Defining “Small-Budget” Dance Makers in a Changing Dance Ecology


This event has already occurred. Enjoy event details below, and stay tuned for additional videos.


Sunday, November 3, 2019
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 
Registration begins at 9:00 a.m.


RIOULT Dance Center

34-01 Steinway St, Long Island City, NY 11101. Entrance on 34th Ave.
between Steinway and 41st Street

Speakers are organized in alphabetical order.

Alice Sheppard HeadshotAs a choreographer and dancer, ALICE SHEPPARD is driven to create movement that troubles the conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Her choreography has been commissioned by MOMENTA (Chicago), presented in New York, and experienced in universities across the United States. After performing in works by Marc Brew, Sonya Delwaide, David Dorfman, Kim Epifano, Joe Goode, Shinichi Iova-Koga, Alex Ketley, Margaret Jenkins, Victoria Marks and Kate Weare, Alice began a freelance dance and choreographic career. She has danced in projects with Marc Brew, GDance and Ballet Cymru in the United Kingdom and Marjani Forté, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater and Steve Paxton in the United States. Alice also performs solo work and academic lectures throughout the United States. Alice has recently performed as a guest artist with Full Radius Dance Company, MOMENTA, and AXIS Dance Company.  Presently, Alice is collaborating with maverick performing artist Baraka de Soleil on a duet project grounded in representations of disabled, racialized bodies. Her online home is Photo courtesy of the artist.


CHELSEA GODING returned to Gallim as Managing Director in January 2019 after having been Gallim’s first Company Manager from 2008-2011. In the intervening years, Chelsea co-founded the Harlem Arts Festival (HAF), a multidisciplinary performing and visual arts festival presented annually in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, NY. She served as HAF’s Director of Marketing from 2010-2016, overseeing all promotional efforts including web, social media, and print design and communication. She held the positions of Education Manager and Interim Director of Education at New York City Center (2011-2015) where she led educational outreach programs that connected over 10,000 K-12 and college students, teachers, teaching artists, and senior citizens with world-renowned dance and musical theater performances each year. Most recently, Chelsea served as Studio Director and Teacher at Sheila Kelley S Factor New York (2016-2019). Chelsea was selected for New York Foundation for the Arts’ Emerging Leaders Boot Camp (2014-2015), was the Presenting Intern at Jacob’s Pillow (2008), and is a former Arts and Business Council of New York Multicultural Intern at Queens Theatre in the Park (2007). She holds a BS in Arts Administration, BA in Spanish, and minor in Visual Arts from Butler University. Key areas of expertise include leadership and management, team-building, and strategic planning.


Executive director of Divine Rhythm Productions, ELKA SAMUEL SMITH’s art is rooted in creating platforms to support and uplift the art of others. Offering business management, creative support, and production services to Professional Tap Dancers, choreographers and performers since 2002, she has also executive produced the Harlem Jazz Dance Festival, T.A.A.P. at Swing 46, Mr. Wiggles’ Wreck Session & Hip Hop Camp, Master Tap Workshops, Robin Dunn’s Ladies Get Down and Tap Family Reunion to name a few. Elka continues to support major productions including The Bessie Awards, the 125th & 135th Capezio Anniversaries, and the film American Tap. She consults and serves on advisory committees for the Brooklyn Dance Festival, The Perlman Center for The Arts and Broadway Theatre Project and has supported non-profit organizations including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, Career Transitions for Dancers/Actors Fund, and Groove With Me in order to help engage the power of art to effect social change. Photo credit: Courtesy of Divine Rhythm Productions.


IVAN SYGODA joined Pentacle in 1976 after a career teaching French. In 2013, after 37 years, he transitioned to Founding Director and has now retired. He contributed to Market the Arts!, the Poor Dancer's Almanac, Dance from Campus to the Real World and other arts publications. He conceived Pentacle's "Marketing from the Inside Out" workshops and presented them across the country. These efforts grew into its Help Desk infrastructure mentoring and ARC strategic planning projects. He co-founded (with David White) the NYS DanceForce, of which he remains a member. He has been a speaker on arts administration for colleges, universities and service organizations here and abroad and a selection panelist for federal, state and regional arts organizations, including many years on the Bessies panel. His board service includes Dance/USA, North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents (NAPAMA), APAP, the Western Arts Alliance and the New York City Arts Coalition. He received Dance/USA’s “Ernie” award in 1996, the APAP Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award in 2000, South Arts' Mary Beth Treen award in 2013, the Western Arts Alliance Mentoring Award in 2014, and the Alice and Halsey North Arts Presenters Alumni Service Award in 2018. He currently serves as a consultant to the South Arts Dance Touring Initiative and its new Momentum Project. Ivan has been Manager of Eiko & Koma for over forty years and President of Inta, Inc., their non-profit foundation, since its inception in 1996. Photo credit: Michael Korie.


