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Jill A. Brighton, Director

Jill has been directing the Central Pennsylvania Dance Workshop since 1994 and teaching in the school since 1990. A native of State College, Jill has been dancing since she was four.   She graduated with highest honors from Penn State in 1991, and has served on the dance faculty there.  At the Central Pennsylvania Dance Workshop, Jill has been active in teaching all styles of dance to both children and adults, and is the artistic director of the Fraser Street Dancers and the Children's Ensemble. She has a broad range of experience teaching diverse populations, including children with special needs and senior citizens.  Jill also works with the Galaxy Arts in Education Program of CIU 10 and is a rostered artist with the PA Council on the Arts. 

In addition to her extensive teaching experience, Jill danced professionally with Happendance in Lansing, Michigan, and in New York with the Great Wave Dance Ensemble, and with the Pennsylvania Dance Theatre based here in State College.  While in New York she was a scholarship student and manager at Steps Studio. At Penn State Jill performed with the Contemporary Dance Company and toured Israel with the Dance Collective.   Jill is also a practitioner and instructor of Yoga and Pilates, and enjoys working as a choreographer for a wide variety of musical theatre venues.

At CPDW, Jill teaches 

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Children's First Step

bullet Children's Creative
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Children's PreBallet

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Children's Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Ballet

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Children's Modern

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Children's Beginning Jazz

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Children's Intermediate Jazz

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Children's Beginning Tap

bullet Children's Beginning/Intermediate Tap
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Children's Hip Hop

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Children's Ensemble

bullet Children's Beginning Musical Theatre Dance
bullet Children's Intermediate Musical Theatre Dance
   
bullet Adult Beginning Ballet
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Adult Intermediate and Advanced Ballet

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Adult Intermediate/Advanced Modern

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Adult Modern Technique

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Arts Festival Performance Class

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Adult Beginning Ballet Workout

bullet Adult/Teen Beginning/Intermediate Musical Theatre Dance

 

 

The Faculty
The teachers at the Central Pennsylvania Dance Workshop bring extensive and varied training to each of the classes they teach at the workshop, providing for each student a firm foundation in dance technique, as well as teaching fresh, innovative concepts, creating classes that are vital, alive and challenging.   

Erica Densmore

Erica is currently pursuing a degree in Dance and Integrative Arts at Penn State.  Prior to college, Erica studied at Fairgrieve School of Dance for ten years.  Erica is a member of the National Honor Society of Dance Arts: Penn State Chapter, where she has choreographed for the Homecoming parade and THON.  Erica is trained in multiple styles of dance including jazz, modern, hip hop, and West African.  After being a teaching assistant for several classes last year, Erica is thrilled to be on the faculty at CPDW.

bulletChildren's Hip Hop
bulletChildren's Intermediate Jazz

Christina Ford

bulletChildren's Beginning Tap
bulletChildren's Intermediate Tap
bulletChildren's and Adult Advanced Tap
bulletAdult Beginning/Intermediate Tap
bulletTeen Beginning/Intermediate Tap

Christina, from Gainesville, FL, is a Lecturer in the Psychology department, and a Graduate Student in the Counselor Education program at Penn State.  She began dancing at the age of three, with most of her training occurring at the Nina Cameron Dancenter.  She has performed in many student musical theatre productions and was the choreographer for a student production of Anything Goes.  As the president of the MIT dance troupe, she co-produced and choreographed for a number of performances.  She has experience in tap, jazz, ballet and modern dance -- but her favorite is tap.  She has taken tap classes with teachers all over the country, including Nancy Newell in Washington, DC, and Diane Davisson in Los Angeles, CA.  She is looking forward to hearing the sounds of many happy feet.

