Studio 180’s dance faculty includes qualified, professional teachers that care greatly about our students and about the fine art of dance. Our teachers have danced professionally and/or graduated with college degrees in dance.
Kelly Murray Farrell
Owner/Director & Lead Instructor
Kelly began her dance education at age three, training locally and later spending summers with Boston Ballet and Washington Ballet. As a student, she performed with West Chester Ballet Theatre, Brandywine Ballet Company, and the Wilmington Ballet Company. Kelly went on to perform professionally with Ballet Theatre of Maryland, where she was selected by Director Diana Cuatto to perform with the company in the ARTSCAPE festival in Baltimore. She has also performed with ContempraDance Theatre, with whom she toured throughout Poland as a guest performer at the Ladek Zdroj International Dance Festival, and later she performed in Washington D.C. under the direction of Miya Hisaka, Founder/Director of El Teatro de Danza Contemporanea de El Salvador. In 2008 Kelly returned to the Philadelphia area and founded Ballet 180. Kelly has led Ballet 180 in performances in the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), Philadelphia Dance Collective, Philly Fringe Festival, Fringe Wilmington, Philly’s Got Talent, and in various public performances at local schools, churches, art centers, and other community events. Kelly received an award for her choreography through the Mordechai Anielewicz Creative Arts Competition, has served as a judge for the Main Line Talent Show, and was selected as a member of the Philadelphia dance community to learn the methodology of the award-winning National Dance Institute (NDI), which emphasizes dance as a means of building self-confidence and transcending cultural, physical, and cognitive barriers. Kelly is also an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level III of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Kelly is grateful to be able to share her knowledge and love for dance with the students at Studio 180, the official school of Ballet 180.
Faculty, Education & Outreach Coordinator
Kari L. Gonthier, originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, graduated from the Alabama School of Fine Arts and earned a B.F.A. in Dance and a B.S. in Family and Child Sciences from Florida State University. Kari also has an M.A. from NYU Steinhardt School in Teaching Dance in the Professions: American Ballet Theatre Ballet Pedagogy, where she had the opportunity to choreograph and stage her work. Kari L. Gonthier is an ABT® Affiliate Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Ballet Pedagogy Masters program through New York University, certifying in Pre-Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum and has successfully presented students for examinations. Performance credits include roles with the Alabama Ballet, Ballet 180 and original works with choreographers such as Dwight Rhoden, Arturo Fernandez, Donald Byrd, and Thaddeus Davis. While attending Florida State, Kari was a member of the Golden Girl dance team and a staff member of Universal Dance Association. She was a coach for the NYU Purple and White dance team from 2010-2013, where she choreographed and taught jazz, hip hop and pom technique. In addition, Kari has worked with children of varying special needs as a volunteer for a pediatric oncology camp. Kari has also served as faculty for the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Children’s Division School of American Ballet Theatre.
Jessica Frazier, Faculty
Jessica has attended summer intensives at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Atlanta Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theater, Butler University, BalletX, The Rock School, and Philadelphia Ballet School. Jessica continued her studies at SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Dance and went on to dance with BalletFleming. Jessica has been dancing with Ballet 180 for the past three years and serves as a rehearsal assistant for Ballet 180’s Student Company.
Catherine Long, Faculty
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Catherine began her ballet training in 1992 under the direction of Donna Muzio in West Chester Pa. She Dance with Brandywine Ballet Company from 1998- 2004. In 2008 she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance from Towson University. While at Towson she studied under Dennis Price, Catherine Horta-Hayden, Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, and Dana Martin. In June of 2008, she was asked to present choreography for the National Dance Education Organization conference in Towson MD. She was a member of the Roxey Ballet in Lambertville, NJ from 2008-2010. In the Spring of 2010 she danced with Ballet ADI in Rockville MD, working with Runqaio Du, resident choreographer of Ballet ADI, and former principal dancer with Washington Ballet and Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and Jared Nelson principal dancer with the Washington Ballet. In 2011, Catherine rejoined Runqaio Du now Artistic Director of Ballet ADI in Rockville MD. Also during her time in Maryland, she taught dance in both middle and elementary schools throughout Baltimore city. Once back in Philadelphia she taught at various studios throughout Philadelphia and New Jersey. In addition, freelanced with various choreographers throughout the Tri-state area. In 2013 she began teaching ballet and contemporary dance for the University of Pennsylvania’s recreation department. In 2014, she moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to instruct Ballet full time at Dance Dimensions Home of the Fort Lauderdale Childrens Ballet Theatre. Catherine is an ABT Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT National Training Curriculum. Catherine is happy to be back teaching throughout the tristate area and joining the staff of Studio 180.
Matt Soojian, Faculty
At age 16 Matt joined Footwerx Tap Company directed and produced by tap master Darrell Williams and is currently a company member and assistant choreographer. In 2014 he completed his degree for a BFA in Ballet Performance at The University of the Arts where he has worked under many artists including Christine Cox, Kim Bears-Bailey, Brian Sanders, Robert Burden, Arantxa Ochoa, Meredith Rainey, Eva Szabo, Scott Jovovich, Helen Simoneau, and Crystal Frazier.
SarahKim Vennard, Faculty
SarahKim was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in upstate New York. She trained at the NYSSSA, Albany Dance Institute, and the University of the Arts. Her company experience includes the Berkshire Ballet, EBA Dance Company, and the Penn Dance Company. She is a former Board Member for Dance and the Child International and a current member of the National Dance Educators Organization. She is founder and Artistic Director of Nova Dance Company and certified by American Ballet Theatre to teach their national curriculum. Combining her love of dance, Pilates, and yoga, she completed certification through Exhale to teach Barre fitness.
Ashely Griffith, Office Assistant
Ashley is originally from Northern New Jersey. She graduated from Eastern University with her B.L.A in 2009. While teaching preschool in Camp Hill, PA, she received her CDA, Child Development Associate, from Penn State Harrisburg in 2011. After receiving her CDA, she moved back to the Main Line area, where she has worked full time as an assistant general manager, while completing her Associate Degree in Applied Science. Ashley looks forward to learning the intricacies of the dance profession while aiding in the administrative side of Studio 180.