Faculty

Faculty

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Lori Lahnemann, Ed. M.

Director

Lori Lahnemann

Lori A. Lahnemann founded the Philadelphia Dance Academy in 2005 with the vision of creating a pre-professional training program that provides high level training in a healthy, constructive environment.  She began her teaching career at age 17 under the guidance of her long-time teacher, Nina Fedorova, New York City Ballet principal.

In 1999, she partnered with her mentor, Anna Maria Jones, and opened DanceSpace in Philadelphia, a program offering small group instruction in Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet, and Ballet Technique. She has been on faculty of the: The Dance Academy in Cherry Hill,  Rittenhouse Dance Academy, The University of the Arts, and the Ballet X Summer Intensive.

She received her formal ballet training from Scott Jovovich, principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet; Nina Fedorova, principal dancer with New York City Ballet; and Jeffrey Lyons, dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet and faculty of The San Francisco Ballet School. As a pre-professional student, she trained with Gloria Govrin and Yvonne Patterson of New York City Ballet.   She attended numerous programs throughout her training including: Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Boston Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Danza Contemporanea de Cuba (Havana), David Howard Center, Steps on Broadway with Willy Burmann, and The University of the Arts. 

In 2009, she completed a two-year intensive Pilates certification program under the direction of master teacher Karen H. Carlson and was certified by the Pilates Method Alliance.   

Ms. Lahnemann holds a Masters degree in Elementary Education and has taught in the School District of Philadelphia.

Ms. Lahnemann is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.  In 2018, she completed the Junior, Senior, and Pre-Professional training course in Progressing Ballet Technique.

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Kathryn Van Yahres

Assistant Director

Kathryn Van Yahres was born in Philadelphia, PA and received her formal training at The Rock School, Philadelphia.  In 2014, Ms. Kathryn completed her B.F.A, Magna Cum Laude, from Point Park University Conservatory of Performing Arts in Pittsburgh, PA. While attending Point Park University COPA, Ms. Kathryn received the Loti Folk Scholarship Award for academic and artistic excellence as well as other artistic scholarships. During her time in COPA, she performed principal and soloist roles in George Balanchine’s ballets “Serenade” and “Valse Fantasies”, as well as Nicolas Petrov’s “Romeo and Juliet”.

In 2011, Ms. Kathryn had the wonderful opportunity to dance with the company Huntsville Ballet in Huntsville, Alabama under the direction of Philip Otto for a season while continuing her studies as a full-time student at Calhoun Community College.  In July 2014, she debuted with Simerson & Co. at the Jacob’s Pillow Inside Out Stage. Since then, Ms. Kathryn has had the opportunity to perform as a company member with DanceSpora, Asya Zlatina + Dancers/Artist House, Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet, and Blythe Smith Contemporary Ballet.

In 2016, Ms. Kathryn completed a two-year intensive Pilates certification program under the direction of master teacher, Karen H. Carlson.  She currently works with private clients and teaches Pilates mat classes at PDA. Fun fact - Ms. Lori was Ms. Kathryn’s first Pilates teacher! 

Ms. Kathryn is honored to be the Assistant Director to a wonderful community of families at PDA.

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Jennifer Smith

Principal Teacher

Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith began her dance training when she was only three years old at a local dance studio in her hometown of Manahawkin, New Jersey. After seven years there, Ms. Smith continued her studies at Red Bank Dance Academy with Rosemary Boross before moving to attend high school at University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Ms. Smith graduated a year early to begin her professional career as an Apprentice with Pennsylvania Ballet in 1993 and was promoted to a member of the Corps de Ballet in 1994. She performed principal roles as Bianca, in John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew, Dewdrop, in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Lead Butterfly, in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the White Cat and Song Bird, in Janek Schergen’s The Sleeping Beauty. She has also danced leading roles in Balanchine’s Steadfast Tin Soldier and Western Symphony; Lar Lubovitch’s Waiting for the Sunrise and Concerto Six Twenty-Two; Paul Taylor’s Arden Court; Trey McIntyre’s Cantilena; Jerome Robbins’ Interplay; and Margo Sappington’s Rodin, Mis En Vie.

Ms. Smith inspired and performed several principal roles in Christopher Wheeldon’s World Premier of Swan Lake. She also created roles in the world premieres of Kevin O’Day’s Col Legno, Matthew Neenan’s Vicissitudes and 11:11, Kirk Peterson’s Dancing with Monet, and Val Caniparoli’s Jaybird Lounge.

