ANN VAN KUREN
Dancer, Choreographer, Educator
Ann Van Kuren has been an influential creative force in Pennsylvania since 1988. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Ann received her early training at the school of the Dayton Ballet then received a B.A. in Dance and Mathematics from Butler University and her master’s in Dance Performance and Choreography from Ohio State University. As a performer she has danced professionally with New World Dance Theatre in New York City, Fleet Street Contemporary Dance Company of Louisville, Pennsylvania Dance Theatre in State College, and her own company, VanDance Inc., and was invited to perform in the Festival Dance of the World in Pec, Hungary and the Tanz Theatre Festival in Bonn, Germany. Ann also served as PDT’s artistic director and resident choreographer, commissioning work from guest choreographers and creating more than 40 dances.
In addition, Ann's work has been set on the Ballet Theatre of State College including the recent original ballet “A Night on Bald Mountain” and the battle scene in “The Nutcracker”, on dancers at Stephens College Summer Program and at Penn State University where she created “Firelight on The Water”. As a performer she has danced in the works of Bebe Miller, David Dorfman, JoAnna Mendl Shaw, Heidi Latsky, Bill Young, Claire Porter, Colin Connor, Cathy Young, Megan Brazil, Doug Varone, Ben Munisteri and many others. She is the recipient of a Choreographer’s Fellowship grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. In 2001 she founded her own modern dance repertory company, VanDance Inc. An accomplished teacher, Ann has taught modern dance, ballet and jazz at Ohio State University, modern dance at Stephens College, and ballet, composition and modern repertory at Penn State University. She has taught master classes around the country and is particularly noted for reaching young dancers and non-dancers in a residency situation. Ann is co-founder of Stories ’n Motion, a collaborative educational enterprise with Altoona-based storyteller Jan Kinney.
Jitterbug Jams is proud to have Ann as an instrumental member of the team, collaborating on dance history inspiration, writing lesson plans, and working directly with children implementing our creative and educational vision.