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Faculty

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Becky Ahamad

Children's Programming, Hip Hop, Tap

Becky grew up dancing at various dance studios in the Berkshires and became a choreographer at the young age of 15 for Romance Soul Rock N Roll productions at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA. She continued dancing through her college years at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts as part of MCLA Dance Company and evenutally received her B.A. in English/Communications. After graduation, Becky worked at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and taught weekly workshops to the Pillow interns. Since September 2011 Becky has been on staff and an instructor at Berkshire Dance Theatre teaching Hip Hop, Tap, Choreography, Jazz and Children's Programming over the years. In 2021 she became the Artistic Director. Since starting with BDT, Becky has presented numerous other pieces of choreography at the world renowned MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA and Jacob's Pillow in Becket, 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 the newly renovated Adams Theatre where they celebrated their 10 year anniversary, MASS MoCA, Tanglewood, the Colonial Theatre and the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, NY. She traveled to Cape Town, South Africa in 2018 to teach underprivileged youth for International Dance Exchange (I.D.e) with her husband, Jamal.

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Jamal Ahamad

Hip Hop, Choreography

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. As of September 2023, Jamal is the Assistant Head of School at Pine Cobble School in Williamstown, MA. 

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Stacey Broderick

Ballet, Jazz, Pointe, Tap

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.

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Emma Chirasello

Lyrical

Emma grew up dancing at Berkshire Dance Theatre and celebrated 14 years with us in 2022. She studied hip hop, modern, lyrical, tap, jazz, ballet, and pointe over the years and participated in Company, Junior Company and the Teaching Assistant program. She expanded her dance educated with the Albany Berkshire Ballet by participating in their annual presentation of the Nutcracker in 2018. Emma is currently a student at Hudson Valley Community College majoring in Exercise Science gearing her studies toward the Radiology program. Emma interned as a dance instructor with us during the 2022-2023 dance season and is now teaching her own classes in the Bennington studio for our 2023-2024 session. Her greatest love is dance and she is excited to pass down her passion and education to the next generation of BDT dancers.

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Erica Cummings

Children’s Programming, Hip Hop

Erica has been dancing since she was three with Berkshire Dance Theatre and later with Happy Feet School of Dance. She continued to dance until she was 21. She took a break from dancing, but not long after she had her second child, she accepted a dance coach position at Mount Anthony Union High School. She has been coaching the Varsity Dance team for 14 years now. While Erica is mainly self-taught dancer, she has attended multiple dance intensives and trainings. Erica graduated with B.A. in Business Management and works full-time at the corporate office for Orvis and 2023 marks Erica’s fourth year at BDT teaching Hip Hop and Children’s classes. She is excited to be a part of the BDT faculty!

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Erica Hadcock

Adult Programming

Erica started dancing when she was 6 years old. She danced with Berkshire Dance Theatre up until she was a Freshman in high school.

 

She rediscovered her love for dance as an adult. She started taking the Adult Jazz class at BDT as well as joined the local gym where she enjoyed the group fitness classes and atmosphere so much that she became a Zumba Instructor as well as a BodyFlow Instructor for many years. 

 

Erica is so happy to share her enthusiasm and passion for dance and the importance of body movement not just physically but mentally. The 2023-2024 dance season marks her second year teaching the Adult Jazz and her first year with BDT teaching adult fitness classes such as Flow & Stretch and Dance Fitness. Erica is so excited and grateful to be a part of the BDT family!

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Taylar Jackson

Children's Programming

Taylar Jackson, a lifelong dancer originally from Worcester, Massachusetts has cultivated a diverse dance journey she now shared with Berkshire Dance Theatre. Her passion ignited at the age of three and has been an unwavering part of her life.

 

Over the years, Taylar has honed her skills in a wide range of dance styles, including hip-hop, lyrical, tap, jazz, ballet, acrobatics, Irish step, modern, and musical theater. Her dance foundation was built during thirteen years of training at New England Dance Center, where she not only mastered her craft but also competed in regional and national competitions across New England.

 

Taylar's commitment to dance extended into her college years as a valued member, treasurer, and Co-President of the MCLA Dance Company. Currently, she is a member of Berkshire county's dysFUNKcrew, dancing alongside many of her fellow faculty members.

 

Taylar's dedication to nurturing young talent shines as she enters her fifth year as a children's program instructor with Berkshire Dance Theatre, serving both the Adams and Williamstown locations.

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Kayla Hollins

Children's Programming, Tap

Kayla began dancing at the age of 4 at The Dance Project in Queens, NY beginning with tap, jazz, modern and lyrical. It wasn't until high school when she began to take hip hop classes as well as choreograph for her high school theatre productions. Kayla considers her favorite dance style to be "lyrical hip hop," a style coined by the show "So You Think You Can Dance." She decided this style fit best for her love to choreograph pieces that take audiences through a story or theme. Kayla went to Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and wanted to continue dancing for fun. It was fellow BDT faculty member, Mr. Jamal, who convinced her to go to MCLA's Dance Company auditions her first semester. After that, there wasn't a semester that went by that Kayla was not dancing in three or more pieces or choreographing. Her senior year, she was Co-President of the company with Miss Amanda! Since graduating, Kayla works in the Office of Admission at MCLA recruiting new students to her alma mater. Kayla is also a co founder of a community dance crew called dysFUNKcrew. Along with other BDT faculty, dysFUNKcrew travels locally to perform at community events. She is excited to begin teaching at Berkshire Dance Theatre in Fall 2019!

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Kristine Lewis

Musical Theatre, Ballet, Pointe

Kristine Lewis founded Theatre Arts Center (TAC) in Bucks County in 1985 to prepare young actors for professional theatre. Previously she served for three years as Director of the Times Square Bid Kidz in Manhattan, a performance ensemble that entertained at various Times Square Broadway events.  Kristine has taught at North Carolina School of the Arts and throughout the U.S., as well as workshops in London. Her own training began studying with Uta Hagen at H.B. Studios and at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts for Drama.  As a dancer and choreographer, she studied with Phil Black, Matt Mattox, Gus Giordano and toured with the American Ballet Theatre.

 

Kristine’s career in show business spans the gamut. Her professional theatre credits are extensive and her work has appeared in national tours, summer stock, regional theatres, dinner theatres, and cabaret rooms throughout the U.S.  A partner in Lewis & Fox Casting, Kristine is a member of the Casting Society of America (CSA) and has cast for many New York and regional theatre productions, as well as for film, television, music videos, commercials and industrials.  

 

As a theatrical producer, Kristine worked with one of the most prolific songwriting teams, Richard and Robert Sherman (MARY POPPINS, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BAND, JUNGLE BOOK +), when she and her producing partners undertook a revival of the brother’s show BUSKER ALLEY, starring Jim Dale.  Additionally, Kristine was managing producer on BURLEIGH GRIME$, associate producer on the NY production of VIGIL, and on Broadway’s ENCHANTED APRIL. She has produced numerous stage productions in Bucks County, including TAC favorite, THAT’S WHAT KIDS DO!

 

Kristine has directed shows too numerous to mention. Among the names, she has directed William Conrad, Lucy Arnez, Andrea McArdle and many others. Her creative staging of FIORELLO at the Players Club in New York was hailed by the show’s writer Sheldon Harnick. Additionally, she has directed well as over 200 children’s shows in Bucks County.

The 2023-2024 dance season marks Kristine's first year teaching for Berkshire Dance Theatre. She is thrilled to be a part of the BDT family!

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Olivia Moran

Children's Programming, Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz, Drumming,

Olivia Moran holds a B.F.A in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City and has been instructing Dance Education for over 20 years in Berkshire County.  She began her training at the age of 9 at Berkshire Dance Theatre and went on to study with some of the most prestigious instructors in the country while residing in New York City including Classical Ballet with Virginia Johnson, Edward Ellison, and Finis Jhung.  Olivia studied Modern with teachers from the Graham School, Alvin Ailey, The Limon Institute and studied Jazz, at Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center.  She has performed original works choreographed by Jose Limon and Chet Walker and performed in many Collegiate Dance Concerts.  After graduating college in 2002, she began to focus on Dance Education and spent 15 years as an Instructor at Berkshire Dance Theatre where she was the faculty coordinator for their young children’s program and assistant to the Artistic Director.  During this time she also became a certified yoga instructor and is Massage Therapist and trained in Thai Yoga Massage.  She founded “Move with Me”,  a program created for community preschools to increase coordination, special awareness, and access for children to experience to joy of movement and dance in a school setting.  In 2013, she founded Freedom Dance where she was the Artistic Director and Lead Educator.  During this time she created and implemented diverse programming and produced dozens of community workshops, performances, classes, and Dance Concerts showcasing a variety of forms of dance with the inclusion of aspiring musical artists.  She also began the areas first “Youth Drum Group” exposing young children to percussive music and movement using a variety of hand drums and instruments and volunteered and collaborated with Childcare of the Berkshires to provide free playgroups and Dance Classes for the community.  She has instructed community engagement classes at Jacob’s Pillow and is passionate about teaching children of all levels and abilities.  She has taught Classical Ballet, Creative Dance, Improvisation, Choreography, Pointe & Variations, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary, music appreciation, and rhythmic training.  She has instructed a variety of Fitness, Yoga, and Stretch Classes at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires, Frog Lotus Yoga and area community centers and schools.  Olivia most recently worked as a dance educator at Cantarella School of Dance and the School of Albany Berkshire Ballet instructing Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern and Choreographed for Regional Dance Competitions.  She also created and implemented local school enrichment programming for Clarksburg School incorporating music, drumming, movement, and Dance to increase gross motor skills, reduce stress, and promote student productivity throughout the day.  Her students have gone on to participate in some of the most prestigious programs in the country and work as professionals in the dance world as teachers, performers, movement therapists and professional dancers.  Olivia is excited to join the faculty at Berkshire Dance Theater for the 2023-2024 season.

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Bethany Sartori

Children's Programming, Ballet, Lyrical

Bethany started dancing at the age of 3 at Amiees Academy in Connecticut learning ballet, jazz, hip hop, and lyrical. She was on her High Schools competition team where she competed in Pom and Hip Hop. She later joined Children’s Studio of Performing Arts her junior year of High School learning ballet, pointe, and jazz. When she attended MCLA she joined Dance Company where she fell in love with choreographing. Bethany has never once taken a break from dance and does not plan too, she continues to learn and teach her self new skills to improve on her dancing and to teach others. 

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Amanda Schuler

 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.

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Kristi Segura

Adult Programming, Tap, Jazz

Kristi is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory of Music with a BFA in dance, musical theater concentration. In addition, she has studied under the tutelage of Madame Darvash, Frank Hatchett, Jeanette Neill, Sandy Hagen(Luigi) and Charles Kelley. Kristi has had the privilege of living in Europe for 17 years performing in professional long running productions of CATS, 42nd STREET, MAMMA MIA and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. The highlight for her was having the opportunity to work with Dame Gillian Lynne. In the states she has performed in a national tour, dinner theatres, summer stock and regional productions. Kristi has lived in Bennington for 16 years and has choreographed for the Mt. Anthony Union High School Drama Department, The School of Sacred Heart drama Department and The Bennington Performing Arts Center.  Kristi currently teaches musical theater at The School of Sacred heart and is happy to continue teaching here at Berkshire Dance Theatre.

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Christa Sprague

Children's Programming, Ballet, Jazz, 

Christa has been engaged in dance for more than 20 years; nearly 13 of which included instruction at Berkshire Dance Theatre. Christa is a master's level licensed social worker (LCSW) and specializes in children's mental health. Upon completing her undergraduate studies, she received a minor in dance in collaboration with Williams College, and served as a dancer and performer with CoDA (Contemporary Dance Ensemble) at Williams College. In addition to BDT, Christa has studied with four other dance studios, as well as engaged in master-level classes and intensives with dancers from Moscow Ballet and New York City Ballet. Previously, Christa created and facilitated a local musical theatre summer program and choreographed multiple school musicals. Her arts background also encompasses several years of music, theatre, and studio arts, each of which have won her multiple awards and scholarships. Christa is a Drury Drama Team alumna and went on to act in local theatre for many years. A lover of all dance genres, Christa mostly enjoys José Limón modern technique. She is delighted to have come full circle with the BDT!

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