News in the Studio

2015 The Dance Connection. All Rights Reserved

Nicole, Jessica, Lori, Jeanette, Jennifer, Erin, Jennifer M, Erin A (Erin A and Brett not in photo)

Our mission at The Dance Connection is to create a learning environment that is both fun and disciplined. We believe in setting challenging yet attainable goals for each student. We feel that a teacher should be demanding yet encouraging. We want our students to want to be here. Our highest calling as educators is to nurture that desire. 

The Dance Connection is proud to be the only area dance studio under the direction of two New Jersey State certified teachers - Jennifer Hutnick and Lori O'Donnell. Their extensive dance background, coupled with their public school teaching experience, provides a unique perspective on dance education.

Our faculty has impressive performance backgrounds and has been affiliated with many prestigious companies and organizations, including: Philadanco, Parson's Dance Company, One World Symphony, The Morgan Scott Ballet, RennieHarrisPureMovement Productions, Jazzart Company, Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading, CODA and The University of the Arts.

The Dance Connection offers classes for beginner through advanced, ages 3 - Adult. Our award-winning Advanced Training Program prepares dancers for higher-level dance education and professional opportunities. We are also proud of our growing Adult classes. Students who simply want to have fun, or students who want to focus on a professional dance career may choose from the following classes: Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Pointe, Contemporary, Lyrical and Modern.

We hope you join us for another amazing year of dance!



Jennifer studied at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where she earned her bachelors degree in English. She also holds Teacher Certification in Secondary Education from the state of New Jersey. Her three years of active teaching at the secondary level included creating the dance curriculum at Bordentown Regional High School, the first program of its kind in the district.

Jennifer’s extensive background and education includes:

  • Participation in various Master Classes, Teacher Workshops and Intensive Summer Training    Programs
  • Philadanco
  • University of the Arts
  • Independent Director of Choreography Camden County College and Bordentown Regional High School


Lori holds a bachelors degree in both History and Elementary Education from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, as well as an associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Camden County College. While at Camden County College, Lori was a member of the dance program as both a performer and choreographer for various events and performances. Lori has created and implemented dance programs in various childcare centers in the Camden and Burlington County areas.

Lori’s extensive background and education includes:

  • Participation in various Master Classes, Teacher Workshops and Intensive Summer Training Programs
  • Dance/Community Events Coordinator for local dance schools
  • Independent Director of Choreography Camden County College


Erin first started her dance training at the age of 13 and quickly fell in love with ballet. She began her training at the Hanover School of Ballet in Hanover, PA before attending the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. During her college career, she had the opportunity to perform at both the Merriam Theatre and The Drake Theatre, even showcasing her own choreography at the latter. Erin graduated with honors in 2006 with a BFA in Ballet Performance. She has worked with choreographers Matthew Neenan, Andrew Pap, Roni Koresh, Molly Misgalla and Scott Jovovich. Erin recently spent the summer training as a trainee at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC. She is the current “poser” for the yearly Costume Gallery costume catalog and is on staff at Camden County College teaching Ballet and Dance Appreciation. She also works at numerous studios throughout the South Jersey area spreading her love for ballet to many aspiring dancers. Erin is very excited for her first year teaching at The Dance Connection.



Jen’s inspiration began when she first started dancing at the age of three. She spent her early years of dance training studying mostly under the instruction of Michele DiCola, Shaun Doyle, and Viktor Yeliohin, concentrating on her ballet technique. She continued her study of dance at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD for one year before transferring to The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. During her college experience, Jen grew much more diverse as a dancer, studying all dance forms and concentrating seriously on modern dance. At The University of the Arts, she had the opportunity to perform at the Merriam Theater and at the Drake Theater, where she also showcased her own choreography. She has worked with choreographers Silvanna Cardell, Matthew Neenan, Andrew Pap, Brian Sanders, and Joyce Herring of the Martha Graham Company. Jen graduated from UArts in May 2006 with her BFA in Dance Education, with a concentration in modern dance. She is now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading Squad for her second season, where she has had the opportunity to perform in the 6ABC Thanksgiving Parade and make numerous television appearances. She also enjoys performing for Enso Ensemble, under the direction of Michele Sasse. 

Jen has attended the Dance Masters of America Teacher’s Training School in Buffalo, NY as well as the Pilobolus Teacher Workshop in Washington Depot, CT. She is very excited to be a part of The Dance Connection in 2011.



Jeanette Dovas has been dancing since the age of 5 in the South Jersey and Philadelphia areas. She first attended The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and later The University of the Arts where she earned her BFA in performance and choreography, with a concentration in ballet. After graduation she spent two years teaching at a local studio and choreographing for school musicals before making the big move to New York City. While there, she worked with both established and new dance companies, including The Morgan Scott Ballet and One World Symphony. In addition to performing, she worked for Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. You can see her wedding in the Summer 2007 issue! After the birth of her first child, she moved back to New Jersey and began working at The Dance Connection. She has more than eight years of teaching experience in ballet, jazz, modern, and contemporary.



Jessica Villano began her training in Jazz, Tap and Ballet at 4-years-old at Triplett Dance Academy. At age 16 she was honored to be one of the first Americans ever invited to attend the "Jazzart Company" summer program in France, and perform for famous choreographer Matt Mattox. She has also traveled abroad to London's Pineapple Dance studio in Covent Garden for intense training with street dancer "little Milk" and dance crews TK Spin and Dance 2XS. With over 20 years of dance experience and 8 years of teaching, Jessica continues to study all forms of dance, and blends her love of modern jazz with hip hop to create a unique and fun style. Jessica has been with The Dance Connection for 4 years and her choreography has received top honors at various competitions.



Brett Ebling received her B.F.A. in Dance Choreography from Arizona State University. She has studied under the direction of Shouze Ma, a founding member of the first modern dance company in China and was lucky enough to participate in the inaugural year of the ASU Summer Study Abroad Dance Program in China, the only Chinese summer dance program offered by a U.S. institution. Brett has performed and choreographed in works for ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the Phoenix Suns halftime show, and various musical theater productions in South Jersey. She served as a co-captain for the 2011 Philadelphia Soulmates, the professional dance team for the Philadelphia Soul arena football team. Brett is also a founding member and guest choreographer of Project Dance, a dance festival in southern New Jersey dedicated to furthering performance art amongst area high school students. She is currently a company member of the Andrea Mychaels Dance Project and recently performed in a piece that was selected for the 2012 Jazz Dance World Congress International Choreography Competition.



Alyssa Quinn began dancing at The Dance Connection at the age of three. Her training included 
ballet, pointe, jazz, hip-hop, tap, lyrical, contemporary, and modern. She had the privilege of 
studying under the wonderful staff here during her time as a student. Throughout high school 
Alyssa was a member of the St. Joseph Dance Team and was a captain her senior year. Since the 
age of five, Alyssa has performed in competitions and participated in workshops allowing her to 
be instructed by Mia Michaels, Chris Judd, Dave Scott, Brian Friedman, Laurieann Gibson, and Robert Hoffman. She has won many awards throughout her competition career. A few to  mention are: The Pulse on Tour 2010 Atlantic City Scholarship, Jump at Radio City Music Hall  Hip Hop Music Video, Dance Warz in Stroudsburg, PA, and was invited to perform in the 2013 Cathy Roe Ultimate Dance Fashion Show. Alyssa has performed at the Waterside Stage in Downtown Disney for Disney’s Performing Arts, local South Jersey nursing homes and was on the cover of the Clipper Hammonton Magazine. She carries her love for teaching outside of The Dance Connection, and teaches dance at local preschools. She loves working with children of all ages. Alyssa was asked to become an assistant teacher at The Dance Connection in 2011 and has been added to The Dance Connection’s teaching staff in 2015 instructing all styles of dance.