A faculty of experienced and dedicated teaching artists is trained in our nationally recognized best-practices.

Peter Burroughs, Opera and Spanish Dance
Marla Bush, Spanish Dance
Annetta Dexter Sawyer, Healing Movement
Joan Fraser, Creative Movement and Drama
Nancy Havlik, Dance, Quicksilver Co-Director
Anthony Hyatt, Music and Dance, Quicksilver Co-Director
Wall Matthews, Music
Donna McKee, Visual Art
Sandy Roachford, Dance
Carol Siegel, Expressive Arts
Miles Spicer, Music
Karen Webber Gilat, Music
Tobias Werner, Music
Candace Wolf, Storytelling
Marcie Wolf-Hubbard, Visual Art

Quicksilver Senior Improv Dance Company: Jaya Adiga, Judith Bauer, Dorothy Britt, Gloria Buckberg, Sachiko Chang, Ruby Chapman, Susan Coco, Gretchen Dunn, Margaret Easter, Roberta Geier, Nancy Harris, Carolyn Hill, Dorothy Levy, Jenean McKay, Naomi Morse, Peg Schaefer, Betty Shuford.

AFTA accepts applications for new Teaching Artists on a rolling basis – learn how to apply here.

“The wonder of each person’s unique story continues to amaze me and reaffirm my own artistic journey” – Nancy Havlik


Peter Burroughs

B.M. in Music from Ithaca College; M.M. in Opera Performance and Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland, College Park.  A versatile singing actor, Peter’s repertoire encompasses opera, oratorio, musical theatre, Shakespeare, traditional art song recital, zarzuela and the dance music of Latin America. He debuted in 1999 with The Washington Opera and has since performed with the company extensively. In addition to his work with AFTA, Burroughs is an Artist Mentor for the Washington Opera, helping grade school students write and produce original operas. He also develops outreach programs with the Spanish Dance Society of Washington, D.C. Peter leads the AFTA workshops “La Movida” and “Co-Operation”.

Marla Bush

B.A. and M.A., American University and an M.S.W., University of California, Berkeley. Marla has over 20 years experience performing Flamenco and other Spanish dances with the Spanish Dance Society and the Raquel Pena dance troupe. Dance venues have included everything from nursing homes to the Kennedy Center. Marla has led school outreach programs and taught Spanish dance in Washington, DC and in Florida. In her “day job” at the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, she has developed projects with art therapy associations that use the arts with healthy and frail elderly. For AFTA, she leads “La Movida”, an interactive Spanish dance program.

Annetta Dexter Sawyer

B.A/ English, minor Communications, Rutgers University; New Jersey State Teacher’s Certification; MA Performing Arts-Dance, American University. Annetta is an awarded teaching artist with the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County and an awarded poet for the Arlington Humanities Project pick-a-poet public school residency program.  She works as a college professor in the areas of Fine Arts, Dance, Theatre, and Interdisciplinary Studies/Integrated Arts.  As a performing artist she has often received critical acclaim.  She collaborates with the ensemble Dance Performance Group, often works with adjunct artists from the Dance Exchange, and is an Associate Artist with Faction of Fools Theatre Company, recipient of the Helen Hayes/John Aniello award for emerging theater company.  Annetta devises original theatre pieces that speak to her personal experience through choreography, spoken word, and projected imagery or props.  Her workshops in Healing Movement/Healing Stories (TM) and Art for Everyone, an interdisciplinary look at expressive arts, have been awarded by Arts for the Aging, Inc.  Her newest class is Dance for the Young at Heart at Glen Echo Arts Park in cooperation with the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts & Culture, Inc., the National Park Service and Montgomery County, Maryland.  Annetta’s dance studies have influenced her interest in physical comedy.  She currently also plays many roles as a clown.

Joan Hampton Fraser

B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Ithaca College, M.A. in Education and Human Development with a Specialization in Dance from George Washington University, Psychodrama Certification from the DC Commission on Mental Health Services. Joan has been a Creative Arts Consultant for 25 years. She has worked with many populations of people and has specialized in working with people in the “Third Age” of their lives. She has utilized her extensive background in psychotherapy, family therapy, dance therapy and systems theory to complement her artistic work. Joan studied with Liz Lerman for several years at the Dance Exchange, having started her work with seniors and dance at that time. Joan utilizes dance/movement for artistic expression and to help build a sense of community and belonging. In her AFTA workshops she leads the Marvelous Musicals, Creative Writing and Creative Movement programs.

Nancy Havlik

Nancy Havlik has 25 years of experience teaching interactive creative movement/dance workshops for older adults through Arts for the Aging (AFTA). She has a BS and MA from Northwestern University Speech Department with a degree as a Speech Pathologist.  She has studied dance/dance improvisation with Robert Dunn, Simon Forti, Susan Rethorst and John Jaspers and physical theater with Saskia Hegt.   With AFTA, Havlik presents interactive workshops for  people living independently and also those with physical and/or mental impairment in community centers, day health programs and nursing homes.   Nancy Havlik and Donna McKee received a Met Life Grant though Arts for the Aging in 2012 to present a series of workshops for older adults called Moving Art that introduces the connection between visual art and dance; the gesture of making lines on paper and the gesture of the moving body in space.  Havlik and Anthony Hyatt co-direct Quicksilver, an AFTA sponsored improvisational dance company whose members are 65 and older.  Quicksilver presents performances and  workshops for frail seniors throughout the Washington metropolitan area.  Nancy Havlik is also Artistic Director/Choreographer of Dance Performance Group, a small experimental company of professional dancers and musicians. Dance Performance Group has performed extensively in the Washington DC area and in New York and Eastern Europe. Carmel Morgan called Havlik’s choreography ‘gloriously beautiful to behold…inspirational” (Ballet-Dance Magazine).


Anthony Hyatt

With primary artistic disciplines in music and dance, Anthony’s long interest in the role and use of improvisation techniques in the creative process has made him into a sought after leader at international conferences such as those of the USA based Creative Education Foundation and of CREA – the Creativity European Association. He does additional creativity consulting and facilitation work through his own organization, Moving Beauty. In recent years this work has merged with his role as an AFTA artist and he has been honored to become one of the master trainers of the National Center for Creative Aging. Under their auspices Anthony has been representing AFTA as a recognized best practice program in the rapidly emerging field of Creative Aging. In his violin programs for AFTA, Anthony draws upon a diverse repertoire ranging from works of the classical composers to fiddle tunes, ethnic music and jazz standards. He also co-leads collaborative multidisciplinary and intergenerational programs with other AFTA artists, such as “Moving Art”, and is co-director with Nancy Havlik of Quicksilver.

Wall Matthews

Wall Matthews is a composer /performer whose career began in 1968. He was a founding member of the visionary Entourage Music and Theater Ensemble which released two critically acclaimed recordings for Smithsonian Folkways in the early 70’s. Since then he has had a solo career performing throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. From 1978 – 1994 he served as Composer In Residence for Dance at Connecticut College, where he composed music for such companies as The Royal Danish Ballet and The Paris Opera Ballet. He has released 9 critically acclaimed solo recordings. From 1994-2012, as Vice President of Creative for Clean Cuts Music, he composed and produced music The Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, National Geographic, and The History Channel, as well as numerous independent film projects and national ad agencies. He was nominated in 2010 for an Emmy, for his work on Yellowstone: Battle For Survival. He currently resides in Columbia, MD, where in addition to his ongoing solo work, he is a co-founder of Dancing Egg Music, an original custom music company.

Donna McKee

B.A., Art History, American University; M.A. Ed. Art Education, University of Hartford; M.A. Art History, American University. Formerly the Director of Education at the Philips Collection and currently adjunct faculty at the Corcoran School of Art, Donna has brought both art history and visual art workshops to AFTA seniors. She has given talks on Georgia O’Keefe and Alfred Stieglitz, Honore Daumier, Romare Bearden, and her penchant for collage work guides seniors in mixed-media approaches that explore rhythm, visual movement, color and texture. Donna leads AFTA workshops in Visual Art and co-taught the series “Moving Art”.

Sandra Roachford

M.A. The American University; B.F.A. in dance, The Boston Conservatory of Music. Sandy has 16 years of experience teaching dance, drama, movement and performance technique at Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts/Imagination Stage. She has performed dance and theater work with Nancy Havlik’s Dance Performance Group and performed in Washington, D.C.’s first Fringe Festival. Sandy has choreographed numerous works both locally and in New York. A typical Creative Movement workshop from Sandy includes stretching and warming up, one-on-one interaction to create and share movement born from imagery, rhythm and sound, and often in closing, a group dance fostering interaction and a sense of community.

Carol Siegel

M.A. in Expressive Therapies from Lesley College in Cambridge, MA, and B.A. in Art History and Psychology from American University. Carol trained through the D.C. Humanities program in Poetry Therapy and interned at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. She also facilitated groups in poetry and expressive arts at The Art and Drama Institute in D.C. as well as local hospitals. She has presented ideas on her groups with seniors at several national conferences. She is a former professional photographer and has exhibited in many galleries including The Corcoran Gallery of art. She taught photography on many levels and has worked in some art form all her life. Carol has been teaching with AFTA for 13 yrs. She is a collage artist and uses that media along with story, poetry and movement in her work-shops.

Miles Spicer

B.A., Economics, University of Maryland College Park. A Washington area native, Miles plays acoustic blues in the Piedmont style mixing in influences of Jazz, Blues, Soul, Funk, Rock, Cajun and Zydeco. He is the principle guitarist in M.S.G. The Acoustic Blues Trio and The Riverdale Ramblers. Miles was mentored in the Piedmont guitar style by Mike Baytop and is a founding director of the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation.

