Faculty

Joan E. Van Dyke
Artistic Director
Associate Professor of Dance at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
B.A. Ballet & Teacher Certification - Virginia Intermont College
M.S. Ballet, specializing in Kinesiology - Indiana University of Bloomington, IN
M.F.A. Dance - Arizona State University

Joan Van Dyke began her dance training at the Doris Singer Dance Studios at age five and during high school studied with master teachers at Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA. She continued her studies at Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, VA, where she performed with the Bristol Concert Ballet Company and earned a B.A. in Ballet with a teaching certification. Following graduation from VI, Joan taught dance at the University of Alaska and performed with the North Star Ballet Company in Fairbanks, AK. She then moved to a more hospitable climate, settling in Punxsutawney, PA in December of 1983. Shortly thereafter, she opened her studio - Van Dyke and Company.

Continuing her education, Ms. Van Dyke pursued a M.S. in Ballet, specializing in Kinesiology (study of human movement) from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. She also holds a M.F.A. in Dance from Arizona State University where she performed, taught, and conducted extensive research on the Effect of Climate Change on Young Ballet Dancers. She has also trained in Pilates technique and Laban Movement studies at the Laban Center in London, England.

Ms. Van Dyke has choreographed numerous productions for Indiana University of Pennsylvania Department of Theater and Dance and IUP Dance Theater, The Unseem'd Shakespeare Company, and Squonk Opera. She was also appointed Ballet Mistress for the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts from 2001-2007. Ms. Van Dyke has served as Vice President of Dance for the Pennsylvania State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, and is a member of the National Dance Association and Corps de Ballet. She was awarded Most Outstanding Professional of the Year Award in 2006 and 2010. Recently, Ms. Van Dyke won the PSAHPERD Teacher of the Year Award for University Professors in Pennsylvania.

Ms. Van Dyke has taught master classes for Evolve Productions Summer Intensive in Pittsburgh, PA. She was also the invited guest choreographer for "Darsa/Farsa" written and directed by Matko Srsen, which premiered at the 59th Anniversary of the Dubrovnik, International Festival Croatia in 2008. During the Summer of 2010, Ms. Van Dyke was an invited faculty member for the 6th International Summer Festival for the Theater of Change in Athens, Greece. She was also presented with the Distinguished Faculty Award for Creative Arts at IUP in 2012.

Presently, Joan Van Dyke is an Associate Professor of Dance at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the Artistic Director and Director of Curriculum for Van Dyke and Company and the Mahoning Valley Ballet. She is the founder and Director of "Forest Dancing" and serves as an Assistant Director for the IUP Dance Theater. Click the link to view Ms. Van Dyke's professional biography

Nancy Jones
Assistant Director, Faculty
B.A. Art Education - Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP)

Nancy was a former member of the IUP Concert Dance Company and, as well, has graced the stage in several Van Dyke & Company performances. Mrs. Jones has been teaching at our studio and serving as the Assistant Director for 29 years. She currently instructs Ballet, Pointe, Stretch & Flex and a newly formed Adult Ballet class. Nancy formerly worked as an Art Educator for the Punxsutawney Area School Disrtict and dedicated much time and talent to her students. She has influenced so many young dancers and artists through her unique approach and her ability to joyously share her deep understanding and knowledge.

April Astorino Matthews
Faculty
M.Ed. Counselor Education - Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP)
B.S. Communications Media - IUP
Minor in Dance - IUP

April studied at the university level under Holly Boda-Sutton (Modern) and Joan Van Dyke (Classical Ballet) as well as received dance training through various residency programs which included the professional companies of Paul Taylor 2, Attack Theater, Group Motion, Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal, Headlong Dance Theater, Flamenco Ole!, and the Nego Gato African Brazilian Music & Dance Ensemble. As a member of the IUP Dance Theater, she earned the Most Outstanding Company Member Award and was selected as Rehearsal Director and dancer for Michelle Van Doren’s piece, “Wild Things.” She was additionally cast in several guest artist works and more notably, danced on stage with Flamenco Ole! and the Nego Gato Ensemble during their IUP Lively Arts performances.


Enhancing her technique, April trained at several summer programs including Point Park International Summer Dance, Mercyhurst Summer Dance Institute and Bodiography Contemporary Ballet. During her foundational years, she danced at Van Dyke & Company, was a member of the Mahoning Valley Ballet and attended Forest Dancing Summer Intensives.

