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Team

Meet Our Team

Connie Dienner

Executive Director, Founder

Connie Dienner is the founder and director of Cavod Performing Arts. For over 40 years, she has been involved in the arts throughout the United States and abroad as she’s followed God’s calling to foster environments where creative people are accepted and their gifts nurtured. Connie has been influential in demonstrating how excellence in the performing arts can be used to grow and advance God’s Kingdom. She has led her team in making Cavod a place where students are trained and mentored to use their creative gifts in a purposeful and world-impacting way. Connie’s passion for the Lord is evident as she mentors, loves and follows the Lords direction. Connie lives with her husband in Leola, and loves spending time with her 11 grandchildren.

Tahnya Lapp

Creative Advisor

Tahnya has been dancing at various performing arts schools in the region from a very young age. Her passion for dance developed when she traveled and performed across the east coast on a mission trip at 14 years old. It was then that she discovered there was more to dance than looking good onstage… dance is a powerful tool that breaks cultural barriers and reaches the hearts of people without even saying a word. Tahnya has been with Cavod since it’s small beginnings. She has taught Hip-Hop, Modern, Worship Dance and Ballet. She has received much guidance from Carolyn Trythall, former owner of Lancaster School of Ballet. She has been taught under the professional instruction of Paul Sutherland (Joffrey Ballet), Brunhilda Ruiz (Joffery Ballet), Emily Borthwick (Contra Costa Ballet), Raymond Lukens (American Ballet Theatre), Christopher Hird (Boston Ballet), Franco De Vita (American Ballet Theatre). She is certified in teaching Cecchetti through grade IV from Cecchetti Council of America. She is very excited about the potential Cavod has not only to raise up dancers with beautiful technique but dancers that can dance with excellence and purity unto the Lord. She has a passion to see the Kingdom of God influence the world with dance that is modern and relevant, instead of the world influencing the Kingdom. Tahnya, her husband, Richard, and their children reside in New Holland.

Julie Haney

Artistic Director of Cavod Manheim, Artistic Director of Ornate Dance Theatre, Jazz, Modern, Ballet, Worship Dance

Julie grew up just south of Atlanta, GA where she began dancing at the age of 14. Throughout high school Julie trained at Into the Light Ballet. Here she learned the craft of various dance techniques, but more importantly began fusing her passion of worship with her ability to move and create. After receiving her Associates in Biblical Studies, Julie moved to Houston, TX to dance with Ad Deum II. She spent two years with ADII and then apprenticed with Ad Deum for a full season. During this time Julie had the privilege of serving (performing, teaching, etc) through dance in various locations across the globe including, but not limited to: Hungary, Switzerland, Bulgaria, and the USA. Julie has also trained with incredible dance masters and choreographers including Steve Rooks, Durrel Comedy, Roxane D’Orleans Juste, Vincent Hardy, and more! Julie spent the beginning of 2018 with a group of passionate artists known as Bridge Dance Collective, teaching in the greater Houston area, and receiving her Barre Certification. She received her Barre Certification through the International Ballet Barre Fitness Association and enjoys leading motivational classes built with everyone in mind. In addition, Julie received her teaching certification through The American Ballet Theater National Training Curriculum in the year 2018. She enjoys teaching Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and various other dance techniques! Julie strives to maintain a positive class environment that focuses on proper form, dedication, and performance. She is the director of Ornate Dance Theatre and artistic director of Cavod’s micro-campus in Manheim. Julie believes in cultivating a supportive community of like-minded artists, who are passionate about sharing the love of God through the medium of dance. Julie is delighted to be a part of Cavod Performing Arts.

