Helene Nilsen has been active in the dance community for thirty years, from modern dance classes in Denver, Colorado to classes with the Wolcott Ballet in its beginning in 1977. She was active on the board of the Wolcott Ballet and was instrumental in its transition to an integrative arts program called On the Rise. For the last ten years, Helene has taught creative movement to 4-7 year old children integrating dance with children’s creations of their own fairy tales set to classical music and accompanied with narration.
Helene believes that the arts are critical for the development of each child’s sense of his/her creative self. The arts afford children a grounding in self discipline and focus. She believes that dance as the artistic modality and the teacher-student relationship are the key elements for the developmental benefits to occur.
Helene is a psychotherapist with a Psy. D. in clinical psychology. She integrates the arts and the creative process in her practice, working with children, adolescents, and adults. She also works part time as an adjunct professor in the graduate clinical psychology program at St. Michael’s College. She has the firm commitment and belief that the instrument to enriching people’s development is in the relationships created between each other.
She is committed to the Ballet Wolcott mission of creativity and dance through the community connection.
Brandy Ofciarcik-Perez received her Bachelor of Arts in dance from Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA. Before that, she studied with the esteemed faculty of the Pittsburgh High School for Creative and Performing Arts and with the Chartiers Valley Arts Council Dance Company (later, The Carnegie Performing Arts Center) where she became well known for her performance as the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Her dance education has focused on ballet, but also includes jazz, tap, modern, folk, and historical dance. Her experiences took her to Frontiertown Western Theme Park in Maryland where she taught, created dances, and performed. Since moving to Vermont, she has been a member of the Vermont Dance Collective, taught at Johnson State College, and has collaborated with many local choreographers and teachers. As a member of the Collective, she performed in schools and theatres all over Vermont as well and around the country.
With the birth of Ballet Wolcott, Brandy feels blessed to be able to share dance with an encouraging and supportive community and to watch the students grow and blossom within it.
Avi Waring began dancing at the Wolcott Children’s Ballet at age 8 where she learned a love of movement and performing from June Gorton. She studied ballet and modern dance with the Vermont Junior Ballet Company and with the National Youth Ballet at Walnut Hill School in Natick, MA. She danced with the Newcomb Dance Company at Tulane University in New Orleans, and went on to study the wild and endless art of improvisation with Fawn and Arol Wulf and the Heretica Dance Company at Zendik Arts in West Virginia. She has performed with the Vermont Dance Collective, Moving Light Dance Company, the Montpelier Movement Collective and is a member of the newly relocated Double Vision Dance Company. Avi is excited to bring her love of dancing back to where it began for her through the Ballet Wolcott.
Jennifer Wiley began her early training with Lorraine Peltonen and Flint Ballet Theatre. She graduated from Western Michigan University and was a member of University Ballet Theatre, performing soloist and principal roles. Jennifer has studied with many wonderful teachers including Jacob Lascu, Margaret Marsh, and Jurgen Schneider. Jennifer has directed the Dancescape program, served as Nutcracker rehearsal coach, and choreographed musicals at the Midland Center for the Arts. She currently serves as Executive Director and faculty member of Young People's Ballet Theatre in Flint, Michigan, and has choreographed jazz and contemporary pieces on YPBT dancers for their June Spring Concerts. As a member of the Cecchetti Council of America, Jennifer is certified to teach the Cecchetti Method of ballet, and continues her studies with Bethany Lenhart, CCA board member and permanent examiner.
Carrie Ellmore Tallitsch is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, wild crafter, and environmental activist....
Mission statement: Inspired by the subtleties of life, I set out on a journey of discovery through move- ment, dance and other art mediums. As a versatile artist, I seek to explore with other inspired artists/ collaborators the living process of creation. Therefore inspiring transformation and healing of the self and all others that intersect with this path.
Carrie is formerly a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company for ten years. This expe- rience led to opportunities to perform leading roles such as Jocasta in “Night Journey”, Helen of Troy in “Clytemnestra”, Lamentation, Pioneering Woman in “Appalachian Spring”, and many more timeless mas- ter pieces of Martha Graham.
Carrie has worked with other prominent artists/collaborators such as Aszure Barton, Larry Kegwin, Josie Moseley, and Lar Lubovitch in the “Lamentation Variations”, Martha Clarke in “Sueno”, Pascal Rioult, Philadanco, Siti Company in collaboration with the Martha Graham Dance Company in “American Document”, Robert Wilson’s “Snow on the Mesa,” Lou Diamond Philips, Guy Stroman, and Susan Kikuchi in “The King and I.”
Carrie received her BFA in dance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Ms. Ellmore-Tallitsch began her career as a dancer and choreographer at the age of fourteen, creating dance pieces at her home in Virginia, and eventually adapting these early works’ for her first choreo- graphic production when she was sixteen titled “Five Dancers.”
In 2005, Big Sky Project made its debut at the Jacob’s Pillow Festival, Inside/Out, where Carrie’s choreog- raphy was performed. Carrie is Director and co-founder of Big Sky Project with its roots and interest in the healing powers of the indigenous arts, the natural world, and the healing of the earth and all its crea- tures through thought provoking multi-media projects, workshops, education, and environmental initia- tives to create awareness within the community. Other Big Sky Project productions include “At the Crossroads” at the 92nd Street Y, “Kaleidoscope: Imaginary Landscapes” a site specific multi-media work at the Tea Lounge in Park Slope, and many more and more to come.
Carrie has recently founded the P.E.A.C.E. community garden in Jersey City. She hopes to eventually ex- pand the garden to include workshops in gardening, permaculture, soil regeneration, nutrition, and much more for the community as well as children in after school programs.
Carrie believes that dance/art is not only a primary means of creative expression, but that it can act as a transformative pathway for personal healing and empowerment. As a teacher of movement and dance, she has shared her knowledge and belief that people are by-nature creative and that dance is a language common to all. This belief led her to found “Exploratory Dance,” a workshop created for non- professionals to explore their own unique movement vocabulary.The workshop encourages exploration of intuitive, guided expression through movement resulting in the creation of an original work of dance.
Carrie continues to perform, choreograph, teach dance, creative movement, and yoga locally and throughout the United States hoping to inspire and encourage others to express their own unique vision through the art of dance/movement.
Shari Stahl (Sabah) has studied belly dance and yoga for many years. Since 2005, Sabah has taught Middle Eastern dance classes in central Vermont. Women of all ages find Sabah's classes to be empowering and energizing. Following her love of Middle Eastern Dance, also known as Raqs Sharki, Sabah continues to train with internationally acclaimed Katia of Boston and Hadia of Canada. Travels to Egypt and Morocco have enhanced Sabah's cultural perspective and respect for the historic roots of Middle Eastern Dance.
Shari is a practicing psychotherapist in Montpelier. She is pleased to offer classes through Ballet Wolcott. She welcomes you to join the fun, fitness and camaraderie of belly dancing. Try belly dancing with her and find joy and freedom of expression through movement.
Alan Erdossy began teaching T'ai Chi in the 70's and has offered classes throughout the Northeast at businesses, dance studios, and art centers, ever since. Locally, he has taught this moving Yoga from China at One Studio, GMCR, and River Arts of Morrisville.
Joseph Ianaconi has been studying, performing, and teaching West African music and dance for over seven years. In 2010, Joseph earned a Bachelors of Music Degree in Education (K-12) Cum Laude from the State University of New York at Fredonia. Joseph was then awarded a graduate assistantship from the same institution. In 2012, he graduated with a Masters Degree in Music Performance. Mr. Ianaconi studied in Ghana during May of 2008, and again in 2011. Using both his teaching and world music skills, Joseph has taught West African workshops in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. Joseph is currently teaching music and directing the bands at Hyde Park Elementary School.