About the Directors
Andrea's early training in the arts began in the summer youth dance program at SUNY Brockport Dance Department, and at the Student Preparatory Program at Eastman School of Music for harp and percussion. She attended Interlochen Arts Summer Camp and Interlochen Arts Academy in Northern Michigan. She then went on to Bard College, NYC, studying with Albert Reid, Aileen Pasloff, Lenore Latimer and Jean Churchill, and graduated in 1992. While dancing and choreographing at Bard College, she was a teacher for the Bard’s Youth Theatre/Dance Programs, instructing young artists through creative movement, dance technique, and composition. Andrea participated in the theatre department as the Assistant TD and wrote her senior thesis in Anthropology on Arts Education. She was a dancer for nine years with the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company, resident company of the Egg in Albany, New York. As a member of ESDC, Andrea was one of the Arts-In-Education performers for the company’s outreach workshops in New York State’s Capital Region. Supporting the arts and having the opportunity to bring dance to schools and youth programs throughout the area, continues to drive Andrea’s passion and commitment to dance education. She performed with Ellen at Kaatsbaan, Lincoln Center, Dance Space NYC, Sage College and other venues throughout New York. Andrea was on faculty for the performing arts program, and community dance classes at Berkshire Pulse in Housatonic, MA for many years. Her 25+ years as a professional dancer and teacher has brought her to Seattle, Albany, and the Berkshires.
As a Modern Dance Technician, Andrea works diligently to create the most well-rounded, safe, fun, and challenging classes for youth, teens, and adults. Currently she is working on creative works for her newly established performing company, and is leading a new wave of seasoned dancers to the stage. Her next exploration can be found through a new class she is developing through her research and training in mind-body centering and restorative somatic practices. It is an essential practice that she infuses her knowledge of Kinesiology principles into all her classes, from creative dance, to Modern Dance, and even Zumba.
ELLEN GORMAN GIARNELLA
Ellen graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance from Adelphi University and trained in the Lester Horton Technique with Regina Larkin and personal coaching from Carmen Delavallade. Ellen studied ballet with the late Rebecca Wright (principal dancer and teacher at ABT) and Frank Augustine (former principal dancer of the Canada National Ballet Company). She performed the role of “the chosen one” in Joyce Trisler’s Le Sacre du Printemps, danced with GiBa in motion (NYC), and was company manager/dancer for Imago Dance Theater (NYC). In 2005 she performed a duet by Sean Curran while teaching for Harvard University’s Dance Program and was Repertoire Assistant for Curran at Marymount Manhattan College, Roger Williams University, and Rhode Island College. She co-founded a non-profit dance company in NYC before becoming Dance Director at Pomfret School in CT for four years. At that time she was also Executive Director of the Cornerstone Performing Arts Center in Fitchburg, MA, and was awarded a $21,000 capital grant from the Amelia Peabody Foundation. While in Fitchburg she built relationships with Fitchburg Public Schools and North Central Mass Charter School to coordinate youth dance programs, and received the Community Builder Golden Hammer Awardfrom the United Way of Central Mass. She created, choreographed and produced over 25 dance/music/theatre productions from 2006 -2010, including the original play Outside the Wire at the Boston Center for the Arts. In 2011 she danced for BoSoma Dance Company at Boston University, and performed David Dorfman’s Prophets of Funk. In 2013 she was chosen as a presenter for Community of Scholarsat Lesley University for work with dance in nature.
Ellen co-founded Moving Arts Exchange (MAX), in 2016 with Andrea Blacklow. MAX is a non-profit organization for dance education and performance. MAX teen company and resident dance company Tandem, have performed throughout the Berkshires, including Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, and The Salon @ MAX, a new blackbox performance space for local artists to share and create original work. Ellen believes that arts education is a vital part of building the next generation and a space for local artists to create is imperative in fostering a healthy and vibrant life in all communities.