Brianna Clemente in front of Lucky Star Dance Company, 1510 Martin Street in Ferguson Township. Photo provided
After graduating from Penn State on Friday, Brianna Clemente will stay in the State College area to begin fulfilling her lifelong dream.
The Annandale, New Jersey native announced this week the opening of her Lucky Star Dance Company at 1510 Martin Street in Ferguson Township. Lucky Star, named after her dream studio as a child, will hold a grand public opening on June 13.
“Staying in the area was a big factor in my decision,” Clemente said in a statement. “Coming here for school, I fell in love with Happy Valley and so did my family. I knew I wanted to stay if I could. Although there were wonderful studios here, I saw an opportunity to bring a unique approach and new offers to the region.
Clemente started dancing at the age of 3 and by 12 she was teaching classes to younger students. When she came to Penn State four years ago, she planned to pursue her love of working with children by studying pediatric occupational therapy.
During her sophomore year, however, Clemente knew she still wanted to be involved in dance. She began working at the Hot Styles Dance Company in Bellefonte, where she taught a variety of classes and coached the studio’s competition teams. This experience over the past two and a half years made her realize that she wanted to pursue her dream of owning her own studio.
“Working with my academic advisor, I was able to personalize a major and focus the rest of my classes on things that will help me succeed as a business owner and teacher,” Clemente said. “At the same time, I took advantage of the huge growth in online classes during the pandemic to pursue my own training in dance and choreography. I made my business plan and started looking for work. space, and things started to fall into place.
Lucky Star Dance Company will work with students to customize their dance experience based on their individual goals and availability, she said.
It will offer a wide variety of classes, such as ballet, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, jazz, tap and more. Programs will be offered to young people, as well as college and dance teacher training programs.
Information on registration for summer courses is available at www.luckystar.dance.
The studio will also have several competition teams.
“Competitive dancing can be an overwhelming activity for students and their families, especially when siblings are also involved in travel sports teams or other extracurricular activities,” she said. “I want to give all students who love dance the opportunity to compete in a team competition at whatever level of commitment works best.”
Clemente plans to eventually offer dance-related fitness classes like yoga, pilates and barre.
The studio is currently undergoing minor renovations, including a new Marley dance floor, before the official opening.
“My family and friends have supported me 110%; I think some of them knew I would go this route before I believed it myself,” Clemente said. “I am also grateful to my professors, to my former teachers and mentors, and for the opportunity I had to teach at a local studio while a student at Penn State. These experiences and these people are all part of my Lucky Star Dance Company dream come true.