Co-founder and artistic director of Desert Dance Theatre in Phoenix (now in its 37th year) in the 1980s, he has performed and taught across the globe, including tours in Japan, Thailand, Great Britain, and Mexico; created shows for the Utah Shakespearean Festival, and choreographed and performed in TV work and commercials for the Chicago Cubs, Molson Canadian Beer, Disney Studios, and ABC-TV, which have received numerous awards. He has toured internationally with the Bill Evans Dance Company,

Tamara Williams
Tamara Williams is an Assistant Professor of Dance at UNC Charlotte and is the Founder and Artistic Director of Tamara LaDonna Moving Spirits, Inc., a contemporary arts organization dedicated to performing, researching, documenting, cultivating, and producing arts of the African Diaspora. Williams’ teaching expertise are in modern dance techniques (including Silvestre Technique) and African Diaspora Dance Forms.  She earned her BFA in Dance from Florida State University and received her MFA in Dance from Hollins University in collaboration with The American Dance Festival, The Forsythe Company, and Frankfurt University.  Her choreography has been performed nationally and internationally in Serbia, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago and Brazil.

Wonder Twins
Billy and Bobby McClain have shared the stage with many Hip Hop legends including Queen Latifah, Bobby Brown (as back up dancers), MC Hammer, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, KRS One and many more!  The Wondertwins are celebrating 37 years of  professional dance.  With the technical facility of hip hop, the sophistication of the glory days of the Cotton Club, the flash of Rat Pack era Las Vegas, and elements of vaudeville, robot, tap, and mime, The Wondertwins create a distinctive style all their own.  The award-winning duo street dance pioneers from Boston have headlined at Jacob’s Pillow “Unreal Hip Hop” & Inside/Out Dance Festival, Brooklyn Dance Fest, Rochester University, Southern Vermont Dance Festival, Colby College, UraGano Italy, Concepto Vimen Mexico, TedX talks boston, David White’s Tap The Yard, DanceNOW Boston, DanceNOW NYCJoes Pub, Dixon Place, The Dance Hall and The Music Hall Loft. They are Six-time winners of Showtime at The Apollo Theater and performed a record 16 appearances on the Apollo Stage. The Wondertwins have also appeared with Maurice Hines’ Club Harlem and toured internationally with Bobby Brown’s Don’t Be Cruel in the UK, and Purple Rain’s Apollonia’s Since I Fell For You tour in Singapore.

Marshall Jarreau
Marshall Jarreau is a professional dancer, circus aerialist, and certified massage therapist. His credits include Cirque Du Soleil, FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

Kevin Guy
Kevin Guy received his BFA in Contemporary Dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and his MFA from Hollins University/American Dance Festival High-Residency Program. He has performed with Wideman/Davis Dance, SLIPPAGE: Performance| Culture| Technology, Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Universal Dance Movement and Dance Alloy Theater.  He was also featured in the motion picture Across the Universe directed by Julie Taymor. His choreography has been presented in venues across the country, and in Japan. He has taught for Ballet Hispanico’s General and Arts in Education Program, The Ailey School Junior Division, Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Arts in Education, and Community Programs.

Whitney Wilson
Whitney Wilson is currently a Teaching Fellow at Smith College where she teaches undergraduate movement courses. She received a BFA in Dance and a Certificate in Arts in Medicine from the University of Florida and is currently an MFA candidate at Smith College. Other venues for her work have been Northampton’s Arts Night Out, Gainesville’s Art Walks, Museum Nights and Swamp Dance Fest. She has taught in a wide variety of locations, including a juvenile detention center for girls, daycare centers for people with Alzheimer’s disease, performing arts high schools.

Positions First
POSITION FIRST DANCE CONDITIONING provides educational seminars on dance conditioning and injury prevention for all styles of dance. Our mission is to educate students on how to properly use their bodies to maximize efficiency, prevent injury, facilitate kinesthetic awareness, and optimize performance.  Heather Budinskak and Stephanie Leslie will join us from this program

Heather Budinskak
Heather completed her Masters of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography from New York University’s TISCH School of the Arts where she had the opportunity to dance for a number of choreographers, including dancing primary roles in world premieres by Robert Battle and Nicolo Fonte. She has danced professionally for Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, Saving Grace Dance Ensemble, DanceFusion, Myra Bazell/SCRAP, Allied Motion, apprenticed for the Pennsylvania Dance Theatre, and currently dances for DancEnlight.

