Dancer, Educator, Lecturer, Entrepreneur, Dancerpreneur… Susan Epstein was born into the dance world. Early on she started working in her family’s dance retail business, Taffy’s. Susan studied dance and began performing at a young age. She holds a BFA in Dance from Southern Methodist University and did graduate work at Case Western Reserve University. After a NYC dance career, Susan joined the family business full time. In that role she is credited with introducing several innovative products and services, building the business and after some time selling it to Capezio.
In 1989 Susan became a dance marketing and merchandising consultant. Over the years, her clients included organizations such as Perform Group, LLC/Curtain Call, Dance Spirit Magazine and Danskin. Consulting with industry leaders and guiding them to new opportunities solidified Susan’s interest in dance and dance products.
While operating her business, Susan was fortunate to be able to serve as the president of The United Dance Merchants of America. She is also the founder and a past director of the UDMA Dance Resource and Costume Show. In 2015 Susan was the Conference Director of the New York State Dance Education Association, an organization she continues to work with today.
In 2016 Susan retired from the commercial dance world and devoted herself to the education of young artists. Inspired to help dancers navigate their career paths, Susan joined Gibney’s Education Department as the Producing Director of what is now the Learning & Leadership program. Building this program from the ground up, Susan has curated the NYC experiences for over 60 dance schools, colleges, and universities. Susan plans on continuing her efforts to support young artists and is excited to see the Learning & Leadership program grow!
She is a past president of The United Dance Merchants of America and is the founder of the UDMA Dance Resource and Costume Show, directing it for over 20 years.
Susan founded Dance Pathways, a website and lecture series that invites the conversation, exploration and commentary on the opportunities for dancer’s careers, with the goal of educating dancers, parents and teachers of the many pathways training can take them.
Currently Susan is the Producing Director of the Group Study program at Gibney, coordinates the Dance College and Career Fair for the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and is the Conference Director for NYSDEA .