Naomi Goldberg Haas
Naomi Goldberg Haas is a dancer, master teacher, choreographer and founding artistic director of Dances For A Variable Population (DVP). With DVP, Ms. Goldberg Haas has created site-related public performances at many of NYC’s most iconic public spaces including Times Square, Washington Square Park, the Whitehall Ferry Terminal, and the High Line. She also leads DVP’s education programs, including the organization’s free community-based dance workshops that have served over 5,000 seniors at 45 senior centers since 2009.
Ms. Goldberg Haas has worked in concert dance, theatre, opera and film, and has collaborated with The Klezmatics, composer Michael Nyman, and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner. She holds an MFA from Tisch Dance at NYU, and began her career with the Pacific Northwest Ballet.
In 2013, Ms. Goldberg Haas received the “Art + Action Award” from Gibney Dance. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council awarded her the 2014 Presidents Award for the Performing Arts. She served on the Arts, Media and Culture Committee as appointed by the Mayors Office for Age Friendly NYC (2015-2018). She was awarded a 2019-2020 DANCE USA Fellowship for Artists addressing Social Change.
In February 2023, she received the New York State Dance Education Association Lifetime Impact in Dance Education award in recognition of her Extraordinary Life-long Imprint on Dance and Dance Education community.
CURRENT TEACHING ARTISTS
Jackie Bernard (Teaching Artist/Senior Dancer), was raised in Rhode Island where she received her early dance and theatrical training. After earning her degree in Nursing and Psychology, she combined her love of the Arts with her career as a behavioral Health Nurse at St. Vincent’s Hospital in NYC, teaching a weekly tap class for clients with mental health challenges. Jackie has taught creative movement, ballet and tap to both children and adults. She also performed with, and choreographed for the Brooklyn Heights Players. Jackie is active with the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD program as a teaching assistant and volunteer. She loves to dance, teach, perform and share her love for movement.
Bryanna Dean (Teaching Artist/Dancer) a dancer, teacher, and choreographer was born and raised in Shenandoah, Virginia. She began studying dance at a recreational studio at age nine. Since that young age, teaching and creating movement became a clear path at which she follows with eager curiosity. Dean gained her BFA degree in Dance at Florida State University where she has created work as well as taught in the Tallahassee region. Dean is now exploring the art community of her new home in Brooklyn. Along with working with DVP, she teaches jazz, contemporary, and gymnastics to young artists at studios throughout the area.
Theo Gilbert (Teaching Artist/Dancer) is a Native New Yorker, Movement Motivator, and Dance Fitness Professional. She lives in the Bronx and teaches Zumba Gold and numerous Dance Fitness classes throughout the city. She says her “favorite group to teach is elders, gathering so much from their wisdom and humor!”
Rebecca Hite (Teaching Artist/Dancer) received her MFA in dance choreography/performance from Smith College in Northampton, MA, where she was also a teaching fellow and guest artist at Amherst College. She holds a BA in dance from Connecticut College. Rebecca has worked with David Dorfman, Lisa Race, Heidi Henderson, Adele Myers, Nicholas Leichter, Jeremy Nelson, Wally Cardona, and Monica Bill Barnes. Along with working with DVP, Rebecca is a freelance choreographer and teacher in NYC and collaborates with Raja Kelly/The Feath3r Theory, MachineH Dance, and is co-creator and co-artistic director of Reject Dance Theatre.
Pamela Knowles (Teaching Artist/Senior Dancer) is international jazz vocalist, recording artist and teacher of voice. Her love of the creative relationship between improvisation, integration, and embodied performance, has inspired her work with movement. Her mentors are Al Wunder of Improvised Movement Theater in Melbourne, Linda Wise of the Pan Theatre Company in Paris, and Joan Skinner in Seattle where she became a certified Skinner Releasing teacher. Pamela completed her Master of Arts Degree at Antioch University and the New Actors Workshop where she studied with Lisa Sokolov, head of the Voice Faculty in the Department of Experimental Theatre at New York University.
