Artistic Director of Community Productions
Classes Taught: All levels Ballet & Pointe, Stretch, Tight & Tone, Core, Dyna-band class, Musical Theatre, Foundations Ballet, Jazz
Choreographer Desiree Witt is an artist of the first order whose work helps showcase the talent and dedication of our dancers. Among her many accomplishments, she has set Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, The Snow Queen, The Nutcracker, The Jazz Nutcracker, and The Wizard of Oz as ballets in and around the Tri-State area.
Ms. Witt holds a B.S. in Music Education and an M. Ed. in Dance Education from Frostburg State University. Her ballet students have been placed in prestigious schools and companies such as The Joffrey Ballet, School of American Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (Schenley Park), Point Park University, North Carolina School of the Arts and The Juilliard School.
According to Ms. Witt, students should take class to better themselves, not to judge their dance or movements against another dancer.
“A good dance student does not look who is in class and say ‘I can’t dance with them, they aren’t as good as me,’ or ‘I can’t dance with them, they are better than me.’ A good student always tries to get something out of every movement, every exercise, every combination, every nuance, and/or every correction the instructor gives,” says Ms. Witt. “Students take my classes because I have a reputation for training professional dancers for many years and because they always learn something either about dance, about movement, about themselves, or about life.”
Although she has been teaching for 32 years, she’s still learning.
“I read many journals and articles to keep on top of how teachers across the nation are training professional dancers,” she adds.
Witt continues to push herself as well. For example, she still demonstrates exercises for her dancers.
“It keeps me young and active,” she says. “I always tell dancers, ‘this is how I do it’ or ‘this works for me,’ when executing a certain exercise or movement.”
That approach has inspired many students. Through her musical theatre camp entitled Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance Musical Theatre Workshop, Witt has worked extensively performing, directing, choreographing, producing, and/or music directing over 100 productions in various forms from choral music, musicals, ballets, plays, to variety shows. She most recently produced, directed, and choreographed Songs for a New World for Allegany High School and music directed and choreographed Camelot for The Embassy Theatre, both in Cumberland, Maryland.
Witt was an honored Poetry Out Loud judge for the Maryland State Arts Council in 2021, past Vice-President of the Cumberland Choral Society, a member of MENC and MMEA, and holds a Maryland State Teaching certificate for Music K-12. She has had certification in Vaganova Levels I-VI through John White, Irina Kolpakova, and the late Jurgen Schneider. Ms. Witt supplemented her training at Ballet Theatre of Annapolis, Point Park University, and with Madame Darvash in New York City.
In her home studio she trains dancers for the future of the dance world and has even choreographed for a previous title holder of Miss West Virginia for The Miss America Pageant.