Meet the Teaching Artists
Almanac Dance Circus Theatre
Almanac Dance Circus Theatre is an emerging physical performance company that invites their audiences to see the brave and humble culture of the ensemble through the playful honesty of their work. They are current Fresh Tracks artists at New York Live Arts, the resident company at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, and are artists-in-residence at Mascher Space Co-Op. Their work has been presented by FringeArts, Circus Now!, the University City District, SmokeyScout Productions, Pig Iron Theatre Company, and New York Live Arts, including as special guests at the NYLA Gala alongside Arnie Zane/Bill T. Jones Dance Co (2014). Works include Communitas (2014), Inventions! (2013), and The Chase (2012).
Gabe Byer-Alcorace is a school psychologist working in the Region 12 public schools in Washington, CT. He is currently working toward a PhD in Educational Psychology and the focus of his research is in the improvement of adolescent mental health and positive youth development. Gabe recently began working with ASAP as the coordinator of the ASAP Youth Crew program that offers teens age 13 to 18 the opportunity to develop leadership, self-advocacy, and creative thinking necessary for both academic and professional success.
Joe Bouchard was a recording artist on Columbia Records in the 1970s and 1980s and a founding member of the world-famous band, Blue Oyster Cult. He has nine Gold and two Platinum records to his credit. He retired from the Blue Oyster Cult in 1986 and since then has dedicated much of his time to teaching. He is a composer, musician, producer, and author with a degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and a Master’s degree in Music Composition from the University of Hartford.
Eva Bust a’ Move
In 2013, Eva Bust a’ Move came unto the dance scene as a fly girl with the party starting crew ‘The Haus of Sweat’. Her work with the Haus inspired her to continue her training in dance and in 2014 she immersed herself into House and Breakin. Through out the year she has had the pleasure of learning and assisting the founder and artistic director of Ephrat Asherie Dance Company as well as perform in works in progress for the company. 2014 presented Eva Bust a’ Move with the opportunity to give back all that she has learned and was honored to teach for the Joffrey Ballet’s young dancers summer program and ASAP arts program. Through out all of these incredible experiences she is also helping bring people together in celebrations of love and life choreographing flash mobs for proposals, birthdays and party releases. She is ready to bring 2015 some flava and grooves that will make all want to move.
Kaitlin has been involved both in the visual and performing arts since a very young age. In high school she decided she would attend college to become an art teacher to pass on her love of the arts. She attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia studying photography, pottery, film, mixed media and dance. She graduated with a BFA in Photography as well as a Certification in Art Education. She also holds a masters degree in Integrative Health and Healing and combines her love of the arts and the therapeutic effects of its process.
She has taught for nearly 20 years in a variety of capacities including art therapy for children in women’s shelters, The Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, Shepaug Valley School, The Brookfield Craft Center, ASAP! as well as one-on-one with children through adults in the local area. She also specializes in services to those with special needs ranging from autism to dementia.
She enjoys collaborating with local nonprofits, homeschooling communities, individuals and families through her business, Integrative Healing Arts, LLC where she offers a variety of Arts and Wellness opportunities.
Mary Costanza has performed numerous solo recitals as well as with numerous orchestras and ensembles in the Connecticut area. She is currently Assistant Principal Cellist of The Greenwich Symphony under the direction of David Gilbert. Mary is on the Music Faculty at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT where she has been an instructor in cello for the past 9 years. She enjoys performing in the summer at The Windham Chamber Music Festival in Windham, NY under the direction of Robert Manno. Ms. Costanza has recently released four CD’s with composer Sharon Ruchman who writes original chamber music. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Wayne Hileman of 24 years and their daughter Katherine.
Austin’s interest in entertainment started at an early age. As a child he enjoyed amusing family and friends with his dancing. After graduating from Springfield College in 2000 Austin started his own entertainment company Red Supreme Productions with a talented team of performers. They put on break dance performances, teach workshops and dominate in dance competitions. They have appeared in music videos, concerts and TV specials. Austin’s passion for teaching, dance and entertainment is what brought him to ASAP. Austin has taught thousands of kids throughout New England and continues, through them, to spread his love for Hip Hop dance.
