Jo Dierdorff began her dance training with the Royal Academy of Ballet in Newmarket, England at the age of six. Jo’s eclectic background includes two years with the Los Angeles Festival Ballet, M.A. in Dance from USC, 10 years teaching and choreographing at the University of Redlands, teaching at studios and community colleges in Seattle, intensive work with the Bill Evans Dance Company school and directing the first three years of the Seattle Summer Institute of Dance. She directed and choreographed concert dance and musicals in California and Seattle for over 40 years.
As Associate Professor of Dance at Riverside Community College for the past 24 years, she founded the RCC Dance Touring Ensemble and created a comprehensive Pilates program within the dance department. For 15 years Jo produced an annual AIDS benefit concert, “Dancers for Life”, which raised over $70,000 for the Inland AIDS Project. Jo was honored with the selection of her work, Stellula Calliope, for the National Choreography Series IV, was named RCC Teacher of the Year in 1994, was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Austin for three years and was named Inland Empire Woman of the Year in the Arts in 1994.
She was associate artistic director and performing member of The Performance Loft with Chris Beach for 7 years where she continues to teach Pilates classes for the community. She has also authored a textbook, Connecting to your Core, a Pilates Handbook, which is used in the RCC Pilates classes. Original choreography and performance at the Loft includes House of Shoes, Yellow Gate, Red Hands, Ladder/Boot, and Losing Things.
Jo became full professor in 2011 and retired from riverside City College after 25 years of teaching, choreographing and directing. She is traveling, reading for hours, teaching Pilates and gardening!