Chuck Macdonald (Teaching Artist/Senior Dancer) from Michigan, graduate of Julliard Dance Program, performed with Detroit’s Harbinger Dance Company and with NYC’s Sandra Cameron Dance, former NYC public school teacher, he has been teaching and performing with DVP since 2014.
Patricia McKenzie (Teaching Artist/Dancer) Artistic Director of THE CREATIVE MOVERS dance company established at THE BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN 2020 with BMCC students in which she is a returned student. A Dance Educator/Teaching Artist for the DOE (Dept. of Education NYC). An instructor of many genres of dance. Returning to DVP as a teaching artist is a great joy working with the multi-generational population. To see the creativity, camaraderie, and friendships develop is truly something to behold as well as strengthening their bodies with the movements. Patricia is also a Choreographer who choreographed the dance portions of the play 39 Steps To Freedom, this past January 2023 for Black History Month.
Casie McManus (Teaching Artist/Dancer) grew up in Rochester, NY, and began her dance training under Krista Cerretto and Charlotte Buckley. Ms. McManus graduated magna cum laude from The Ailey School/Fordham University with a BFA in dance and a minor in Music. She has been lucky to perform the work of many great artists, including Mia Michaels, Esmé Boyce, Helen Simoneau, Jamar Roberts, Cameron McKinney, and Shelly Hutchinson. Since May of 2022, she has been a Teaching Artist at Dances for a Variable Population.
Marisol Morales (Teaching Artist/Dancer) was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico where she began her training in ballet, modern and tap. Marisol moved to New York in 2013 to study at the Ailey School. Upon graduation, Marisol began her professional performance career; she danced with Mollet Contemporary Ballet and Forza Malizia Dance Company in various theaters around NYC and has performed original works by Paul Taylor and Merce Cunningham in multiples showings by the Merce Cunningham Trust Fellowship Program. Marisol has had the opportunity to collaborate as a choreographer with Filmmaker Kevin Chiu in two music videos for R&B Pop Artist Shenna and The Pennchants.
Jeana Musacchio (Teaching Artist/Senior Dancer) is a Brooklyn-born dancer and retired dance/movement therapist with a specialty of working with the frail elderly. She has been teaching dance, yoga, and group exercise classes for many years in NYC. Jeana has had many wonderful performing experiences with a variety of dance companies including Baker’s Half Dozen, the Anahid Sofian Middle Eastern Dance Company, and most recently, Dances for a Variable Population. She is currently teaching Movement Speaks in Park Slope and in Carrol Gardens, Brooklyn.
Ellen Sackoff (Teaching Artist/Senior Dancer) a classical dancer, worked with the Pennsylvania Ballet Company. Ellen received her MA in Dance Education from Columbia and MA in Developmental Psychology from CUNY. She choreographed for Dance Theater Workshop and has received a National Service Award for research on Developmental Aesthetics.
Zera Bloom (Composer/Sound Designer) is a composer and performer in New York City. They have written and performed music for theater pieces including Revival (DVP), The Mar Vista (14th Street Y), the Untitled Ginsberg Project (Alchemical Theater Lab), and the Weasel Festival (JACK, dir. Mia Rovegno). Ezra is the music director for Midnight Radio Show, a multi-media shadow puppet collective in Brooklyn. Zera studied theater at Bennington College and is currently Production Manager at Brooklyn Youth Chorus.
William Kitchings (Video Editor/Production) is a video director with 10 years of experience shooting and editing documentary, narrative, branded, and music video projects. Recent work includes directing photography on a US-Italian co-produced feature set in Sicily, The Lasting Season, as well as the opening credit sequences for the Starz series Sweetbitter. His feature documentary, Revival, is currently making 2020 festival rounds [Sarasota Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, Dance on Camera, others]. He is in post production on a feature documentary, Rendalf the Wizard, which follows a New Zealand man dealing with grief in a special way. His work has appeared in festivals throughout the states, and on HBO, Showtime, Starz, FX, NBC, Taxi TV, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Pitchfork.tv.
