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.




Emelia Belet (Instructor – Ballet)

Emelia Belet began dancing at the age of three at North Jersey School of Dance Arts under Christine Taylor and Luba Gulyaeva. In 2014, she joined Ballet Guild of Lehigh Valley/ Pennsylvania Youth Ballet to further her training at the age of 12 under Artistic Director Karen Knerr. While there she performed many roles including, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Prayer and one of Coppélia’s friends in Coppélia, and Arabian Lead, Dewdrop, and Snow Queen all in Ballet Guild’s annual production of The Nutcracker.

Upon graduating in the summer of 2020, Emelia was accepted as an American Repertory Ballet’s Trainee under the direction of Adymara Cabrera and Ethan Steifel and remained there for three years. While in the program, she performed with the school and company in many productions, including Snow, Flowers, and Marzipan Corps in ARB’s The Nutcracker, Arabian Lead in Princeton Ballet School Nutcracker Suite, Willis in Giselle in the schools spring trainee production.

After her three years in Princeton with American Repertory Ballet, Emelia is excited to move back home and start teaching at the studio she considers home and begin her next journey in the teaching side of the ballet world.



Carolyn Lippert (Instructor – Ballet)

Carolyn Lippert was born in Boston, Massachusetts and trained at Severance Ballet Conservatory with her mother, Carla Stallings-Lippert, and at the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.  Lippert was named a National Training Scholar and attended American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensives on full scholarship from 2008-2011.

Lippert joined the ABT Studio Company in September 2011 and performed with American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House in 2013.  She went on to dance with The Washington Ballet for their 2013-2014 season and San Francisco Ballet for their 2014-2015 season.

Lippert joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in 2015 and went on to perform in Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadere, Firebird, and The Seasons to name a few. While with ABT, Lippert also took college classes at CUNY and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelors in phycology in 2021. In that same year, Lippert retired to pursue a career in medicine. Lippert is ABT National Training Curriculum certified and enjoys teaching whenever possible. She plans to remain a part of the ballet world and looks forward to sharing her passion and knowledge of classical ballet with students.



Adriane Orcutt-Fraser (Instructor – 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. Miss Adriane is also certified in Progressing Ballet Technique.


Arielle Ridley (Instructor – Contemporary)

Arielle Ridley developed a passion for teaching dance at age 14 while a student at Miss Autumn’s Dance Class, in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. She began teaching there and helped to develop the curriculum—everything from ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary dance, musical theater and hip hop–and has been working steadily ever since to deepen her knowledge of the art and her commitment to producing fine young dancers.

After completing high school, Arielle graduated with honors and a B.F.A. in Dance Theatre from AMDA College of the Performing Arts, New York and Los Angeles. While she studied almost every form of dance, Arielle’s primary focus there was Contemporary and Jazz. After graduation, she gained performing experience with companies such as Anne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers, JWCK Dance Lab, Dance Kerr and Dancers, and several other theater projects. Arielle also explored the world of film and television when a student at AMDA LA and AMDA NY.

“I teach with love, kindness, but with enough discipline to encourage children and teenagers to grow. I try to connect with every student as best I can, so that no one feels unseen, unheard, or unimportant,” she says. Arielle Ridley’s interests aren’t limited to dance, however. She enjoys film editing, choreography, creative writing, and is a published YA author.






Guest teachers have included:

  • 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
  • Amanda Cobb American Ballet Theatre, Washington Ballet
  • Darren McIntyre Artistic Director of Ballet Pensacola
  • Tim Fox New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet
  • Stephaen Hood BalletFleming, Verb Ballets, Ballet Theatre of Maryland
  • Ashley Hod New York City Ballet
  • Dayesi Torriente Philadelphia Ballet Principal Dancer
  • Arian Molina Soca Philadelphia Ballet Principal Dancer