Monica DePaul, Artistic Director of Theatre at Cavod Performing Arts

Monica DePaul

Artistic Director of Theatre

Monica is thrilled to be serving as artistic director of Cavod Theatre as well as teaching and directing shows in its thriving, creative community! Monica also performs with Blue Gate Musicals on The Bird In Hand Stage. Past Blue Gate credits include: Karen Ledbetter and Queen Elizabeth in “Josiah for President”; Rosie in “The Confession”; and Eliza in “The Gut Life ”. Originally from Orange County, California, she obtained her BFA in Musical Theatre from California State University, Fullerton and then made her way to the East Coast via New York City. After spending 4 years in the Big Apple, she enjoyed 10 years performing with Sight and Sound Theatres here in Lancaster PA as part of the casts of Abraham and Sarah, Psalms of David, Voices of Christmas, In the Beginning, Jonah, Noah and more. Locally she has also had the pleasure of working with such companies as The Fulton Theatre, PRiMA Theatre, Servant Stage Company and Portrait of a Lady Summer Cabaret Series. Favorite roles include: Sarah in Abraham and Sarah, Julie in Showboat and Nimue in Camelot. She has also taught private voice lessons in her home studio, for Meadows of Hope Girls Home and Cavod. Teaching thrills her because it gives her the opportunity to pass on knowledge and experience to the next generation of artists… isn’t the way God brings us together beautiful?

Bergen Sunday, Production Manager and Events Coordinator at Cavod Performing Arts

Bergen Sunday

Production Manager, Events Coordinator

Bergen is so excited to serve as both Production Manager and Events Coordinator here at Cavod. Bergen fell in love with theatre in high school after playing the title role in Peter Pan!, and has a passion to continue learning everything she can about both sides of the stage. Graduating from Millersville University with her Bachelor’s in speech communication with a concentration in theatre and a minor in creative writing and publishing, Bergen first joined Cavod as a stage management intern, before moving into the larger role of production manager and events coordinator. Besides stage managing, she has also assistant directed, designed props, written a play of her own, and taught at theatre camps in the Hershey and Lancaster areas. When not at Cavod, Bergen works as a junior designer for Wise Interiors and fulfills various roles backstage with Encore! Home School Productions. She also loves reading, organizing, podcasts, and deep discussions. Bergen is thrilled to help fulfill Cavod’s mission to Create With Purpose and is so grateful to be a part of the Cavod family.

Amy Rau, Office Manager, Voice and Piano instructor at Cavod Performing Arts

Amy Rau

Office Manager, Piano, Voice

Amy brings a music education degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and several decades of experience in musical theatre to Cavod. Both behind the scenes as musical director and pit musician, and performing on stage in operas, broadway-style musicals, and church productions, Amy gets excited about theatre! Favorite performance roles include: Sister Mary Wilhelm in Nunsense Jamboree, Della in Gifts of the Magi, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, and Claire in On the Town. Music directing credits include:  Hello, Dolly!, A Tale of Two Cities, Seussical the Musical, Annie, Singin’ in the Rain, Jesus Christ Superstar,  Little Shop of Horrors,  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change Cats, The Music Man, I Do! I Do!, My Fair Lady, and countless church productions. Amy has led worship for several churches, directed the Fred Waring Choral workshop for three years, is a professional photographer and loves tap dancing. She is excited about being a part of Cavod’s mission behind the scenes as Office Manager as well as teaching private voice, private piano, and music directing for Cavod Theatre, PRiMA, and Dutch Apple.

Becky Haas, Front Desk Manager at Cavod

Becky Haas

Front Desk Manager

Becky is Cavod’s Front Desk Manager and is thrilled to be helping to make the vision a reality. Becky comes to Cavod with years of managing experience in the workforce and in her family with her husband, Matt, and 4 children. She was drawn to Cavod because of her youngest son who had an interest in music and acting and now it has grown to include a love of dance. He found a place of belonging and encouragement at Cavod and Becky has done everything she could to give back to the organization and now manages the front desks and the Cavod Theatre lobby and house during productions. Her favorite part of the job is meeting all the new students who come through the front door!