FORMER TEACHING ARTISTS AND COMPANY MEMBERS
Artist Jackie Ferrara (Public Artist/Dancer) has received many public art commissions including the platform wall mosaics at the Grand Central Station shuttle train to Times Square, the 150 seat amphitheater at Los Angeles County Museum, the 43 foot high copper tower at the University of Connecticut in Storrs and the 60 foot long fountain at the University of Houston. Visit her website at www.jackieferrara.com
Jamie Graham (Teaching Artist/Dancer) has worked with DVP since 2008. She currently divides her time between the dance-theater-improv duo The Raving Jaynes and the dance-theater-cabaret group Jenny Rocha and her Painted Ladies. She has studied in depth with Barbara Mahler and is also a Romana’s Certified Pilates Instructor.
Magdalena Kaczmarska(Teaching Artist/Dancer/Program Liaison) is a dancer, choreographer and teaching artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Drawing on her classical folk, ballet and modern training, Magda’s performance work explores infrastructures of language and identity. She has presented work in Arizona, New York, Switzerland and Taiwan. Magda holds a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Arizona. www.magdakaczmarska.com
Juan “Coel” Rodriguez (Teaching Artist/Dancer) Coel is an Urban Dance Performance Artist and lighting designer from Arizona where he received his B.F.A. in Dance at Arizona State University. He began his training early on in breaking and since then has studied a variety of forms including postmodern dance, contact improvisation, house, and locking. Since graduating he’s had the privilege of working with a variety of groups and institutions around the country as a teacher, choreographer, performer and lighting designer. Currently, Coel is based in New York exploring his urban dance practice, pedagogy, lighting design, and a variety of performance based work.
Geraldine Bartlett Rubin (Teaching Artist/Dancer) began performing at the age of twelve, playing guitar and singing in the folk duo The Bartlett Pair. She studied literature and psychology at San Diego State University. She has appeared on stage as well as in film and television. As an ACE certified fitness trainer, she teaches in DVP’s programs as well as privately throughout Manhattan.
Candace Tabbs (Teaching Artist/Dancer) earned her B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior and minored in Dance at Barnard College. She has performed at venues such as New York Live Arts and Ailey Citigroup Theatre. Currently collaborating with Movement of the People Dance Company, Candace explores the conversation between Modern and dances of the African Diaspora. Candace is also a certified Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer.
Betty Williams (Teaching Artist/Dancer) Graduate, Parsons School of Design. Studied dance with Mary Anthony. Started and ran overnight shelter for homeless men and women at 15th Street Quaker meeting. AIDS activism and advocacy for HIV+ immigrants for whom deportation might = death. With Quaker friends, developed residence for 50 people living with AIDS. Raised four foster sons, now a happy grandmother of two. Have kept my peace witness for most of these years.
Yuan (Onon) Lu (Operations Manager) Is a dancer, yoga teacher, and social researcher. She was trained as a teaching artist at DVP and is passionate about serving diverse populations. Born and raised in the Cantonese region of China, Yuan started learning ballet and Chinese folk dance as a child and developed her love for movement arts. She has studied in South Pacific, UK, and Morocco and gained her BA in Anthropology at Emory University in the US.
CURRENT GUEST ARTISTS
Ellen Graff (Guest Artist) danced with the Martha Graham Company, appearing in New York, and touring internationally. She has performed in Broadway musicals and for many years was a regular on the Carol Burnett Show. Graff has taught at colleges and universities across the country, and has a Ph.D in Performance Studies.
Anthony Howell (Guest Artist) teaches Dances of the African Diaspora throughout the Metropolitan New York City area. He obtained his BA in African Studies-and French at the University at Albany and MSW at Graduate School of Social Service- Fordham University. His website is tonyhowelldance.webs.com
Audrey Madison (Guest Artist) has been a teacher, dancer, and choreographer since she was a teenager. In addition to studying ballet and modern jazz, Audrey was an original member of the Charles Moore Dance Theater having studied Dunham technique, and various Caribbean and African styles. During her tenure as a school-based educator with the NYC Department of Education, she created extensive dance programs for elementary and middle school students and produced talent showcases for school communities. Audrey is also founder and artistic director of her own company, MoJazz Dance.
Myna Majors (Guest Artist) Studied with the legendary Baba Chuck Davis, who recently transitioned, Former Member of The Titos Sompa Dance Troupe, the legendary Baba Olatunji Drum and Dancers, Bernard Dove and The Dovetts, and for the last 16 Years, a proud dancer with The WNBA N.Y. Liberty Timeless Torches.
Sandra Rivera (Teaching Artist/Senior Dancer/Guest Artist) Extensive career as a dancer, choreographer and educator. A founding member of Ballet Hispanico, she performed as a principal dancer creating a number of roles in the company’s repertory. Since 1990 she has choreographed and performed contemporary dances with thematic content that reflects the Latino experience in the United States. Artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine with the Omega Dance Co. where she served as director. Her solo dance portraits and choreographies have been presented at El Museo del Barrio, the Caramoor International Music Festival and the Abrons Art Center,the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center, Aaron Davis Hall and the 92 Street Y. She is on the faculty of Ballet Hispanico School of Dance and performs and is a teaching artist for Dancers for a Variable Population. BA in Dance in the Latino Diaspora; CUNY’s Baccalaureate for Unique & Interdisciplinary Studies.
Marnie Thomas Wood (Guest Artist) joined the Graham Company in 1958, performing and teaching for Graham until invited in 1968 with husband/partner, David Wood, to establish the Dance Major at the UC Berkeley. She served as Director of the Graham School and. currently she teaches there and at Adelphi University.
Margaret Yuen (Teaching Artist/Dancer) is the founder and director of Red Silk Dancers and Young Dancers of Chinatown. For 35 years, as a performer, teacher, choreographer and organizer, she has initiated many projects to promote cultural understanding and youth participation in the arts and was named ” Chinese American Pioneer in the Arts” by the City Council President in 1993.
Alfred Gallman (Guest Artist) is a celebrated dance artist who has had the privilege of working with some of the giants in the industry, including Pepsi Bethel, Fred Benjamin, Talley Beatty, George Faison, Louis Johnson, and Alvin Ailey. He is an accomplished choreographer, having created over 150 ballets and 25 musicals. He is also the founder of Gallman’s Newark Dance Theatre and School, and his works have been performed in the USA, Europe, South Africa, and even at the White House.
Maisha Thompson (Guest Artist) studied African Dance under the talented Artistic Director, Jerome Hunter of the LaRocque Bey School of Dance Theater in Harlem. Maisha also received additional training with Artistic Director, Fumilayo of the Fusha Dance Company as well. Maisha taught African Dance movements for the New York City Mission Society Power Academy afterschool programs. She has served as choreographer for Grosvenor Neighborhood program for their cultural ceremonies and received numerous acknowledgements for her outstanding work with families and children. Maisha had the opportunity to perform on many stages in various cultural events.
Kathy Sanson (Guest Artist) is a versatile dancer with a passion for Latin and jazz styles. From the roaring 20s to the present, her classes fuse mambo, cha-cha, samba, and partner work in salsa and swing. With a wealth of experience, Kathy has performed throughout Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa in festivals, theatres, television, videos, and even opera. Presently, Kathy is dedicated to sharing her love for dance with seniors, and has been teaching at centers such as UfT Retirees, MRHS, and now DVP.
FORMER GUEST ARTISTS
Shirley Black-Brown-Coward (Guest Artist) is a graduate of the Julliard School and an award-winning veteran performing artist of classical and modern, Broadway and liturgical dance. She is also a Master Teacher and received an Audelco Award for Best Off-Broadway Choreographer for Black Nativity by Langston Hughes. She was a founding member of George Faison’s Universal Dance Theater.
Sandy Broyard (Guest Artist) attended Juilliard as a dance major and continued her training with Martha Graham, Mary Wigman, Alfred Corvino and Marcus Schulkind. She was a member of Kathryn Kollar Dance Company in Connecticut and has also performed in Paris, Berlin and New York City. She is an advisor to The Yard in Chilmark and the director of the improvisational performance dance group What’s Written Within based on Martha’s Vineyard, whose work with dancers of many ages is inspired by her ongoing collaboration with DVP since 2006.