Stephanie Leslie
Stephanie Leslie received a BS in Health Studies and a MS in Physical Therapy from Boston Universityʼs Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She has worked as a physical therapist for over 15 years in both the outpatient and school settings, specializing in pediatrics and aquatic therapy. Stephanie has published articles in both the Journal of the National Association of Orthopedic Technologists and Rehab Magazine. She currently works for St. Joseph Hospital Rehabilitation Services outpatient physical therapy department in Nashua, NH. She has a special interest in dance related injuries and rehab.

Joya Powell
Joya Powell is a Bessie Award winning choreographer passionate about community, activism, and dances of the African Diaspora. Her company, Movement of the People, has performed recently at BAM and The Bronx Museum of Arts. She is currently a Dancing While Black Fellow, and teaches at Hunter College and Cumbe.  She received her M.A. in Dance Education from NYU, and her B.A. in Latin American Studies and Creative Writing from Columbia University.

Maurice Fraga
Maurice Fraga has danced for Ben Munisteri Dance, David Parker and the Bang Group, the Kevin Wynn Collection, Michael Foley Dance, Creach/Company, the Tiffany Mills Company, the Mark Morris Dance Group, the Montreal-based company O Vertigo, and Dublin-based Fluxusdance. He is currently Assistant Professor at Shenandoah University, and is the artistic director of his own dance company, Ekilibre.  Fraga earned both B.A. and M.F.A. degrees in dance from the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, respectively.

Patricia Wilson
Patricia received her BA in Music and Dance from Middlebury College and her MFA in Film Production from Loyola Marymount University. Patricia Wilson is honored to be a part of a small group of dancers entrusted by modern dance pioneer Katherine Dunham to continue the legacy of Dunham Technique. She currently serves as the Co-Director of the Institute for Dunham Technique Certification, working with dancers from around the world who seek to become certified in Dunham Technique.

Noa Barankin
Noa Barankin, an Israeli Boston-based tap dancer/Stomp-style percussionist, musician, award-winning choreographer and teacher. Her credits include “Boston Tap Company”, Ryan Casey’s “Off Beat”, and in Israel, Noa was a member of the international rhythm and dance company “Tararam” for 3 years, and was a cast member in “The Power of Wishes”, touring nationally for 2 years, for which she was also nominated Best Supporting Actress at the Israeli Children’s Theatre Awards.

Sandra Keldsen
Sandra Zarotney-Keldsen co-directs the Boston division of Dances by Isadora, a company whose mission is to share the history of dance as an art form with a contemporary audience through the presentation and teaching of the work of modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan. She holds a BFA in Dance from the Boston Conservatory, and she has trained with Duncan master teachers Silvia Gold, Patricia Adams, and Catherine Gallant.

Julie Marie Muskat
Julie Marie Muskat is a summa cum laude graduate of the inaugural class of Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet BFA Program in San Francisco, CA, and of Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. Alongside dance, Julie Marie is a published writer and a violinist. She has taught dance for all ages across the United States, Israel, and Italy, and her choreography has been set and performed nationally and internationally.

Dorcas Roman
Dorcas Román is a dancer/choreographer native to Puerto Rico and the artistic director of Dorcas Roman Dance Theatre /DRDT.She is currently a full time visiting assistant professor of modern dance at Shenandoah University in Virginia. Roman served as part of the American Delegation in the Tanzmesse Festival in Dusseldorf Germany, 2014. Roman was invited to join the LDTP teaching and presenting their work in collaboration with Projecto EluzArtes in Vitoria Brazil on Spring 2015. Roman was awarded an artistic residency this past fall in Syros Greece and performed and taught in China during the Spring of 2017.

Crystal Menninga
Crystal Menninga is a dancer and circus artist who received her MFA in Dance from Oklahoma City University and a BA in Dance and French from Mount Holyoke College. She has performed around the world, from Juba! Masters of Tap at the Kennedy Center to Celtic concerts in France. Menninga has taught for the Five College Dance Department. When not dancing or teaching, Crystal can be found soaring through the air on a flying trapeze or stilting at festivals throughout the Valley.

Lila Alice Reid
Lila is an MFA Candidate in Dance and a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the Dance Department at the University of Oregon. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2015 with a BA in Dance and classical Latin along with a Teacher Licensure in Dance for Public Education K-12.