Lillian Ortiz, Assistant Director Of Citylight Dance Theatre, Ballet, Pointe instructor at Cavod

Lillian Ortiz

Assistant Director of Citylight Dance Theatre, Ballet, Pointe

Lillian began her pre-professional ballet training at the age of 13 under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet for a total of four years. She went on to further her dance training after high school with the Miami City Ballet School under the instruction of Carter Alexander and Geta Constantinescu where she enjoyed performing in both classical, as well as several neo-classical works by George Balanchine. As Lillian’s heart began to increase for Christian ministry and worship dance she discovered Ballet Magnificat, a Christian ballet company based in Jackson, Mississippi where she spent two years studying dance in their trainee program before being promoted to Company Artist in 2012 which gave way to a seven-year touring career ministering, performing professionally, and teaching ballet all over the United States and world including the countries of Austria, Brazil, Germany, Honduras, Italy, and South Africa to name a few favorites. Today as a full-time ballet instructor at Cavod in New Holland and Manheim, certified in teaching Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT), with her strong integrity and love for the art form, Lillian desires to preserve the timeless classic technique of ballet and inspire students with her knowledge and experiences, ultimately hoping to aid in the reclaiming of the arts in her local community unto the glory of God.

Meredith Vieira

Citylight Dance Theatre, Contemporary, Modern, Worship Dance, Creative Movement

Meredith was born in Atlanta, Georgia. In starting dance, she learned how to bridge her faith with creativity and art. In 2018, she moved to Oklahoma to join Arrows International’s Levitical Trainee program, where she served for 6 seasons. She has ministered and toured across the US and in countries including Costa Rica, Peru, New Zealand, India, Mauritius, and Brazil. Her experience includes setting repertoire on Arrows’ company and trainees, and teaching in multiple states and abroad. She choreographed and performed for Casting Crowns “Healer” tour, and is featured in their “Oh My Soul” concert video. In 2020, she became a Company Member with Arrows International, serving as Hospitality Director and participating as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer for 4 seasons. She has taught diverse dance classes to all ages at local studios, and volunteered with the Spero Project to teach the refugee community in her city. She has experience in ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, musical theater, tap, hip hop, ballroom, and acting. Her passion is to use the art of dance to reach across language and culture, to break down barriers, and to reach people with the beauty of Jesus.

Lysion Vieira

Ballet, Modern, Pointe, Contemporary

Lysion Vieira was born in Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre.  In 2012, he graduated in dance in the Federal University of Bahia.  He is certified in the Methodologies of Cuban Classical Ballet (National Ballet of Cuba) and English (Royal Academy of Dance-London). Had leading roles in Classical repertoire as: Don Quixote, Coppelia, Nutcracker, Le Corsaire, Manon, Swan Lake and Blue Bird Pas De Deux (Sleeping Beauty). In Salvador, Bahia, he participated in the Katharsis Dance Company. Dancer and choreographer at the Tabernacle Dance Company at the Feast of Tabernacles (ICEJ) in Jerusalem, Israel for 6 years. In 2014, He joined the Ad Deum Dance Company, in Houston, Texas, He danced from 2014-2016 and had the opportunity to dance works choreographed by Randall Flinn, Steve Rooks, Caleb Mitchell,  Vincent Hardy. In his Journey with Ad Deum he got the opportunity to perform duets with Laura Valentin (Principal dancer at National Ballet Theater of Puerto Rico) and Durrell Comedy (José Limón Dance Company). In 2020/ 2021 worked as a Ballet Master at the Nucleo Artístico Pesquisa e Movimento in a production called “ Six Solo to Villa-Lobos” Directed By Daniel Rolim. Taught Classical Ballet classes at Project Dance Detroit 2015 and Project Dance Paris 2018/2019.  As a dance educator, he has conducted master classes for Project Dance (Detroit, London and Paris), Overflow Dance Festival – Paris, Life Camp – Sofia, Bulgaria, University of The Nations – Kona, Hawaii, and Youth With A Mission – Switzerland and Ad Deum Summer and Spring intensives.. He has international experiences in the United States, Philippines, India, Mexico, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Bolivia, England, France, Holland, Israel, Ireland, Panama and Mauritius. In 2021 he joined Arrows International as a Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer, assisting the Artistic Director as an Artistic Minister Educator for 3 seasons. He has experience in Classical Ballet, Modern Dance, Contemporary Dance, Contemporary Ballet, Postmodern Dance, Jazz and African Dance.

