MachineHDance

Exploration of self and community through dance, performance, choreography, and teaching.

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7th Annual Dance Astoria 2021

Photo Credit: Eric Bandiero

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3rd Annual Spring Cleaning: March Madness 2019

Photo Credit: Eric Bandiero

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MachineHDance was founded in 2013 by Stephanie Deere in order to create an outlet to explore the relationship between self and the larger community. It is Stephanie's desire to use movement as a medium for cultural exchange and mutual understanding. MachineHDance currently consists of a team of unique female dance artists and is fiscally sponsored by Unique Projects, Inc. a New York State not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization administrated by Pentacle/DanceWorks, Inc.

 

The company has performed at various festivals throughout New York City including Jennifer Muller’s “The Hatch”, “Take Root” at Green Space, and “Dance Astoria”. In 2016, the company produced its very first outreach program "INterACTION" in Long Island City, Queens, with grant funding from the Queens Council on the Arts. Miss Deere currently self-produces a number of the company's performance ventures including its annual dance theatre production "Spring Cleaning", the MachineHDance Fall Immersive Festival, and co-produces the increasingly popular Queen's festival "Dance Astoria". The company also successfully raised funds in the spring of 2018 through "10 Dances in 10 Days" in order to participate in Movement Exchange's Panama outreach program which took place in July of 2018. Funds raised go towards year-around dance education for orphans living in Panama City. 

The company has grown rapidly and is now launching its 9th season creating, conversing, and collaborating in the rich, artistic environment of New York City. 2019 brought with it the 3rd Annual Spring Cleaning: March Madness, the 6th Annual Dance Astoria, the WR Arts Summer Series Showcase and the first Fall Immersive Dance Festival.

 

The 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic halted production efforts, however MachineHDance came back strong in the 7th annual Dance Astoria with "Del Mar" - a piece exploring concepts of freedom and joy after several months of enclosure and uncertainty.

 

Stephanie is increasingly thankful to continue to work with such inspiring dance artists in an ever-changing and diverse arts climate. Now more than ever before, she feels fortunate and grateful to have these opportunities and looks forward to more MachineHDance productions! 

MachineHDance Spring Season 2017

Photo Credit: Eric Bandiero

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Stephanie Deere
Founder and Artistic/Executive Director 

Stephanie graduated Cum Laude from the University of California, Irvine with a BA in Dance and a minor in Management. She studied under notable choreographers such as Loretta Livingston, Lisa Naugle, Molly Lynch, Diane Diefenderfer, Jodi Gates, and Sharon Wray. Stephanie has performed alongside a variety of artists in a variety of places including Tuscany, Italy, Orange County and Los Angeles, CA as well as in several theaters in NYC and the tri-state area. 

After many years as a full-time dance instructor and choreographer, Stephanie returned to school to receive her M. Ed. in Education from the American College of Education and graduated with the highest honors as well as a place in the Kappa Delta Phi education community. Her studies expanded her vast knowledge of how to use dance as a teaching tool for not only technique but growth in the physical, emotional, and mental domains. This knowledge combined with over 15 years of teaching experience promoted her to the director of the early childhood program at Breaking Ground Dance Center, in Pleasantville, New York where Stephanie is also the staff manager and recital director. 

In addition, she works in the enrichment program with Dance Matters NYC bringing dance and musical theater arts to public and charter schools in Queens and NYC. Stephanie has also continued her work setting choreography and teaching master classes. Most notably she recently set a contemporary performance piece on the company dancers at Rivertown Dance Academy in Tarrytown, New York. 

In addition to her studio endeavors, Stephanie founded MachineHDance in 2013. Her work has been presented at various festivals including Fertile Ground at Green Space, Dance Astoria, and the Sans Limites Dance Spring Season. Stephanie continues to create work for MachineHDance and the company has produced several evening length performances such as "Spring Cleaning" and the "MachineHDance Spring Season". The company successfully hosted a summer intensive and outreach program titled "INterACTION" - bringing dance to children in Queens, through funds granted by the Queens Council on the Arts.  