Teaching at our studios for eleven years, April currently instructs Ballet, Pointe, Modern & Jazz, however in the past has taught Hip-Hop, Jumps, Turns & Leaps, Repertoire and Conditioning at our studios. She contributes to Van Dyke & Company in a variety of roles including choreographer, rehearsal assistant, photographer, videographer, sound technician and marketing assistant. Recent choreographic works include, "Wonderland" & "Summer in the City," from Sawmill Theater 2015 & 2016, "Midnight Concerto” from our 30th Anniversary Red Carpet Gala in 2014, “Gypsy Fire” from the Ugly Duckling in 2014 and the “Mausoleum Scene” from Dracula in 2011. April has taught classes at our Forest Dancing Summer Intensive, as well as at The Dance Academy in Indiana, PA. She also holds a current Pennsylvania School Counselor (PK-12) Certification.

Catherine Hayes
Faculty
B.F.A. Visual Arts - Slippery Rock University (SRU)
B.A. Dance - SRU
Minor in Art History - SRU

Catherine trained with Ursula Payne, Teena Custer, Nola Nolen Holland and Jennifer Keller. Before her conditioning at the university, Catherine trained with Van Dyke and Company for fifteen years focusing on classical ballet. She has always had a passion for art and dance and found they intersect well in creating choreography and performance installations. Her achievements in performance installations include In Early Spring presented at Slippery Rock University and Concealment presented at the Associated Artists of Butler County Gallery, both in 2012. Concealment was featured in the Artist Portfolio Magazine, issue 11, 2013. Her choreography has been presented in a variety of settings including Van Dyke and Company's (VDC) Summertimes in 2015, our 30th Anniversary Gala in 2014, The Ugly Duckling in 2014, VDC's 25th Anniversary Gala in 2010, the PSAHPERD convention in 2010, Slippery Rock University's Fall Concert in 2010 that included a visual artist on the stage, and VDC's Side Street Performance in 2012.


Her love of nature and technology has also led to unique experiences in creating site-specific dances for the camera; primarily they include her studies set in Death Valley National Park, which were done in 2012. These studies, along with In Early Spring, resulted in the Dance Technology Award from Slippery Rock University's dance department and her film was in the International Screendance Festival in Durham, North Carolina. 

Catherine also serves as a dance instructor at the Dancer's Studio in Clarion, PA. Catherine is active in her artistic endeavors and her art has been included in select shows such as the All Photography Competition for the Light, Space and Time Online Gallery in 2013, the Bottlebrush Show at the Bottlebrush Gallery in Harmony, Pennsylvania in 2012, and the Sketchbook Project, Limited Edition Volume I with the Art House Co-op in Brooklyn, New York in 2012. She also furthers her dance education at the Teacher Training School through Dance Masters of America at the University at Buffalo. Please feel free to visit Catherine's website for a fuller presentation of her work by going to catherinedanae.webs.com.

Sarah Dixon
Faculty
Masters in Accounting - University of Phoenix
B.S. Psychology - University of Pittsburgh (PITT)
Minor in Dance - (PITT)
Minor in Administration of Justice - (PITT)

Sarah graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 and danced at the collegiate level with the PITT Dance Ensemble. In 2006, she attended a Semester At Sea and traveled to the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mauritius, Myanmar, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China and Japan. Sarah is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Psi-Chi and the National Business Honor Society, Delta Mu Delta. She presently works at Clyde, Ferraro & Company, LLP in DuBois, PA and will soon sit for her CPA examination. Sarah grew up taking classes at Van Dyke & Co. and will be teaching at our DuBois branch studio location, as well as at our Punxsutawney studios. She is currently serving as our company's lead Tap instructor and also teaching ballet, modern and jazz classes. 

Trevor Runco
Guest Faculty
Professional Ballroom Teacher
Youngstown State University

Trevor is a nationally certified professional ballroom instructor and dancer, who recently taught Tap at our Punxsutawney location. Dancing since the age of 9, his knowledge and skill spans ballroom, tap, jazz & ballet. His favorite part about teaching is having the opportunity to share the knowledge of dance and helping students achieve beyond what they imagined possible. Trevor was formerly a Ballroom instructor at the Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studio in Boardman, Ohio and has served as a choreographer to the various studios with whom he is affiliated.

Dancing with several companies in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, including the Mahoning Valley Ballet Company and the Oil Region Ballet Company, Trevor is actively performing throughout the year. He has attended the Kent State University dance program where he performed with the American Collegiate Dance Festival and has also performed in the televised performance of ABC's Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade. He is an accomplished composer and musician playing for weddings and accompanying dance classes. Trevor works full-time as a Flight Instructor.

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Van Dyke & Company

Van Dyke and Company -- 101 East Mahoning Street, Punxsutawney, PA 15767
814 - 938 -8517

vandykeco@gmail.com

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