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Karen Ninos Carpenter - Director of the Petite Muses Program and instructor of intermediate and advanced ballet

The Academy is thrilled to be adding Karen to our roster of instructors.  New to Asheville, Karen is a professional ballet teacher and award winning choreographer.  She is an alumna of the world renowned Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, where she was carefully trained by founder Marcia Dale Weary as both a dancer and an instructor.  Singled out as a student with great potential to teach, Karen has remained a consistent presence on their faculty since 1982.

Karen continued her training at the American Ballet Theatre School under Leon Danielian, where she was noticed by Robert Joffrey and hired as a member of the City Center Joffrey Ballet Company.  She worked there as a dancer, where her skills as a teacher where seen quickly and utilized to teach the children’s roles in Joffrey’s reconstruction of the ballet Pulcinella, coached by Leonide Massine. She accompanied Mr. Joffrey on the company’s ground-breaking 5-week tour of Russia in 1974.

Karen was the founder of the Alfred Ballet Academy in Alfred, NY, where she choreographed original story ballets for her students for 22 years, producing many professional dancers, some of whom have gone on to form their own dance companies. She also founded the Campbelltown School of Ballet in Campbelltown, PA and the Hershey School of Ballet in Hershey, PA, both still in existence.

Karen served on the dance faculties at Alfred University in Alfred, NY, and Hagerstown Community College in Hagerstown, MD. She created a class for HCC called “If I were a Dancer”, designed to inspire young dancers in the College for Kids program.