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About Our Studio

THE DANCE DEPOT was established in 1997. Owner/Director Susan Pinney has taught dance since 1976. Born into a family of dancers and entertainers, her mother and aunt founded The Blue Bell School of Dance, a family business since the early 1970's. Susan's expertise stems from three generations of family committed to dance and dance education.
Dancers


STUDENTS WHO ATTEND THE DANCE DEPOT will learn the fundamentals of dance while incorporating proper technique, discipline, coordination, poise and rhythm in a nurturing and family-friendly environment. "We view our studio as a place of empowerment, encouraging self-esteem for children, educating minds, bodies and souls of children while partnering with parents in developing life-long skills."

OUR FACULTY ARE PROFESSIONAL dancers and educators whose backgrounds, education and training provide students with a variety of artistic influences. Our instructors enthusiastically share their talents and expertise with all students, beginner to advanced.

WE HAVE AN EXTENSIVE PROGRAM of weekly classes for the recreational dancer and we also have competition teams for your child to explore when the time is right. Our staff is dedicated to both types of students and your child will be in a supportive environment, whichever route s/he chooses.

Our Staff

Our faculty is made up of dedicated instructors whose backgrounds, education and training provide students from the beginner to the advanced dancer. Our teachers truly have their student's emotional and physical development foremost in their hearts.

Susan Pinney
Executive Director
Artistic Director
Preschool, Tap, Ballet

Michael Pinney
Executive Director
Married for 30 years and a mother of four Miss Sue was born into a family of musicians and entertainers. Her grandparents were both accomplished musicians and her parents were professional entertainers in voice and dance. Both Miss Sue's mother and aunt were owners and directors of their own Dance Schools. Her aunt The Wanda School of Dance located in Phila., and her mother The Blue Bell School of Dance which still operates successfully after 40 years. Miss Sue began to dance at the age of 3, performing with her mother at many local affairs in different cities. At age 3 1/2 she performed on the "Al Albert's TV Show" as his first baby performer. At the age of 12 she began student teaching for her mother. Her training included many dance conventions with well known instructors such as Frank Hatchett and Fred Kelly. At age 20 Miss Sue became a permanent instructor at The Blue Bell School of Dance. In 1994 Sue began teaching at a local church hall and accumulated so many students, that it was time to operate her own studio. In 1996 she opened her own studio in Schwenksville and shortly there after expanded to Collegeville where she has become a tremendous success. Greatly admired by her students, because of her fabulous Tap Technique, vivacious personality and loving nurturing manner.

Donna Greenfield
Hip Hop, Preschool, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Director of Dream Catchers
Ms. Donna is in her 15th year as in instructor at The Dance Depot. Donna received her dance education through the University of the Arts and Temple University. In 1982, she joined Waves Dance Company under the direction of Shimon Braun. In 1985, Donna opened her own dance studio where met and employed world renowned Rennie Harris of Pure Movement. Its was then her love for funk and Hip Hop began, as they taught and performed together. Donna has also choreographed for local television spots such as Dance Party USA, Teen Video, Lip Sync (MTV) and Be My Witness. Donna has taught in many dance studios in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but is now proud to call The Dance Depot her true dance home. In addition to her many musical theatre, jazz and hip hop classes, Donna is now the director of our new Dream Catchers Performance Team, which she solely developed to share the love of dance in community events and for several charities, including The Make a Wish Foundation. Ms. Donna is a studio favorite as her love for dance, teaching and her students is exceptional and genuine.

