Dance Faculty Bios

Karen Dearborn, Dance Program Chair

Professor, Ballet, Composition, and Dance History;
   Muhlenberg Community Dance Center (MCDC) Executive Director
M.F.A., Connecticut College; B.S., Radford University

Ms. Dearborn is the founder and Director of Dance for Muhlenberg College. She has choreographed more than 80 works in concert dance, theatre, and musical theatre, including National Tours of the Tony Award-winning National Theatre of the Deaf and Equity theatre companies. As a dancer, she performed professionally for 12 years in concert dance and musical theatre productions. Her research interests include performance studies, disability studies, and dance pedagogy, and her writing has been published in the Journal of Dance Education and the book Performing Magic on the Western Stage. She has presented papers at numerous conferences including National Dance Educators Organization (NDEO), Congress on Research in Dance, and the National Dance Association. Currently she is Treasurer of the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) a member of CORPS de Ballet International, NDEO, Society of Dance History Scholars and AEA.  Distinguished teaching awards include the Limback and the Spira.

Pattie Bostick

Part-Time Lecturer, Jazz and Ballet

Ms. Bostick has had 10 years of professional dance experience in shows throughout the United States, Europe, China, Japan, and the Caribbean. She is a certified teacher who has taught for Dance Educators of America and Dance Olympus. She also choreographs shows and special events for Confetti Entertainment. Ms. Bostick is a member of the dance faculty at both Muhlenberg College and Cedar Crest College. She is also the co-owner of a private studio, The Patricia Bostick Dance Center.

Lisa Bottitta-Busfield

Lisa Bottitta-Busfield

Full-Time Lecturer, Modern and Dance Education;
   MCDC Educational Director and Administrative Manager
Ed.M., Temple University; B.A., Muhlenberg College

Ms. Bottitta-Busfield is a 2002 graduate of Muhlenberg’s Theatre & Dance Department, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in dance. While in college, she participated annually in the American College Dance Festival (ACDFA) and made her film debut as a dancer in the independent film A.K.A. Ms. Bottitta-Busfield has served as a faculty member in dance for the University of Saint Francis, in Joliet, Ill., and the Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Ind. She has performed as a modern dancer for Dance Arts Theatre company in Fort Wayne, and has been a member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) for the past eight years.

Corrie Cowart

Corrie Franz Cowart

Assistant Professor, Modern, Ballroom, Composition, and Dance on Camera
M.F.A., University of Oregon; C.M.A., Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies; B.F.A., Cornish College of the Arts

Ms. Cowart has performed with the Mary Miller Dance Company, LABCO Dance, Minh Tran and Company, the Dance Theatre of Oregon, and the Pittsburgh Opera. She also performed both nationally and internationally with Impact Productions' Dayuma, and The Masterpiece. Cowart continues to perform and choreograph for her own company Co-Art Dance, a contemporary dance company she co-founded in 1997 with her husband Tim Cowart.

Susan Creitz

Susan Creitz

Part-Lecturer, Improvisation and Movement for Actors;
   Director, Six Meters performance ensemble
B.S., Trenton State College

Ms. Creitz spent 15 years in New York City with Alwin Nikolais, Murray Louis, Norman Ader and Phyllis Lamhut. She was a faculty member of the dance and theatre departments at the University of Michigan, and she has served a guest residency at Duke University. She has held numerous guest teaching positions throughout the United States, and in the Republic of Ireland for Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre, Wexford Arts Centre, and Galway Dance Centre. Ms. Creitz is the director of the Muhlenberg Improv Ensemble and was the choreographer for Muhlenberg theatre productions of The Kafka Project, Cave Theory, Ophelia's Tattoo, and Juliet and her Romeo.

Heidi Cruz-Austin

Heidi Cruz-Austin

Part-Time Lecturer, Ballet

Ms. Cruz-Austin has studied at the School of American Ballet and The Pennsylvania Ballet, where she received an apprenticeship in 1994, and joined the Company as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 1995. She has danced numerous featured roles for various choreographers, including Val Caniparoli, Ben Stevenson, Alvin Ailey, Margo Sappington, Christopher d'Amboise, and Matthew Neenan. She has also had featured roles in many George Balanchine ballets. Ms. Cruz-Austin has also danced with the Philadelphia-based company Ballet X and has performed as a guest artist through the United States and Europe. As a choreographer, she was a winner in the 2003 Ballet Builders showcase in New York City and has been commissioned to create works for Franklin and Marshall College, Bryn Mawr College, and Repertory Dance Theatre. She was a recipient of the 2004-2005 New Edge Residency at the Community Education Center of Philadelphia and a 2008 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Megan Flynn

