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River Valley Dance Project (RVDP) was founded in 2014 with Linalynn Schmelzer as Director.  RVDP's mission is to create a community where individuals feel empowered to explore, create and engage with dance.  RVDP  collaborates with dancers, musicians, artists, and film producers on and off the stage.  Currently, offering performances in galleries, public spaces, schools, and on the concert stage.  RVDP in SoMA is a school that offers education, classes, and events in dance, fitness, yoga, capoeira, and wellness to support the development of a lifelong love of movement at every age.

At RVDP we nurture physical literacy!

  • Develop movement intelligence

  • Build physical and mental confidence

  • Motivate the love of physical activity

  • Empower students to be comfortable expressing themselves

  • Practice making personal progress, not being perfect!

Movement For Life

Linalynn Schmelzer MS, BFA, CPPES

Linalynn Schmelzer

Linalynn is the Director of the River Valley Dance Project. Her nearly two decades of experience as a performer, choreographer, and teacher have taken her to New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and throughout CT.  Linalynn was a member of the O’Brian Dancers, Sorvino Dance Project, Judie Clark Dance Theater, and La Claire Dancers.  In 2014 Linalynn created and founded River Valley Dance Project in Deep River, CT.


Linalynn continues to work with artists, photographers, musicians, and film producers to create original dance works.  Her choreography is rooted in collaboration and revolves around themes of nature and human relationships. 

She holds a bachelor’s in fine art in Dance from the University of Massachusetts Five College Dance Departments and a master’s in science in Dance/Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute, NY.


Linalynn received an Artist Grant from National Endowment for the Arts in 2011 and again in 2019. Recent works have been presented at Green Space in New York, Spectrum Gallery in Connecticut, Buttonwood Tree in Middletown CT, 5x5 Dance Festival at the University of Saint Joseph in Hartford CT, and Raw Artist at the Oakdale Theater, CT.   


Linalynn joined the Connecticut Dance Alliances Board in 2018 and in 2020 became the active Secretary.

In 2022 Linalynn completed Fit For Birth certification and is certified in Pre and Post Natal Corrective Exercise and Core Consulting.   

RVDP  has expanded and has a studio at SoMA, located at 500 Main Street in Deep River, CT.  Linalynn is the resident dance artist in SoMA and she is delighted to bring her joy and passion for dance and movement to her community and beyond. 

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