Matt Del Rosario
Matt Del Rosario was born and raised in Hawaii. He grew up surfing, hiking, playing the ukulele and competing in numerous sports. At the age of 20, Matt took a risk and started his formal Ballet and Modern Dance training at North Carolina School of the Arts. Until retiring in 2014, Matt toured with the Pilobolus Dance Theater for 6 years. Now focused on education, he enjoys sharing his experience and knowledge with people of all ages, races, sexes, and abilities throughout the country.
Alex Echevarria was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1973 and raised in western Connecticut, Alex’s first exposure to drawing took place on the floor of his father’s studio at the age of four. Alex graduated from The Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in Illustration and Painting, and has been fully involved in both disciplines ever since. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Connecticut, Brooklyn and Manhattan. He has also worked as a production storyboard artist for sixteen years, producing hand-drawn storyboards for television, film, music videos and commercials for products ranging from Coke to Pepsi, Ford to Fiat and Nike to Adidas.
Gala Flagello is a composer, horn player, and co-founder and Festival Director of Connecticut Summmerfest, Inc. She has studied composition privately with Larry Alan Smith, Gilda Lyons, Ken Steen, and Robert Carl. Gala has written many recital commissions for groups as well as individuals, taking a special interest in ensembles with unique instrumentation requests. She has attended Wintergreen Summer Music Academy, Atlantic Music Festival, and is the 2016 Composer in Residence at the Unitarian Society of Hartford. Gala holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition degree from The Hartt School in West Hartford, CT. She also plays piano and sings.
Lanie Flanagan, B.A, M.A.T
Lanie Flanagan, B.A, M.A.T is a certified ChildLight Yoga Instructor and Little Flower trained Yoga Instructor. Lanie has dedicated her life to supporting the well-being of all children. She has spent almost 20 years teaching children ages 3-12 in private and public school settings, including teaching patients at a private children’s psychiatric hospital. Lanie began practicing yoga with her daughter, and immediately knew yoga was something she wanted to share with children inside and outside of her classroom. She pursued training and certification in children’s yoga. Lanie considers herself a student as much as a teacher. She constantly learns from her young students and eagerly attends continuing professional training opportunities in the field of children’s yoga. Lanie is the owner and founder of Bridgewater Yoga, Asanas and Art for Children.
Anne Gallagher is co-founder and coordinating chef of the nationally recognized coalition Plow to Plate. Her passion for food and interest in using local farm ingredients is what brought her to start this continually growing program. Anne is in charge of the Youth Chefs’ Program, which has gained much popularity. Anne had the honor of being part of our First Lady’s launch of Chefs Moves to Schools in June 2010. Since then Anne has been working closely with the Food Director of New Milford Schools to integrate better foods into the lunch program. She also has a very successful catering business, which is always trying to promote delicious fresh local seasonal cuisine.
Tyler Green is the owner of Creative Genius LLC, and is an inventor of consumer gadgets and accessories. With an intuitive and innovative approach to the creative process, he uses his artistic ability and skills to work within a variety of industries requiring his expertise in SFX Makeup and Education. Tyler’s incredible and unique talents and achievements have been featured over the years in newspapers, magazines, and on radio and television. Among many other products, Tyler conceptualized and developed the Wonderband Systems™, an intricate intelligent concept for gripping items, with applications in multiple industries.
Ben Grinberg is a proud alumnus of ASAP, where he took workshops with Pilobolus, David Darling, and countless others that have shaped the artist he is today! Today, he is the co-founder of Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, a collectively run physical performance ensemble based in Philadelphia, PA. He was a member of the inaugural class of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training, and performs regularly with the clown-funk outfit Red 40 and the Last Groovement.
Kezia Hearn graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Clark University with a BA in Fine Art. She studied at the Lacoste School of the Arts in southern France and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She holds a Master’s degree in Holistic Thinking from the Graduate Institute in Bethany, CT. Kezia has been teaching art to children in a variety of educational settings for over 15 years. Her studio is located in Bantam, CT.
Emily Hubelbank is an actress and writer living in New York City. She is an alumnus of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, CAP 21 graduate with a BFA in Theater. Some of her favorite acting credits include the film “Bummin’ It: The Life and Times of Oyster Bummins” and “Macbeth” at the Mint Theater. She has written shows for Broadway Comes to Denver and Broadway Bound Kids and recently premiered “Perfectly Complicated” at the Laurie Beechman Theater in New York.
