OUR TEACHING STAFF

Vivid Motion's teachers are experienced professionals with training and impressive resumes, skilled in the styles they teach. Each one upholds Vivid Motion as a place for dancers of all ages, abilities and anatomies. Whether you take Hip Hop, Ballet, Middle Eastern or Tap, our teachers provide a warm, supportive environment for you to stretch your limits, learn and have fun!

 
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BRIGITTE PAULUS

I began dancing late (at 13) and was lucky to have world class teachers. I joined the Robinson Ballet at age 15 and subsequently went on to train at UMO and then in New York with The Joffrey Ballet.

For over 25 years I’ve taught in dance studios, at arts camps, in school workshops, to cast members of theatrical shows and of course for Vivid Motion. I help already trained dancers refine their technique and performance skills and teach basic technique to beginners. I am skilled at teaching differentiated levels within a single class, adjusting exercises and combinations to challenge advanced dancers, while making them fun and not overburdening for newer students.

I teach students how to express their thoughts, ideas, and feelings through movement. I view dance as an expression from within, that can be accomplished by anyone who wants to express themselves through movement, regardless of body type or physical ability.  


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BRUCE TRACY

Since the 1980s, Bruce has immersed himself in the atmosphere of "the streets". He helped introduce hip hop into new England's dance studio world, teaching Maine's first weekly, structured hip hop classes over 20 years ago. His choreography has won awards in New Jersey, Boston and New York City. He has also trained with some amazing artists -- including Wade Robson, Luam Keflezgy, Bev Brown, Leslie Feliciano, Brian Green, Jazzy Jay, Quickstep, Rocafella, Doug Elkins, Sasha Soreff and Michelle Asaf. When not teaching, Bruce performs as a local DJ, working in many nightclubs and opening for names like Bad Boy Bill, Eminem and MTV's DJ Scribbles.


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Emily Zack (MZ)

Mz is a classically trained ballerina and has studied modern, lyrical, hip hop, flamenco, belly dance, and burlesque. She speaks French and plays piano, but dance is her favorite language and instrument. She has studied with the Portland Ballet, Boston Ballet, Casco Bay Movers, Tisch School of the Arts, and Vivid Motion. As a resident choreographer for Vivid Motion she strives to create dance that honors the art of the chosen piece of music, embraces all dancers, and speaks from her heart.

As a dance teacher Mz connects with the student at their level, whether beginner or advanced, and creates appropriate challenges through engaging choreography and a structured warm-up. As a life-long dancer, Mz incorporates her experience and knowledge into her classes, and also rehearsals, where she always finds moments to teach and clarify technique. Mz's classes are rigorous and expressive, challenging and creative.

Mz's earliest memory of dancing and choreographing is at three years old, and she now is blessed to share the stage with her daughter, who also makes up dances with her friends.


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Emma Tompkins

Emma began her dance training at the age of 6 at Maine State Ballet
where she trained for over 12 years in ballet, tap and jazz.  At the
University of Southern Maine, Emma minored in dance and theatre,
taking classes in contemporary dance, musical theater and
choreography.

Emma currently teaches classes in lyrical and ballet at the Centre of
Movement Dance School in Gorham and she teaches classes in jazz,
ballet and contemporary for the USM Dance Club which she founded in
2015.

Emma has taught all ages, levels and abilities. She believes that
dance should be inclusive.  Anyone can be taught to dance and everyone should find enjoyment exploring dance.
 


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MJ Emerson

Mj has a varied theatrical background, always grounded in dance. Growing up in Norway, Maine, her early dance training came from The Children’s Dance Theater in South Paris, with Susan Clement Farrar and Michelle Farrar Keyes, where she studied ballet, tap and jazz forms in addition to pantomime and storytelling through dance. After teaching for a few years for CDT in South Paris and in North Windham, MJ attended the Dance Program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia: earning a Certificate in Dance. After time in the city she was homesick for Maine where she returned to study Theater at the University of Southern Maine. In 1998 she received a scholarship to attend the Bates Dance Festival. She spent more than a decade on staff at Konservatoriet Dance Studio, in Alfred Maine, under the direction of Lynne Penn Davison, serving as Director of Jazz and Modern.

A founding member of Vivid Motion in 2003, MJ served as VM’s second Artistic Director from 2008-2013, and continues to choreograph and dance for the company. In 2008 and again in 2012, Vivid Motion produced MJ’s original ballet, Eclipse, set to the music of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

MJ loves teaching and working with dancers of all ages, but has a special affinity for working with adults of all dance levels. Classic jazz forms, modern (has trained in Horton & Graham technique) and ballet are her foundation, though she loves all kinds of dancing.