Melanie Baker Niblick
Director of Public Relations/Marketing
Preschool, Me-2, Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre
Melanie is the owner of Tap-N-Burn Fitness and lives in Limerick, PA. Originally from Oak Ridge, TN, she started dancing in 1975 at Oak Ridge Academy of Dance where she performed for many years with the studio's performance company. Melanie has more than 30 years experience in dance and performance, adding theater and improvisation to her studies in college, while studying Communications/Public Relations at the University of Tennessee. Melanie began her teaching career in 1999 in Minneapolis, MN and then in Raleigh, NC teaching in many dance studios and preschools. Upon relocating back to East TN, Melanie opened KidMoves Dance Company, which grew to include 20 preschools/after school programs. In 2005, she expanded her company even further to include a brick and mortar location, which she owned and operated for 10 years. In 2005, Melanie added Tap-N-Burn Fitness to her program, which quickly became popular as she hired/licensed instructors to help expand the program even more. After moving to the Philadelphia area in 2010, Melanie immediately started teaching classes at several locations and the Tap-N-Burn concept exploded. After only two years in the northeast, Tap-N-Burn has been given such accolades as Philadelphia's Most Unique AND Philadelphia's Most Memorable Workout in PhillyFIT 2012, as judged by well-known fitness celebrities and by popular vote of hundreds of attendees. Tap-N-Burn was also featured on the nationally syndicated “Steve Harvey Show” and she introduced Tap-N-Burn to America as the most comprehensive cardio-tap workout in the country. As she continued to develop her company, Melanie taught childrens' classes at many local studios, including The Dance Depot, where, in addition to an instructor in several genres of dance, she has become the studio's Public Relations and Marketing Director. Melanie attends workshops every year, most notably NYC's Tap City and The Pulse, where she has learned from some of the biggest names in the industry. Melanie is married to Jay and they have three children: Zach, Baker and Joe.

Erika Speer
Competition Team, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop
Ms. Erika Speer is a multi-platinum award winning choreographer in Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop and has been an instructor at The Dance Depot for 6 years. After graduating from Brentwood High School on Long Island, New York, Erika moved to Philadelphia where she received her BFA in Dance Education from the University of the Arts. Erika continues her dance education yearly by attending New York's Dance Teacher Summit where she takes master classes with well known names in dance such as Germaine Salsberg, Frank Hatchett, Greg Russell and Debbie Dee (just to name a few). Her dynamic and well-rounded experience and teaching style allows her to teach students of all ages, preschool to adult, in almost every dance genre. Erika's students have excelled both on the recreational level and in the competition circuit as her dancers have won Platinum and High-Gold awards in many competition platforms, including the prestigious Starquest, Onstage New York and Starpower Competitions. Erika has been awarded the Apogee Award two years in a row – this award goes to the highest scoring routines among all levels of dance entries in the Competition. During the summer months, Erika is the director of the Julian Krinsky Dance program in Bryn Mawr, where she has written and directed dance programs for children of many ages and nationalities. For the last five years, children have come from all over the world (China, France, Lebanon, Italy and the Dominican Republic) to participate in Erika's program. Erika's love and passion for dance is evident in her day to day life as she continually seeks ways to further her own dance education and that of her students. Erika plans to continue this profession for many years to come – and has high hopes for dance education to cross into mainstream physical education for ALL students.

Krista Montrone
Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Jazz, Competition & Modern
Krista Rae Montrone began her training at the age of three in Hudson, New Hampshire, at Melissa Hoffman Dance Center. After moving to Connecticut in 2000, she continued her training at D'valda & Sirico Dance and Music Centre. Upon graduating high school, Krista moved to New York City where she was involved in many projects including the opening of Revolution at the Joyce Theatre and various industrial projects ranging from Aflac to Juicy Couture. Krista joined Koresh Dance Company in 2011, and teaches for multiple schools in the Philadelphia area, and throughout the country.

Karen Brown
Ballet
Ms. Brown began her career with Dance Theatre of Harlem where she spent 22 years in many roles such as: Principal Ballerina, featured artist, master instructor and lecturer, conducting professional ballet workshops worldwide. She was an Assistant Professor of Dance with the University of the Arts from 2007-2013. Her extensive resume includes six years as an Adjudicator/Master teacher at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts/DTH Residency program where she adjudicated and and provided instruction for 700+ students per year in the DC area. She was the inaugural Director of Education for the Atlanta Ballet Centre, was the Artistic Director of the Oakland Ballet in California, and spent six years in the board of Dance USA. Ms. Brown is the Artistic Director for "Karenina," a foundation that promotes artistic excellence and presents opportunities for dancers to pursue professional careers. Ms. Brown's private coaching system that uses motion capture to observe and analyze the dancer has evolved into En Pointe Plus Refining Institute. EPP conducted Dance Tech Accelerator workshops in Augusta, GA, Collegeville, PA and New York, NY during the summer of 2014. Ms. Brown is also an ABT Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT National Training Curriculum. Ms. Brown's expertise, knowledge and instruction in the art of ballet has had a remarkable impact on the overall growth and education of our students.

