Rachel Smith (Owner/Executive Director)
(Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Tap, Pilates)
Rachel 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, Disney World, the Czech. Republic, Spain, Taiwan, Ireland, and the Philadelphia area. 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 intensively 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 re-staged 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. Rachel has held the position of dance coordinator with the Moscow Ballet when they staged The Great Russian Nutcracker in Gettysburg, and was a featured choreographer in Gettysburg's Dancing with the Local Stars. She has also worked with Authentic Community Theatre in Hagerstown, MD as part of their 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…
Denice 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. 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. 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 entertaining dance routines to the sidelines and center court. 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 Nokia. She lives in Gettysburg with her husband, Tim and their three children, Noah, Alex, and Megan. Denice also enjoys Salsa dancing and learning other ballroom styles.
(Pre Dance, Hip Hop)
Originally from Frederick, Maryland, Brooke has been training in dance since the age of seven. Her experience spans across multiple genres including tap, hip hop, jazz, ballet, modern, contemporary, and more. In her early years, Brooke particularly excelled in tap earning multiple studio achievement awards. She later auditioned into the Mid Maryland Performing Arts Center's Company Team where her training grew more diverse. Here, Brooke earned numerous awards both in and out of the studio. She received Gold Honors, People's Choice awards, and more from many touring dance competitions. These include NYCDA, NUVO, Headliners, and Starpower. Brooke has trained with renowned choreographers such as Travis Wall, Chloe Arnold, Andy Pellick, Scott Jovovich, and Desmond Richardson. She also received the Kussmaul Fine Arts Scholarship during her time attending Frederick Community College in honor of the charity work she had done through dance in the community. Brooke now lives and breathes dance through her instructing. She enjoys teaching everything from predance to advanced masterclasses and looks forward to the future of her professional career.