Jennifer was the Ballet Mistress at BalletX, for three years, overseeing a number of rehearsals and performances and is currently teaching ballet at the University of the Arts in  the School of Dance and the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts.

Ms. Smith has been the Principal Teacher at the Philadelphia Dance Academy for 14 years.

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Jennifer Lameo

Theater Dance Director

Jennifer Lameo

Primarily trained in Ballet, Jennifer discovered her passion for Musical Theater at age 18. 

She moved to New York City, where she lived for 11 years. She trained extensively with teachers such as David Howard, Kat Wildish, Jack Hertzog, Andrey Silanteyev, Germaine Salsberg, Randy Skinner, Josh Bergasse, and Andy Blankenbuehler. 
 
While studying at Broadway Dance Center, Jennifer was selected to be one of the very first “Rockette Assistants” , for the “Rockette Experience” , a workshop held at Radio City Music Hall.  For 4 years, she worked side by side with a Rockette, and assisted in teaching the style, technique, and original choreography to students from all over the world. 
 
Throughout her career Jennifer has performed at many regional theaters as well as a national tour of “Crazy for you” (Patricia Fodor) . Other favorite shows include “A Chorus Line” (Kristine), “42nd St.” (Anytime Annie), “Grease“ (Patty Simcox), “Annie” (Lily St. Regis) , “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” ( Liza), and “Once Upon a Mattress” ( Princess Winifred). 
 
In 2009 Jennifer moved to Philadelphia, and began teaching at The Philadelphia Dance Academy. She presented the idea of starting a Musical Theater Dance Program . With the support and trust of the exceptional leadership at PDA, the Musical Theater Program blossomed into a beautiful success!
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Kristen Adams

Program Manager

Kristen Adams

Kristen grew up in Glen Mills, PA where she received her training at KICKS Academy of Dance from age three to eighteen. While there, she studied ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and hip hop. She decided to pursue a career in dance and went on to earn a Bachelors in Fine Arts in Dance in 2020 from Temple University where she worked with Kun-Yang Lin, Marion Soto, Dara Meredith, and Kip Martin. She joined Eleone Dance Theatre during her second year of college where she performed works by Shawn-Lamere Williams, Dara Meredith, Anthony Rhodes and Molly Misgalla. 

During her time at Temple University, she studied dance education and discovered an incredible love for teaching. She joined the Philadelphia Dance Academy faculty in 2019. She now shares her love of dance through teaching Creative Movement, Ballet, Contemporary, and Theater. In 2023, she stepped into the Program Manager position. 

Aside from teaching dance, Kristen has a strong interest in health and fitness. She completed her Barre Fitness certificate in 2018 and now enjoys helping clients meet their goals through ballet-inspired movement with elements of Pilates, dance, yoga and str

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Nicole Calabrese

Administrative Assistant

Nicole Calabrese

Nicole began her dance training at Starmaker School of the Performing Arts in Flemington, NJ. She later studied at the Mill Ballet School, becoming a member of The Roxey Ballet, their resident professional dance company. She has also trained at Montclair State University, American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive, and the Paul Taylor Winter Intensive. Nicole has taught at Haddonfield Theatre Arts Center, Music Theatre Philly, The Mill Ballet School, Downtown Performing Arts Center, Roxey Ballet, and Ballet Academy East. She has choreographed previously at Ogunquit Playhouse, Bucks County Playhouse, The Eagle Theatre, Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Downtown PAC, Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre, Cheltenham High School, Stuart Country Day School, and Town and Country Players. As well as being a teacher/choreographer, Nicole has appeared onstage at The Media Theatre, Jenny Wiley Theatre, The Eagle Theatre, Surflight Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Resident Theatre Company, Candlelight Theatre, and Bristol Riverside Theatre.

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Sabrina Faith

Social Media Manager

Sabrina Faith

Sabrina Faith, a Philadelphia native, began her training at a local dance studio with Barbara Scavello, a Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet instructor.  In her younger years, she trained with Scott Jovovich, principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, Nina Fedorova, principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, and Rex Henriques, University of the Arts faculty and director of Bucks County Dance Center.

