DANCE FACULTY

Staff

  • Kaye N. Fernandez
    Kaye has been teaching Ballet since 1995 at SMS. She received a Bachelor of Classical Dance from the National School of Ballet in Peru. She danced for five years in Ballet de Camara and seven years at Ballet Municipal in Lima. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and majored in Social Work Universidad Mayor de San Marcos. She moved to the United States in 1987 to attend the University of the Arts and the Pennsylvania Ballet. In 1988 she won first place at the Spotlight National Dance Competition and also danced for five years with the Mercury Dance Company in Philadelphia. In 1996, Kaye continued her education at Cabrini College and started teaching Creative Movement in the Kaleidoscope program. She offers teacher training and professional development workshops and collaborates with the Hispanic community. Kaye is the 2012 recipient of the Sol Schoenbach Award for Outstanding Service at Settlement Music School.
    Read Kaye's #facultyfriday profile

Associate Staff

  • Olga D. Blumenkrants
    Arthur Judson Distinguished Faculty Chair
    Bolshoi Ballet School

Regular

  • Amanda Hill
    Amanda Hill started dancing at the age of four. Amanda then began intensive private coaching with Natasha Bar (of the Odessa Ballet, The Rock School) at the age of 11. Along with the excellent training she received from Ms. Bar, Amanda attended various summer programs including The Rock School, NYSSSA, Miami City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Kaatsbaan and the School of American Ballet. Amanda has also competed in ballet competitions such as Youth America Grand Prix, where she was awarded 1st place in the senior division semifinals. Amanda received her BFA in Ballet Performance from the University of the Arts on presidential scholarship, and graduated with honors. While working towards her BFA Amanda danced in multiple productions with the Pennsylvania Ballet and BalletFleming, including Pennsylvania’ Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” She is now a principal dancer with the Brandywine Ballet in West Chester, PA. Amanda loves teaching ballet and sharing her passion for the art form. She has been teaching throughout the Philadelphia area for over 5 years. She draws on her performance experience, and her own training from many world-renowned teachers.
  • Imani Shabazz  
  • Erin Ruggiero
    As a Philadelphia native, Erin Ruggiero began her dance career at the age of 4 when she began taking ballet classes at Settlement Music School under the direction of Olga Blumenkrants. She went on to study dance education at DeSales University where she had the opportunity to study with various guest artists from around the world. Since receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Dance in 2001 she has been a featured dancer for Vada Dance Collective, a Philadelphia-based modern dance company. She has been teaching ballet and modern technique for 13 years in the Philadelphia and Bucks County area. Her choreography has been showcased at local and regional dance competitions. She excited to be teaching at Settlement Music School where it all began for her.
  • Svetlana Zherdeva
    Born in Russia, Svetlana received her dance education at the College of Culture and Arts in Perm, Russia. She has performed with three professional dance companies, became a principal in Stavropol Cossack’s Dance Company, and toured Europe and the United States. In 2005, she received a diploma with Honors from Stavropol State Pedagogic University as a professional dance teacher. After immigrating to the United States, she taught ballet at the School of Dance Arts in Germantown and in Wissahickon Dance Academy’s summer programs.