Get to know the best in the area . . .


photo Cynthia Rauschert - Owner/Creative Director

Cynthia is thrilled to take on the leadership role at Spark Arts and knows she has big beautiful shoes to fill. With a background in arts education, including a few years running a cultural arts center in the San Francisco Bay Area, Cynthia is ready to take this wonderful adventure to the next level. Not only is she stepping in as Owner and Creative Director at Spark Arts, but she will also be creating a fully integrated circus skills program at the studio.

In 2009 Cynthia founded Circus Moves, a mobile circus arts education organization dedicated to inspiring and empowering people of all ages and abilities using the transformational powers of circus. Originally from a tiny town in New Jersey, she spent 2006-2016 honing her skills in the San Francisco Bay Area and is excited to bring her circus back to the east coast to merge with the other performing and visual arts programs at Spark Arts to grow the most extraordinary little arts center in the most extraordinary little city of Bethel. Since 2004 Cynthia has brought her coaching and performing skills to eighteen states, five countries, three continents, and one great big ship. But of course, there's no place like home.

     
photo Donna Santos Bosworth - Art Department Head

Teaching Artist - Studio Art, Sip & Paint

Donna is a certified art teacher for grades PreK - 12th, and has been teaching in CT for over 16 years. She has worked with all age students, and currently teaches at two Danbury Public Schools (Academy for International Studies Magnet and Morris St. Elem.). Donna is a Teacher/Artist - much of her own creativity comes out through the lesson designs she creates for the students. She also creates art, usually in chalk pastel painting, drawing and photography. Donna has two children who have gone through the Bethel schools, and two big dogs who keep her busy. She looks forward to working with the community to explore their own creative expressions with small class sizes in a comfortable and supportive environment.

 

     
photo Susan Cragg

Teaching Artist - Club Spark After School, Sip & Paint

Susan Cragg is both a wildlife enthusiast and an artist who specializes in watercolor and graphite pencil mediums. Her subjects range from wildlife to portraits of pets and their people. Susan graduated from East Bay Arts High School in 2010 and then attended Paul Smith's College in the Adirondacks for three years, where she studied Wildlife Science and Chemistry. She transferred to Iowa State University for her senior year and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Biology in December, 2015. Since then, Susan was employed as a Wildlife Research Assistant in South Texas and Iowa, where she spent her days stalking frogs, reptiles, raptors, songbirds, bats and small mammals. These experiences were very influential to her artwork, and she continues to enjoy every moment of it. Art is an integral part of her life as she pursues her career in Wildlife Biology.

     
photo Laura Volpintesta

Teaching Artist - Fashion Design, Samba Dance, Carnivale Dance, Drumming

Laura Volpintesta grew up in Bethel, CT, singing and doodling. She got her BFA at Parsons School of Design in NYC in 1995, with one year at their Paris school, all the while singing and dancing with gospel choirs, salsa bands, and jazz ensembles. She's been teaching fashion design and illustration, model drawing since 1997, along with a few years of sewing and draping. In 2001 she became a certified Music Together instructor with the birth of her second child and started being active as a singer on the local and NY Brazilian music scene. Today she lives with her 3 kids who are also active in the visual and performing arts.

     
photo Aalejandra Tudeta

Certified Fitness Instructor, Dance Instructor/Zumba, Latin Dynamic Fitnessista. Join my dance party, let's shake it!

     
photo Ashley Malbin

Teaching Artist - Ballet, Tap, Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz

Ashley grew up in Danbury and has been dancing since the age of 3, studying at local studios as well as training at studios in New York City and SUNY Purchase. She has trained dancers in tap, jazz, ballet, and contemporary for the past 15 years. Additionally, she has been in local productions of West Side Story and My Fair Lady (Danbury High School), as well as being cast as an extra in the Disney movie Life With Mikey. Ashley loves working with children of all ages and passing on her knowledge, passion, and love of dance and performing.

 

     
photo Kristie Liotta

Teaching Artist - Bellydance

Kristie has been a student of bellydance for the past 10 years, dancing her way through Pregnancy, Birth, and Motherhood. As a mother of 4, she passionately believes that woman can "only pour from a FULL teapot". She believes bellydance is the perfect way to "fill up", so that we can give..as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. Kristie is also a Licensed Professional Counselor and Doula. bringing her experience from these areas into the studio, to create a nurturing, intelligent, and sacred class just for you.

     
photo AJ Ascher

Teaching Artist - Ballet, all levels

Amity J. Ascher was born in NYC and began her dance life at the age of 5 or 6 at the Youskevitch School of Ballet where she was taught by Igor Youskevitch, Anna Scarpova and, Maria Youskevitch. From there she was accepted into New York City Ballet’s School of American Ballet, where she studied for many years and most notably with Alexandra Danilova, Suki Shorer, Felia Doubrovska among others. She had the privilege of working with Jerome Robbins in Circus Polka as a youth.

Aj performed at The New York State Theater with New York City Ballet in Balanchine’s repertoire: The Nutcracker Suite, Harlequinade, Coppelia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, etc.

As a dancer, Aj attended The High School of Performing Arts in New York City . While at Performing Arts, she trained in the classic modern technique of Martha Graham.

She went on to work and perform with a California based ballet company and upon returning to NY taught ballet to children in Harlem through a community based project that aimed to bring the classics to an underserved population. Aj has taught adult and teen classes continually throughout her career and her mastery of classical ballet can be seen in her class development from barre to center. She provides a clear and precise embrace of ballet technique while supporting and nurturing the sense of beauty, power and grace that are the signature of ballet.

     
photo Rachel Parille

Teaching Artist - Dance: multiple disciplines

Rachel discovered her love of dance when she took her first class at the age of 10. She was formally trained for 10 years at Larnel School of Performing Arts in tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop. She honed her skill and went on to choreograph multiple numbers at the studio. Before graduating, she created an art cabaret at her high school showcasing multiple dances and her very own choreography. After graduating high school she went on to teach dance at Seven Stars School of Performing Arts. While getting her degree, Rachel also perform on the dance team at her college, Western Connecticut State University.  For the past 4 years, Rachel has also learned line dancing. She has performed at multiple venues with Premiere Entertainment and has instructed others on the dance floor. She has also collaborated with other dancers in choreographing numerous line dances.