Colleen Cannon Benoit
established The Lake Charles Dance Academy in 2011 after many
years of teaching, performing and training in classical ballet.
spent most of her years studying and teaching at the Clarke
Dance Center, under the direction of the late Ida Winter Clarke
and her daughter Cissie Clarke.
She studied nationally receiving many scholarships for study and
took classes with many nationally renowned teachers.
Her training includes two
scholarships to the Regional Dance America’s Craft of
Choreography Conference, The School of American Ballet in NYC,
The North Carolina School of the Arts, The Pittsburgh Ballet
Theater, the International Ballet Competition, and the Joffrey
She has had the privilege of
studying with world renowned teachers including Edward Villella,
Marjorie Mussman, David Howard,
Robert Joffrey, Richard Englund, Patricia Wilde, and
She has performed lead roles in many
of the full length ballets that the Lake Charles Ballet Society
produced including Coppelia, The Nutcracker, and La Fille Mal
She has also performed with several professional companies
including The Dallas Ballet, The David Taylor Dance Company and
The Texas Ballet.
Benoit’s goal is to bring back the
performance opportunities the Lake Charles Ballet Society was
able to provide to area dancers.
It was through these performances
that Benoit was able to develop her skill and love as a
performing artist ~ one she wants to share with the today’s
local area dancers.
Lake Charles Dance Academy accepts boys and girls of all ability
levels who want to experience the joy in the expression of
Colleen graduated from
McNeese with a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education
and a Master's degree in Educational Technology. She has
been a second and third grade teacher, a TAP Mentor and Master
teacher and presently serves as the 2nd and 3rd grade Lead
Teacher for Nelson Elementary. She has twice been voted
"Nelson Teacher of the Year." She also was selected as
"Calcasieu Parish Teacher of the Year," "The KPLC Class Act,"
"The Cummulus Broadcasting Teacher of the Week," and "Wal-Mart
Teacher of the Year." She brings with her this extensive
educational background which will greatly enhance the learning
for all her students. Her love for educating students -
whether in school or in dance - is her motivation.
The Lake Charles Dance Academy – “Where the legacy lives on…”