Maria Jacobs, the new owner of the Valley Forge Dance School, and Director of its non-profit performing group, The Valley Forge Dance Theatre, has danced in over 60 Nutcracker Ballets. As a child, she studied with William Sena, a noted Philadelphia Ballet Master, and performed with his company at the Academy of Music, the Curtis Institute, and the Robin Hood Dell. While growing up in South Philadelphia, Maria coached the Jokers Brigade dancers in the annual New Year's Mummers Parade.
As an adult, Maria performed with the Piccola Opera Company, the Mount Laurel Regional Ballet, and the Valley Forge Dance Theatre - during their many years based at the Valley Forge Music Fair, and the Westbury Music Fair in New York. She also danced in local USO shows and musical comedy shows while in high school and college. Maria has a BS and MBA from Drexel University. She had a long and successful career as a computer consultant and project manager for a top consultancy. She now teaches Ballroom Dance at area schools, and recently attended a "Dancing with the Stars" Seminar in California, where she studied with Corky Ballas, Cheryl Burke, Tony Dovolani, Kym Johnson, and Chelsie Hightower.
Ms. Jacobs continued to study at a Pre-professional level with world renowned John White, author of "Teaching Classical Ballet," at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet. She has studied around the world with the Royal Academy of Dance in London; the Bournonville Ballet in Denmark; the Princeton Ballet; the Harrisburg Ballet; the Richmond Ballet; and the Kirov School in St. Petersburg, Russia. Maria had taught at several area schools after completing a Vaganova course at John Barker's Teachers' Training in NYC. She recently taught at the Chesterbrook Academy's Summer Camp in Oaks. Ms. Jacobs has certifications in Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, CPR and Baby Signs - teaching hearing babies to communicate before they can talk.
Maria is following in the teaching footsteps of her father, Benjamin Tartaglia, who taught piano in Philadelphia for over 50 years.