JERRON HERMAN is an interdisciplinary artist, primarily working in Dance. He is also a writer, moderator, and advocate for the arts; he has served on the Board of Trustees at Dance/USA since 2017. Jerron has also shot for Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive, consulted for a Nike-sponsored project, and was profiled in Great Big Story. He has been a principal member of Heidi Latsky Dance since 2011. In 2018 he was a visiting artist at Marlboro College, a finalist for the inaugural Apothetae/Lark Play Development Lab Fellowship and was also nominated for a Fellowship in Dance from United States Artists. His latest solos include Many Ways to Raise a Fist for the 29th Anniversary of the ADA at the Whitney Museum, Phys. Ed. at Gibney, and Relative – a crip dance party – for the disabled-led festival I WANNA BE WITH YOU EVERYWHERE at Performance Space New York. Jerron studied at Tisch School of the Arts and graduated from The King’s College. The New York Times has called him, "...the inexhaustible Mr. Herman." Photo credit: Fernando Villela.


LIZ GERRING was born in San Francisco in 1965 and grew up in Los Angeles where she began studying dance at age 13.  Ms. Gerring studied at the Cornish Institute in Seattle, and in 1987 she received a BFA from the Juilliard School. She formed the Liz Gerring Dance Company in 1998 and has been presenting her work in New York City and abroad continuously since that time. Ms. Gerring was awarded the Jacob’s Pillow prize in June 2015 and a Joyce Theater Residency the same year. Between 2013-18, Ms. Gerring was commissioned for three works in collaboration with composer Michael J. Schumacher for Peak Performances at the Kasser Theater in Montclair NJ. In 2017/18 she was awarded a City Center Choreographic Fellowship and in 2019. Ms. Gerring was one of five artists to receive the Cage - Cunningham Fellowship from the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Ms. Gerring is currently working on a project for the ICA in Boston with composer John Luther Adams. She lives in New York City and upstate NY with her husband Kirk Radke, her three children, two dogs, and a cat. Photo credit: Philippe Cheng.


PALOMA MCGREGOR is a Caribbean-born, New York-based choreographer who has spent more than a decade centering Black voices through collaborative, “community-specific” performance projects. The daughter of a fisherman and public school art teacher, McGregor amplifies and remixes the quotidian choreographies of Black folks, reactivating them in often-embattled public spaces. McGregor’s work situates performers and witnesses at the embodied intersection of the ancestral past and an envisioned future; for her, tradition transcends time. McGregor brings a choreographer’s craft, a journalist’s urgency, and a community organizer’s framework in the service of big visions. A former newspaper reporter, she galvanizes a broad range of creative collaborators - from fishermen to historians to children - to transform vision into action, together. Working at the forefront of her field, she has been an inaugural recipient of several major awards, including: Dance/USA’s Fellowship to Artists (2019); Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center Institute Fellowship (2018); and Surdna Foundation’s Artists Engaging in Social Change (2015, 2017). In 2017, she won a coveted “Bessie” Award for performance as a member of skeleton architecture, an acclaimed collective of Black women(+) improvisers. McGregor began her career as a dancer with Urban Bush Women. Photo courtesy of the artist.


SONALI SKANDAN is a celebrated artist of Bharatanatyam, and one of the most visible artists of the form in the US today. Noted for her technique and eloquent and emotive expression, Sonali has been featured in prestigious dance festivals in India and the US. Sonali serves as the Artistic Director of Jiva Performing Arts, where she teaches and creates engaging dance productions to increase the accessibility of the classical arts, and Jiva Dance, a professional dance company presenting compelling works based on Bharatanatyam. She is a long-time student of CV Chandrasekhar and Bragha Bessell of India and has been reviewed favorably in the New York Times, Financial Times, and The NJ Star Ledger, among others. She has conceptualized, created and produced four critically acclaimed evening–length works for Jiva Dance, as well as the acclaimed short dance film, “Urban Nritta.”  In 2017, under Sonali’s leadership, Jiva Dance was the first Indian Classical dance company to be awarded the CUNY Dance Initiative residency at Queens College and in the same year awarded the inaugural Dance/NYC Dance Advancement Fund. NBC has featured the company in their NBC Learn program online, in a segment titled,”Bharatanatyam in the Modern World.” Sonali has been on the dance faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive, as has also developed the Indian Classical dance segment for Juilliard’s online program.She is currently on the dance faculty at Queens College. Photo credit: Steve Beltzer.


