Jennifer Welch Cudnik teaches ballet at COCA. She has been a guest artist with the Saint Louis Symphony and Montana Ballet, as well as a teacher with Saint Louis Ballet School and various schools in Pennsylvania. She danced professionally with Pennsylvania Ballet, Stamford City Ballet, and Saint Louis Ballet where she performed principal roles in numerous classical and neo-classical works. A native of St. Louis, Cudnik received her training from Berkeley Evans, Nathalie LeVine, and Alexandra Zaharias. At age 15, she moved to New York City to study on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet. There she studied under Stanley Williams, Kay Mazzo, and Suki Schorer, among others. She performed in ballets by Balanchine, Bournonville, and originated roles in ballets by Wheeldon and Woetzel. Cudnik spent summers training on full scholarship with SAB, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the State Ballet of Missouri. She is the co-founder and director of the nonprofit organization Ballet Initiative.