Faculty

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A graduate of the University of the Arts with a B.F.A. in Dance, Miss Karen has performed extensively throughout her career. These performances include many Atlantic City Casinos, the Famous Palumbo’s in Philadelphia, performing in a TV commercial for Power 99, and gracing the field of the Vet as an Eagles Cheerleader. One of her most memorable experiences was performing at the World Trade Center. With more than thirty years of teaching experience, she will be teaching children’s work, tap/jazz combo classes and our Jazz/Lyrical production classes. Miss Karen also enjoys assisting in the direction of the Competition teams and takes pride in their award winning routines! In addition to teaching, Karen is excited to be entering her 21st year as artistic director. Throughout her years as Director, Miss Karen is proud of the many studio awards Accent has received. These include, outstanding technique, choreography, entertainment and overall high scores!

Director

Karen Rich

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Dawn Blanco is the director of the Studio Dance Academy and a dance teacher at William Allen High School.  She began her dance training at age 7 and is trained in ballet, modern, jazz, musical theater and hip hop dance. Blanco attended Temple University and Kutztown University.  She has studied dance at Broadway Dance Center, Alvin Ailey Studio, Steps on Broadway and Dance New Amsterdam in New York City. She holds K–12 teaching certification in the state of Pennsylvania and a Dance Masters of America Certification in Ballet, Jazz and Modern Instruction.

Blanco has over 15 years teaching experience and has choreographed for nationally competitive dance ensembles, soloists and high school dance teams. She choreographed Trexler Middle School’s productions of Oklahoma and The King & I.  A 2012, 2016, 2018 & 2019 Freddy Awards nominee for outstanding choreography for high school productions of Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Aida and Sister Act.  She has won several awards in recognition of her creative choreography. 

Instructor

Dawn Blanco

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Miss Stacey started her dance training at age four at Accent! She graduated in 2016 from Bucknell University with a B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Culture, Media, and Leisure Studies and a minor in Dance. During her time at Bucknell, she was an active member of the Theatre & Dance Department, participating in dance productions as a dancer and choreographer as well as assisting in lighting design. She had the opportunity to perform in student, faculty, and guest artist choreographed pieces. She was also a member of the Bison Girls Dance Team, where she performed at half-time at the men’s home basketball games and other events on campus. Miss Stacey was also selected to represent Bucknell at the American College Dance Festival at Brockport, NY. In addition to dancing in college, she enjoyed spreading her love of dance through the local community by teaching at a dance studio in the town, where she taught a variety of classes as well as choreographed for their competition teams. She also participated in local arts outreach events for middle and high school students as a demonstrator for her dance professors. In addition to teaching at Accent, she has choreographed for the Allentown Central Catholic High School Dance Team for the last 7 years. When she’s not teaching or choreographing, Miss Stacey works at Muhlenberg College as an Assistant Director of Admissions. She enjoys continuing her dance education by taking classes in the Lehigh Valley. She is so excited to be entering her fourth season at Accent!

Instructor

Stacey Carpency

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Native Pennsylvanian, Jaclyn Du Chateau received her dance training here at Accent, as well as the Lehigh Valley Performing Arts High School. She graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Performance from Columbia College, Chicago. Her degree allowed her to cover numerous genres of dance. Her performing experiences include Choreographic Projects and the Faculty Concerts at Columbia, as well as performing throughout Chicago with BoomCrack Dance Company. Her choreography has been seen on the Columbia stage during Student Performance nights as well as past recitals for Accent. In addition to teaching, Jaclyn has a passion for performance photography and film editing. During College she had the chance to present her photography in an art gallery in Chicago! Jaclyn is  also a Barre3 Lehigh Valley instructor, and is thrilled to be on staff at Accent, returning for her 6th season as an instructor! 

