TDPS Spring Dance Concert

TDPS Spring Dance Concert

April 29 - May 1, 2022
Principal People: 

Sara Pearson, director

Event Attributes


For more information regarding accessible accommodations, please click here.

Estimated Length: 
This performance will last approximately 70 minutes with no intermission.
Audience Advisory: 
This performance includes haze effect and strong language.

Join us in person at The Clarice! Please note that this performance will not be livestreamed.

In this varied, vibrant and celebratory dance presentation, the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies offers new works of art in motion.

This year's choreographers include: Mary Kate Ford (M.F.A. Dance '24), Javi Padilla (M.F.A. Dance '24), Olivia Perkins (B.A. Dance '23), Stephen Lyons II (B.A. Dance '23), Gaya Shechter (B.A. Dance '24), Charlotte Macko (B.A. Dance '25), Debanshi Chowdhury (B.A. Dance '25) and guest choreographer Janet Schroeder.

The Clarice lobby concession bar Encore will be open for food and beverage sales during the Sunday, May 1 at 3:00PM performance. Encore will not be open on Friday, April 29th.

The Clarice cafe, Applause Cafe, will be open for food and beverage sales during the Maryland Day performance on Saturday, April 30th.

Health + Safety

Patrons attending University of Maryland arts events are no longer required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. We continue to encourage audiences to wear a mask and stay current with vaccinations and boosters. Please see our Health & Safety information page for information about what to expect during your visit.



Spring Dance Concert
Director: Sara Pearson
Costume Designer: Channing Tucker
Lighting Designers: Luis Garcia, Christian D. Henrriquez, Emily Pan, Heather Reynolds, Christina Kouni Smith
Projection Designers: Deja Collins, Jerran Kowalski, Mark Williams
Sound Designer: Veronica J. Lancaster
Stage Manager: Jillian Harvey
Outside the Scope
Choreographer: Gaya Shechter
Lighting Designer: Christina Kouni Smith
Performers: Avital Dresin, Isabella Grady, Jaiden Hanley, Cassidy Henning, Paetyn Lewis, Megan McDevitt, Brooke Melton, Gaya Shechter, Cailey Solano
Music editor: Aidan Moffitt
Choreographer: Charlotte Macko
Lighting Designer: Emily Pan
Performers: Emily Bussa (musician), Charlotte Macko (dancer)
Taala Re Naach: Dance to the Beats in Indo Western Fusion Piece
Choreographer and performer : Debanshi Chowdhury
Lighting Designer: Christian D. Henrriquez
Projection Designer: Jerran Kowalski
Caleb Wein: A Self-Portrait Sketch
Concept, Performance, Editing: Caleb Wein
Special thanks to Angela Ling
Choreographer : Mary Kate Ford
Lighting Designer: Christina Kouni Smith
Projection Designer: Mark Williams
Media Designer: Mary Kate Ford
Performers: Christina Alemayehu, Paetyn Lewis, Megan McDevitt, Ryan Smith, Alondra Torres Negron, Caleb Wein
Music credits: Noam Pikelny, the Westerlies
Excuse me, is this the to the Shim Sham?
Choreographer : Janet Schroeder
Lighting Designer: Heather Reynolds
Performers: Emily Adams, Lleyton Beinhaker, Angel Gingras, Charlotte Macko, Brooke Melton, Tiffany Ospino, Caroline Bailey (u/s), Cailey Solano (u/s)
Music credits: Louis Armstrong, “Strutting with some Barbeque”
Note: this piece explores vocabulary from the Shim Sham, a classic tap dance known by dancers around the world. As part of the process, the dancers learned the Shim Sham in its entirety before then excerpting and riffing on elements of it.
Choreographer : Olivia Perkins
Lighting Designer: Christian D. Henrriquez
Performers: Jasmine Caffee, Isabella Grady, Olivia Perkins
Music credits: Poetry by: Olivia Perkins; Music by: The Soil
Subject to Change
Director: Marielis Garcia
Choreography: Carlo Antonio Villanueva, Cyrah Ward and Marielis Garcia
Performers: Carlo Antonio Villanueva, Cyrah Ward
Director of Photography: Boris Willis
Scenic Designer: Mollie Singer
Lighting Designer: Eric Pitney
Media Designer: Sean Preston
Costume Designer: Austin Conlee
Original Score: Sam Crawford
Stage Manager: Maria De Barros
Assistant Stage Manager: Kate Wander
Editor: Marielis Garcia
Color Correction Support: Sean Preston
Note: Subject to Change was produced by the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies as a part of the 2020-21 season, with additional support from the Graduate School at the University of Maryland with a Faculty/Student Research Grant. This excerpt was produced by MGDance Arts.
the harder we fall
Choreography : Javi Padilla in collaboration with the dancers
Lighting Designer: Luis Garcia
Performers: Emily Adams, Caroline Bailey, Debanshi Chowdhury, Avital Dresin, Elta Goldstein, Charlotte Macko, Tiffany Ospino
Music credit: Greg Haines
Choreographer : Stephen Lyons II
Lighting Designer: Luis Garcia
Projection Designer: Deja Collins
Performers: Paetyn Lewis, Stephen Lyons II, Ryan Park
APRIL 29 – MAY 1, 2022
This performance will last approximately 70 minutes with no intermission.


