Artistic Excellence

Our talented faculty adhere to best possible training methods to ensure that our dance lessons offer strong and safe technique for our dancers. All of our dance teachers follow the ABT® National Training Curriculum, a training methodology assembled by world class dance artists and a medical advisory board from fields of sports medicine, nutrition, physical therapy, and orthopedics to provide medical guidelines for healthy dance training. This means that our dance lessons focus on strong kinetics, coordination, anatomy, and proper body alignment.

Kelly Murray Farrell, Owner & Director
Kelly began her education with dance lessons starting at age three, training locally and later spending summers with Boston Ballet and Washington Ballet. She has performed with the Ballet Theatre of Maryland, West Chester Ballet Theatre, Brandywine Ballet Company, Wilmington Ballet Company, and ContempraDance Theatre. 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 her students.

Kari L. Gonthier, Manager of Education & Outreach
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.

Brittani Kelly
A Philadelphia native, Brittani began her training with dance lessons starting at the age of three. At eight she auditioned for The Rock School where she received a full scholarship under the City Dance Program. While dancing at The Rock, Britt performed the children’s lead Marie, in Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker for two years, and was featured in the NBC special Degas and the Dance. She also danced with Pennsylvania Ballet in Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Brittani attended summer intensives at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet and at sixteen was invited by SAB to continue her training during their winter session. While at SAB, Britt danced in The Nutcracker, Tarantella, and Union Jack.

After graduating from Albright College, Brittani danced professionally with two traveling companies in Maryland as well as Ballet 180. She taught ballet, pointe and creative movement in Maryland and Pennsylvania before relocating to San Diego where she continued to dance and perform with professional companies/chorographers and teach at Dance & Company. Britt is excited and grateful to be joining the Ballet 180 family again and is looking forward to sharing her love of dance with her students! 

Lexi DiFilippo
Lexi DiFilippo hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she attended the High School for Creative and Performing Arts directed by LaDeva Davis. During her time at CAPA, Lexi was appointed as dance captain of the dance department and choreographed works for department concerts, the 6ABC Thanksgiving Day Parade, television promotions for the Kimmel Center, and department concerts. In 2012, she was chosen to be a workshop assistant for Artists Simply Human’s first national tour where she assisted choreographers such as Wes Veldink, Christopher Huggins, Braham Crane, and Dee Caspary. She earned her BFA in Dance Performance from Chapman University where she trained under Ido Tadmor, Julianne O’Brien, Alicia Guy, Jennifer Backhaus, Charles Maple, and more. While at school, Lexi received numerous performance awards and was selected for exclusive performance opportunities such as a live choreography lab with Dwight Rhoden, the Musco Center of the Arts “Community Opening Day” gala, and the Technology for Live Performance course showcase at Cirque Du Soleil’s Zumanity Theater in Las Vegas. Since relocating back to Philadelphia, Lexi has worked as a teaching artist for Philadelphia School District afterschool programs and as a freelance instructor and choreographer.

Roberta Curless
Roberta is a performer, teacher, and choreographer based in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area.  She comes from a family of dedicated artists that exposed her to the process of creating art and telling stories on stage from a very young age, and her interest in dance sparked from an early exposure to theatre.  Roberta began dance lessons at the age of three and during her career as a dancer she has had the privilege of performing the choreography of Jason Samuels Smith, Todrick Hall, Debra McWaters, and Christopher D’ambois.  Roberta also had the honor of performing the original choreography of Bob Fosse under the direction of Ben Vereen.  As a choreographer some of Roberta’s most recent credits are: The Little Mermaid, Scrooge the Musical, 13 The Musical, and The Addams Family.  Roberta has been seen performing on stage at The Ritz Theatre, The Broadway Theatre of Pitman, The Off-Broadstreet Theatre, The Kelsey Theatre, and the Grand Theatre.  Roberta is grateful for all of the opportunities dance has given her onstage, in the studio, and in her everyday life, and she is excited to spend her time giving that gift to other dancers. 

Ashley Griffith
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.