Dance Counselors

Rutgers Summer Dance Conservatory counselors from summer 2017 are listed below.  Updates will be made during the spring of 2018.  

Nje Dacas, Ed.M. – Head Counselor

Caitlyn Barrows, Ed.M. – Head Counselor

About Your Counselors:

Your counselors aim to help you have a fun, safe and memorable experience at Rutgers. As alumni and students themselves, with impressive performing and teaching resumes, they are an excellent resource for questions about the nature of college dance study. 

All counselors are either alumni or current graduate students enrolled in the Graduate Dance Education Program, a partnership program between Mason Gross School of the Arts and the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, an elite program leading to a master’s degree and PK-12 teacher certification in dance. Some have also completed the Pilates Teacher Certification program or the Yoga Teacher Certification program at Mason Gross, Rutgers as well. All of your counselors completed a BFA dance major at Mason Gross or other undergraduate institutions.

As a part of their studies at Rutgers, your counselors completed dance performance courses, graduate education courses, and dance pedagogy courses, as well as practicum and teaching internships in NJ and NYC elementary, middle and high schools.  Some of your counselors are returning alumni who have PK-12 teacher certification in dance and have been teaching as well as performing in dance companies professionally already.
Additionally, your counselors have completed the following certifications:
  • American Red Cross CPR and AED
  • Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Prevention
  • Protection of Minors
  • ConcussionWise Training
  • HeatWise Training
  • HeartWise Training


Your Counselors

Barrows Headshot

Caitlyn Barrows – Head Counselor

I hold my Ed. M. in Dance Education (2014) and my B.F.A. in Dance performance (2013) from Rutgers. For the past two year I have been a full-time dance educator in the NJ Public School System. This is my 6th year working at the Rutgers Summer Dance Conservatories, and this year I am one of your head counselors. I’m so excited to meet you all! Please don’t be shy if you ever have a question or concern.
Quiz Question: Where I teach I am known for always wearing crazy:                                 
______________             ______________.  
Let’s see if you can fill in the blanks by the end of the week!

Nje D 2016

Nje Dacas – Head Counselor

I completed my Ed.M. degree in Dance Education in 2016 and my B.F.A. degree in dance in 2015. I am the head counselor and adore working with children and teens.  Feel free to come to me at any time with questions or concerns!

Quiz Question: I’ve just had a new addition to my family. See if you can guess who it is!



Brittany Cohen – Wellness Counselor

I completed my Yoga Teacher certification this summer here at Rutgers and I am also a 2016 graduate of the Ed.M. Dance Education program and a 2015 B.F.A. in Dance graduate. My job with the summer program is to network with the nurses and athletic trainer to make sure all of the dancers’ wellness needs are being met. If you have an injury or don’t feel well, please come to me for help or let any of your counselors know!

Quiz Question: My favorite animal comes with me everywhere I go and it helps me to keep eyes on you in class! Can you figure out what my favorite animal is?


Brittany Barnwell HeadshotBrittany Barnwell

I am a 2016 graduate of the Ed.M Dance Education program at Rutgers University.  I received my B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Northern Illinois University in 2010.  I am very excited for another GREAT summer!
Quiz Question:  My favorite prop to use when I teach is ______________.


steven c

Steven Concepcion

I graduated with a B.F.A. in Dance performance from Rutgers University (2013) and I am currently a Rutgers graduate student completing a degree in Dance Education. I have worked as a counselor and dance educator in other camps throughout  the state of New Jersey. I’m excited to meet all of the campers and I’m looking forward to a great summer filled with dance!
Quiz question:  I enjoy traveling and recently visited a country in Europe, can you guess which one? Ask and I will give you come clues!

Garamh Kim

Garamh Kim

I am a current Ed.M. Dance Education graduate student. I also teach college Ballet classes in the Dance Department.

Quiz Question: I have lived in several other countries. Will you be able to figure out which before the program ends?



sara m

Sara Martino

I am an upcoming B.F.A. dance senior here at the Rutgers Mason Gross Dance Department. I was recently admitted to the Ed.M. Dance Education program. So I will complete both my B.F.A and Ed.M. degree in five years total, along with my PK-12 dance teacher certification. This is a unique program in the country — feel free to ask me about it. I am truly looking forward to meeting all of you and sharing my love for dance over the course of these next two weeks!
Quiz Question: I was once featured on a television show!  Can you guess what is was for?


 Ashleigh M headshot

Ashleigh Morrow 

I am a current Ed.M. Dance Education graduate student and I’m interested in how dance experiences can serve children with special needs.  I’ll be assisting in the studios and helping to make the stay in the dorms comfortable and fun.  PS: Always wear a seat belt!

Quiz Question: I’m not from New Jersey. When you meet me, try to guess where I’m from!


jen s

Jen Silver

I just graduated from Mason Gross in May with my B.F.A in Dance and am now a part of the 2017 Ed.M. cohort. I attended Rutgers Dance Camp in 2012 as a student, so I’m excited to return as a counselor this year. Feel free to come to me with questions or if you just need a hug/laugh!
Quiz Question: I always wear the same necklace every day. Can you figure out what it is?

