Jennifer Cudnik is a native of St. Louis and studied with teachers Berkeley Evans, Nathalie LeVine, and Alexandra Zaharias. At age 15, she moved to New York City to study on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet’s year-round program. There she studied under renowned teachers Stanley Williams, Kay Mazzo, Suki Schorer, Susie Pilarre, Antonina Tumkovsky, Elise Reiman, Helene Dudin, Richard Rapp, Olga Kostritsky, Andre Kramrevsky, Peter Martins, Violette Verdy, Jock Soto, Adam Luders, and Darci Kistler.
She performed in ballets by George Balanchine, August Bournonville, and originated roles in ballets by Christopher Wheeldon and Damien Woetzel. Jennifer also trained under David Howard, Willy Burmann, and Nancy Bielski while in NYC. She spent summers training on full scholarship with the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the State Ballet of Missouri (now Kansas City Ballet). Upon graduation from SAB, Jennifer joined the Pennsylvania Ballet, under the direction of Roy Kaiser. She performed in numerous classical and neo-classical ballets while in the company including Swan Lake, Coppelia, the Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, as well as Balanchine’s the Four Temperaments, Serenade, and Who Cares?
Jennifer returned home to St. Louis in 2003 and was invited to join the Saint Louis Ballet. As a principal dancer with SLB, Jennifer’s roles included Waltz Girl and Russian in Balanchine’s SERENADE, the principal in ALLEGRO BRILLANTE, principal in VALSE FANTAISIE, and principal in DIVERTIMENTO NO. 15, principal roles in Dennis Nahat’s BRAHMS QUINTET, Francis Patrelle’s SWAN LAKE and RHAPSODY IN BLUE. She was featured as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop Fairy, lead Marzipan and Spanish lead in THE NUTCRACKER, the title role in GISELLE, and as Aurora in the SLEEPING BEAUTY.
Jennifer believes in preserving the etiquette and tradition of the art form of ballet and enjoys passing along the teachings of her influences and mentors. She is committed to her hometown of Saint Louis and wants to share her passion for dance throughout the community in order to help sustain the love of the art form for generations to come.