Meet the people working behind the scenes at MADEO
Dr. Donna Dragon

Dr. Donna Dragon, President

Dr. Donna Dragon, CMA, SMT and President of MADEO is a Dance Education Specialist and Associate Professor at Bridgewater State University where she specializes in providing dance curriculum for dance educators (leading to recommendation for licensure and for private sector teaching) and for artists-educators. She is the advisor for the National Dance Education Organization Student Organization (NSO) and a Chapter Sponsor for a Collegiate Chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts at BSU.

Dr. Dragon began teaching dance as a business entrepreneur in Western Massachusetts. She established Donna’s School in Dance, in Springfield where she was artistic director and dance educator for hundreds of students. She earned a BA degree with a focus in Dance-Movement Therapy through the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and as part of that degree became a Certified Laban Movement Analyst (CMA) and a Somatic Movement Therapist (SMT). She took weekly dance classes and engaged in individual sessions with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, creator of Body-mind Centering® and with Linda Tumbarello in Body-Centered Psychotherapy. Dr. Dragon began a private Somatic Movement Therapy practice to help infants, children, teens, and adults with chronic pain; learning and social-emotional challenges; life threatening diseases; injury prevention and recovery; movement repatterning; life transitions; and movement efficiency for daily functional movement and athletic performance, among others. In her desire to support ‘dance for all students’, she established a second private sector business, The Center for Movement Alternatives, in Longmeadow where she developed and provided a somatics and conceptually-based dance curriculum for students of all ages and abilities.

Dr. Dragon combined interests, knowledge and skills in somatics, dance, and holistic pedagogy to earn a Master’s degree in Dance Education (M.Ed.) and a Ph.D. in Dance at Temple University. Her research focused on an historically and culturally situated history of ‘embodied practices’—practices that holistically support the integration of body, mind, spirit and emotions in somatics and dance education. She frequently presents research focused on embodied education, dance pedagogy, and somatics at the National Dance Education Organization Conferences and at local, regional, national and international conferences. As well, she mentors undergraduate and graduate students to develop and present research in dance education locally, regionally and nationally. Dr. Dragon is on the review board for the Journal of Dance Education and the Dance Education in Practice Journal.

Drawing from embodied experience, neurocognitive sciences and her training as a Somatic Movement Therapist, a Laban Movement Analyst, and as a dance performer in ballet, modern, tap, jazz, improvisation, and creative dance, Dr. Dragon specializes in developing pedagogy, curriculum, courses, and workshops that utilize the body for creating meaning, knowledge, skills and behaviors that can reflect, meditate, challenge, and change individual and group motivations, values and behaviors. She continues to develop and implement somatic and embodied education paradigms for infants to elderly people and for beginners and professionals alike in public, private, urban and rural environments and schools, corporate settings, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric facilities, and in K-12 and higher education.

Kristen Duffy Young

Kristen Duffy Young, Vice President

Kristen Duffy Young is the Co-Director of the Colleges of the Fenway Center for Performing Arts, Director of Dance, and an Adjunct Professor at Emmanuel College. She received an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, a BA in Dance and BBA in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is a Certified Movement Analyst from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in NY. Her early training was through the Royal Academy Dance (RAD) method in classical ballet and she is currently working towards her certification as a Bill Evans Teacher. Kristen is also the President of the Massachusetts Dance Education Organization.

Kristen has been choreographing professionally for more than 15 years. She is the Co-Director of Accumulation Dance Company with Meghan McLyman, They have received support for their choreography from New England Foundation for the Arts, The Boston Foundation, Boston Center for the Arts, and have been presented by The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Somatics Dance Conference, The Southern Vermont Dance Festival, Salem Arts Festival, Trident Art Gallery, Dance for World Community, The Dance Complex, Green Street Studios, Tufts University, College of the Holy Cross, and Salem State University.  As an educator, Kristen believes in the artistic potential of every student and emphasizes creative expression as well as movement efficiency in her classes and rehearsals. Her creative work centers on themes of the human experience and is influenced by her studies in Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, yoga, the Alexander Technique, and classical ballet and modern/contemporary dance. In addition to teaching for COF, she has instructed courses at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies program at Lesley University, Salem State University, The Longy School of Music, Needham Public Schools, Kinetic Dance Studio, and Next Generation Theatre Company.

