Ilona Kessell taught her first dance classes to tap students in a small New Jersey dance studio, at age 16. She has never stopped. Since then, she has taught tap, jazz and musical theatre dance to individuals of diverse ages and dance experience in academic, commercial, and conservatory studios in Maryland and New York. Additionally, Ms. Kessell has mentored student teachers from the dance departments of Towson University and Goucher College.
As an Arts educator, Ms. Kessell believes strongly that training in dance, or any performance art, is an essential tool that should be utilized to develop the intellectual, physical and creative potentials of young students. While learning the technical skills of different dance disciplines, as well as creating and performing dance, young people experience "process" and the level of energy and commitment required to initiate and follow-through to the end of a project.
Ms. Kessell feels very successful when young students develop enthusiasm and appreciation for the artistry of dance. She derives great satisfaction from the fact that many of her students have pursued careers in dance and theatre arts, successfully making the transition to "professional" as dancers, choreographers, teachers, and performers on the stages of regional and Broadway venues.