Tina Bush is a native of Bridgeport, Ct. Her credits include television, Stage and film: “Reading Rainbow”, The Jamison Project and “Alma’s Rainbow” and others. She directed the Bridgeport Ailey Camp program, was Rehearsal Director of ASPG, Choreographer for several PPAS recitals, “Crossing Over”, Ailey January Explosion, Ailey/Fordham BFA Freshman, currently setting a new work on The Ailey Student Performance Group as well as teaching the Horton technique.
Sandra Genter (Guest Artist) Professor Emerita of Dance. Barnard College, Artistic Director of Sandra Genter and Dancers, performed with Rudy Perez Dance Theater. Regular contributor to Ballet Review, the Dance Research Journal and Dance Chronicle.
Laura Glenn (Guest Artist) is a graduate and major faculty member at the Juilliard School for over 30 years. As a choreographer: over 2 dozen works both commissioned and for her own company. An 11-year member of the Limon Dance Company, she has reconstructed his works for the Pennsylvania Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet and Alvin Ailey Dance Company.
Bruce Heath (Guest Artist) Director/Choreographer/Educator, has enjoyed a successful career on both coasts and Europe. Mr. Heath has received the NAACP Theater Award as Director and Choreographer of the Broadway show Sophisticated Ladies, the Bronze Leo Dance Award for choreography at the Jazz Dance World Congress, and the Audelco Award for “Ain’t Supposed To Die A Natural Death.”
Stuart Hodes (Guest Artist) was Martha Graham’s partner in the 1950s, danced in 16 Broadway musicals, on TV and in concerts, choreographed for his own and other dance troupes, and taught widely in the US, also in Europe, Russia, and China. This dance is made out of moves devised to improve balance.
Gus Solomons jr (Guest Artist) recently retired from NYU/Tisch after 22 years. He is mentoring, acting, and doing independent performance projects with and without his troupe PARADIGM. firstname.lastname@example.org
Alice Teirstein (Guest Artist) is a multiple award-winning dance educator, choreographer and dancer with a Bessie and two lifetime achievement awards. She has been teaching and performing in NYC with stellar dance artists and colleagues. She is founding Director of Young Dancemakers Company, offering city-wide touring performances of original teen choreography.
Chet Walker (Guest Artist) Broadway: Choreography: Fosse (Co-conceiver/co-choreographer), Tony, Best Musical, Outer Critic’s Circle award and Toronto Theater Alliance awards for Best Choreography. PIPPIN Tony, Best Revival of a Musical. Among many Broadway shows as performer: On The Town, Lorelei, Ambassadors, Pajama Game, Dancin’, Sweet Charity, Pippin. Awards: Joseph Jefferson Award, co-choreography, Pal Joey (Goodman).
Former Company Collaborators/Dancers/Guest Artists
Lorretta Abbott, Marsi Burns, Tsuyu Bridwell, Carol Chave, Mee Mee Chin, Sally Cohn, Simone Coonrod, Kathy Joyce Costanza, Sharon Flanagan, Penny Dannenberg, Mary Doty, George Faison, Meg Goldman, Alicia Goudie, Barbara Hairston, Dyane Harvey, Nick Hung, Sandra Indig, Ani Javian, Carolyn Jarvis, Sheila Klein, Jimmy Lawlor, Molly Lieber, Chad Lindsey, Carley Manion, Alison Manning, Thalia MacMillan, Mor Mendel, Margrecia Mindell, Johari Mayfield, Jascha Narveson, Lauren Parrish, Cora Perceival, Linda Prince, Harriet Pitcoff, Susan Richardson, Ingrid Rothbart, Laura Schwartzberg, Diana Simkin, M. Lindsay Smith, Maxine Steinhaus, Linda Tarnay, Judith Chasen Walsh, Lydia (Huei Lee) Wei, Robin Williams, Rebecca Woll, Dudley Williams, Gierre Godley, Janeill Cooper