Title: Ballet Instructor
Dept/Program: Dance Institute
Heather Knighton began her dance training at the age of 3 at Abby Dance Center in Barberton, Ohio, where she competed for 8 years in countless Regional Competitions, 7 National Competitions and 1 International competition in Lake Tahoe Nevada. She took home many platinum, first place and overall highest scoring awards, as well as scholarships to numerous dance conventions. Heather was invited to dance at the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii in 1997 and she competed and won the right to represent Columbus, Ohio as a member of the “I Love Dance Junior Sweetheart Touring Ensemble.” She received scholarships to attend the Joffrey School of Ballet summer intensive when she was 10 years old, and the Kirov Academy of Ballet summer intensive at the age of 15.
Heather is a Graduate of The University of Akron’s Dance Institute, where she was placed in the advanced level and received her first college credit dancing with The University of Akron Dance Company (UADC), at the age of 12. While dancing there, she trained under many Artistic Directors and professional dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet, Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Jennifer Muller/The Works, GroundWorks Dance Theater, The Ohio Ballet, and Dancing Wheels. She continued performing with UADC throughout college in leading and soloist roles choreographed by the faculty as well as guest choreographers. She performed with the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Moscow Ballet of Russia in their productions of The Nutcracker.
Heather has been teaching for the past 17 years and strives to make a positive impact in the lives of her students. She has taught ballet, pointe, modern, and lyrical classes throughout Northeast Ohio, as well as substitute ballet classes for The University of Akron’s Dance Institute. She has choreographed for Regional and National Dance Competitions, and for Theatre 8:15’s Halloween, Broadway, and Christmas Show productions. Her choreography won the “Living Art Award" for a solo piece competed in 2011, and a “Showmanship Award” for a lyrical team piece competed in 2020. She is currently a Teaching Artist with ArtSparks and a Ballet Instructor with Martell School of Dance. Heather is beyond thrilled to share her passion for the art of dance and performing with the DI community, where she called her “second home,” for many years as a student.