Directors & Administrators
Karen Dearborn , MFA (Executive Director) is the founding Director of Dance for Muhlenberg College. A choreographer, dancer and scholar, she has created more than 70 works in concert dance, theatre, and musical theatre, including national tours of the Tony Award-winning National Theatre of the Deaf and several Equity theatres. 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 in Performing Magic on the Western Stage (Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History). She has presented at numerous conferences including National Dance Educators Organization, Congress on Research in Dance, and the National Dance Association. She has served on the executive committee of the American College Dance Festival Association board since 2002.
Lisa Bottitta-Busfield, Ed.M. (Educational Director and Administrative Manager) is a 2002 graduate of Muhlenberg’s Theatre & Dance Department, where she received her Bachelor of Arts 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 had the opportunity to study with such distinguished dance educators as Karen Dearborn, Luke Kahlich, Clare Byrne, Rebecca Lazier, Ann Vachon, and Brad Parquette. Ms. Bottitta-Busfield has served as a faculty member in dance for the University of Saint Francis, in Fort Wayne, Ind.; the Indiana University–Purdue University, Fort Wayne; and Huntington University. Ms. Bottitta-Busfield also choreographed and taught modern technique for the New American Youth Ballet Conservatory, and taught dance technique for The Fort Wayne School of Dance. She has performed as a modern dancer for Dance Arts Theater company in Fort Wayne, and has been a member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) since 2003.
Tara Repsher, BFA (Youth Program and Performance Company Director) holds a BFA in dance performance and education from Towson University. She received her early training from Patricia Bartholomew at Stage Door Studio. Her teaching experience covers many genres of dance, including ballet, modern, jazz, pointe, lyrical, musical theatre, and tap. While performing with the Towson University Dance Company she was asked to perform in a restaging of Martha Graham’s “Panorama.” Tara recently served as company director and dance teacher at Meade Senior High School in Maryland for five years. Her choreography has been seen at the Maryland High School Dance Festivals, Northampton Community College, and Walt Disney World. Tara is an adjunct faculty member in Muhlenberg College’s Department of Theatre and Dance.
Teresa VanDenend Sorge, Ed.M. (Education Training Mentor) has been sharing her talents in various teaching positions since 2000, 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 K through 12.
Jessica Bien BA (Department Manager) has served as the Theatre & Dance Department's general manager since 2006. She returns to her native Allentown from Boston, where she worked as executive assistant to the chief operating officer of the Wang Center for the Performing Arts. She also held positions as theatre manager and access coordinator at the Wang. She has served as marketing associate for Zoellner Center for the Arts, at Lehigh University; box office manager and director of marketing for the AmeriCulture Arts Festival; marketing and public relations intern for the Williamstown Theatre Festival; and communications and publications assistant for Hartwick College. Jess has also held production and administrative positions for events at Kutztown University, Civic Theatre, and Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre.