Our Mission

Through the lens of innovative modern dance, we awaken, enrich, and educate communities to diverse perspectives of our world. 

SPDC reaches beyond the arts community with a diverse repertoire that reflects upon larger societal issues through performances, classes, workshops, community outreach, arts integration residencies and collaborations with musicians and composers, artists and actors, puppeteers, poets and professors.

It is our vision to fulfill our mission by providing audiences from all cultures, age groups, abilities and income levels throughout the Greater Hartford region with opportunities to learn how to dance, watch dance, appreciate dance and/or incorporate dance in their lives.

Our Impact

SPDC sparks impact in expansive layers within the local community and arts ecosystem. Dance artists from beginner to professional level are invited to utilize the training programs led by SPDC and our team of interdisciplinary collaborators. Operating in radial circles, the organization offers arts integration programs for grades pK-8 with Hartford Public Schools, pre-professional level classes and training through School of Sonia Plumb Dance, high-level training through residencies and intensive workshops, while also running a touring professional company of dancers with accolades ranging from Limon Dance Company to White Wave in NYC and Parsons Dance.

Since its reorganization in 2012, SPDC has served more than 8,000 constituents throughout Greater Hartford and the Northeast. Over the past 30 years, we have performed 500 times, connected with 10,000 students of all ages with over 40+ pieces in our repertory.

Our Approach

Sonia Plumb Dance Company pushes art in new directions by bringing together a community of composers, musicians, videographers and puppeteers to create eye-opening experiences. Together, these artists are constantly reinventing, exploring and provoking ideas.

Our programming has long followed the CT Office of the Arts “READI” providing “Equity, inclusion and access involving all populations are critical to the vitality of our neighborhoods, towns and cities.” Inherently recognizing these needs long ago, SPDC offers scholarships and work-study Apprenticeship programs to Greater Hartford’s underserved and economically challenged youth.

Our Value

Sonia Plumb Dance Company values equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in our programming on stage, in the classroom and in the community. We seek to uphold these values by providing training to create a diverse workforce (dancers, teachers, staff), to offer free and low-cost access when needed to our performances and to engage with our community and our neighbors in the development of our programming. We acknowledge the systems that have been put in place which have often excluded individuals and communities from opportunities based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, age, and geography, and strive to counter those inequities in our programming.

Sonia Plumb Dance Company values the partnerships with the surrounding organizations, and communities as essential to the creation and on-going conversation for a holistic, equitable vision of community vitality and artistic success. We value the interdependence of our artists, teachers and staff which are our voices in the community. SPDC values our own partnerships with the educational institutions, local and state arts agencies, funders.

Our History

For nearly 20 years, the company’s performances have been exciting audiences with contemporary modern dance through stunning visuals, vivid choreography, and compelling storytelling. Our collaborations with musicians, composers, videographers, poets, professors and puppeteers have reached thousands of audiences, young in age, heart and spirit. From the stage to the classroom to the park to the library we inspire. Find us in your neighborhood.

Since our inception in 1990, SPDC has been constantly on the “move.” The company has performed throughout Northeast in concerts, festivals, adjudicated showcases, in parks and in schools. Artistic Director Plumb has developed numerous programs for SPDC  receiving accolades for her innovative work. In 2000, she made the choice to take a ten-year hiatus to raise her son and teach. In 2011, she returned to the rigors of directing and managing a professional dance company. Working with board members, donors and community partners, she reorganized SPDC to help grow its infrastructure, build greater sustainability, and ensure its long term future. Since its reorganization, SPDC has served more than 8,000 constituents throughout Greater Hartford and the Northeast.

  • 2012:

    Joined the Hartford Performs roster of vetted artists to bring arts integration and arts access programming into Hartford Public Schools.

  • 2015:

    Was one of nine artists to receive a Community Legacy Project award for Arts Integration Programming in underserved communities.

  • 2016:

    Received three-year cornerstone grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for the Apprentice Training Program providing work-study opportunities for underserved, typically minority high school graduates who could not afford to attend a typical four year dance degree program.

  • 2019:

    Received a three-year grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to the launch the School of Sonia Plumb Dance by providing 23 scholarships for Hartford youth who could not afford to train.

  • 2020:

    Attended the Connecticut Office of the Arts Equity and Inclusion workshops to better understand and implement successful programming and relationships with diverse communities and to understand racial inequalities.

Our Staff

Sonia Plumb / Artistic Director

In addition to her role as Artistic Director, Sonia is the founder of Columns Dance and Wellness Centre and creates digital content under her personal handle Sonia Must Dance. She has choreographed 50+ dances during her career. “I attribute my artistic style to a morphing of ideas with dance, constantly seeking to observe, learn, question, and collaborate.” Sonia has served as the first Artist-in-Residence at the University of St. Joseph (2012-2015), taught at the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School (2006-2019) and the Hartford Conservatory. She has guested at numerous dance schools including: Miss Porters, Watkinson, Loomis Chaffee and the National High School Dance Festival.

