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Sharing Her Love of the Arts One Step at a TimeLong before Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker fills dance studios, retail stores and just about everywhere else, one SCASD student, Chloe Snellgrove, will be preparing young dancers for their first Nutcracker ballet performance. For her senior project, Chloe has been hard at work developing a program focused on broadening participation in the arts, specifically ballet, for those who may not be able to afford it. “I have danced for 11 years and just recently stopped,” she explains. “I have such a passion for helping people and a passion for ballet, so I decided to combine them together for my senior project!”

Currently in her junior year at State High, Chloe is already busy with school and sports, playing both club and school lacrosse, but she isn’t letting that slow her down. Chloe has jumped in feet first with this new endeavor, having already raised nearly $2,000 through a GoFundMe campaign and securing studio space to hold her ballet lessons. “My project focuses on offering dance classes once a week for two months, ending with a final Nutcracker performance,” she says. “The GoFundMe campaign will be used to buy uniforms and any leftover money will be put into a scholarship at my former ballet studio, Performing Arts School of Central Pennsylvania (PASCP).”

Through the guidance of SCASD LE teachers, Mrs. Abruzzo and Mrs. Rand, Chloe currently has between 10-15 students, ranging in ages 3-11, as well as a mix of both boys and girls. Classes began Friday, Sept. 29, and each week, Chloe teaches her eager students ballet technique and works on choreography for their Nutcracker performance.

To identify students, Chloe connected with SCASD faculty and local churches, as well as received referrals from those who know about the project.

As a measure of her project’s success, Chloe has set a few goals. “I would love to have at least 50 percent of the kids participating continue their training at PASCP through the scholarship funds, and for all of them to feel the joy of ballet and the arts,” she shares.

For Chloe, this project is much more than a requirement. Rather, it’s a way to share something that she's loved for more than a decade. “I am excited to do this specialized graduation project. It is something that I am so passionate about!”

Photo: Chloe Snellgrove dancing her role in Waltz of the Flowers during PASCP’s The Nutcracker 2016.

Photo credit: VJM Studios.