Dance Mogul Magazine had the honor of being invited to this year’s Young Choreographer’s Festival (YCF). From the start to the finish the overall energy of young talent was hard not to feel. You could clearly see the hours of dedication that were put into the pieces and that all of the dancers were excited to express themselves through original work. All the acts had great costumes and musical choices. Everything had a young fresh perspective to it which kept the audience engaged throughout the night. What Emily Bufferd is doing with the YCF, is what young dancers have been craving since the dance craze started in the ‘80’s: a platform for young people to express themselves freely and professionally, but also receive credit for their hard work. Dance Mogul Magazine is in full support of the YCF and we encourage all young up and coming dancers to experience what the festival has to offer. Dance Mogul Magazine had the privilege to speak with some of the choreographers and staff involved with making this year’s YCF so special.


Here’s what some of the young choreographers had to say


I am grateful for the opportunity to present my work as the person/artist that I currently am– a young choreographer. The festival presents an experience for individuals like myself with ideas and plans that need mentoring and guidance in order to develop into work that is nurtured and fully realized in order to be presented on the stage. YCF was the perfect tool for this kind of challenge and I feel I can take all the knowledge and experience that I’ve gathered during YCF and put it into practice in my next stages of growth and creation. Rachel M. Hettinger


I would like to share a few thoughts on my recent experience with the Young Choreographer’s Festival under the direction of Emily Bufferd. The event itself is not only a platform to showcase your most recent works, but rather an informative and inspirational experience where I learned many valuable lessons about myself and all aspects of the dance world. The use of the word “festival” hits the nail on the head because festivals are celebrations that bring people together. The word “showcase” alone would not do this event any justice. Emily has taken this one step further and allows all of the off-stage aspects of this project to be just as special as the performance itself. I encourage any and all upcoming choreographers who wish to have a peek inside at what it’s all about to submit your work to the Young Choreographer’s Festival next season. Ms. Bufferd has created a priceless collective of performance, information, motivation and most importantly knowledge of how to navigate ourselves towards our future goals. 
KC Castellano


From the day I heard about the Young Choreographer’s Festival it became a goal of mine. Receiving word that I had been accepted was like winning the lottery. I was grateful, humbled and excited to take on such a huge event. Sharing this experience with my dancers – my girlfriend and best friends – was all I could ask for. Watching my work come alive on the YCF stage was a dream come true and I am so lucky to be an alumni of such an amazing and widely renown festival. It was the most memorable experience of my life to date. –Steven Blandino



It was such an honor to be a part of the Young Choreographer’s Festival this year. This event is amazing because it allows young artists the opportunity to challenge themselves and learn in a nurturing and inspiring environment. It gives us the opportunity to present work alongside many talented individuals with the help of experienced mentors and professionals in the business. I am so thankful to Emily for inspiring me to do what I love most. This experience has given me the confidence to pursue a career as a professional choreographer and continue to grow artistically. Being able to share with others what I love is extremely rewarding as a young artist. It was a joy to work alongside the people that I did, and it is an experience that I will take with me throughout the rest of my life. -Sarah Richman



As a 19-year-old choreographer, I was overjoyed to be acknowledged among the many talented young artists in the field. It was such a relaxed and warm atmosphere where no one had to compete, but rather witness and encourage rising talent. It was so nice to see so many familiar faces there and to see dancers, choreographers, and audience members all engage supportively toward one another. Unlike other events, The Young Choreographer’s Festival is a gathering of hearts and minds to celebrate the talent of young artists and to showcase the future of dance. It was a humbling and gratifying experience to be a part of something so special. The Young Choreographer’s Festival is one of those rare, inspiring events that brings the entire dance community together, allowing us all to be a part of something larger than ourselves. –Stephanie Troyak





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