Artistic Staff

Artur Babajanyan

Master Instructor

Artur Babajanyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia. He received his training at the Armenian National Ballet School of Yerevan from 1996-2003 and at the Tanz Academy of Zurich under the direction of Ricardo Duze. He became a member of the Junior Ballet Zurich in 2004. After two years, he became a member of the main company under director Heinz Spoerli. In 2008, he was promoted to Demi Soloist. In 2012, he joined Aalto Ballett Theater Essen (Germany) as a Soloist. After leaving Germany in 2014, he joined the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. In 2017 he received his certification as a teacher in the ABT curriculum.

Dena McKell

Pre-Ballet/Tap Instructor

Ms. Dena McKell teaches tap & ballet at Pennsylvania Ballet Academy, bringing with her over 23 years of teaching and choreography experience. Ms. McKell began teaching at the Harrisburg Dance Conservatory under the guidance of Forrest Gehret. She went on to serve as Artistic Director for the Harrisburg Dance Conservatory and Harrisburg Ballet Theater. Ms. McKell has received the Apollo Award for Outstanding Dance number twice in her career, first in 2016 for her choreography in Peter Pan and again in 2017 for her choreography in Beauty and the Beast. Her extensive dance background and work with children of all ages makes her the perfect fit to pass along her dancing expertise. 

Amy O'Connor

Adult Ballet Instructor

Amy O’Connor received her formal training at the Harrisburg Dance Conservatory under the direction of Forrest Gehret. As an adult, she has trained at the Ribbon Mill Ballet under the direction of Leslie Hench, with Christopher Hird from the Sarasota Ballet, and with former New York City principal, Miranda Weese. She has performed various roles in ballets including The Nutcracker and Les Sylphides.

Amy studied for two years with Davit Karapetyan and Vanessa Zahorian before teaching Open Classes during PBA’s 2019 Summer Intensive. She teaches Adult Ballet at Pennsylvania Ballet Academy.

Contact Pennsylvania Ballet Academy

2009 Enfield Street

Camp Hill, PA 17011


Deborah Hoover

Artistic Directors

Davit Karapetyan & Vanessa Zahorian