Nick is Philadelphia-based theater artist specializing in collective creation. After graduating from American University with a BA in Theater Activism, Nick worked in executive administration for Arena Stage, trained FBI agents, and created massive immersive adventures for one audience member through Impossible Theater Company, which he founded. He completed his graduate training in avant-garde, ensemble-based devised theater with Pig Iron Theatre Company, produced, directed, and trained as an acrobat with Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, and co-founded Seven Engines, a support organization for independent artists. He has performed internationally, directed throughout Washington, DC and Philadelphia, and works as a freelance creative producer and production manager for large-scale projects in Philadelphia. He also teaches children and adults of all ages how to tell their own stories and live fearlessly through performance.
Grace Kalinosky graduated in 2013 from American University in Washington, DC and received her business degree, specializing in marketing and entrepreneurship. Trained as a child in ballet and figure skating, she has since immersed herself in wide variety of spinning arts and Fractal Phoenix was born. Grace works with hoops, contact staff, dragon staff, poi, leviwand, fans, beginner contact juggling, and fire eating. She has trained with many industry professionals and attends spinning workshops throughout the country. She has taught several classes locally in Washington, CT as part of ASAP!, and has performed throughout the tri-state area.
John Kane has been published in Cosmopolitan, Better Homes and Gardens, Bon Appetit, House & Garden, Natural History Magazine, and many more. His books include TWISTED YOGA, COLORS IN FASHION and the HUMAN ALPHABET. John has produced advertising for many Fortune 500 companies and some of the largest catalog companies. His wife, Wendy Carlson, an award winning photographer, is part of the Silver Sun Studio team and is available for photo sessions by appointment. Silver Sun Studio is a modern studio located in a converted 200 year old dairy barn which overlooks acres of serene farmland and the beautiful Litchfield Hills. The studio is a warm, creative environment where magic happens.
Heidi Kirchofer, veteran performing and teaching artist, has traveled internationally performing and training. She is co-founder and managing director of Matica Arts whose focus is on Circus, World Music, and the Moving Arts. Matica can be found performing at many festivals, events, and schools. Heidi currently practices and teaches yoga and trains in trapeze and movement.
Lisa Laquidara, violinist, is an avid orchestral player, performing with numerous orchestras including the Waterbury Symphony, Orchestra New England, Ridgefield Symphony, and Hartford Symphony. She has performed with popular artists such as David Gates, Andrea Bocelli, Bobby Vinton, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Mannheim Steamroller. Lisa is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music, and teaches violin and viola at the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut, in addition to maintaining a private teaching studio in Woodbury, Connecticut.
John Marshall performs on concert stages, radio, television, and film, both nationally and internationally. He includes the drumming traditions of the Middle East, North and South India, Egypt, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Central Asia in his repertoire. Performing on frame drums, tabla, doumbek, tombak, djembe, congas, riq, pandiero, mbira, conventional Western percussion, and all manner of hand-held percussion.
Active in scoring original music for films and documentaries, John Marshall’s music has appeared in award winning films released both nationally and internationally. Marshall’s instructional books and CDs, Hand Drums for Beginners (5 star rating), World Beat Encyclopedia, and Drum Atlas: Africa are available everywhere through Alfred Publishing. With numerous CD credits to his name, John is recorded on DMP, Ellipsis Arts, Sony, Jazzheads, Spring Hill, Windham Hill and Virgin record labels.
Krista Marti Matthews
As the daughter of a master cabinet maker (father) and a fine artist (mother), Krista has been involved in the arts throughout her entire life. She learned at an early age to be creative and passionate about learning new techniques and art mediums. She helped manage her parent’s business, 550 Gallery and Studios in Bethlehem, CT. After years of working with and teaching pastels, pottery, fused glass and encaustics, she became a Certified Zentangle Teacher in April 2017. This training sparked a deep passion for sharing the therapeutic aspects of art with her students. The deliberate pen strokes and the concept of “anything is possible one stroke at a time” are fundamental to the Zentangle Method and allow the students to doodle and tangle toward a meditative state of being which is both relaxing and empowering. Krista lives in Middlebury, CT where she raised her family and currently works as a beekeeper and an ardent supporter of the arts. email@example.com
Sari Max is a singer/songwriter, recording artist, musical theater writer/performer, guitarist/pianist, clown, craftsperson, and the director and founder of Music & Movement & More with Sari Max. Sari has led hundreds of these multimedia workshops as well as several artist-in-residencies, and decades of semi-private and private voice, piano, and other lessons. Sari has performed at over 6,000 events ranging from schools to museums to libraries to corporations. Sari continues to perform and teach workshops and private lessons both here, in CT and in NYC. Her students range from 3 to 62 years of age. Sari has written original material for special events both here and in NY as well. Sari’s unique hand-painted pieces are currently on display at WAA and may be seen on her website: www.sarimax.biz and in the newly released book, ‘Art and Food’, published by the Washington Art Association.
Joel Melendez, co-founder of the touring duo Matica Arts, has traveled the Americas performing and learning. He is a gifted performer known for his unicycling, clowning, improvisational, and acrobatic skills. Joel is a “physical artist” who loves exploring the vast capabilities of the human body. He is the director of the Advanced Circus Program at the Children’s Circus of Middletown and teaches at Oddfellows Playhouse, Green Street Arts Center as well as many schools and programs. He has been practicing Capoeira since 1999 and has been a student of Mestre Pinga Fogo’s and the Ginga Brasil cdo academy since 2008.
Michael Moschen, ranked as one of the world’s leading jugglers and one of America’s most visionary performing artists, has transformed this ancient circus art into a mesmerizing concert form that has garnered critical acclaim as “genius,” “exhilarating virtuoso entertainment” and “flawless purity” from leading media such as the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. Moschen has performed both solo and collaboratively with leading artists Off-Broadway, in major concert halls, and on arts festivals in Europe, Asia and North and South America. His work crosses ethnic and social borders, and is greeted with standing ovations and critical acclaim in every country and from audiences of all ages. Recognized as a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, his work is seen often on stages, film and television.
Lesley Neilson-Bowman graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in Fine arts, and an MFA in Theater Design from The University of Connecticut. Lesley has worked as a professional costume designer for the last 20 years both locally, regionally, and off-Broadway. Most recently, she designed costumes for the Broadway showcase Premier One for My Baby, at New 42nd Street Studios. Lesley has been the Resident Costume Designer for The Downtown Cabaret Theater in Bridgeport for the last 18 years, and a teaching artist for ASAP since 2009. She lives in Washington Depot.
Tom O’Brien is a professional magician and instructor of magic to children and adults. He performs over 175 Magic programs each year throughout the New England area. His credits include appearances on the Fox 61 Morning Show and the CBS Morning Show. Tom has created a very popular children’s program titled “The Wizard’s School of Magic” and a senior program titled “Be A Grandparent Houdini”. Tom has performed in over 7.000 shows at business and private party events throughout the country! Tom resides in Northwest Connecticut.
John Olivieri is a professional artist living and working in Connecticut.
Edwin Olvera, a proud Wisconsinite, has spread his wings far and wide. His skill and ability has been of worldwide note as he has performed and taught in locations across the globe. After attending UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts, Edwin joined the world renowned dance company, Pilobolus Dance Theatre, where he was an integral force in the choreographic and creation process over the course of ten years. During this time, he was featured on countless television shows and commercial advertisements including Sesame Street, Born to Dance, and the NFL Channel. Edwin has collaborated with international artists Inbal Pinto and Basil Twist and has been featured in articles by both Dance and Dancer Magazine. In 2015 under the guidance of Olympic choreographers Gavin Robins and Leigh-Anne Vizer, Edwin was a dance captain for a team of 150 performers within the 44th national Dubai Day celebration. He would also like to thank his wife and two kids for their support on his successful journey as a movement artist!
Kyle Pasciutti is an alumnus of the UMass Amherst theater department and the owner of Decimated Designs out of New Britain, CT. Having studied with the Wolfe brothers, Alex Hansen, and many others, he is a certified Iwata airbrush instructor and holds professional memberships with more companies and organizations than can be listed here. He recently demoed at the International Make-Up Artist Trade Show in NYC and represents the European Body Art makeup brand as well as Iwata airbrush tools. Over the course of his career, Kyle has been responsible for the creation of over 1,000 zombies and has used more than 60 gallons of fake blood. His work can be seen on tv, film, and in the theater as well as at conventions and numerous live events throughout New England and New York.
Jessyka Patterson holds a degree in art education from Western Carolina University, NC. She has taught art in private and public schools in Asheville, NC, the Bronx, NY, and at Shepaug Middle & High School. As an artist, she works in a variety of mediums, although her favorite is ceramics. She has worked with ASAP! over the past 12 yrs in a variety of capacities, primarily teaching visual art workshops to preschool & elementary students, sharing a unique printmaking technique. More recently, she teamed up with Sari Max for an exciting workshop of music, movement, and visual art combined.
