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Creative talents at work

By Maranda Poe ’14

Lauren (Detwiler) Cooley ’05 is putting her photography degree to work

through her employment in her family’s business, Cooley Dance Company.

Cooley and her mother-in-law teach the majority of the dance classes with the

assistance of Cooley’s sister, Lynn (Detwiler) Zitta ’11. The studio, which opened

in 2008, offers classes to more than 200 students in ballet, tap, jazz, pointe,

modern, hip-hop, acrobatics, musical theater, and stretch turns and jumps.

While at Lycoming, Cooley taught tap for the Dance Club. This experience

helped her decide to become a dance teacher after graduation.

“It was fun being able to share a passion of mine with some of my closest

friends in college,” Cooley said. “Having a dance club allowed for a relaxed,

no-pressure atmosphere, which was not too intimidating for beginners to branch

out and try. As for experienced dancers, it allowed for an environment to explore

different dance styles and depending on everyone’s workload per semester – we

could be as much or as little involved and still get to dance. Dance Club was

inspiring, watching all of us teachers from different backgrounds come together

and produce creative and powerful dances. I realized what a difference dance

made in my friends lives, so in opening my own dance studio I could continue to

share my knowledge and teach.”

Cooley also designs the programs, tickets and recital T-shirts each year for the

studio. She believes that her photography degree enables her to better promote

the studio.

“I especially enjoy shooting dancer. My senior photography project revolved

around photographing dancers and I feel that I am able to capture them in way

that a non-dancer cannot,” she said.

The company also annually participates in Williamsport’s Little League

Parade and Christmas Parade. The studio was part of the 2012 Mummers Day

Parade in South Williamsport and won the best overall award and best in dance

division award.

“Lycoming helped mold me into a well-versed individual,” she said. “I gained

valuable leadership skills and had many opportunities to develop my creative


Destiny Zeiders

(theatre-acting) won

a world championship in barrel racing

on the Appaloosa Horse Circuit in 2012

and won a reserve world championship,

a national championship and was

ranked overall as No. 1 in the nation

in Barrel Racing and Figure 8 Stake

Race in 2011. In June, one of her horses

received the Lifetime Supreme Horse

award. She trains her own horses and

works full-time as a research analyst

for the agriculture and rural affairs

committee at the Pennsylvania House of



Christine (Colella) Zubris


Kristen Dart

Olivia (English) Zapel


graduated from Edinboro University of

Pennsylvania with a master’s degree in

middle level instruction. She teaches

in the alternative education program

and biology in the Warren County (Pa.)

School District.

Dr. Amy Curry

(biology) was named

resident of the year in her surgical

residency program at Philadelphia

College of Osteopathic Medicine. She

began her fifth and final year of surgical

residency in July as the chief resident of

her program.


Michele (Connors) Witowski


Jamie (Hershey) Arnold

Jennifer Schilansky


is the resident equity stage manager for

the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, N.Y.



Sisters Lauren (Detwiler) Cooley ’05 and Lynn (Detwiler) Zitta ’11 of Williamsport’s Cooley

Dance Company

Destiny Zeiders ’03