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5 Questions: Goodling vies for Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s Alumni of the Year

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Nominees for Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s Alumni of the Year represent dancers, business owners and community leaders from both near and far.

One candidate is in his graduate year at the San Francisco Ballet School. Another dances with the Finnish National Ballet in Helsinki, and yet another is a fifth-grade teacher in Oklahoma.

One candidate, Morgan Goodling, has remained close to the school as a resident of Carlisle Borough, and still attends CPYB performances when she can.

With the other six candidates, Goodling is participating in the 10-week Alumni of the Year campaign to benefit the CPYB’s Changing Lives Scholarship Fund. During the campaign, the candidates for alumni of the year work to raise money for the fund, and the one who raises the most is named Alumni of the Year at the ballet’s “An Evening at the Barre” event.

Goodling studied at CPYB from 1987 to 1996, and credits CPYB with inspiring her to take French classes in school since that is the language of the ballet. She now holds a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees, both of which were completely funded by scholarships.

Goodling has worked in human services for 10 years. She’s been the co-author on three papers published in peer-reviewed journals and gave a presentation to a local chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Q. When did you become interested in ballet, and start at CPYB?

A. I was interested in ballet before I can even remember. My parents enrolled me in dance classes at another local studio at age 3. I loved dancing, so after two years, my parents decided that I should get the best ballet education available. When I was 5, way back in 1987, they enrolled me at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.

Q. What do you most remember about your time at CPYB?

A. I have lots of highlights and memories, but as a whole, the performances were definitely my favorite thing. Performances were not taken lightly; they were the culmination of the hard work we put into class and rehearsals. Putting on make-up, getting into costume, and being on stage in front of an audience is truly something special.

Q. How has your ballet training influenced your life in the years that followed?

A. Ballet teaches many life lessons. CPYB shaped my work ethic and I learned effective time management skills. Self-awareness was also critical. The teachers get to know you and help develop your dancing, but the work also comes from observing and reflecting on things internally. I also have a love and respect for the arts and the role they play in our lives.

Q. Tell us about the campaign for alumni of the year and how people can help.

A. The school selected a cross section of seven former students as candidates for Alumni of the Year. We attended the school at different decades, we’re located in different geographical areas, and have pursued ballet at varying levels. What we all have in common is that we are successful adults today because of our time spent at the school. We’re motivated and passionate about spreading the word about CPYB and giving back to the school that has given us so much. Each AOTY candidate is running a unique campaign in an effort to raise money for the Changing Lives Scholarship Fund that goes directly toward current and future dancers. People can support us by donating directly to our campaign through our web pages that can be located at https://cpyb.org/alumni, or by participating in our fundraising events.

Q. You have described the school as a treasure that enriches lives. Can you tell us more about why you describe it in that way?

A. Because I grew up in the school and in the Carlisle community, CPYB was just a regular part of my life. When something is always there right in front of us, sometimes we don’t see how truly special it is. Marcia is a living legend in the ballet world. It is amazing that this renowned ballet school started in a renovated barn, has been around for over 60 years, and produces some of the finest ballet dancers in the world. The training is unparalleled and it prepares students to be successful in their lives, whatever field it is they end up pursuing.

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