These creations by 10 choreographers, 41 performers and 19 designers range from first year undergrads to grad students to our artist in residence.
In collaborations steeped in passion, mystery and humor, they challenge themselves, each other and us.
Questioning inherited assumptions of identity and art making, these artists take us on journeys both enlivening and disquieting as they invite us to dive into the unknown with them.
It has been an honor to support them.
--SARA PEARSON, director
Special Thanks to Maura Keefe and the entire dance faculty, to Jenn Schwartz and Bobby Hunter, Jillian Harvey and Nelson Chen and all the production staff, to undergrad choreographer mentors Crystal Davis, Cyrah Ward, and Patrik Widrig, and to AMB and my dance mentors Murray Louis, Alwin Nikolais, Nancy Hauser and Hanya Holm.


Emily Adams (performer, the harder we fall and Excuse me, is this the way to the Shim Sham) is a first-year Dance and Government and Politics Major. Justice and Legal Thought Scholars Program. Training: Ballet Royale Institute of Maryland, San Pedro City Ballet, McDonogh School. Member of Ballet Company M.
Christina Alemayehu (performer, Bite) is originally from Prince George's County, MD. Currently, a senior, studying Communications and Nonprofit Leadership. She has found ways to incorporate dance during her time at Maryland. She trains with Zion Dance Project based in Dallas, TX.
Caroline Bailey (performer, the harder we fall; performer u/s, Excuse me, is this the way to the Shim Sham) is a first-year psychology and dance double major. She trained with Towson University Community Dance in the pre-collegiate program and has performed in works choreographed by Koresh Dance Company, Peter Pucci, and Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig.
Lleyton Beinhaker (performer, Excuse me, is this the way to the Shim Sham) is a first year journalism major on a pre-medicine track. Has danced competitively previous to college for 15 years. Is also currently working with Gerson Lanza on his Graduate Piece.
Emily Bussa (musician, 158Z) is a first year undergraduate studying music performance and English at UMD. She currently studies with Katherine Murdock, professor of viola. She is a member of the viola studio and UMSO, UMD’s symphony orchestra.
Nelson Chen (assistant stage manager) is a Sophomore Theatre major and Asian American studies minor. A CAPA Scholarship recipient on the performance track, he is bound to perform in By the Way, Meet Vera Stark in the Fall 2022 semester.
Debanshi Chowdhury (choreographer and performer, Taala Re Naach: Dance to the Beats an Indo – Western Fusion Piece; performer, the harder we fall) is currently pursuing a Double Major in Dance and Marketing. She is a freshman undergraduate student and a CAPA Scholar. Debanshi is trained in styles like Odissi, Jazz, Hip Hop, Bollywood, Folk, and Fusion.
Deja Collins (projection designer, Masochist) Deja Collins is an MFA candidate in Projection and Media Design at The University of Maryland, College Park. She specializes in multimedia art, with a keen interest in film, graphic art, screen-printing, and motion graphics. Recent projection design work includes: Finally, Fairies!, Goldfinch, Masochist, and Sacred Spaces.
Avital Dresin (performer the harder we fall and Outside the Scope) is from Baltimore, MD, and is a freshman Dance and soon-to-be Psychology major. She is a Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) scholar and is in the Media, Self, and Society Scholars Program. She trained at The Moving Company Dance Center, danced in the Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet, and has passed three Royal Academy of Dance examinations. UMD dance credits: performed works by PearsonWidrig Dance Theatre and Caroline Rocher Barnes.
Mary Kate Ford (choreographer, Bite) is an inter/antidisciplinary artist currently pursuing a MFA in Dance at the University of Maryland College Park with an inaugural assistantship through the Maya Brin Institute for Technology in New Performance. She holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and works in the circles of dance performance, choreography, and pedagogy. In their research, MK blends aesthetics of various contemporary dance forms with digital craft and visual art practices. MK’s work has been featured at the West Coast Dance Film Festival, ACDA, D.C. Choreographer’s Showcase, Cleveland Dance Festival, Louisville Dance Series, and j e l l o Chicago.