A Jerome Robbins awardee, STEFANIE BATTEN BLAND's interdisciplinary practice interrogates contemporary and historical culture and situates the work at the intersection of installation and dance-theatre. Based in New York City, she founded Company SBB in France in 2008 when she was head choreographer at Paris Opera Comique. In permanent residence at University Settlement, the Company is regularly produced by La MaMa Experimental Theater, which co-presented her new work "Look Who's Coming to Dinner" for FIAF’s 2019 Crossing the Line Festival. She has been commissioned by Ailey II, Spoleto Italy, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Singapore Frontier Danceland, Brooklyn Museum and others globally. She also makes dance cinema films that have been shown internationally and creates for fashion and lifestyle partners including Louis Vuitton, VanCleef & Arpels and Hermes. Known for her unique movement aesthetic, she served as movement director for "Eve’s Song" at the Public Theater. An inaugural Women's Movement Initiative Choreographer for ABT, she recently set work on Gibney Dance Company and choreographed for Juilliard New Dances. A 2019 fellow for New York University’s Center for the Ballet Arts, Stefanie has been featured in global media including New York Times, Marie Claire, TV 5 Monde and Dance Teacher Magazine. She received her MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College and lives in SoHo with her family, where she grew up as the daughter of creatives. Photo credit: JC Dhien.


XIMENA GARNICA is a Colombian-born multidisciplinary artist, director, choreographer and teaching artist based in Brooklyn at the live-work space known as CAVE. Ximena works in collaboration with artist Shige Moriya. Their works manifest as live installations, performances, and sculptures that are presented in theaters, museums, galleries, and public spaces. They also invest their energy in critical research, printed and digital publications, and community projects. Their work is rooted in questions of being, perception, interdependency, and coexistence. Ximena is the artistic co-director of LEIMAY and the LEIMAY Ensemble. Her work has been presented at a number of art spaces including BAM, The New Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, The Watermill Center, HERE Arts Center, Japan Society, and The Asian Museum of San Francisco. In 2018, Ximena and Shige were nominated for the USA Artists Fellowship and the Herb Alpert Award. Ximena has been awarded the Bessie Schonberg Individual Choreographers Residency at the Yard, the Watermill Center Residency, and the HERE Artist in Residency. She was a recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship for extraordinary stage directors, and she was recently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California Riverside. Her article ‘LEIMAY, CAVE, and the New York Butoh Festival’ was recently published in The Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance.  Ximena is an advocate in support of the preservation of live-work affordable spaces in NYC. Photo credit: Jonas Hidalgo.


ZVI GOTHEINER (Artistic Director) Born and raised in a kibbutz in northern Israel, Zvi began his artistic career as a gifted violinist with the Young Kibbutzim Orchestra, where he attained the rank of soloist and Concertmaster at age 15. He began dancing at 17, and soon after, formed his first performance group. Zvi arrived in New York in 1978 on a dance scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and danced with the Joyce Trisler Dance Company and Feld Ballets/NY and toured with Bat-Sheva Dance Company. After directing Tamar Ramle and the Jerusalem Tamar Dance Companies in Israel and the Israeli Chamber Dance Company in New York, he founded ZviDance. Photo credit: Heidi Gutman.



Facilitators are organized in alphabetical order.


ROBIN WILLIAMS is the Founder of Uptown Dance Academy Training school and Uptown Dance Company.  She is the creator of Ms Robinsfusion a unique form of ballet that incorporates ballet, acrobatics and traditional black dance theater. Photo credit: Encore Photography. 








TARA SHEENA is a dancer and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. As a performer, she has collaborated on recent projects with Catherine Galasso, Ivy Baldwin. Gillian Walsh, Leyya Tawil, Ursula Eagly, Lindsey Dietz Marchant, stormy budwig, and Faye Driscoll for the forthcoming film, "Shirley." She also works as a freelance producer and manager with independent choreographers based in NYC and beyond, including Mariana Valencia, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Yanira Castro/ a canary torsi, nia love, Juliana F. May, Hadar Ahuvia, Katy Pyle, lily gold, Kate Ladenheim/The People Movers, Brendan Drake, and Anna Sperber. She was born in Detroit and graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA in Dance and BA in English in 2011. Photo credit: Ambika Raina.





Find More Dance Events

Sign up for Dance/NYC News