Dance Classes, Academy & Lessons
The Baldwin Wallace Community Arts School Dance Department trains young dancers to have solid technical foundations, a passion for the arts, positive self-expression, and confidence. Our professional approach ensures each student receives comprehensive dance training in an environment that supports personal achievement, discipline, friendship, teamwork, positive attitude, creativity, kindness, and respect. The dance curriculum is designed to train all ages, skillsets, and confidence levels to achieve their greatest potential whether their goals are professional or personal growth.
For detailed information about the measures we are taking to protect our students for in-person dance classes, please visit our CAS COVID-19 Responsible Restart and our CAS & COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions pages.
Dance Department Faculty
Heather Dennen is the Program Coordinator – Dance for the Community Arts School. Dennen grew up in New York City where she began her dance training at the age of 2. Training extensively in multiple dance genres, Dennen competed nationally, winning multiple awards, top honors and titles. After graduation, Dennen worked with Ohio Dance Theater performing in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Firebird, The Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. Dennen then went on to do a national and international tour of Sesame Street Live, Super Grover Ready For Action! as the first cast role of Zoe. Dennen has been teaching various dance genres and choreographing for ten years. Her students have found success on the collegiate and professional level. Dennen has choreographed multiple musicals, figure skating programs and gymnastic floor routines at the national level in addition to her dance credits and choreography. Dennen is certified at the highest levels through Dance Masters of America and the Cecchetti Council of America.
Clarence Keith is a dancer-choreographer born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He began his passion for dance at the age of 5 attempting to emulate the stylings of Michael Jackson. At the age of 19, after years of street dancing, Clarence began his studio hip-hop training out of various studios in the greater Cleveland area. Shortly after he began to teach. He has since expanded his training from Cleveland to LA, and plans to do much more!
His plan is to spread this art form throughout the city, and inspire young folks to follow their artistic passions. He wants to show young people the importance of balance in art. That is fun, respect, professionalism, and dedication.
Leanna began dancing since age 3, and began her ballet training at age 11 at Robert Thomas Dancenter in Ames, IA, under the instruction of Robert Thomas and Miyoko Kato Thomas, former Joffrey Ballet dancers. She was a member of the Iowa Youth Ballet for seven years and performed in Iowa State Center’s production of The Nutcracker Ballet for ten years, and in addition, she led rehearsals for certain roles for three years. Throughout her early years of training, Leanna had the privilege of taking master classes at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago for seven summers from company member Derrick Agnoletti and former members Kim Sagami, Willy Shives, and Suzanne Lopez, among others.
In 2017, Leanna graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Dance and a certificate in Arts Entrepreneurship. During her time there, she performed in numerous concerts in both faculty- and student-choreographed work, and in 2016, her choreographic work was selected to be performed in the Dance Department’s Undergraduate Concert.
After two years in full-time youth ministry, Leanna is dancing with North Pointe Ballet for their 2019-2020 season here in Cleveland. Leanna has ten years of lead and assistant teaching and choreography experience at Robert Thomas Dancenter, Inspiring Dance, University of Iowa Youth Ballet, and Charlee’s Elite School of Dance, primarily in ballet and pointe technique to students of all ages. She is excited to be sharing in her love for ballet with her students here at BW CAS.
Read more on Leanna’s teaching philosophy and artistic inspirations here: https://mycreativecompass.org/Community/Cleveland-Artist-Spotlights/Leanna-Mullen
Paige St. John
Paige St. John graduated from The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) in May 2019, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (BFA) in Dance and a Minor in Developmental Psychology, having spent four years extensively focusing on performance, dance education, and composition. Prior to her collegiate dance career, Paige trained in a variety of styles – including ballet, tap, pointe, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip-hop, and musical theatre – at various studios in the Cleveland area.
She now works as a Universal Dance Association (UDA, a Varsity Spirit Brand) Instructor, teaching, choreographing, and assisting dance teams of all levels and judging for regional and national competitive events throughout the season. Her work has taken her across the nation and even overseas, as she spent the spring of 2018 living, teaching, choreographing, training instructors, and designing dance curriculum in Guangzhou, China.
Aside from teaching, Paige choreographs for a variety of dance studios and competitive dance teams in the Midwest and beyond, specializing in contemporary, pom, jazz, and hip hop.
In Fall 2018, Paige choreographed Legally Blonde: The Musical in The Ohio State University Department of Theatre – a large-scale production and her musical theatre choreographic debut. Her work was surely extended and grown upon as she studied at The Ohio State University and worked with countless faculty and students (both undergraduate and graduate) in the department. In her four years, she has had the pleasure of performing in a number of concerts, with some of her favorite experiences being Dance Demark (Summer 2017) and her work with Crystal Michelle Perkins (Faculty Concert 2017) and Susan Van Pelt Petry (50th Anniversary Concert 2018) in Repertory.
From solos to large groups, Paige finds joy in learning from the students that she works with throughout the season.
