People

Faculty

Charles Flachs

Chair of Dance, 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

Rose Marie Flachs

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

Peter T. Jones

Senior 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

Caitlin Rajala

Visiting Artist in Dance; UMass Teaching Associate

Visiting Faculty

Dasha Chapman

Five College Assistant Professor of Critical Dance Studies

Barbie Diewald

Visiting Lecturer in Dance

Barbie Diwald's choreography is concerned with embodiment, ephemerality, and processes of becoming and unbecoming. Her work has been presented in New York (BAM, Movement Research at Judson Church, the Chocolate Factory), New England (Jacob’s Pillow, The School for Contemporary Dance & Thought), Germany and Italy. From 2010 to 2014, Barbie directed New York City’s TrioDance Collective alongside Emily Jeffries, and curated Green Line, a festival for emerging choreographers at the 92nd Street Y. She has recently performed in the work of Bronwen MacArthur, Katie Martin, Kate Seethaler, and Merce Cunningham (via the Cunningham Trust).

Barbie Diewald

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 in Dance

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

Katie Martin

Visiting Artist in Dance

Marilyn M. Sylla

Five College Lecturer in Dance

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

Visiting Artist in Dance

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 in Dance

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.

Terre Vandale

Visiting Artist in Dance

Terre Vandale is a dance artist and educator whose choreographic and teaching practice expands assumptions about what dance is, who can dance and where dance happens. Vandale has performed and presented choreographic and video works nationally and internationally, and as a member of Anna Halprin’s Dance Company. Vandale directs the Movement Arts Ensemble and teaches dance, theater and arts integrated curriculum in school, community and university settings. She is a certified teacher of Halprin’s somatic approach and a lecturer for the Arts Extension Service at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Debra Vega

Visiting Artist in Dance

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

Felice Wolfzahn

Visiting Artist in Dance

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

Staff

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.

Cathy Smelcer