Instruction of all programs are administered by dance professionals and college educated adults, who are able to enrich the developmental process of the emerging dancer. The class room is a positive environment with a dedicated interest to the needs of young children, while instilling a sense of responsibility in older students. Whether a dancer desires a professional career that requires steady attention, or a uses dance as a recreational activity, the constructive and engaging lessons meet the needs of the individual dancer.
“The staff have impressive credentials and are hand-picked for their ability to teach technique and artistry.”
~ Cynthia Seiler, parent
Joy Delaney-Capponi Talia Barrows Patricia Brown Julianna Buchanan Melissa Chisena Martha Chamberlain Sigrid Payne DaVeiga Monica Cameron Frichtel Joe Gonzalez
Kirsten Kaschock Gina Battista Shifferly Dillon Shifferly Ruka White
Jeffrey Gribler (former Ballet Master Pennsylvania Ballet) Addul Monzano (Charlotte Ballet) Rosanna Seravalli Daniel Baudendistel (School of Ballet Arizona) Gary Jeter (dancer Ballet X) Wayne St. David (Assistant Professor with University of the Arts)
Joy Delaney-Capponi received her early training under Olin D. Kearse. She earned a B.A. from Virginia Intermont College in both Dance and Early Childhood Education. As the artistic director of Philadelphia Dance Theatre, she has led the company to honor status in the national organization of Regional Dance America, and her choreography has been chosen to appear in gala concert.
Ms. Delaney-Capponi has created several original ballets for children including Mother Goose and Friends, The Emperor and the Kite, The Rough Face Girl, as well as the re-staging of classics including Cinderella and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Under her guidance, Philadelphia Dance Theatre has brought dance to wide community through outreach programs for boys and tuition assistance programs for families in need. She has coached students to compete in the Youth America Grand Prix who have placed in the top three of regional finals.
Ms. Delaney-Capponi has trained students that have gone onto study at some of the world's most prestigious ballet schools including School of American Ballet, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of American Ballet Theatre, National Ballet School of Canada, and The Harid Conservatory. Many graduating students have received merit scholarships in dance at universities including Indiana University, Ursinus College, Wake Forest University, University of the Arts, Fordham University, and Columbia University. Ms. Delaney-Capponi currently serves as the Vice President of Regional Dance America Northeast.
Talia Barrows has been teaching dance and movement in Philadelphia for over fifteen years. She holds a BFA in Dance from Temple University, where she received the Rose Vernick award for excellence in choreography and performed works including Martha Graham’s Steps in the Street. Talia is a founding member of Danse4Nia Repertory Ensemble and her international studies and performance credits have taken her to Oslo, Norway, as well as Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon West Africa. She is certified in the Pilates Method and is passionate about using movement to heal both physical and emotional injury. Talia has had the honor of teaching at diverse educational institutions in Philadelphia, such as the Philadelphia Dance Theatre, William Penn Charter School, The High School for the Creative and Performing Arts and Temple University. She believes that dance is an artistic and intellectual form of human expression that should reflect the underlying tensions and needs of the community and dancers that it serves. Talia's biggest inspiration is her daughter, Gigi. As a mom to a daughter with cerebral palsy, Talia believes all children regardless of ability, deserve an opportunity to pursue their dream of dancing.
Patricia Brown grew up in New Jersey and studied ballet at a young age with the New Jersey Ballet School. As a teenager, Patricia was awarded full scholarships to the American Ballet Theatre School and the Joffrey Ballet School. Ms. Brown has danced professionally with the New Jersey Ballet Company, Joffrey II Ballet Company, Cleveland Ballet (soloist), Elliot Feld Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet Company (soloist). She has worked with many well known choreographers such as Agnes DeMille, Anthony Tudor,Gerald Arpino, Elliot Feld, Paul Taylor, Laura Dean, and Dennis Nahat. Ms. Brown has served as principal teacher for trainee programs at the Milwaukee Ballet School, Joffrey Ballet School, Harrisburg Ballet School, Nashville Ballet School, The Dance Center, and the Mill Ballet School.
Ms. Brown has taught company classes for Joffrey II Ballet, Elliot Feld Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Harrisburg Ballet, Brandywine Ballet Theatre, Roxey Ballet, and she has served as Ballet Mistress for the Pennsylvania Ballet. Ms. Brown has choreographed ballets performed at Joffrey Ballet workshop, Milwaukee Ballet workshop, Harrisburg Ballet Company, Brandywine Ballet Theatre, Roxey Ballet, and for the international competition at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. Most recently, she has been asked to join the faculty of the Joffrey School in New York City where she commutes weekly to teach class.
