Debra Collins Ryder
Debra Collins Ryder joined the Hartt Dance faculty in the Fall of 2008. Most recently she has been a principal ballet teacher for the Hartt Community Dance Division. Prior to her teaching at The Hartt School, she co-directed and helped develop the Eastern Connecticut Ballet, where she choreographed several works of critical acclaim. She was a principal dancer and soloist with the Hartford Ballet for many years, where she performed and was featured in many full length ballets such as: The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Coppelia, Alice in Wonderland, Carmina Burana, and Hansel and Gretel. A versatile dancer, she was also featured in numerous works by: Balanchine, Taylor, Limon, Uthoff, Victoria Marks, and was an original cast member in Pilobolus' Land's Edge. While in the company, she also acted as ballet mistress. She graduated with honors from Virginia Intermont College with a degree in ballet and ballet teaching, and was on full scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet. A native of Philadelphia, she presently makes her home in Farmington with her husband and son.