After receiving a scholarship from Point Park University, she decided to attend Temple University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in dance in 2001. At Temple University, she had the opportunity to study with Ann Vachon, of the José Limón Dance Company, Joselli Deans, of Dance Theatre of Harlem, Merián Soto, Phillip Grosser and Eva Gholson.  During this time, Mrs. Faith also had the opportunity to work with ballet coach, Anna Maria Jones, who coached dancers of the Pennsylvania Ballet, School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, and Ballett Frankfurt. She attended workshops and master classes with Paul Taylor Dance Company, Pilobolus Dance Company, Illadelph (Rennie Harris), Mia Michaels, Desmond Richardson, and Tyce Diorio.

Mrs. Faith was a member of Underground Dance Works, Venus Dance Company, and a frequent guest artist with Amanda Diorio Dance (A.D.D).  She participated as an independent choreographer for the Female Persuasions Series at the Arts Bank in Philadelphia in 2007.

Mrs. Faith enjoys sharing her love of dance and has been teaching since 1999 for numerous dance studios in the Philadelphia and New Jersey areas.  She was an instructor at the Dance Academy in Cherry Hill, NJ under the direction of Daila and Douglas Hay, Cooper River Ballet in Collingswood, NJ, and Contempro Dance Theater in Fairless Hills, PA.  Mrs. Faith has been on faculty at the Philadelphia Dance Academy since 2010.  She has staged many productions, including the Nutcracker and has choreographed numerous works for the Philadelphia Youth Ballet (PYB).

Mrs. Faith found a passion for helping others achieve their goals, build confidence, and form emotional bonds through dance which led her to pursue dance/movement therapy.  Mrs. Faith is a Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT) and received her Master’s of Arts in Creative Arts Therapy from Drexel University in 2006.  She worked at the Center for Autism and the Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health (CNNH) where she provided therapy to children and adolescents diagnosed with neurological disorders.

Mrs. Faith also received certification in Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) in 2018.

In all aspects, she enjoys the challenge of the process and the meaningful rewards that happen along the way.

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Amy Aldridge

Amy Aldridge

Amy Aldridge was born in Richmond, VA and began her dance training at the School
of the Richmond Ballet and spent her summers studying at the School of American
Ballet and the Boston Ballet School.  She is a graduate of the University of the North
Carolina School of the Arts, where she received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.
Aldridge joined the Pennsylvania Ballet in 1994 and was promoted to Principal Dancer
in 2001 performing principal roles in numerous works, including The Taming of the Shrew,
Cinderella, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Fille mal gardée, Alexei Ratmansky's Jeu de
Cartes, and Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort.  She has always had a passion for the Balanchine
ballets and has danced principal roles in The Nutcracker, Square Dance, Slaughter on
Tenth Avenue, Ballo della Regina, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Rubies from Jewels,
Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Allegro Brillante and Theme and Variations.  Aldridge has had
the privilege of working with many renowned choreographers over the years including
Peter Martins, Arthur Mitchell, Christopher Wheeldon, William Forsythe, Liam Scarlett,
and Twyla Tharp and has created original roles in ballets for Dwight Rhoden, Trey
McIntyre, Matthew Neenan, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, David Dawson, Alonzo King, and
Jorma Elo.

Aldridge has appeared internationally as part of the Sintra Festival in Portugal, the
Northwest Phalen Tanz Festival in Germany (with choreographer Kevin O’Day) and with
the Stars of New York Ballet in London. In May 2004, she performed as a guest artist with
New York City Ballet dancing Tarantella as part of the George Balanchine Centennial
Celebrations. She has also appeared with BalletX in Neenan’s Broke Apart, Elo’s Scenes
View 2, and at Jacob’s Pillow in Summer 2006.

In May of 2017, Aldridge retired from the Pennsylvania Ballet with George Balanchine's
Tarantella and Rubies pas de deux. After 23 years on the stage, she was presented with
a City Citation from Mayor Kenney and returned to the Pennsylvania Ballet, now
Philadelphia Ballet, to coach the Balanchine repertoire.
In July of 2023, Ms. Aldridge received her MFA from University of the Arts where she is
currently an Adjunct Associate Professor.