Instructor

Jaclyn DuChateau

Emelia is a senior at Muhlenberg College majoring in Dance with a concentration in Dance Science. After graduation, she plans on attending PA school where she will combine her love for dance and movement with the world of science. Emelia began her training at Columbia Gorge Dance Academy in Hood River, Oregon under the direction of Nancy Clement and Susan Sorenson training in ballet, jazz, modern, and contemporary. During her last two years of high school, Emelia trained with Portland Festival Ballet's pre-professional division in Portland, Oregon under the direction of Victor Ursabia and Kimberly Smiley. Her first two years of undergrad were spent at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA where she majored in Biology and trained and performed with the CLU Dance Team and participated in the USA National Collegiate Dance Competitions in Anaheim, CA. She also attend the ACDA Baja Conference with peers from CLU. At Muhlenberg, Emelia has also attended the ACDA Northeastern Conference at SUNY Brockport in NY. She has participated in many of Muhlenberg's main-stages and most recently completed her first choreographic work for Muhlenberg's student choreographed Dance Gallery. Emelia has also participated in numerous summer intensives. Most notably, Emelia participated in NW DanceProject's summer intensive where she learned repertoire from world renowned contemporary choreographer Yin Yue. 

Instructor

Emelia Gendreau

Cheyanne is currently in her senior year at Muhlenberg College, where she will graduate with a BA in Dance, and a BA in Theatre in May 2020. She concentrates in performance and acting, but has a variety of interests within the performing arts. She has studied dance, voice, and acting since elementary school, and her passion for performing and being a part of the performance community has grown exponentially since. She has performed at The Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, The Fulton Opera House, American Music Theatre, on the Muhlenberg College Mainstage and with Muhlenberg’s Summer Music Theatre professional company. She has studied Commedia dell’arte, Classical Verse, and Meisner processes, as well as Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Tap at the collegiate level. Cheyanne has had the honor of attending the American College Dance Association annual conference two consecutive years as an extension of her choreographic and performance education. She has had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Tiffany Mills, Michael Nickerson Rossi, Randall Anthony Smith, Kitty Millay, Kristina Grant, Sammy Reyes, Karen Dearborn, and Andrea McCormick in full length ballets, modern pieces, and musical theatre productions. She loves performance, but she is also very passionate about quality education. She is a substitute special education paraeducator, and has taught an after-school creative dance program. Cheyanne has worked in the Muhlenberg Dance Office for three years, being mentored by professors and professionals in the field, and also has several choreographic projects underway. Cheyanne is so looking forward to sharing her love of dance, theatre, and community building through education with her Musical Theatre and Modern students! She sends thanks to the entire Accent family, for allowing her to step into the community and share what she loves. Let’s go Accent! 

Instructor

Cheyanne Leid

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Miss Stephanie returns for her 3rd year as our Accent staff after serving as a 7 year veteran and 4 year captain of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading squad from 2009- 2016. Prior to her time cheering on her favorite team in the NFL, Stephanie graduated from Drexel University with her Bachelors of Science Degree in Design and Merchandising and a minor in both Business and Dance. While at Drexel, Stephanie was a 4 year member and captain of Drexel’s Division 1 Dance Team and a member of the Drexel Dance Ensemble. After earning her undergraduate degree Stephanie then went on to attend Philadelphia University where she earned her MBA and had the opportunity to study abroad in India. Stephanie currently works full-time as a Physician Liaison for St. Luke’s University Health system. Stephanie has been trained in the areas of tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, modern, lyrical, and theatre and is very excited to bring her passion for dance back into the studio as a member of the Accent teaching staff.

