Festival Teaching Faculty will be joining us in Santa Fe, NM as your expert instructors, mentors, and guides throughout the experience. Coming with a vast amount of experience across diverse sectors of the dance world with a common commitment to educating the next generations of artists and artistic leaders, they are committed to your growth and will inspire you to maximize your potential.


Each year, the New Century Dance Project Artistic Director selects venerable, award-winning artists to share their extensive knowledge, experience and wisdom with festival intensive participants.

Jim Vincent

Jim Vincent
Former Artistic Director, Hubbard Street Dance, and Nederlands Dans Theatre

Jim Vincent is currently a freelance artist, dance-maker & creative consultant d.b.a. ONE-DER-BOX, LLC. He has more than 35 years of entertainment & cultural experience through his work in theater, opera, music, contemporary dance, choreography, special events & site-specific installations. From 2012 to 2017 he was an Imagineer & Executive Creative Director with the Walt Disney Company – Creative Entertainment, primarily responsible for the Tokyo and Hong Kong portfolios. He also collaborated substantially with the R & D division on new forms of live entertainment including mixed reality and projection experiences. 

Early in his career he resided & worked in Europe for more than 25 years, during which time he was a dancer, rehearsal director, and choreographer with the Nederlands Dans Theater and held key positions at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague (Holland), National Opera of Lyon (France) and Compañia Nacional de Danza (Spain). Throughout his career, he has worked extensively with Jiri Kylian, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, Mats Ek, and Ohad Naharin. In 2000 he returned to the US to become the Artistic Director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. He was then invited back to Holland in 2009 and appointed Artistic Director of the Nederlands Dans Theater through 2012. During his tenure there, he commissioned new works by Jiri Kylian, Crystal Pite, Alexander Ekman, Aszure Barton, Marco Goecke, Alejandro Cerrudo, Ivan Perez, Amanda Miller, Johan Inger, Lightfoot/Leon, and Medhi Walerski for both NDT I and NDT II. 

As a dance-maker, he created works for NDT I, NDT II, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Bern Ballett (Switzerland) and established collaborations with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, St Louis Symphony, the Illinois Institute of Technology – Architecture Division as well as HSDC residencies at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. He was formerly the Artist-in-Residence Lycée Francais of Chicago and is currently in residency at the International School of Los Angeles. Vincent is an alumnus of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Penny Saunders

Penny Saunders

Penny Saunders, originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, graduated from the Harid Conservatory in 1995, and began her professional career with The American Repertory Ballet under the direction of Septime Webre.

Penny went on to dance with Ballet Arizona, MOMIX Dance Theater, Cedar Lake Ensemble and in 2004 she joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2011, Saunders won the International Commissioning Project which launched her choreographic career, creating pieces for Hubbard Street, Cincinnati Ballet, Whim W’Him, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, BalletX, Sacramento Ballet, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Diablo Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Eugene Ballet, ArtEmotion/Ballet West and Seattle Dance Collective among others. 

Saunders is honored to be the Resident Choreographer at The Grand Rapids Ballet, to have received support from The New York City Ballet Choreographic Commissions Initiative, to have participated in The Guggenheim Works & Process, and The National Choreographers Initiative, and to be the recipient of the 2016 Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship.

Penny is currently Artist in Residence at USC Kaufman School of Dance as well as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The University of Utah School of Dance. Saunders will be the Director of Choreography at Regional Dance America’s National Choreography Intensive in the summer of 2022, and she is looking forward to upcoming collaborations with The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Dance Aspen, New Century Dance Project, and Oklahoma University.

Pablo Piantino

Pablo Piantino
Assistant Professor, University of Utah

BFA The Juilliard School,

MFA University of Washington

Pablo Piantino is originally from Mendoza, Argentina. He studied privately with Héctor Zaraspe among many other teachers, and at the Colón Theatre Ballet School. At a very young age, he entered the corps de ballet of the Colón Theatre and remained there for three years, until he was offered a full scholarship to study at The Juilliard School where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Following graduation in 1999, Pablo joined the San Francisco Ballet where he danced a broad span of classical and neo-classical repertory in the works of Mark Morris, Hans van Manen, George Balanchine, Kenneth McMillan, Jerome Robins, Paul Taylor and Christopher Wheeldon to name a few. In 2005, he joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Jirí Kylián, Ohad Naharin, and Twyla Tharp, among many others.

Upon culmination of his time at Hubbard Street, Pablo moved to Seattle where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance Education from the University of Washington in June 2015. Since graduation, Pablo has taught at George Mason University, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet Trainee Program, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, USC Kaufman School of Dance, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet among several other institutions. He has staged works by Choreographers Nacho Duato, Alejandro Cerrudo and Penny Saunders, at the University of Washington, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Ballet Arizona, George Mason University, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Los Angeles Ballet, SFDanceworks, Ballet Hagen in Germany and at The Juilliard School. In the Fall of 2017, Pablo joined the faculty of the School of Dance at the University of Utah as an Assistant Professor and will continue to re-stage choreography and teach master classes around the world.


The following NCDP team of talented and committed professional dancers, choreographers, and educators will guide you from the beginning of the experience on day one until the curtain closes at Saturday night’s closing festival concert, and all the way through the NCDP closing events on Sunday afternoon.

Francisco Gella

Francisco Gella
Santa Fe, NM
Co-artistic Director for Zeitgeist Dance Theatre, Choreographer and Dance Educator

Julie Rose Friedrich

Julie Rose Friedrich
Los Angeles, CA
Windward School Performing Arts Faculty, Dance Educator and College Dance / Careers  Expert

Yusha-Marie Sorzano

Yusha-Marie Sorzano
Los Angeles, CA / New York, NY
Co-artistic Director of Zeitgeist Dance Theatre, Choreographer and Dancer with Camille A. Brown

Please contact us if you have any questions about New Century Dance Project.