The Moyer Institute of Dance, established in 1952, is recognized throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley as a leader in dance education. Our studio caters to both the recreational dance student and the student seeking a more serious pre-professional dance education.
Faculty and Staff:
Artistic Director/Master Teacher
I began my training at the age of three at The Moyer Institute of Dance with my mother Joan Moyer Clark. At nine years old I started traveling to New York City every summer to train with prestigious dance companies such as The Joffrey Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey, and Luigi’s First World Jazz Centre. I also took classes from and studied with Vladimir Dokoudovsky, Madame Swoboda, David Howard, Duncan Noble, and with Luigi himself. I was a scholarship recipient to the North Carolina School of the Arts where I studied for two years. At the age of 17, I auditioned for and was accepted into Alvin Ailey II, the junior company to Alvin Ailey. Due to a car accident, I unfortunately had to decline the invitation. After recuperating, I decided to move to Florida where I was offered a position to start a dance program at Daytona Beach Community College. I still wanted to perform, so I auditioned for and was accepted into a ballet company in Central Florida. Later, I moved to Tampa and started dancing at Busch Gardens. After my time in Florida, I moved back to Central Pennsylvania and opened a school in Mifflinburg and Middleburg. I still was not ready to give up performing, so I started dancing in Industrial Shows throughout the area and guest performed and choreographed for the Bucknell Dance Company. I also started coaching and choreographing for local gymnastics teams throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley and Allentown area. During my 20-year employment as Dance Coach and choreographer, I had the opportunity to coach Olympian Kip Simons. In 1996, I was one of 20 recipients in the country, and the only one from Pennsylvania, to be awarded a grant from USA Gymnastics to begin a rhythmic gymnastics program. In 1995, I joined forces with my mother Joan Moyer Clark at the Moyer Institute of Dance. From there I began teaching the pre-professional classes and I have been working as Assistant Director ever since. I am now the Artistic Director and Master Teacher at The Moyer Institute of Dance since my mother’s retirement in May of 2012. I have stayed current with my teaching techniques by attending summer dance programs with my students, going to conventions, and attending lectures and dance performances. I am currently on the faculty of Lycoming College in Williamsport where I teach Dance History and Beginner and Intermediate Dance. I am very proud to carry on the tradition of excellence at The Moyer Institute of Dance.
Sophie Moyer, originally from Sunbury, Pennsylvania, is a dancer, choreographer, and dance educator based in DC and PA. Growing up, Sophie studied intensely at the Moyer Institute of Dance in ballet and jazz, as well as at summer intensives with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Pennsylvania Regional Ballet. Sophie went on to receive her BA in Dance with a double major in Sociology from the George Washington University, graduating with honors in dance and with nominations for both choreography and performance excellence awards. Most recently, Sophie spent three months in New York City interning at Dance Spirit Magazine and studying daily at the prestigious Broadway Dance Center and Peridance Capezio Center. Sophie continues her training by attending workshops, conventions and intensives around the US. Sophie is currently on the faculty and staff of Joy of Motion Dance Center and the Moyer Institute of Dance, and also on the faculty of Born2Dance in Virginia, where she teaches and choreographs in the styles of ballet, contemporary, and jazz. Sophie’s classes focus on technique, strength, musicality, storytelling, self-confidence, and the development of a personal and unique voice to share through dance.
Joan Moyer Clark
Mrs. Clark retired in 2012 after 60-years of teaching. She started the Moyer Institute of Dance 60-years ago when she moved from York, Pennsylvania to Sunbury at age 19. She started teaching at the Rescues Hose Company in Sunbury, and on the second floor of the 100F building on Market Street in Lewisburg. Then, in 1963, they built the Sunbury studio. The studio was their home, where they lived and where they danced. A few years later Mrs. Clark started teaching in Shamokin at the Trinity Lutheran Church.
Mrs. Clark has educated and inspired thousands in her 60 years of teaching. The Moyer Institute of Dance has created a community – I am sure everyone knows someone who has taken at The Moyer Institute of Dance at one time or another. She hopes that the students will keep the love of dance in their hearts and continue on with Kitty and Sophie. Though the studio will not be the same without her, the show must go on, and we will continue to educate and inspire children in a way she would be proud of.
The quality of training received by our students is reflected in the rich array of accomplishments Moyer Institute of Dance alumni have achieved.
Jack Hertzog began his dance training at The Moyer Institute of Dance when he was 12 years old, and at age 18 he went on to study with the School of American Ballet. He went on to be a principal dancer at the Metropolitan Opera Company from 1967-1988, where he worked with Dame Alicia Markova, Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine, and Anthony Tudor, dancing the leading roles in such opera ballets as Aida, Adriana Lecouvreur, Faust, La Gioconda, Samson et Dalila, and La Traviata. He now teaches ballet at Broadway Dance Center in New York City.
Danny Buraczeski founder of the original New York City-based JAZZDANCE, began his dancing career at The Moyer Institute of Dance. He then went on to a career on Broadway appearing in such musicals as Mame with Angela Lansbury and The Act with Liza Minnelli.
Peter DiBonaventura trained at the Moyer Institute of Dance from the time he was a small boy, up until he graduated from High School. From here he went on to dance with ABT’s junior company and with the New Jersey Ballet. He then was invited to be a principal dancer with the Cleveland Ballet. Most recently, he was a principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. He now teaches at the New Jersey Ballet.
Connie Arter, Ralph Sayers, and Beth Carpenter were all longtime Moyer Institute of Dance students. They went went on to dance professionally with the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Wilkes-Barre Ballet, and the Trisha Brown Dance Company.
Marina Gobins Walchli of Sunbury began her training at the Moyer Institute of Dance. While she was here, at 15, Marina won a 2-year scholarship to attend Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. Marina went on to be a college dance professor at Hobart and William Smith colleges. She is now Director of the Honors Tutorial Program in Dance at Ohio University.
Susan Mitchell was dancing with The Moyer Institute of Dance when she won a scholarship to the Pennsylvania Governors School of the Arts. She then went on to dance with “The Radio City Christmas Spectacular” and The Broadway World Tour of “West Side Story”.
Diane Liggett Scott went on to dance on cruise ships from Hawaii to the Bahamas and worked in entertainment at Walt Disney World (WDW) for 10 years. While at WDW she appeared on television in “Santa Barbara”, hosted guest musicians with Magic Music Days, and danced as a backup dancer for pop singer Smokey Robinson. She is now a faculty member of Susquehanna University.
Ralph Anton Hoffman began his dance training with Joan Moyer Clark while he was studying at Bucknell University. Ralph went on to be a Broadway dancer and stage manager for the Washington National Ballet. He was also a longtime chief of Wolf Trap Farm Parks’ division of performing arts and was the artistic administrator of the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC.