Director & Faculty

Risa Gary Kaplowitz

Artistic Director/Founder, Ballet Instructor

Risa Gary Kaplowitz is a former principal dancer with Dayton Ballet and member of Houston Ballet and Manhattan Ballet. She has also performed with Pennsylvania Ballet and Metropolitan Opera Ballet and as a guest artist with many companies nationwide.

She was originally trained at Maryland Youth Ballet by Tensia Fonseca, Roy Gean, and Michelle Lees. She spent summers as a teen studying on scholarship at American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Houston Ballet. As a professional, her most influential teachers were Maggie Black, Marjorie Mussman, Stuart Sebastian, Lupe Serrano, Benjamin Harkarvy, and Ben Stevenson. She has performed the repertoire of many choreographers including Fredrick Ashton, George Balanchine, Ben Stevenson, Stuart Sebastian, Dermot Burke, Billy Wilson, and Marjorie Mussman.

After spending ten years in a successful business career while building a family, Ms. Kaplowitz returned to the dance world and founded Princeton Dance and Theater Studio and DanceVision, Inc. with Susan Jaffe, former ABT principal ballerina. Ms. Kaplowitz is now PDT’s Director, and the Artistic Director of DanceVision, Inc. She also founded D.A.N.C.E. (Dance As a Necessary Component of Education), an outreach program that brings dance to New Jersey schools.

Ms. Kaplowitz has choreographed more than twenty pieces, and her original full-length ballets, The Secret Garden and The Snow Queen, premiered with DanceVision Performance Company in 2008 and 2011, respectively. Additionally, she has choreographed for several New Jersey Symphony Orchestra family and school outreach concerts.

Ms. Kaplowitz is an ABT® Affiliate Instructor, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7/Partnering and has successfully presented students for examinations. In 2013, Ms. Kaplowitz was asked by the Curriculum co-authors, Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens to be an ABT® National Training Curriculum Examiner. In the past, she has lectured the ABT®/NYU Master candidates on starting a dance studio.

She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and 4dancers.org writing on matters of dance. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Dance at The College of New Jersey.

Ms. Kaplowitz is grateful for her teachers in the past who gave her the exceptional tools necessary to have had a wonderful performance career and to her more recent teachers at ABT®NTC for the opportunity to continue growing as a teacher and to train others authentically. More than anything, she is grateful to her beautiful family, PDT’s wonderful students, and PDT’s stellar staff for continuing to make her life full of joy and dance.