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Faculty & Staff


Sarah Mason (Artistic Director)
Ballet, Jazz,
Pointe, Tap, Theatre, East Coast Swing
Lumière, Crunch! Productions, Showstoppers

- Certified Dance Educator
- International Performing Artist
- Founder, Footprints Tap Ensemble

Sarah has performed on the international stage, appearing alongside world-famous artists Savion Glover, the late Gregory Hines, and many more. Her students have appeared on Broadway, at Walt Disney World, in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and in professional companies around the globe. Sarah's PAA graduates have gone on to do exciting things in the dance world - from becoming interns at Broadway Dance Center in New York to working as personal assistants to talent agents in Los Angeles.

Sarah began her early dance training in Chicago, where she studied with Barbara Swanson. She is a Certified Dance Educator (CDE) through
Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and she continues to work with her mentor, Heather Cornell.

Sarah serves as the director of both Crunch! Productions and Lumière Studio Company, and she is the creative mind behind PAA's annual spring concerts. She works in the community, choreographing local productions and mentoring other dancers and teachers, including faculty and staff members from Penn State.

In addition to her dance experience, Sarah has appeared in feature films and in theater productions throughout the Chicagoland area. She served as director of Hello Out There, produced at Lake Forest College, where she was also a founding member of their Guerilla Shakespeare Troupe and a choreographer for many other productions.

Lastly, Sarah has trained many models and pageant contestants, including several Centre County's Outstanding Young Woman scholarship recipients and Junior Miss Title winners. She is a fashion show consultant and choreographer, and also serves as a judge for pageants and dance competitions throughout the country.

Chuck Mason (Executive Director)
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Bass
Two-Step, East Coast & West Coast Swing
Rock & Roll Band Camp, A Bug's Life Nature Camp

- Vocalist & Lead Guitarist, Chuck Mason & Blue Reality
- Professional Musician

Chuck is the Executive Director of Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts and has studied all styles of dance for over a decade and has worked as a professional musician for over 20 years. He continues to write and perform music regionally, and you can see him as lead guitarist with several blues and rock bands in the area. Chuck's background also includes a Bachelor's in Biology from Penn State, where he conducted Biology and Entomology research, as well as a masters of Divinity from Fuller Seminary. His writing has been published in international journals.

A native of State College, Chuck also holds a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and a BA degree in Biology from Penn State. He has conducted Entomology research and has had his work in theology and biology published in international journals.


Megan Casey - Ballet, Tap, Jazz

- Experienced children's teacher & choreographer
- Member/choreographer of Penn State's ballet company, Volé

Megan is the newest addition to PAA’s teaching staff, and she brings terrific energy to our Child & Youth Programs! Megan has taught for a number of years, and she specializes in teaching ballet, tap and jazz to younger children. She is currently an active member of Penn State University’s dance team. Please help us welcome Megan to our PAA family!
Chloe Weaver - Ballet, Tap, Jazz

- Experienced children's teacher & choreographer
- Member/choreographer of Penn State's ballet company, Volé

Chloe Weaver, a native of State College, currently attends Penn State University Schreyer Honors. She offers a fantastic musical background to her tap students, being a classically trained violinist and vocalist. Chloe's tap background includes regular studies with Sarah Mason and Michele Dunleavy, as well as master instruction with tap greats Roxane Butterfly and Heather Cornell. Welcome, Chloe!


George Patterson

- Cast Member, "Bring in da' Noise, Bring in da' Funk"
- Artistic Director, Chicago Tap Interpreters
- International teacher, choreographer and tap artist

A Chicago native, George Patterson has performed since 1992, starting with the world-renowned Jesse White Tumblers. At the age of 19, he was the only dancer from the Midwest to appear in Broadway's Tony Award winning "Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk", alongside Jason Samuels-Smith and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards. He also has performed in the Broadway in Sweden tour and the American Millennium Celebration at the White House for President Clinton. He is the founding director of Chicago's Finest Tap Interpreters. George enjoys teaching all over the globe, including at Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center. He graduated from the Milwaukee High School of the Arts, the Sammy Dyer School of Theatre and studied under Ted Levy and Savion Glover.
Amy Brandt

- Member, Suzanne Farrell Ballet
- Writer, Pointe Magazine
- Writer, Dance Magazine
- Member, New Chamber Ballet
- Founding Member, ad hoc Ballet
- Former Member, Milwaukee Ballet

Amy was born in Libertyville, Illinois, where she received her initial dance training at Dancenter North. She continued her studies on full scholarship at the Milwaukee Ballet School. She was invited to join the Milwaukee Ballet, where she performed soloist roles in ballets such as Swan Lake, Cinderella, The Four Temperaments,  and Alonzo King's MAP. In 2003, she joined the Suzanne Farrell ballet in Washington, D.C., with whom she's performed at the nationally televised Kennedy Center Honors and the Edinburgh International Festival. Ms. Brandt is also a founding member of Ad Hoc Ballet, a contemporary dance company in New York City, and has written for Dance Magazine.

Gilbert Bailey II - Hip-Hop

- Experienced educator
- Professional emcee, vocalist and interactive dancer
- Penn State Musical Theatre program

Gilbert has worked in studios surrounding the Philadelphia area as an instructor of Hip-Hop, Acro, and Street Jazz. In addition, he has worked as the "Hip-Hop culturalist" and choreographer for the BHS Hip-Hop squad and is a current member of ABC crew, a dance group out of Bristol. He was recently seen in the URTC production of WORD UP, a staged documentary of Hip-Hop. Gilbert’s expertise in this style of dance spans the whole realm of the genre – from breaking to rocking, locking to popping, and house to capoeira.  Gilbert is also employed at Asharp Productions as an MC, Vocalist, and Interactive Dancer, and he attends Penn State University where he is a Musical Theatre major.
Roxane Butterfly
International tap star hailed as "an untamable tomboyish force of nature" by the New York Times. Teaches worldwide and has danced with the greatest named in tap - Savion Glover, Barbara Duffy, Dianne Walker and more!
Heather Cornell
The tap world's finest -international teacher, Broadway choreographer, and world-renowned performer! Artistic Director of Manhattan Tap and the mentor of names like Roxanne Butterfly, Max Pollak, Jeannie Hill, Lisa Hopkins, Mike Minery and more! 
Ayodele Casel
Internationally acclaimed tap star who has appeared in stage & screen appearances with the finest dancers and actors in the world. Currently runs a production company with Sarah Savelli.
Jason Samuels Smith
Emmy Award-winning tap dancer who is the founder of the LA Tap Festival and has appeared on and off Broadway in everything from So You Think You Can Dance to Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk! One of the biggest names in tap today!


  Kayla Bracken
Jordyn Brooks
Liz McNitt
Elara Sakona
Samantha Statham

Gilbert Bailey II (Hip-Hop)
Corinna Brooks (Ballet)
Kylie Brooks (Tap, Ballet, Jazz)
Karen Cattell (Kindermusik)
Rebekah Cattell (Ballet, Tap, Jazz)
Brianne Dalton (Ballet, Tap)
John Daulby (Jazz, Hip-Hop)
Dayna Hasson (Jazz, Hip-Hop)
Becky Mastin (Jazz, Modern, Tap, Ballet)
Christine Mollica (Tap)
Katie Maxwell (Jazz, Hip-Hop)
Christine McHale (Hip-Hop, Modern)
Ashley Metz (Ballet, Jazz, Modern)
Lauren Rubio (Ballet, Tap, Jazz)
Tiana Sakona (Jazz, Hip-Hop)

Brandon Wilbur (Hip-Hop)
Tione Won (Ballet, Jazz)

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