SPEAKERS & SCHEDULE

Johnathan Royse Windham

Representing: MORE2DANCE

Speaking & Teaching  at: 11:15 am VIRTUALLY

 

Jonathan Royse Windham is a native of Vail, Colorado and a graduate of Battle Mountain High School in 2005. He is excited to be back in Colorado sharing his love for dance in the Vail Valley and MORE2Dance couldn’t be more honored to announce he has joined our team of instructors. Jonathan grew up with a musical theater background he has always had an affinity for character, movement, humor and choreography. He attended SUNY Purchase after high school concentrating in ballet, and spent a season with American Repertory Ballet. After ARB he worked with Gallim Dance touring the continental US as well as Europe, and was featured on the Fall for Dance advertisements in 2010. He was also named one of Dance Magazines “25 to Watch” for 2013. Jonathan also spent time with Company XIV dancing in Nutcracker Rouge. He most recently finished performing in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway as part of the original revival company. In addition, He has worked with the Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Brice Mousset (OUI danse), Chris Masters,Terra Firma Dance Theater, The Kevin Wynn Collective, Ramon Oller, Alexandre Proia, and the DASH Ensemble.


In the Summer of 2013 he was a part of a new creation with Brian Brooks that premiered at the Vail International Dance Festival dancing with Teresa Reichland and Tyler Angle of New York City Ballet. He has taught all over the country at many prestigious universities including Harvard University, University of Michigan, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Martha Graham School, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Oswego, Skidmore College, Houston School for the Performing Arts, Goucher College, Dancewave and the Capezio Peridance Center.
https://www.jonathanroysewindham.com/video

MORE2Dance Bio:

MORE2Dance offers children's dance programs for any and all types of dancers, including:

  • Recreational Dance Classes 

  • Company Program 

  • Competitive Programs 

  • Summer Dance Camps and Intensives 

We also offer these fun and exciting options: 

  • Birthday Parties 

  • Pop Up Classes - Guest Hip Hop Instructor Class, Guess Salsa Instructor Class 

  • Studio Rental for Events 

  • Themed Dance Parties 

  • Team Building Work Events 

  • DJ Music Classes

Sam Litt

&

Kaselynn Komives

Representing: SpeakUp ReachOut 

Speaking at : 12:00 pm IN PERSON

Sam Litt was born in Vail, Colorado and grew up in the valley. He attended Vail Mountain School for his elementary education, Eagle County Charter Academy for middle school, and graduated from Battle Mountain High School in 2018. Sam enjoyed competing with the speech and debate team, performing in the school musicals, and GG. He will be a junior at the College of William & Mary in Virginia this fall, majoring in Bioethics with a minor in Psychology. Sam is a member of the William and Mary mock trial team and scuba club, and enjoys traveling to competition and dives alike with these organizations. This summer, Sam has worked with Mountain Youth to help plan the He(Art) of the Vail Valley’s Youth event, and is interning with Eagle Valley Behavioral Health and My Future Pathways. As a Wellness Ambassador at the College, Sam has helped to plan wellness events and worked to break down the stigma of mental illness on campus. As such, he was excited to get involved with furthering behavioral health work and advocacy here in the valley. Representing EVBH and SpeakUp ReachOut, Sam will be speaking on his experience with mental illness, depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation. After living with these issues, he believes that the most important step in overcoming mental illness is to stop asking “why do I feel this way?” and instead ask “what can I do about it?”.

Kaselynn Komives, who grew up in our community, is eager to make a difference. Her journey with behavioral health issues began when she became pregnant at age 15 with her daughter, JoJo, who is now eight years old. A year after her daughter was born, her father passed away to suicide. Life was not easy and she struggled everyday with depression. It was a dark time trying to figure out how to move forward. Two years ago she also lost her dearest friend to suicide. Kaselyn is motivated to provide courage and assistance to others and hopefully make life-lasting friendships in the process.  

Gerry Lopez

Representing: Eagle Valley Behavioral Health 

Speaking at: 12:45pm IN PERSON

 

Gerry Lopez was born in Mexico but came to the United States at the age of five. Gerry grew up in Avon, Colorado and attended Meadow Mountain Elementary School, Minturn Middle, Homesteak Peak School, Battle Mountain High School and Eagle Valley High School.

