Donna L. Muzio, Artistic Director & Founder
Ms. Muzio has been the Director of The Dance Center, the official school of Brandywine Ballet, for over 40 years. Her unequaled dedication to her school, students, and instructors and her unique, thorough teaching style have brought The Dance Center a reputation as one of the top pre-professional and most widely respected training institutions in the tri-state area. While consistently working to develop and improve the Vaganova curriculum as it applies to her school, Ms. Muzio continues to teach classes and mentor students, while implementing concise, structured classical schedules for her school and company to follow. As a result of this hands-on approach, The Dance Center continues to be one of the most current, successful dance schools, attracting talented, serious students seeking a classical ballet base, along with a challenging, varied performing experience.
Continuing with her mission, in 1979 Ms. Muzio founded the Brandywine Ballet, a non-profit ballet company. The Dance Center would become the official school for the newly formed company. In 1999, Ms. Muzio and Eddy Touissaint founded the Brandywine Ballet Theatre, the professional arm of the company, and Brandywine Ballet's Certificate in Dance Program, a unique partnership with West Chester University. Both of these non-profit programs have proved to be successful outlets for quality performing opportunities for both serious dance students and professionally recognized choreographers.
While Brandywine Ballet initially performed and concentrated on classical ballets, over the past few years Ms. Muzio's goal for the school and company has been the development of artists who fit in the 21st century, i.e., classically trained dancers who are also exposed to contemporary and neo-classic choreography and influence. Ms. Muzio guides her students in their training by insisting they develop a strong, classical technique with professional-level, challenging classes daily. She couples that with the opportunity for them to develop their individual expression by working with guest choreographers and other master teachers. In addition to the in-house professional faculty, all dancers have the opportunity to experience new choreography and master classes with professionals from The George Balanchine Trust ®, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Koresh Dance Company, BalletX, and Joffrey Ballet to name a few.