Meghan McLyman

Meghan McLyman, Vice President

Meghan McLyman is a Professor of dance at Salem State University and the Chair of the Music and Dance Department, where she has been instrumental in creating the Bachelor of Arts degree in dance. The University recognized her passion for teaching with the 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2018 she received the Arts Learning Distinguished Teaching and Arts Advocacy Award. Meghan is the co-director of Accumulation Dance ( with Kristen Duffy Young. They have received support for their choreography from the New England Foundation for the Arts, Next Steps in partnership with The Boston Foundation and the Aliad Fund, and Boston Center for the Arts, and have been presented by Crash Arts/World Music, The Somatics Dance Conference, The Museum of Fine Arts, The Southern Vermont Dance Festival, Salem Arts Festival, Trident Art Gallery, Art Beat/Somerville Arts Council, Dance for World Community, The Dance Complex, Green Street Studios, Across the Ages Dance Project, Tufts University, College of the Holy Cross, Salem State University, and Hollins University/ADF. Meghan graduated with a BA in dance from Point Park University, received an MA in dance and arts management from American University, and an MFA from Hollins University in partnership with the American Dance Festival. She serves on the board of Massachusetts Dance Education Organization. She a Moving For Life Certified Instructor under Martha Eddy, and is in the process of becoming a Certified Evans Teacher under Bill Evans.

Dr. Nancy Moses

Dr. Nancy Moses, Advocacy Director

Dr. Nancy Moses is Professor Emerita of Bridgewater State University Dance after serving for 33 years developing and nurturing dance at the institution.  Taking a scattered group of dance classes in Physical Education and in Theater, she crafted an academic program that has evolved into a Dance Major.  Through the years she was able to create a curriculum that led to licensure for teaching dance in the public schools, a service that no other public institution in Massachusetts has provided.  Although the single dance professor for 20 years, in the following 10 years she was able to add three additional faculty lines, new studios and rehearsal facilities, an official major and a stand-alone Department of Dance.  Through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities and the New England Foundation for the Arts, she has been able to secure additional funding for expanded dance programing.

As a life-long advocate of dance education, Dr. Moses has promoted dance through many professional organizations where she has served as officers and on multiple boards   She has been a member of the National Dance Education Organization and was the founding President of the Massachusetts state affiliate, MADEO.

Laura Netherwood

Laura Netherwood, Communications Co-Director

Laura Netherwood MBA, BS (Elementary Education/Communication Studies: Concentration in Dance Education) has been a dedicated dance educator for Springfield Public Schools since 2008. Throughout her time in the classroom, Netherwood has developed a concept-based approach to teaching elementary dance education focusing on creative movement, self-expression, and social emotional development through dance. Over the years Netherwood has expanded her dance program beyond the school day, creating the Kinesthetic Connection after school dance program. The non-profit program provides opportunities for both current and former students (ages 8-Adult) to continue their dance education, participate in performances, and practice leadership skills through mentoring and student coaching.

Netherwood’s passion for dance education is not only limited to her students. She is a strong advocate for the arts, and continuously seeks out opportunities to help enhance the ubiquity of dance education in public schools as a stand-alone academic area of study, or as an integrated unit of arts education. Outside Springfield Public Schools, Netherwood has developed and directed additional dance programs in both private and public educational settings. In 2013, she participated on the MTEL Dance Licensure revision committee, was the first dance educator to receive the Harold Grinspoon Excellence in Teaching Award in 2018 and became the only Dance Ambassador for the newly revised 2019 Massachusetts Arts Frameworks. In 2021, Netherwood received the Arts|Learning Distinguished Dance Educator Advocate Award, and most recently was the recipient of the Western Mass News Surprise Squad Award (2023), awarding educators that go above and beyond within the Western Mass community.

Caitlin Carabba

Caitlin Carabba, Communications Co-Director

Caitlin Carabba grew up in Halifax, Ma. and was trained in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, modern, and acro at A Dancer’s World where she danced competitively for 12 years. Caitlin Carabba graduated from Greater Brockton Dance Teachers Association’s Dance Teacher Training course in 2013. Caitlin graduated in 2019 from Bridgewater State University with a BA in Dance and a BS in Elementary Education and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Special Education at Bridgewater State University. Throughout her undergraduate career, she was a member of the Bridgewater State University Dance Team and Dance Company for four years. Caitlin competed at the Universal Dance Associations Collegiate Nationals for four years in Orlando Florida with the Bridgewater State University Dance Team. She served as the Vice President of the Bridgewater State University Dance Team in 2017-2018 and served as a public relations officer for NDEO’s Student Organization at Bridgewater State University in 2016-2017 and as an Event Coordinator in 2017-2018. Caitlin has presented research at the National Dance Education Organization’s National Conference in San Antonio, Miami, and La Jolla. While at Bridgewater State University, Caitlin choreographed and staged four collegiate pieces. Caitlin’s two passions are dance and working with children. Caitlin has taught first grade in Cohasset, MA for two years now and enjoys incorporating movement and dance into her instructional practices. Caitlin continues to pursue her passion for dance by taking classes in Boston and along the South Shore. Caitlin also runs an after-school Dance Enrichment Program for students in grades K-2.

