Earthdance Staff and Long-Term Volunteers

Deirdre Morris
Executive Director

Deirdre Morris, Executive Director, Earthdance Creative Living is an educator and movement artist interested in socially just, equitable, and healthy environments for all living beings. She is a former director of Wise Fool New Mexico (physical theatre, circus, visual arts, 1999/2008, 2014/18) and is a working member of Dancing Earth Indigenous Contemporary Dance (2010/present). Deirdre is the Founder/Director of The Forgotten Body Remembers, a site for research and implementation of somatic practices of education, social justice ecologies, and community development through the arts. Her work spans the mediums of mindful education, performance art reserarch, dance/theatre and site specific installations interested in the generation of 'reciprocal culture', bridging personal narratives and collective memory. 

Deirdre’s work has been most recently received at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM, Earthdance, MA Moving Arts Lab, St. Mary’s College, MD as Artist in Residence, IDOCDE at Impulstanz, Vienna, Austria, Artpolis/FemArt Festival, Pristina, Kosovo, TAM, Veliko Tărnovo, Bulgaria, Muszi, Budapest, Hungary as Artist In Residence. Deirdre presented and published her research into empathy based educational practices, 'Somatic Generosity: Cultivating Empathy in the Classroom and Beyond’, at the Latin American Social Innovation Network, Panama City, Panama in September 2017. 

Deirdre received her Masters in Fine Arts, Interdisciplinary Dramatic Arts and Performance Studies from the University of California Davis in 2014. 

Carl Sigmond
Operations Manger

Carl's first memory of Earthdance is of laying on our living room floor when he was six years old, probably before the wood stove was removed from the farmhouse. He grew up in Philadelphia but spent much time in Western Massachusetts as a child. After studying computer science, Quaker history, and documentary filmmaking at Haverford College, Carl moved to northern California to live and work at The Woolman Semester School and Sierra Friends Center, a Quaker education and retreat center in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was at Sierra Friends Center that Carl rediscovered Contact Improvisation (CI). Speaking of his first jam, Carl recounts, "I instantly knew I was home." That jam started Carl on a deep dive into the CI community, a journey that eventually landed him at Earthdance. When not working, dancing, or eating Earthdance's delicious food, you can often find Carl writing computer programs, taking a walk down Prospect Street, or watching an episode of Democracy Now!

Niri Halperin
Office Manager

Niri grew up in Brooklyn, New York and is a lover of exploration, creativity, public spaces, games, movement, music, and improv. She believes other ways of doing things are possible and is interested in learning more about how community, spaces, and human interaction can foster these things! Niri is fascinated by the human experience and interested in subverting and unlearning ideas and "truths" that may keep us separate, hurting, and limited. She studied anthropology and has worked at The Relationship Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching communication and relating skills that foster compassion and empathy, in a society filled with blame shame and judgment. Now at Earthdance, Niri is discovering new ways of relating with others and herself, through movement and body exploration.

Roberta Wilmore
Live/Work Residential Life Coordinator

Roberta Wilmore has over 30 years of leadership, organizational, and business development experience in settings as diverse as real estate management, science & technology, and education. She is also passionate about supporting Creatives. Her work focuses on developing the capacity of individuals and teams to be courageous, liberated learners and leaders. While she has many titles over her professional career, multicultural leader, educator and learner best reflect who she is.

Raised in Pennsylvania, her father, a preeminent theologian, historian, and educator, gave her the gift of vision and perseverance. Her mother, her biggest mentor, taught her to push aside all self-limiting beliefs. Her message to all—be true to yourself; that which you love, you must spend your life doing. This has led her to take risks where others have not, to make unexpected connections among individuals, ideas and organizations, and to create new organizations and programs which reflect her beliefs and values.

A non-traditional educational journey, including international travel, extensive horse-womanship, and meditation, built her love of learning and her leadership style. Today, she laughs a lot. Roberta’s journey has shown her that happy people work harder and that work must not kill the human spirit. 

