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Our Founders

Carli R. Farris

About Carli...

Carli R. Farris, is Founder/ Co-Owner and Artistic Director at the Dance Institute of Philadelphia.  In this role she handles all of the artistry of the student annual recital, founded and directs the newly developed traveling Performance Company DANCEINPHINITY! and cooridinator for summer camp program.


She began her formal dance instruction at the age of four, under the direction of Mrs. Cheryl G. Jenkins while attending Ivy Leaf School.  Her teaching is a combination and reflection of the superb instruction that she received while at La-Cher-Tari Dance Studio under such greats as the late Marian D. Cuyjet, Delphine Mantz, Jiva Rankins, Henry Roy, Carol Butcher, the late Melvin Purnell and the late Craig Moore.  Carli has taught at various Philadelphia Public Schools and Charter schools as a Health/Physical Education and Dance instructor.  Carli has choreographed for various after school programs, schools of dance and performance companies, as well as been an dedicating herself as an instructor and influencing various students of dance for over 30 years. 



Tia L. Jordan

About Tia...

Tia L. Jordan, is Co-Founder/Co-Owner at Dance Institute of Philadelphia. She has been a student of the performing arts for over 30 years. La-Cher-Tari Dance studio is where her late mother, Beverly Robinson, enrolled in 1977 at the age of 2 years.  This was a family tradition even in those early years where her younger sister, several aunts and cousins trained as well.  This is where she meet Ms. Carli and Ms. Shante. While under the direction of Mrs. Cheryl G. Jenkins, Tia idolized and was a product of such artistic greats as the late Marion D. Cuyjet, the late Melvin Pernell, the late Craig “Spider” Moore, Delphine Mantz, Jiva Rankins, Carol Butcher, and many, many more. Tia became the Director of Ballet at Canaan Institute of the Arts, where she developed a rigorous dance curriculum that is used today at DIP.  Along with her 2 partners, she has been a part of many young peoples lives for many years and dedicated herself to her to the craft she loves.  Tia’s professional attributes include the performance of a lifetime in Walt Disney World’s Millennium Celebration, and as a member of T.H.J Dance ensemble. She is known for her beautiful ballet suites and revamping them for her audiences.  Tia has embraced her training and has been advisor to her ballet staff. She specializes in Ballet, Pointe, African, and modern dance.



Shante R. Forrest

About Shante...

Shante R. Forrest, is Co-Owner at the Dance Institute of Philadelphia. She began her formal dance instruction at an early age at the La Cher-Tari Dance Studio under the direction of such “greats” as the late Marian D. Cuyjet, Delphine Mantz, Jiva Rankins, Henry Roy, Carol Butcher, Melvin Purnell, the late Craig Moore, and Cheryl G. Jenkins.  For over 20 years of working with young people in the performing arts, Shante has instructed, choreographed and inspired young people to pursuit their dreams and to do it with excellence!  Throughout her career, Shante has captured the essence of disciplined instruction and has been both admired and revered by her dance peers and students. Shante continues to praise the Lord through dance and has taught and performed around the tri-state area in various schools, churches, and a host of Christian productions. Her professional attributes include the production of "Eve’s Battle, with Anointed Ones Productions, Evelyn Graves’ Drama Production’s "Black Nativity, the Africana Dance Troop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania under the late Shona Shariff, and as a member of the T.H.J. Dance Ensemble. Shante studied comparative Dance Expression, the Katherine Dunham Technique, the Horton Technique, and the dances of the Caribbean, Africa and the Diaspora, during her studies at the University of Pittsburgh where she obtained both a Bachelor and Master Degree. Shante works as a Program Administrator at the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. Her current commitment is in enhancing the lives of preschool aged children with special education needs and services.



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