Sarah Duclos
Sarah Duclos most notably has worked as a master teaching artist for Boston Ballet’s Education and Community Initiatives, a faculty member at Phillips Exeter Academy’s department of Theater and Dance – where she served as Interim Director of Dance during the 2015-2016 academic year and internationally as a dance facilitator at the Abhainn Ri Festival of Participation and Inclusion in Callan, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland. She specializes in teaching classical ballet (Vaganova method), choreography and composition, dance history and Giordano jazz technique.

Cyndal Ellis
Cyndal Ellis is Co-Director of SoBo Studio and Al Amal Belly Dance Company. She teaches Fusion Belly Dance, Modern Dance, and Dunham Technique at SoBo and at area schools.  She has taught at Jacob’s Pillow, Smith College, Landmark College, and grade schools throughout New England. She co-founded The Sovereign Collective with which she performed and taught nationally.

Annie Heath
Annie Heath, is a creative researcher, choreographer, and dancer, who is developing a innovative explorative methodology, BodyWork & Mechanics.  Heath has worked with Matthew Westerby Company, Pavel Machuca, and Gabriella Carmichael, and has also performed notable works by Ohad Naharin, Noa Wertheim, Sidra Bell, Andrea Miller, Barak Marshall, Amy Seiwert, Antonio Brown, Jennifer Hart, Idan Cohen, and Camille A. Brown.

Aria Roach
Aria Roach holds her BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a freelance performer, choreographer, and dance educator in NYC.  Aria spent a semester studying Gaga in Jerusalem, Israel and also received a VCUarts Deans International Study Grant to attend the ImPulsTanz festival in Vienna, Austria. Immediately following graduation, Aria joined The Yard as the Artist Services Intern. Her dance film, Resonance, has been screened nationwide at Richmond Dance Festival, Dance Shorts: College Film Festival in Tempe, Arizona, and Southern Vermont Dance Festival.

Blair Hotchner
Blair Hotchner graduate summa cum laude from the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College and is currently teach dance for the NYC Department of Education. She received her BA in Dance and Psychology from Hofstra University. She has worked with choreographers Larry Keigwin, Diana Havery-Salama, Curt Hayworth, Nicole Wilcott and Pedro Ruiz.

Melissa Gendreau
Melissa Gendreau spent years performing as a freelance dancer with various companies before founding Perceptions Dance with the vision of creating access to dance for audiences of all kinds. Since, Melissa’s work has been supported and commissioned by organizations like The Field, Silo/DanceNOW, Providence College, Salve Regina University, The Dance Complex, San Francisco Choral Society, San Francisco Arts Commission, and many others. Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Dean College, and Masters of Science in Arts Administration from Drexel University.  The Bedford dance ensemble has been a hit of the festival for 2 years in a row.

Noel St. Jean Chevalier
Noel St. Jean-Chevalier makes dance happen. She holds her BA in Dance and Biology from Goucher College and has studied at schools and festivals throughout the US and England. She is on faculty at Elms College.  As Artistic Director of The Legible Bod(ies), she has premiered work at the Southern VT Dance Festival, HATCH Presenting Series, and Art Walk Easthampton/The Mill Arts Project. Her first full-length concert Un/Drowning was named an “arts Pick” by the Valley Advocate in 2016. Noel also enjoys bringing the art of dance to Western Mass audiences as Board Member of the Massachusetts Dance Festival.

Sammi Dandelions
Sammi Dandelions (the Acrogangsta!), a little yogi, lover of life, handstand junkie and curious explorer living in the most beautiful Green Mountain State. She is a certified yoga instructor and has secured her AcoVinyasa certification in Bali with Honza and Claudine LaFond.

Jane LoManaco
Jane LoMonaco, certified Yoga and Pilates teacher, has been teaching since 2001 in the Brattleboro area and presently teaches classes at Brattleboro School of Dance and Inner Heat Yoga, as well as working with individual clients.

Sarah Dandelions
Sarah is known for her intuitively, creatively sequenced vinyasa classes. She has been a student of various yoga styles for many years and began her journey as a teacher in 2005. Sarah brings an element of playfulness and exploration to her classes, giving you the opportunity to drop in or to explore through your own intuitive movement. Sarah’s main influence has been Patty Townsend and she continues to stay inspired by studying therapeutics with Patty and practicing various yoga styles throughout the community.