Erin Hanses

bulletChildren's Beginning Jazz
bulletChildren's Beginning Musical Theatre Dance
bulletChildren's Intermediate Musical Theatre Dance
bulletTeen/Adult Beginning/Intermediate Musical Theatre Dance

Erin received her dance training on Long Island, where at an early age she developed a passion for choreography.  She continued her training both in New York City and at the Harvard Dance Center in Cambridge, MA.  While studying at Harvard, Erin was a regular choreographer for Mainly Jazz Dance Company, and served as the Artistic Director of TAPS, the on-campus tap dance collective.  After college, she returned to Long Island and spent three years as a choreographer for local and regional theater groups, teaching all ages and dancing abilities.  Erin has continued to dance and choreograph in New York City for the past five years, honing her passion for teaching.  She is now excited for the opportunity to bring her skills to State College and CPDW.

Karen Stoner

bulletFirst Step
bullet Children's Creative Movement
bullet Children's PreBallet
bulletChildren's Advanced Ballet
bullet Pre-Pointe
bullet Adult Beginning Ballet
bullet Adult Beginning Ballet Workout
bullet Beginning Pointe
bullet Intermediate Pointe

Karen studied with the Pennsylvania Ballet, International Ballet Theater, and Hartford Ballet before performing professionally with the Pennsylvania Dance Theatre until 2002.  She graduated cum laude from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford with a degree in Children's Dance.  While at Hartt, she studied under students of Vagonova, Balanchine, and Martha Graham, and worked with renowned choreographers such as Kathryn Posin and Jean Grand-Maitre.  Karen was also selected to perform pieces by Balanchine, Vagonova, Martha Graham, and Pilobolus in venues through New England including the American College Dance Festival (New England Region) and Jacob's Pillow.  Karen holds an Intermediate Certification in Labanotation and has taught at the prestigious School of the Hartford Ballet, in the Hartford Public School System, the School of the Pennsylvania Dance Theatre, with Galaxy (CIU 10), and has been teaching at CPDW since 2002.  Karen is also a LMT and is the owner of "A Caring Touch: Massage Therapy"  and NittanyWeddings.com. 

 

Caiti Truax

bulletAdult Beginning Ballet
bulletPrePointe
bulletBeginning/Intermediate Pointe
bulletIrish
bulletTeen/Adult Beginning/Intermediate Musical Theatre Dance

Before recently moving to State College, Caiti had been teaching, choreographing and performing in Syracuse, NY.  In addition to serving as the primary Ballet instructor for The Syracuse School of Dance for the past four years, Caiti has taught and choreographed for The Redhouse Arts Center and Syracuse Children's Theatre.  She has also performed and choreographed for the Syracuse Contemporary Dance Company.

Caiti has been dancing since the age of three and has trained in many forms of dance including classical and contemporary Ballet, several styles of Modern, Jazz, Musical Theater, Tap and Irish dance.  She graduated with honors from Adelphi University in 2009 with a BFA in Dance Performance.  During college she created and set many pieces on her peers and spent a year teaching on Long Island after receiving her degree.  Under the tutelage of some incredible teachers including Kathleen Rathbun, Leda Meredith, Frank Augustyn, and Nina Buisson, Caiti has gained some wonderful knowledge and found a passion in teaching.  "I enjoy teaching, it is one of the most fulfilling things I have done through dance.  Seeing a student find something that they love to do and pursue it with passion and direction is an amazing thing.  I believe that the performing arts can be an incredible outlet for children and adults alike.  It allows them to explore their creativity and talents in an environment that is both supportive and nurturing."

 

Torre Viola

bulletAdult Beginning/Intermediate Jazz
bulletAdult Advanced Jazz
bulletAdult Hip Hop

Torre is currently a student at Penn State in the Electrical Engineering Program.  She is from Newtown, PA, where she had 13 years of ballet and jazz training prior to coming to State College.  She has also trained in pointe, tap, and contemporary.  At PSU, she has choreographed for and performed with two dance organizations, Vole and Ambitions.  Torre is extremely excited to join the CPDW faculty and is looking forward to an awesome year!

 

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Full schedule of Spring Semester classes

Information about Registration

 

Central Pennsylvania Dance Workshop

101 South Fraser Street

State College, PA  16801

(814) 237-2666

jillabrighton@gmail.com