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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. 

During Karyn’s career as a ballerina, she discovered Pilates and the advantages Pilates had on her body and her life. Karyn retired from the stage in 2003 and immediately joined the faculty at Santa Clara University.

She is also in demand as a guest teacher around the country. 

Select Scholarship Credits

SCU Career Center Outstanding Career Influencer, Spring 2023
Functional Aging Institute Certified Brain Health Trainer (2020) 
Art Career Project's Noteworthy Art Professors in the Bay Area, Winter 2019
Balanced Body Certified Pilates Instructor (2001)

Leading roles included:
Swan Lake
Romeo and Juliet
Sleeping Beauty
Theme and Variations
Carmina Burana
There is a Time
She was the first ever to dance the role of "Wendy" in Peter Asnastos’ ballet Peter Pan.

Guest appearances include:
Scotland's Edinburgh Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Cincinnati Opera, Milwaukee Opera, and Flemming Flindt's 50th Anniversary Gala for the Queen of Denmark, which was televised throughout the country of Denmark.

Current work

Dance for Parkinson's Dance Teacher Trainer (Introductory course)


Ballet I, II, III, IV, V
Pilates Mat
Pilates Private Instruction
Movement for Athletes
Images Choreographer

Five dancers perform on stage with a multicolored background.

4 ballerinas jumping in cabriole against a projection of Jupiter

Ballroom scene from Romeo & Juliet Act 1

Santa Clara University's Department of Theatre & Dance performs Images 2015 during a dress rehearsal at Santa Clara University's Louis B. Mayer Theatre in Santa Clara, California, on February 4, 2015. (Stan Olszewski/SOSKIphoto)

Karyn Connell dancing

Karyn Connell in a slit jete with 3 men in white bent over

Karyn Connell in a classical ballet duet