Jennifer Welch Cudnik has been teaching ballet for twenty years. A native of St. Louis, Jennifer moved to New York City at age 15 to study on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet. She trained with renowned teachers Stanley Williams, Kay Mazzo, Suki Schorer, Susie Pilarre, Antonina Tumkovsky, Elise Reiman, Helene Dudin, Richard Rapp, Olga Kostritsky, Andre Kramrevsky, Peter Martins, Violette Verdy, Jock Soto, Adam Luders, and Darci Kistler. She performed in ballets by George Balanchine and August Bournonville, and originated roles in works by Christopher Wheeldon and Damian Woetzel. Jennifer also trained with David Howard, Willy Burmann, and Nancy Bielski while in NYC and spent summers training on full scholarship with the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Kansas City Ballet. Jennifer was a professional ballerina for a decade. As a member of the Pennsylvania Ballet she performed in Swan Lake, Coppelia, the Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, as well as Balanchine’s the Four Temperaments, Serenade, and Who Cares?. Upon returning home to St. Louis, Jennifer was invited to join the Saint Louis Ballet. As a principal with SLB, she performed lead roles in George Balanchine’s Serenade, Allegro Brillante, Valse Fantaisie, and Divertimento No. 15. She also performed principal roles in Dennis Nahat’s Brahams Quintet, Francis Patrelle’s Swan Lake and Rhapsody in Blue and originated numerous roles in ballets by Gen Horiuchi. She was featured as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop Fairy, lead Marzipan and Spanish lead in The Nutcracker, the title role in Giselle, and as Aurora in the Sleeping Beauty. Jennifer has been a guest artist with Stamford City Ballet, Montana Ballet, and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. She has taught ballet at numerous schools in the Philadelphia area, as well as at Montana Ballet, Yellowstone Ballet, Saint Louis Ballet School, Grand Center Arts Academy, Washington University, and Webster University. Jennifer is a commissioned choreographer and is the director and co-founder of the nonprofit, Ballet Initiative. She is a career consultant for aspiring professional ballet dancers. She is currently a candidate for a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance through Hollins University. Jennifer is a grant recipient of Career Transition for Dancers as well as a fellowship recipient of Hollins University. Jennifer is an ABT Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum.