Dance Spotlight’s mission is to preserve our national dance legacy by producing and preserving historical documentations of influential dance techniques and classes of noted teachers of these techniques in various media and making them available to dancers, instructors, and scholars worldwide.
When Alvin Ailey asked Babette Coffey-Fisch to document the Lester Horton Technique, Dance Spotlight, LLC was created as a partnership between Babette and video documentarian, Jeanne Suggs. In 2011, Dance Spotlight, Inc. was organized as a nonprofit with Babette and Jeanne as Co-Executive Directors, who continue to run Dance Spotlight today.
In collaboration with Ana Marie Forsythe, then the head of the Ailey School Horton Department, Dance Spotlight documented the Horton Technique in 3 technique videos and 4 class videos. In 2010 the Martha Graham Company asked Dance Spotlight to document the Graham technique. Dance Spotlight has dedicated the last 13 years to the Martha Graham Legacy Project, with the goal of producing a comprehensive documentation of the technique while developing Graham class videos. The Beginning and Intermediate Levels have been completed and the Advanced Level is in pre-production.
Dance is a living art, and it is difficult to capture the magic which gives life to choreography. The creators designed their techniques to develop dancers that would have the physical and emotional skills to perform their choreography. Dance Spotlight’s vision is to help preserve these techniques as they were created and help teachers pass on the techniques and enable choreography to be reconstructed and performed with greater knowledge of the specific movement language.
OUR STAFF & BOARD MEMBERS
and Board Member
In addition to co-producing the Dance Spotlight videos, Babette manages the press and social media, and helps with the daily business operations. Babette studied dance first at The Garden State Ballet School with Fred Danieli and Joyce Trisler among her varied teachers, and then went on to the Royal Ballet School, under Dame Ninette De Valois and Barbara Fewster. While In England, Babette performed with the Royal Opera Ballet in Aida and Rigoletto under Franco Zeffirelli. In the late 1960’s, she wrote for Dance Magazine under Lydia Joel, well -known dance historian and editor at that time. In the 1970’s, Babette worked closely with Charles Reinhart and the National Endowment for the Arts in their Dance Touring Program in Charlotte, North Carolina bringing dance companies to the area. Always with a passion for dance, she has spent the last 30 years striving to preserve and document America’s great dance legacies. Dance Spotlight, her collaboration with Jeanne Suggs for the past 24 years, provides the perfect vehicle to achieve her mission.
Co-Executive Director, Production Director
and Board Member
Jeanne oversees the daily company operations, manages the VOD and DVD sales, and co-produces, directs and edits the Dance Spotlight videos. Jeanne came to New York from Tennessee as a dancer with a degree in TV/Film Production. She performed with some small dance companies in New York but ultimately left the performance world for production. Jeanne recorded dance companies in performance, many of which are part of the Horton legacy. Jeanne met Babs Coffey as co-producers of the pilot for a dance news/magazine show called Dance Spotlight with interviews with such varied dance greats as Crazy Legs of HipHop fame and Merrill Ashley of New York City Ballet. Along with her production of dance videos, Jeanne created her own production company, Suggs Media Productions. She produces and directs for the TV commercial, theatrical, and online video market. She developed specialties in Direct Response Advertising and in children's programming and has produced feature films including "Calling It Quits" and some theatrical shorts. Her heart and love are in creating dance videos.
Karin Schwalb served on the board of trustees of American Ballet Theater, was Secretary of the board for seven years, and on the executive committee of ABT for over five years. Karin received the Lucia Chase award at the Metropolitan Opera House. She was also on the board of Chris Wheeldon’s company, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. For several years Karin was a member of Career Transition for Dancers, enabling dancers to receive scholarships in order to educate themselves to transition into other careers.
An international dancer/choreographer from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Mr. Rivera also worked as a Master Teacher of the Horton technique touring throughout the USA and internationally (1977- 2012). He created Contemporary Motions Dance Company (1986-2006) and served as company director, dancer, primary choreographer, costume and lighting designer. He has taught at leading dance schools, academies, institutes and universities. He worked as assistant professor at Hope College and Princeton University. Mr. Rivera is a professional certified Life/Business Coach (Coaching for Wellness, 2015). He is the administrator for WaterRico, a humanitarian project distributing free water filters throughout Puerto Rico as a response to the devastation caused by hurricane Maria in 2017.
Burt Bierman, has spent his entire career as a Partner at Gikow, Bierman & Talesnick, The Videre Group and JH Cohn, and later, Burt joined The Rainmaker Company as a Senior Consultant. Over his career, Mr. Bierman developed an expertise in sales and sales management strategies. As a featured speaker and author, Burt addresses a wide range of topics, including “Partner Accountability”, “Marketing and Selling Must Be a Process”, “Strategic Planning,” “Overcoming the Partner-Marketer Disconnect,” “Winning More Engagements by Improving Your Prospect Call and Proposal Letter” and “Effective Sales Compensation Programs".