Kristin Degnan Boonin, Director of Dance in the Division of the Performing Arts at Wilkes University and co-founder of Ballet Northeast with Peter Degnan, is the company’s former Artistic Director. A native of the Wyoming Valley, Ms. Degnan Boonin commenced her training with Jozia Mieszkowski at the age of five. She subsequently pursued advanced study with Andre Eglevsky and with Benjamin Harkarvy, Lupe Serrano and Barbara Weisberger at the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. Later, her professional mentors were Kenneth Johnson, Mary Petrov, and Nicolas Petrov in Pittsburgh.
Ms. Degnan Boonin began dancing professionally with the Louisville Ballet Company at the age of seventeen. After earning a B.A. degree, cum laude, from Point Park University, she performed with Ballet Metropolitan in Columbus, Ohio. Subsequently, she and her future husband Peter were principal dancers with the American Dance Ensemble and Ballet Petrov and were also guest soloists with El Ballet de Suleano (Venezela), the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, and the Pittsburg Symphony.
Kristin’s contributions to dance design include original choreographies for Ballet Northeast’s holiday guest appearances with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. She also choreographed and staged dances for many of Misericordia University’s Madrigal Dinner celebrations during the 1990’s and numerous pieces for Wilkes University’s annual Spring Dance Concerts.
She has taught at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, Point Part Conservatory, Kings College, and the Wyoming Valley Montessori School. She was also recently recognized by the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader as one of the Wyoming Valley’s most “intriguing” women.