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  A choreographer and teaching artist, Rachel Kantra Beal has been working with Penn Dance since 2004 and continues to guide Penn Dancers in her eleventh season as Artistic Director. Rachel has taught throughout the Philadelphia area including faculty positions at The University of the Arts, Temple University, Koresh School of Dance and the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center. From 2006-2013, Rachel was a member of Philadelphia-based modern dance company Dancefusion, where she performed the works of Mary Anthony, Pauline Koner, Anna Solokow and José Limón, among others. Rachel has been faculty choreographer for fusion2, a training company for young dancers, where she served as director from 2008-2014. Rachel has also worked with Enchantment Theater Company, creating live theater for children and their families. She has studied at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Koresh School of Dance, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, is a certified yoga instructor (RYT 200) and holds a BFA from the University of the Arts. Rachel’s studies have taken her as far as Tel Aviv, where she developed English language curricula and taught Israeli school children. Outside of her work with Penn Dance, Rachel earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Temple University in 2021 and is in clinical practice in Philadelphia.


Nancy Kantra is a dance and movement educator, artist and choreographer. After a lengthy tenure at the University of the Arts, Ms. Kantra is honored Professor Emeritus for the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts where she choreographed over 35 musicals, guiding and teaching award-winning artists of all majors and media. In addition to her work at UArts, Ms. Kantra maintains her status as faculty choreographer for the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center and fusion2 Dance Company. Additionally, she serves as an educational consultant, teacher, choreographer and peer reviewer for Rutgers Camden and many local universities, studios and arts institutions. A former Philadanco member, Ms. Kantra continues her longtime affiliation with Joan Myers Brown and her Danco family. Ms. Kantra is a Certified Movement Analyst and is associated with the Laban Institute of Movement Studies and the Actors Movement Studio of New York.

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