Dr. Thelma Larkin Goldberg

Dr. Thelma Larkin Goldberg, Events Director

Thelma Larkin Goldberg, PhD, founded The Dance Inn, an independent private sector dance studio serving more than 400 students weekly, in 1983. She teaches at dance teacher events and at tap festivals such as the Boston Tap Party and she mentors future tap dance educators through her work with the American Tap Dance Foundation’s Tap Teacher Training Program. She received the 2015 Dr. Michael Shannon Dance Champion Award from the Boston Dance Alliance for “her sustained excellence in teaching and passionate advocacy for the art of tap dancing.” Her research centers around the experience of the tap dance educator in the private sector dance studio and she shares teaching resources, including videos, books, rhythm cards, and a Tap into History poster through Thelma’s Tap Notes ( Thelma recently joined the dance faculty at Dean College in Franklin, MA where she is implementing a syllabus that integrates tap history with technique and choreography lessons.

Erin Doherty

Erin Doherty, State Education and Professional Development Director

Erin Doherty is a dance educator based in Massachusetts where she teaches K-8 dance for the Boston Public Schools. Erin is a graduate of Hofstra University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Dance Education and  holds a Masters of Inclusive Education from Stonehill University with a focus in diversity, inclusivity, and equity in education. After graduating from Hofstra, Erin continued as a performer for the Walt Disney World Entertainment Company in Florida. Erin has been a public school dance educator for four years and has previously taught for The New York City Public Schools and Lawrence Public Schools. Erin spends her days after school working for Enchanted Dance Academy in Winchester, MA where she is the director of inclusive learning and teaches various styles to all ages. She has been a member of NDEO since 2014 and has presented an undergraduate poster project in 2018 and recently presented at the 2022 NDEO Conference on ableism in dance.  Erin is passionate about inclusive dance education and continues to find ways to provide access to all learners that step into her class! 

Kelly Host

Kelly Host, Secretary

Kelly Host (Conca) has been dancing for 28 years. She graduated from Bridgewater State College in 2009 with degrees in Elementary Education and Communication Arts & Sciences with a concentration in Dance Education. While at BSC, she studied modern, jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, African dance, ballroom, folk, square, and creative dance. She was Vice President of the BSC Dance Company, choreographed and performed in many shows including Winterdance, POPS, and Kaleidoscope, co-produced the directed study production “Final Curtain Call,” and was also a founding member of the Kinetic Edge Hip Hop Team.

After college, Kelly opened for musical artist Trey Songz as a back-up dancer for soloist Stephanie Petronelli. She then became the director of her own dance company, Complete Sensation, for three years before joining BSC Alumni group Intensity Dance Company and charity-focused dance group Dance2Save, where she performed on stage and at Celtics Games. She joined DanceWorks Boston in 2018 and is currently on Kinetic Synergy Dance Company as a dancer and a choreographer. Kelly has a passion for dance and could not imagine her life without it.

Caity Parker

Caity Parker, Treasurer

Caitlyn “Caity” Parker is a 2010 graduate of Bridgewater State College with a degree in Physical Education. Growing up in Middleborough, MA, at 6 years old she began her competitive baton twirling career, earning junior and senior Miss Majorette of Massachusetts titles in the beginner (2002) and intermediate divisions (2003). 

While attending BSC, Caity began her journey into dance by joining the dance company where the motto is “dance is for everyone”. She danced and choreographed in a number of shows, earning a scholarship for her first staged composition; and was elected to the executive board, serving as a public relations officer for the dance company. 

Currently, Caity is the head coach of the majorette competition teams for Middleborough Public Schools as well as a coach for a private studio. She utilizes the dance training and education that she gained while in college on a near daily basis. Her passion for movement arts and the teaching thereof sees an emphasis on performance and less on competition, because if you love what you do, you’ve already won.

Caity’s professional background includes a decade of retail banking, and she is currently a funeral director apprentice in the state of Massachusetts. 

Krissy Rybicki

Krissy Rybicki

Kristen (Krissy) Rybicki is a Danvers, MA native, where she grew up studying ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe, and hip hop at North Shore Dance Academy. She pursued a BA in Advertising and Public Relations with Minors in Marketing and Dance at Loyola University Chicago, where she served as President of the LUC Dance Company and was heavily involved with the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. Krissy then attended New York University where she graduated with an MA in Dance Education. During her time in NYC, Krissy founded the dance program at Hunter College Elementary School, was a member of Kaleidoscope Dancers at NYU, and taught in private studios around the NY metropolitan area. After graduating, she became a Teaching Artist and Education Coordinator at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and also taught ChoreoLab and The Autism Project, where her love for adaptive dance was born. Additionally, she co-directed the After School Matters Dance Ensemble, and eventually became the Department Chair and Dance Teacher at Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, IL.

Back in Boston, Krissy is now a special education teacher in Boston Public Schools, and runs her own business, Grace Yoga. She remains an active member of Boston’s dance community, sharing over a decade of dance education with students and teachers alike.