Spotlight Vermont

Let Your Light Shine

Performing arts education and performing opportunities. Dance, acting, musical theater education for both casual and professional students of all ages.

Tara Mayhew

Tara grew up in Rutland, VT and began dancing at the age of 3, starting with tap. She has taught dance to all ages. I have attended dance conferences in NYC as well as have competed in numerous competitions, shows, and recitals. Most recently I have joined Lyric Theatre and am currently working on my third show! I attended UVM and am currently living in Burlington and working at Dealer.com.

I must pay homage to Miss Jackie from Rutland's Miss Jackie's Studio of Dance and her daughter Jennifer Garrow as the two that have inspired me most. Their knowledge and passion for the art of dance truly impacted me and have made me the artist I am today.

Lara Tant

Lara Tant was born in Philadelphia, PA.  She trained at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC under the direction of Ludmila Markovina and Alla Sizova.  Additionally she supplemented her training through summer programs at American Ballet Theatre, where she had the opportunity to be coached by Leslie Brown and Rebecca Wright.  Finally she completed her professional training in the Trainee Program at the Joffrey Ballet School.  Lara began her professional career at the Ballet Theatre of Maryland in 2003, where she also embarked upon her career as a ballet teacher.  In 2005 she joined Connecticut Ballet in Stamford, CT.

In 2007 Lara co-founded Exit 12 Dance Company with Roman Baca and Lisa Fitzgerald.  In addition to dancing with Exit 12 Lara performs with many companies and choreographers in New York City including Rebecca Kelly Ballet, David Fernandez, Alison Cook-Beatty Dance Company, Mooney-Cooley Dance, Lou Troisi, and as a guest artist with Ballet Theatre Company in West Hartford, CT.  Lara has performed many classical and contemporary works; her favorites include Aurora in the Sleeping Beauty, Gamzatti in La Bayadere and the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker.

Lara is currently a full time faculty member at the Joffrey Ballet School in Manhattan where she teaches in the Children’s, Youth Ballet and Adult Programs. 

Kate Whalen

Kate has been studying dance for the 34 years, primarily ballet and tap, but also some jazz. She has studied with Donna Antell, Jen Barden, Lisa Hopkins and at UVM and Steps. She's been teaching at Spotlight since 2006.

A musical theater performer and choreographer she's been performing with Lyric Theatre Company since 1985 and was choreographer for Peter Pan in 2000 and choreographer/assistant director for Rent in 2012. She's also choreographed for Stowe Theatre Guild.

After many years of focusing on ballet , Kate returned to tap after seeing Lyric's 42nd Street in 1992. As she says, "Watching that show, I fell head over heels for tap, got back into a class, and was hooked for life!"

Evelyne Germain

Evelyne has been teaching pre-school dance for several years and has also taught ballet, modern and jazz at St. Michael's College, UVM, Vermont Conservatory of Ballet and at Essex High School. She performed professionally with Ottawa Dance Theater, Theater of Giants, Axis Mime and on cruises. Evelyne trained at Boston Conservatory of Music, Alvin Ailey Center, Les Ballets-Jazz and with Shelley Ismail. And as a youngster, she leaped into the competitive field of gymnastics. She is delighted and looking forward to teaching at Spotlight in Middlebury!

Kyla Paul

20150830_KylaPaul_Timothy Barden.jpg

Kyla grew up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont where she started dancing at the age of four. In the fall 2012 Kyla attended Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia where she was a part of the BFA dance program. However, she has always loved working with children so she decided to transfer to the University of Vermont where she is now a senior Elementary Education major with a minor in Dance.

Kyla has guest taught camps and classes at many studios throughout Vermont including North Country School of Dance (Newport, VT), Honest Yoga's B-Tru Dance Studio (South Burlington), and Moving Light Dance Studio (Montpelier, VT). She has experience in many different dance forms including ballet, pointe, tap, lyrical, jazz, contemporary, modern, and some hip hop.

Kyla is an active member in the Burlington performing arts community. She is a part of the Lyric Theatre community where she has performed in featured dance roles of The Producers-Fall 2014, Legally Blonde -Spring 2015, and will be playing Judy Haynes in their upcoming production of White Christmas, Fall 2015.

In the Summer of 2015, Kyla was a soloist in the Farm to Ballet Project directed by Chatch Pregger, where she had the pleasure of dancing classical ballet dressed as a pig with a pink tutu. 

Nancy Kaanta

Nancy continues to increase her education as a dancer and teacher. From Virginia Tanner, noted teacher of children, to Laura Glen modern Dance teacher from Julliard. From study with tap masters Jeanne Hill and Lisa Hopkins and ballet with Shelley Ismail to more than 30 Summers of teacher education programs including American Dance Festival, White Mountain Summer Dance Festival (to name a few) Nancy has been a student and teacher of dance every one of the 45 years that she has lived in Vermont.
She loves dance, teaching dance and her students.