Stephanie Martin

Tap, Jazz, Ballet

Stephanie Martin is a teaching artist, choreographer, and Pilates Instructor. Stephanie holds a BFA in Dance and minor in Family Studies and Human Development from the University of Arizona. She spent over a decade teaching at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, Ballet Academy East, and various fitness gyms in New York City. As a performer, she has toured internationally and nationally; a few favorites: White Christmas, Mamma Mia!, 42nd Street and Ad Deum Dance Company. You can find Stephanie swing dancing in season two of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and in a Zips Dry Cleaning commercial. She is represented by MSA Agency and a proud member of AEA. Stephanie had the honor of restaging the original choreography of Tony-nominated choreographer Randy Skinner for the 42nd Street 2016 National Tour.  Stephanie also has a heart for disaster relief and bringing the healing power of art to underserved areas. In NYC she volunteered with ASTEP, Sing for Hope, and has served as the outreach director and is the Co-founder of ALMA NYC. Stephanie and her husband and two little ones are thrilled to be part of the Cavod family!

Shenandoah Hall

Acro, Tumbling, Tap, Ballet

Shenandoah (Shenan) has trained at Cavod since 2012 and is excited to teach Acro, Tumbling, and Tap. She has training in Acrobatics, Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, and Hip Hop. Shenan has been a dancer performing with Cavod’s outreach team, Citylight Dance Theatre, for four years, and performed with Catalyst Dance Company during their 2020/2021 season. She dances with Ornate Dance Theatre, a pre-professional dance training program as well. Shenan has trained in Acro Dance under Acrobatic Arts’ certified teacher Jessica Rajski, and has pursued her own Acrobatic Arts teacher certification. Shenan has been a part of Cavod’s assistant teacher program since 2015 and loves watching kids grow in character, along with developing their skills as dancers and artists.

Kearin Bryant

Jazz, Tap, Friends in Motion, Worship Dance, Ballet

Kearin found her love of dancing at the age of 3 and has never stopped. She was raised in Georgia and was trained in ballet for thirteen years, tap for ten years, contemporary for eight years, modern and lyrical for six years, and musical theater for two years. During this time she performed ballets and musical theater shows such as; The Book of Esther, Narnia, Fiddler on the Roof, and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. She has attended many Summer Dance Intensives including Ballet Magnificat (two), Kick It Up! (two), and Cavod’s (one). She has had the blessing of receiving training in teaching at Into the Light Ballet and Home of the Fine Arts. Here she received training in teaching ballet, tap, creative movement, and lyrical. Kearin is excited to see where the Lord leads her at Cavod!

Timnah Krauter

Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern, Contemporary

Timnah has had a passion to dance since she started ballet at 6 years old. She started her dance training at Cavod in 2009 studying Ballet and Pointe, Modern, Contemporary, Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz, and Acrobatics/Tumbling. She has enjoyed leadership opportunities teaching Dance and Acrobatics for Cavod’s summer arts camps, and has been a substitute teacher at Cavod since 2019 while going through the assistant teacher training program for several years. Timnah dances with Ornate Dance Theatre, a pre-professional dance training program that grows her in her dance technique, artistry, life skills and as a teacher. Timnah was a dancer with Cavod’s outreach team, Citylight Dance Theatre for 8 years. Her experience performing locally with Citylight and overseas (in Switzerland and Brazil) with Cavod Missions, has greatly given her an appreciation for the incredible way dance can be used to reach the world with Christ’s love. Her core desire and goal as a teacher at Cavod is to inspire others of any age to reach their fullest potential as a dancer.

Grace Mae, Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, and Hip Hop class instructor at Cavod Performing Arts

Grace Mae Bell

Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop

Grace Mae began dancing at age 5, studied at The Pennsylvania School of Performing Arts and is a certified Pure Barre instructor. In addition, she has participated in programs such as Broadway Bootcamp with the Institute of American Music Theatre in NYC and Ballet Magnificat.  She has studied under artists Nicholas Cunningham, Jenny DiNoia and Laura Osnes, and has trained in the Musical Theatre Program at Liberty University. She has choreographed and performed in two music videos with Pop Artist, Nic D, and has recently booked the national tour of “The Thorn”, in theaters, Spring of 2023.  She loves helping students reach their highest potential and grow in the art of performing.

Tacey Widrick

Hip Hop, Tap

Tacey has been dancing for 20 years!  She has trained in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, hip hop and tap.  She trained at Laurel Dance Company and Footprints. Tacey graduated from Messiah University with a bachelor’s in dance where she had the opportunity to create and perform her own show. She plans to continue her education to become a physical therapist, specializing in performing arts physical therapy.  Tacey got married in May of 2022, and when she’s not dancing you can find her enjoying the outdoors and time with friends and family.

George Yellak, drums and guitar teacher at Cavod Performing Arts

George Yellak

Drums, Guitar

George has been playing drums since 1977. He did bachelor’s work in Jazz Studies with a Concentration in Percussion at the University of North Texas from 1983-86. He studied with Colin Bailey (Vince Guaraldi), Gregg Bissonnette (Woody Herman, David Lee Roth), Rick Latham (Quincy Jones), Clyde Lucas (Illinois Jacquette). George also toured as a drummer with Rhythm & Blues artists such as Little Joe Blue & Gregg Smith, and during that time shared the stage with names such as B.B. King, Johnny Taylor, Bobby Blue Bland, and host of others. George has been playing jazz, funk, blues, and sacred music in the Central Pennsylvania area for the past 20 years, working with artists such as Dave Wilson and Robin Work. His current creative musical project is a trio called The Go Particle. George has been playing and teaching guitar, bass, drums & piano for the past 20 years. He is currently the Music Director of Wheatland Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, and an adjunct professor for Lancaster Bible College. George has participated in many music training events both locally and internationally.

Anna Wiley

Ballet

Anna originally hails from rural Georgia, where she began her dance training at the age of six. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Samford University, and since her graduation, she has taught and performed in Georgia, Maryland, and here in Lancaster. In high school, she studied at Lafayette Center for Dance, under Amy Carter Orr and master teacher Terrell Paulk. She has performed principal and soloist roles in full-length classical ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as original ballets such as The Wizard of Oz. She takes a keen interest in dance history, and as a part of her senior capstone project in college, she wrote, choreographed, and performed in an original play based on the life of Anna Pavlova. For this production, she was granted permission by the Mikhail Fokine Estate Archive to stage “The Dying Swan,” reconstructed from surviving footage of Pavlova’s performances in the 1920s. Anna has previously taught dance and acting classes with Lafayette Center for Dance and the Springer Theatre Academy in Columbus, Georgia. Anna believes that artists have a responsibility to pass on their knowledge to the next generation, and is passionate about sharing the joy of dance, and encouraging young artists in their abilities. She hopes to teach her students not only to love ballet, but to believe in themselves, and to use their gifts and talents to serve others, for the glory of the Lord.

