Teddy Kern is a master teacher, dance stylist and choreographer. She has been on the faculty of the Dance Division of Baruch College, The Butler School, Westside Dance Project, and is currently co-owner and Artistic Director of Dance Manhattan, the premier Social Ballroom, Swing, and Latin dance studio, where she teaches and choreographs.
Born in Oklahoma, Teddy started dancing at age 4 and began teaching at age 14. She moved with her family to Kansas City where she learned Swing and Ballroom dancing with her first dance partner. She began teaching Swing in Kansas City at Arthur Murray’s and danced in great jazz and blue’s clubs of the city, developing her smooth style as a result of the blend of East and West Coast influences in the Midwest. She began to choreograph musical theatre productions through her college years, finally moving to San Francisco where she owned her first studio.
Moving to New York in the 1970’s to pursue acting, broadcasting and theatrical and opera choreography, and continued teaching and choreographing throughout the country. She co-founded the American Swing Dance Championships, the first national Swing event to bring east and west coast dancers together to teach, compete, and collaborate in one venue. She was a member of the New York Swing Dance Society Board of Directors prior to opening Dance Manhattan.
She holds gradute Degrees from the Universities of Kansas and California, and is a frequent author of articles on social dance, exercise, and dance history for professional journals. Her choreography is represented in the Dance Archives of the Library and Museum of Performing Arts in Lincoln Center. She has been a faculty member of the Juilliard School’s American Opera Center, Eastman School of Music Opera Training Division, Butler School of Dance and Institute for Social Dance Studies, Dance Masters of America, and Professional Dancer Teachers Association.
She has choreographed for the Santa Fe Opera, Kansas City Lyric Opera, Eastman Opera Theatre, Pittsburgh Opera, and Chautauqua Opera, where she remains an artist-in residence every summer. Teddy has taught Master classes for the Young Artists Programs at Hawaii Opera Theatre, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she recently choreographed the world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa’s “Lovers and Friends.” She has choreographed for Broadway, Off Broadway, cabaret, the annual Viennese Opera Ball and the Debutante Cotillion at the Waldorf Astoria.
In 2004 Teddy was inducted into the Living Legends of Dance.