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.  Recently, Karen received her certification to teach Progressing Ballet Technique.

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 karen.knerr@bglv.org


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. Miss Carolyn is certified to teach Progressing Ballet Technique.



Julio Alegria (Instructor – Ballet)

Julio Alegria is a passionate dance and ballet teacher and mentor to young professional dancers. His positive and “happy” attitude toward dance and life and his work ethic reflect on stage in both his own performances and in those of the students he instructs. Mr. Alegria joined Ballet Theatre of Scranton as a Faculty Member and Ballet Instructor in September 2020 and also is Founder and Artistic and Executive Director of NEPA Ballet in the Poconos.

Julio was born and raised in Mexico City and received his training from the National Arts Center and the Centro de Educacion Artistico Frida Kahlo. Upon moving to the United States, he entered the Joffrey Ballet School’s training program on scholarship and has also studied at the Boston Ballet School, The Banff Center for the Arts in Canada, Ballet Hispanico, Ballet Academy East, and Ballet Austin. Among the famed instructors Mr. Alegria has studied with are Gelsey Kirkland, Eleanor D’Antuono, Cheryl Yeager, Darla Hoover, Nadege Hottier, Karina Elver, Elizabeth Walker, Eva Evdokimova, David Howard, Fabrice Herrault, Peter Frame, and Richard Bowman.

Julio has danced for companies and choreographers in Mexico, Canada, Europe, and the United States, including Dance Theater of Harlem, Alabama Ballet, Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Gelsey Kirkland Studio Company, Eglevsky Ballet, Atlantic City Ballet, Merce Cunningham Trust, Ardentia, Bronx Opera Company, and Compañia Nacional de Danza (Mexico City). Previously, Mr. Alegria taught ballet at the Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center and the Brighter Choice Community School in Brooklyn.


Natalie Hedrick (Instructor – Ballet)

Natalie Hedrick grew up in the Lehigh Valley and has been studying ballet for over 18 years. She started her initial dance training with Miss Tanya in Nazareth, and later studied ballet at The Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the artistic direction of Karen Knerr. At age 13, Natalie was invited to attend the pre-professional division at The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Ballet, with American Ballet Theatre, under the direction of Frano De Vita. There, she had the opportunity to perform with American Ballet Theatre in Alexi Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, as well as in multiple productions with the company at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. In 2015, Natalie moved to Boston to train at Boston Ballet School in their pre-professional program, and the following year was promoted to the trainee program under the direction of Margaret Tracey. In 2017 Natalie was accepted into Indiana University’s The Jacobs School of Music ballet department. While at Indiana University she was chosen to perform principal and soloist roles in works by George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, and Twyla Tharp. She also choreographed in various showcases and taught regularly for the Jacobs Academy Pre-College Program. Natalie earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Ballet in 2020.


Meghan McCutcheon (Instructor – Ballet)

…began her dance training at Twin Rivers Dance Academy in 1997, under the direction of Kathryn Stout. She continued her passion for dance at Radford University, where she earned a BFA in Dance with a Ballet Concentration. While at Radford, Meghan studied the Vaganova Syllabus under the guidance of Inessa Plekhanova, along with modern dance techniques from Danah Bella, Margaret Devaney, Deborah McLaughlin, and Bob Boross. Meghan performed in several ballet selections, including Snow and Arabian in The Nutcracker, the Pas de Quatre in La Bayadere, Don Quixote, and Paquita. Meghan also established her love of choreography and her work showcased in student productions.

In the fall of 2012, Meghan returned to Easton. She continued teaching ballet under the guidelines of the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus as an instructor for Twin Rivers Dance Academy Summer Dance Intensives.  Following, she became a permanent instructor, actively contributing to the story ballet choreography. Meghan’s choreography premiered at the Easton Riverside Arts Festival, Lehigh Valley Dance Exposure Showcase, Ten Tiny Dances and for Twin Rivers Dance Academy productions. Recently, she received her certification in Progressing Ballet Technique.


Adriane Orcutt-Fraser (Instructor – Jazz and Ballet)

Hailing from a family of teachers, Adriane Orcutt-Fraser is as passionate about the Art of Teaching as she is about the Art of Dance. Having grown in a family where education was a way of life, as well as being a homeschooling parent, Adriane knows first-hand about the need to balance strict with fun and structure with creativity. Caring about her students’ health, well-being, and artistic development is essential to Adriane’s teaching style and choreographic goals.

Adriane began her ballet training at Budzynski Studios/Dance Theater of PA. She studied Ballet, Pointe, and Ukrainian Folk dance and was able to perform demi-soloist and soloist roles alongside professional dancers. Adriane was accepted into the school of Philadanco, where she received training in Graham and Horton modern technique from Milton Myers and Pat Thomas, and continued her training in ballet and pointe. Adriane was a scholarship student at BalletMet and Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensives where she studied with Melinda Baker and Francesca Corkle, among others. As a high senior, Adriane was accepted on scholarship into the BFA dance program of De Sales University. She studied and performed with university Seniors and received college credit for her dance courses. Adriane was also invited to train and rehearse with Danco II, Philadanco’s Second Company and she was involved in a youth performance group that toured and performed in West Africa.

After high school, Adriane attended Fordham University. While studying for an academic degree in Philosophy/History, and because a dual major in dance was not an option at the university at that time, Adriane studied dance in the Alvin Ailey/Fordham BFA program by audition as a non-major. She was privileged to receive training in ballet, pointe, modern and jazz and perform works from world renowned teachers and choreographers, including Celia Marino, Denise Vale, Ana Marie Forsythe and Carl Paris. Adriane has taught Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Jazz, Contemporay/Lyrical and Folk Dance in New York, Long Island, and Pennsylvania. She enjoys teaching students of all ages, from toddlers to adults, and is passionate about instilling the love of dance and artistic expression to all dancers, whether recreational students or professionally bound.


Kelli Yandolino (Instructor – Ballet)

…a Bucks County native, 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, under Mr. John White, master teacher and founder of Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet. Since then, Kelli has attended the Vaganova teacher training multiple times to better expand her knowledge of the technique. In 2005, while performing professionally with the Spiritoso Ballet and teaching at the school, Kelli had the opportunity to work in classical, neoclassical and contemporary choreography. Also 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. Since 2005, Kelli has expanded the business to 3 locations in Bucks County, as well as a mobile pointe shoe fitting business has her traveling throughout the tri-state area. Her business and advice is often featured in the Dance Retailer News Magazine. In 2012, Kelli was one of three retailers in the USA, invited to share her knowledge and experience with the national dance retail community.  Also in 2012, Kelli was anonymously nominated and selected to be part of the 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 is also certified to teach Progressing Ballet Technique.












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