Faculty and Staff

Christina Acosta is an interdisciplinary dance artist whose current body of work explores breaking boundaries between dance and technology by utilizing ideas such as biomimicry and algorithm randomization to create environments of chaos mixed with kinesthetic clarity. Her recent choreography includes works that use this process. Transmission (2015), performed by Moving Current Dance Collective, unpacks the concept of fractal antennas by examining how satellite signals travel through space and Cogs in the Machine (2014), a duet performed by REVolutions Dance, creates a post apocalyptic glimpse of a world where the dancers (Cogs) use a wheelchair (the machine) to push the limits of mixed ability dance. Elbow, Knee, Foot, Head (2014) and Hysterium Malarium (2013) were developed during residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (2013, 2014) with Victoria Marks and Stephen Petronio. Christina is Associate Professor of Dance at Hillsborough Community College, where she also directs the HCC Dance Program. Her course offerings include Modern, Dance Composition, Music for Dance, Ensemble and several special topics courses ranging from pedagogy to dance and technology. At the college, she has also established a Visual and Performing Arts Series in which nationally and internationally acclaimed dance companies are invited to perform their work and provide residency activities to HCC students. She holds a master’s degree in Dance from Columbia University and Bachelor’s in both Dance Performance and Arts Administration from Brenau University. Christina has conducted residencies and taught master classes around the country. She has been involved in state and national dance organizations and served as board member and president of the Florida Dance Education Organization.

Erin Cardinal has had the privilege of dancing her entire life. Her desire for making things, led her to creating dances for 16 years as cofounder and co-artistic director of Moving Current dance collective in Tampa, FL. She now collaborates with her creative partner, Brian Fidalgo II under the name base//flight. In the last year, their work has been presented in Tampa, Houston, New York and Seattle and have taught master classes with organizations such as American College Dance Association Conferences, University of Washington and Sam Houston State University. She recently received her MFA in dance from the University of Washington where she pursued a dual research track in contemporary dance partnering and new media technology in dance and was a member of Chamber Dance Company. Erin will present her research at the National Dance Educators Conference this October in Washington DC and at the Congress on Research in Dance Conference in November. She is a thankful recipient of numerous Florida county, state and regional grants in support of her work as an artist and educator. Erin holds a BA with a concentration in dance from the University of South Florida and a Professional Teaching Certificate (K-12) and is currently an adjunct faculty member in dance at the Hillsborough Community College and Pinellas County Center for the Arts.

Heather Ahern, originally from New England, is a founding member of Groundwerx Dance Theatre, Providence, RI, where she co-directed, toured, performed, and taught nationally for fifteen years. In 2012, Ahern founded Aerplaye dance company as choreographer and artistic director. Ahern earned two grants from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts: An Artist Project Grant for the creation of a one-woman dance/play entitled Amazons, Goddesses and Others; and an Individual Artists Grant for the creation of a dance theatre work entitled In Full Flight. She is also a three-time recipient of a Cirino Fellowship from the Rhode Island Foundation. In addition to the creation of modern dance choreography, Ahern has enjoyed working as a movement consultant and choreographer for Perishable Theatre and Trinity Repertory Theatre. Ahern has performed, taught, and choreographed work for a variety of populations at colleges, universities and other educational institutions throughout the country. As a professor of dance, she has taught at California State University, Long Beach (Department of Dance & Department of Theatre MFA program); West Virginia University; and Long Beach City College, teaching a wide variety of classes from technique, to movement for the actor, to dance history. She is also a certified Pilates Instructor (BASI, Costa Mesa, CA), with a specialization in Dance Conditioning. Ahern is currently an Adjunct Professor at Hillsborough Community College, and Tampa University, both of Tampa, Florida. 


Richard Allan Ploch, Artistic Director for Acanthus, a chamber-sized Ballet Company and Adjunct Instructor of Dance at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida, has been teaching ballet for over 20 years. Ploch began his career in Tucson, Arizona and went on to Ohio State University to receive a MA in Dance specializing in Labanotation. He includes as his mentors and principle teachers: George Zoritch, Nanette Charisse, Peff Modelski, John Calendar, Rosalind Pierson, Sheldon Ossosky, and Robert Yohn.

Ploch has performed with various ballet and modern companies in New York including the Light Opera of Manhattan. He also served as Assistant Choreographer with the Santa Fe Opera where he performed and also choreographed for the Apprentice Artists Program. An active choreographer, his work has been presented in the Northeast, the South and the Southwest. Currently, he devotes most of his choreographic energies to Acanthus.

Richard Allan Ploch maintains active memberships in several national and international dance organizations. They include the Society for Dance History Scholars, Dance/USA, International Council of Kinetography Laban and the Florida Dance Association. He serves on the Board of Directors of the National Dance Registry, the Advisory Board for Performing Arts Resources and has just completed a second term on the Artists Advisory Committee of the Tampa/Hillsborough Arts Council. Ploch is a founding member of the Alliance of Dance Notation Educators, a group of dance professionals from all forms of dance who espouse and include dance notation with dance education.
Office Location:
YCDC 204