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Gary W. Jeter II

Gary W. Jeter II

Gary W. Jeter II began dancing in 1997 at Pebble Brook High School for the Performing Arts in Atlanta, Georgia, where he graduated in 1999. Gary attended the Ailey fellowship summer program and received a full director’s scholarship to the University of the Arts where he graduated in 2003 with a BFA in Dance. After graduation, he was asked to join Philadanco where he was a principal dancer from 2003 to 2007. Gary has also worked with Fernando Bujones & Eddie Shellman in addition to dancing with Eleone Dance Theater. Mr. Jeter danced with Complexions Contemporary Ballet from 2007 to 2014, and is now an artist in residence for the company.  Gary has set works for The University of the Art, Eleone Dance Theatre, Philadelphia Dance Theatre, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Gary joined BalletX in the Fall of 2014.

Gary earned his MFA in Dance from the University of the Arts in 2019 and is currently full-time faculty in the Dance Department.

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James Idhe

James Idhe

A native of Kent, Ohio, James Ihde began his ballet training at the Dance Institute of the University of Akron, where he studied for eight years. In 1993, he came to Philadelphia for a summer session at The Rock School for Dance Education. Upon completion, he was invited to join Pennsylvania Ballet as an Apprentice for the 1993-1994 Season. In 1995, Mr. Ihde joined the Corps de Ballet and was promoted to Soloist in September 2003.

During the 1996-1997 Season, Mr. Ihde received rave reviews for his featured role in Lar Lubovitch’s Waiting for the Sunrise. Since then, he has danced featured roles in several ballets including John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet (Paris), Paul Taylor’s Company B, Jerome Robbins’ Interplay and In the Night, Lubovitch’s Concert Six Twenty-Two, Margo Sappington’s Rodin, Mis En Vie, Matthew Neenan’s Penumbra, Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake (Von Rothbart, Czardas) and Polyphonia; Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, John Butler’s Carmina Burana, William Forsythe’s In the middle, somewhat elevated, the world premiere of Jorma Elo’s Pulcinella, and George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments (Second Theme and Third Theme), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius, Theseus, and Titania’s Cavalier), The Prodigal Son, and Serenade.

Mr. Ihde’s principal roles include Ivan in James Kudelka’s The Firebird, Wheeldon’s Liturgy and the pas de deux in After the Rain, Cavalier in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, Balanchine’s Agon and Emeralds from Jewels, Jerome Robbins’ In G Major, the Black Couple in Kylián’s Forgotten Land, Pas de Deux 1 in Forsythe’s Artifact Suite, and the title roles in Balanchine’s Apollo and Ben Stevenson’s Dracula. In May 2014, Mr. Ihde originated a role in the world premiere of Trey McIntyre’s The Accidental.

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Mijkalena Smith

Mijkalena (Mijka) Smith

Mijkalena (Mijka) Smith is a Philadelphia-based dance artist originating from Elverson, Pennsylvania. Mijka earned her BFA in Dance from Temple University, graduating Magna Cum Laude of her class and receiving the Frances Bowden Award for Excellence in Dance. Trained in Ballet, Modern, African Diasporic, Hip Hop, and Improvisational techniques, Mijka has had the honor of studying under renowned dancers and choreographers such as Clyde Evans, Kyle Clark, Kun-Yang Lin, Megan Bridge, Mark “Smart Mark” Boston and Shanika “QP” of PHRESH, Antoinette Coward-Gilmore, Wayne St. David, and Abdur-Rahim Jackson.
 
Mijka shares her joy for dance as an educator and choreographer at several studios throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. Working with students ages 3-18, she is interested in the intersection of science and art in the dance classroom, creating well-rounded dancers through a knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and artistic craft. Mijka’s love for science and art extends to her administrative work at Great Marsh Institute (an environmental nonprofit located in Elverson, PA) where she is the founder of “Arts at the Great Marsh,” an event that uses site-specific performance to promote the conservation of the Great Marsh of Northern Chester County.
 
In addition to her work as an educator and administrator, Mijka performs and choreographs independently in Philadelphia and New York. Her current choreographic interest is in integrating poetry, movement, and music to create a rich artistic experience. You can find information on her latest work through her website mijkalenasmith.com
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Blake Krapels

Blake Krapels

Blake Krapels, a 2011 United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts, trained in New Jersey under the tutelage of Billy Larson and Jamie Salmon. In 2015 Blake graduated with a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School, where he performed repertoire by William Forsythe, Merce Cunningham, Elliot Feld, Jose Limon, and Peter Chu. In addition to his core training, Blake participated in Summer Intensives at Nederlands Dans Theatre (2014 and 2016) and Springboard Danse Montreal (2013). After graduation, Blake has danced with The Metropolitan Opera, Keigwin & Company, GroundWorks Dance Theatre, Emery LeCrone Dance, Konverjdans and South Dakota Ballet. Most recently, Blake finished a fourth successful season as a company member of Philadelphia's BalletX.

