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YDI is unique in offering students direct mentorship with working professional dancers.

Rather than camp counselors, students are paired with mentors who have studied dance in higher education, and are now working in the field as performers, choreographers, organizers, and educators. Mentors provide oversight and safety by living in the dormitory with the students and accompanying them to classes, meals and all evening and weekend activities. Students meet with their mentors one-on-one during daily lunch-time check-ins, and in small groups during nightly hall meetings.


Laquimah VanDunk, Director of the YDI Mentorship Program

Laquimah VanDunk, M.F.A Modern Dance, University of Utah (’14), B.S. Sociology, Austin Peay State University. 2018 Lions Jaw Dance Festival James K. Spriggs Scholarship recipient Boston, MA. Teaches courses at Austin Peay State University that include Modern Dance Technique, Dance Improvisation, Dance Composition and Dance & Technology. Current Residential Coordinator for the Bates Dance Festival Young Dancers Workshop. Collaborated, performed, and/or toured with David Dorfman Dance, Scotty Hardwig|hardwigTanz, Raja Feather Kelly, Lisa Race, Doug Varone and Gesel Mason. Presented choreography in Tennessee, Salt Lake City, Kunst-Stoff Arts San Francisco, Chez Bushwick New York City, American College Dance Association, Austin Peay State University, University of Utah, Arizona State University, and Bates College Lewiston, Maine.

Rebecca Steinberg, Mentorship Fellow

Rebecca Steinberg is a dancer, choreographer, educator, and researcher. Rebecca was a company member of New Dialect from 2015-2021 and is currently a Choreographic Associate and Education Liaison for the company.

Rebecca is a 2021 Tennessee Individual Artists Fellow and a 2019 Jacob’s Pillow Choreography Fellow. Her work has recently been presented by Park Avenue Armory Avant-Garde, Metropolitan Opera Club, Soho House New York, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, OZ Arts Nashville, And Artists, Room to Room, New Dialect, and Nashville Ballet.

As an educator, Rebecca leads workshops, master classes, and programming for young dancers, adults of all abilities, and professionals worldwide. She has held faculty and guest artist positions at numerous universities, companies, and dance programs. She works for Vanderbilt University as a Curriculum Design Consultant, currently on a National Science Foundation research grant exploring the educational potential of dance for STEM learning. Rebecca graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts at
Amherst with a B.F.A. in Dance and a B.A. in Psychology. She is currently an M.F.A. candidate at the University of Maryland in the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies.

Emilia Bruno

Emilia Bruno (she/they) is an Italian-American, queer mover originally from Lake Zurich, IL. She received her BFA in Dance and BS in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2018 and has had the opportunity to work and perform with Twin Cities-based dance organizations Zenon Dance Company, Shapiro & Smith Dance, Slo Dance Company, and Jagged Moves.
Emilia is currently based in Washington, D.C. and their current joys include cooking and weight training. This is Emilia’s third summer as a Young Dancers Workshop mentor for the Bates Dance Festival and they feel fueled by the opportunity to grow, lead, and nourish inside of this role.

Andrea Muñiz

The need for movement has been a constant pull in Andrea’s life. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rioc, Andrea Muñiz started their movement training at Lena’s Escuela de Gimnasia Rítmica. After many years of rigorous practice, they transferred their focus to ballet and contemporary dance. At Andanza Compañía y Escuela de Danza Contemporánea, they grew into a technically proficient, yet passionate dancer. She was driven to study dance at the collegiate level. They obtained a BFA in Contemporary Dance with an emphasis in choreography and improvisation from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. She’s had the opportunity to expand her movement vocabulary, perform professionally in Boston, New York, and Puerto Rico, collaborate with amazing peers, and develop her choreographic voice. At this time, she is focused on teaching and engaging in equitable and informed creative practices.

Alexandra Rix

Alexandra Rix is a movement artist and bodyworker based in Long Beach, CA. Originally from Western Massachusetts, she moved to California in 2015 to attend CSU Long Beach where she graduated with a BFA in Dance and a BA in Dance Science. After graduating college she studied Bodywork and Healing Arts at Panacea Holistic Institute where she became a Certified Massage Therapist. Rix works by integrating her anatomical knowledge from the realms of dance and bodywork to find new ways of working and viewing the body. Some of Rix’s performance highlights include performing in three installments of NEW SHOES at HIGHWAYS Performance Space, at the Odyssey Theater dance series, at Los Angeles Dance Festival, and at the Bates Mill Complex in Lewiston, ME. Most recently, Performing with Kevin Williamson + Company at Stomping Ground LA.

Joe Tennis

Joe Tennis is from Eagan, Minnesota. He grew up a competitive athlete & performer and received a BFA in dance from the University of Minnesota. Joey has served as company mover and media manager for Black Label Movement since 2017. He also works and collaborates on various projects with Berit Ahlgren’s HoneyWorks. In his past, Joey has worked with Zenon Dance Company, Daara Dance Company, ARENA Dances, Slo Dance Company, STRONGmovement, Randy Reyes, John Mark Creative & the Minnesota Opera. Through University & Zenon, Tennis has worked with choreographers Brian Brooks, Gregory Dolbashian, Colleen Thomas, Wynn Fricke & Mariusz Olszewski; additionally performing works by Danny Buraczewski, Kyle Abraham & Stephanie Batten-Bland. Joey can be seen in feature length film Only Dance Can Save Us and dance short-film A Dream of Touch, When Touch is Gone. Joey prioritizes time independently researching movement through improvisation – leaning into flow, instinct, momentum, play and pleasure.