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Student Success Story: Kelly Bauer

We recognize that the majority of our students won't go on to pursue careers as performers. Our focus, therefore, is on setting students up for success no matter what they choose to do by giving them the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional tools they need to succeed. Some of these strengths - like grit, confidence and imagination - come naturally through any performing arts education. But there are other attributes that we strategically incorporate into our curricula in order to positively impact the development of the whole student. Through Dance, Music, Theatre and Circus, CCA aims at teaching kids how to think like artists, build up their confidence and use creativity to change their world. Check out how Dance at CCA has been helping Kelly Bauer succeed!


Hi! My name is Kelly Bauer, and I am a former dancer and teacher from Clarion Center for the Arts! I graduated from CCA in 2016, which seems like so long ago! I was there when CCA first opened and enjoyed every step along the way. I made so many memories there that I will cherish forever. Not only did I have dance friends at CCA, I had a dance family. I truly miss Clarion Center for the Arts and have loved watching it grow ever since I graduated!

One of my favorite memories from when I was a dancer at CCA was when we traveled to Seven Springs for the Dance Masters of Pennsylvania Competition. I was in 11th grade, and I was competing a tap solo, titled “Sam, You Made My Pants Too Long” choreographed by the one and only Ms. Janet. Everyone knows that any tap dance choreographed by Ms. Janet is a challenging one. I was nervous to go onstage, but Janet kept reassuring me that we put in the time and effort and that I would be perfectly fine. I walked behind stage in my oversized suit, a colorful bowtie, and some very bright lipstick. I went onstage and gave it my all. The awards ceremony was not long after, and everyone was anxious to see what my results were. When my number got called and they announced my dance, I couldn’t believe the award I was receiving... Platinum!! You could imagine I was shaking like a leaf after that, but it got even better! They did the Overall Division 6 Solo Awards, and I received 5th place overall! I couldn’t believe it. After exiting the stage, I was surrounded by my screaming peers, my family, and of course Janet and BreAnna. I still look back on the pictures from that day and think about what a moment in my life that was. Not everything is about winning and competition, but when you put so much hard work, time, and effort into something, it is truly an amazing feeling to see that it paid off. CCA has helped shape me into the person I am today, and I will forever be grateful to be a part of such a wonderful dance family.

I am now a college graduate from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and a minor in Dance. I was a student in the Cook Honors College at IUP and graduated with honors. I am attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania for graduate school and was offered a graduate assistantship, as well! I will be obtaining my master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology during the next couple years. Throughout my time at IUP, I was a dancer of the IUP Dance Theater Company for four years. This company practiced year-round and performed two different shows throughout the year. I also worked multiple jobs during my time as a college student. I was a student worker for the Robert E. Cook Honors College at IUP for three years. I was a dance teacher at Sue Hewitt’s Dance Studio for one year and an office manager for one of the residential halls for two years.

Dancing at CCA taught me many things. It helped me succeed in my dance career. I think one of the biggest things I took away from dancing is time management. With being a dancer, we are at the studio rehearsing every night. We have to find time for our studies and homework. While other students in my field had every night to study, I was in the studio rehearsing and having company classes. I still managed to succeed and do well in school, and I think a huge contributing factor to that is time management. CCA was a huge contributor to teaching me how to manage time efficiently, and dancing at CCA is more than just dance. You receive a family. You learn how to connect with people. You gain friends and family that will last a lifetime and memories that you will remember forever!


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