Rose Marie Flachs

Dance Department Chair, Professor of Dance

Ms. Rose Flachs is a multi-faceted ballet artist, teacher, and choreographer. She performed principal roles in the classics and had the honor of performing works by renowned choreographers including George Balanchine, Choo San Goh, Paul Taylor, Jose Limón and Val Caniparoli. Flachs is co-owner of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet and a founding member of the CORPS de Ballet International Inc. Rose has written articles for Dance Teacher and Dance Spirit Magazines.

Rose Flachs

James Coleman

Professor of Dance

Mr. Jim Coleman is an award-winning choreographer and teacher whose recent works focus on the integration of video dance, and  site-specific performances. His interests include contemporary technique, somatics,  sound design, dance video and photography and interarts collaboration. His most recent solo was performed in a store-front window, accompanied by 4 laptops on the sidewalk in front. He is currently the director of the InterArts Council at MHC.

James Coleman, Professor of Dance

Charles Flachs

Professor of Dance

Mr. Charles Flachs teaches all levels of ballet technique, pointe, repertory and dance history. Charles has choreographed for the Cincinnati Ballet Company, Columbia College, University of Georgia Athens, and for the bronze medal winner of the 1992 Varna  Ballet Competition. As a principal dancer with Nashville Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Ballet West and Cincinnati Ballet, his repertoire included principal roles in Swan Lake, Giselle, Cinderella and Coppelia as well as ballets by Peter Anastos, John Butler, James Canfield and Val Caniparoli.

Charles Flachs, Professor of Dance

Terese Freedman

Professor of Dance

Ms. Terese Freedman is a dancer and award-winning choreographer. Her teaching and research interests include choreography, modern technique, and musculoskeletal anatomy for dancers. One current research project explores the integration of three-dimensional skeletal clay modeling into her core course on the scientific foundations of dance. Freedman's recent choreographic projects include large group works for students and continuing duet work with her long-time artistic partner and collaborator, Jim Coleman.

Terese Freedman, Professor of Dance

Peter T. Jones

Lecturer and Accompanist in Dance

Mr. Peter Jones is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and improviser. He has been an active for over thirty years as a composer, performer, educator and accompanist. His scores for dance include works for Kevin Wynn, Danny Buraczeski’s Jazzdance and Sean Curran, all of which premiered at The Joyce Theater in New York.  Most recently Jones created the score for the Houston Dance company, Hope Stone and for the New Mexico Ariel Dance Company Project Motion. He has released nine CDs of music  and has been in residence at the Bates Dance Festival for twenty-two years.

Peter Jones, Lecturer and Accompanist in Dance

Paul Matteson

Assistant Professor of Dance

Mr. Paul Matteson’s research explores methods for generating inventive personal movement within collaborative choreography.  He lived for many years in New York City as a performer, most recently with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.  He received a 2014 Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in Choreography and is currently working on a new trio with Elena Demyanenko at Bennington College and Tzveta Kassabova at Middlebury College.

Paul Matteson, Associate Professor of Dance

Visiting Faculty

Caroline Fermin

Visiting Artist in Dance

Caroline is a graduate of The Juilliard School and has performed for a variety of ballet and modern companies including James Sewell Ballet, Chamber Dance Project, Sidra Bell, and Adam Weinert. She is a founding member of Gallim Dance where she was a company member for six years and served as Education Chair. She currently teaches for Barnard College and NY City Center. Caroline has choreographed for plays and theater artists, bringing precision and a refreshed classicism to her work.

Caroline Fermin

Constance Valis Hill

Five College Professor of Dance; Visiting Artist in Dance

Shakia Johnson

Visiting Artist in Dance

Ms. Shakia Johnson, a graduate of PVPA and Dean College, received her teaching artist certificate from NDI in 2009.  Johnson choreographed and directed more than forty works for Trenton Educational Dance Institute, Rider University, Princeton School of Ballet and Bates Dance Festival.  She performed for numerous hip-hop events, opening for concerts by Fat Joe, Jadakiss, 112, Charlie Baltimore, and Kima from “Total”, in addition to touring the U.S. and abroad with Face Da Phlave Entertainment and Illstyle And Peace Productions.

Matisse Madden

Visiting Artist - Ballet

The aim of Ms. Mattisse Madden's teaching is to produce dancers with a clean classical technique, artistry, musicality, purity of line and co-ordination.  Madden creates a safe learning environment  while communicating her high expectations for each student. She demands that each dancer be totally involved in class from beginning to end. Her students must execute all the combinations rhythmically and with correct technique, face problems with confidence, learn to trust themselves and consistently perform.

