The BW Community Arts School Dance Department trains young dancers to have a solid technical foundation, a passion for the arts, a positive self-expression and the confidence to be successful. Our professionally trained dance faculty focus on the total development of each dancer in an environment that encourages personal achievement, creativity, discipline, dedication, teamwork, friendship, kindness and respect. Our goal is to develop not only the best dancers, but individuals with the skills needed to be successful on whatever path they choose.
We train our dancers on and beyond the dance floor so that each artist obtains both a strong body and a healthy, confident mindset. CAS is committed to helping our dancers set personal goals and take the steps necessary to achieve these goals. Our dancers are educated in anatomy and kinesiology as well as injury prevention to help keep them dancing for years to come.
For detailed information about the measures we are taking to protect our students for in-person dance classes, please visit our Fall 2021 Safety Protocols page.
CAS dance takes a professional, multidisciplinary approach to dance education. Our curriculum ensures each student receives comprehensive dance training designed to allow students of all ages, skill and confidence levels to achieve their greatest potential whether their goals are for professional or personal growth.
Our dance classes are designed to meet each student where they are developmentally, while focusing on a positive, fun, uplifting and family-friendly environment that is based upon individual strengths and achievements rather than competition.
All CAS dance classes are led by caring, engaging, expert CAS dance faculty. Our faculty invests in each individual student to ensure that they feel welcome and valued during their time at CAS.
The BW CAS Dance Company, designed for dancers ages 6 - 18, is a comprehensive dance program for serious dancers and students looking to build their technical skill set. Our goal is to give students the highest quality education in multiple dance genres and create the most well-rounded dancer possible. Dance Company works as a bridge to the dance industry, preparing serious students to reach their fullest potential. Participants can expect small 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!
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
July 8 - 14, 2023 | Registration Open
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 beyond 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!
Dance Department Faculty
Aaron Blizzard is a professional dancer, former national competitor, teacher, and assistant director of Northern Classical Ballet. With a versatile dance background reaching over the last two decades, he holds dance training and teaching certifications in many forms of dance including Ballet and Ballroom. He is the owner of Blizzard Art & Performance, providing Cleveland and Erie, Pennsylvania with ballroom instruction, performance, and competitive coaching. To complement his dance background, Aaron is a personal trainer specializing in corrective exercise techniques, strength and conditioning, and flexibility.
Aaron started his dance training at the age of 10 at the Waterbury Arts Magnet School (School of Performing Arts Division) Located in Connecticut. Throughout high school he attended Earl Mosely’s Institute of the Arts where he had the privilege of training with and working on repertoires under artists such as Sidra Bell, Camille A. Brown and Meredith Rainey. Aaron trained in Ballet under Nutmeg Conservatory’s Senior Ballet Master and Russian Choreographic School Graduate Donna Bonasera at the Connecticut Dance Theatre. Upon graduating high school in 2010 he went on to apprentice under Donna Bonasera in teaching the Vaganova Method. While at CDT, Aaron completed an apprenticeship with Elm City Dance Collective–a postmodern company based in New Haven, Connecticut through Yale University. This venture took him into Ballroom dance at Fred Astaire Dance Studios where he trained and competed professionally and taught private dance lessons. Aaron left Connecticut Dance Theatre and Fred Astaire in 2017 to relocate to Cleveland, Ohio.
Aaron moved to Cleveland in order to further his competitive dance career with dance partner Jenny Lu. In 2019, Aaron joined the staff at Above the Barre Dance and Gymnastics as a ballroom instructor. Upon its reopening in late 2020, Aaron was promoted to Assistant Director of the Ballet Program where he teaches and assists in the direction of their Nutcracker Ballet production. Aaron still teaches at ATB but retired from dancing competitively in 2020.
During the height of the pandemic and after his competitive retirement, Aaron completed his CDCA and became a licensed therapist in the State of Ohio. He then integrated dance into his therapy in order to create his own Dance Therapy curriculum. In 2020, Aaron and his partner Dr. Nathal founded the wellness center BN Wellness Group where this dance therapy curriculum is used today.
Noelle Boyages began her ballet training at age 12 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Ballet quickly became her passion; she trained at several different summer intensive programs including Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Orlando Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre (NY), and Ballet Austin.
While training with Ballet Austin for the summer, she was awarded a full scholarship to train with the company through their Butler Fellowship Program. After an amazing year in Texas, Noelle then decided to take a break from ballet and pursue academic interests at Denison University. She graduated in 2021 with a BA in History, Women and Gender Studies, and Black Studies. With an undergraduate degree under her belt, Noelle is once again pursuing ballet as a career, with intentions to attend law school sometime in the near future. She is very excited to join Baldwin Wallace’s Community Arts School program and to help other young dancers work to hone their craft and pursue their passions, whatever they may be!
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.
Ari is a dancer, performer and dance instructor. Ari graduated in 2018 with a BFA in Dance from The Ohio State University. During college, she received her 200-Hour Yoga license and an Opacize Greek Dance Fitness license. After graduation, she worked with Ballet Chicago as a summer chaperone, began teaching at The Mark Morris Dance Center as an assistant teaching artist, and moved to NYC. In summer of 2019, she completed the 3-month Training Program at Broadway Dance Center focusing on Street Styles. Since moving to NYC, she performed at Lincoln Center-Keenan Fellowship performance, ABC T.V.’s Annual Columbus Day Parade, NYC Korean Choseok Festival, Broadway Dance Center, and for many peer/teacher projects. She has also acted background on several T.V. shows such as Mr. Robot and The Deuce. Ari loves teaching all styles and is so excited to be working with the students of CAS this season.
Melissa Hazard is a fitness professional with over 20 years’ experience in fitness education. She is the owner of Serenity Yoga, LLC. At Baldwin Wallace University, Melissa is as an adjunct professor in the Department of Allied Health, Sport, and Wellness. She teaches a variety of wellness classes including yoga, mindfulness, meditation, gratitude, techniques of relaxation and in the First Year Education program acclimating students to college. She structures her yoga and meditation classes to welcome all levels from the very beginner to the advanced practitioner. Her goal is to share her passion for yoga and meditation to help her clients build resiliency, strength, quiet their mind, and return to their day refreshed, renewed and ready to meet the challenges of life. Melissa has a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She is a certified Koru mindfulness educator and yoga instructor.
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
Janet Strukely-Dziak founded North Pointe Ballet, a non-profit organization with the mission to make classical ballet accessible, in 2016 following a career as a professional ballet dancer and earning a B.A. in Dance from Mercyhurst University. As Executive Artistic Director of NPB, she continues to manage mission-based initiatives and programs as well as choreograph and direct full-length ballets. Choreographic highlights for NPB include full-length ballets Cinderella, Peter Pan, The Sleeping Beauty, The Wizard of Oz, and The Nutcracker as well as various contemporary works. Janet is an adjunct faculty member of Oberlin College, a guest teacher for various organizations, and is on staff at Jillian Rian Dance School. She holds a teaching certificate through the National Dance Institute and is also certified to teach Physically Integrated Dance through Dancing Wheels. Janet currently serves on the board of directors for OhioDance as the chair of its Education and Community Engagement Committee. She lives in North Ridgeville, Ohio, with her husband and two children.
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 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.