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O’Brion dances way onto ICCC?campus

Assumes role as performing arts coordinator, dance coach

July 25, 2011
By BRANDON L. SUMMERS, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

Cassidy O'Brion wears many, many hats.

As the latest addition at Iowa Central Community College, the Fort Dodge native is the college's new performing arts coordinator, dance team head coach and choreographer.

"I'm the coach for the girls dance team. We also have a male hip hop crew. I also do choreography for the show choir, and also choreography for the spring musicals. And I recruit for the entire performing arts department,"O"Brion said.

The college's performing arts department includes vocals, music, band and theater. Clearly, O'Brion's is a demanding position.

O'Brion began her position at Iowa Central June 20.

"I love my job," she said. "It's my passion, and it feels so good to be back in my element and doing what I love to do."

O'Brion has been dancing her entire life, she said.

"I grew up dancing, and I went off to college and danced," she said. "It lets me express who I am, in an art form. And I just love to teach and help others, kids, gain that knowledge and love for dance as well."

O'Brion has an extensive dance background. She trained at Hollingsworth School of Dance and Gymnastics starting at age 3 and through high school. She did competitive dancing at numerous competitions yearly. As a student at Iowa Central, she was a member of its dance team for a year before transferring to the University of Northern Iowa, where she danced on their dance team for two years. She has also been hired as a choreographer by schools, and by groups and soloists.

After graduating, she took the position of performing arts coordinator at Iowa Central, where she can continue dancing.

As a Fort Dodge native, O'Brion knows that the community supports and enjoys the art and sport of dance.

"Dance is something the community always embraces," she said. "They're always looking for new and upcoming things for their children to be involved in, and we have two studios in Fort Dodge that just continue to grow and progress."

This enthusiasm for dance has even extended to Iowa Central, O'Brion said.

"Now that the college has the dance team, people are coming from out of town to come to Fort Dodge to dance, especially at college," she said.

O'Brion does consider dance to be a sport.

"If you compete in it, I think it's a sport," she said. "If you sweat, if you work hard, I really think it's a sport and it's growing constantly."

O'Brion has already held auditions and begun practice with the Iowa Central dance team. They are meeting every week in preparation for National Dance Alliance Camp in St. Charles, Mo.

"They can train for a few days and learn some choreography, and it's actually where they're able to qualify for a bid to go to nationals," she said.

O'Brion said once the year begins in August, the team will be busy at competitions and football games, among other endeavors. Not to mention, recruiting.

"We'll be busy," she said. "It's very fun. I love it."

Contact Brandon L. Summers at (515) 573-2141 or



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