Meet the Faculty
Jill has been director of CPDW since 1994. A native of State College, Jill graduated with highest honors from Penn State in 1991 and joined the CPDW faculty in 1990. A versatile teacher, Jill is the also the artistic director of the Fraser Street Dancers and the Children's Ensemble. She is a rostered artist with the PA Council on the Arts and maintains a presence in arts in education with the Galaxy Arts in Education Program of CIU 10. Jill enjoys working with diverse populations, including children with special needs and senior citizens.
Jill danced professionally with Happendance (Lansing, MI), Great Wave Dance Ensemble (New York, NY), and Pennsylvania Dance Theatre (State College, PA). 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 a practitioner and instructor of Yoga and Pilates, and enjoys working as a choreographer for a wide variety of musical theatre venues.
Children's and Adult Tap,
Christina began teaching at CPDW in 2014, and is currently a Lecturer and Mental Health Counselor in the Psychology Department at Penn State. Originally from Gainesville, FL, she trained primarily at the Nina Cameron Dancenter there. During her college years, she served as the president of the MIT dance troupe, co-producing and choreographing their work. Though trained in a variety of techniques, her specialty and favorite is tap. She has trained with teachers all over the world, including Nancy Newell (Washington, DC), Diane Davisson (Los Angeles, CA), and Yuval Beck (Tel Aviv, Israel).
Children's Jazz and Lyrical
Erin received her dance training on Long Island, where she developed a passion for choreography. She continued her training both in New York City and at the Harvard Dance Center in Cambridge, MA. As an undergraduate at Harvard, Erin choreographed for Mainly Jazz Dance Company and served as the artistic director of TAPS, the on-campus tap dance collective. After college, she spent three years as a choreographer for local and regional theater groups on Long Island. Erin continued to dance and choreograph in New York City for five years, honing her passion for teaching. Erin teaches in the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at PSU.
Caitlin retired from Penn State Altoona in 2018, where she taught ballet, jazz, modern, pointe, dance appreciation, and dance history. She trained as a child in North Carolina at the Raleigh School of Dance Arts, and later with the Williams College Dance Company in Massachusetts. In addition to teaching at CPDW, she is the managing director of Allied Motion Dance Company, serves as advisor for the State College High School Swing Dance Club, and sits on the board of The Next Stage Theatre Company.
Adult Jazz and Lyrical
Children's and Adult Hip hop
Ruth is a graduate of Sweet Briar College where she earned a BFA in dance. Ruth has studied many different genres, including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, modern, and Scottish Highland - her favorite. She is a regular competitor in Scottish Highland, traveling regionally, nationally, and internationally. Ruth is a recent transplant to State College, previously living and teaching in Spotsylvania, VA. She plans to continue her studies with an MFA in dance in the near future.
Children's Creative and PreBallet
Pointe, Dance for Athletes
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. Before joining the CPDW faculty in 2002, Karen taught at the School of the Hartford Ballet, in the Hartford Public School System, the school of the Pennsylvania Dance Theatre, and with Galaxy (CIU 10). Karen is also a LMT and is the owner of A Caring Touch: Massage Therapy and NittanyWeddings.com.