ContempraDance School consists of professional dance educators and performers experienced in every aspect of dance. Each member is unique to their approach to teaching while sharing their expertise in a very nurturing and caring environment.

  • Pre-Dance — Gail, Jenn, Daria, BethAnn
  • Ballet — Jerzy, Jenn, Daria
  • Pointe — Jenn, Jerzy, Daria
  • Jazz — Gail, Jenn, Bilal, Daria, Swan
  • Funk — Gail
  • Hip Hop — Andreas (Dre), Gail, BethAnn
  • Lil’ Princess Creative Dance — Jenn
  • Modern / Lyrical — Gail, Bilal, Daria, Swan
  • Tap — Charla (Tweety)
Gail Vartanian

Gail Vartanian

Pre-Dance, Jazz, Funk Modern/Lyrical

Gail is the director/owner of ContempraDance School. She is originally from Philadelphia where Ms. Vartanian began her training in Modern and Ballet under the direction of Brigitta Trombler and Meli Davis. She attended York University in Toronto where she was a Modern Dance major studying Cunningham, Graham, Horton and Limon techniques. Over the years she has had extensive Jazz Dance training with Eva vonGercsy, Robert Archard, Jo Jo Smith, Frank Hatchett, Luigi, and others.

Gail has performed in various Modern and Jazz dance companies such as City Center Dance Theater of Atlanta, Company Kaye, L’Image Dance Company of Miami, Palm Beach Ballet and her own company, ContempraDANCE Theatre. She was lead dancer and assistant choreographer with Miami’s Les Folles Theater Dance Review and also Resorts International’s “Le Cabaret” in Paradise Island, Bahamas and Atlantic City, New Jersey. She has also choreographed and performed in Andrea Lauren’s opening act for Salt ‘N’ Pepa in Florida. Margarita Von Bahr, Director of the National Ballet of Finland, invited Ms. Vartanian to compose the only Modern/Jazz solo for the International Gala Dance Festival in Finland. Her choreography has also been presented at the Colony Theater in Miami Beach, Florida, Poland and throughout the Philadelphia and Delaware area. Gail and her dancers were excited to be selected to be involved in a film documentary with singer/composer Michael Sembello dancing to his infamous Flashdance hit, “Maniac” The film was released in Spring 2013.

For the past thirty-five years, Gail has been teaching her own style of dance incorporating Modern, Jazz, Lyrical and Blues. Her classes are technically based, emphasizing physicality and musicality. Her students have performed for the President of the United States, numerous Broadway musicals, ballet companies worldwide, and Madonna’s touring company. Ms. Vartanian has taught in various cities such as Montreal, Atlanta, West Palm Beach, Miami and Philadelphia.

In 2015, Gail served as panelist on the 2015 Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Advisory Panel for PPA’s Program Stream awards.

Gail is also the Artistic Director of the ContempraDANCE Theatre, a non-profit Modern/Jazz Dance Company she formed in 1990. Her highly acclaimed Company is based at the School, staging performances year round with original dance works. Please check out the website at: www.2018dancetheatre.org for more information.

Gail takes pride in her school and faculty and feels very blessed to be around such amazing and talented students every day.

Jerzy Golek

Jerzy Golek

Ballet, Pointe

Jerzy is experienced in all aspects of classical and modern ballet teaching performance and choreography. He began his dance career by winning a national audition in his native Poland for admission to the National Ballet Academy at Gdansk. He was soloist dancer with the Mazowsze National Dance Company of Poland and Ballet Company of Lodz Teatr Wielki. Mr. Golek has performed at La Scala, Milan; Carnegie Hall, New York; Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow; Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires; Peking and Shanghai in China among others. Mr. Golek received a Master of Fine Arts (Dance) Education from the University of Warsaw. He has won numerous awards for his choreography in Poland and the United States including a Gold Medal of Artistic Achievement presented by the President of Poland. Mr. Golek has developed his own teaching style, based on his own classical training in the Russian method, modified to the needs of his American students. Jerzy has been teaching for ContempraDance School since 2003!