Pilobolus, founded in 1971, has built its fervent and expanding international following by showing the human body to be the most expressive, universal, and magical of media. Pilobolus maintains its own singular style, evolving interplay with shape shifting, shadow play and other explorations, while actively collaborating with the best and brightest minds from all conceivable professions the world over. The results of these collaborations has proven amazing feats can be achieved, and Pilobolus has been recognized for its developments in dance and multimedia art. Based in Washington Depot, Connecticut, in recent years Pilobolus has transformed from avant-garde dance company into an international entertainment brand featured on the likes of Oprah, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and the Academy Awards. The company has explored worlds as disparate as advertising, publishing, film, and music videos (Pilobolus was nominated for a 2012 Grammy® Award for the video for OK Go’s “All Is Not Lost”). Pilobolus achieves all this without ever losing sight of their core mission: to make art that builds community.
Alyssa Robb is a photographer and designer currently residing in the greater New York City area. Her commercial work focuses on still life and women’s fashion, describing form through simplicity. She is also dedicated to her personal practice, and recently attended the Cow House Studios residency in Ireland as a visiting artist. You can see her work at alyssarobb.com.
Emily Robb is a musician, songwriter, producer, performer and teacher. She began exploring music at a young age, picking up the piano, violin and trumpet. She eventually learned guitar and bass guitar and began performing with rock groups across the U.S. and Canada. Emily currently resides in Philadelphia where she leads her own pop group Louie Louie and records and performs in her peers’ projects. Her palette is continually morphing and she loves to bring this enthusiasm for novelty to the classroom where she encourages students to invent their own noises and explore unique methods in music making.
Jenna Robb is a teacher, artist and designer. She earned a BFA in Textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design and after graduating in 2008, went on to work in the fashion and wedding industries. Throughout the years she has continued to teach kids of all ages, focusing on visual arts and textile processes. Most recently, she taught ASAP’s Metamorphosis Project, bringing a new and exciting method to teaching science and vocabulary through art making, textile designing and sculptural engineering. She is currently in the process of starting her own textile company designing prints, patterns and fabric treatments for apparel. She also tours with her band, Louie Louie, drumming and creating stage outfits, band merchandise and album artwork. Jenna resides in Philadelphia, PA.
Photographer: Ryan Collerd
Described as a “new music ninja” by the Hartford Advocate, Jessica Rudman is a Connecticut-based composer and teacher whose music unifies clear melodic development and narrative structures with extended techniques to create a unique and personal emotional expression. Her works have been performed by groups such as the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Riot Ensemble, the Cadillac Moon Ensemble, the Omaha Symphony’s Chamber Orchestra, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, and the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra. She has received awards from SCI/ASCAP, Boston Metro Opera, the College Music Society, the International Alliance for Women in Music, and others. Jessica has served on the faculty at Baruch College, Central Connecticut State University, and The Hartt School. She is currently the Director of the Young Composers Project and the Chair of the Creative Studies Department at The Hartt School Community Division. Jessica has also been highly involved in arts administration and is on the board of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford. She holds degrees from the CUNY Graduate Center, The Hartt School, and the University of Virginia.
Svea Schneider, originally from Germany is a NYC & Lima based dance artist, choreographer and dance teacher. Her passion for dance has brought her all over the world. She has taught and performed in India, Peru, Dubai, Europe, Canada and the US. She holds a degree in dance anthropology from NYU and is the founder of KINEMATIK Dance Theater. Svea loves to move and share her passion with others!
Angie has a BA from McGill University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) and a teaching certificate from The University of Victoria (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada). She is an English, Drama and Film teacher. She taught at The Bishop Strachan School in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for 27 years; she also directed many plays and musicals. In writing, critical thinking, filmmaking, acting and directing, her objective is for her students to explore their own voice, their own thoughts; to discover their passions and “follow their bliss” as said by Joseph Campbell. She wants to facilitate her students’ curiosity, so they can discover their talents that they have within themselves. At ASAP!, she is a committee member for the Frank McCourt teacher selection prize, a writing workshop facilitator with children from Torrington, a speech coach for the selected students who perform their poetry for the Young Writers event in June and a film editor for promos of ASAP events that are featured on their website. She truly believes that the arts are a wonderful tool to create confidence within every human being!