One of Stephanie's greatest achievements and memories was her participation in "Movement Exchange - Panama" outreach program in 2018. Working with underprivileged youth in a foreign country and a foreign language opened her eyes to the shared connectivity that exists with-in dance. Regardless of age, culture, gender, socio-economic status, and language we are all able to learn, grow and communicate with each other through dance. 

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Cristina Gustaitis
Founding Company Member

Cristina Gustaitis is a dancer, choreographer, and dance educator based in Brooklyn, NY. Cristina began her formal training with the Indiana University Ballet Theatre in Bloomington, Indiana. She graduated, summa cum laude, with a BS in Dance Performance from Ball State University in 2011 and has since had the opportunity to study and perform in Italy, France and Sweden as well as throughout the Midwest and East coast. In addition to her work with MachineHDance, she is a company member of Treeline Dance Works and a guest artist with Falcon Dance. Her recent performance credits include UPPAdanse, France, American Dance Guild Festival, NYC, Dance Chicago, Chicago, Breaking Ground Festival, AZ and Abundance International Dance Festival, Sweden. Her choreography has been shown in venues throughout the city including The Tank, Transpecos and The Royal Theater. Aside from performing, Cristina enjoys bringing the arts to children as a faculty member at Williamsburg Movement and Arts Center and Breaking Ground Dance Center. MachineHDance has allowed Cristina to pursue dance in all aspects of her career including performing, choreographing and teaching. She is thrilled to be part of a creative group of individuals under the fearless and inspirational direction of Stephanie Deere.

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Rebecca Hite
Founding Company Member

Rebecca Hite received her MFA in dance choreography/performance from Smith College, and her BA in dance from Connecticut College. She has interned with BoSoma Dance of Boston, MA and Parsons Dance of New York City, and was fortunate enough to spend five months in Sydney, Australia, studying Graham technique and dance composition. Rebecca has performed works by renowned artists such as David Dorfman, Lisa Race, Heidi Henderson, Adele Myers, Nicholas Leichter, Jeremy Nelson, Wally Cardona, and Monica Bill Barnes. She has taught at Smith College, Amherst College, the American College Dance Festival’s New England Region, Middle School 217 in Briarwood, Queens, and at multiple New York-based dance studios and senior centers.  Rebecca has performed with The Feath3r Theory under the artistic direction of Raja Kelly, Naomi Goldberg Haas/Dances for a Variable Population, MachineH Dance, and is co-creator and co-artistic director of Reject Dance Theatre.  She obtained her Pilates Mat certification through Equinox Fitness. Rebecca's work has been presented at Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn, NY, Built on Stilts Festival in Martha’s Vineyard, MA, MixMatch Dance Festival in Los Angeles, California, Trinity Repertory Theater in Providence, RI, the Astoria Dance Festival in Astoria, NY, The Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, plus many more.

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Chloe Benitez
Company Member

Chloe Benitez is a dancer and Gyrokinesis Certified instructor in New York. She is originally from Southern California, where she trained at The Orange County School of the Arts in the Classical Contemporary dance division. She then continued her education at the Boston Conservatory where she received a BFA in Contemporary Dance in 2015. After graduating, Chloe moved to New York to further challenge herself and grow as an artist. In New York she has had the opportunity to work with local dance companies: MachineHDance, Sans Limites Dance, Zullo Raw Movement and Arch Ballet.

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Holly Heidt
Company Member

Originally from Bloomington, Indiana, Holly studied dance and literature at Oberlin College. She is co-artistic director of Muliebris Dance Theatre and has shown her work at such places as The Tank, Dixon Place, Spectrum, Green Space, and Team Gallery. She has danced for Eva Dean, Caroline Brethenoux, Jeff Davis (Glitter Kitty Productions), Rachel Cohen (Racoco), and Cristina Gustaitis and currently dances with Vashti Dance Theater under the direction of Fatima Logan-Alston. Holly is delighted to be dancing with MachineHDance. 

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Anieya St. Juste
Company Member

Anieya St. Juste has been dancing with MachineHDance since 2018. She has been an intrigal part of the Astoria and Queens dance community taking classes at Astoria Fine Arts Dance and Wild Heart Performing Arts Studio. Additionally, she has assisted at Reflexions Dance and Fitness while completing her Bachelor's Degree. She is now studying to become a physical therapist and looks forward to utilizing her dance education and background to help people overcome their physical ailments and find peace again. 

Meet the Company 

 

Repertoire

 

MachineHDance is committed to creating and performing diverse repertoire that not only challenges us as dancers and artists, but that also communicates with and includes our audience. Below is a sampling of company repertoire created over the past several years that demonstrates our goal to achieve versatility and excellence in dance performance as a company. 

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Pack Behavior

"Pack Behavior" choreographed by Stephanie Deere premiered at the MachineHDance Spring Season at Triskelion Arts in April of 2017. Since then the piece has been updated and performed twice more in the 3rd Annual Spring Cleaning: March Madness as well as the WR Arts Summer Showcase. The piece explores pack behavior in a tongue-in-cheek manner, utilizing athletic movement, partnering, facial expression, and loud rhythmic music to transplant the audience. The result is a highly competitive modern dance piece in which team work is fragile and emotions run high. 

Photo Credit: Eric Bandiero

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3rd Annual Spring Cleaning: March Madness

The 3rd Annual Spring Cleaning maintained it's roots in popular culture influences, improvisation, audience participation and an influx of theater elements. The company goes on a journey to explore the differences between dance in a competitive and often cut-throat environment in juxtaposition with other team sports. 

The audience is asked to consider what makes dance an art form instead of a team sport and to evaluate their current notion of sports behavior, team loyalty, as well as competition between and among human beings. The show, choreographed and written by Stephanie Deere in collaboration with the dancers was held at Wild Heart Performing Arts Studio located in Astoria, NY on March 29th, 2019
Photo Credit: Eric Bandiero 

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Garden of Glass Red

"Garden of Glass Red" choreographed by Stephanie Deere is a contemporary ballet piece that premeired at the 6th Annual Dance Astoria Festival held in Astoria, NY. The piece combines ballet technique with the beauty and strength of movement inspired by birds - flight, gliding, landing, and poise in their dynamic stillness. The piece is set to House of Glass Red Parts 1 and 2 by Too Many Zooz - a Brooklyn-based instrumental group. 

Photo Credit: Eric Bandiero

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In The Deep Shade

“In the Deep Shade” choreographed by Cristina Gustaitis, explores the motion of life as continual waves of moments, emotions and experiences. The dancers individually seek peace within the motion but are at times driven to rely upon the support of the other dancers in the space. These support systems of continual give and take eventually help bring the group back to the peaceful realization that everything comes in waves. 

In The Deep Shade premiered at the 1st annual MachineHDance Summer Festival at The Royal Theater in July of 2016. The piece has since been performed twice at the CBG Dance Festival and the MachineHDance Spring Season in 2017. 

Photo Credit: Eric Bandiero 

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INterACTION

​“INterACTION”, which premiered in August, 2016 at The Secret Theatre was the first outreach program of its kind made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. The purpose of the program was to bridge the gap between educational and professional dance. Students participating in the program worked alongside MachineHDance company members in order to not only learn choreography but to create it themselves. "INterACTION" was the finished product of many MachineHDance rehearsals in addition to 25 hours spent with Queens youth between the ages of 9 and 17. It is the goal of the company to continue this trend of providing professional dance opportunities to youth and underpriviledged creatives across the country and the world. 
Photo Credit: Eric Bandiero 

Support 

MachineHDance greatly appreciates individual and corporate donations. Any financial support the company receives goes to pay for space rentals, submission fees, promotional materials, dancer stipends and more. Stephanie Deere could not share the work of MachineHDance without the financial assitance we recieve every year.

 

MachineHDance is fiscally sponsored by Unique Projects, Inc. a New York State not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization administrated by Pentacle/DanceWorks, Inc.

 

Any donation you make is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE, through Unique Projects, Inc. Below is the link to PayPal where you can make a donation to MachineHDance today! 

 

Thank you so much for your continued support!

 
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Photo Credit: Eric Bandiero

Connect

 

To reach out to MachineHDance for performance updates, outreach information, production inquiries and more, please email Stephanie Deere at info@machinehdance.com

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