Madeline Cantarella Culpo (Miss Madeline)
Director-Founder and Artistic Director of the Albany Berkshire Ballet, is an alumna of the Juilliard School where she studied ballet with Margaret Craske, Antony Tudor and Alfredo Corvino and modern dance with Martha Graham. She is a nationally recognized teacher of dance, having taught throughout the United States, including at Jacob’s Pillow. She was featured in the November 1996 issue of “Dance Magazine” in an article entitled “Great Starts American Teachers Series” – “A Tribute To Teachers Who Have Produced Outstanding Results.” In addition, Mrs. Culpo has received three choreography fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Nancy Ropelewski King (Miss Nancy)
Ballet & Pointe
Nancy Ropelewski King is a graduate of the Cantarella School. Mrs. King was a principal dancer and ballet mistress with the Albany Berkshire Ballet for many years. At Jacob’s Pillow she taught classes and also performed in Coppelia with the ABB. Her choreography “Peter and the Wolf” has been performed extensively throughout the Northeast. Mrs. King along with Artistic Director Madeline Cantarella Culpo choreographed the popular “Cinderella” and “Mother Goose” ballets.
Olivia Moran (Miss Olivia Moran)
Pre-Ballet, Modern & Tap
Olivia Moran holds a BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College in N.Y.C. with a minor in Arts Administration and has been instructing Dance Education for 20 years in Berkshire County. After graduating college in 2002, she began to focus on Dance Education and spent 15 years as a Lead Instructor at Berkshire Dance Theatre. She also founded “move with me” a program to increase coordination skills in young children and taught in area preschools as a guest teacher for their enrichment programs. In 2013 she founded Freedom Dance where she was the Artistic Director and Lead Educator. She also began the areas first “Youth Drum Group” exposing young children to African Inspired music, instruments, and Dance. Olivia’s training began at the age of 10 with the Berkshire Dance Theatre and she eventually went on to study with some of the best instructors in the country while residing in New York City including Classical Ballet with Virginia Johnson, Edward Ellison and Finis Jhung. She has performed original works choreographed by Jose Limon and worked with Chet Walker on a Broadway inspired Jazz piece. Olivia studied Classical Modern with teachers from the Graham school, Alvin Ailey and the Limon Institute including Milton Myers, Joyce Herring, Elena Comendador and Maxine Steinman. She is also a certified Yoga Instructor and Massage Therapist and is trained in Thai Yoga Massage. Her students have gone on to participate in some of the most prestigious programs in the country and work as professionals in the dance world as teachers, performers, movement therapists and professional dancers.
Deirdre Duffin-Swindlehurst (Miss Dede)
Ballet, Pointe & Variations
Deirdre Duffin-Swindlehurst started dancing at age five under Madeline Cantarella Culpo and went on to be a principal dancer with Albany Berkshire Ballet. She joined the Pennsylvania Ballet in 1980, and rose to soloist in The Nutcracker, Coppelia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Les Sylphides, and The Four Temperaments. Deirdre has appeared as a guest artist at Jacob’s Pillow and has toured the United States with Leonid and Valentina Kaslov and with Cynthia Gregory and her “Celebration Tour.” Miss Dede teaches advanced levels of ballet and is Ballet Mistress to the Junior Company in Albany.
Chuck Paquette (Mr. Paquette)
Ballet, Modern, Choreography
Chuck holds a BFA in dance from Purchase College and a MFA in Dance from Smith College. Growing up in Adams, he discovered a passion for dance that was insatiable and soon left to study at the American Dance Festival, Purchase College and with David Howard in NYC. He danced with Mel Wong, Concert Dance Company of Boston and the Boston Repertory Ballet, as well as with several independent choreographers. Chuck has had an ongoing relationship with the Albany Berkshire Ballet since 1974. His teaching includes but is not limited to Smith, Hampshire, and Williams College, MCLA, The Pioneer Valley Ballet, Amherst Ballet Theater, the Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts in Natick and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Chuck currently works in the Art Department at Williams College.
Danielle Price (Miss Danielle)
Danielle first received her dance training at Sally McDermott Dance Centers, south of Worcester, MA, where she studied Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, and Modern. She danced with the studio’s Company competing regionally and nationally as a solo and group performer. Danielle was a member of the adult contemporary dance company, The Breakin’ Through Dance Company, located in Northern Connecticut. She was a company performer from the years of 2004 to 2007. She continued her love of dance at Westfield State College where she was a dance team member, choreographer, and solo performer. In 2008 she received her Bachelor of Science in Education in Special Education, and later moved to the Berkshires. Since she has been studying dance locally, as well as teaching middle school in Pittsfield.
Olivia Martin (Miss Olivia)
Olivia Martin is a graduate with a Bachelor of Art in Dance from Dean College-Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance (2014). She is a Kripalu trained and certified Yoga teacher and has attended continuing education classes in Progressive Ballet Techniques and BrainGym 101. Olivia teaches yoga and dance at various schools and businesses throughout the Berkshires including Cantarella School of Dance, Community Access to the Arts in local schools, and co- directing the Moving Company with Dawn Lane and at Radiance Yoga. Her diversity in dance, movement, yoga, theatre and performing arts, has allowed her to quickly adapt not only to her environment, her clientele and the dance experience but will make the exercise experience truly unique and personal.
Destiny Culpo (Miss Destiny)
Preballet & Ballet
Destiny studied at the Cantarella School of Dance beginning at the age of 2. Over the years she trained in ballet, modern, pointe, jazz, tap and pilates. She subsequently studied under the direction of Angela Whitehill at the prestigious Burklyn Ballet Theatre in summers. Destiny is an alumna of St. Joseph’s High School, going on to study Cosmetology and Business Administration at Mildred Elley. She has danced with the Albany Berkshire Ballet Company in their production of the Nutcracker performing roles from Reindeer through Waltz of the Flowers.
Jamie Stokes (Miss Stokes)
Jamie studied at Berkshire Dance Theater in Adams for 13 years; training in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, and modern. She interned for 2 years under the guidance of Olivia Moran; beginning her teaching career in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and tumbling combo classes to preschool level children. 2013-2018, she enjoyed teaching at Freedom Dance in North Adams, and has since been teaching ballet, tap, and jazz, at Studio North Dance Arts in North Adams. 2008-2017, she studied Cecchetti International - Classical Ballet under the direction of Karyn O'Tool, and often traveled to Cheshire Dance Center in Connecticut to take the exams. She had the privilege of being assessed Jacqueline Anderson, Betty Seibert, Denise Rinaldi, Beverly Feder, and Sylvia Palmer, and successful passed grades 2-9. She has participated in annual summer ballet intensives with Natalya Getman, and has taken master classes with the New York City Ballet at Williams College. Jamie works as a Personal Care Assistant and loves taking dance classes for recreation.