Megan Flynn

Full-Time Lecturer, Ballet, Modern, Pilates
M.F.A. University of California, Irvine; B.F.A. Tulane University

Ms. Flynn is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher of ballet, modern dance, and Pilates. As a dancer, she has worked with several companies, including David Parker & The Bang Group in New York City, and EgoArt, Inc. in Cambridge, Mass. She received a Professional Diploma in Dance Studies at the Laban Center in London, and was mentored by the Daghdha Dance Company in Limerick, Ireland. Her performances abroad include: Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Brighton Fringe, and Resolution! Festival in the UK; The Russia Project in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Ekaterinburg; and the Dance Improvisation & Choreography Festival in Andalucía, Spain. Ms. Flynn has taught in the dance departments of UC Irvine, MiraCosta College, and Milton Academy, and has served as a guest teacher for Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy and the Boston Ballet School. As a choreographer, her solo and group pieces have been performed internationally and most recently in Philadelphia, New York City and Irvine.

Gayanne Grossman

Part-Time Lecturer, Anatomy & Kinesiology for Dancers; Dance Clinic Director
Ph.D. studies at Temple University; B.A. & B.S., University of Utah

Ms. Grossman is a physical therapist for dancers at Muhlenberg College as well as an associate instructor of anatomy and kinesiology for Temple University and Muhlenberg College dance programs. She currently serves on the board of directors and the education committee for the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. She has authored several papers and a book chapter on subjects such as physical therapy for dancers, management of dance injuries, advocating for dance science education, and dance-specific conditioning. Ms. Grossman lectures nationally and internationally on dance medicine and science.

Madeline Hoak

Madeline Hoak

Part-Time Lecturer, Aerial Acrobatics
B.A., Muhlenberg College

Ms. Hoak is a NYC based dancer, aerialist and teaching artist. As a company member of the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company (DGDC), she has performed at numerous NYC venues including Joyce SoHo, Queens Arts Museum, Museum of Jewish Heritage, City Center Studios, and the Alvin Ailey theater. Also a company member of Kinesis Project, Ms. Hoak has performed evening length works and intimate theatrical events at The West End Theater, La Mama, Judson Church, Kaatsbaan, Battery and Fort Tryon Park, and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. In the air, she has performed with Cirque-tacular, Helium Productions, and Above & Beyond Dance. A core member of Grounded Aerial, Ms. Hoak performs nationally on silks, rope, trapeze, harness, and bungee. She has showcased her own choreography at venues such as Brooklyn Arts Exchange, the Abron Arts Center, STREB, and Embody Studio.

Ellen Troy Mulcahy

Part-Time Lecturer, Pilates and Ballet
B.S., Empire State College

Ms. Mulcahy has been a member of The Joffrey Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Twyla Tharp Dance. She also performed on Broadway and in National Tours and was an original cast member of the 1989 Tony Award-winning Jerome Robbins' Broadway. She was an assistant professor of dance at Syracuse University and an instructor at Broadway Dance Center, The New York City Ballet's education program, Feld Ballets, The New Ballet School, and the American Dance Festival in Seoul, South Korea. Ms. Mulcahy is also a certified Pilates instructor through the Pilates Guild in New York City, and teaches in the Pilates Center at Muhlenberg College.

Shelley Oliver

Full-Time Lecturer, Tap; Director, Muhlenberg Tap Ensemble
B.A., York University

Ms. Oliver is the artistic director of the Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers, which tours theatres, concert halls, and festivals with the David Leonhardt Jazz Group. She is a founding member of Manhattan Tap as a dancer and choreographer and was co-artistic director for two years. She has performed extensively in Europe, China, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States. Some of Ms. Oliver's television appearances include Tap Dance in America with Gregory Hines and Star Search. She conducts jazztap workshops and master classes for dance professionals, artists in the schools, teachers, and school children.

