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Department ofTheatre and Dance

Karyn Lee Connell

Karyn Lee Connell


Karyn Lee Connell, a Chicago native, has been a principal dancer with Cincinnati, Cleveland, Diablo, and Dallas Ballets. She trained with Lisa Boehm in Elgin, IL, at the Ruth Page Foundation with Larry Long, and in New York with Robert Joffrey. She has moved audiences with her dancing, performing leading roles in such ballets as, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Rubies, Theme and Variations, Carmina Burana, Seranade, Agon, There is a Time, as well as various others. She was the first ever to dance the role of "Wendy" in Peter Asnastos’ ballet Peter Pan. As a guest artist, Karyn performed internationally with Scotland's Edinburgh Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Cincinnati Opera, Milwaukee Opera and in Flemming Flindt's 50th Anniversary Gala for the Queen of Denmark, which was televised throughout the country of Denmark. She is also in demand as a guest teacher around the country. 

During Karyn’s career as a ballerina, she discovered Pilates and the advantages Pilates had on her body and her life. Karyn chose to become a certified instructor and received her certification from Balanced Body in 2001. Karyn retired from the stage in 2003 and immediately joined the faculty at Santa Clara University as the sole lecturer of ballet and Pilates. She teaches all levels of ballet as well as Pilates mat classes and private sessions on the Pilates apparati. She choreographs for the university’s yearly dance concert. Karyn completed the Balanced Body University Faculty Training program in mat certification training, and she is looking forward to enlightening students in how to teach in the Pilates tradition. Karyn is a Certified Brain Health Trainer and completed the Dance for Parkinson's Disease (Dance for PD) Introductory Dance Teacher Trainer course.

Karyn loves to read and travel in her free time.