K ELLEY DOUGHERTY K elley Dougherty is a dance instructor at Ballet Theatre of Scranton, a Zumba instructor and a Sales Representative for ZyiaActive. She is also the Director of Sales at the Fairfield by Marriott in Wilkes-Barre. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in tourism and hospitality management from Temple University. Kelley lives in Dunmore with her boyfriend, Dustin and their dog, Patsy.
fessional I am today. Dance has always been an outlet in terms of stress relief. After a long day, sometimes all you need is music, fun steps, time with like-minded individuals and the ability to be uniquely “you”. There is no better way to release endorphins to put me in a better mood. What is the most rewarding component of teaching dance?
How did you become involved with Ballet Theatre of Scranton (BTOS)? I started dancing there at age 4. As soon as I was old enough, my parents enrolled me in ballet at the studio because Joanne Arduino, my sister, is the owner and artistic director. Dance runs in the family. Growing up, my dad always said that he was the reason I was a dancer. He used to tell me that he was cast in “Singing in the Rain” due to his excellent tap skills. He said that the only reason Gene Kelly got the part was because my dad broke his toe. I knew he was not serious, but it made me want to become an excellent tap dancer – “just like dad.” I was lucky to grow up studying all forms of dance under the direction of my sister, including tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, Irish step and hip-hop. Dance was always a part of my life; I could not imagine growing up without it. What is your favorite dance class to teach? Zumba is my favorite. It takes years of dance training, as well as the additional fundamentals taught by the program and 38
creates a fun and energetic atmosphere. So many of my students request Zumba songs as warmups and fun routines! How does teaching at BTOS take you out of your comfort zone? Teaching dance utilizes a different part of my brain that I might not use on a daily basis in my day job. Teaching utilizes my creative side, which is not something I always apply in a professional setting. Each dance class is different, not only in terms of style, but in class atmosphere and skill level, as well. Teaching requires me to be adaptable, think on my feet and let my creativity shine. How are the lessons you’ve learned from teaching dance applicable to other areas of your life? Growing up a dancer, I learned discipline, dedication, memory skills, time management and confidence – to name a few. Each of these skills have molded me into the person and proHappeningsPA.com
I love seeing the smiles on my students’ faces when they are enjoying class. Even with masks on, there are days where the classroom energy is so electric, it is contagious! I can wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and be tired, but once I leave class, my entire mood has changed. Seeing that change in my students is so rewarding and one of the reasons why I continue teaching! What is the most challenging component? While I believe that dance has improved my memory, that is also the most challenging component of teaching. I teach 11 dance classes at BTOS and four Zumba classes a week. Between warmups, combinations, choreography, and the many Zumba routines I rotate through – it is a lot to remember! I spend a lot of time relying on practice, repetition and videos that we take to help us remember from week to week. How do you impact the lives of young girls? Over the years, dance in our area has always tended to gravitate towards classrooms of young women. This has enabled me to be a role model. April 2021