Gerry worked as the youth advisor for Mountain Youth straight after high school and was there for about two years. Gerry is now full time as the youth engagement coordinator for Eagle Valley Behavioral Health where he works alongside many local organizations to amplify the youth voice and ideas. Gerry is also a full-time student at Colorado Mountain College and is now pursuing his bachelor’s degree in business administration. Gerry sits on the board for Speak Up Reach Out and Red Ribbon Project. Gerry is a recipient of the Epic Promise Scholarship from Vail Resorts, Palmer Family Foundation Scholarship and My Future Pathways scholarship as well.

Gerry has burned out multiple times which is why outside of work and school Gerry focuses on his overall health. Mind, body and spirit. Gerry loves to go on trail runs, hit the gym, meditate and spend time with his loved ones. Doing all this helps Gerry stay balanced and happy.

Susanne Graf

Representing: Vail Mind Center

Speaking at: 1:15pm VIRTUALLY

 

Susanne Graf Art Therapist- Visual art, art making, and helping others have always been my passions. Sketchbooks document my journey through childhood and became more important to me as a teen. After having studied Studio Art as an undergrad, I went on to obtain a master’s degree in Art Therapy and a few years later a Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis in sculpture. I have been practicing art therapy since 2004, primarily with children and teens, and I am currently an Art Therapist at The Vail Mind Center as well as the Art Department chair and teacher at Vail Mountain School. I was also recently elected to the board of Vail’s Art in Public Places. Prior to moving to the Vail Valley, I taught in the New York City public schools for a decade working with special needs children and teens. In this setting, I used my training as both an art educator and art therapist to create a therapeutic classroom. I also worked as an art therapist at an alternative youth center in NYC catering to disenfranchised youth. I have witnessed the power of the creative process and the positive effects art making offers through a nonjudgmental experience. This form of nonverbal expression can offer a better understanding of self as well as relief from symptoms of mental health challenges. This process can offer a feeling of mastery and accomplishment. There is also the inherent calming and restorative effect of simply doodling or even coloring. Art making is an experience that makes us human, and one that also has the ability to help us to heal.

Sonia Mejia

Representing: Hearts Reign

Speaking at: 1:45 pm IN PERSON

 

Sonia Mejia founder and Director of Hearts Reign, a Latino community peer-run organization that works to promote and strengthen the values of self-help, mutual support, recovery, and advocacy in Eagle River Valley.
Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. I have been living in the United States for more than 20 years. My commitment, passion, and dedication to the issue of mental health stem from my experience as a person living with a mental health condition. I was diagnosed at age 18 with bipolar disorder. I have lived through many difficult stages over the years but have always tried to be proactive in dealing with my condition. I have long recognized that there are strengths in all of us that are there to help us deal with any problem. We have to be active participants in maintaining mental wellness and we can accomplish great things through commitment, support, and hope.
I have worked as a coordinator of educational programs for the Latino community in several states. I have implemented self-improvement and wellness groups for communities in Texas and Pennsylvania. I was part of community-led mental health awareness campaigns in Puerto Rico advocating for services and resources to high-risk communities.
More recently I worked as the Program Coordinator for Eagle and Gypsum with The Literacy Project of Eagle county.

 

Peer Specialist
MHFA Instructor
CPR Certified
Daytona State University BSN in Nursing Sciences, 2000

Art Lesson at: 2:00 pm VIRTUALLY

 

Alpine Arts Center offers visual arts classes, workshops, drop-in sessions, events, and public exhibits, with the goal of providing joy to the community through the visual arts. Classes are led by a fantastic group of teaching in mediums such as Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Photography, Sculpture, Computer Graphics, Jewelry Making, and Arts and Crafts.  Whether you are interested in learning a new craft or you are a professional artist looking to enhance your technique, Alpine Arts Center offers art for all ages at all stages.

Alpine Arts Center is dedicated to providing a diverse visual arts education for emerging and established artists of all ages. A broad spectrum of classes, open workshops, drop-in sessions, summer programs, birthday parties, exhibits, public events, and outreach programs are offered to foster the appreciation, practice, and enjoyment of the visual arts throughout the Vail Valley and beyond.

Alpine Arts Center

Owen (Drake) Brown

Teacher and Coach at EVHS

Speaking at: 2:30 pm IN PERSON

 

Owen (Drake) Brown- My talk is about how every single person has the ability and capacity to lead their best possible life regardless of age, (dis)ability, race, sexual orientation, or anything else imaginable. I will address failure and adversity, belonging and belief, relationships with self and others, and how they all connect. Everything I speak on will be aimed at helping yourself and those around you to ultimately pave the way for a world filled with kindness. 

 

 

Mikaela Shiffrin

 

 

Professional Alpine Skier and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist

Speaking at: 3:15 pm VIRTUALLY