Luis Garcia (lighting designer, Masochist and the harder we fall) first year M.F.A. candidate in lighting and media design. UMD credits: Fall Dance Concert 2021: Coastal Paradox, Goldfinch, Triple Helix and To Conquer Me Home (lighting designer), Experimental Performance Series: Strangers (media designer). Outside credits: Our Town, Collaborative Theatre Project (media designer), Peter Pan, Camelot Theatre (lighting designer). Training: B.A. theatre arts from Stetson University.
Marielis Garcia (director, Subject to Change) is a Dominican American dance artist who has performed and toured with Brian Brooks (NY), Helen Simoneau (Winston-Salem, NC), and Peter Kyle Dance (NY), among others. She received her MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice from City College of New York. Her professional affiliations include being artistic advisor for Judson Memorial Church Arts, writer for the Gibney Journal, curatorial work and associate special programs curator for the MoMA. Marielis’ work has been presented both nationally and internationally. She was recently named Ballet Hispánico’s Instituto Coreográfico Resident (2021) and was a DanceLab New York choreographic resident (2022). Marielis is currently the Dance Artist in Residence within the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland.
Angel Gingras (performer, Excuse me, is this the way to the Shim Sham) is a sophomore journalism and history double-major and has been tap dancing all her life. She is a proud member of the Terrapin Tap Troupe and looks forward to continuing to explore dance throughout her college career.
Elta Goldstein (performer, the harder we fall) is a senior Dance Major at UMD. She is a jazz dance instructor at the Greenbelt Dance Studio. She loves to bake and started her own business, Eats by Elta! UMD credits: Veiled, Risk of Play, That's All.
Jaiden Hanley (performer, Outside the Scope) is a sophomore Dance major at UMD and has always been passionate about dance. She is a CAPA 2020 scholarship recipient and a member of Prima Dolls. UMD credits: Efflorescence (Greta Cover), Dream.Catch.Release (Alvin Mayes), World on Fire ( Maggie Laszewski), Mural (Chuck Wilt), Prayer for Humanity (Olivia Perkins)
Christian D. Henrriquez (lighting designer) first year M.F.A. candidate in lighting design. Graduate certificate in Latin American and Caribbean studies. UMD credits: Fall Dance Concert 2021: Anonymously Empty (lighting designer), Fall Dance Concert 2021: Ordinary Days (lighting designer), Hookman (assistant lighting designer). Outside credits: Edges, The Chance Theater (lighting designer), Next to Normal, The Wayward Artist (lighting designer). Training: B.A. theatre arts (production & design emphasis) at California State University, Fullerton.
Veronica J. Lancaster (sound designer) is a graduate of UMD and is happy to be back designing at her alma mater. At UMD, she has designed for a number of Dance MFA thesis projects, as well as the Madden Dance Project. For TDPS she designed sound for Love & Information and The Schooling of Bento Bonchev. Veronica has also been a regular collaborator and contributor to the Department of Performing Arts at Georgetown University. Outside of academia, Veronica is a company member with Rorschach Theatre and enjoys designing sound and projections for theaters in the DMV area and around the country.
Charlotte Macko (choreographer and performer, 158Z; performer, the harder we fall and Excuse me, is this the way to the Shim Sham) is a first-year dance and environmental science and policy double major from Raleigh, North Carolina. She trained at Graceful Expressions Dance Education, the American Dance Festival (PDI 2020 and SDI 2021), and Arts Together and has been a choreographer for Graceful Expressions Dance Company since 2018. Her choreographic interests currently include dance film and the intersection of academic inquiry and artistic expression. She hopes that during her piece tonight you can join her in researching how art forms inspire and relate to one another. UMD Credits: Triple Helix, Ordinary Festivals (Excerpts).
Megan McDevitt (performer, Outside the Scope and Bite) is a graduating senior at the University of Maryland College Park obtaining degrees in dance and neuroscience. Megan has worked with PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER, Chuck Wilt, Project ChArma, Crystal U Davis, Phunktions Dance Co, Mary Kate Ford, Gaya Schecter, Suzanne Creedon, Marielis Garcia, Alex Wong, Amelia Lowe, Lauren Froderman, and others. They choreographed "Strangers", an experimental performance series, earlier this year and "the Floor and Four Corners", a solo work in last year's Spring Dance Concert. They will be attending American Dance Festival on a neuroscience work-study this summer and are a recipient of a Maryland Summer Scholars' Research Grant (2020), George and Ruth Tretter Performing Arts Award (2021), and Cora and John Davis Performing Arts Award (2019).
Brooke Melton (performer, Excuse me, is this the way to the Shim Sham) is a sophomore Dance and Psychology double major from Maple Shade, New Jersey. She danced for 16 years and competed competitively for 6 years prior to college. She has trained in many styles including jazz, contemporary, hip hop, ballet, tap, lyrical, and pointe. She also holds a passion for teaching students ages 2-18 in various styles at her home studio. She gives a special shoutout to her mom for being her number one supporter and allowing her to pursue her passion as a dancer.
Tiffany Ospino (performer, the harder we fall and Excuse me, is this the way to the Shim Sham) is a junior dance and communication double major. UMD dance credits: I Am Womb, Ordinary Festivals, Dream.Catch.Release., Lost Patterns. Co-Marketing Executive for Phunktions Dance Company. Vice President of DCX.
Emily Pan (lighting designer, 158Z) is a junior theatre design major focusing on lighting and sound design. Recent work includes: Finally, Fairies! (SD), Efflorescence (LD), natürliches sparkle, natürlich (LD), Strangers (LD), Triple Helix (SD) … Her work can be seen at
Sara Pearson (director) co-artistic director of PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER and professor at TDPS, has been creating "appealingly subversive, engaging, wry, and deeply affecting work” (The Washington Post) for the stage and alternative sites throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia including the Eiun-In Buddhist temple in Kyoto, the Alexandrinsky theater lobby in St. Petersburg, UNESCO World Heritage sites in Germany and Puerto Rico, and the fern forests of New Zealand. Supported by numerous grants including the NEA, MAP, and American Artists Abroad, her work has been produced by Lincoln Center, City Center Fall for Dance, Central Park SummerStage, the Joyce Theater, the Kitchen, and on state department tours throughout North Africa and India.
Olivia Perkins (choreographer and performer, Relations) finds her passion in creating choreography in response to her reality. In the fall of 2020 she began studying dance at the University of Maryland where she has had the opportunity to choreograph for the 2021 Spring Dance Concert, and the American College Dance Association Conference. Olivia has also performed in works by Alvin Mayes and Cyrah Ward. Olivia is now taking every opportunity to continue to develop her creative voice through the study of Africanist Aesthetics, and a developing series of choreographed and improvised works called the R Series, which includes the dance work Relations.
Janet Schroeder (choreographer, Excuse me, is this the way to the Shim Sham) is a dance artist, scholar, and teacher, with a particular interest in rhythm tap dance, Appalachian clogging, and body percussion. She is assistant artistic director of the Columbus, OH-based tap dance company, Movement Afoot, with whom she also performs. As a freelance Appalachian step dancer, Schroeder has appeared at venues in New York and Ohio, as well as, very briefly, on the Great Wall of China. Schroeder earned an MFA in dance from SUNY Brockport and a PhD in dance studies from Ohio State University, and she is currently a lecturer at University of Maryland.
