About Us

Our purpose is to educate and broaden the performance horizons of our students, no matter the age or ability level. To this goal, we will offer expanded performance opportunities including a community outreach program, a biennial Nutcracker, competitions, and other periodic performances. We will also offer master classes and young choreographer workshops on top of the standard studio repertoire. These opportunities will be offered out of a brand new, modern, dance studio in easy commute distance of Kutztown University, Lehigh Valley, and surrounding towns (Kutztown, Fleetwood, Oley, etc.).

The studio will run Monday through Friday 4:30-9PM. This schedule will be in place September through June with summer camps and workshops running June through August. Nutcracker and special performance rehearsals will be run on weekend afternoons. We will have an annual June recital and a biennial Nutcracker in December.

 

Our competition team will be optional and available to students who desire additional performance opportunities and outside feedback on their technique. Rehearsals will be run during the week.

Our Philosophy

Our Teachers

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Priscilla Knight

Priscilla began studying ballet at the age of three with her mother Kay Knight. Kay Knight was the ballet mistress for San Francisco Ballet's Academy.

 

By the age of 14, Priscilla became a member of Muncie Ballet Theater. While performing during the school year, she continued her studies in ballet at Butler Ballet, Cincinnati School of Ballet and the Indianapolis School of Ballet. During the summers, Priscilla studied at Jacob's Pillow where she became a Jacob's Pillow dancer, the performing aspect of the school. She also spent one summer studying with George Balanchine in New York at the age of 13. She also studied with Lew Christianson of Ballet West at age 17.

 

Priscilla's professional career began at 14 with Muncie Ballet Theatre, after graduating high school she joined Indianapolis Ballet, and was a visiting artist at Cincinati Ballet. Roles included the Firebird, Titania (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), 4 little swans (Swan Lake), Sugar Plum (Nutcracker). Ballets she performed in with Demi solos include Les Sylphide, La Sylphide, Giselle, Copelia, Jewels, Agon, Appalachian Spring, Rite of Spring, and many others.

 

Priscilla's teaching credentials. Bachelor of Arts and Masters Indiana University in ballet, certified in Royal Ballet from Harkness Ballet, certified in Bournonville at Jacobs Pillow, certified with Dance Educators of America.

 

Teaching experience include 4 years as professor of ballet at Kutztown University, 20 years as instructor at Marilyn's Dance Studio, 5 years instructor at Dance Pointe, assistant instructor at Indiana University.

 

Priscilla's philosophy: all students of dance should have qualified training in ballet regardless of the individual students preferred dance form. Ballet is the foundation of all western forms of dance. Students of ballet should also have the experience of performing in full length ballets as well as the opportunity to perform lead roles in ballets rather than hiring professional dancers.

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Catherine Thomas

Catherine has been dancing for as long as she can remember and has experience in many different styles including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, musical theater, contemporary, and lyrical. When she was 15, she began assisting at her local dance studio, inspiring her to pursue a career in teaching young minds. Three years later, she graduated to teaching her own dance classes. At the same time, Catherine attended Northampton Community College where she majored in Early Childhood Education and minored in dance education with a focus on jazz, musical theater and modern. When she is not teaching dance, she is following her second passion, teaching preschool. Catherine is so excited to meet everyone and to begin her first year teaching at Kutztown Dance Center!

Micaela Hulsebos
 Director

Micaela is the owner and business manager of Kutztown Dance Center and has been dancing since she was three years old. During her school years, she studied at Marilyn’s Dance Studio, Dance Pointe, and Culture Shock. She also attended programs at Point Park University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst and danced with Amherst Ballet and Northampton School of Dance. She specializes in ballet and modern but has also taken classes and workshops in jazz, hip-hop, tap and acrobatics. She has been teaching lyrical/contemporary/modern for five years and is the head of the Contemporary Department at Kutztown Dance Center. She will also head the Kutztown Dance Center’s Elite Ensemble. If you have any questions about competitions, the outreach program, and/or taking classes in any of the contemporary arts, please reach out to her.

Micaela received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her MS in Accounting and Information Analysis from Lehigh University. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Pennsylvania and is currently employed in this capacity in Wyomissing.

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Abigail Gipe

Abby began dancing at the age of 4 at Richie’s school of dance in Highspire, PA. There she learned a variety of styles including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and baton twirling. She was an assistant teacher at Richie’s for 3 years in high school mostly working with the preschool and beginner classes. She graduated from Middletown Area High School in 2016.


Abby is a 2020 graduate of Kutztown University where she studied special education. At Kutztown, she was president of performing dance portmanteau (PDP), a dance company on campus. In PDP Abby has choreographed many dances in styles such as contemporary, lyrical, and tap. She also assisted in choreographing their routine for the homecoming pep rally. Abby currently works as a special education teacher and enjoys bringing her love of music and dance into the classroom.

Andrea Boyer

Andrea began dancing at the age of seven at Marilyn’s Dance Studio. Through her school years, she took a variety of classes including tap, jazz, lyrical, ballet, and modern. She was also on Marilyn’s Dance Studio’s competition team, winning many top awards, and was an assistant tap teacher for three years. Andrea graduated from Fleetwood High School and is continuing her education at Lehigh Carbon Community College, studying in the Nursing Program.

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Taryn Stauffer

Taryn has been participating in dance classes since she was 5 years old. Over the years she has learned a variety of styles including ballet, lyrical, tap, and hip hop, but her favorites are ballet and hip hop. She has taken classes at Marylin’s Dance Studio, Dance Pointe in Hamburg PA, Rhythm in Motion Dance Company, and Kutztown Dance Center. At Rhythm in Motion, she was on multiple dance teams for several years and they won many high awards at competitions. During her time with KDC, Taryn has assisted in a few beginning ballet, beginning ballet/tap, and creative movement classes. She is now studying elementary education at Kutztown University to become a kindergarten teacher. Taryn is very excited to help instill her love of dance into the young dancers she teaches here at KDC.

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Maya Evans

Maya has been participating in dance classes since she was three years old. Maya has taken classes at Marilyn’s Dance Studio and Kutztown Dance Center. She has experience in a variety of styles such as ballet, lyrical, modern, jazz, tap, and hiphop. Maya’s mother, Melanie Chester, inspired her to begin dancing and pursue dance instruction. 

 

At Marilyn’s Dance Studio, Maya was a hiphop assistant for many years. At Kutztown Dance Center, she assisted and taught hiphop classes. Through her high school career, she served as the choreographer for her school musicals. 

 

Maya is a graduate of Kutztown University and has received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Maya is passionate about sharing her love of dance with her students and will always remind them how awesome, beautiful, and amazing they are. She loves being a part of the KDC staff and is looking forward to many great dance seasons to come!

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Molly Hill

Starting out at a young age as a gymnast, Molly didn’t start dancing until she was 9 years old, though it did not take long after starting for her to realize that dance was what she really loved. She spent the rest of her K-12 years studying dance at E-Dance Center in Elizabethtown, PA. Throughout her time there she studied various styles including acro, ballet, modern, lyrical, hip hop, jazz, and pointe. She also spent five years as a teacher’s assistant for classes including beginner teen ballet, acro, creative movement, and beginner modern. Molly graduated from Elizabethtown Area High School in 2017. 

 

Molly is currently in her senior year at Kutztown University studying secondary social studies and special education. At Kutztown, she is the current president of Performing Dance Portmanteau (PDP), an all-inclusive dance company on campus. For PDP, Molly has choreographed routines in the styles of jazz and contemporary. 

 

Although Molly’s favorite style of dance is Jazz, she is very excited to get back into acro, which was her first love, in addition to teaching our very young dancers. She believes that a fun introduction to dance at a young age can lead to a love of dance that can last a lifetime. 

It’s so much more than dance. It’s atmosphere, it’s personality, it’s knowing there’s a safe place where you are accepted for who you are and trusting that those guiding you are there to guide you to your absolute best. It’s opportunity. To shine, to be special, to try new things that you’d never in a million years be able to try anywhere else. It’s so much more than dance. It’s life.

Mission:

By nurturing confidence, grace, and bold exploration of creative expression, we give students the self-esteem to make the whole boundless world their stage.

Vision Goals:

1. To create a safe environment for artistic expression, camaraderie and laughter

2. To instill respect for education by honoring and celebrating students’ growth and evolution through learning

3. To connect young people to fiercely caring mentors who encourage self-assurance, structured learning and a positive body image

4. To find the real joy behind the “stage smile” in grace and discipline, movement and music

5. To transform hesitance into confidence, uncertainty into strength