Italy 2018 Faculty Bios



George Staib

Though his BA is in political science from Dickinson College, George actively studied dance, music and theater throughout his undergraduate years. He then went on to earn an MFA in dance and choreography from Temple University where he served on the faculty upon graduation. Notable teachers include Ann Vachon, Marcia Dale Weary, and Betty Jones; company credits include Ann Vachon/Dance Conduit, Coriolis Dance Company, Gathering Wild Dance Company, and Paula Kellinger and Dancers. As a teacher, he served as a Guest Artist-in-Residence at Temple University, Wilson College and the University of Nevada. He was also a resident choreographer and teacher at the Las Vegas Civic Ballet for four years. In addition, Staib serves on the Executive Committee for ACDFA as Vice President of Membership and served as an adjudicator for the South Regional Conference in 2013.
George is on faculty at Emory University teaching modern and ballet techniques, choreography, and "Contemplate, Create, Debate", a freshman seminar he created to introduce students to the practice of seeing and making art.


NIcole Johnson

As a young artist, Nicole trained at The Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education, and joined the Atlanta Ballet in 2006. In 2009 she began to explore more contemporary work with dance maker Lauri Stallings, leading to the formation of gloATL, a platform for contemporary movement language and physical gesture. While with glo, she was a part of numerous experiences created for Atlanta and beyond, from Rapt in 2009 to The Social Animal in 2013.  Nicole has worked intimately with a number of artists across many mediums and this has given her the understanding that all work is truly collaborative at heart.She is an artistic director of Fly on a Wall.


Jen Salk

Jennifer received her M.F.A. from Ohio State University and her B.F.A. from the University of Utah. She spent seven years in NYC touring and dancing with various choreographers including David Dorfman and Chris Burnside, and was also the Artistic Director of her own company. She teaches modern dance technique, composition, dance history, teaching methods, and The Creative Process. Salk is currently an Associate Professor and Dance Program Director at University of Washington.

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Gavriel Spitzer

Gavriel Spitzer graduated from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in 2000. He was a dancer with the Batsheva Ensemble and the Batsheva Dance Company from 2000-2008. In 2009 Gavriel joined Suzanne Dellal productions, working with choreographers Barak Marshall and Renana Raz. In 2002 he became a member of the Gaga teaching staff, and he continues to serve as an instructor today. Gavriel also works as a therapist in the Ilan Lev method, and since 2012 he has been the stage manager of the Batsheva Ensemble


Elita cannata

Elita Cannata is an Italian dancer, currently based in Amsterdam. She graduated from Rotterdam Dance Academy / Codarts in the Netherlands with a BA in dance in 2007. During her education and after her graduation, among others she performed creations by José Navas, Megumi Nakamura, Anoukvandijk dc, and many more. Next to her dance career she recently collaborated with Sally Dansgezelschapt as Rehearsal Director. She is a Countertechnique teacher since 2014, and happily shares this essential encounter of her life in many Institutions around Europe.

WHAT IS COUNTERTECHNIQUE®? Developed by Anouk van Dijk, Countertechnique® is a movement system to help the dancer think about the dancing body, focusing on the process of incorporating information into action. Countertechnique® allows the moving dancer to work with an ever changing dynamic balance. The consistent use of the counter direction in all movements is key to the technique; both the awareness and application of this principle is trained throughout the Countertechnique® class.



T. Lang

T. Lang is dedicated to exposing the arts and emerging communities to the creative impact and genius of dance. Lang earned her Bachelors and Masters of Fine Arts in performance and choreography from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts respectively. In the early days of her career, Lang danced with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and Marlies Yearby’s Movin’ Spirits Dance Theater. Lang relocated T. Lang Dance from New York City to Atlanta in 2008, continuing to develop, direct, and produce a high-impact blend of traditional and experimental contemporary movement.