Gaya Shechter (choreographer and performer, Outside the Scope) is originally from Israel and grew up in Boston. She is a sophomore Dance and Business Management double major, a Philosophy minor, and is part of the Justice and Legal Thought scholars program. She was named a Dean’s Freshman Scholar for the College of Arts and Humanities for the year 2020-2021. She has performed works by Chuck Wilt and PearsonWidrig Dance Theatre.
Caleb Wein (performer, Bite; Caleb Wein: A Self-Portrait Sketch) is a nationally and internationally competitive ice dancer and a member of Team USA. He has competed in countries including Japan, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Armenia, Austria, Russia and Canada. Most recently he competed at the World Junior Championships in Tallinn, Estonia where he and his skating partner placed 7th. He is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland studying aerospace engineering
Assistant stage manager: Nelson Chen
Production manager: Jennifer Schwartz
Production coordinator: Bobby Hunter
Costume shop manager: Jennifer Daszczyszak
Assistant costume shop manager & draper: Susan Chiang
Costume crafts & draper: Lisa Burgess
Costume tailor & draper: Tessa Lew
Costume draper: Katie Stomps
First Hand: Amy VanderStaay
Costume graduate assistants: Clare Lillig, Connor Locke
Costume technicians: Layali Aljirafi, Katy Cawley, Karenna Foley, Mel Mader, Nicole Panebianco, Amelia Yasuda
Technology shop manager: Jeffery Reckeweg
Lighting coordinator: Carrie Barton
Lead electricians: Taryn Carone, Malory Hartman, Lauren Hawley, Christian Henrriquez, James Newman, Zachary Rupp, Cameron Smith, Christina Smith, Erin Taylor
Student electricians: Max Abramovitz, Gabrielle Cramer, Stephen Lyons, Mel Mader, Emily Pan, Dylan Speiser, Evan Thanicatt, Hanna Zakharenko
Projections coordinator: Devin Kinch
Projections technicians: Sam Biuk, Deja Collins, Jerran Kowalski, Cassandra Saulski
Audio shop manager: James O’Connell
Audio technicians: Nick Cameron, Mike Houser, Neel Madan, Lindsay McElhinney
Props shop manager: Timothy Jones
Props graduate students: Abigail Bueti, Mark Williams
Prop shop artisan: Trey Wise
Prop shop student artisans: Marcus Campbell, Josie Danckaert, Troy Mohammad Gharibani, Adam Hawley, Roxy King
Technical director: Mark Rapach
Assistant technical director: Michael Driggers
Scenic artist: Ann Chismar
Scene shop coordinator: Reuven Goren
Lead carpenter: Earl Browne
Carpenters: Frank Bowles, Katy Cawley, Kailee Goldberg, Devin Kohn, Kelley Li, Carl Ostrenga
Student carpenters: Marcus Campbell, Elta Goldstein, Adam Hawley, Alana Isaac, Roxy King, Sabrina Lenett, Paetyn Lewis, Celia Richardson, Gabrielle Scott
Scenic charge coordinator: Ann Chismar
Scenic charge artist: Andrea Ball
Scenic painters: Bobbie Carter Dewhurst, Grey Walters
Student scenic painters: Max Abramovitz, Sarah Bennett, Natalia Corvoisier, Brooke Melton, Nicole Panebianco
Technical coordinator: Sandy Everett
Stage crew leads: Steven Bronocco, Alexix Hayes, Cole Owens
Show Crew
Run crew: Gabrielle Scott
Light board operator: Liza Raney
Dressers: Charlene Cowan, Amelia Yasuda
Projections board operator: Greta Cover
Sound board operator: Grant Davis
Jennifer Barclay
Amith Chandrashaker
Andrew Cissna
Daniel Conway
Crystal Davis
Adriane Fang
Leslie Felbain
Marielis Garcia
James Harding
Franklin J. Hildy
Helen Huang
Misha Kachman
Maura Keefe
Brian MacDevitt
Caitlin Marshall
Alvin Mayes
Jared Mezzocchi
Lisa Nathans
Sara Pearson
Kendra Portier
Scot Reese
Van Tran Nguyen
Patrik Widrig
Crystal Gaston
Bobby Hunter
Isiah Johnson
Susan Miller
Renee Nyack
Jennifer Schwartz
Ronya Lee Anderson
Lindsey Barr
Abigail Bueti
Deja Collins
J. Mitchell Cronin
Amber Daniels
Tara Demmy
Eran Eads
Jordan Ealey
Britney Falcon
Lauren Farnell
Mary Kate Ford
Luis Garcia
Cary Gillett
Matré Grant
Allison Hedges
Christian Henrriquez
Rebecca Hill
Kelley Holley
Rebecca Janey
Shartoya Jn.Baptiste
Casey Kaleba
Mina Kawahara
Devin Kinch
Tristan Koepke
Jarren Kowalski
Gerson Lanza Ruiz
Maggie Laszewski
Rashonda Lazar
Gianina K. Lockley
Ashlynne Ludwig
Q-mars Haeri
Alex Miller
John Monday
Gavin Mosier
Javier Padilla
Stephanie Parks
Eric Pitney
Andrés Poch
Kristopher Pourzal
Sean Preston
Heather Reynolds
Brandon Roaktheat
Christina Robson
Caroline Rocher Barnes
Victoria Scrimer
Zerihun Sira
Christina Smith
Rebecca Steinberg
Jared Strange
Melissa Sturges
Zavier Taylor
Taylor Verrett
Carlo Antonio Villanueva
Cody Von Ruden
Cyrah Ward
Mark Williams