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 Community Arts School Dance Company, designed for ages 6-18, 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!
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
Returning Summer 2022.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.