Kelsey Hobbs
Programming & Development Manager
Gayle Spinazze
Marketing & Rentals Coordinator
Emily Cavin

Emily Cavin became a non-resident visitor/member of Earthdance in the Intentional Community days in 1989, and was a resident member from 1990 to 1992.  She contributed to the community by working on bookkeeping, among other tasks, including playing a small role in helping to build what is now 9 Mountain Retreat Center.  In the interim, she has stayed connected through her passion for joining in whenever Penny Schultz holds a Community Sing, and as a nearby neighbor, and even occasionally by participating in a workshop.  She studied performing arts in a conservatory program long ago in her college days, (very long ago!) and is currently a Hilltown Resident, Singer, Dancer as she is able, Gardener, and an Earth-Centered Spiritualist and Ritualist. She also designs, creates, and sometimes even sells, unique Sterling Silver Jewelry.  She has supported herself in all these endeavors by holding “day jobs” as a bookkeeper, and as of April 2017, brings those skills back to Earthdance…..because, Hey! – someone’s gotta do it!!  And it is a good place to be! 

Kate Blair
Kate Blair was born in Chicago, Illinois. She is inspired by her family and friends' music, arts, and gardening. She studied dance at St. Olaf College and at Luther College, where she was deeply inspired by Jane Hawley's Movement Fundamentals Curriculum, emphasizing Contact Improvisation as a foundational course in Luther's dance department. Since, she learned powerful lessons from a theater project with immigrants affected by the Postville Raid. She has also lived in Mexico City, where she shared dance, music, and theater experiences with women and children at Espacio Mujeres (Women's Space for a Dignified Life Free of Violence.) Later, she loved the sun and energy of Tucson, Arizona, where she danced in New ARTiculations dance theater and worked as an Americorps member at Borton Primary Magnet School, a school with focus on arts and outdoor learning for children. There, she also delved deeper into community life and the borderlands thru the Restoration Project at Casa Mariposa. 
She is curious about community building and 'welcoming the stranger.' She is grateful for having been welcomed into communities where she has been the stranger and hopes to give that same gift back. She has worked on organic farms, at greenhouses, and in gardens since her first job at Rock Springs Organic vegetable farm in Iowa at age 16. She gets her green thumb from her gardening grandmother and other similarly inclined friends and relatives! She is enjoying gardening and learning lots from people and permaculture while deepening love and study of dance at Earthdance! When she's not in the garden, you may find her swimming at Plainfield pond or in the many streams and waterways in the Northeast and beyond. 
Ali Skalli
Chef & Community Liaison
Susan Lehman
Kitchen Manager & Head Chef

Susan was born in Lancaster, PA (Dutch Country) and lived there until age 13. She then moved to Chicago and has since found her way back East, and to Earthdance.

Susan is excited by creativity, flavors, colors, movement, music, her son!, experiences that help her feel connected to the earth, taste!, smell, texture, and rhythms. Susan's creativity comes from being earth-centered and believes that dancing and cooking feed one another. Susan is driven to create an uplifting and nourishing culinary experience that will stimulate the senses and feel good! Susan's meals are flavorful, organic, fresh and made with love.

Susan has been cooking since before the age of three. She learned a lot from her mother who was a farm cook, and has cooked for many many people from a young age. Susan wasn't allowed to dance until about age 10, (even though she did secretly), so growing up cooking was a big way of creative expression. She later went on to study dance & theater along with the culinary arts at Marlboro College in Vermont, and at NYU in New York. 

Susan is sensitive and informed about people's special diets and wants people to feel comfortable asking for what they need!

Rob Rolen
Buildings & Grounds Manager

Rob grew up in Eastern Oregon, and was drawn out to the east coast by the Free State Project in NH. As a father, inventor/engineer, and intentional community pioneer, he is eager to explore the social and physical environments around Earthdance and find a way to support the emergence of a sizeable, vibrant, and regenerative eco-village community. He was inspired to come to Earthdance because of the experimental culture here, the sharing of meals, dance, and song, and the value placed on justice, inclusion, and collaborative living. He feels that much more is possible at Earthdance and appreciates the abundance and beauty of the land and the innovative projects going on throughout the area. He brings a long-standing passion for intentional communities, and looks forward to nurturing greater harmony & intimacy here and with those in the surrounding community.

Victor Mistretta
Building & Grounds Assistant