CCA graduate dances his way to New York City

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CCA Graduate Dances His Way To Scholarship on New York City Stage

If you buy tickets to a Broadway show in the near future, you might have a front-row seat to the dancing talents of Croix DiIenno as he lights up the stage.

Croix, 17, of Feasterville, Bucks County, graduated from Commonwealth Charter Academy this year and will be entering Pace University School of Performing Arts in New York City in the fall. He is one of only four students to be receiving a $100,000 scholarship. He will be working toward a bachelor’s degree in commercial dance.

Croix has been dancing for five years, cross training in ballet, hip-hop and jazz, with a heavy focus on ballet because it is “the basis of all techniques,” he said.

Just this year, Croix performed in two semiprofessional shows, and last year, two others, which “gave him a glimpse into the professional world.” He performed in the modern dance show “The Evening of Duets.” He was a dancer with Complexions Ballet and is a member of JovoDance Productions in Langhorne.

Before enrolling in CCA, Croix attended Bucks County Technical High School, where he studied civil engineering. He found he was often missing school to dance. During his sophomore year, Croix missed 19 days of school while traveling for dance-related obligations such as private training opportunities, classes and auditions.

“That is what made us seek out another option for his education and how we found CCA,’’ said Anthony DiIenno, Croix’s father, who enrolled his son in CCA after his sophomore year. “CCA was definitely what we were looking for.’’

Croix trains in the studio four to five hours a day, practicing on average 25 hours a week. A preprofessional dancer, he has had paid work three or four times this year.

“CCA helped make this possible for him,” said Anthony DiIenno, a single father. “Without the flexible schedule CCA offers, Croix would not have been able to keep up with his studies while training and taking advantage of some excellent master classes and other special opportunities.

“CCA has exceeded every expectation we had when we started, and I know he would not have been able to accomplish all he has over the past two years at a traditional high school.”

Anthony DiIenno said CCA’s teachers really took an interest in Croix.

“When teachers go above and beyond, such as Stephanie Goforth with the conservatory program, it really makes a huge impression,’’ Anthony DiIenno said. “The faculty was accessible, accommodating and a pleasure to deal with. CCA was the answer for us and others we have met during our time with the school. ... An answer that more people need to know about!”

Thanks to CCA, Croix said, he feels ready to go to college and pursue his career. He even took an online music class at The Juilliard School through CCA.

“The school enabled me to focus more on my priorities,’’ Croix said. “CCA helped me grow as a person and a student.’’

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