Debra Collins Ryder
Debra Collins Ryder joined the Hartt School Dance faculty in January 2006. Ms. Ryder teaches Ballet, Pointe, Repertory, Dance History I & II, and Music in the Ballet Studio. In 2013, Debra was honored with the University of Hartford’s “Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award for Part-time Faculty.” Recently, Ms. Ryder has been working as a consultant with the Connecticut Dance Alliance on their project: Connecticut Dances: A Moving Journey. While at Hartt School, Debra has choreographed several works including miniature versions of the ballets Sylvia (2012), Carmen (2014), and La Source (2015). Prior to her arrival at the Hartt School, she co-directed the Eastern Connecticut Ballet, where she choreographed several works of critical acclaim. As a principal dancer with the Hartford Ballet for twelve years, under the direction of Michael Uthoff, she performed, and was featured in, many full-length ballets including: The Nutcracker, Coppelia, and Alice in Wonderland. A versatile dancer, she was also featured in numerous modern and neo-classical works by Balanchine, Taylor, Pilobolus and many others.Also while in the Hartford Ballet, she acted as ballet mistress. Prior to her performing career, she graduated with honors from Virginia Intermont College with a degree in Ballet Teaching, and was on full scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet. A native of Philadelphia, she presently makes her home in Farmington, Connecticut with her husband and son.