Jeffrey Peterson

Jeffrey Peterson

Assistant Professor, Modern, Jazz, Dance Technique & Performance
M.F.A., New York University's Tisch School of the Arts;
B.F.A., University of Minnesota

Mr. Peterson has performed with JAZZDANCE by Danny Buraczeski, Stephan Koplowitz, Clare Byrne, Edisa Weeks, The Minnesota Opera, and The Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. He has previously taught at Gustavus Adolphus College, Hamline University, St. Olaf College, and Minnesota State University, Mankato, as well as The Minneapolis Children's Theatre Company, and Perpich Center for Arts Education. Mr. Peterson's choreography has been commissioned by Dance New Amsterdam's In The Company of Men and Movement Research at Judson Church. His work has also appeared in the DanceNOW/NYC festival at Joe's Pub and Joyce SOHO, as well as Patrick's Cabaret, Intermedia Arts, Rhythmically Speaking, Kinetic Kitchen, Minnesota Fringe Festival and The Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. Mr. Peterson's creative research casts a wide net, weaving together modern, jazz, colorguard, and theatre; his work for Jeffrey Peterson Dance often utilizes this integrative approach to alter our perspectives regarding social constructs. Mr. Peterson recently received his certification in Laban Movement Analysis / Bartenieff Fundamentals through Integrated Movement Studies.

Tara Repsher

Tara Repsher

Part-Time Lecturer, Ballet and Jazz;
   MCDC Youth Program and Performance Company Director
B.F.A., Towson University

Ms. Repsher holds a B.F.A. in dance performance and education. She received her early training from Patricia Bartholomew at Stage Door Studio. While performing with the Towson University Dance Company, Ms. Repsher was asked to perform in a restaging of Martha Graham's Panorama. Her teaching experience covers many genres of dance, including ballet, modern, jazz, pointe, lyrical, musical theatre, and tap. Ms. Repsher's choreography has been seen at the Maryland High School Dance Festivals, Northampton Community College, and Walt Disney World.

Sammy Reyes

Sammy Reyes

Guest Artist, Hip Hop
B.F.A., University of the Arts

While at UArts, Mr. Reyes received the Cushman Acting Award and the ensemble theater award for his outstanding achievements in dramatic arts. After college, Mr. Reyes continued his dance training with Ronen Koresh, Rennie Harris, and Kip Martin. He was rehearsal director and dance member of Dance Theater X Project, directed by Charles O. Anderson. Mr. Reyes recently completed touring the nation with television and radio artist Raven Symone. Mr. Reyes continues to choreograph independently for numerous events including the Philadelphia Gay Pride Event at the Kimmel Center in May 2001. A highlight of his career occurred recently when he was nominated for a Barrymore Award in 2007 for Best Choreography for The Bombitty of Errors with 11th Hour Theater Company. Mr. Reyes is Artistic Director of Sanbrooka productions in Philadelphia.

Randall Anthony Smith

Randall Anthony Smith

Visiting Lecturer, Modern
M.F.A. & B.F.A., University of California, Irvine

Mr. Smith is a dancer with Armitage Gone! Dance, as well as répétiteur and assistant to choreographer Donald McKayle, having performed for McKayle's Etude Ensemble for four years. Smith is a former ballet, modern, and contemporary jazz instructor for the Destin School of Music and Dance. Mr. Smith maintains a practice of performing, restaging and interpreting McKayle's repertory, creating his own dance works, and teaching dance nationally. He has performed with acclaimed ballerina and choreographer Jodie Gates in "Mein Zimmer" (2012) and for jazz dance choreographer Sheron Wray's "So Do You Think Freud Was Really Wrong?" (2011). Other recent performances include works by Bulareyaung Pagarlav, Shen We, zoe|juniper, Chrisitana Axelsen, and Amanda Selwyn, as well as "WOW" (2014), an experimental opera created by Joe Diebes, Christian Hawkey, and Adam Levin.

Teresa VanDenend Sorge

Full-Time Lecturer, Modern, Dance Education, and Dance & Society;
   Director, DanceMax Moving Company performance ensemble;
   MCDC Education Training Mentor
Ed.M., Temple University; B.A., Hope College

Since 2000 Ms. VanDenend Sorge has been sharing her talents in various teaching positions including instructor of dance at Hope College in Holland, Mich.; dance instructor at Koresh Dance Company, in Philadelphia; and adjunct professor at Temple University. Teresa has performed with Aerial Dance Theatre, PUSH Physical Theatre, and InLet Dance Theatre. Teresa received her B.A. in dance performance/choreography as well as receiving her certification in dance education for children in grades K through 12.