Ms Charla (Tweety)

Ms Charla (Tweety)

Tap

Charla attended The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA. Then continued her studies at West Chester University graduating with a BSEd. in Early Childhood Education. While Ms. Tweety was a Tap Dancer with Tap Team Two and Co. ( under the Direction of Robert F. Burden) she had the opportunity to work with Young Audiences of: PA, NJ, NY, MD, VA, and CONN., performing in various schools teaching the history of Tap Dance. Over the years, Ms. Tweety has had the honor of learning from many great teachers: Joseph Lee, Nini Brown, LaVaughn Robinson, Germaine Ingram, Robert Burden, Nicole Hockenberry, Germaine Salsberg, Jimmy Tate and the late “Great” Buster Brown. Ms. Tweety was the Executive Director of Raw Hoofin’ Youth Tap Ensemble for ten years. Ms. Tweety thanks her mom for introducing her to the Arts at a young age, to the Great Spirit/The Creator for ALWAYS being by her side, to my fabulously-wonderful students over the years…I thank you for your Tap Enthusiasm and dedication to the Arts! AND…to my two boys-Momma’s Little Tap Dancers-many hugs to you both! “What we have or what we do not have should never dictate the quality of our lives, or our capacity to simply enjoy.” -a Cherokee feast of days; Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Daria Vartanian-Gibbs

Daria Vartanian-Gibbs

Pre-Dance, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern/Lyrical

Daria trained at ContempraDance School and was a member of ContempraYouth Dance Ensemble from age 7-18. She debuted in ContempraDANCE Theatre’s “Woman” as the daughter at the age of four. She attended the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Philadelphia her freshman and sophomore years studying with LeDeva Davis, Michael Susten, Darrell Williams, Shawn Lamere Williams and Peter Sabasino. She performed in Disney World, Ladek Zdroj International Dance Festival in Poland, Schuylkill Valley Dance Company’s Nutcracker and Melange Dance Company. She also performed with the College of Marin dance company in California. Daria has been a member of ContempraDANCE Theatre Company for over 7 years and is currently one of the lead dancers. She trains regularly with Meghan Braun of Waves Dance Company. In June 2014, Daria received her yoga teacher training certification for Jivamukti Yoga attending a 300 hour program in Costa Rica training with Sharon Gannon and David Life. She has also studied yoga with Amy Gordon, Sarah and Alan Finger and Kristin Paige. Daria received her BFA from Temple University receiving the College of Liberal Art’s Annie Hyman Award for Outstanding Service & Honors Society. Daria’s passion is teaching and performing. She is presently a dance & yoga instructor throughout the Philadelphia area.

Andreas Johnson

Andreas Johnson

Hip Hop

Dre has been dancing professionally for 15 years, working for professional dance Company’s such as Chosen Dance Company, Versatile Dance Company and The Human Project Dance Company in Arizona. He also works as a Mc/Dj for Pulse Entertainment doing Bar and Bat Mitzvah. Andreas has appeared on BET, the Apollo, and as a back-up dancer for recognized recording artists 50 Cent, Wayne Wonder, Amerie, The Diplomats, 3LW, Philly’s Most Wanted, Nina Sky, Fat Joe, No Questions and Lil Mama. In addition to television appearances, Andreas has performed in over a hundred shows nationwide. A highly touted performing artist, Andreas shares his dance knowledge to the youth all over the Tri-state area.

Jenn Howells

Jenn Howells

Pre-Dance, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lil' Princess Creative Dance

Jenn has been dancing for over 17 years studying ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance under the direction of Gail Vartanian. She has been teaching dance at ContempraDance School for over 10 years. During this time, Jenn helped to establish a strong teen/adult ballet program at Contempra, including beginner pointe for adults. She also teaches a large portion of the children’s classes at Contempra, and is the studio’s office manager. In 2016, Ms. Jenn formed the ContempraDance Ballet Ensemble which is a small group of dedicated ballet students that enjoy performing in the Philadelphia area. She is currently their the group’s choreographer and coordinator. Jenn’s other hidden talent is designing tutus and has made hundreds of dance costumes for the recital and ContempraDance Theatre Company’s productions. Since 2004, Jenn has assisted with ContempraDANCE Theatre Company, the studio’s resident professional dance company, helping to organize shows, write grants, design costumes, and performing small roles in shows. Prior to working at ContempraDance Schoo, Jenn was a highly requested software trainer for various companies throughout the Philadelphia region. She has an Associate’s Degree in Business, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Religious Studies from Albright College. She graduated Albright College summa cum laude and is a lifetime member of the Albright College Honors Society and Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honors society. Jenn loves to be at ContempraDance School every day and plans to be here for a very long time. We certainly hope she does because everyone loves Ms. Jenn!

