About Cleveland City Ballet
Originally founded by Frances Gould in 1936, this studio has consistently provided quality dance training for the youth of Cleveland and Bradley County. Ownership transferred to Ms. Paula Duff in the early seventies, and Ms. Carolyn Clark consolidated with Ms. Duff in the early 1990’s. Connie and Steve Gatlin became owners in 2005, and subsequently moved the studio to its new location in the Old Woolen Mill. Currently, Connie & Abigail Gatlin are owners with Connie serving as Artistic Director.
Over 7,000 square feet are now dedicated to the arts in this historic building on South Church Street. There are dressing rooms, storage rooms, three large studios, and one extremely large studio that rivals any dance instruction space in the Southeast. Three of the studios are named for the teachers that have devoted much of their lives to the art of dance instruction — Frances Gould, founder, Paula Duff, former owner, and Carolyn Clark, owner of her own studio that was closed in 1993.
In 2016, we are thrilled to announce that Cleveland City Ballet Bang-A-Rang Productions is now an arts foundation that will continue into the future as a 501C-3 non-profit federal arts foundation. As a matter of distinction, Cleveland City Ballet is the oldest, continuously running arts business in the state of Tennessee. By establishing this business as a non-profit foundation, it helps ensure that it can continue well into the future.
Our Mission Statement
As a private arts academy, we are dedicated to providing quality arts instruction that challenges and inspires the youth of our community. An accomplished faculty teaches a progressive curriculum that is appropriate to students of different levels and abilities, and is designed to create within each student an appreciation of and a love for the arts.
We believe in excellence, and the discipline-paved path that leads us all toward that ever elusive goal.
We believe in hard work, and the rewarding fulfillment that follows earnest effort.
We believe in the arts, and their God-given ability to speak to our souls, heal our hearts and enrich our lives in innumerable ways.
We believe in children, the love and laughter they bring to our days and the hope they represent for our world.
Connie Gatlin has always been an arts enthusiast supporting educational and community theatre and dance performance for the youth of our community. She began to travel visiting other outstanding dance training studios when her daughter Abigail began to seek study outside our local community. After visiting the studios of Ballet Magnificat! (Belhaven College in Jackson, MS), North Carolina School of the Arts (Durham, NC), and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (Carlysle, Pennsylvania), she became aware of how much more could be offered to our local students. She has dedicated the last few years to upgrading and improving the training and facilities available. CCB dancers work on wooden floors covered with state-of-the-art “marley” type coverings, and dancers enter safely through an off-street parking area. As owner, she is working to establish at CCB and Bang-A-Rang an overall philosophy of:
(1) developing the discipline of hard work,
(2) developing an appreciation of excellence, and
(3) developing imagination as a God-given gift that creates art, solves problems and enriches lives immeasurably.