Taking Flight, an afternoon of modern & cultural dance



Saturday, September 24th,

Arts on the Lake

640 NY-52, Carmel Hamlet, NY 10512

4 p.m.


Rain date: Sunday September 25th, 2 p.m.

Link for tickets: https://artsonthelake.org/event

Putnam County Dance Project (PCDP) is joined by guest master dancers in a celebration of cultures and dreams, highlighted by the true story of one woman’s journey from refugee to record-breaking Pilot and World Ambassador for STEM

education. The professional resident modern dance company is joined by NYC guest dancers from around the world, each presenting dances from their country/region including: West Africa, Argentina, Bali, Egypt, India, Israel, Japan, Peru, and Spain. Local Putnam resident, Salma Khowaja, of Afghan heritage coached PCDP dancers in some traditional steps of the “Attan” dance helping them create their own performance version of this national dance of Afghanistan.


PCDP returns outdoors to Arts on the Lake with a late afternoon performance of authentic folk and modern dance inspired by the children’s book, “Fly Girl Fly”. This biographical children’s book, written by Nancy Roe Pimm, tells the story of Shaesta Waiz, who grows from a small child escaping Afghanistan to an inspiring American Pilot flying solo around the world. She flies to five continents, including back to Afghanistan, becoming a role model to many young people encouraging them to pursue education and their own dreams. This real- life story serves as the through line that takes us all over the world to several countries Shaesta visited and others. Join us for an amazing afternoon of dances about moving beyond borders and pursuing your dreams and a uniquely bountiful presentation of authentic world dances. Modern dances by resident Putnam County Dance Project co-creators Erin Jennings and Marie Carstens weave the story as it is narrated. PDCP dancers Steven Jeltsch, Faith Kimberling and Justin Wingenroth join Erin and Marie, turning the pages of this story through collaborative dance works.


Local musician Pierre de Gaillande collaborated with PCDP, composing original music for this production. Arts on the Lake will host this family-friendly event and invites all to enjoy the view by Lake Carmel as this diverse group of dancers join together to tell this important story.

Stay tuned for the book signing! Writer Nancy Roe Pimm, author of “Fly, Girl, Fly”, the inspirational children’s story about Shaesta Waiz, will be coming for a book signing during that September weekend.


This project is made possible, in part, through the Putnam Arts Council Arts Link Grant Program with public funds provided through the NY State Council on the Arts with support from the Office of the Governor and the NY State Legislature. We are grateful to the Town of Southeast Cultural Arts Coalition, whose sponsorship is requisite for this grant. We are also very grateful to Arts on the Lake for their continued support of Putnam County Dance Project providing a residency for dance workshops and performances.

Tickets through Arts on the Lake.