Bilal Simpson

Bilal Simpson

Jazz, Modern / Lyrical

Bilal is a Charlotte, North Carolina native, began dancing at the age of 10 at Fletcher School of Dance, BB Dance Productions, and Miss Donna’s School of Dance. At the age of 16 Bilal began to dance professionally with the NBA Hornets and the WNBA Sting, shortly after he Graduated from Northwest High School of the Arts and began to teach at BB Dance Productions, Miss Donnas School of Dance and Academy of Dance and Fine Arts. Bilals work has won several 1st overalls Platinum and Overall Awards for both performance and choreography. In 2005 Bilal moved to Philadelphia, PA to attend University of the Arts for Dance Education and began to teach at DshayAcademy of Dance Arts and shortly after Carols Center for Dance. In 2009 Bilal joined Grace Dance Theater, and also became a resident choreographer for Grace Dance 2 and Training Company of Grace and the Children’s Dance Ensemble. In 2014 Bilal joined the company of ContempraDANCE Theater and also teaches at ContempraDance School and is rehearsal director for the schools Youth Dance Ensemble. Bilal has had the opportunity to receive instruction from prestigious choreographers and artists such as Mia Micheals, Dale Lamb, Dee Caspary, Travis Wall, Anthony Burrell, Sadie Roberts, and Veronica Bradley Badgett. choreographer for all the 3 company levels, GDT, GD2, and Training Company of Grace. Bilal has had the opportunity to work with prestigious choreographers and artists such as Mia Micheals, Abby Lee Miller, Dale Lamb, Dee Caspary, Travis Wall and Anthony Burrell.

Swan

Swan

Jazz, Contemporary Lyrical

Cha’Yvon V. Dessus who’s professionally known as “BSwan” (Black Swan) which has been developed during the journey of building her dance career in 2013. BSwan has been dancing for about 23 yrs. Her techniques that she has studied are Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Modern, along with Burlesque. Her specialty is Modern, Contemporary and Jazz dance. BSwan’s Dance training started with L&L Dance Production, YPTC, Koresh Youth Ensemble Dance Company back in early 2000’s where she gained proficiency training in classical Ballet and modern. In 2011, BSwan was hired as a member for “Infatuation Dance Company as well as the Assistant Director of The Pure Project Dance Company. She is currently professionally dancing with ContempraDANCE Theatre Company. BSwan is employed with various Dance Schools/Companies throughout Philadelphia region. She is now the Director/Founder of BSwan Dance Company (BSDC). She has Produced and Directed three productions. Her goal is to inspire Dancers/Artists in her community to dance as if they were Black Swans, embodying the unique imagery of a “Black Swan”. 

BethAnn

BethAnn

Hip Hop, Pre-Dance

Beth Ann Rejonis has a BA in Dance and Drama from Bard College, NY and an MA in Dance/Movement Therapy from Drexel/Hahnemann University. Beth Ann began her dance training with the Swarthmore Ballet Theater where she learned ballet, Martha Graham and Horton modern techniques, and jazz. She continued in college where she added Limon, and Cunningham techniques as well as Hip Hop/Street Funk and Flamenco dance to her repertoire. Beth Ann has been teaching creative movement, modern, ballet, jazz and musical theater dance for over 25 years. She has choreographed and performed numerous original pieces in Philadelphia and New York. She has also choregraphed for a variety of children and adult musical theater productions including “The Music Man”, “Baby”, “Peter Pan”, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.  

Main Line Parent & Philadelphia Family Love Award

ContempraDance School 2016 & 2017 LOVE Award for
"Best Dance Studio on the Main Line". 

©2018 ContempraDance School |375 West Lancaster Ave, Strafford Shopping Center | Wayne, PA 19087 | Office 610-225-3007