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Becky Ahamad Hip Hop

Becky is mainly a self-taught dancer. She took classes in Tap and Jazz at a young age, but soon discovered her love for Hip Hop over the years. She received some Hip Hop training from Terpsichore in Pittsfield, MA, and expanded on her own from there. Her first experience with choreography came at the age of 15 with The Berkshire Theatre Group's presentation of Romance, Soul and Rock & Roll at The Colonial Theater in Pittsfield, MA. She remained with this group until 2007, and it was here that she discovered her true passion not only for Hip Hop dance, but for dance in general. She graduated with a B.A. in English/Communications from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. After graduation, Becky worked at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and taught weekly Hip Hop workshops to the Pillow interns. Since September 2011 Becky has worked at Berkshire Dance Theatre as a Hip Hop instructor and currently as the Co-Director. Since starting with BDT, Becky has choreographed a Flash Mob and presented numerous other pieces of choreography at the world renowned MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. She is also a co-founder of a community dance crew called dysFUNKcrew. They've performed at numerous community events in Berkshire County, including MASS MoCA, Tanglewood, the Colonial Theatre and the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, NY.

 

Jamal Ahamad Hip Hop

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Jamal did not grow up as a dancer. Lacking athleticism and a desire to play sports as a child, he gravitated towards his academic studies, cartoons and comics, video games, and weightlifting. During his youth, he was always around music and music lovers and was picked on for having bad music taste and no rhythm. However, all of that changed when You Got Served was released in theaters. Jamal loved the dancing in the movie so much that he wanted to learn. His last year of high school was spent in the dance studio as opposed to the weight room and when he eventually went to college at MCLA, he spent all of his free time teaching himself different styles and techniques. His exposure to dance movies such as Breakin’, Step Up 2, and Planet B-boy alongside MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew really impacted his personal trajectory. At MCLA, he worked his way from being a general member to becoming a two-time MCLA Dance Company Co-President and even met his wife, Miss Becky, who he accredits with teaching him both how to choreograph and how to teach. After earning his undergrad degree, Jamal did not want to give up dancing and started sharing his passion with the BDT community. Since then, he has taught at several different studios and even co-founded dysFUNKcrew alongside other MCLA Dance Company alumni. He has come to enjoy teaching so much that he has become an academic instructor for at-risk youth during the day and is currently pursuing an M.Ed. at MCLA for secondary education. As BDT’s Bennington Hip-Hop Instructor, Jamal does not take anything for granted and looks forward to sharing his passion and knowledge for dance with anyone who wants to learn.

 

Stacey Broderick Children’s Program – Ballet – Jazz- Tap - Pointe, Lyrical

Stacey began dancing at the age of 3 at the Isabelle’s School of Dance in Schodack, NY, and began dancing competitively in tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, and ballet with the school at 6 years of age. Stacey later joined The Albany Berkshire Ballet to focus on her ballet training. She began teaching tap at The Cantarella School of Dance and The Albany Berkshire Ballet when she was 16, while touring with their company’s production of “The Nutcracker”. Throughout her career, Stacey has trained under dancers from the New York City Ballet through her attendance at the New York State Summer School for the Arts, and work with the Radio City Rockettes. She has also performed with the Burklyn Ballet Theatre. Stacey began teaching for Berkshire Dance Theatre in the summer of 2011, and teaches tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, and children’s classes.

 

Makayla Dowling Hip Hop

Makayla first began dancing when she entered high school. She was introduced to the hip hop genre when she joined her high school dance team. After graduation, Makayla attended MCLA where she became an active member of the Dance Company. She learned more about the hip hop genre as well as other genres. She was a dancer and choreographer, as well as part of the executive board to the club. During Makayla’s time at MCLA, she taught at a local dance school in Adams where she led recital classes, along with choreographing and teaching competition classes. In her four years of competing, her teams brought back many high gold rankings, a platinum ranking and special choreography awards. She also taught dance classes for the North Adams 21st Century After-School programs. Recently, she has been an active member of the community dance crew dysFUNKcrew.

 

Sarah Duffany Children's Programming, Tap, Jazz

Sarah Duffany is a 2017 graduate of DeSales University, located in Center Valley, PA where she received her BA in dance. During her time at DeSales University, Sarah trained under Trinette Singleton, Julia Mayo, Angela Grossman, Timothy Cowart, and Tara Madsen Robbins. While studying dance at DeSales University, Sarah taught Pre-Ballet and Creative Movement classes for the Conservatory of Dance at DeSales University, under the direction of Trinette Singleton. While attending DeSales University, Sarah had the opportunity to perform in numerous concerts in the Lehigh Valley, which included the Rivers Merge Dance Festival (2015), the DeSales University Dance Ensemble Concert (2016), and the Riverside Festival for the Arts (2016). Her first professional choreographic work, Aube a la Nuit, a contemporary ballet piece, was presented last fall in Illuminate: The Emerging Choreographers Concert, held at DeSales University. Before studying dance at DeSales University, Sarah trained in dance and musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, located in Manhattan, NY.  Sarah is a former student of Berkshire Dance Theater and is very excited to be coming back as a faculty member. 