Joe Cotler
Jazz, Modern, Competition, Tap
Joe Cotler grew up in Batavia, NY, and trained at his mother Robin Cotler's dance studio, Images in Dance. He graduated from The University of the Arts in May 2009. While at school, he had the opportunity to work with numerous choreographers including Scott Jovovich, Ronen Koresh and Paul Selwyn-Norton. Joe joined Koresh Dance Company in 2009, and currently teaches and choreographs for numerous studios in the Philadelphia area, and throughout the country.

Katie Haldeman
All Genres
Katie is a Philadelphia native who holds a B.A. in Dance and English from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA. While studying at Ursinus, she had the opportunity to perform works by choreographers such as Nicole Wolcott, Cathy Young, Melissa Chisena, Peter DiMuro, Duane Lee Holland, and Meredith Lyons. She has also performed at Bates Dance Festival, which she has been attending for the past few years, as well as the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. Katie has always had a strong relationship with tap. She has most recently attended the Pulse Teacher Workshop, the Jersey Tap Festival, Philly Tap Challenge, and D.C. Tap Fest.

Since beginning her teaching career, Katie has had the privilege to choreograph for, and take students to, regional and national competitions as well as Youth America Grand Prix. When she gets the chance, Katie still loves to be a student herself, traveling around the region (including NYC) to take master classes and attend workshops as both a dancer and teacher. This is Katie's third year at The Dance Depot where she teaches all genres of dance - from the little ones all the way up to our competition team.

Kimberly D. Landle
Pointe, Ballet, Jazz & Lyrical
This is Miss Kim's 5th year with the Dance Depot family. She began her dance training with Angela Pawlak in NJ and has been dancing for 23 years. Kimberly has trained at The Kirov Academy of Ballet, ABA, and SAB. She graduated with honors from The University of the Arts in 2010 with a BFA in dance performance. Currently she is in her 3rd year performing with the contemporary ballet company Dancespora; based out of Philadelphia. I am dedicated to continuously enhancing and furthering my dance education so I can do the same for your children. Thank you for allowing me to do what I love.

Shannon Bickel
Pre-school & Tap
Shannon Bickel has been dancing at The Dance Depot for more than ten years. She has experience in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and hip-hop. Shannon began student teaching for The Dance Depot at the age of thirteen. She has gone through The Dance Depot's student teacher program, graduating to teaching her own engaging classes. This is her fifth year as a Pre-School/General and Tap teacher, and she is truly endeared by her students. In addition to her exciting work in the classroom, Shannon has been a member of The Dance Depot office staff for more than seven years. She loves seeing how all of the hard work both behind the scenes and on stage come together into a wonderful recital for parents and students! She also has experience as an assistant and lead teacher in a daycare setting. Shannon graduated from West Chester University with a major in Business Management with an additional minor in Elementary Education. When she's not dancing, Shannon enjoys spending time with her family and her dog, Cliffy.

