Earthdance Staff and Long-Term Volunteers

Sarah Young
Executive Director

Sarah Young has been a Director of Earthdance since 2013 and a Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Teacher. Previous to moving to Western Mass, she was living in New York City, where she had the pleasure to perform for choreographers such as Hilary Easton, Steven Koplowitz, Ann Robideaux and Alexx Shilling, Jill Sigman, and David Dorfman. She was a long-time member of the Treehouse Shakers, bringing modern dance and storytelling to young audiences, and assisted Dana Salisbury's Dark Dining Projects. Her own work has been shown at various small venues throughout NYC. She has enjoyed numerous dance festivals, and countless CI Jams. From 2008-10, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, collaborating to develop women's weaving associations in the High Atlas Mountains and developed Ainabi Tours to share Morocco's rich culture with others.

Sarah is a Wisconsin native and studied dance and international arts at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she received a Ford Foundation Fellowship to study indigenous dance in Zimbabwe. Through these studies, Sarah founded Flying Art, an international exchange of art among youth which continues to connect kids through their art worldwide. 

sarah [at] earthdance [dot] net

Prakash Laufer
Associate Director of Finance

Prakash Laufer has been connected to Earthdance and the dance community in Western Massachusetts for many years. Prakash's passion is in the connections between dance, spirituality, activism, and social entrepreneurship. He began studying dance at Dartmouth College in 1970, and eventually completed his Masters degree in Dance-Movement Therapy at Antioch New England. He began a life-long meditation and yoga practice in 1971. For 18 years, he was the CEO and co-owner of Motherwear, a catalog company for nursing mothers. For the past 7 years, he has been an organizer and DJ with Dance Spirit in Northampton. He served for 6 years on the Board of United For a Fair Economy, helped organize a national conference on economic democracy and a local conference on sustainability and local economy. He has raised 5 daughters, 4 who were adopted from around the world, and has 3 grandsons who live nearby. He brings to Earthdance his love for dance, community, and deep connections with a global, multi-racial family of spiritual activists, artists, and yogis!

finance [at] earthdance [dot] net

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.

contact [at] earthdance [dot] net

Mark Messer
Operations Manager

operations [at] earthdance [dot] net

Kelsey Hobbs
Programming & Development Manager

development [at] earthdance [dot] net

Jason Comcowich
Head Chef & Kitchen Manager
Jason Comcowich is a student of design and the flow of energy. Focusing on guiding cultural myths and the management of resources, he collaborates in cultivating systems of ecological attunement leading to more equitable and efficient management of our global yields. From our kinespheres to the stratosphere, he seeks the stuck places in the connective tissues of being, inviting release into a more fluid dialog.
To him, resource control and exchange is the heart of freedom and community. As the ship's cook, he intends to keep refining the food systems that keep Earthdance nourished, fostering local resilience by working with the farming communities of the region. Trained in permaculture design, he will also be expanding the perennial food production on site and creating offerings for the community to engage with the Earthdance grounds.  
And the guy can cook.
executivechef [at] earthdance [dot] net
Tj Shields-Tabaka
Building & Grounds Manager

facilities [at] earthdance [dot] net

Gayle Spinazze
Marketing & Rentals Coordinator

rentals [at] earthdance [dot] net

Jake Wise
Web Developer-Media-IT

jake [at] earthdance [dot] net

Ali Skalli
Chef & Community Liaison
Victor Mistretta
Building & Grounds Assistant
Béu Tornaghi
International Communications

community [at] earthdance [dot] net
Born in BraSil, citizen of the world, Béu has been traveling between the USA, BraSil, and Europe for several years, dancing, offering Somatic Movement Therapy & Education, as well as Translation & Interpreting (Portuguese, English, and Spanish primarily, though she also speaks Italian and French). Dancing on land and water since childhood, everything she does feeds back into her Eco-Somatic research; she is always curious about how movement/dance can help us reconnect with many other ways of thinking and perceiving, allowing our human experience to find and create bridges within the many languages of nature. Nature nurtures. Nurture nature.

252 Prospect Street, Plainfield, MA 01070 | map | directions

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