Chatch Pregger

Teaches - Ballet

Chatch grew up in Fair Haven, Vermont. When he was 15 years old he moved to Connecticut  to attend the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts pursuing his dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer. His dream came to fruition when he joined Boston Ballet II in 1999 and was promoted to Boston Ballet the following year. Since then he has been a member of the Washington Ballet and the Houston Ballet, as well as a guest dancer with the Arizona Ballet, Hartford Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theatre. He has performed works by Mark Morris, Ben Stevenson, Kirk Peterson, Nacho Duato, Trey MacIntyre, Twyla Tharp, Christopher Weeldon, Antony Tudor, Michael Pink, Stanton Welch, Septime Webre, and George Balanchine, as well as many ballets from the classical repertoire including Giselle, La Bayadere and Don Quixote. Locally, Chatch took part in Burlington’s Quadracentennial festival playing Samuel de Champlain in From The New World by Heddy Maalem. He also joined the Portland Ballet in 2010 to dance the role of Cavalier in their Victorian Nutcracker. He was also a participant in the 2000 New York International Ballet Competition.

Chatch studied the Vaganova syllabus at the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts where he trained with master teachers including Eleanor D’Antuono, Kirk Peterson, Elena Tchernichova and David Parsons. He received his early ballet training at the Adams School in Rutland, Vermont and attended summer programs at the Pittsburgh Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and Hartford Ballet. 

The Farm to Ballet Project is Chatch’s newest endeavor. He produced a ballet to highlight the importance of farming and the people who grow our food. It opened to sold out crowds in the summer of 2015 playing at Vermont farming events and was the subject of a story on National Public Radio. For more informations Click Here to go to the Farm to Ballet Project website.

Barb Demic

Teaches - 

Barb owned and directed her own dance studio (Barb's Fancy Footwork) for 20 years, A lifelong Vermonter, she studied in New Hampshire, Boston, Las Vegas and New York, She has choreographed numerous shows for Lyric Theater, Middlebury Community Players, and Vergennes High School . Promoted fund raisers for VOH, Choreographed for the Miss National Teen Foundation . Worked in TV commercials and movies and have done DVD's to promote health for the local hospital and radio adds. Barb is a Life Time Lyric Theater recipient, who has sung, danced, acted, choreographed and worked with props. lights, sets for over 41 years. Barb has been with Spotlight Vermont for 8 years.

Cara Bayor

Cara has been dancing for 34 years and teaching for 21 years .

Cara Beyor has lived most of her life in New England and New York. Training with multiple studios as well as master classes with teachers from NYC. She started her dance life with Canterella (now the Albany-Berkshire Ballet) then with David DeMarie dance studio in Buffalo NY where she competed for 4 years . She started the first high school dance team in Western MA in 1995-6 at her high school. After that she danced in college with Ellen Sinopoli and a student organization at Russell Sage college. After graduating from college she moved to VT and found Spotlight on dance after trying classes in multiple places. "Spotlight is the perfect fit; a place that I can share with students my love of dance and help build confidence while learning something they can enjoy for the rest of their lives."

Cara.jpg

Tim Barden

Managing Director - Spotlight Vermont
Co-founder - Vermont Musical Theatre Academy

Teaches - Acting, Song Interpretation

Singer, actor, director and performing arts photographer, Tim also brings many years of business, marketing and financial management experience to Spotlight having worked in banking, technology and government sectors for many years.

Over the years Tim has appeared regionally in dozens of shows including, Brigadoon, The Rainmaker, Richard III, The Gondoliers, Fool for Love, A Little Night Music, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Fantasticks, The Sound of Music, Oliver!, The Producers and many more. Tim was also a member of the popular cabaret group Encore! for over 20 years. He is a past president of Lyric Theatre.

As a visual artist, Tim has photographed some of the worlds top dance companies and performers including; Martha Graham Company, Abraham.In.Motion, August Wilson Dance Ensemble, Tap Kids, Katherine Crockett, Kyle Abraham, Bill Evans and many more.

Abraham.In.Motion in "When the Wolves Came In" Choreography - Kyle Abraham

Abraham.In.Motion in "When the Wolves Came In" Choreography - Kyle Abraham

Jennifer Barden

Director - Spotlight Vermont
Co Founder - Vermont Musical Theatre Academy

Teaches - Tap, Jazz, Musical Theater Dance

Jen has been dancing most of her life.  She started dance at the age of 5 at the prestigious "June Claire School of Dance" on Long Island.  She later went on to be one of their youngest teachers at age 16.  Despite her young age, Jen traveled to New York City weekly to study with some of the top dance teachers & choreographers at studios like Steps, Broadway Dance, Phil Black Studio and more. 

 In 1987 she moved to Vermont. Although she was asked to fly back to New York weekly to continue teaching there, she decided instead to begin her own dance program in Middlebury. In 1996, Spotlight On Dance was born.  

 Jen is extremely grateful for the opportunity to teach students of all ages, and share her love of dance!  She has seen some of her students move on to pursue performing arts professionally.  However, she is most proud of her contribution toward having her students grow up in her studio to become strong, confident and disciplined individuals.  She is a teacher and mentor to many!

All Content Copyright 2017 by Spotlight Vermont.   No unauthorized use allowed.