Philadelphia Studio Ballet
Ballet Pre through Professional•Jazz•Hip-Hop•Tap•Lyrical
FACULTY

Suzanne Slenn, Director

Ms. Slenn is a native of Philadelphia and received her early training at the School of The Pennsylvania Ballet. She continued her studies at The Centre de Danse Classique with Rosella Hightower, Cannes, France; Harkness House, New York; The Joffrey Ballet, New York; and Interlochen Center for The Arts, Michigan.  Ms. Slenn’s transition from dance student to aspiring professional produced an invitation to train with the Joffrey Ballet. While dancing as a trainee, Suzanne was asked to join Pennsylvania Ballet as one of a select group of dancers for their newly established Pennsylvania Ballet 2. During her time with the ballet Ms. Slenn danced many roles, both classical and contemporary, with Pennsylvania Ballet’s parent company and second company. Invited to join NBC Entertainment Corporation, Suzanne danced numerous corps, soloist, and principal roles in the company’s vast repertoire. Ms. Slenn toured the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand in a variety of Equity productions.

Upon returning to New York, Suzanne accepted a request to perform as a soloist and featured artist with Edward Villella and the New Jersey Ballet. She went on to return to Pennsylvania Ballet where she began her conversion from dancer to teacher. After retiring from performing, Suzanne enjoyed a long tenure as a faculty member of the Shirley Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet where she choreographed a wide variety of works appearing in the school's repertoire. Appointed Regional Director and Ballet Coordinator for Rock School West, she rendered her services as teacher and choreographer. Ms.Slenn also holds the position of Adjunct Associate Professor of Dance at the University of The Arts where she teaches ballet technique, pointe, and repertoire. She also serves as Faculty Advisor overseeing choreography for the Student Composition Course. In 1999, Ms. Slenn was invited to join the faculty of Bryn Mawr College and continued that collaboration until establishing her own school in 2004. She can still occasionally be seen on stage performing character roles for The Pennsylvania Ballet.


Meredith Reffner
Born in Annapolis MD, Ms. Reffner grew up in the Baltimore/D.C. area. Her early dance training included ballet, tap, jazz, Hawaiian, and competitive Scottish Highland dancing. While studying with Ms. Edna Lee Kuhn, she studied the Cecchetti method of ballet and won numerous awards such as Dance Masters of America’s Junior Miss Dance, the East Coast Cecchetti Council scholarship, and the National Cecchetti Council of America scholarship two summer’s in a row.

At 13 Ms. Reffner decided to put her primary focus on ballet and attended the Washington School of Ballet, in Washington D.C., where she trained with such world renowned teachers as Lupe Serrano, Patricia Berrend, Rudolf Kharatian and Mary Day. She would then spend her summers at the School of American Ballet in NYC and the Chautauqua Institute, dancing with their Festival and professional ballet companies. While finishing up her last years of schooling Ms. Reffner was awarded with the Maryland Distinguished Scholar in the Arts Award, a Level I award from the National YoungArts Foundation and the highly prestigious Presidential Scholar of the Arts award which won her an invitation to perform for and meet President Clinton.

After graduating high school Ms. Reffner started her professional career with the Washington Ballet, where she had the opportunity to work with Ms. Suzanne Farrell and perform in the Kennedy Center’s 25th Anniversary celebration. She then moved on to work for Paul Mejia at the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet in Texas where she performed several soloist and principal roles. Later, Ms. Reffner moved back to the east coast to work with the Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia, again having the
opportunity to perform several soloist and principal roles. Some of Ms. Reffner’s favorite roles included the Siren in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, the Swan in Chris Wheeldon’s Carnival of the Animals, and Coffee in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.

Ms. Reffner retired from the stage in 2010 and has been a part of the Philadelphia Studio Ballet faculty ever since. She brought the Cecchetti method of ballet to the studio in 2014, the only studio in the Philadelphia region to work with the well established technique. Between teaching her classes Ms. Reffner can be found enjoying her free time with her husband, fellow dancer/teacher, Rick Callender and their two daughters. 


Renee Dennis
Mrs. Dennis, a Texas native, began her performing arts experience with classical ballet at age three.  As a child she studied Acting and Dance and was a runway model for JC Penney’s in the Houston area.  After studying with Reni Antley and the Houston Ballet Academy she entered into an apprenticeship with the Houston Ballet under the direction of Trey McIntyre.

