Fundraiser - 50th Nutcracker Anniversary! Donate Now →
Celebrating over 50 years

About Our Artistic Staff & Instructors

Karen Kroninger Knerr (Artistic Director)
…since 2007, holds a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School where she trained in Graham, Taylor, and Limon techniques.  She was a principal dancer with the Albany Berkshire Ballet, where she performed lead roles in Cinderella and Coppélia, as well as performing Girl At Mirror for the opening of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. In addition, Karen was a member of the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company. She has worked with and performed works by Dennis Nahat, Laura Dean, Frances Patrelli and Bill T. Jones. Karen holds an Intermediate Certification in Labanotation and is an ABT Certified Teacher, having completed intensive training in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum, a high-quality artistic training that is combined with the basics of dancer health and child development.  She has developed the outreach program, “Discover Dance”, for the Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley. Karen teaches students from beginner level to advanced level for BGLV and has choreographed various works including Youth programs for the Allentown Symphony. Email her directly


Carol Jolley Sarik (Instructor)
… received her early training at Princeton Ballet under founder Audrey Estey. A graduate of the Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts, she received her teacher training from the Royal Ballet School in London, England. Carol then owned and operated her own school in Jamesburg, New Jersey for seventeen years. While teaching, Ms. Sarik also danced professionally as a soloist with the Shore Ballet Company, performing such roles as Swanhilda in Coppélia and the lead role in Cinderella. She danced with the Carolyn Dorfman Company in its early years. She continues to attend teacher training as well as injury prevention seminars.


Elizabeth Holowchuk (Instructor)
…was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. She received her early training from Christine Taylor Schmelz and went on to continue her studies at the School of American Ballet. She retired in 2015 after 14 years as a member of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. Her repertoire included principal roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Duo Concertant, Serenade, Meditation, Rubies, Baiser de la Fée, Danses Concertantes, and Jerome Robbin’s Afternoon of a Faun and In Memory Of…, among others.  She also revived the leading role in Balanchine’s Pithoprakta and was the only dancer since Suzanne Farrell to dance this role in the forty years since the ballet’s creation. Ms. Holowchuk has performed as a guest artist with the New Jersey Ballet and Ballet Chicago, and has worked with the New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet as rehearsal coach and choreographer.  A staff member since 2010, “Miss Elisabeth” teaches ballet to BGLV students in both the Pre-Professional Division and Community Divisions.

Ms. Holowchuk has danced in several BGLV productions, including The Nutcracker (Snow Queen & Sugar Plum Fairy), in 2008, 2013, and 2014 and The Steadfast Tin Soldier (the Ballerina) in 2010.


Teena Deemer Christman (Instructor)
… began her dance career with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, Pa., where she danced in numerous well-known ballets and worked with aspiring choreographers at the Carlisle Project. At age 16, she joined Arizona Ballet, and then Harrisburg Ballet where she performed as a soloist. She earned her BS degree in Dietetics, with a minor in Dance, at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the university’s dance company and served as an assistant choreographer. Teena served as Artistic Director of Berks Ballet Theatre until 2005 and assisted in the choreography of many ballets, including The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Fantasia, and Peter and the Wolf. Her ballet, String Serenade, was featured in the 2004 Regional Dance America Northeast Festival. A staff member since 2008, “Miss Teena” teaches ballet to BGLV students in the Community and Pre-Professional divisions as well as serves as Ballet Mistress for PYB’s productions. In addition to teaching master ballet classes within Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Teena is a certified barre3 instructor at barre3 Allentown.




Guest teachers include:

  • Oleg Briansky Artistic Director and Founder of the Briansky Ballet Center, Ballet Guild Artistic Director Emeritus
  • Mireille Briane Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Briansky Ballet Center, Ballet Guild Director Emerita
  • Juan Carlos Penuela Ballet Master of Ballet Hispanico, official Ballet Master of the annual International Ballet Festival of Colombia
  • Amanda Cobb The Washington Ballet
  • Joseph Fritz Dance Director of The Metropolitan Opera Ballet
  • Donatella Accardi School of American Ballet
  • Marisa Cerveris New York City Ballet
  • Margo Clifford Ging DanceGing and Cedar Crest College
  • Valerie Ho Broadway Dance Center
  • Tahya Danse Orientale
  • Ginger Tidwell Assistant Choreographer on Broadway
  • Christopher Fleming Founder BalletFleming
  • Kristin Degnan-Boonin Director of Dance at Wilkes University
  • Peter Merz Director of the Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy
  • Darren McIntyre
  • Tim Fox
  • Stephaen Hood