Jennifer Deckert is a native of St. Louis, Missouri where she began her training with Alexandra Zaharias. She received a BFA in ballet performance from University of Utah, performing with Character Dance Ensemble, Eastern Arts Ensemble, and Utah Ballet. Jennifer continued to perform for Utah Ballet as she received her MFA in ballet teaching, choreography, and research.
She was then invited to join Roxey Ballet, under the direction of Mark Roxey. During her performance career she performed such leads as Myrtha in Giselle, Dew Drop and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Prelude in Les Sylphides, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the principle role in Paquita. As her performance horizons broadened she was invited to perform in Charles Weidman’s The Unicorn in the Garden and was coached by modern dance pioneer Mary Anthony herself. In 2014, she choreographed and performed in the evening length duet, Kiss Romeo Bang! Juliet, created in collaboration with Czech physical theatre director Petr Hudecek and co-choreographer André Megerdichian, presented at the Alta Theatre in Prague, Czech Republic.
Other choreographic credits include Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella, and original contemporary works Fire & Ice, A Perfect Thorn, Footfalls Echo, Reverb and Through the Line, among others. In 2015 she was invited to present work at the 3rd Beijing International Ballet and Choreography Competition in Beijing, China. Most recently Jennifer choreographed a full-length Dracula working in collaboration with composer Sean Stone, and dramaturg Patrick Konesko.
As a rehearsal director, Jennifer has had the honor to coach original works by Darrell Grand Moultrie, Daniel Charon, Bill T Jones, and Jesse Obremski. In 2016, she worked with Pablo Francisco Ruvalcaba in his reconstruction of José Limón’s The Winged, which was then invited to the Kennedy Center and performed as part of the American College Dance Association’s National Festival. Most recently she worked with ABT legends Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner in their reconstruction of Antony Tudor's Fandango. Prior to her appointment at University of South Carolina, where she currently serves as Director of Dance and Associate Chair, Jennifer was on Dance Faculty at the University of Wyoming where she worked to establish a BFA in Dance Science Program and served as director of the Snowy Range Summer Dance Festival. Jennifer has been an invited guest instructor at the Utah Valley University, Colorado State University, Casper College, Western Wyoming College, University of Utah, American College Dance Association, Regional Dance America, and the Duncan Center in Prague, Czech Republic.
Jennifer is also a fierce advocate for dancer health and wellness and an active member and previous board member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS), where she now serves on the Dance Educators’ Committee. Her research interests include dynamic alignment, the effects of fatigue, and the integration of wellness based training into the classroom and University environment. Jennifer has several published articles and is currently working as a contributing author for two book chapters on dancer wellness and research.