Meredith Stapleton

Meredith Stapleton

Part-Time Lecturer, Ballet
B.A., Muhlenberg College

Ms. Stapleton is a Philadelphia-based dance artist and teacher. She grew up in Harvard, Mass., training at Acton School of Ballet and performing with Commonwealth Ballet Company. In 2013, she graduated from Muhlenberg College as a dance major and women's studies minor. She has attended many summer workshops, including Burklyn Ballet Theater, Alonzo King Lines School of Ballet, the Boston Conservatory, on scholarship with Summer Stages at Concord Academy, and Doug Varone & Dancers. Meredith has performed works by Corrie Franz Cowart, Trinette Singleton, Meredith Rainey, Sean Curran, Teresa Fellion, The Bang Group, Heidi Cruz-Austin, Charlotte Boye-Christensen, and Jeffrey Peterson. She has worked professinally with DanceSpora, Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet, Teresa VanDenend-Sorge, Megan Flynn Dance Company, DRIGGProductions, Evalina Carbonell, Sean Thomas Boyt, Ashley Sleeth, Kat Sullivan, The Naked Stark, and Antonia & Artists. She rehearses her own stage, site-specific, and film projects out of Headlong Studios and Mascher Space Co-op. Meredith has taught at Happy Feet Dance Studio, Haddonfield School of Dance, and Koresh School of Dance.

Sharon Vazanna

Sharon Vazanna

Schusterman Visiting Artist
Graduate, Rotterdam Dance Academy

Ms. Vazanna was born 1982 in The Netherlands and raised in Israel. She is a Graduate of the Rotterdam Dance Academy. From 2003 to 2006, Ms. Vazanna worked with such choreographers as Anouk Van Dijk (Netherlands) and Rami Be’er, (Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Israel). Between 2007-2009, Ms. Vazanna was a dancer at the Cullberg Ballet in Sweden. In the summer of 2009 Sharon returned to Israel and continued her collaboration with choreographer Idan Cohen, performing in the creations Swan Lake and Miss Brazil. She went on to perform in creations by William Forsyth, Jaccobo Godani, and Idan Sharabi as a member of "The Project" (The Israeli Opera and Suzanne Dellal Dance Center). In 2012 Ms. Vazanna was awarded the Outstanding Dancer Award at the Fifth Cross Connection Choreography Competition in Copenhagen for her performance in the creation “Rak 2” by Idan Sharabi. Ms. Vazanna dedicates a growing part of her time to choreography. She teaches master classes and workshops in contemporary dance and repertoire both in Israel and internationally.

Jessica C. Warchal-King

Jessica C. Warchal-King

Part-Time Lecturer, Ballet
M.F.A., Temple University; B.A., Muhlenberg College

Ms. Warchal-King is a Philadelphia-based performer, choreographer, educator, and arts advocate. She received her M.F.A. in dance performance and choreography from Temple University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in dance and anthropology from Muhlenberg College. Jessica is a member of the internationally recognized modern dance company Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers and the regionally recognized contemporary ballet company the Nora Gibson Performance Project. Her choreography has been presented throughout the East Coast. Jessica is an instructor for Dance for PD (dance for people with Parkinson's Disease, developed by the Mark Morris Dance Group) and is the operations coordinator and community liaison for the CHI Movement Arts Center in Philadelphia. Jessica also curates the InHale Performance Series and teaches at various universities, studios, and community organizations.

Lynn Wiener

Part-Time Lecturer, Lester Horton Modern Dance Technique, Ballet, and Jazz
M.A., B.F.A. & M.B.A., University of Cincinnati, CCM and CBA
2012 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Horton Pedagogy Certificate
CFP professional education program graduate, Denver, Colo.

Ms. Wiener professionally performed with The Cincinnati Ballet/New Orleans Ballet, Tulsa Ballet Theatre, Repertory Dance Theatre, and Burklyn Ballet Theater Summer Program. As an adjunct professor at CCM , for both the college and preparatory departments , she performed and choreographed extensively for the University Dance Ensemble. She has taught at Xavier University and the school for Tulsa Ballet Theater. Ms. Wiener studied, taught, and performed the Lester Horton Modern Dance Technique for more than seven years under the direction of Master Teacher James Truitte. She has been directed by Roman Jasinski, Frederick Franklin, Oleg Sabline, Denise Warner-Limoli and Alexander Bennett. Lynn's commissioned choreography includes five musical theatre productions, sword fight sequences, several pieces for Sarah Carlson's "Ten Tiny Dances", and ballets for Repertory Dance Theatre. Lynn joined Muhlenberg in 2008, is an adjunct faculty member at DeSales University and has been on faculty with Repertory Dance Theatre since 1996.