Lauren Stenroos is a founding dancer with Cleveland Ballet under the artistic direction of Gladisa Guadalupe and Ballet Mistress Cynthia Graham. Previously, she has danced professionally with Lake Erie Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Dayton Ballet, and Ballet Montana. She has also appeared as a guest dancer at Williamsport Civic Ballet, James Sewell Ballet, Texture Contemporary Ballet, Lake Erie Ballet, and Mercyhurst University.
Lauren received her early training from the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet (Now called Ballet Excel Ohio) under Nan and Mia Klinger. While at CVYB she had the unique opportunity to perform in original ballets choreographed by Michael Vernon, Francis Patrelle, Tom Gold, James Sewell, and Bill Hastings. She also attended summer intensives on scholarship at Chautauqua Institution, Richmond Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Cleveland San Jose Ballet. She graduated with a B.A. degree in Dance with a Minor in Music Composition from Mercyhurst University.
At Cleveland Ballet, she has performed many soloist and principal roles such as Swanilda in Ramon Oller’s Coppelia, Hippolyta in Oller’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Queen of Hearts in Margo Sappington’s Alice, Soloist in Les Sylphides and as Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker.
She has also enjoyed performing in works by George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Septime Webre, Stuart Sebastian, James Sewell, Jon Rodriguez, Amy Seiwert, Gina Patterson, Gina Walther, Lesley Bories-Scalise, Paul Vasterling, Gladisa Guadalupe, and Ramon Oller.
In addition to dancing, Lauren is a composer and has created many original works for dance. In addition to teaching ballet, she also is certified in Pilates and teaches mat and reformer classes. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, fitness, food, and the outdoors.
CAS dance classes are led by a caring, engaging, expert CAS Dance faculty members. Our dance classes focus on dance technique, terminology, flexibility, strength, self-expression, creativity and artistry at an age and skill appropriate level.
All dance classes are planned to be fully in-person during the Winter/Spring 2021 semester. They will meet at our Whistle Stop location at their set day and time. We are so excited to have our students in person dancing with us again!
We understand that at this time there may be families who are uncomfortable with in-person dance classes. Technology improvements to our studio spaces allow any student to participate virtually in our dance classes via Zoom. Students who are participating virtually will need to provide at least 24-hours advance notice to ensure that the instructors can be prepared for a dancer choosing virtual participation.
The BW CAS Dance Academy is a unique Winter/Spring 2021 semester learning experience for students of varying ages and levels.
Dance Academy classes are taught by our expert, caring, and engaging BW CAS faculty. Each Academy has a challenging, comprehensive, curriculum designed to challenge dancers in multiple dance genres and styles. This well-rounded approach gives dancers the opportunity to develop their dance abilities faster, and more completely, than training in one style alone.
Dance Academy students participate in multiple classes per week and also receive bi-weekly private lessons to further enhance their skills, technical abilities and artistry.
For more information about curriculum for each Academy level, please click on the View Dance Classes button below.
CAS UNBOXED™ brings the quality arts programs you expect from Baldwin Wallace University's Community Arts School straight to your home! Virtual classes are led by expert BW CAS faculty and are specifically designed for a completely online style of learning. In these five-week virtual classes, students will receive weekly interactive video lessons that students can engage with at any point throughout the week. All the materials you'll need for the class will be shipped directly to your door before the program begins.
Dancers may enroll in private lessons to receive one-on-one instruction from a Community Arts School faculty member. Private lessons allow each student to develop independently through the careful guidance and mentorship of expert, credentialed faculty. Dance private lessons focus on technique development, artistic quality, strength, flexibility, and speicifc skills appropriate for the age and level of the individual dancer.
There are a limited number of dance private lessons available each semester. Dance private lessons are not guaranteed and are based on instructor and studio availability.
Summer Dance Immersion
The Baldwin Wallace Community Arts School Summer Dance Immersion is a dynamic dance experience designed to bring together dancers from studios across the region, in grades 7-12, to develop artistic growth, cultivate existing dance technique, and challenge new technical development. Students will work with master instructors and experience new dance styles to extend their training on and bey0nd the dance floor. This unique dance camp will be a gathering place of excellence in dance designed to complement, enhance, and further students’ own studio training.
Student will live on the Baldwin Wallace University campus and participate in a variety of dance and social activities. Activities provided during the camp experience will allow the students to foster lasting connections and powerful friendships with other dancers.
This Immersion is a dance event you do not want to miss!
The BW Community Arts School Dance Company is a comprehensive dance program for serious dancers and for students looking to build their technical skill set. This company will work as a bridge to the dance industry and prepare serious students for a career in the arts. The purpose of this company is to give students the highest quality education in multiple dance genres to create the most well rounded dancer possible. Participants can expect exceptional instructors, intimate class settings, personalized critiques and focused instruction.
If you have any questions about any of our Baldwin Wallace Community Arts School Dance Company, or to set up an audition for the Company, please contact us!