Rachel Smith (Owner/Executive Director)

(Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Tap, Jazz, 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…
~Jaques D'ambroise

Denice Staub

(Ballet, Jazz)

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. 

Vicki Brown

(Ballet, Pointe, Modern)

Vicki began her dance training with Hildegard Hamme School of Dance and was with her for 12 years. During the summer of 1988 she went abroad to Russia for 2 weeks and studied with the Bolshoi Ballet Company.  Vicki currently holds an Associate’s degree in Dance Performance from Dean College and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Education from Towson University. She taught for the Hanover Academy of Dance from 1990 to 1997. In 1997 she appeared in a modern dance piece choreographed by Susan Mann which appeared on the Maryland Public Television. 

Vicki has studied with the Martha Graham Company, Doris Humphrey Company, Dance Alloy, The Moving Company, Douglas Graham, Alvin Ailey Company and Frank Hatchett. Her extensive performance credits include: The Gigi McKendrick Performing Arts Ensemble, Towson Dance Co., Dean College Co., Eichelberger Performing Arts Center, and at the Broadway Dance Center’s Choreographers Showcase. She has choreographed in Baltimore, Westminster, New York and other local areas. Vicki was on staff at the Carroll County School for the Performing Arts from 2006 and 2007. She also has been the Assistant Director, Instructor & Choreographer for the Gettysburg Dance Center from  1999 until 2009.


Abigail Smuda

(Pre-Dance, Ballet, Jazz)

Abigail has been dancing since she was two and a half. She trained for six years at Brenda’s School of Dance and Performance in tap and ballet in Minnesota before she moved and joined Gettysburg Dance center in 2006, where she trained in ballet, pointe, modern, lyrical, jazz, tap, and was in their performance group her senior year of high school. She started student assisting when she was 13, and became a substitute teacher for pre-dance after high school. While attending high school, she was very involved in musical theater and some of her choreography was featured in their performance of Bye Bye Birdie and The Wiz. She won the Totem Pole Award for Best Featured Dancer in 2015 for her performance in The Wiz. She has taken master classes from Marquis Johnson, and Bill Waldinger, as well as taking several classes at Broadway Dance Center. She has also performed with the Moscow Ballet when they did The Nutcracker at the Majestic Theater.




SUBSTITUTE INSTRUCTORS                                         MASTER INSTRUCTORS

 Jamie Daley                                                                                  Alan Arnett (Giordano Dance, Sheanandoah University)   

Gabrielle Mummert                                                                    Marquis Johnson (Beauty and the Beast touring)

                                                                                                          Corey O'Brien (American Music Theatre)

                                                                                                          Rhea Patterson (Sweet Charity)

                                                                                                          Shane Simpson (Rocky Horror Picture Show LIVE!)

                                                                                                          Svetlana Todinova (Moscow Ballet)

                                                                                                          Valery Lantratov (Russian Nation Ballet Foundation)

                                                                                                          William Waldinger (Joffrey Ballet School)