director of youth programming
Sarah Daunt has recently joined the MAX team, as the Moving Arts Early Childhood Program Director, teaching Creative Movement, Ballet, Dance Making and Moving Family. Sarah Daunt began teaching dance in 2006. She maintains individual student needs and supports injury prevention through proper instruction and preparation. Her extensive teaching in toddler through adult dance education supports her knowledge of the dancer’s development at all ages. In her twelve years of teaching Sarah has coordinated the establishment of several youth dance programs and continues to deepen her knowledge of early childhood education. Sarah has been the youth dance program coordinator of but not limited to, Carnegie Art Center and Lisa Taylor Academy of Dance, Buffalo, NY, and Bluffton School of Dance, Bluffton, SC. Sarah finds great joy in her commitment to serving the community and is honored to be a part of MAX.
She received her 200-hour yoga certification from the Kripalu Center of Yoga and Health in 2011. Received her Grade One Cecchetti Council of America Certification in 2012. Her training includes Hilton Head Dance under the direction of ABT Principle Karena Brock, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Ballet South GA, and Washington School of Ballet. Sarah has worked professionally with Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet Company, Habit Dance Project NY, and Jacobs Pillow, MA. Her choreography has been presented at The ALT Theatre, Lawyers for the Arts, Buffalo NY, and the School of Contemporary Dance and Thought, MA.
Nina was born and grew up in New York City. She trained from the age of nine at the School of American Ballet in New York, and performed regularly in children's roles in many of New York City Ballet’s productions, including ‘Nutcracker,’ ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ ‘Coppelia,’ and ‘Harlequinade.’ In 1984, she moved to San Francisco to join the San Francisco Ballet. She left San Francisco in 1991, first for France where she danced with Le Ballet du Nord, and then Montreal where she danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, retiring in 1996. While a student at SAB, she trained extensively in classical Pilates with the late Romana Kryzanowska, one of Joseph Pilates’ early students and his designated successor. Nina also teaches yoga, and is certified in the Iyengar method, having trained in Paris with M Faeq Biria, one of BKS Iyengar’s leading disciples in the West. She has taught yoga in New York, London and Melbourne, Australia. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Great Barrington.
Stefanie Lynx Weber
Stefanie is an action-based artist who specializes in dance, movement and performance. She has worked with many organizations such as Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Opera Company, Simon’s Rock College of Bard, Williams College, Berkshire Community College, BaRT Charter School, Terpsichore Dance Studio, Lenox Community Center, Berkshire Dance Theatre, Hudson’s Operation Unite, Hudson Opera House, East Harlem Union Settlement Association, Art in Odd Places, Somerville’s ArtBeat, and Cambridge River Festival; as an artist, educator, performer, or choreographer. Presently she is on faculty with Community Access to the Arts and Kinesphere Movement Arts Studio.
Stefanie is developing with collaborating artist Monika Pizzichemi, They Dance for Rain which is an on-going dance making and photography project in Nairobi, Kenya that works with arts-for-social-change organizations including: VOCAL, Shangilia, ACREF, artists at GoDown Arts Center and Sarakasi Trust. Exhibitions of photographic work from the project have been featured in various Tap Festivals through the US including Austin’s Sole to Soul Festival and the Beantown Tap Festival. Pittsfield, MA being their artistic home-base has invited exhibits at The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts and The Whitney Center for The Arts.
Stefanie is the founder and artistic director of the Creatures of Habitat Physical Poetry Public Performance Project and Pittsfield City Hoopla and is a performer with Nutshell Playhouse and Tap & Blues: Two White Girls & the Backbeat. She was a co-director and performer with the ethereal roving act of the Silver Swimmers (USA) from 2006-2013 and the Commonwealth Tap Collective based in Boston in 2008-09. A dancer with Caryn Heilman’s LiquidBody Dance for six years, Stefanie immersed herself in the the work of movement pioneer Emily Conrad. She collaborates frequently with various local and international artists, musicians and community development enthusiasts. Her work and development has been supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and The Capezio/Ballet Makers Dance Foundation.
Stefanie is a certified Gyrotonic instructor, former Americorps Member, graduate of UMASS Amherst with a degree in Environmental Sciences (focus on toxicology), and has taken artistic residency with The Storefront Artist Project (02-06) and Dana Bixby Architecture . She was a scholarship student for the Jazz Traditions (97) and Leading Communities to Dance/Choreography Lab (03) programs in the Jacob’s Pillow Professional School. She is a an active board member of Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center in Windsor, MA and on the mayoral appointed Cultural Development Board for the city of Pittsfield.
In Spring of 2007, Stefanie was recognized as a “Young Woman Moving the Berkshires Forward” by the Berkshire Eagle newspaper and awarded certificate as an asset to the community by State Senator Benjamin Downing.
To learn more about Stefanie and her work, you can visit her website, Fertile Universe.
Cardio Groove-Combo | Cardio/Core
Mimi’s early career (pre-children) included practicing law, nonprofit arts administration and film and television production in San Francisco. While living in the Bay Area, Mimi studied ballet, modern dance, Afro-jazz, American show jazz, contact improvisation and tap. She performed with the Gloria Unti Modern Dance group for several years.
After moving to Austin, Texas in 1989, Mimi became a nationally certified ACE Aerobics Instructor and Personal Trainer. Mimi combined her dance experience with her knowledge of body mechanics to create a unique style of aerobic dance. After two years of intensive Iyengar yoga training, Mimi opened her own yoga studio in 1995. Mimi continued to teach in large fitness clubs throughout Austin and also maintained a vibrant personal training business. Mimi has taught every possible format of land aerobics including cardio-funk, cardio-yoga, step, Zumba, cardio-sculpt and circuit training. Mimi believes that it is imperative to keep growing and learning, and to that end she has received certifications in Indoor Cycling (Spinning), Advanced Mat Pilates, Zumba and Barre since moving to the Berkshires in 2004.
Locally, Mimi has taught fitness classes, yoga, Pilates and Zumba at Berkshire South Community Center, Simon’s Rock, Cranwell Resort, Berkshire Functional Fitness and Berkshire Pulse. Mimi also wrote and produced her own weekly radio show,” Mimi’s Morning Mojo” for WSBS.
Mimi is co-founder and managing partner of CATWALK Boutique which benefits Berkshire Humane Society, and she also sits on the Advisory Board of PURRADISE. Mimi lives in Great Barrington with her lovely husband Mark Lefenfeld and 2 Siamese cats (all rescues). Mimi fervently believes that exercise is the “fountain of youth” and plans to just keep moving.
ART OF PERFORMANCE & COMPOSITION
Gina Bashour is a choreographer and performer with over 20 years of experience as a professional performer, choreographer, teacher, and coach. She has been choreographing nationally since 2001, and has been praised by the New York Times as a “powerhouse”.
Native to the Berkshires and based in New York, Gina was a founding member and performed both nationally and internationally with Palissimo Dance Theatre, Ashleigh Leite Dance, and The Kinesis Project. She also performed and collaborated with Jody Oberfelder & Company, Alethea Adsitt & Company, Alberto Denis, Paul Singh, and others. Gina performed with the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, was featured as a principle dancer in the Off-Broadway production of Thin Line directed by Derek Mitchell, and has been commissioned nationally as a guest teacher and choreographer.
Gina studied at Jacob's Pillow, American Dance Festival, and holds a BFA in dance from Adelphi University. She has had the fortune to work with such dance legends as Carmen Delavallade, Gelsey Kirkland, James Truitte, Rebecca Wright, David Parsons, Sean Curran, and Marlies Yearby.
Gina Bashour brings the Art of Performance and Composition to Moving Arts Exchange. In a two-part series, Gina's classes offer tools to generate ideas, create movement, utilize improvisation, and enhance the individual dancer to become a more expressive, engaging performer.
Sharon MacDonald has a M.A. in theater from Smith College and a B.A. in French and dance from Skidmore College. She has had an extensive career for over 40 years as a performer, teacher, choreographer, and stage director. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to train and work with many luminaries of the dance world, including Melissa Hayden, Martha Graham, and Agnes DeMille. She has served on the faculties of Smith College, Trinity College, Williams College, Springfield College, and has been a guest artist in numerous colleges and universities, public schools, and private arts organizations. From 1985-1990, she was a School Administrator and a faculty member for Hartford Ballet in Connecticut and served on the School of the Hartford Ballet Board of Overseers. She was also a key figure in the development and management of the Hartford Courant Center for the Arts as well as for the highly acclaimed Hartford Dance Program for City Youth. Macdonald has had a long-time association with Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, where she trained on scholarship and has performed, taught, and held administrative posts. She had served on the Jacob’s Pillow Board of Directors and as President of the Friends at Jacob’s Pillow. In recent years, she has been a Ballet Artist for the Pillow’s community dance program. In 1995, MacDonald founded the American Dance Institute to educate and train performers and teachers of dance and to promote the experience of dance as an art form for all ages. Soon to celebrate is 25th year, ADI offers year-round classes for children and adults in locations in Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut and provides educational outreach and after-school programs in public and private school throughout the Northeast.