Kelli Widener
Ballet & Pointe
Kelli Widener, a Bucks County native, has performed professionally with several companies throughout the tri-state area. She has a BS in Art Education with minors in Dance and Psychology. In 2003, Kelli was certified in the Vaganova Syllabus for Levels 1-3 and 4-6, and again in 2011 for levels 4-6, under Mr. John White, master teacher and founder of Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet. While a principal dancer with the Spiritoso Ballet, Kelli was also the primary level ballet teacher and ballet mistress for the company. She had the opportunity to work in classical, neoclassical and contemporary modern choreography. Kelli continues to expand her knowledge of the Vaganova Technique. It is her mission to better teach the Vaganova method and is currently exploring ABT® Teacher Certification program. In 2005, Kelli founded En Arabesque Dancewear, located in Perkasie, PA. En Arabesque has become renowned for exceptional service, selection and has established the reputation as the place to go for expert pointe shoe fittings. Her business and advice is often featured in the Dance Retailer News Magazine. In 2012, Ms. Widener was one of three retailers in the USA, invited to share her knowledge and experience with the national dance retail community. The round table discussion was filmed in New York City. Also in 2012, Ms. Widener was nominated and selected to be part of the inaugural class of Bucks County Forty Under 40 for her contribution to the community. In addition to being an educator of the arts and a business owner, in 2006 she established the Pennies for Plies Scholarship Fund. This scholarship was created to provide students in need with financial assistance so that they may continue their dance education and passion for the arts. Ms. Kelli has been part of The Dance Depot ballet faculty for four years and we are so happy to share her expertise with our students.
Ryan Tuerk
Ryan Tuerk
Ballet, Jazz & Modern
Ryan received his early training in and around Quakertown, PA and holds a BFA in Dance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He has performed for Brian Sanders Junk and as a soloist in the featured piece in the Philadelphia Live Arts Fringe Festival in 2005 titled Patio Plastico. Ryan was a performer for Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Celebrity Cruise Lines. In 2008, Ryan began working closely with Master teacher Roberta Mathes of STEPS on Broadway and American Ballet Theater summer Jazz Intensive, setting choreography at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in New Jersey and later performing for Roberta in the Steps Faculty Show. Ryan has performed for various ballet companies throughout the area, for roles in the Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and performed pas de deux in The Flower Festival of Genzzano, Raymonda, Grand Pas Classique and the peasant pas de deux from Giselle. While Living in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Ryan co-founded a Hip-Hop company called ImPulz alongside Hip Hop mogul Pablo Malco of Fuzion Dance Co. He also performed the role of "Doody" in a touring production of GREASE. After his return to Philadelphia, he co-founded a pre-professional dance company titled R.I.P. Dance Co., all while performing for Artists in Rhythm where specific works were created for him. Since 2009, Ryan has begun writing and producing his own original Ballets: "The Chosen Child," "Emerald Fantasia," and "The Other Side of Eden." For three consecutive seasons his original choreographic works "RAPTURE" and "Scars On My Memory" were commissioned by Dissonance Dance Theater In Washington D.C. His students have been accepted into dance programs at universities such as The University of the Arts, ABT, Joffrey, The Kirov, Fordham, The Ailey School, DeSales and Temple. He has also had students that attend The High School for Creative and Performing Arts, The Rock School, and The Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet. His students have performed professionally with the Miami City Ballet Company, Ailey at the New York City Center, Giordano Jazz Co., Smokey Joe's Cafe and for the Philadelphia Eagles and 76er's Dance team and choreographed Carlos Pena of Big Time Rush. Currently Ryan devotes the majority of his time working closely with Mr. John White and Margarita DeSaá at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, former Principle Ballet Dancers with the National Ballet of Cuba under Alicia Alonso. Ryan has been part of The Dance Depot faculty for many years and has been certified in 6 levels of Vaganova pedagogy.

Jeanie Chrome Marks
Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Flex & Stretch, Leaps &Turns
Jeanie Chrome Marks started her dance training at the age of 5 at Kay's Act II Dance Studio. Her passion for the sacred ritual of dance and the movement possibilities of the human body led her to continue her dance education after high school. In 2008, she received her B.F.A. in Dance from the rigorous training program at University of the Arts where she majored in Jazz Dance Performance. Mrs. Jeanie has performed with some of the most respected choreographers in the tri-state area including Ronen Koresh, Christine Cox, Scott Jovovich, Molly Misgalla, Wayne St David, Kim Bears-Bailey, Donald Lunsford, and Ginger Cox. She danced as a soloist with Alchemy Dance Company for 5 years, as well as RHYP dance company, did industrial work with Mega Productions and Synergic Sounds Entertainment, musical theater with Mainstage Theater Company, worked the t.v. pilot for the D-Train Comedy and Variety Show, was the face of Prissy Ballerinas tutu line, and judges dance completion's for National Dance Showcase. For thirteen years now, as a seasoned choreographer and instructor, Mrs. Jeanie's routines in all styles of dance, have won the highest scores at both the regional and national level. In July of 2014, she completed the Vaganova syllabus teachers training program under the direction of Mr. John White, and is now certified to teach levels 1-6. This amazing experience has completely changed how she instructs class. Students have grown tremendously by leaps and bounds in the last year since she started using the Vaganova syllabus. Mrs. Jeanie is eager to get everyone back into the studio this year to continue to nurture, challenge and motivate everyone to be the very best dancers they can be.