Instructor

Stephanie Lesavoy

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Miss Rachel’s passion for dance flourished in her first class taught by Miss Karen at Accent School of Dance in 1993. She began at the young age of three and has since trained, taught, and performed professionally. Miss Rachel graduated as an Accent Alumni, having trained in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, pointe, hip-hop, and gymnastics. She was also on Parkland High School’s Varsity Dance Team all four years of high school. She furthered her dance education and training at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and graduated with a BFA in Jazz Performance. While attending UArts, she was on the Wing’s Lacrosse Dance Team and spent a summer performing at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom under Fancy Pants Productions, Inc. She also choreographed several shows for Fancy Pants that were performed at Dorney Park. After graduation, Miss Rachel was hired as a professional ballroom dance instructor at the Academy of Social Dance, where she taught and competed with adult-students and children. During her time in college and teaching professionally, Miss Rachel continued to be active with Accent by being a substitute teacher, teaching a master class, and assisting with recital performances. Though she enjoyed teaching, Miss Rachel knew her performing days were not over and began auditioning in NYC. She was hired by RWS Entertainment Group and landed an amazing opportunity to perform as a dancer/aerialist on the Mainstage of Holland America Line cruise ships. After three years at sea, Miss Rachel has decided to return to the Lehigh Valley. Currently, she is working as a Special Needs Paraprofessional for Parkland School District and is elated to bring her experience and love of dance to the young, aspiring dancers at Accent School of Dance.

Instructor

Rachel Lindsey

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Elise grew up dancing and competing outside Boston, MA. During high school, she toured with the Excel in Motion convention as an Elite Dancer, assisting industry professionals including Alex Wong, Ellenore Scott, and Cyrus Spencer. She has attended summer intensives at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Joffrey Ballet School, and Broadway Artists Alliance. Elise is currently in her senior year at Muhlenberg College, where she is pursuing a B.A. in Dance with a triple concentration in Dance Science, Dance Education, & Performance. Last semester, she had the opportunity to study dance at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. At Muhlenberg, Elise is a member of the Muhlenberg Dance Association, and has performed in several main-stage dance concerts. She has been a member of the Muhlenberg Circus since her freshman year and is excited to be taking on the role of Acro/Dance Discipline Leader for the coming year. During the summers, Elise works at the Wellesley Community Children’s Center, and she is currently working toward her Early Childhood Teacher Certification. In her free time, Elise enjoys photography, yoga, and re-reading the Harry Potter series.

Assistant

Elise Miwa

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Miss Erika grew up at Accent learning from her Mom, Miss Karen! She is excited to be back at the studio taking the next step as an instructor! She is a 2015 graduate of DeSales University with B.A. in Dance. While at DeSales, she had the opportunity to perform in both student and faculty concerts. Erika was also chosen three times to participate in the American College Dance Festival in Wisconsin, NY & Georgia! Erika was a dancer in the Screen Dance Film Festival and has also appeared in films for the Television and Film Department at DeSales. The past two summers she was fortunate enough to study at the Trinity Laban Dance Conservatory in London, England. While there, she interned at MWW, a public relations firm. She has taken classes in LA and NYC, and enjoys furthering her education every chance she gets! This season, Miss Erika is thrilled to choreograph for the Senior Dance Ensemble!

Instructor

Erika Rich

Miss Brittany grew up as a part of the Accent Family, and was a student of Miss Karen’s since the age of three! In 2007 she became a proud faculty member! She is a 2009 graduate of Temple University with a B.F.A. in Dance. While at Temple, she performed for many students and faculty members in, and around, the Philadelphia area. Miss Brittany was the former coach for the Parkland Middle School Dance Team, as well as a choreographer for both the Varsity and JV Dance Teams. Miss Brittany furthers her education through various classes, workshops and conventions. She is certified through Dance Master’s of America to teach Jazz and Modern. Her choreography has been recognized both regionally and nationally! At the studio she will be teaching Pre-School Combo classes, along with Hip-Hop, Tap, Jazz and Contemporary.

Instructor

Brittany Saraceno

Miss Rachael grew up dancing in the Lehigh Valley, competing in regional and national dance competitions. She is a graduate of Temple University, where she earned a B.A. in Communications and Theater. During her time at Temple, Miss Rachael was a Division 1 cheerleader, and competed at the UCA National Cheer Championships in Orlando, FL. Upon Graduation, Miss Rachael returned to the Lehigh Valley to begin her teaching career. 

In addition to her work at Accent, she has worked with Parkland High School for several seasons, choreographing for their JV and Varsity Dance Teams, and has recently been certified as a Barre3 instructor. 

Miss Rachael continues her dance education with various professional dance organizations, including Dance Teacher Network and the Dance Teacher Summit. She has earned her Dance Masters of America teacher training certification in Jazz and Ballet Instruction. Miss Rachael’s choreography has received many high awards and honors, including top scores and specialty recognition! Some notable highlights include being selected for NYCDA’s Critics Choice, Best Choreography at Lehigh Valley Dance Challenge, & at Dancers Inc. (which she earned alongside Miss Brittany for their contemporary collaboration)This year, Miss Rachael will be teaching Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, and Pointe. She will also be choreographing for Accent’s Junior, Teen, and Senior Ensembles. Miss Rachael is very excited to be entering her 14th season at Accent!

Instructor

Rachael Toonder

Alana grew up in Boyertown starting her dance training at age 11. She completed her Bachelor’s in Dance at Kutztown University where she was awarded the Deane Lenhart Scholarship for Excellence in Dance and named Advanced Ballet Assistant and Performing Dance Portmanteau Company Member. While at Kutztown she performed works by Lily Cai, Paul Taylor, Philadanco and River North Dance Chicago. Alana trained extensively in NYC with David Howard, Kathryn Sullivan, Jana Hicks, Wilhelm Burmann, Max Stone, Lisa Lockwood, Debbie Roshe, David Leventhal and Ashley Tuttle.Professional credits include: Assistant Choreographer at the 80th Annual Academy Awards; Dancer and model for MTV’s “Search for the next Elle Woods”; Two time New York Fashion Week Choreographer; Guest Dancer with Heidi Latsky Dance Company; and Company Apprentice with Mark Morris Dance Group. Her work has been commissioned and performed at Steps on Broadway, The Fringe Festival and National Taipei University. Additionally, receiving nationally recognized choreographic distinction awards. Ms. Yost is currently on faculty at Northampton Community College and KMC Dance and resides in the Greater Philadelphia area. Alana is also a guest artist at various dance programs along the East Coast. She holds her MFA in Dance from Temple University where she was awarded a Terminal Master’s Project Completion Grant and was the 2018 recipient of the Rose Vernick Artistic Transformation Award. Currently she is on faculty at Northampton Community College where she teaches technique, theory and directs the student dance showcase each semester. Miss Alana is so excited to join the Accent Dance family and share her passion for ballet, love of dance artistry and looks forward to inspiring her students to strive for their best in and out of the classroom. 

Instructor

Alana Williamson

Miss Lea began dancing at Accent at the age of 3. She is now returning to Accent as an instructor for her 6th season! She is excited to be leading the Acro and Irish programs. She will also be teaching Gym/Jazz and combo classes. She is excited to make the classes a fun and an enjoyable environment for all! 

Lea attended LCCC with a concentration in early childhood education. She is also a past dancer and choreographer for Dorney Park and a past competitive choreographer for a Pocono area dance team. 

Instructor

Lea Wolfe

Miss Brenna is excited to be entering her fourth season at Accent. Miss Brenna earned her Bachelor’s Degrees in Dance and Communications from Cedar Crest College. While in college, she studied Tap, Jazz, Ballet, and Modern. She was a member of both the Cedar Crest College Dance Company and The Monarch Dance Company. Miss Brenna also performed in several Musical Productions at Cedar Crest including the role of Velma Kelly in Chicago the Musical and Violet Newstead in 9 to 5!  

After college, Miss Brenna decided to pursue a career in Higher Education working in Admissions at Cedar Crest College. She is currently the Associate Director of Admissions and recently finished her Masters of Education in Higher Education Degree. Though she has a love for Higher Education, her passion for dance is able to be fulfilled by teaching students tap and ballet at Accent. This year, Miss Brenna is looking forward to teaching tap and ballet as well as taking on a new opportunity to choreograph for the Senior Tap Ensemble.

Instructor

Brenna Zimpfer

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