While attending college in Waco, Tx she was a company member in the Waco Symphony Orchestra Ballet as well as being a spokesperson for a series of public health commercials in the central Texas area.  She relocated to Philadelphia to attend Temple University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in both Theatre (Acting) and Dance in 2002. While in college she interned with Brat Productions, a Philadelphia threatre company, under the direction of Madi DiStephano.

After spending a summer touring with Darla Stanley in Satie Blues, a modern dance work, Mrs. Dennis joined Arcadia University as their Theatre Arts Program’s costume designer. During this time she collaborated with various artists creating and performing Theatre and Dance Theatre projects throughout the Philadelphia area. Soon after she began teaching for studios in the Main Line.

Mrs. Dennis joined Philadelphia Studio Ballet in 2005 to teach Ballet, Jazz, and Musical Theatre. After relocating out of the area she continued to teach Dance and Theatre in Central Pennsylvania while starting her family. In 2011 she came home to PSB. Mrs. Dennis specializes in Classical Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary Dance, Acting, and Musical Theatre.  


Felicia Cruz

Felicia started dancing when she was three at the Dolly Haltzman Dance Academy Allentown, PA under Dolores Haltzman, Jennifer Haltzman-Tracy,Maurice Brandon Curry and Gloria Govrin. She went on to train multiple summers at the Rock School in Philadelphia, and at Richmond Ballet of VA, where she was on scholarship. In 2002, she received an internship to study at Steps on Broadway in NYC. She graduated from the University of the Arts in 2010, obtaining her BFA in ballet with an emphasis in performance. A few of her performing highlights include; "Shut up and Dance" with the Pennsylvania Ballet, touring "Crossroads" with Jette` Performance Company,  performing lead roles in"The Nutcracker", and "Dracula" with Repertory Dance Theatre , "Tell me what's next"by Mathew Neenan", ''I spiral into water" by Kate Watson-Wallace, "Threw the Wake" and"Caged", a solo, both done by Meredith Raniey.From 2010 - 2013 she was a member performing with Carbon Dance Theater underthe direction of Meredith Rainey. She is a founding member (2008) and currently performing withDanceSpora. In 2011 she was promoted to assistant artistic director with DanceSpora. 

 Since then she has risen to resident choreographer and has set original works on the company, one of which, "For Tranquility's Sake", was selected to be performed at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in summer 2012. She has also had the opportunity to enter her choreography into the Star Power.


Ryan Stauffer

Ryan Stauffer began dancing at age 17 in his mother's studio. He attended the University of the Arts for three years as a ballet major.  Mr. Stauffer’s performance credits include, Raven Symone concert tour, feature film "Bolden," Step on Broadway faculty show, Brandywine Ballet Company, Pennsylvania Ballet Company, Mid-Atlantic Ballet Company, Miss West Virginia Scholarship Pageant, and Walnut Street Theatre musicals, "Hairspray," "The Producers," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” and "Curtains." Mr. Stauffer currently dances with the Koresh Dance Company. 




Celine Edmonson
Celine Edmondson began dancing pre-professionally in 2008. She has been trained in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Musical Theatre, and African. Although Celine has studied all types of dance, her strengths lie in Modern techniques and Hip-Hop. She has trained at the Westport Dance Center, Earl Mosley’s Institute for the Arts, and the Ailey School. Currently, Celine attends the University of the Arts where she is expanding her knowledge for this art form she so loves called Dance.

Celine joined Team Leggoo* in 2011 and is still going strong! Double Up Dance Company/Team Leggoo  have inspired and pushed her to grow, as well as opened many doors for her. They have served as her role models and her family. Celine hopes to share her knowledge with others who have the same passion as she does for the arts. She would also like to encourage others to follow their dreams, just as she has.

Team Leggoo Mission Statement is to assist in the professional growth of company members, not only as dancers but also as individuals, by inspiring an appreciation for exceptional performance, quality instruction, community leadership, and self-development.

With a passion to help and give back, Paul and Brian Herman (Double Up) took their vision to another level by opening their first sub dance group under Double Up Dance Company, Team Leggoo. Founded in Connecticut in April of 2011, Celine Edmondson was a first generation member of Team Leggoo.

Drawing from their extensive experience in the industry, Paul and Brian mentor and challenge Company members to lead healthy and motivated lifestyles. Company members train primarily in Hip-Hop choreography, but also in other styles of dance such as Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Dancehall, and Breaking. Team Leggoo has built a resume filled with projects including community performances, music videos, flash mobs, instructional workshops, and dancing backup for recording artists.


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. A highlight of his career occurred 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.

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