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-’70s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler, and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew into 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 within 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 Graffito Works, a unique platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.
Lewis J. Whittington
Lewis Whittington is an arts journalist based in Philadelphia. He started writing professionally in the early 90s as a media consultant for an AIDS organizations and then as a theater and dance reviewer for the Philadelphia Gay News. Mr. Whittington has covered dance, theater, opera and classical music for the Philadelphia Inquirer and City Paper. Mr. Whittington’s arts profiles, features, and stories have appeared in The Advocate, Dance International, Playbill, American Theatre, American Record Guide, The Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, EdgeMedia, and Philadelphia Dance Journal. Mr. Whittington has received two NEA awards for journalistic excellence. In addition to interviews with choreographers, dancers, and artistic directors from every discipline, he has interviewed such music luminaries from Ned Rorem to Eartha Kitt. He has written extensively on gay culture and politics and is most proud of his interviews with such gay rights pioneers as Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings. Mr. Whittington has participated on the poetry series Voice in Philadelphia and has written two (unpublished) books of poetry. He is currently finishing Beloved Infidels, a play about the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh. His editorials on GLBTQ activism, marriage equality, gay culture and social issues have appeared in Philadelphia Inquirer, City Paper, and The Advocate.
Originally from the west coast, Jane Fries pursued undergraduate studies in dance at San Diego State University, where she got her start writing about dance for the student newspaper. After an escapade as a correspondent for Dance Magazine in the south of France, she went on to earn her MA in Dance from Mills College in Oakland, California. Jane’s subsequent explorations in non-theatrical dance forms led her to take up the practice of yoga. She has lived in the Philadelphia area since 1996 and has had the great pleasure to study Iyengar yoga with Joan White. Jane’s writing reflects her background in dance history and interest in documentation and preservation.
Winfield Maben is a Philadelphia based writer and dancer and an aspiring member of the greater Philadelphia area dance community. He graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2018 with a BA in Dance & English and has previously conducted several features for the Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange. He has worked with several established choreographers including Tiffany Mills, Sharon Vazanna, and Trinette Singleton, and has performed in a variety of unique locations including Triskelion Arts (Brooklyn, NY), ArtisTree (Pomfret, VT), and the Brooklyn Bridge. Winfield aims to explore the art of dance through the multidisciplinary approach that was emphasized in his education, not only examining the physicality of a given work but also the intentionality and cultural impact of the work as a whole.
Debra graduated with a degree in dance from the University of the Arts and also holds a B.A. in Arts Administration. She is accredited at the Master Level with the National Registry of Dance Educators. Debra has performed in Europe, Tokyo, Canada, and the Caribbean. She teaches and choreographs world-wide and has been an international guest artist in Switzerland, England, and Slovakia. Debra has been an Artist in Residence on five occasions in Norway where she showcased full-length dance productions at the acclaimed Nordland Theatre. She has also presented an original dance production at the Elspe Festival in Germany. Debra has been featured in Dance, Dancer, and Dance Teacher Magazines for her work in dance education. Additionally, she has been a contributing writer for Dance Studio Life Magazine since 2010.
Olivia Wood is a Philadelphia-based professional dancer, currently dancing for Grounded Aerial Dance Company and AMMDCO and has performed in several venues in Philadelphia and New York City, including the Suzanne Roberts Theater, Performance Garage, and the Guggenheim Museum. She holds her B.A. in Dance and Spanish from Muhlenberg College from which she graduated Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Sigma Iota. Olivia recently earned her certification to teach Grounded Aerial Bungee Technique in Lyon, France and also teaches dance in Sicklerville, NJ.
Gina Palumbo is a native of Philadelphia and has a passion for the arts. She has received her B.A. in Dance from DeSales University in Center Valley. She has been spending her post-graduate life practicing ballet and yoga, as well as working in a library as an assistant. She resides in Northeast Philadelphia with her mother Joanne, her brother Anthony, her Nonna Carmela, and her pet bunny, Phyllis.
Dance Artist Edwina Thertulien was born to Haitian parents in Philadelphia, PA, and was raised in Bear, Delaware. She began her dance training at 10 years old. Under the direction of Dara Stevens-Meredith, she studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and African dance at Christina Cultural Arts Center in Wilmington, Delaware. From there she continued on to study at Dance Creating New Stars (DCNS) Summer Dance Intensive under Dara Stevens-Meredith and LaCeda Nelson. Now a graduate of Temple University, Edwina has received her BFA in Dance. In her education at Temple University, she has studied under Lauren Putty, Kyle and Dinita Clark, Scott McPheters, Kip Martin, Kun Yang-Lin, Laura Katz, Joe Gonzalez, and others. She has performed works by Kyle “JustSole” Clark, Dinita “Queen Dinita” Clark, E. Leon Evans II, Shawn Lamere Williams, Tony Rhodes, Troy Powell, Dara Stevens-Meredith, Tommie Waheed Evans, and others. Edwina has participated in performances such as American College Dance Association, Dumbo Festival, International Association of Blacks in Dance, Temple University MFA Thesis Concerts, J Chen Project, and others. Edwina is currently a performer with Valerius Productions and is an apprentice for Eleone Dance Theatre. She has received the Frances Bowden Scholarship from Temple University and the DCNS Summer Intensive College Scholarship. By creating and dancing in work, Edwina hopes to fulfill her mission in dance, which is to use elements of her own lived experience to catalyze new discoveries.
FORMER WRITERS FOR THE DANCE JOURNAL