Juliana Buchanan is an alumna of Philadelphia Dance Theatre. After graduating from PDT, she spent time in the Fordham / Alvin Ailey BFA program where she had the opportunity to perform principal parts in new works by Carlos Dos Santos Jr. and Earle Mosely. As an apprentice with North Carolina Dance Theatre, Juliana trained extensively with Patricia McBride and Mark Diamond, performed with the main company, and danced the lead female role in George Balanchine’s Union Jack. Juliana also worked as a guest artist with Pennsylvania Ballet under the direction of Roy Kaiser where she danced roles in Twyla Tharp’s Push Comes to Shove, Balanchine’s Ballo della Regina, and William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite among others.
Martha Chamberlain began her dance training at age five at the Fellowship House in Media, Pennsylvania,where she was born and raised. She went on to study with Donna Muzio, Paul Klocke and Cherie Noble at West Chester's Dance Center and The School of American Ballet's Summer Program from 1985 to 1988. She is a graduate of Friends Select and The School of Pennsylvania Ballet.
Ms. Chamberlain joined Pennsylvania Ballet as an Apprentice in the fall of 1989 and was promoted to the Crops de Ballet three months later. She was promoted to Soloist in 1997 and to Principal after her premiere as Juliet in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet in March 2000.
Ms. Chamberlain has danced several leading roles including Katherina in the Taming of the Shrew, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Myrtha in Giselle, Dewdrop and Sugarplum Fairy in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, and Helena and Divertissement pas de deux in A Midsummer Night's Dream. She has also had featured roles in George Balanchine's Ballo della Regina, The Four Temperaments, Agon, Western Symphony, Serenade, Apollo, and "Rubies" from Jewels; Paul Taylor's Company Band Arden Court. She has created roles for such choreographers as Trey McIntryre, Kevin O'Day, Jessica Lang, Jorma Elo, and Matthew Neenan; and she has had the opportunity to dance internationally in Portugal, England and Germany. She recently retired from the Pennsylvania Ballet after dancing with that company for 21 years.
Ms. Chamberlain has designed costumes for many years. Among the choreographers she has created works for are Christopher D'Ambroise, Matthew Neenan, Meredith Rainey, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Jorma Elo.
Melissa Chisena is the founder and artistic director of Chisena Dance. She has danced professionally with Richmond Ballet and the North Carolina Dance Theatre, Philadelphia Dance Theatre, Norristown DanceFest, Regional Dance America, Ursinus College, and various local venues. She danced with Jeanne Ruddy and freelances with choreographers in the tri-state area. While in Philadelphia, Melissa has been a member of Tania Isaac Dance, Meghan Durham/Merge Dance, PIMA Group, and has been on the faculty of Ursinus College. She curates the Norristown DanceFest annually, a summer performance series featuring dance companies from throughout the East Coast.
Sigrid Payne DaVeiga
Sigrid began dancing at the early age of 3 years at The Canyon Concert School of Ballet in Colorado and continued her training in Philadelphia, Washington DC and Chicago. She began teaching pre-ballet and ballet at The Georgetown School of Ballet in 1996 under the mentorship of Brooke Desnoes, the founder of the American Academy of Dance in Paris. Sigrid has since specialized in early dance curriculum development and training in ballet for all levels at studios such as Jo's Footwork Studio in Western Springs, Illinois, Studio J in Cleveland, Ohio and Wissahickon Dance Academy. Sigrid's passion lies in instilling a love for the art of dance in young children and in creating an inspiring environment in class that helps lay the fundamentals for the future rigors of training in ballet. She is also a dance critic for Critical Dance Magazine and a physician at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Monica Cameron Frichtel
Monica Cameron Frichtel holds a Masters in Education (EdM) in dance and a PhDis dance. She researches dance in education, dance and culture, and dance as knowledge. She is a trained ballet and modern dancer with background in jazz and Flamenco styles, and has performed with many independent dance companies in California and Philadelphia. In recent years she has worked with locals such as Keila Cordova and Teresa van Denend Sorge. Monica teaches all levels of ballet and modern, and creative movement. She has recently collaborated in the development of a curriculum for a parent-child dance class that include infants through pre-schoolers. Ms. Frichtel teaches part-time at Temple University and is affiliated with the Center for Research in Dance Education. She is passionate about teaching in many capacities and learns so much from the youngest dancers!
Joe Gonzalez started dancing at the age of 13 at the Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts and later became an honorable academics dance major at the Boston Arts Academy. Joe has received numerous scholarships to attend renowned summer dance programs such as The Boston Conservatory Summer Intensive, American Dance Festival, SpringBoard Danse Montreal and Bates Dance Festival. Joe Gonzalez holds a BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory. He has performed masterworks by Alvin Ailey, Anna Sokolow, Ronald K. Brown, Paul Taylor, Sean Curran, Nathan Trice, Pedro Ruiz Jr., Jose Limon, Rubber Band Dance Group, and Alwin Nikolas to name a few. Joe has toured the USA, Canada, India and Scotland performing with Anna Myer and Dancers, Prometheus Dance, and currently with The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco). Joe has choreographed over 20 original works nationally and is the Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer of Jo-Mé Dance, a company dedicated to creating a full dance experience in Contemporary art.
