Dean College

Kristina Berger, Assistant Professor

Todd Shanks, Dance Program Coordinator

Dean College Dance department performance photo, on stage, orange and yellow, 5 dancers

Photo courtesy Dean College

Dean College
Franklin, MADean College is a small liberal arts college in the greater Boston area, which for more than 55 years has been a nationally recognized educational center for dance. Our renowned faculty and staff foster creativity, broaden perspectives, expand knowledge, develop proficiency, and prepare students for excellence in the vast field of dance. Our conservatory-level training in ballet, jazz, tap, modern and related techniques, combined with targeted allied studies, will help you develop the skill and artistry necessary for successful careers on and off the stage.

Kristina Berger

Kristina Berger

Kristina Berger is an Internationally renowned Dancer and Dance Teaching Artist.

Currently a Principal Dancer with The Erick Hawkins Dance Company and Assistant Professor of Dance at Dean College, Kristina’s professional career ranges from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Showgirl to First Female and Westerner to perform the virtuoso Solo “Hanuman The Monkey King” in Bali, Indonesia and worldwide. As described by Gia Kourlas of the New York Times, “Ms. Berger maintains the extreme power of strong positions while exuding a peaceful, free-flowing elasticity. For Hawkins’s choreography, it is just the right kind of poetic juncture.”

It is this balance of power and elasticity which has made it possible for Berger to sustain such a versatile career: Other notable credits include Soloist of original Lester Horton works under the direction of Don Martin with exclusive rights granted by the Lester Horton Dance Theater Foundation; Dancer with Molissa Fenley and Company; Joyce Trisler Danscompany; Washington Opera Ballet; founding member of SWATT in Paris, Zurich, and Taipei; the Dance Series at The Ballery in Berlin, Germany; and Lake Tahoe Dance Collective. Kristina’s latest creation in collaboration with Catherine Cabeen, “Glitter in the Gutter” has been performed regularly at Pangea Cabaret in NYC to delighted audiences and continues to conjure virtual laughter via their channel @glitterintheguttertv.

A two-year scholarship student at Jacob’s Pillow, Kristina has developed a rich history there returning as assistant/demonstrator to master teacher Milton Myers, who she traveled the world with in this prestigious position; as performer with Erick Hawkins Dance Company and BALAM Dance Theatre, and most recently to be recorded on film for an oral history and featured in performance with the Hawkins Company in their “virtual views” films, now part of the incredible Jacob’s Pillow Archives. Most recently, Kristina is featured in “The Bloomsbury Handbook of DANCE & PHILOSOPHY’ as a member of EHDC.

Kristina has been on Dance Faculty at Marymount Manhattan College, Steps on Broadway, Joffrey School of Ballet, Peridance Capezio Center, Ballet Arts at City Center, with guest artist positions at Taipei National University of the Arts; La Guardia High School of Performing Arts; Tecniche di Danza Moderna in Rome, Italy; Boston Arts Academy; Boston Youth Moves; Urbanity Dance, Harvard-Radcliffe Modern Dance Co., and Lake Tahoe Dance Festival.

Todd Shanks

Todd Shanks

Todd Shanks has been featured in Dance, Dance Spirit, Dance Studio Life, Dance Teacher and Dancer Magazines.

As a performer Todd has danced in music videos, commercials, industrials and television programs including, “The Electric Company”, Kimberly Clark, “The View”, Volvo, Ford Motors, Race for the Cure, Wrigley’s, Paramount Pictures, “Good Day NY”, Lance Armstrong Foundation, Pilsen Beer, the United Way, UFO Jeans, 1010 WINS, Hope and Heroes, and the Lyme Disease Foundation. On stage he has performed with Synthesis Dance Project, Jette Performance Company, The Westchester Philharmonic, SDCF Dance Break, and the 2006 Miss Florida Pageant. Todd performed on field at Gillette Stadium for the 2015 and 2017 NFL Kickoff shows featuring T-Pain and FloRida respectively.

His choreography has been seen in a commercial for BIC “Soleil” Razors and on ice for the opening number of “Stars, Stripes and Skates” staring 3- time National ice-skating champion Johnny Weir. His choreography has also been featured on “The View”, ABC Nightly News, The MSG Network, NY1, CW 11, and at NYC’s Carnival, Steps on Broadway’s Faculty in Performance, Making Strides Boston, Dean College: 50 Years of Gold, Yankee FanFest and “The Game is in Us” (a Nike spec commercial).

Before relocating to Massachusetts, Todd was on Faculty at Steps on Broadway in NYC for over a decade. He has been a guest teacher at the University of Florida, SUNY Brockport, Boston University, Skidmore College, ACDA, UMass Lowell, Regional and National High School Dance Festival, the Ailey Extension, Boston Ballet School, Ballet Hispanico, Jeannette Neill Dance Studio, Dance Masters of America, Dance New Amsterdam, Florida Dance Masters and many private dance studios throughout the United States. He is currently teaching on tour with Manhattan Dance Project and Dance Educators of America.

Mr. Shanks is Program Coordinator for the Palladino School of Dance and Artist in Residence at Dean College in Franklin, MA.
Recently Todd became the Education Director of Dance Educators of America.

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