REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS TO THE DANCE JOURNAL
Founder & Editor
While not a dancer himself, Weisz’s love for the arts and dance started as a child growing up in New York City. With parents, who were strong supporters of the arts and part of a community with an incredible array of notable artists in music, dance, theater and fine arts, Weisz’s access and affinity for the performing arts took root. Upon attending college in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid 70′s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew in to what became Rainbow Promotions Inc., one of the largest entertainment and special events producers in the region. It was here that he began to promote and book dance for major events throughout the city. Many of the dancers he worked with in the early days of his company are now major choreographers in Philadelphia. At the same time, Weisz’s interest in computers and the early developments of what is now known as the Internet, led him to also start another company, Delaware Valley On Line, which became one of the first regional ISPs. It was this combination of event production, internet development and event marketing that led him to examine the use of the internet as a means to promote the arts. Dance continued to be a major interest for Weisz and in 2005 he founded PhiladelphiaDANCE.org as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of MM2 Modern Dance Company, an incubator, providing support, space and opportunities for new emerging dance artists, who wish to explore the choreographic process, in order to cultivate and introduce new work to new audiences.
Kat Richter is a freelance writer, tap dancer and teaching artist. She lives in Philadelphia and holds an MA in Dance Anthropology. Her work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Baltimore Sun and numerous magazines including Skirt, Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher and Museum. She has also published several scholarly articles and writes a daily blog about dating called Fieldwork in Stilettos. Kat is co-founder of The Lady Hoofers, an all-female rhythm tap company. She teaches tap and creative movement throughout the greater Philadelphia region and is working on her first book, a tongue-in-cheek “manthropological” analysis of her 18-month online dating experiment.
Bill Hebert (pronounced AY-BEAR), has been photographing performances in Philadelphia and New York for almost 8 years now primarily capturing dance. He has worked such local artists as Montazh, Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM), Headlong Dance Theater, BalletX, Winged Woman Dance/Tina Heuges, Nichole Canuso Dance Company and Group Motion among many others in Philadelphia. NY based and touring companies Bill has had the pleasure of working with include: Paul Taylor, Limon Dance, Parsons Dance, Doug Varone and Dancers, Merce Cunningham, RubberbandDance Group, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, River North Chicago Dance and Pilobolus. Bill has also had the pleasure of participating in three photography workshops with renowned dance photographer Lois Greenfield. Bill’s philosophy and mission is to “Capture the Essence of the Moment” and give the work a life beyond the stage. Bill Hebert is currently a photographer for The University of Pennsylvania’s Dance Celebration series, was one of the photographers for both the 2008 & 2009 Live Arts and Philly Fringe Festival, Choreographic Sketches in NY, 2010 IABD Conference and proud to be a part of the team for the “By Local” series in Philadelphia which will give local artists a chance to tell their story while doing what they love which is to entertain and enlighten others.
Lewis Whittington’s articles on the performing arts have appeared in several print and online publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Advocate, Dance Magazine, American Theatre Magazine, Playbill and Stage Directions.
Merilyn is a guest contributor to the Dance Journal. She writes regularly on dance for The Philadelphia Inquirer since 1996 and writes on dance, theater, food, travel and Eastern European and Latin American fiction for many publications. More than 800 of her articles have appeared in publications as diverse as The New York Times, The Warsaw Voice, The Arizona Republic, The Phoenix New Times, MIT’s Technology Review, and Arizona Highways, Dance, Pointe and Dance Teacher magazines, Broad Street Review and www.exploredance.com.
She was awarded an NEA Critics Fellowship in 2005 and a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in 1999 for her novel-in-progress, O Solitary Host. A chapter of that novel, “A Sow of Violence,” appeared in the Massachusetts Review in the Fall 2004 “Food Matters” issue.
In 2012 she attended poetry workshops at Colgate University and Sarah Lawrence College, working with poets Peter Balakian and Tom Lux, respectively. Several of her poems appear in Exquisite Corpse, The Rusty Nail and Broad Street Review.
She likes to say that dance was her first love, but when she discovered writing she began to cheat on dance. Now that she writes about dance, she’s made an honest woman of herself, although, she also writes poetry. Much of her writing can be read on her personal blog Prime Glib.
Roger Lee began his dance career as an original member and co-captain of FOX 29′s Good Day Philadelphia Dance Team. He went on to study and graduate from Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts and Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. Roger went on to earn his MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University and a BA in both Dance and Media Communications, Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Dance and the 2010 Excellence in Dance Award, from Ursinus College.
Over the last decade, Roger has taught hip-hop and jazz dance to students of all ages and levels of experience across Pennsylvania and Delaware. He has taught classes at Koresh School of Dance, Philadelphia Ballet School, Mid-Atlantic Ballet School, Friends Select School, Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation’s Introduction to the Performing Arts Camp, Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania and the 2009 NAPSE PE Teacher Education Conference.
As a dance scholar, Roger has explored the intersections of competition studio dance and college dance programs and methods for building African American dance audiences through programming. He has also covered national and local dance news, events and features for Dance Magazine, Dance Studio Life Magazine, Dance Advantage and Examiner.com.
Roger is also the Owner of Roger Lee Dance, LLC. His company provides clients with a variety of dance instruction, entertainment and promotional services. He also creates and markets a variety of dance DVDs, and calendars for customers on RogerLeeDance.com. In addition, Roger is the Founding Director of Roger Lee Dance Company in Philadelphia, PA.
2013 STUDENT AUTHORS PROGRAM
Marissa is a senior dance and English major at Muhlenberg College. Marissa performs and choreographs for various Muhlenberg and professional dance concerts. She also works as a lead writing tutor at her school and has been published in the Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange blog as well as previously in The Dance Journal – (Review: Janis Brenner and Dancers).
Diana is a sophomore Journalism major at Temple University. She has studied cultural dance, as part of her own heritage, since the age of eleven. At Temple University, she was a member of Temple Agni, an all-girls South Asian dance troupe. Diana’s passion for dance, combined with her love of writing and journalism, has her looking forward to exploring the wide variety of dance offered in Philadelphia.
Hope is a freshman at Bishop Eustace Preparatory School. She has studied a variety of genres of dance since the age three. Hope has a particular love and proficiency for tap dance. She is excited about the student journalism program as a way to explore the merging of her interests in writing and dance.
Chelsey Nicole Hamilton
Chelsey is a sophomore at Temple University, majoring in Journalism and Dance. She has been dancing various styles since the age of four and is very excited for this opportunity to combine her two passions, as well as becoming more involved in the arts community of Philadelphia.
Kristen studies journalism at Temple University and has written for a wide variety of publications, including Philly2Night.com, two.one.five. Magazine, and Cred Magazine, working to expand her knowledge of music and the arts. Other publications she’s interned for include Technically Philly and MetroKids Magazine. After taking dance lessons as a child, Kristen returned to ballet as an adult and blogs about her experience at Adultballerinaproject.com.