Education Update and Appeal for Support


Photograph by Leslie Anderson


I trust your summer was enjoyable and that fall is equally pleasurable. My summer was full of ideas, plans, conversations, gardening, swimming, harvesting, and a lovely, relaxed workshop I led on site-specific dance at the Breeding Barn, Shelburne Farms. (See above phone)  It was good to be back at the barn – lots of memories. Now, my teaching schedule is in full swing and I am asking for your support for the educational work I do in the community.

I continue to mentor three students:  Coulter is in his third year and Lisa and Denise are in their second year studying under my direction. My main role is guiding them to an essential understanding of their unique movement language and what it takes to be a fully engaged performer.

Once a week, I meet for three hours with Coulter and Lisa one-on-one. Then once a month, we are together for a five-hour block focusing on the duet form in all its permutations. Every other month, Denise and I meet and concentrate on whole body awareness through movement exercises; in between our sessions, we check-in to keep current. They participate in a number of public classes and workshops that further their training.

As part of the mentorship, they study with a team of teachers:

  • Once a month, they have individual sessions with Sara McMahon to research Fundamentals of Movement;
  • Denise works with Susan Borg on voice three times a month;
  • They come together to investigate performance skills with Lida Winfield every six weeks;
  • Three to four times a year, they each have a session with Rebecca Dietzel to address kinesiology and nutritional questions that support their pathway.

Coulter is maturing as a dancer, honing and refining his technique. This year, the overarching focus in our work together is to become aware and let go of his habitual patterns that no longer serve him.

Lisa and I are focusing on incorporating her physical strength and endurance. Lisa’s challenge is to be specific and articulate in gestures and direction while moving as vigorously as possible. This study will lead to a clearer sense of the full scope of her movement possibilities.

Denise’s primary path is to heal her vocal chords and learn to sing from her entire body. She is a strong performer who is taking the time to explore a deeper understanding of her instrument in order to return to the stage, expanded.

These are three powerful people who are effective, contributing members of their communities.  I am humbled and delighted to be working with them. The ingredients we bring to our study together in the studio – honesty, being present, knowing self, trusting instincts, supporting one another – are key to their future public efforts.

I am asking for your financial backing to help pay for the year of training for Lisa and Denise. The FlynnCenter in Burlington already offers scholarship assistance for both, and Contemporary Dance in Montpelier has a barter arrangement for Lisa. Your donation will pay for the team of teachers, including myself.

Here is the budget:
1000 for Sara McMahon
1500 for Susan Borg
440 for Rebecca Dietzel
1200 for Lida Winfield
5450 for Hannah Dennison
   100 for extra, unforeseen training costs (e.g. performance tickets, books)
$9690 TOTAL

You are a crucial partner in this educational endeavor. Thank you for your belief in what we at Cradle to Grave Arts do in the wide world. Your tax-deductible donation can be made online at our secure site or checks can be made out to Cradle to Grave Arts and mailed to PO Box 8 in Chelsea, VT 05038.