Matisse Madden, Visiting Artist - Ballet

Candice Salyers

Visiting Artist, Composition

As a dancer, Candice Salyers has enjoyed performing with a variety of choreographers, including Li Chiao-Ping and Victoria Marks. Her solo performance work has been shown in the U.S., U.K., Estonia, Ireland, and the Czech Republic. She was one of eight US artists selected to participate in an international exchange between National Dance Project (US) and Culture Ireland (IE). Her current solo performance project explores different physical and conceptual perspectives on female sainthood. Her PhD work considered intersections of dance performance and environmental philosophy, and she was recently invited to speak at the Society for European Philosophy.

Candice Salyers

Marilyn M. Sylla

Five College Lecturer in Dance - West African

Ms. Marilyn M. Sylla is Director of The Bamidele Dancers & Drummers and a Five College Dance Lecturer based at Smith College. In this capacity she teaches African, Brazilian and Haitian dance forms. She has studied African dance forms in Guinea, Senegal, the Gambia, the Casamance, Brazil, Haiti and Puerto Rico.

Marilyn M. Sylla, Five College Lecturer in Dance - West African

Sekou Sylla

Five College Master Drummer - West African

For over 20 years, Mr. Sekou Sylla performed and taught first with Ballet Djoliba then with Les Ballets Africains. He has taught and performed all over the world including Africa, Australia, Europe, Spain, Korea, Finland, France, England, Mexico, Russia, China, Canada and North and South America. Since relocating to the USA, he has taught African dance and music in Bahia, Brazil at the Universidade Federal da Bahia and at Male Du Bale. Sylla teaches African drumming at Mt Holyoke College and is a Five College musician.

Sekou Sylla, Five College Master Drummer - West African

Daniel Trenner

Visiting Artist - Tango

Mr. Daniel Trenner, an early proponent of teaching tango by its elements, is one of Tango’s modern pioneers. He happened on Tango in Buenos Aires in 1986 while he was there teaching Jazz and Improvisation at the State School of Contemporary Dance in the San Martin Theatre.  He studied with, interviewed, filmed and organized for many of the Milongueros, the older generation dancers. He has been called a “Johnny Appleseed of Tango” for his 20 years of touring as a tango teacher, visiting more than 100 cities on 4 continents.

Debra Vega

Visiting Artist - Musical Theatre

As a performer, Ms. Debra Vega danced on Broadway, in National and International Tours and as a Radio City Rockette. She is a member of the actor’s unions AEA and AGVA. Debra has also taught dance over 25 years and choreographs musicals. Locally, she teaches at Massachusetts Academy of Ballet, Mount Holyoke College and is the new Director of Dance at Williston Northampton School. Additionally, Vega and her husband co-direct VegaYoga & Movement Arts in Holyoke, MA and have a young son named Odin.

Debra Vega, Visiting Artist - Musical Theatre

Jennifer Weber

Visiting Artist - Hip Hop

“Outstanding Emerging Choreographer” Bessie nominee, Ms. Jennifer Weber is the artistic director of the award-winning hip-hop dance company, Decadancetheatre. Deca has performed at Jacob’s Pillow, The Apollo, The Kennedy Center, London’s Southbank Center, and New York City Center.  She has also choreographed for the Miami Heat, L’Oreal Matrix, Reebok, Philosophy, Marc Jacobs and CK1 and UK TV show Blue Peter. Weber and her Deca Crew were featured on Season 2 of TruTV’s theatrical competition, Fake Off.

Jennifer Weber, Visiting Dance Faculty

Felice Wolfzahn

Visiting Artist - Contact Improvisation

Ms. Felice Wolfzahn is a veteran teacher of Contact Improvisation.  She holds a BFA from the Juilliard School and a Masters degree from Bennington College. She has been teaching in the Five College dance department for the past nineteen years and has taught in many colleges and dance centers including The School for New Dance Development in Holland and Earthdance in Western MA. Wolfzahn's work combines investigations into Authentic Movement and Contemporary dance technique as well. She has collaborated with other artists including Nancy Stark Smith, Patrick Crowley and Daniel Lepkoff. Wolfzahn is interested in how dance can be instructional as well as healing. Felice is also a licensed PTA.

Felice Wolfzahn, Dance Faculty


Tim McEvoy

Technical Director

Tim is excited to join the excellent team at Mount Holyoke College as the new Technical Director in the Dance Department.  Tim has worked in all aspects of Technical Dance for over 12 years.  He joins Mount Holyoke after 8 years at MASS MoCA, where he has worked with established and emerging choreographers and companies including: Lucinda Childs, Chunky Move, David Nuemann and Ivy Baldwin.  He looks forward to bringing new works from the staff and students at MHC to the stage.

Tim McEvoy

Cathy Smelcer

Department Coordinator

Cathy is the Department Coordinator for the Physical Education and Dance departments. She provides assistance to the chair of physical education/director of athletics and the chair of the dance department managing the day to day operations of both departments.