Hunter College

Hunter College Dance Department logo

Monday, November 15
4:00-6:00pm
Alberto Del Saz
Modern

Friday, November 19
2:00-4:00pm
Maxine Montilus
Afro-Haitian Dance

Monday, November 29
4:00-6:00pm
Karisma Jay
West African Dance
Register

Hunter College
New York, NYHunter College Dance Department offers a BA and MFA in Dance, a 5 year BA/MA and an MA in Dance Education with New York State K-12 certification. Our curriculum provides students with a strong foundation that can lead to professional careers for performers, creators, scholars, educators, and arts advocates.

From a campus in the heart of New York City, the Dance Department actively reflects and participates in the cultural and artistic diversity of the city. Our faculty and guest artists/scholars are active leaders in the field, whose mission is to provide a rigorous, challenging, humanistic dance education, housed in a liberal arts environment. The Department encourages curiosity and passion, developing expansive definitions of what it is to be a dance artist, educator and citizen of the world. Courses are designed to support students in becoming articulate movers, speakers, and writers. We provide an array of curricular and co-curricular research opportunities that are integral to the student experience.

The cultural diversity of the student population, an active, professional faculty, and a wide range of program opportunities make the Hunter College Dance Department a dynamic place to study Dance.

Maxine Montilus headshot

Maxine Montilus

Maxine Montilus

Maxine Montilus is a native of Brooklyn, New York and a first-generation Haitian-American.  Maxine has a B.F.A. in Modern Dance Performance from The University of the Arts, an M.A. in Arts Management from City University London, and an M.A. in Dance Education from Hunter College via the Lincoln Center Scholars program, through which she obtained her initial certification in Dance for Grades K through 12.  She has also had the opportunity to study Afro Cuban dance and culture through the annual “Dog Aguas” program founded by Danys “La Mora” Perez from 2010-2012, which took her to Havana, Matanzas and Santiago de Cuba; and has studied Afro-Haitian dance with various master teachers, such as Nadia Dieudonné, Adia Whitaker, Peniel Guerrier and Julio Jean. In 2018, she received the Jerome Foundation’s Travel and Study Grant to participate in Dieufel Lamisere’s program Vinn Pran Baget in Cap Haitien, Haiti to further her study of Haitian Folkloric dance.

Maxine is a 2014 EMERGENYC artist with New York University ’s Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics. As a dancer, Maxine has performed with Ase Dance Theatre Collective, Balasole Dance Company, KaNu Dance Theater, Kriyol Dance Collective and Tamara LaDonna Moving Spirits. Maxine performed with SpeakDance Collective in the Festival of Art and Folklore in Santiago de Cuba in April 2016. She was featured in the theatrical production “La Sirene: Rutas de Azucar” produced by Lukumi Arts in December 2016 at JACK Art Space, and in February 2017 at HERE Arts Center. She also performed in Jean Claude Eugene’s production “Zatrap: HaitiTrauma” at The Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland in October 2017 and at the Queens Museum Theatre in May 2018.

As an educator, Maxine is currently a principal facilitator and teaching artist with Camille A. Brown & Dancers’ EVERY BODY MOVE Community Engagement platform, as well as an adjunct dance professor at SUNY Old Wetsbury. She has also served as a teaching artist for Haiti Cultural Exchange, Caribbean Cultural Center Africa Diaspora Institute, Opus Dance Theatre, and South Asian Youth Action (SAYA). From 2015-2018, she was a full-time dance teacher for the New York City Department of Education. Maxine has also served as an arts administrator in arts education, coordinating programs for public schools, studios and healthcare facilities at The Juilliard School, Marquis Studios and Dancewave.

As a choreographer, Maxine has presented work at various institutions, including The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, and Harlem School for the Arts with Haiti Cultural Exchange for their annual Selebrasyon Festival. Maxine is also a member of Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE, through which she has presented choreography in their annual New Traditions Showcase from 2015-2017. In 2014, she choreographed BallyBeg Production’s third play and Equity-approved showcase, “The Taste of It”, and was a 2015 nominee for Outstanding Choreography/Movement in The New York Innovative Theater Awards for her work in the production. In 2017, Maxine served as an Afro-Cuban/Haitian Folklore consultant for Camille Brown in her work for the Broadway musical “Once On This Island”. Maxine was also the choreographer for Opera Orlando’s presentation of George Bizet’s “Carmen”, which was set in Haiti during the 1960s. The production made its premiere in April 2021 at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

In 2019, Maxine founded MV Dance Project, a dance company that aims to be of service to others through public performances and dance education programming. In June 2019, the company performed its first evening-length production “Strength in Spirit” at Brooklyn Studios for Dance.

 

 

Karisma Jay dancing in front of a brick wall in patterned pants

Karisma Jay

Karisma Jay

True to her name, Brooklyn-native, Karisma Jay is the epitome of Multi-Hyphenate. Dancer, Actress, Singer, Director, Playwright, Choreographer, Wellness Coach, Teacher, Entrepreneur and Host, she has performed/toured with prestigious dance companies and has been featured in programs aired on Netflix, Lifetime, BET, MTV, NBC, and VH1. In 2013, Karisma joined STOMP. In 2016, Family Circle magazine coined her a “Local Hero” and Lifetime TV featured her as a Female Entrepreneur to Watch. Most recently, she won the “Power Women in Business” for her work as the Artistic Director and Founder of AbunDance Academy of the Arts. Annually, she writes, directs, produces and co-stars in musicals that AbunDance Academy presents. She just recently graduated Summa Cum Laude with her MFA in Dance at Hunter College while also teaching Dance and Culture at Hunter as an Undergraduate Faculty Member. Currently, she is teaching West African Dance at The Juilliard School and working as a choreographic apprentice with the Broadway show, David Byrne’s American Utopia. She is a Dance Teacher Magazine’s 2021 Dance Teacher Award Recipient. With a mission to lead by example, she helps everyone who crosses paths with her to flourish AbunDantly.