Ken & Jean’s has been Pittsburgh’s premiere dance studio for 69 years. The studio was founded in 1948, by Ken & Jean Phifer, with the mission of providing the highest quality dance education available. Today, the Phifers’ daughter, Darcy, proudly continues the tradition. To read more about Ken & Jean and the history of the studio, please click here.
We proudly offer a teaching staff with vast professional and practical experience to ensure that our students receive the highest quality dance education available. Our instructors are certified members of the Dance Masters of America, the Dance Masters of Pennsylvania and the Cecchetti Ballet Council.
Darcy Phifer Field is the present owner of the studio. She received her early dance education from her parents, Ken & Jean, before becoming a professional dancer in New York City. Darcy’s dance credits are extensive. She has appeared in several Broadway shows including Sophisticated Ladies with Gregory Hines, and The Most Happy Fella. Her television include the Miss America Pageant, the Grammy Awards, Great Performances on PBS, and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, Night of A Hundred Stars.
She has appeared in numerous television commercials and in a feature film, and consulted on the editing of dance numbers for the movie, Dirty Dancin’. Darcy taught in New York City at the Luigi Dance Center, at the Harkness Ballet School, and for the Canadian and American Dance Festivals. Darcy is co-recipient, with Sandra Plavchak, of numerous Dance Masters of America Choreography Awards. Her dance groups have received the top places in the DMA’s Grand National Dance Championships. Darcy currently serves as Chair of the Cecchetti Council of Pennsylvania.
Our principal faculty, from left to right:
Sandra Plavchak, Jennifer Teoli and Darcy Phifer Field
Sandra Plavchak has been a star member of the faculty for many years and brings with her a wealth of talent and a keen knowledge for teaching children. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and holds a B.S. in Education and English. She is member of Dance Masters of America and is highly active in the Pennsylvania chapter. Sandra is co-recipient, with Darcy, of numerous Dance Masters of America Choreography Awards; the highest awards given by the organization. Sandra teaches the Cecchetti Method of Ballet and holds professional certificates in Grades I-VI. She is a principal choreographer for the Ballet Company of the Cecchetti Council of Pennsylvania. Sandra holds office as Treasurer for the organization as well. She is most grateful for having had the opportunity to work alongside both Ken and Jean throughout her professional career and learn from such masters in the field of dance.
Jennifer Teoli is a 2007 graduate from Point Park University with a BA in dance. Jennifer began her training with Ken and Jean when she was three years old and has been teaching at the studio since 2007. Jennifer is a brilliant choreographer, and many of her students are recipients of dance scholarships. She brings a wealth of knowledge along with a clear understanding of how to motivate and bring the best out in her dancers. She is the proud mother of a brand new baby girl.
Susan Normandy is a graduate of Juniata College. She grew up taking all forms of dance from Ken and Jean and has been an important member of our faculty for many years. Suzi imparts her love of dance to our students with exceptional care and attention to detail. She is the proud mother of two wonderful young dancers.
Austin Taylor - Austin Taylor began his dance training at the studio with Ken, Jean, Darcy, Sandi, and Jen. In 2011, he graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a BFA in Dance. Austin went on to perform over 800 shows around the world as a featured dancer and aerialist under Stiletto Entertainment and RWS & Associates on Holland America Cruise Line. He performed at Hershey Park in Dance, Dance, Dance: America!, was part of the initial creation of Cedar Point’s Luminosity: Ignite The Night, and was a swing in Walt Disney’s Beauty And The Beast - Live On Stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Austin performed in all three seasons of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars @ Sea on Holland America Line and danced on two different occasions with stars and celebrities from the hit TV show. As a teacher, Austin taught hundreds of guests onboard cruise ships how to Jive, Salsa, Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Samba, Rhumba, ChaCha, and Swing. He danced in the educational film about Twyla Tharp’s The One Hundreds. He is currently a member of the Cecchetti Council of America.
In addition to our wonderful faculty, a select group of our most accomplished and mature advanced students assists the faculty in teaching the classes. However, as a matter of studio policy, we do not allow teens to instruct or assume the responsibility of handling classes on their own.