Hershey School of Dance began as a tap dancing school in 1977 and has expanded to include dancing instruction in a wide range of genres including jazz, tap, ballet, pointe, hip hop, contemporary, modern and theater dance.
Our mission at Hershey School of Dance and Arts is to give students a solid dance education, while nurturing their creativity, self-expression, and confidence. It is our goal to inspire our students to make a commitment to their dance education by striving to do their personal best. We foster an environment where students are encouraged to be respectful of the studio, their peers, their artform and themselves.
Our team of experienced dance instructors provides a supportive environment that nurtures the individual student allowing them to grow and learn skills they will carry into the rest of their lives. In addition, our instructors create a strong sense of community promoting collaboration, encouragement, teamwork, and friendships that last a lifetime. Our students find that dance helps them release stress, build confidence and have fun, as they discover their own connection with the artistry of dance.
Dance classes run year-round. Each class builds specific skills in preparation for our annual recital that includes every student, regardless of skill level, providing each student with a moment to shine.
In 2021, ownership and operation of the Hershey School of Dance transferred to a new entity owned and operated by four longtime teachers; Jessica Block, Emily Drobnock, Hollis Healy and Jennifer Owsley. Under the new leadership, Hershey School of Dance will continue to provide exceptional dance and performance education, and initiate new endeavors to serve the community and its beloved dance family.
Tap, Hip Hop,
Jenn begins her 24th year teaching at HSD. She started tapping at age 5 at Hershey School of Dance with Paulette Viviano, the school's founder. She went on to study under Kelly Strange, and continued dancing through college, where she earned her degree in elementary education. Jenn enjoys visiting NYC several times a year to take classes and keep building her dance foundation.
I'm going to tap until I can't: I'll be so old all I can do is walk out from the wings to stage center. But I'll be there.
- Gregory Hines
Jazz & Theatre Dance
Hollis started her teaching career in upstate New York at her hometown studio. She has been teaching at HSD for 17 years and is thrilled to call HSD home. Hollis loves creating through connection and community.
She empowers her students to explore who they are as a dancer, as an artist, and as a human being.
You dance love, and you dance joy, and you dance dreams.
Ballet, Pointe, Jazz,
Jess began her training at Pennsylvania Regional Ballet, formerly Cumberland Dance Company. Working for Carnival Cruise Lines, Jess performed as a Dancer, Dance Captain, and Supervisor for 13 years. Jess has been teaching dance for the past 12 years, and can’t imagine dance not being part of her life. She is honored to foster that love in other dancers too.
Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.
- Martha Graham
Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary
Emily began dancing at HSD under founder, Paulette Viviano. She remembers a sequined Mrs. V sweetly encouraging each student in the class to shine. In 2012, she had the immense privilege to begin teaching at HSD. Emily loves making magic with students and staff at HSD, and is excited to watch each student shine.
Dance expresses joy better than anything else.
Hip Hop, Zumba
Kristen was a choreographer for cheerleading competitions throughout high school and after studying hip hop, tap and jazz for 5 years and serving as a dance assistant at HSD, she became a member of the hip hop staff in 2003. She is also 10 years certified as a ZUMBA instructor. Kristen begins her 18th year teaching at HSD and is extremely excited to “break it down” and dance with all of her students.
If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you.
- Fred Devito
Kimberly studied classical ballet, tap, choreography, jazz and musical theater in Fairfield County Connecticut. She had the privilege of training under teachers from the New York City ballet and the Rockettes. Before leaving high school, Kim began teaching ballet and tap. Kim continue dancing through college and graduate school. Kim joined the HSD staff in 2018 and is thrilled to continue to teach dance and encourage young dancers.
To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.
- Agnes DeMille
Contemporary, Hip Hop,
Leaps * Turns * Progressions
Ashton has studied and taught dance for more than 15 years. She has a Bachelor's in Exercise Science with an emphasis in health and nutrition. She uses her knowledge of exercise to explain and teach proper dance technique. She has a passion for not only the expression of dance but the technical part. Ashton has taught all styles of dance but finds the most joy by bringing positivity, self-confidence, and discipline in the dance studio.
You can start late, look different, be uncertain, and still succeed
- Misty Copeland
Ballet & Pointe
Ann trained at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and went on to serve as faculty for 13 years. She has a BFA in Ballet and has taught classical ballet for over 25 years. She also is a yoga teacher and has her E-RYT-200 and RCYT. Ann is an adjunct at HACC where she teaches wellness courses in yoga and pilates. She comes to Hershey School of Dance with a passion for teaching children and the arts.
Dancing is music made visible.
- George Balanchine
Mia danced at Hershey School of Dance for 13 years and cannot wait to begin teaching and sharing her excitement for dance with her students at HSD. She has previously taught Greek folk dancing and assisted at Hershey School of Dance for 5 years. She most enjoys hip hop and dancing to a good beat.
Forget your troubles and dance.
- Bob Marley
Faith has been dancing since the age of 3, studying a variety of styles but focusing on ballet. She is currently a student at Messiah University where she plans to earn a degree in psychology while furthering her dance education. She is passionate about dance technique and the many benefits that dance classes bring to students. Faith looks forward to having fun, working hard, and spreading the joy of dancing!
A fine work of art - music, dance, painting, story - has the power to silence the chatter in the mind and lift us to another place.
- Robert McKee
Acro, Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz
Cole is originally from Texas where he graduated from West Texas A&M University with his BFA in Dance. Professionally Cole has performed on the concert stage as a principal dancer with Lone Star Ballet and on the theatrical stage at multiple theaters, theme parks, and cruise ships. He now resides in Hummelstown and is very excited to start his first year teaching at Hershey School of Dance!
Great artists are people who find a way to be themselves in their art.
Brandon Shawl is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, but now currently resides in Hershey. Since Middle School, he has pursued Musical Theatre and Dance. In 2019, Brandon graduated from Liberty University with his B.A. in Theatre Arts: Performance and Arts Administration. Throughout college and after graduation, Brandon has worked professionally at numerous regional theaters and theme parks along the east coast. Alongside performing, he has found joy in sharing his skills at different dance studios and through different theatrical education camps. When Brandon is off the stage or outside of the studio, you can find him either cooking, baking, or spreading joy through flowers at Royer’s.
Choreography is writing on your feet.
Caty grew up dancing at Hershey School of Dance, where she enjoyed taking all styles. She went to Temple University in Philadelphia where she had the joy of dancing, teaching, and choreographing, and she earned her BFA in Dance in 2020. Her collegiate dance education focused on ballet, modern, and African dance, and she was also part of an all-styles dance team that focused on hip-hop. Caty is thrilled to be teaching tap and to be part of the HSD family again!
There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.