Morgan Petersen, voice and piano instructor at Cavod Performing Arts

Morgan Petersen

Voice, Piano

Morgan brings a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a minor in Bible from Cairn University. She has taught music in a variety of  public and private schools across Philadelphia and Lancaster, which gives her knowledge of a wide range of  learners. She has been teaching private voice and piano lessons to students ranging from beginner to advanced for over three years. Morgan has a patient understanding of people with special needs and unique learning types, stemming from her work with Joni and Friends Family Retreat, a camp for families affected by disability, and her experience working with students with special needs in schools and private lessons. Morgan started her own journey of study at Cavod when she was 13 years old with theatre classes and productions, under the direction of Reji Woods and the late Stan Deen. She also studied voice and piano with Rosemary Eberly Lebold and Megan Poff. At Cairn University, she studied voice under Robin Leigh Massie, piano under Ephraim Schafli and Graeme Burgan and performed in theatrical productions including having lead roles. Morgan enjoys singing and playing piano on her church’s worship team. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Scott and they enjoy hiking and going to the cabin with family.  Morgan is very excited to be a part of Cavod’s community again and to bring her passion for music and God to students.

Rebecca Cone, piano teacher at Cavod Performing Arts

Rebecca Cone

Piano

Rebecca is originally from Huntington, West Virginia, but  now calls New Holland home after most recently living eleven years in The Woodlands, TX area.  A graduate of Cedarville University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a double concentration in piano performance and piano pedagogy, Rebecca studied under Dr. Charles Clevenger and has been teaching piano now for over thirty years in five different states to students of all ages and abilities. She has enjoyed accompanying in a variety of settings: church services and special events, school groups of various genres and levels such as chamber, chorale and show choirs, solo and ensemble events, instrumental and voice recitals, and community choirs and stage performances. Since 2008, the majority of her time was spent in the school setting where her skills were used in both private and public music and choir classrooms as a teacher and an accompanist. From these experiences, she was encouraged to obtain her Texas teaching certification in PK-12 music which occurred in 2020. Since then she has returned to PA is enjoying teaching the students of Cavod!

Richard Weaver

Acting, Musical Theatre

Richard is thrilled to return to Cavod as a teacher. He began his journey with Cavod 12 years ago, immersing himself in community theatre shows and attending Acting Classes whenever possible. In recent years, he has directed junior shows such as Elf Jr and Seussical Jr for Cavod’s summer camps. Since 2018, Richard has been working professionally as a performer. Growing up in Lancaster County, he has showcased his talents in various local theaters, including The Fulton Theatre, The Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, and Servant Stage, among others. Some of his favorite roles include Ensemble in Treasure Island at the Fulton Theatre and Laurie in Little Women at Cavod Theatre. Currently, Richard is involved in multiple projects including The Home Game at the Bird-in-Hand Stage, a Swing for Mystery at the Magic and Wonder Dinner Theatre, and Piercing Word’s Advents of Christmas! When he’s not performing you can find him teaching acting classes, playing DnD, and directing shows. Richard extends a big thanks to his wife Catherine, friends, family, teachers, and God for their support.

Lincoln Everett

Tap, Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Musical Theatre

Lincoln Everett is an advanced dancer and performer trained in many styles such as Ballet, Modern, Tap, Jazz, and Contemporary. Lincoln is an experienced teacher, has subbed classes at Cavod for the past 2 years, and assisted Cavod Ballet Theatre productions such as Snow White. To help each student in his class grow, Lincoln focuses on understanding each individuals learning style. He is excited to be teaching Tap, Ballet, Modern, and Jazz, as well as co-teaching a Musical Theatre class with his friend and mentor Ric Weaver. Lincoln thanks God for his gift to teach in Manheim and he looks to Him for guidance during each moment.

Caleb Zimmerman, hand-to-hand combat instructor at Cavod Performing Arts

Caleb Zimmerman

Hand-to-Hand Combat

Caleb is teaching Hand-to-Hand Combat, martial arts through a Christian perspective. In his training and teaching of martial arts, he replaces Eastern mysticism theology with relying on Christ, trusting the Holy Spirit as our guide, and giving glory to God.   In addition, Caleb has been acting for many years at Cavod Theatre, with more than a dozen shows, portraying characters like the Grinch and Mr. Tumnus, to the likes of Matthew Cuthbert, and Otto Frank. He enjoyes telling and creating stories, and glorifying God through his teaching and performing.

 

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