Early Years  

Growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, I was fortunate to have for my ballet teacher, Betty Hyatt Ogilvie.  She had been a dancer with the New York City Ballet, working directly with Balanchine, so we had that wonderful influence.  Wakefield Pool was with us for several of those years and was an exciting dance partner and mentor. Our pianist, Sonny DeSoto, a high school kid at the time, went on to have a lifetime career playing for the New York City Ballet. Along with dancing I was a competitive spring board diver, winning the Florida State Championship in 1960 in my age group.

I attended Landon High School and St. Johns Country Day School, and went on to graduate from Converse College, Spartanburg, SC, majoring in French, and spending my Jr. Year in Paris, France.  It was at Converse that I was introduced to Modern Dance, through my beloved professor, Janis Dengler.  Under her direction, our college modern dance company, Orcheses, produced many outstanding stage performances.

Middle Years

Following some post graduate traveling and exploring a variety of countries and cultures, I settled for 3 years in San Francisco, where I worked with the avant garde, all woman repertory company, The Child Laurel Theatre, under the artistic and creative direction of Sue-Ellen Case.  I returned to the east coast and entered New York University's Masters Degree Program in Dance/Movement Therapy.  With this degree I worked for several years with autistic children and a variety of other special populations in NYC.  I also studied several modern dance techniques, and performed with the Robert Yohn Dancers and with Carla de Sola's Omega Liturgical Dance Company for 5 years.  We were in residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and traveled throughout the U.S.

I have been living in the Hudson Valley, upstate NY since 1985, raising my daughters, and teaching them, as well as many other children, early ballet and creative dance, primarily based at The Saugerties Ballet Center since 1992.

Current Years

With decades of personal yoga study, practice, and teaching, it was no coincidence that I discovered Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, and became fully certified in all their programs by the year 2010.  The brilliant and exquisite Phoenix Rising training informs everything I do yoga-wise, and I am delighted to offer private sessions in my Esopus Bend Studio, here in Saugerties.

I have found the natural connection between yoga and dance to be a driving force in my work on myself and with others, as well as with my performance art. I immensely enjoy sharing the therapeutic applications of these movement arts, particularly at The Always There Adult Day Program in Kingston, New York.  At Always There, participants have mild to severe Alzheimer's, are recovering from strokes, or suffer from other conditions associated with advanced age.

At the same time I have stayed connected to the fitness world, primarily with the health and weight loss spa formerly known as Vatra, in Hunter NY.  It is now called Hunter Mountain Hotel and Health Spa.  I offer yoga, walks and hikes, aqua fitness, Zumba Gold, and t'ai chi for health.

T'ai Chi is the newest addition to my movement arts repertoire.  Trained and certified with the Paul Lam T'ai Chi for Health Institute, I enjoy teaching this ancient, healing, martial art to a variety of populations, including but not limited to people with Arthritis and other degenerative conditions.  I welcome healthy, fit people to join in this practice as well, and offer it at the YMCA in Kingston, at the Pine Hill Community Center in Pine Hill, NY, and at the Esopus Bend Studio in Saugerties.  I practice and study Sun, Yang, and a little Chen styles.  I am very excited about having as my teacher locally, Taoist Master Kwan Saihung.

Click here for latest Press


Home ~ About Celeste ~ Movement Arts ~ Esopus Bend Studio ~ Esopus Bend Getaway ~ Wholistic Health Encounter ~ Calendar ~ Contact