Faculty

Christine Harris is the director of Moving Light Dance School and Company since 2000. Moving Light Dance Company is a collaboration between local artists and students of the school. The company presents the original Green Mountain Nutcracker, a traditional Nutcracker story with a made in Vermont twist, as well as a new spring work annually at the Barre Opera House. The Moving Light Dance Summer Performance Intensive has presented original works including the Velveteen Rabbit, Wisdom of the Herbs and an original interpretation of Giselle.

Christine has choreographed and/or performed for many local community events such as Traces, All Species Day, Celebrate the Winooski, Enchanted Forest, Ice on Fire, First Night, 350 Vermont Climate Change Cabaret and the Celebration of the Earth Charter at Shelburne Farms. She danced the role of the Farmer and other farm animals and vegetables in Ballet Vermont’s Farm to Ballet. She has presented work at the Winter Dance Gala with the Vermont Dance Alliance and collaborated with duo pianist Mary Jane Austin and vocalist Erik Kroncke to present “La Belle Vie” at the Plainfield Opera House.

Christine teaches creative movement, ballet and modern classes. Her students have gone on to attend programs at schools such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Joffrey Ballet, ABT, Nutmeg Conservatory, Burklyn, Chicago Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and Boston Ballet.

She grew up dancing in NYC at the Staten Island Ballet and Martha Graham School. She earned a BFA from SUNY Purchase Dance Conservatory. During her studies at Purchase Christine came to Vermont one March with her composition teacher Tarin Chaplin for a weekend of outdoor site specific choreography. She created a dance on a clear cut hillside on a farm in Worcester. This experience was by far one of the most inspiring as well as healing. Eventually Christine, by following her heart, ended up in Vermont where she founded Moving Light Dance School and Company in 2000 in Plainfield.

 

 

Brandy Ann Perez received her Bachelor of Arts in dance from Point Park College in
Pittsburgh, PA. Before that, she studied at the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative
and Performing Arts, with the Chartiers Valley Arts Council Dance Company (later, The
Carnegie Performing Arts Center), and Pat’s Dance Studio. Her dance education has
focused on ballet, but also includes jazz, tap, modern, folk, and historical dance.
Brandy taught, created dances, and performed at Frontiertown Western Theme Park in
Berlin, Maryland. Since moving to Vermont, she has been a member of the Vermont
Dance Collective, taught at Johnson State College and dance studios around the state,
and has collaborated with many local choreographers, teachers, and arts organizations.
Brandy has created original choreography for performances and community events as
well as ballets and musicals.
As an Artistic Director, Brandy helped to found, develop and run programming, and
choreograph ballets at Ballet Wolcott and directed their Youth Company, seasonal
ballets, and the annual Nutcracker.
Currently, Brandy loves teaching ballet at Moving Light Dance Studio, volunteers as a
committee member for Vermont Dance Alliance, and is the Associate Managing
Director at Lost Nation Theater where she works in arts administration while still sharing
her love of dance and the performing arts.

 

 

 

Bridget Wheeler has been dancing and improvising her entire life. After many hours of early childhood spent whirling around the living room to Dvorák and The Beatles, she took her first ballet class at Moving Light Dance when she was seven years old. She spent ten years training rigorously in ballet and modern including a transformative summer with the Joffrey Ballet School. Shortly thereafter she sustained an injury which derailed her from continuing her dance pursuits. She turned to music and spent several years studying music, especially improvisatory music, as a bassist and vocalist.
As she healed from her injury, she reconnected with dance. She continued to return to Moving Light to perform and teach. She began collaborating and performing with many Vermont dancers, including Willow Wonder and Isadora Snapp. When she danced in Hannah Dennison’s Threads and Thresholds, Bridget gained a deeper understanding of how to be her authentic self while performing. Next she worked with Clare Byrne, who at the time was a professor of dance at UVM and an important teacher of improvisation for Bridget. Together they created a series of workshops and performances combining improvisatory dance and improvised music which continue to inspire Bridget’s approach to art-making.
Bridget is passionate about movement as a whole and strives to expand the styles and training she is exposed to. While living in New York she became a certified yoga teacher through the Yoga Works School. She connected with the field of functional movement and mobility training, took gymnastics classes, performed her solo work, and spent many hours improvising with fellow dancers and musicians.
Now that she has settled back in Vermont, she is studying anatomy and discovering new passions for cycling and pilates. She is thrilled for the opportunity to share the knowledge gained from her varied background with her students at Moving Light, and to reconnect with the exceptionally beautiful dance community of this state.

 

 

 

Belly Dance is a wonderful workout, using deep muscle coordination and strengthening. The music is emotional and the many dance styles from the Middle East, Magrebi and Central Asia are humorous, beautiful and divinely feminine. Dr Cooper is a well known dance ethnographer, writer and performance artist from the UK whose teaching style is infectious, up-to-date and smart. You will learn the various folk styles, social dances, popular and commercial dances of Egypt. You will travel to North Africa through dance and learn the funky and spirited rhythmic dances from Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Class content also includes the dances of the Levant region, Saudi Arabia and Iran, some unusual hair swishing, darkly humorous cross-dressing and soulful community line dancing from these regions. Siouxsie is an innovator and teaches contemporary dance styles that have emerged from this dance community including Classical Sharqi, fusion styles and others she has developed herself. Not only do you learn the cultural background and musical richness of this part of the world; you also learn how to move your body well, feel grounded and satisfied living in your body. These classes are LGBTQAI friendly, men are welcome to learn how to ground and loosen their lower backs for good spinal alignment and health.