Jesse is a poet from Washington, CT, and grew up participating in ASAP programs from elementary through high school. He has spent the past year teaching English in Menorca, Spain, and graduated from Hampshire College with a degree in Creative Writing and Spanish. He was the first Poet Laureate of Washington, CT and aspires to be the Poet Laureate of the United States.
Born into a family of artists, it seemed only fitting to try my hand in the art world. I attended Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland Oregon where I was reintroduced to the ceramic world. From that moment on I spent thirty hours a week in the studio honing my skills to create the “perfect” teapot and developing my knowledge of glaze chemistry. After college I moved to Brooklyn New York to work for a ceramic artist, setting up his studio and helping him make his creations. From there I moved back to my home town of Washington Connecticut where I set up my own pottery studio. I started to teach at the Rumsey Hall school, Village Center for the Arts, Brookfield Craft Center and private lessons in my studio. I have a love for teaching that is matched with my own work and I hope to pass on the love I have for clay to all those I teach.
J Lyn Thomas
J Lyn Thomas is a multifaceted artist with talents in dance, choreography, and teaching. In high school, she won a scholarship to train at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School in Denver, Colorado and later went on to obtain her BA in Dance at the University of Colorado at Boulder. After graduation, J Lyn moved to New York City and signed with MSA Talent Agency. Since signing, J Lyn has danced on America’s Got Talent, Black Girls Rock, BET’s Wild Out Wednesday, and Comcast’s Get Up and Dance. She has danced for many artists like LL Cool J, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Drake, Cee Lo Green, Kevin Lyttle, WizKid, Lil Jon, Tiwa Savage, Flavour, Davido, Juelz Santana and Dipset. Her TV, film and commercial work includes a print campaign for Coors Light Beer, dancing in Step Up, and dancing in commercials for Shaun T.’s Hip Hop Abs, Lucille Roberts Gym, G-Star Watch, and Malibu Rum. She has worked with some of the industry’s top choreographers like LaurieAnn Gibson, Tanisha Scott, Luam, and Sheryl Murakami.
Outside of her performance career, she is currently faculty at Broadway Dance Center’s Children and Teen Program, Director of Dance at Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School, and teaches workshops at dance conventions, studios and non-profit programs throughout the US and abroad.
Terri Tibbatts is a book artist, calligrapher, printmaker and photographer. She studied calligraphy, typography and art history at Smith College and later worked for the Meriden Stinehour Press, a printer of fine art books, broadsides and limited editions. She studied Japanese brushwork, book binding and paper arts in Japan and the U.S., and received a Master’s Degree in Art from Wesleyan University. Recently, she has had two photography shows entitled “Mono No Aware —The Awareness of Things” and “Borrowed Scenery”. She has an online business, Shoji Shades, making roller shades from Japanese paper.
Born in London, Nicole trained at the Royal Ballet School, was a member of The Birmingham Royal Ballet and a graduate of The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. As a performer Nicole danced in over 30 ballets and as an actress worked in all mediums especially enjoying live theatre and improvisation. She has choreographed for ballet, opera, theatre, television, fashion and commercials both nationally and internationally working with casts as large as 200 and ages 4 up. Her passion for teaching and working with children came about 15 years ago when she began teaching the holiday theater workshops at Clifton College, Bristol. Nicole has continued working with children ever since and is also a board member of Dance to Unite, a non profit organization that provides free after school dance classes to students in the inner cities of NY. For more information you can visit her website www.nicoletongue.com
The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra
The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra is currently in its 77th season, and is comprised of 70 professional musicians from throughout Connecticut and beyond. The orchestra performs in greater Waterbury and presents multi-faceted education programs throughout Northwestern Connecticut. WSO teaching artists are gifted artist-educators with a passion for inspiring students to achieve and exceed their goals in music and life.
Amy Yarbrough, a native of Albany, New York, is a long time resident of Litchfield County and was a Montessori educator for 28 years. Early on in her teaching career, she developed her own materials and techniques to help children learn to read, write and enjoy poetry. By creating an atmosphere where few rules apply, she encourages the children to feel comfortable painting pictures with words. Above all, the only rule is no rhyming! Presently, she has been teaching as a volunteer at Children’s Community School where she is conducting her poetry program with 3 different elementary grades.