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Rachel Maher

Rachel Maher

Rachel Maher began her training at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet from 1991 to 2002. From there, she went on to study at the San Francisco Ballet School from 2002 to 2004. The recipient of the National Coca-Cola scholarship from American Ballet Theatre , Ms. Maher attended many summer intensives including ABT Alabama, ABT New York City, and San Francisco Ballet. While studying at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, she performed in several Balanchine works including George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, Divertimento No. 15, Stars and Stripes, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ms. Maher performed in Don Quixote, Serenade, and Who Cares? with San Francisco Ballet.

Ms. Maher joined Pennsylvania Ballet II in 2004. She was promoted to Apprentice in Fall 2006 and to the Corps de Ballet in January 2007. She has performed featured roles in Sleeping Beauty (Abundance Fairy), Coppélia (Spinner and Prayer variations), Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella (Autumn Fairy), John Butler’s Carmina Burana (White Girl), William Forsythe’s In the middle, somewhat elevated, Alexei Ratmansky’s Jeu de Cartes, and Jiří Kylián’s Forgotten Land (White Couple) and Petite Mort. She has performed several Balanchine works including George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ (lead Marzipan, lead Hot Chocolate, and Coffee), Raymonda Variations (Variation I), Ballo della Regina, Square Dance, Allegro Brillante, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and The Four Temperaments. In May 2014, Ms. Maher originated a featured role in the World Premiere of Trey McIntyre’s The Accidental.

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Shannon Murphy

Shannon Murphy

Shannon Murphy (she/her) is a dance artist/educator. She received her MFA in Dance from the University of the Arts and a BA in dance from Point Park University. She is faculty specializing in Franklin Method for dance at Franklin Method Institute, Switzerland, working alongside Eric Franklin since 2008. As an educator, she is committed to radical sustainability and develops curricula to reduce injury and support healing for performers.

Shannon is an Assistant Professor at Temple University (Theater), was an adjunct professor at Drexel University, and assistant director of the Drexel Dance Ensemble, Stockton University, and UArts, where she was the Curricular Head of Body Pathways for 10 years. Her work has recently been presented at Cannonball Festival, Penn Museum, The Painted Bride Art Center, and as asynchronous performance in the form of zines. Her choreographies span contemporary dance theater, musical theater,  and emergent improvisational scores. Shannon has performed for choreographers such as Charles Anderson, Nichole Canuso, Group Motion, Jaamil Kosoko, and Annie Wilson, and was co-director of idiosynCrazy productions alongside founder Jumatatu Poe. 

She has been awarded a Rocky Award through Dance USA Philadelphia for her choreography. Shannon has been supported by numerous residencies including New Edge at the Community Education Center, Live Arts LAB, Mascher Space Co-Op, the Whole Shebang, Subcirlce, and most recently the University of the Arts.

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Domenica Passio

Domenica Passio was raised in Philadelphia where she trained at the Philadelphia Dance Academy for twelve years, until she graduated from the Girard Academic Music Program in 2019. During her time at PDA, she studied ballet (Lori Lahnemann, Jennifer Smith), contemporary (Sabrina Faith, Gary Jeter), and theater dance (Jennifer Lameo). She has continued her professional training at Temple University with teachers such as Shannon Murphy, Kip Martin, Devon Sinclair, and Maggie Anderson.


Domenica graduated from Temple University in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater, as well as a Minor in Dance from the Boyer College of Music and Dance. During her time at Temple, she was in multiple performances for the theater department and dance department, two of which include her original choreography and performances featured throughout consecutive semesters in the Student Choreography showcases.

Domenica was awarded a study abroad scholarship and was fortunate enough to continue her theater and ballet training during a semester in Rome, Italy. She has performed in productions at the Walnut Street Theatre, understudied at the Arden Theatre, and will be in the upcoming performances of Big Fish and The Little Mermaid at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman in the fall of 2023.

