Meet the instructors of Beautiful Feet Praise Dance.
Donna FitzPatrick (Beautiful Feet Dance Ministry Founder; Beautiful Feet Praise Dance Tap instructor; Beautiful Feet Dance Theatre Choreographer) is originally from New York City. She started dancing at the age of 5 and continued through college, taking ballet, jazz and tap. She also enjoys Israeli dance being a Messianic Jew. At the age of 6 Donna accepted Jesus as her personal Savior and Messiah, and later in her early teens became so in love with Jesus that she chose to dedicate her life to serve Him. She continued dancing, with the awareness that dance must take back seat to the more significant purpose of serving God. Later, after marrying and having 5 children, with dance being long dismissed, strange urges to dance returned. This was especially accelerated after seeing a beautiful worship dance done at a relative’s church. With continual promptings, seen as from God, Donna returned to dance- attempting to find a location where she could learn to dance in a way that would please and honor Him. In 1996, she learned Parkside Academy of Music and Dance had a “liturgical dance” program. There she was delighted to reawaken her dance body and offer it back to God for His use. Miss Pam Dimeler, the owner of Parkside Academy, encouraged Donna in her desire to teach children about sacred dance and permitted her to begin a class for them. This eventually grew to include Praise Tots and Moms (3- 5yr olds), Praise Kids (5- 7yr olds) Praise Tweens (8-11 yr. olds) and Praise Teens and Adults (12-adults). Donna also started Praise Dance Camp– a “Vacation Bible School” type of summer program including dance, Bible stories, music, crafts and snacks, held in cooperation with Child Evangelism Fellowship while at Parkside Academy. After approximately 20 years of existence- Praise Dance Camp is merging into Calvary Chapel’s Arts Camp. Later, Donna also enjoyed being a part of the Good Samaritan Dance Choir of Paoli, PA for 2 years. Recently she has enjoyed dancing with Valerie Henry, a pioneer of Christian dance. Currently Donna oversees the Beautiful Feet Praise Dance Ministry at Calvary Chapel of Delaware County along with a wonderful staff including: April Ramos, Sue Howat and Judy Lynch. Donna also is the Early Childhood Team Leader at Calvary Chapel of Delaware County- and enjoys sneaking dance into lively worship times with precious little ones. Donna is employed as a teacher at the Elwyn South Special Needs Preschool in Philadelphia, and has her Bachelors Degree in Education with certifications in Early Childhood, Elementary and Special Education. From its inception, our dance ministry has been motivated to do outreaches to nursing homes, participate in community holiday parties and various church programs. This has included the pleasure of dancing for the Delaware County Pregnancy Center’s “Walk for Life” for the last few years. Donna is passionate to see young ladies and men come to know that they are accepted and loved by God, and to see them set on a course of purity and purpose found in a personal relationship with Him!
Hannah Santiago (Ballet Instructor) began her training at Landenberg Ballet Theater under the talented Ms. Gigi Murphy later moving to The Academy of the Dance. Directed by Mr. Victor Wesley, she developed under him and other teachers including Mr. Benjamin Cannon, Karen Hostler, Val Goncharov, Hawley Rowe, Lesley Mogel, Michael Patterson and the renowned Ms. Barbara Sandonato. Hannah has also trained with Anna Marie of Anna Marie’s Dance Studio, Patrick Korstange and Carolyn Peck of Mid Atlantic Ballet and Pasha Kambolov of First State Ballet Theater. Roles performed include Spanish Chocolate, Chinese Tea, Snow Corps, Waltz of the Flowers, Doll, and Clara in the Nutcracker at the Dupont Theater. She also performed in other story ballets including The Way Home as the part of “Anna”. Hannah has also performed variations such as the Lilac Fairy and Generosity Fairy. She has also done various modern, lyrical and contemporary pieces. Hannah has enjoyed teaching for several years and delights in seeing her students grow to love dance as she does, telling them, “I desire to use my gifts to honor and glorify God” Psalm 149:3 ” Let them praise His name with the dance, Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and harp.”
April Joy (D’Amico) Ramos (Instructor) started taking ballet lessons in seventh grade at the Portland Ballet School under Jacqueline Martin Schumacher. In high school, she danced with the dance/drill team and was chosen as part of the All City Dance team. Late in her senior year she took her first modern dance workshop and found a new challenge and new love. In high school after seeing Alvin Ailey and their timeless “Revelations”, she realized that dance could be used to communicate spiritual truths. Miss April had accepted the Lord as her savior in grade school. Miss April turned her focus to college. Although not a dance major, she took modern, jazz and renaissance dance classes and performed with the Portland State Repertory Dance Company. She also had the privilege of studying under Merce Cunningham during a multi-week summer intensive in Seattle, Washington. She then took a break from formal dance to complete a college degree. Her dance break lasted over 20 years. She married and moved to Italy for four years with UFM International. After returning to the States, she settled in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The Holy Spirit would not let the passion for movement and spiritual truth remain buried. The home school cooperative her children attended suddenly was without a sacred dance teacher, and Miss April was compelled to dust off her ballet slippers. Then she started taking lessons in ballet, modern, sacred, and tap at Parkside Academy of Dance. In 2008 Miss Donna asked if she would help teach the sacred program. She came with Miss Donna to Calvary Chapel to see how God would use sacred dance there. She believes in God’s gift of movement and dance for our health, for healing, for self-expression, and always for worship.
Judy Lynch (Instructor) started dancing at age 3 and continued through 18 at Doris Hart’s Dance Studio. In high school she enjoyed dancing on stage as well as participating in special productions such as Freedom Week on the Parkway in Philadelphia. In college, she was a member of The Dance Production Workshop. There she both performed and choreographed. After college she performed in many Community Productions at various theatres including Barnstormers, Swarthmore Players Club and the Rose Valley Chorus. For 28 years she directed and Choreographed Broadway Jr. shows and other musicals at Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Saint Agnes, Notre Dame DeLourdes and St John’s Grade Schools.