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

Adult Intermediate and Advanced Ballet


Adult Intermediate/Advanced Modern


Adult Modern Technique


Arts Festival Performance Class


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.   


Christina Ford

bulletChildren's Beginning Tap
bulletChildren's Intermediate Tap
bulletChildren's and Adult Advanced Tap
bulletChildren's and Adult Advanced Tap Review
bulletAdult Beginning Tap
bulletAdult 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 Jazz
bulletChildren's Lyrical

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.


Caitlin Osborne

bulletAdult Beginning Ballet

Caitlin recently retired from Penn State Altoona, where she taught ballet, jazz, modern, pointe, dance appreciation, and dance history for twelve years.  At Altoona, she founded and directed the Ivyside Dance Ensemble, and was the production coordinator for the Integrated Arts Program.  As part of her work in Altoona, she danced with Allied Motion Dance Company from 2003-2008, when the company went on hiatus.  Locally, she is the advisor for the State College High School Swing Dance Club, and sits on the board of The Next Stage Theatre Company.  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.  She holds degrees from Williams College and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 


Ruth Packard

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

Ruth is a recent graduate of Sweet Briar College where she graduated with honors earning a B.F.A. degree in dance.  She plans to purse an M.F.A. in dance in the near future.  Ruth has been dancing since she was three years old.  She has studied many different forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, modern, and her favorite, Scottish Highland, in which she has competed at the nation championship level, and in Scotland as well.  In the summer of 2015 she had the opportunity to attend the Dance and the Child International conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Ruth has only recently moved to State College from Spotsylvania, VA, where she taught a variety of dance styles to all ages.  She is very excited to join the CPDW faculty and be given the opportunity to be a part of its dance community.


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. 



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Central Pennsylvania Dance Workshop

101 South Fraser Street

State College, PA  16801

(814) 237-2666