Charlene's School of Dance has been in business 60 years. The school provides the atmosphere and training that will nurture both the potential artist and the dance student who studies only for the inherent rewards of self-discipline, confidence, physical fitness and a greater appreciation of movement and music.
Our goal is to provide a positive and safe setting for dance training. Proper technique is stressed in all classes. We strive to assist the developing dancer to reach their potential through a safe and progressive approach. Each student is treated as an individual. This is achieved through our low student to teacher ratio and positive reinforcement.
Our children’s classes are geared toward the mastering of basic concepts through imagination and exploration. For the older student we challenge them with the latest dance innovations and choreography while continuing to emphasize the hows and whys of technique. Safe work habits, personal responsibility and concentration become second nature to our budding artists.
Kelly Wheeler was proud to take over for her mother, Charlene and become the OWNER and Artistic Director of CSD. Kelly has been the director of the school’s dance company program. She is responsible for the studio’s companies who have won numerous awards. Kelly is a graduate of Columbia State in Franklin, Tennessee where she studied commercial entertainment and dance studio management. She has also attended Point Park College, in Pittsburgh, PA, where she majored in Dance. She attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s School of Excellence in Performing Arts where was awarded the Bell Atlantic Leadership Award for introducing the art of dance in public schools. She spent an additional summer working as a Pennsylvania Governors School AATRA. She began dancing at the studio at the age of two and has never stopped since. As her mother’s student, she traveled with the school’s company to countless workshops and conventions where she studied with some of the top master teachers and choreographers in the country. She spent a summer traveling with Hoctor’s Dance Caravan as a Caravan Kid. With the tour she had the opportunity to travel and dance in 15 cities in the United States and Canada. While in Tennessee, Kelly was in instructor at Ann Carroll’s School of Dance. She taught dance in Franklin, Tennessee’s public school system through the MAC Arts after School Program.
Kelly’s professional experience includes Pittsburgh’s Choreographer’s Continuum XII. She was a member of Allied Motion - the official dance company in residence at Penn State University, Altoona. Allied Motion is a professional concert modern dance company specializing in collaborations with artists of many disciplines.
Kelly has performed with the Columbia Star Makers Dance Ensemble, the Vanderbilt University Dance Group and the Point Park Conservatory Dance Concert.
Kelly has won awards for her outstanding choreography, her costuming, and her excellence in leadership in the arts. She is also the winner of numerous regional, state, and national dance competitions. In addition to dance awards, she has won the district and state titles in public speaking.
While not in the studio, Kelly spends her time with her husband, Justin and their children, Hayley, Kamryn and Justin.
Renee (Smith) Myers began taking dancing lessons at the age of four from Charlene's School of Dance. She committed many years to Charlene as a student of ballet, tap, jazz, and pointe. Throughout her teenage years she assisted Charlene as a student helper teaching younger students ballet, tap, and jazz. Renee attended numerous workshops and conventions in cities such as Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Las Vegas.
During her senior year in high school Renee applied, auditioned, and was selected as a finalist in the Junior Miss Scholarship Program (currently known as Outstanding Young Woman). She competed against 27 other finalists from various high schools in Cambria and Somerset Counties. Her stage presence and fitness ability proved rewarding as she won two Preliminary Awards in the categories of (1) Poise and Appearance and (2) Physical Fitness.
After graduating high school in 1987, Renee attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Health and Physical Education with an emphasis in Dance Education. She was a member of the IUP Concert Dance Company for 4 years, with this being her first experience with Modern Dance. She served on the Concert Dance Company Council for 2 Years. As a council member, Renee co-choreographed numerous group numbers with a fellow council member. She also choreographed many dances on her own. Renee attributes her career focus as a Physical Education Teacher to her love of movement and being actively involved with her students.
She received a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1991 and taught Physical Education to elementary students at Penn Cambria for 10 years. She received a Master’s in Education in 1999 and is currently in a School Counselor at Penn Cambria Middle School. Renee is happily married to Matthew and they have two beautiful and talented daughters, Marissa and Cassidy. Renee is very proud to have begun her dance career as a student at Charlene's School of Dance.
Maria (Glass) Zelenski
Dance is the most beautiful of the arts, it is life in itself, is a quote Maria (Glass) Zelenski remembers reading on a ballerina poster displayed at Charlene’s School Dance where she began her dance educations at age four.
Ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern and pointe dance classes were the best gifts her mother Julie gave her as a young dancer of Charlene’s. Maria had the opportunity of sharing the stage with her two sisters Shawn Glass-Lucas and Rachel (Glass) Gingrich for many years, even baby brother Matthew danced during his pre-school days.
Dancing at Charlene’s over the years as first a student, and later a choreographer and dance teacher provided many wonderful opportunities for Maria. Charlene is an incredibly talented, professional teacher. She makes class a fun learning experience and somehow teaches important lessons on life that go far beyond the walls of her classroom. The man shows at hospital, nursing homes and community events over the years, instill a sense of pride and fellowship that Charlene and Kelly believe is an essential part of every dancer. As well as becoming positive role models and leaders.
Maria’s education at I.U.P. earned her a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education with an emphasis in dance and a master’s degree from St Francis College. Currently she’s completing her tenth year as a kindergarten teacher for Penn Cambria where she follows her philosophy that music, song and dance are in integral and important part of a child’s day. Maria has enjoyed teaching dance over the years for the best studio around – Charlene’s School of dance! She has been blessed with two sons Jacob and Joel.