About Us

Philadelphia Dance Foundation was founded in 2008, by Shana Heidorn and Leigh Byron. Shana is a professional ballroom dancer and owner/director of Philadelphia’s premier ballroom dancing instruction studio, The Society Hill Dance Academy. Leigh has a distinguished background in education as a former superintendent and principal of schools in New Jersey and New York. When they first met to discuss how to combine their respective backgrounds into enriching the lives of children and youth, it led to the formation of Philadelphia Dance Foundation. Their common belief is that the power of dance changes people’s lives.

Our new Executive Director, Jackie Fisher, started her professional dancing career in 2002. She has an extensive background in teaching and performing. In 2008 she began teaching social dance in the New York City School District for an international nonprofit organization, becoming one of their select senior teaching artists. Jackie taught grades 4, 5, 8, 11, and 12, but felt that the high school students needed and appreciated social dance instruction the most. She was frequently impressed with the enthusiasm high school students displayed for their social dance program. Repeatedly, Jackie received testimony from students, teachers, and administrators as to how life changing is the experience of social dance. For that reason we are dedicated to promoting social dance for high school students in the city of Philadelphia.

Check out our Executive Director, Jackie Fisher, in the South Philly Review

Board of Directors:

  • Shana Heidorn, Founding Director
  • Leigh Byron, Founding Director
  • Mary Jo Grdina, President
  • Samuel M. D’Antonio, Treasurer
  • Harold E. Glass, Senior Director
  • Rob Bernberg Esq
  • Nick Mezza


  • Paula Connell
  • Joanne Granger