 

Emily Hollister
 Ballet - Pointe - Lyrical - Tap, Jazz,

Emily began her dance career at age three at Happy Feet Dance School. She danced with Berkshire Dance Theatre for thirteen years and was part of the central cast and annual theatre productions. Emily also brings experience in the professional grades examinations of the Cecchetti Ballet Society. She continued her dance studies at Jacksonville University in Florida where she earned a BA in Spanish with a minor in dance and education. Emily has taught with BDT through the summers of her college years and has now returned to the Southern Vermont area as a Spanish teacher and dance instructor at BDT.


 

Taylar Jackson Ballet & Hip Hop

Taylar is from Worcester Massachusetts, and is currently a senior at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Taylar began dancing at the age of three starting in tap, jazz, and ballet, and throughout her dance career has trained in ballet, hip-hop, lyrical, acrobatics, Irish step, modern, and, musical theater. She trained at the New England Dance Center for thirteen years, competing in regional and national competitions throughout the New England area. In college, Taylar has continued her dance career through the MCLA Dance Company, as a member, treasurer, and currently, as the clubs Co-President. This will be Taylar’s first year with the Berkshire Dance Theatre, teaching both ballet and hip-hop.

 

Kaylyn Kern Acrobatics

Kaylyn is a USAG Certified Gymnastics Instructor. She has been teaching recreational gymnastics for 14 years and is a prior competitive gymnast.  Currently she is an Esthetician at Essencials Day Spa in Lenox and teaches at Renaissance Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA as a Gymnastics Instructor, Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. She works with students from 18 months through adulthood. It is a recreational studio where conditioning the body for everyday life is emphasized. She believes that gymnastics is wonderful cross-training for all other sports and disciplines. Previously she was the Wellness Director at the Pittsfield Family YMCA where she started a Gymnastics Program that began with 13 children and grew to 150 children every eight weeks. She also started a Performance Team that she brought out to perform in the community. They performed during Third Thursday Events, Pittsfield Suns baseball games as well as the Fourth of July and Halloween Parades. Through USAG she is Instructor Certified and has completed their Safety & Risk Management, First Aid Basics, USA Gymnastics Fitness and Development Coaches Course: Sports Science certifications.

 

Ashley Michael Children's Programming, Ballet, Jazz, Tap

Ashley holds a Master's Degree in Education from Western New England University and is licensed by the state of Massachusetts to teach dance in public schools. She began dancing at Berkshire Dance Theatre at the age of five but was too scared to go onstage and perform until she was seven! She continued studying with BDT under the direction of Susan Hakes and took classes at other local studios throughout her school years.  During her undergraduate years at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), Ashley continued dancing and began choreographing while she was president of MCLA Dance Company. Her dance studies have led her to classes and performances with Marilyn Cavallari (Manchester Ballet), Stefan Harris and Dianne Walker. Professionally, Ashley has taught at local studios for many years and had the amazing opportunity to create and implement the Dance curriculum at Hoosac Valley Middle and High School. After taking a few years off to be with her children she is elated to be dancing again!

 

Amanda Schuler Children's Programming, Lyrical, Jazz

Amanda started teaching at BDT in the Fall of 2015. She began dancing at age 4, but her dance career really started when she was in third grade at Planet Dance in West Milford, NJ. Through the 8 years she was apart of the studio she took jazz, tap, ballet, modern, lyrical, hip hop, and pointe. She was part of the Planet Dance Eclipse Dance Company. This company performed monthly throughout the year at different venues, were the leaders and role models representing the studio, and were honored to perform the opening and closing numbers in the end of the year recital similar to BDT's company. Amanda was also selected as one of the first dance assistants for Planet Dance. In high school Amanda made the West Milford High School Dance Team that competed in the area and in the UDA Nationals down in Florida each year. In 2006 she was a part of the team that won the NJCDCA Dance State Championship in the Varsity Jazz category. Her junior year of high school her family moved back to Dalton, MA where she continued dancing at the Dalton Ballet Studio until graduation in 2008. She then attended Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where she joined the Dance Company and started teaching and choreographing. She choreographed 5 semesters, was elected treasurer and then co-president her senior year. She graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration in 2012 and has continued dancing and choreographing with the MCLA alumni dance group dysFUNKcrew.

 

Kristi Segura Children's Programming, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theater

Kristi is a graduate from The Boston Conservatory of Music with a BFA in dance. In addition, Kristi has studied under the tutelage of Madame Darvash, Frank Hatchett, Jeanette Neill, Sandy Hagen(Luigi) and Charles Kelley. Her professional performing career has provided her the opportunity of not only touring the United States, but also throughout Europe. Notable credits include, Cats, Mamma Mia, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 42nd Street, and Anything Goes. She has also choreographed many local school productions including The Wizard of Oz, The Addams Family, Oliver!, Lion King Jr., Shrek Jr., Bye Bye Birdie Jr., and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. She has also worked privately with students throughout the Bennington area. Kristi has lived with her family in Bennington for 11 years and is very happy to be back on faculty at BDT. 

 

 

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