Since attending college, Domenica has discovered her love of teaching both dance and theater. She has taught for Camp Walnut at the Walnut Street Theatre as a camp-wide theater dance instructor, in addition to being a Director for the Discovery division.

Domenica is thrilled to be a faculty member at the Philadelphia Dance Academy. She is so excited to continue to be a part of the amazing community that fostered her love for dance!

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Blythe Smith

Blythe Smith

Blythe Smith began her dance training at age 3 in South Jersey. She became a member of the Vineland Regional Dance Company at age 12 and went on to achieve the role of soloist. She also trained at Pennsylvania Ballet, Columbia City Ballet, Ballet Magnificat, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Atlantic City Ballet.

Blythe was offered scholarships to attend Joffrey Ballet, Boston Conservatory, and SUNY Purchase. She attended The University of the Arts on scholarship and graduated with a BFA in Ballet Performance in 2004. She was offered a trainee position with Ballet Magnificat in Jackson, MS in 2005. Her performance credits include Regional and National Dance America Festivals and soloist roles in The Vineland Regional Dance Company and Atlantic City Ballet’s “Nutcracker”. She has also performed soloist roles in “Paquita,” “Swan Lake,” and “Les Sylphides” at The Merriam Theater. She has performed in several performances of new work at the Painted Bride in Philadelphia, PA and in dance festivals in NYC including Pentacle Dance Works and Thelma Hill Dance Festival.

Blythe is a dance instructor and choreographer at several local studios throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania and has taught within the Philadelphia school system. She is the Associate Artistic Director and founder of Magnolia Hill Studios NJ, a studio dedicated to sharing a love of the visual and performing arts with children. In the summer of 2012 Blythe completed the Lester Horton Pedagogy Workshop at Alvin Ailey.  In addition to teaching, Blythe danced in a touring Tina Turner Review Show entitled, “Simply the Best” and was a member of Alchemy Dance Company for 7 years. She currently dances with the Philadelphia based company Danse4Nia Repertory Ensemble and DanceSpora.

Blythe completed her MFA in Dance at Temple University in May 2016 and was awarded the Rose Vernick Choreographic Achievement Award.

Guest Faculty

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Miro Magloire

Miro Magloire

Lauded as “refreshingly original” by Alastair Macaulay of The New York Times, choreographer Miro Magloire is the founder and artistic director of New Chamber Ballet.

Magloire has created over 60 ballets in his signature style for his company, all distinguished by sweeping elegance, a striking theatricality, and bold musical choices. “It’s heartening to see work so focused on the meeting of dance and music,” Macaulay wrote in his Times review, “always you’re aware of an intelligence at work that resists romantic cliché.”

Known for his visionary collaborations with musicians – singers, violinists, pianists and large ensembles – Magloire has a special affinity for cutting-edge contemporary music, which has led him to work with many of today’s leading composers.

Magloire, the subject of a 2008 full-page profile in the Sunday NY Times, recently received an O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation Grant. His works have been performed at Joyce SoHo, the Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Stage, Roulette, Ailey/Citigroup Theater, the Center for Performance Research and the Museum of Art and Design, among other venues. He has collaborated with the Argento Chamber Ensemble, Ensemble Moto Perpetuo, Ensemble Sospeso and, in addition, has created ballets for the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and the State Academy of Dance in Cologne, Germany.

Born in Munich, Germany, Magloire started his career as a composer. At age 17 he won the “Forum of Young Composers Award” in North Rhine-Westphalia, and went on to study with Mauricio Kagel at the Conservatory of Music in Cologne, Germany.

After relocating to New York to study Modern Dance at the Ailey and Martha Graham Schools, where his teachers included Yung-Yung Tsuai and Kazuko Hirabayashi, and ballet with Wilhelm Burmann and Peff Modelski among others, he turned his attention to choreography and in 2004 founded New Chamber Ballet.

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Heidi Cruz

Heidi Cruz

Born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Heidi Cruz began her dance training at the age of four at The Dolly Haltzman Dance Academy. She went on to study at the School of American Ballet and The Pennsylvania Ballet.

