Iris Berkman

Iris is co-director of The Valley Dance Project. She has been teaching Creative Dance in the valley since 1995. Born and raised in Israel, she initially studied with Immanuel and Yosefa Bryant of Bat Sheva Dance Company, and danced professionally with their own company.

Iris was sponsored by the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio to study in New York City where she pursued Ballet, Jazz, and Modern Dance technique with various teachers, including Milton Meyers and Zvi Gottheimer as well as at the Cunningham studio. She received a BA in Early Childhood Education and Dance from Hunter College, and taught Pre-school and Creative Dance at a number of institutions and private studios there before moving to Amherst. She is currently a member of The Lisa Leizman Dance Company in Northampton.

"Iris is the best dance teacher I ever had. I have lots of fun. I really like the dancing and the performance we do."
(Ana - age 7)

Mary Bull

Mary was co-founder of The Valley Dance Project with Iris. Though she has moved on to other pursuits, her spirit imbues all the classes at The Valley Dance Project.

"Mary's teaching is focused and informed and my daughters love her classes. She applies a level of discipline while allowing the students to find joy and freedom in movement. I am impressed at how Mary is able to support different levels and abilities. My girls never feel pressured to perform but rather are encouraged to summon their best from within under Mary's intelligent guidance"
(Katherine Glatter - mother)

"I get to do ballet and modern and so many other kinds of dancing all at the same time, and I love being in the recital in the spring because we dance with our own class but also with the older kids."
(Claire - age 6)

"Iris, Your dance class is such a special part of our lives, and has been for years. You are one of the wonderful women in my life who is helping me raise my daughter to be confident and to enjoy the arts."
(Jess Murphy - mother)