Jessie Rosina
Lyrical, Jazz & Ballet
Jessie Rosina began her dance training at the age of three, and is currently a senior at Ursinus College where she will graduate with a B.A. in Dance and Business/Economics. Throughout her career at Ursinus thus far, she has taken numerous technique classes in the styles of ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and modern. She has also taken courses relating to dance pedagogy, improvisation, choreography and fundamental dance history. Under the direction and choreography of Karen Clemente, Jeanine McCain, Duane Lee Holland, Melissa Chisena, Amy Smith and Christine Rhode, Jessie has learned to apply this coursework directly into the classroom. She performs in the Ursinus College Dance Company showcase each semester, and also holds an executive board position on the college's student run company. Jessie's passion lies in choreography and teaching, where she hopes to share her love of dance with your child.

Ashley Johnson
Jazz & Hip Hop
Atlanta native, Ashley Nichole Johnson began her formal dance training at the age of two. It was at Norma's Academy where she discovered her love of dance. Her training and company experience comes from Norma's Academy of Dance, Ballethnic Academy of Dance, Total Dance, and North Carolina School of the Arts. While attending Tri-Cities High School, Ms. Johnson was a dance major, but was also seen in several musical theater performances, and was accepted into the Governor's Honors Program. After high school, Ashley continued her education at The University of the Arts. Ms. Johnson had the privilege of training and working with dance masters Carmen DeLavallade, Milton Myers, Cleo Parker Robinson, Ron K. Brown, Christopher Huggins and many more. During her college career, she had the pleasure of becoming a member of Philadanco's Second Company D-2. In 2007, Ms. Johnson returned to Atlanta and while there she became a member of The NBA's Atlanta Hawks A-Town Dancers. In 2008-09 Ms. Johnson was a member of the up and coming Dance Theater X and also auditioned in Memphis, TN for Season 9 of Fox's Hit TV Show "So You Think You Can Dance". Ms. Ashley made it through to Las Vegas being picked to move on over thousands of dancers. After four years as a member of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers Dream Team, Ms.Johnson decided to fully commit herself to the development of youth through the art of dance.

Guest Instructors


Kira Coviello
Preschool, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical
Kira Coviello is an award winning choreographer, dancer, actor and proud member of the professional stage performers union, Actors Equity Association. Kira has been a dance and acting teaching artist for many years with Walnut Street Theatre, Media Theatre, Waldron Mercy Academy, Buckingham Dance Studio, and The Dance Depot. She has been awarded a Dorothy Haas Acting Fellowship from Walnut Street Theatre and performed in their productions of Carousel, 42nd St, A Christmas Carol, and went on tour with their touring outreach program. She also choreographed the Walnut Street Theatre/Please Touch Museum production of The Berenstain Bears, and was the resident choreographer for Camp Walnut. Kira also choreographed The Media Theatre's Production of My Fair Lady and performed in Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Buddy Holly Story, and Joseph in the Amazing a Technicolor Dreamcoat. She has also performed with Mac-Haydn Theatre in Cats (Victoria), Brat Productions, and performed and choreographed may shows at Snug Harbor Cultural Center in NYC. Kira is a graduate of Wagner College where she received a BA in Theatre and Dance from their prestigious Musical Theatre program. At Wagner she was awarded the Nathan and Ruth Wolff Scholarship for Academic Achievement and Excellence in Dance, as well as an Irene Ryan Nomination. Kira studied dance for many years with American Academy of Ballet, Anglo American Ballet, Ballet Threatre of Scranton, Scranton Civic Ballet, and at her mothers studio, Devine School of Dance.