As the Owner and Artistic Director of Seven Hills Dance Studio, Ryan loves sharing her passion for movement with her students and the community. She directs all administrative and creative operations, teaches ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, modern, and lyrical as well as master classes in improvisation, partnering, performance, Afro-Caribbean dance, contemporary, and musical theatre, and choreographs for the Seven Hills Dance Company.
Ryan began dancing at the age of three in Harrisonburg, VA. She spent the majority of her childhood at Forest Dance Academy under the direction of Sue Dail and the late Pam York. She taught modern and other master classes on the FDA faculty from 2003-2005. Ryan received her Master of Fine Arts in Dance with honors from the University of Maryland, College Park where she taught undergraduate courses in modern, jazz, and dance theory on the faculty for three years, served as an Adjunct Professor of Dance in 2008, co-chaired the student National Dance Education Organization, and advised the UnBound Dance Team.
Ryan was a scholarship student at James Madison University where she graduated with the distinguished Dance Theatre Award as Outstanding Dance Student with a double Bachelors of Art in Theatre & Dance and Media Arts & Design. While at JMU, she received a scholarship to train at the American Dance Festival, “the world’s greatest [modern] dance festival” (New York Post), where she studied with John Jasperse, David Dorfman, Lisa Race, Doug Nielsen, Jeremy Nelson, and Linda Tarnay (NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts).
As a performer with the Democracy Cell Project, the Great Expectations Campaign, the Maryland Dance Ensemble, the Associate Dance Ensemble, the Virginia Repertory Dance Company (toured 2000-2002), and the Contemporary Dance Ensemble, she has worked with Joe Goode,Terry Creach, Ed Tyler, Nejla Yatkin, Gesel Mason, Dianne McIntyre, Daniel Nagrin, Shannon Hummel, Mark Taylor, Alice Howes, Starr Foster, Christalynn Wright, Shane O’Hara, and thompson & trammell. Ryan has performed at numerous venues including the American Collegiate Dance Festival, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Latimer-Shaeffer Theatre, and the Maryland National Choreographer’s Showcase.
Locally, she has taught at the Virginia School of the Arts and Lynchburg College, and she has taught and produced work in North Carolina, Virginia, DC, and Maryland. Ryan also appeared in Dance Teacher Magazine in 2001. Her evening length outdoor site-specific piece and partnering film, Place(d), premiered in March 2008 at the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Critical Dance Magazine called it “remarkable,” “fresh…pure,” and “incredibly rich.” Ryan’s literary work, documenting the process of Place(d), was published in 2008. In coordinance with the John F. Kennedy Center, Ryan helped produce the international pre-professional ballet intensive with legendary ballerina Suzanne Farrell in 2006, 2007, and 2008.
She was previously an Adjunct Professor of Dance at Lynchburg College and serves on the Board of Directors for ArtZone, Inc.,a local arts non-profit dedicated to providing art programs for children. Ryan lives in Goode with her husband, Brian, their daughter Ashby, a baby boy on the way this fall, and their animals, Wrigley and Josie. Ryan’s life is full of all kinds of art and all kinds of students all the time!