Rachel Smith (Owner/Executive Director)
graduated from Shenandoah University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance and her Pilates Mat Certification. She began her dance training with Grand Performance / Gettysburg International Ballet, New York Ballet Institute, Hanover School of Ballet, and Gettysburg Dance Center. She has performed in New York City, Orlando, Florida, the Czech. Republic, Spain, Taiwan, and Ireland. Rachel has danced in works by Diane McCarthy, Ilya Gaft, Maurice Fraga, Erica Helm, Linda Miller, Curtis Uhlemann, Elijah Gibson, Alan Arnett, Cathy Young, and Ting-Yu Chen. In 2001 Rachel was GDC’s first student to attend Pennsylvania’s Governor’s School for the Arts, as a modern dance focus, where she was selected to perform Vicki Brown’s choreography Stress in the student showcase. She has studied in master classes with Suzanne Farrell, Bennie Ninja, Sue Samuels, Milton Myers, Beth Corning (Dance Alloy), Cristina Caprioli, Andy LeBeau (Paul Taylor Dance Company), Ahmad Lemons & Tracy Vogt (Philadanco), Cathy Young, Douglas Dunn, Mike McGowen, Dennis Johnston, Curtis Uhlemann (Moving People Sante Fe), Frank Hatchett, and Alberto del Saz (Nikolais/Louis Dance Foundation).
In 2006 she was selected to perform in the reconstruction of Murray Louis’ Bach Suite, when it was restaged on the Shenandoah Dance Ensemble. Rachel’s choreography has been featured around the Gettysburg area as well as in several student choreographic showings at Shenandoah University. In 2011 Rachel held the position of dance coordinator with the Moscow Ballet when they staged The Great Russian Nutcracker in Gettysburg. Rachel has also worked with Authentic Community Theatre in Hagerstown, MD as part of their 2007 Summer Institute for the Arts, for whom she served as choreographer in their original stage production of The Phantom Tollbooth. From 2008 – 2009 Rachel was a member of Danco 2, Philadanco’s second company. While studying with Philadanco, Rachel studied under such dance masters as Joan Myers Brown, Milton Myers, Don Martin, Bill Thomas, Camille Brown, Virginia Johnson, Dudley Williams, Christopher Huggins, Kayoko Amemiya, Kimberly Bears-Baily, and Donald Lunsford.
Rachel is excited to continue sharing her passion for dance with the students of GDC. Her motto: "Dance is your pulse, your heartbeat, your breathing. It's the rhythm of your life…
was born and raised in the Hanover area. She started dancing at age 4 at the Hanover School of Ballet under the direction of Debbie Blume-Byers. This dancing took her over seas on two occasions to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and China. Once Erica graduated high school she attended four years of college at Lock Haven University. While in Lock Haven, Erica was trained by Professor Jayme Host and was a part of the college’s Dance Consort with the title of Vice-President her junior and senior year. This gave Erica the opportunity to choreograph many of the college’s dance pieces. She received a Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education in 2008 and is currently a substitute teacher in the Hanover area. Over Erica’s 20 years of dancing she has taken numerous workshops and studied under Frank Hatchett, Sarah Jo Fazio, and Rhodie Jorgenson to name a few. In college, she participated in the American College’s Dance Festival in Buffalo, NY and again in State College, PA. She also teaches performing arts students at Eichelberger Performing Arts Center in Hanover. Erica is very excited to continue sharing her love of dance with the students of GDC!
Began teaching at Gettysburg Dance Center in the fall of 2006. She has training in dance and gymnastics and brings that experience to her classes at GDC. Miss Brie was a member of the Gettysburg High School Dance team for three years and continued to dance in college. She attended Marywood University, where she majored in photography. Miss Brie served as an officer on the Marywood Dance Team for two years and was named captain her senior year, which gave her experience in leadership and choreography. After graduating college in 2006, she began coaching the Gettysburg High School Cheer & Dance Team, while also teaching at GDC. She created the Pom Cheer and Acro Dance classes at the GDC, which give students experience in both cheering and acrobatics to help further increase their dance knowledge. Miss Brie is a professional photographer and owns Picture This Portraits & Special Events. Miss Brie’s favorite dance quote is, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain!”
Has dedicated the majority of her life to dance, recognizing it as a form of exercise, stress relief, and way of life. She studied ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical, and musical theater at the School of Music and Dance in Hanover, PA for 13 years. She was a 9-year member of the Nebula Performing Company, competing and performing throughout the East Coast, including Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, FL. Miss Denice frequently attended dance conventions and master classes under the direction of Joe Tremaine, Dan Karaty, Wade Robson, and Frank Hatchett, just to name a few. Miss Denice was a student-teacher at SMD for 5 years, teaching ballet and jazz. She was the high school musical choreographer for two years at New Oxford High School. Upon graduation, she attended Penn State University, University Park and was a 4-year member of the Penn State Dance Team (now known as the Lionettes). The team is known for their performances at football and basketball games, bringing spirited kick lines and dance routines to the sidelines and center court. Miss Denice was a 3-year member of the PSU competition team, attending the National Dance Alliance competition each spring in Daytona Beach, FL. She was captain of the team her senior year and held many other leadership positions. Since receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Penn State, she has also obtained a Master’s degree in Management and is employed by Alcatel-Lucent. She lives in Gettysburg with her husband, Tim and their two sons, Noah and Alex. Miss Denice also enjoys Salsa dancing and learning other ballroom styles.
Miss Sara has professional training in various styles of dance which include ballet, tap, jazz, Broadway, hip hop, traditional Irish step dancing, and modern. Starting her dance training at the age of 3, she joining Gettysburg Dance Center at the age of 8. After 11 years with GDC she continued her dance career with teaching. She was a member of the Gettysburg High School Dance Team for 4 years and a captain for 2 years. She was also a member of the Gettysburg Dance Center Performance Group for 6 years, and also performance with an Irish step dancing competition group locally. After Graduating high school she attended DeSales University studying Broadway Jazz with world-renowned Fosse dancer Anne Reinking. Sara also attended many workshops and seminars in New York City with choreographers such as Derek Mitchell, AntBoogie, Frank Hatchett, and Eleanor D'Antuono. Her philosophy on dance is nicely quoted by dance legend Martha Graham; "Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion."