At five years old I was so excited when I put on my first leotard that I ran around the neighborhood twirling. I am still happiest in a dance studio and in my dance clothes so I am so thrilled to create a place to share my joy with others. Whether it is zumba or classical ballet, I love it all. I was very fortunate to have had a full dance career performing, teaching and directing* and now I am ready to establish a community where both kids and adults can thrive creatively and physically. This is a studio for all types of dancers. It is for the dancer that cannot get enough and wants to pursue it as a career, and for the dancer that does it for fun once or twice a week, and also for the dancer who walks in the door in her first leotard and yearns to twirl (preferably in front of a mirror!)
Having numerous teachers in my life, I can spot a good one very quickly, and we are lucky to have esteemed dancers/teachers on the Island.
Caitlin Cook grew up studying Ballet before earning her degree at SUNY Purchase. She has her own New York City based company and is a critically acclaimed choreographer. She recently completed a teaching certification program at American Ballet Theater in NYC for teaching children from age 4 through young adults on pointe. She is a modern dance choreographer, and gifted pilates instructor, but she has a passion for teaching Ballet, and I thank my lucky stars that she is teaching here at Spindrift.
Alise Haigazian grew up her on the Vineyard and became one of Kelly Peter's original students and went on dance in NYC in films and videos. She has been teaching kids hip hop since she was a teen ager, and has become a master on getting kids to move and enjoy hip hop.
Michelle Pikor was a competitive gymnast during her high school and college years. She went on to become a gymnastics coach and eventually a beloved gym teacher at the Edgartown School.
*My formal training began at the Walnut Hill School and continued at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Once in New York City I was a scholarship student at the Martha Graham School and joined the Graham ensemble and then soon after joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company. For twelve years I was a piece of the fabric Mr. Taylor worked with to create some of the most celebrated dances of a generation. After performing, I staged Mr. Taylor's works on several Ballet Companies from Toronto to South Africa. I directed Taylor's second company Taylor 2, and choreographed my own works on dancers from Ballet West, the Taylor Company and as a resident choreographer for the Yard, where I later served as an Associate Artistic Director. I most recently served on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory, where I taught in both the Ballet and Musical theater departments.
You don't have to be happy to dance, dancing makes you happy.
I included this video because it is a good sample of the kind of dancing I did when I danced for Paul Taylor, and as a matter of fact I was surprised to see they used some footage of me dancing so many years later. You have to guess which one I am.