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 


Children's First Step

bullet Children's Creative

Children's PreBallet


Children's Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Ballet


Children's Modern


Children's Beginning Jazz


Children's Intermediate Jazz


Children's Beginning Tap

bullet Children's Beginning/Intermediate Tap

Children's Hip Hop


Children's Ensemble

bullet Adult Beginning Ballet

Adult Intermediate and Advanced Ballet


Adult Intermediate/Advanced Modern


Adult Modern Technique


Arts Festival Performance Class


Adult Beginning Ballet Workout



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.   

Christina Ford

bulletChildren's Beginning Tap
bulletChildren's Intermediate Tap
bulletChildren's and Adult Advanced Tap
bulletAdult Intermediate Tap
bulletAdult Beginning 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.

Caitlin Osborne

bulletChildren's Beginning Jazz
bulletChildren's Intermediate Jazz

Caitlin is originally from North Carolina where she taught her first dance classes nearly 30 years ago.  For the past 12 years, she has been a dance instructor at Penn State Altoona, where she teaches ballet, jazz, and modern technique, as well as dance history.  She is the founder and director of Ivyside Dance Ensemble, Penn State Altoona's resident dance company, and she is the faculty advisor for Penn State Altoona's dance team.  She has also choreographed locally for the State College Community Theatre (The Sound of Music, Grease, Damn Yankees) and for Bellefonte High School (The Mikado, Once Upon a Mattress). She holds degrees from Williams College (BA in anthropology) and the University of Massachusetts (MA in history).  She lives in State College with her husband, son, and two dogs.

Jamie Roth

bulletChildren's Hip Hop
bulletAdult Beginning/Intermediate Jazz
bulletAdult Hip Hop

Jamie has been a dancer since the age of 3, and has trained in a variety of styles including but not limited to Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Hip Hop, and Mojah.  Her early dancing career began at Crystal's School of Dance in eastern PA, where she became and instructor and found her passion for choreography.  Jamie holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Penn State, where she continued her dancing career taking courses focused in Modern & Mojah styles, performing in local theater events including Cultural Conversations, and attending the American College Dance Festival Association Conference.  She has also been a performer and choreographer for Ambitions Dance at PSU.  In addition to her dance experience, Jamie is a Registered Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Alliance.  She is excited and looking forward to a fantastic year at 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
bulletBeginning/Intermediate Pointe

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 Advanced Jazz

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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Central Pennsylvania Dance Workshop

101 South Fraser Street

State College, PA  16801

(814) 237-2666