Ms. Cruz has been a member of The Pennsylvania Ballet since 1994. Some of her featured roles include Val Caniparoli’s Lambarena, Summer Fairy in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, Vortex in Alvin Ailey’s The River, Eve in Margo Sappington’s Rodin, Mis En Vie, the Pas de Trois in The Sleeping Beauty, and Christopher D’Amboise’s Symposium. She has also had featured roles in many George Balanchine works including Marzipan, Coffee and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Choleric from The Four Temperaments, and leading roles in Serenade, Who Cares?, Western Symphony, Scotch Symphony, and Divertimento #15. Ms. Cruz has premiered works for such renowned choreographers as Paul Taylor, Margo Sappington, Christopher D’Amboise, Jessica Lang and Pennsylvania Ballet’s Meredith Rainey, and Matthew Neenan.

In addition to dancing with Pennsylvania Ballet, Ms. Cruz has performed as a guest artist throughout the United States and Europe.

As a choreographer, Ms. Cruz has been commissioned to create works for Franklin and Marshall College, Repertory Dance Theater, and Ballet D’errico. Ms. Cruz has also had her work performed annually since 2000 for Shut Up & Dance. She was a winner of Ballet Builders 2004 in NYC where she showcased The Glistening. She performed and created works with the internationally renowned spoken word/recording artist Ursula Rucker. She was awarded a New Edge Residency from the Community Education Center of Philadelphia for 2004-2005.  

Ms. Cruz is currently full time faculty at Muhlenberg College.

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Fallon Gannon

Fallon Gannon

Fallon Gannon, originally from Rome, NY began her formal training at Ballet Arts under Delia Foley (A.R.A.D.) where she studied the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus (RAD). Fallon completed her annual RAD examinations through Advanced I with distinction. While training with Ms. Foley, Fallon was a member of the Mohawk Valley Ballet where she had the opportunity to perform many full-length ballets. She supplemented her training with summer intensives at: Boston Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre (now Charlotte Ballet), Orlando Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Fallon furthered her training at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School’s Pre-Professional Year-Round program directed by Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall. 

Upon completing this program, Fallon was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to attend The University of the Arts, where she graduated with a BFA in Ballet Performance with Honors. During her time at UArts, she had the opportunity to study the Forsythe technique under Douglas Becker and perform works by: Scott Jovovich, Sara Procopio, Douglas Becker, and perform in classical ballets set by Anastasia Babayeva. Fallon was also certified in Gyrokinesis© Level 1 with the guidance of Jennifer Binford Johnson under Master Trainer, Miriam Barbosa.  

Since graduating, Fallon has worked with: Ballet Fleming, originating many roles in Christopher Fleming’s Rock Ballets; Arch Contemporary Ballet, performing at the off-Broadway Davenport Theatre; Albany Berkshire Ballet with their tour of The Nutcracker; Dance Del Bello; and most recently as a guest artist in Wilmington Ballet’s The Nutcracker. 

Fallon enjoys sharing her love of dance through teaching and has been on faculty with Philadelphia Dance Academy since 2013. She also teaches at The Creative and Performing Arts High School of Philadelphia and the RockReach Outreach program. 

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Zach Kapeluck

Zach Kapeluck

Zachary Kapeluck hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he received his early training at Southwest Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. He trained at The Juilliard School and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Summer Intensives, and in the summer of 2011, he worked as a guest artist with Mary Miller Dance in Pittsburgh in a project titled Confluence. He graduated with a BFA in Dance from Point Park University in 2013 and subsequently joined BalletX in Philadelphia that summer. He spent 9 years there, partaking in over 60 world premiere creations by choreographers including Matthew Neenan, Cayetano Soto, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Nicolo Fonte, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and many more.  Zachary left BalletX in 2022 to pursue a new chapter in choreography and teaching.

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Kevan Sullivan

Kevan Sullivan

Kevan Sullivan grew up in Milford, Connecticut where he received his training from the Lee Lund Studio of Dance. In 2009 Kevan received the Director’s Talent Scholarship awarding him a full tuition scholarship to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  Immediately following graduation Kevan began dancing with Koresh Dance Company and has danced with the company since 2013.

Kevan has taught at studios in Connecticut,  New Jersey,  and many other studios across the country.  He has set work on the Lee Lund Adult Company for 8 consecutive years and teaches master classes regularly.

Kevan’s dance style ranges from contemporary ballet to hip hop and everything in between. He loves to pull from all different styles of dance and infuse them together producing strong, dynamic, and well rounded students.