Tobias Werner

Tobias Werner has been the cellist in residence and co-artistic director at Garth Newel Music Center from 1999 until 2012.  He currently is the artistic director of VERGE ensemble, ensemble-in-residence at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. and teaches at Georgetown University. He has performed at the Cape and Islands Chamber Music Festival, Villa Musica Mainz, the San Diego Chamber Music Workshop, the Vail Valley Bravo! Colorado Music Festival, the Maui Classical Music Festival, in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Strathmore Hall, the Phillips Collection, the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the New York Society for Ethical Culture, and at Bargemusic. Tobias has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the US, France, Germany, and Romania, and recent performances have included the concertos of Dvorák, Elgar, Haydn, and Boccherini. He has recorded on the ECM, Darbringhaus & Grimm, Bayer Records, and Orfeo labels. Recent CD releases include Piano Quartets by Mozart, Brahms, Dvorák, and Martinu with the Garth Newel Piano Quartet, the Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by J.S. Bach, and the Sonatas for Piano and Cello by Beethoven with Victor Asuncion. Tobias studied at the Musikhochschule Freiburg in Germany, and at Boston University. His teachers have included Andrés Díaz, Christoph Henkel, and Xavier Gagnepain. He plays on an 1844 J.F. Pressenda cello.

Karen Webber Gilat

B.A. English and Theatre/Dance from Trinity College in Hartford CT, and a Masters in Sacred Music/ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in NYC. For the last 25 years, Karen has created original scripts (with music) for workshops performed in parks, elderhostels, board rooms, houses of worship, college classrooms, and on stage. Her poems have been published in Breaking Ground: A publication of the TN Council on Developmental Disabilities and Faith, Hope, and Recovery in Letters: a publication of the Healing Arts Project both of Nashville, TN. Lilith Magazine published an article/ritual of Karen’s in the summer of 2008. A recipient of an ‘Arts as Basic in Community’ grant from the State of Tennesee, Karen crafted a program based on the writings of East Tennessee author Mildred Haun performed by 6 girls 7 to 17. In N.E.P.A, she received a Lackawanna County arts grant to stage: Black Diamonds For a Blues Lady-an Anthracite Coal Cabaret. Karen has served as Cantor to congregations in every quadrant of the U.S., and as a chaplain in prisons, mental health facilities and currently with JSSA-The Jewish Social Service Agency in Rockville, MD. She currently performs ‘Welcome to Chestnut Lodge’ a one woman show based on the life and work of psychoanalyst Frieda Fromm Reichmann for the Montgomery Speakers Bureau. Karen is thrilled to bring ‘Folk in the Living Room’ to AFTA, a series of programs charting the development of the American Folk Song.

Candace Wolf

Candace Wolf is a Storyteller-in-Residence with the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She has lived and worked among migrant Gypsies in Europe, Mayan Indians in the rain forest of Central America, itinerant circus performers in Mexico, goat herders in Italy, fishermen on the Canary Islands, rice farmers in Indonesia, artisans in the Middle East, and coal miners in Appalachia. As a performing artist and educator, Candace is dedicated to preserving our rich heritage of oral literature and providing a valuable service to the elderly members of our community. Candace is creator and artistic director of the Witnessing Project, an intergenerational oral history initiative that invites older adults to share personally significant stories from their lives with young people, who in turn transform these stories into dramatic, literary and visual works of art that honor and celebrate the life histories and wisdom of their elders. Candace is currently engaged in an ambitious oral history project that has taken her on a global journey. She is humbled by the powerful life histories she has recorded from a diverse representation of people including migrant farm-workers and merchant seaman in the U.S.–to a visionary outsider artist and “Seed-Keeper” in India. These stories will eventually be published as an anthology. For AFTA, Candace leads sessions combining storytelling with music and movement.

Marcie Wolf-Hubbard

B.A. from the University of Maryland in Studio Art and studied Fine Art & Illustration at the Maryland Institute, College of Art.  Marcie has received numerous grants from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, along with other Art Councils to work in the community with children and adults, including individuals with special needs. Her paintings have been exhibited widely on the East Coast.  Marcie has illustrated for magazines and books, as well as worked as a courtroom illustrator. Marcie used encaustic painting to illustrate her husband, David Hubbard’s children’s book, The Shiny Shell ,an environmental fantasy. Her nature paintings will be included in Ashley Rooney’s upcoming book, Green Art: Trees, Roots, and Leaves, featuring international artists.  Marcie is an instructor at Glen Echo Park and teaches art in her studio at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Silver Spring, MD.


Quicksilver is AFTA’s dance improvisation company of senior adults, aged 60 years and over. The dancers, most of whom are octogenarians, employ structured improvisational dance pieces inspired by master teachers and artists such as Robert Dunn, Simone Forti, Ruth Zaporah, Eiko & Komo and others in the field of contact improvisation. Quicksilver’s vitality, humor, and rich, varied life experiences inform their development, performance and engagement in improvisational dance. Co-directed by AFTA teaching-artists Anthony Hyatt and Nancy Havlik, Quicksilver leads interactive workshops for AFTA seniors throughout the metro area. Public performances have included those at the International D.C. Improvisation Festival, Executive’s Ball of Montgomery County, D.C. Elderfest, Joe’s Movement Emporium, the Atlas Intersections Festival, University of Maryland, and conferences for National Aphasia Association, American Art Therapy Association, the National Center for Creative Aging and the National Council on Aging. Quicksilver was the 2013 recipient of the Maryland Governor’s Leadership in Aging Award.