Jennifer Black is thrilled to be a full-time faculty professor at Kent State. She began her dance education in New York and New Jersey, training with the prestigious choreographers of today such as Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli and Emmy Award winner Tyce Diorio. While in New York, she studied at the world renowned Broadway Dance Center and Steps with teachers such as Finis Jung, Mia Michaels and Sheila Barker. As a child, she was the first title winner of Miss Dance Educators of America, and received scholarships at David Howard and Alvin Ailey. Jennifer earned her B.F.A degree and finished as a cum laude from the University of Akron.
As a performer, Jennifer has had several years of professional experience in a variety of venues such as Broadway, theme parks, industrials, and dance companies. Some of her stage experiences include Miss Saigon (Yvette), The King and I (Topsy), The Andy Williams Show, The Yakov Smirnoff Show, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, The Wizard of Oz, Sleeping Beauty, and the Nutcracker. Ballet and Jazz companies she has worked with include The Ballet Theatre of Ohio, The Illya Gaft Dance Theater in NYC, Off Center Dance Theater and Danceworks. Other memorable experiences include television (Star Search and the Rosie O’Donell Show) and Doin’ What Comes Naturally, an all-star tribute to Ethel Merman on Broadway, starring Patti LuPone, Whoopi Goldberg, Lanie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Elaine Stritch and Bette Midler.
As a teacher, Jennifer has over 25 years of experience, teaching dance in every style, age group and level, and has taught for schools and studios all over the country as well as The University of Akron, Tallmadge High School, and Walsh Jesuit High School. Currently, she is a faculty member for the Turn It Around dance competition and is the founder of Fitness Fun For All, a program designed to go to preschools in the area to teach children about exercise, gymnastics, sport skills and dance. Jennifer has been blessed to teach at the Christine Jones Meneer School of Dance for the last 15 years while still performing for the Ballet Theater of Ohio at the Akron Civic Theater. She also choreographs for their award winning competition team, Dance Kraze, where she has received the award for “Best Choreographer” at many competitions. She is also a happy wife and is the mother of 3 beautiful dancers.