Jessie Levey is the founder and director of Barefoot Dance Center. She is a modern dancer and has been teaching for thirty years. Her training is grounded in Cunningham, Limón and Alexander techniques, as well as yoga and improvisation.
Jessie approaches training young dancers as she does adults- through the practice of modern technique, somatic understanding, exploration, critical inquiry, building dances and reflection. In addition to teaching classes at Barefoot, she also directs Choreolab Performance Workshop and Barefoot Dance Company, and brings dance into surrounding schools as a dance artist-in-residence. Jessie is the recipient of the 2015-17 Jubilation Foundation Fellowship, which you may read about here, and is currently an MFA candidate at The Peck School of the Arts at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Jessie is married, has two grown children and is a certified childbirth educator.
Julie Ludwick is the founder of Fly-by-Night Dance Theater, a Modern Dance company that features Aerial Dance Repertory. She has an MA in Dance and Dance Education from Teachers College Columbia University and over 20 years of teaching experience in the NYC area, specializing in Modern, Improvisation, Jazz, Trapeze-Dance and Skinner Releasing Technique. She has taught all ages in both independent dance programs and school settings. Julie teaches Modern II and Teen Modern Dance Lab at Barefoot.
Kathy McDonald began her formal ballet training with Marcia Dale Weary and Karen Bohner at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She then moved toVirginia Beach, Virginia where she studied with Major Burchfield and Colin Worth, and performed with the Virginia Beach Ballet. Kathy relocated to New York City where she studied with Douglas Wassel at the David Howard Studio. At this time she performed with the liturgical company, Avodah. When she moved to upstate New York, she continued her ballet training with Rose Marie Menes at the Yorktown Ballet School and danced with the Potpourri Dancers. After moving to Beacon, Kathy studied with Valerie Feit at the Ballet Arts Studio and worked as ballet mistress for performances. Currently, she studies with Dawn Hillen at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Kathy has been teaching for 20+ years, starting while she was at the Yorktown Ballet School, teaching both children and adults. She also taught classes at the Somers Ballet School and Ballet Arts Studio. Kathy is currently the Artistic Director of Willow Dance Center, a studio for adult dancers. Kathy teaches ballet and pointe at Barefoot.
Harriett Meyer is a dancer, dancemaker, and educator based in Kingston, NY. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Bard College in 2012, and her Master of Arts in Teaching from the same in 2016. She has performed and shown work at Danspace, Turtle Bay Music School, the Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and the Galapagos Arts Space in New York City, at the Peace School in Ludhiana, India, and at Bard College and Bennington College. Now immersed in literacy education, Harriett is continuing to explore dance and pedagogy simultaneously. In addition to teaching both ballet and modern at Barefoot, Harriett has acted as our guest choreographer for Barefoot Dance Company.
Leslie Partridge Sachs, born and raised on Manhattan’s upper west side, is now a recent resident of Beacon NY. Leslie has spent the majority of her life as a dance artist, teacher, performer and choreographer in New York City. Her training and performance began with New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theater. With her foundations in classical movement she entered the contemporary dance world through study of a wide variety of modern dance techniques. She is an alumna of the High School of Performing Arts, Bard College and the University of Washington, the latter where she received her MFA in dance. Leslie has held positions at Purchase College Conservatory for Dance, Balettakademien in Stockholm, University of Massachusetts, Dance Space Center in NYC, to name a few. Her work has been presented in venues across the US and Europe. She is married to Sun Sachs and has two daughters, 6 cats and 2 dogs. Leslie teaches Modern IV and Ballet III at Barefoot.
Nate Wulff teaches Boy’s Dance at Barefoot. He is a graduate of Vassar College class of ‘15 and a teacher and creative movement instructor at Poughkeepsie Day School. While at Vassar, he received his certification in elementary education while dancing and choreographing for three years with the Repertory Dance Theater (VRDT) and two years with student dance group, FlyPeople. In 2014, Nate interned as a dance educator at Bates Dance Festival, teaching elementary aged students contemporary hip-hop, art, and drama while preparing for an integrated culminating performance. While there, he also studied contact improvisation under Chris Aiken and tai chi under Yin Mei, tai chi master and director of Yin Mei Dance. In addition, Nate has taken classes in Graham- and Limón-based modern, jazz, ballet, dance theater, and dance composition. He has danced in pieces choreographed by Doug Varone, Stephen Rooks, and Kathy Wildberger and participated in workshops by Alvin Ailey Dance Company, ZviDance, and Tommy Noonan, among others.