Press Releases

Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Announces New Faculty
Former Kansas City Ballet Dancer and Radio City Rockette Join Staff

Carlisle, Pa. (May 2, 2018) – Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) welcomes two celebrated and diverse members to its faculty: Matthew Donnell, former Kansas City Ballet dancer and University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) director of the Preparatory Dance Program; and Alana Neihoff, former Radio City Rockette and UNCSA assistant director of the Preparatory Dance Program.

“CPYB’s enrollment increased by 16% in the last two years,” commented Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Ade. “We continue to see success both locally and nationally. Bringing both Donnell and Neihoff to the faculty will not only help us expand the reach of Marcia’s training and the impact CPYB has on students, but will also continue to grow the school’s footprint in central Pennsylvania.”

Since 1955, Founding Artistic Director, Marcia Dale Weary has dedicated her life to changing lives through dance. Marcia’s training is internationally recognized for its trademark clarity of technique and artistic assurance. More than 21,000 students have received training at CPYB’s historic barn studios and warehouse studios, both located in Carlisle, Pa.

New hires Donnell and Neihoff demonstrate CPYB’s commitment to developing technical proficiency in the next generation of ballet dancers and will both play significant roles in enhancing the student experience at CPYB.

“I love seeing students discover the joy that comes from the hard work required for ballet,” new faculty hire, Matthew Donnell notes. “The journey from pupil to artist takes time, dedication, and love. I’m honored to join the CPYB family and continue to grow as a teacher and person with this incredible team who are dedicated to the training and health of their beautiful dancers.”

Donnell and Neihoff join CPYB’s 14 faculty members and three permanent guest faculty members on Sept 1, 2018. Donnell also joins CPYB as a summer faculty member on June 23, 2018.

New Faculty Bios

Matthew Donnell joins Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet as faculty to teach intermediate and advanced dancers. Matthew began his training with his mother and at the age of ten began studying at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, the Rock School in Philadelphia, and attended summer intensives at the School of American Ballet and Chautauqua Institution. Matthew danced soloist and principal roles with the Kansas City Ballet for ten years before joining the University of North Carolina as the director of the Preparatory Dance Program. Donnell has instructed, choreographed, set repertoire, and rehearsed professional ballet companies and schools across the country including CPYB, UNCSA, Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, The University of Alabama, Kansas City Ballet, The Montgomery Ballet, and Alabama Dance Theater. Donnell has trained in the CPYB syllabus and is an ABT® Certified Teacher. 

Alana Neihoff, a former Radio City Rockette and native of Aurora, Colorado, joins the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet faculty and specializes in ballet training for beginner and intermediate dancers. Neihoff trained and tested in the Royal Academy of Dance, Cecchetti, and Vanganova ballet techniques and attended summer programs at American Ballet Theatre. At 15, Neihoff joined the Alabama Ballet under the direction of Wes Chapman where she performed soloist and principal roles. Following her time in Alabama, she joined American Ballet Theatre Studio Company in New York City where she performed with the main company during their Metropolitan Opera Season. Neihoff later performed as a Radio City Rockette for eleven years and appeared on various national television shows and was featured in Dance Spirit Magazine. Since the Fall of 2014, Neihoff has been with University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she was the associate director of the Preparatory Dance Program. As an instructor and choreographer, she has taught and choreographed for CPYB, UNCSA, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Alabama Ballet and the Radio City Rockette Experience. Neihoff is an ABT® Certified Teacher.

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MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: We invite the media to attend upcoming rehearsals and speak with the performers and artistic staff about the performance. For more information, please contact Kelly Derbes at 717.245.1790 or derbes@cpyb.org. Coverage opportunities of performances are also available and must be set up through Kelly Derbes.

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About Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is a celebrated leader in the world of classical ballet. Embracing an attitude of lifelong learning more than 60 years ago, Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary envisioned a school where children would have the opportunity to receive exceptional ballet training. Today CPYB is the nation’s preeminent school of classical ballet with an international reputation for training young men and women. The school’s renowned teaching methodology couples performance opportunities with innovative educational initiatives, an esteemed faculty, and a proven syllabus — all in an environment that promotes the acquisition of the life skills crucial to a child’s development.

Thousands of young people have passed through Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s acclaimed studios. CPYB alumni continually occupy top positions in the leading ballet companies from San Francisco and Miami to New York, London and beyond. Through the organization’s threefold mission – to inspire, educate and enrich – the legacy of Marcia Dale Weary and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet redefines the art form, preserves its history and shapes its future.