Sonia is a three-time recipient of the Connecticut Office of the Arts Fellowship for Artistic Excellence, received a SURDNA National Teaching Fellowship (2013), and was one of only nine artists nationwide to receive a Community Legacy Project award in 2015. Born and raised in Vermont, she migrated to Hartford to attend Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut where she received a B.A. in Theater and Dance. She is the mother of one son who continually brings depth and meaning to her life and work as an artist.

Andrea Blesso / Executive Director

Andrea Blesso has danced with each of the elements – underwater, 18ft in the air, spinning fire fans, and in the mountains of Portugal. She is currently the Director of Dance at Boston Center for the Arts, Executive Director for Sonia Plumb Dance Company, Co-Chair for the Wayland Cultural Council, Guest Dance Curator for Boston Symphony Orchestra, a performer & Board member for EgoArt, model for artist Judith Larsen, and a Board member for ANIKAYA Dance Theater and Boston Dance Alliance.

With over a decade of experience creating and leading dance programs in direct response to community need, Andrea has produced and partnered with over 100 dance companies across New England. Throughout her dance life, Andrea has performed with Snappy Dance Theater, Bennett Dance Company, Falling Flight Project, Partners for Youth with Disabilities, and Annie Kloppenberg & Dancers, among others.

Carol Roderick / Director of Ballet

Carol Roderick recently retired as Director of Dance of the Hartt School Community Division at the University of Hartford, CT. She was an assistant professor of ballet and pedagogy at Colorado State University (Fort Collins) previous to coming to Connecticut. Carol received her early training in Boston, and later at Butler and Indiana Universities. Her formal pedagogical training was with the late Jürgen Schneider (Bolshoi Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, American Ballet Theatre) and Gabriela Komleva (Kirov/Mariinski Ballet).

She was a member of the professional division faculties of Boston Ballet School, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and The Harid Conservatory. Carol was principal teacher of AIS Ballet in Kobe, Japan for two years, the Program Manager for the Bolshoi Ballet at Vail, and also served as ballet mistress for the Cleo Parker Robinson New Dance Ensemble in Denver, Colorado.

Mark Willis / Rehearsal Director

Mark Willis, a New York City native, began his formal dance training at Montclair State University, where he received his B.F.A. in Dance. In 2008, Mark had the privilege of performing with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in President Barak Obama’s inauguration parade. In 2014, He has also had the pleasure of working with Douglas Dunn and Dancers, ARCOS Dance, Christina Noel and The Creature, WHITE WAVE Dance, JOIN Ensemble, among others. Mr. Willis has taught and performed all over the United States, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. His other interests include choreographing, composing, singing, modeling and playing the trumpet. Mark joined the Limon Dance Company in 2015.

JoJo Rodriguez / Social Media Content Creator

Joan (JoJo) Rodriguez is originally from La Habana, Cuba. He has had the privilege of working with renowned artists Mary Fitzgerald, Liz Lerman, and Danielle Agami. JoJo has danced with Parsons Dance Company and is interested in continuing his passion for teaching, choreographing, and collaborating. His dance videos have won national awards.

Sonia Plumb, Artistic Director / director@soniaplumbdance.org
Katie Cowell, Development / development@soniaplumbdance.org
Chloe Trotta-Smith, Executive Assistant / execassist@soniaplumbdance.org
Education Staff / education@soniaplumbdance.org
General Inquiries / info@soniaplumbdance.org
Public Relations/ buzz@soniaplumbdance.org

Our Dancers

Michaela Esteban
Katie Garcia
Myles Hunter
Jessie Levin
Richard Pye
JoJo Rodriguez
Andy Santana
Mark Willis

Name

Our Sponsors

Logo of Connecticut Office of the Arts
Logo of Greater Hartford Arts Council
The William and Alice Mortensen Foundation
Connecticut Office of the Arts
The Betty Knox Foundation
Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation
Dept. of Economic & Community Development
Ensworth Charitable Trust, Bank of America, N.A.
Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Our Board

Claude P. Mayo / President,
Bridgeport University
Kim Stroud
CREC, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
​Haril Pandya
Nelson World Wide
Sonia Plumb / Founder

Career

Here at Sonia Plumb Dance Company, we offer a world of possibilities for a career in the field of dance! From artistic and administrative, to arts in education, pedagogy and marketing, you can grow your professional resume in a multitude of ways. Inquiries can be made at: careers@soniaplumbdance.org.

Job Openings

Contact Us

Mailing address
20 Church Street, Mezzanine
Hartford, CT 06103

Purchase Tickets Online

Directions

Administrative Contact
Phone: 860-797-5157
Email: info@soniaplumbdance.org

EIN
06-1304412
registered as a Non-Profit 501(c)(3)

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