Staff

Helen Gaus - Artistic Director

Miss Helen is an accomplished dancer is the director of the Civic Dance Centre and the Artistic Director of the Scranton Civic Ballet . Previously, she was a member of PCA Rostered Artists, Director of Dance at Marywood University, Director of the Abington Heights Dance Academy, Ethnic dance teacher for the Polish Woman’s Alliance and the Jewish Community Center, and the Director of the Ballet Academy of Baltimore.

She has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout her career. These awards include the Marywood University Order of St. Genesius, Northeast Intermediate Unit Artist of the Year, Chamber of Commerce award for 25 Years of Teaching Excellence, the Scranton Times Northeastern PA Woman of the Week, and the Lackawanna Arts Council Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts.

Megan Jagoda - Tap & Jazz

 

Since 2012, Megan Jagoda has been teaching tap and jazz to students ages 8 and up for Scranton Civic. She began dancing at the age of four and over the years has studied tap and jazz extensively at Stars of Tomorrow in Forty Fort, PA, Linda Sipple Dance Center in Luzerne, PA, and Linn McDonald School of Dance in Scranton, PA. In 2004, she performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as an all-star cheerleader/dancer.

Megan also continued dancing at Susquehanna University in tap, jazz, and modern courses and was a member of the SU Dance Corps for four years. She had the pleasure of teaching her peers tap and jazz from 2005-2009, performing in many dance-related workshops and activities around campus, and serving as the SUDC Vice-President in her senior year.

Megan earned a BA in English/Secondary Education from Susquehanna University in 2009 and has earned two Master’s degrees in Education from Wilkes University. She is an English teacher at Wallenpaupack Area High School in Hawley, PA

Megan is very thankful for the opportunity to teach the students at Civic so she can instill in them her growing passion for dance practice and performance.

Karli Miller - Lilliputian Department

Karli (Musheno) Miller started dancing with Civic in 1991 at the age of four. Over the years, she took classes in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern dance. Karli began working for Miss Helen Gaus at Scranton Civic Dance Centre in 2000 as a Demonstrator, and is currently the Dance Instructor for the Lilliputian Department. She is very grateful for the opportunity to share her love of dance with the younger students at Civic Dance Centre.

Karli earned a BA in Business from Lackawanna College in 2007, and a BS in Business with a Marketing/ Management concentration from Penn State University in 2009. She also earned a Graphic Design Certificate from The University of Scranton in 2010. Karli currently works full-time at Peoples Security Bank as a Marketing Specialist. In her spare time, she also serves on the Scranton Civic Ballet Company’s Board of Directors.

Vanessa Vergnetti Thomas - Hip Hop

 

Vanessa Vergnetti Thomas is a Scranton Civic Dance alumna and resides in Old Forge, PA. She is a certified ISSA personal trainer and instructor. She teaches the beginner, intermediate, and advanced level of the hip hop genre at Civic Dance.

Her mentors are Miss Helen Gaus and Mrs. Elizabeth Whetstone. Her teaching philosophy is that each individual student has their own inner magic that comes out through the art of dance.

Catherine Klotz - Contemporary

Catherine received her dance training locally at the Ardito’s School of Dance for 24 years. Teaching and choreographing for 13 years, she loves sharing her love of dance with her students.

She has taken master classes in tap jazz and modern at Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center and master ballet classes with Catherine Kingsly of the Royal Ballet. She has trained in contemporary dance withthe Philadelphia Dance Company and Kristin Degnan of Ballet Northeast while studying at Wilkes University.

She has a BA in Elementary Education and a BA in History. She is the Treatment Coordinator and Marketing Manager for Dr. Joyce A. Perih Orthodontics.

Catherine Johnson – Ballet Mistress

Jeanne Pasternak – Office Manager

Jeanne Pasternak has been part of the Scranton Civic Ballet family since 1993. Over the years, she has helped with everything from costumes to managing the front desk. She’s also been seen on stage each year in Scranton Civic Ballet’s annual production of “The Nutcracker” in highly sought-after roles such as “Mrs. Stahlbaum” and “Mouse”.

Fondly known as “Miss Jeanne”, she’s always happy to greet all Civic families with a bright smile and lend a helping hand. Year after year, Miss Jeanne has also been honored with the award of “Best Mom Ever” by her two daughters.

Special talents include organizing desks, tidying up the cafeteria and always maintaining the seasonal tissue-box holder at the front desk.