Mrs Blankenship has produced and choreographed over 41 showcases for her students to perform. She has served on the judging panel of numerous dance competitions. She has worked with David Andre and the Tulare County Symphony in performances of "The Nutcracker" and "Coppelia."
In 2001-03, Mrs Blankenship enjoyed collaborations with the Heritage Endowment for the Arts Project. Her mission is to bring knowledge and awareness of dance as an art form and means to a balanced and positive life style and to give public school students the opportunity for performing.
She is the director of the Blankenship and Company Dancers, 1974-present, who perform both nationally and internationally. In 1996, the Company with original choreography by Mrs Blankenship was featured at the International Young Artists Showcase with performances in London, Paris, and Euro Disney. In, 2000, the Company traveled to New York to perform and take class.
As a choreographer, Susan has won many awards at numerous national competitions. Her choreography has appeared on the televised Showstoppers National Dance Finals, The Miss California Pageant, Star Search, Al Gilberts Dance Concert - Pepperdine College, and musical theatre productions for schools, colleges and community theatre. She was awarded the 2004 Regional Dance Teacher of the Year at the Rainbow Dance Connection Competition. Susan traveled to Alabama in 2004 to set her original ballet, "Alice in Wonderland," on the South Eastern Alabama Dance Company and then returned to set original choreography for their 2004 "Nutcracker" featuring Rasta Thomas.
In 2003, she was invited and attended the American Ballet Theatre Teacher's Workshop at U.C. Irvine and studied with David Howard, Rebecca Wright, Dr. Alan S. Woodle and pianist Steven Mitchell. Susan also enjoyed working with Valley Performing Arts Council and The Russian Festival Ballet on Nutcracker performances for 2003-04. She scripted an original full-length Musical Production, "Miracle on Main" which premiered in Visalia 2005, as a benefit for ImagineU Children's Museum and will continue as a holiday community benefit.
She is very proud to have received the 2006 National Cathy Roe Productions Choreography Award and the 2006 Candice Tometich Memorial Award for her new innovative work "Synergy." She received the 2007 Kids Artistic Review National Choregraphy Award in Las Vegas for her work "Through An Artist's Eyes," and the 2008 1st Runner-Up National Cathy Roe Choreography Award for her creative work "Over The Rainbow." In 2009, she received 1st runner-up Regional Choreography Award for the work "Flying Home." Also in 2009, Susan was named to Dancer's Inc. Hall of Fame Family for her excellence in teaching technique and for her outstanding and unique choreography. Susan was a member of the staff of Dancers Inc. Competition and Convention Series and is enjoying judging and teaching master classes throughout the United States. In July of 2010, She was part of the "Producers Dream Team", as a choreographer and teacher for Cathy Roe's Dance Spectacular National Finals.
Beginning August, 2011, Susan became the Director of Dance for the brand new "Valley Life Charter School", located in Visalia California. Her life-long dream is to work for a foundation that makes it possible for all children to take dance lessons no matter what their financial position. This directorship is a step in that direction.
Recently at the West Coast Cathy Roe competition, Susan won the 2016 regional Choreography Award and Sierra Performing Arts was honored with the ADDC Studio of Excellence Award.
Mrs Blankenship looks forward to 2016-17 with great anticipation as she is scripting and choreographing 2 brand new full-length productions to celebrate her 46th season!
Susan is committed to helping students and teachers grow with confidence and self-esteem and to enrich student's awareness, appreciation, knowledge and love of Dance, Theatre and Music. Her students can be found across the United States dancing and teaching professionally.
Susan is a graduate of the University of California at Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance, Choreography and Dance Criticism.
Upon graduation, she opened Susan's Studio of Dance - Tulare 1971.
In 1998, Susan's Studio of Dance took an exciting step as it changed its' name to The Sierra Performing Arts Center, a reflection of the school's exciting expansion and recognition in the dance world. In 1998-2001, Susan founded and served as the Director of the Central California Arts Foundation, which was a unique presence in the valley, with a strong vision for promoting the arts and providing funding and education for artists in the community. In 1999, Susan opened a second studio in Visalia, In 2001, she decided to focus all of her energy on the Visalia studio and closed the Tulare location.