Kirsten Kaschock is the author of three books of poetry and a novel, Sleight, a work about performers and performance. She was trained at Pennsylvania Regional Ballet and attended the Ailey School after completing her English degree from Yale. She has earned a PhD in English from the University of Georgia and a PhD in dance from Temple University. She is on faculty at Drexel University and has worked as a free-lance choreographer and master teacher in the Northeast. In 2015, Kirsten will serve as the Editor-in-Chief of thINKing DANCE, an online Philadelphia dance-writing consortium. She resides with her three children and their father in Elkins Park where she likes to work with words, bodies—and when she is lucky—other people.
Gina Battista Shifferly
Gina Battista Shifferly began her early training with Forest Gehret at the Harrisburg Dance Conservatory. Her additional training included the Capital Area School for the Arts, Atlanta Ballet, American Academy of Ballet and Pennsylvania Regional Ballet. She continued her studies at the Boston Conservatory and received her BFA at Wright State University in 2009, while dancing professionally with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Second Company. Other professional performing credits include the Brown Dance Project, Luna Negra Dance Theatre, Western Ballet Theatre of Puerto Rico, BalletFleming and The Embodiment Project. Her choreographic career began with the Northeast Regional Dance America Festival and her work has since been performed in the U.S., Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. She is currently dancing with Sanbrooka Productions and Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet.
Dillon Anthony Shifferly originally started his training at Canton Ballet School under Cassandra Crowley. Throughout his training he studied at American Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Chautauqua Ballet. Dillon joined the North Carolina Dance Theatre second company under Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, and Mark Diamond. He then continued on to the Dayton Ballet, Western Ballet Theatre of Puerto Rico, Balletfleming and Pennsylvania Ballet. Dillon has been welcomed as a guest dancer and choreographer at many schools and companies around the Northeast and reaching as far as the Dominican Republic. Dillon has enjoyed exploring his love for photography and music while pursuing his professional dance career.
Ruka White is a proud member of Carol Armitage, serving in his first year. He was born in Italy, and raised in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Ruka began his dance training with the Miami City Ballet while attending Dillard Center for the Performing Arts. He then went on to train with the Alley School and holds a BFA in dance from Florida State University. His dance credits include an Act So Glad Medalist and has performed works by: George Balanchine, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Alonzo King, Louis Johnson, and Jose Limon. Ruka has served as dance captain for Royal Carribean International. He has performed professionally with Ballethnica, Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, New Dance Group, Dayton Contemporary and most recently Philadanco.
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 he received a full director's scholarship to the University of the Arts where he graduated in 2003 with a BFA degree. After graduation he was asked to join Philadanco where he was a principal dancer from 2003-2007. Gary has also worked with Fernando Bujones & Eddie Shellman in addition to dancing with Eleone Dance Theater.
Gary has choreographed works for Eleone Dance Theater, Danco 2, The University of the Arts, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Gary joined Complexions in 2007, and in November of 2013 premiered his first ballet for the company. Gary joined Ballet X in September 2014.
Robert Gosnell is from North Carolina, where he began his training with the High Point Ballet and went on to study at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (1993-1998), School of American Ballet, The Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Atlanta Ballet. He then joined Nashville Ballet in 1999 and danced with them until 2007. Robert has been featured in ballets by David Allan, Salvatore Aiello, Sir Frederick Ashton, Winthrop Corey, and Paul Vasterling and with regional companies Atlanta Dance Theatre, Roswell Dance Theatre and High Point Ballet. He has also served as Youth Cast Rehearsal Master for Nashville Ballet’s Nutcracker. Robert has choreographed several musicals for Brentwood High School, in Brentwood, TN. In the summers of 2004, 2005, and 2006 Robert attended the National Choreographers Initiative in Irvine, Ca, where he worked with Val Canaparoli, Anne Marie DeAngelo, Gina Patterson, Peter Pucci, Luca Vegetti, and Molly Lynch. He was a featured artist at the 2004 and 2008 Southeastern Regional Ballet Association’s annual festival. In the summers of 2007 and 2008, Robert had the honor to return to UNC School of the Arts, along with other alumni, to be a part of UNC School of the Arts performance series in Manteo, NC. In the summer of 2009, he had the opportunity to perform in Arezzo, Italy with Amaranth Contemporary Dance based in Richmond, VA. His ballet Within, was chosen to be performed at the National Regional Dance America Festival in Montreal, Canada in May of 2012. Robert is on staff with N-House Productions under the direction of Casey Noblett, Guest Artist with Roswell Dance Theatre, Atlanta Dance Theatre, and served as the Associate Director/Resident Artist with the Atlanta Dance Theatre from 2010-2013. Robert continues his relationship with UNCSA, as a Guest Faculty member in the regular school year, Summer Dance Comprehensive and the Preparatory Program.