About the Faculty
Bernadine Knapp, Director of Knapp School of Dance, has been choreographing, instructing and directing her own dance studio for over 35 years. Her career began studying in Detroit, MI, under the prestigious Enid Ricardeau, past president of the Cecchetti Council of America and Dance Masters of Michigan. Bernie passed Cecchetti Examinations Grades I-V and completed her teacher training exams. She also trained at the Dance Masters of America Teachers Training School in Buffalo, NY, and Kent, OH, and Dance Educators of America Teachers Conventions. Prior to opening her own dance studio, Bernie danced professionally for 4 years throughout the United States and Canada. Her greatest reward comes from passing on her love of dance. Bernie had had many students selected to dance in various professional productions such as the Nutcracker Ballet. Knapp alumni have been selected for college dance programs, dance teams, Detroit Pistons Automotion, and several have opened dance studios of their own.
Ken Knapp has been teaching dance for over 25 years. Ken previously competed in various dance competitions, attended many conventions, and studied at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Performance opportunities include Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, USS Intrepid in New York City, and the Detroit Dream Cruise. Ken attended the Dance Masters of America Teachers Training School and Dance Educators of America Teachers Convention. Ken has successfully led many competitive dancer's through both regional and national level competitions. His dancers/groups have received many High Gold, Platinum and Top Platinum awards with "Top Overall Placement" results. He is credited for "Top National Winners" for his dancers/groups as well among "Best Choreography Awards", "National Dance Team Members", "Best Tap", "Best Technique" and many more various awards through the years. Ken loves leading his dancers to a new level with positive and rewarding results.
Jennifer Madigan has been teaching dance for 20 years. She previously competed in multiple dance competitions, attended various dance conventions, was cast in her high school musicals, and danced on her high school dance team. Jenni was the captain of the University of Michigan Dance Team. Performance opportunities include The Nutcracker Ballet, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and the USS Intrepid in NYC. Training includes summer sessions at the Gus Giordano Dance School in Chicago, American Ballet Theatre in New York City, Broadway Dance Center, STEPS on Broadway, University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and Dance Masters of America Teachers Training School. Jenni was fortunate to have the opportunity to study ballet under Bernie's former instructor, Enid Ricardeau, while attending the University of Michigan. Jenni holds a Master's Degree in Epidemiology.
Lori Lepp has been teaching dance for 15 years. She has been dancing with the Knapp School of Dance since her childhood and participated in many dance conventions and competitions along the way. Lori earned her Master's Degree in Teaching.
Lisa Gerios has been teaching dance for 10 years. She was the captain of her high school dance team and was cast in her high school musicals. She competed in various dance competitions and has performed at the University of Michigan in Dearborn.
Kristie Nadolski has been teaching dance for 7 years. She was captain of her high school dance team and competed in various dance competitions. Kristie enjoys musical theatre and has choreographed dance routines for school musicals. Kristie performed on the USS Intrepid in New York City and studied at the Broadway Dance Center. Kristie holds a Master's Degree in Teaching.
Heather Scavone has been teaching dance for 7 years. She studied dance at the Knapp School of dance and has attended various dance conventions and competitions. She was a member of her high school dance team. Heather has performed in Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Recently, Heather became a certified Zumba instructor. Heather earned her Master's Degree in Business.
Jessica Pavilanis has been teaching dance for 5 years. She is currently a dance student at Wayne State University's Maggie Allesee Department of Dance. Jessica competed in various dance competitions and was a member of the Academy of Dance Arts Performing Company. Jessica has performed with the Biba Bell Repertory and Wayne Guest Residency. She also performed in OZ the Musical.