Natalie P2-8dff6

Natalie Swan

I am a 2015 graduate of the Ed.M. Dance Education program and I earned my American Ballet Theatre Pre-Primary to Level 3 teacher certificate on scholarship at Rutgers. I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and meeting many new dancers this year!

Quiz Question: Guess what kind of cross-training I like to do!


Visintainer Headshot

Becky Visintainer

I graduated with my B.F.A. in Dance in 2015 and my Ed.M. in Dance Education in 2016. This will be my third year as a camp counselor and teacher. I’m looking forward to working with all the dancers and to another exciting summer of dance!

Quiz Question:  I once accidentally walked onto a movie set during filming! Try to guess which one!


Counselor Highlights:

Some of your counselors began their careers at Rutgers by attending the summer program in the past!  

Njelama Dacas

2011 Summer Program Alumna
2015 BFA Dance
2016 EdM Dance Education 
When I think back on my time in the Rutgers Summer Dance Camp and Conservatory I would have to say my favorite part was getting the chance to dance every day in the same space that Mason Gross dancers use almost all the time during the academic school year. It was almost as if I was getting to dance at the Joyce Theater every day and it really puts you in the mindset that “I am present and here to dance !”When I attended the Rutgers Summer Dance Camp and Conservatory I was already accepted into Mason Gross School of the Arts as a dance major so I was really trying to get a feel for the Rutgers dance lifestyle before the fall semester began. What I loved is that the same teachers Mason Gross students have for their classes are the same ones that you have during the summer. I got a feel for what this program would be like while also getting a taste of the rigor needed to be successful in the program. Being a graduate of the 2015 class of Mason Gross dancers I feel like this first initial step into the camp/ conservatory was the most important for my college dance career.

It is great to come back as a teacher and head counselor because I have the insiders scoop of what it was like to be in the throws of everything and feel unsure during the first couple of days…BUT IT IS OKAY! You will have so much fun dancing, learning and networking with new people. You meet friends that last a lifetime! I’m excited to meet you (dancers) and LETS HAVE SOME FUN! – Nje Dacas

Photo Credit: Tom Caravaglia

Caitlyn Barrows

2007 Summer Program Alumna
2013 BFA Dance
2014 EdM Dance Education

In 2007 I attended the summer dance program at Rutgers and had the experience of a lifetime! I remember my favorite part of the summer program was the fact that I was getting to experience dance in so many new ways. I was so excited to be completely immersed in dance for an entire two weeks with so many other passionate dancers, many of whom I still keep in touch with today! After attending this program I felt extremely confident when applying to colleges as a dance major because I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. From living in a dorm, to eating in the dining hall, to studying from notable college professors, attending the program really gave me a sense of what it would be like to be a dance major. I was so excited to return to the program as a counselor and teacher! It was so fulfilling to watch the students have a blast and continuously improve each day. I am so thankful that I am able to contribute and give back to the program that was such a memorable part of my personal dance history. A piece of advice that I have is don’t be afraid to take chances and try something new…really go for it and take advantage of the fabulous dance community we will create together! I am excited to meet you (dancers) and I can’t wait to have a blast together this summer! – Caitlyn Barrows

Brittany Cohen

2011 Summer Program Alumna
2015 BFA Dance
2016 EdM Dance Education
2016 Rutgers/OM Factory Yoga Teacher Certification

I came to the summer program because I wanted to know what it would be like to study dance in college. I got more than I could have hoped for from the experience. I learned about the all the possibilities there are to have a dance career, trained intensely, and made some amazing connections. Returning as a counselor is important to me. I want to be able to guide young dancers to claim their dance identities and realize all of the possibilities that the dance world offers. I wish the best of luck to all of you and hope that you hold onto your passion for movement and expression. Do what you love! I look forward to supporting you through your artistic journey while at the summer dance program. – Brittany Cohen

Jen Silver

2011 Summer Program Alumna
2015 American Ballet Theatre Pre-Primary-Level 3 Certified
2016 BFA Dance
2017 EdM Dance Education Candidate
I attended the Rutgers Pre-College Summer Dance Program in 2012, right before I entered freshman year as a B.F.A dance major at Mason Gross. This program not only helped me become familiar with the campus and faculty, which was comforting when I started school, but also gave me a taste of modern dance (having mostly studied ballet growing up). I also really enjoyed having the chance to learn repertory pieces by faculty members during my summer at Rutgers, which prepared me to be cast in pieces on other occasions during college here. I’m excited to return to camp as a counselor, having just graduated with my B.F.A. and now working towards my master’s degree in dance teacher preparation. I hope to have the chance to witness and take part in the rapid growth of all of the dancers attending, just as I experienced four years ago. – Jen Silver