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BW arts management & entrepreneurship grad opens dance studio

The Smyth School of Irish Dance studentsEntrepreneurship and the Gaelic spirit are alive as people from Northeast Ohio line up for lessons in Irish dance from a recent BW grad.

World champion Irish dancer Christine Smyth '21 received a BW LaunchNET microgrant that helped her open her studio, The Smyth School of Irish Dance in Richfield, Ohio, before she even finished her degree.

Smyth, who majored in arts management and entrepreneurship and minored in dance, was catapulted into launching her own school - a longtime dream - following an internship with Interpretations Dance Academy in Broadview Heights, Ohio. When the owners invited Smyth to teach Irish dance as a school within their school, her classes continued to grow. In the midst of the pandemic, Smyth purchased, renovated and opened her own studio while also completing her senior year at BW.

Road to World Champion

Smyth started her dance journey at the age of six to honor her deceased father. Through practice and perseverance, she was able to qualify for the World Championships of Irish Dancing seven times consecutively.

She won the World Championship Medal for solo dancing twice, and she won the award several times with teams.

Educational foundation

The Smyth School of Irish Dance logoWhen considering her career goals, Smyth says the BW arts management and entrepreneurship program was the obvious choice to fuel her dream of opening her own dance school.

Smyth says, "BW prepared me through successful business courses, a specialized dance studio management course and stretching me out of my comfort zone so I am well equipped to handle whatever life may throw at me in the future."

Dancer's Drive

Program director and assistant professor of arts management and entrepreneurship Bryan Bowser says, "From my first meeting with Christine, I was impressed by her passion and her drive and had every confidence that she would accomplish that goal. Christine took advantage of every opportunity that BW presented to her and made the most of her required courses and internships to gain the skills, experiences and connections she would need for success."

When Smyth looks to the future, she is most interested in helping people know they are valued and pushing them to be the very best they can be in every aspect of their lives. This process begins, she says, with helping her clients recognize that they are loved.

Who wouldn't want to dance a jig for that?

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