Our talented faculty adhere to best possible training methods to ensure that our dance lessons offer strong and safe technique for our dancers.
Kelly Murray Farrell, Founder & 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 V of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. In 2013, Kelly founded Ballet 180 School, and has since guided the school in its growth as a central organization in the community and a multi-year winner for “Best Dance Studio” by Main Line Parent Love Awards. 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.
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.
Kaitlyn Duane, Co Director of Student Company, NHSDA Chapter Sponsor
Kaitlyn Duane is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer from Colorado. She began as a Vaganova trained ballet dancer, but loves to branch out into modern and contemporary styles in both her performance and teaching practices. She recently completed a dance pedagogy internship at Longmont Dance Theatre in Longmont, CO to compliment and further develop the earlier training she received at Denver Ballet Theatre Academy under David Taylor and Anastasya Buechelle.Kaitlyn graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in dance from Mercyhurst University where the esteemed faculty included Tauna Hunter, Noelle Partusche, Jennifer McNamara, Leslie Bories-Scalise, and Mark and Solveig Santillano. She also minored in psychology and dance pedagogy, performed with SoMar Dance Works, and was president of the National Honors Society for Dance Arts. Kaitlyn was a trainee with American Repertory Ballet in Princeton, New Jersey and is now a company member with Klassic Contemporary Ballet Company. Kaitlyn has performed a variety of roles such as Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, Spanish Doll soloist in Coppelia, First Soloist in Paquita, as well as roles in other ballets including Sleeping Beauty and Giselle. Her choreographic works include Spectr⚥m, Flawed Ideals, Utopian Dysfunction, Tri-Phrase Patterns, and To Come, To Go, and To Stay. Kaitlyn aspires to instill the same love of dance and self expression in young artists as her teachers inspired in her, sharing her art with others through performance, choreography, and teaching in every opportunity she can find.
Tara George began her Ballet and Modern dance training under the direction of Delphine DelBello Spencer and David Kloss at the Pennsylvania Dance Institute in Bucks County, PA. Upon high school graduation, she attended Slippery Rock University where she danced and studied under Nola Nolen and Ursula Payne. Tara was invited to be a company member of Dance Del Bello in 1996, and she performed in many full-length ballets as well as some original Modern works.In 2002, Ms. George was invited by Delphine Del Bello Spencer to serve as the Children’s Dance Coordinator for the PA Dance Institute. Over the years, she has enjoyed teaching and choreographing the Pre-primary students there in productions such as “The Sleeping Beauty,” “Cinderella,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Coppelia.” She also has the honor of rehearsing the children each year in Dance DelBello’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol: The Ballet by David Kloss.”Since moving to the Chester County area in 2009, Tara has taught ballet classes to children at both the Phoenixville Area YMCA and at Ice Line Skating Rink in West Chester. A mom of four children, she also enjoys teaching Barre Fitness and Power Fusion classes at Vibe Vault Fit in Exton.
Katherine (Katie) Mills, Office Assistant, Co Director of Student Company
Katherine Mills was born in Snellville, GA but raised in Phoenixville, PA. She started dancing at the age of three after deciding and declaring that she wanted to be a professional dancer when she grew up. Katherine studied at James Madison University, graduating with degrees in Dance (BA) and Studio Art (BS). Upon graduating, she began dancing with a dance theatre company, Long2 Philly, under the direction of Vanessa Long and shortly after, began with a modern company, 3 Pony Show, under the direction of Keila Cordova. She is now excited to be joining Glorify Dance Theater for the 2020-2021 season. While studying at JMU, Katherine worked as an office assistant for the School of Theatre and Dance where she completed various arts administration tasks that aided in the running of the theatre and dance programs. Within the dance program she also had opportunities to partake in many production positions including but not limited to program designer, backstage crew, house manager, sound board operator, light board operator, choreographer and dancer. When Katherine is not dancing or working, she is spending time with her husband and cats, taking care of her 200+ plants, working on an art project, making up essential oil blends, or reading.
Haley Gilbert, Office Assistant
Haley began her dance training at Pennsylvania Regional Ballet (formerly Cumberland Dance Company). She graduated with a BA in Dance from DeSales University where she studied under Trinette Singleton, Julia Mayo, and Tara Madsen Robbins. While at DeSales she performed works by Trinette Singleton, Julia Mayo, Antony Tudor, and MADBOOTS co-founders Austin Diaz and Jonathan Campbell. She has also studied at various summer intensives including the Joffrey Texas Workshop and Paul Taylor American Modern Dance. Since graduating from DeSales, she has performed in the ETC Performance Series, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers’ Inhale/Exhale Performance Series, Jersey Fringe Festival, and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Haley is a member of Labyrinth Dance Company, as well as Allegory Dance Theatre. She is currently working as a Residential Direct Support Professional for Barber National Institute and is planning to attend graduate school for Dance/Movement Therapy.