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Calvin Bittner '17

Image of Calvin BittnerCalvin Bittner graduated from The Hartt School in 2017 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and with University Honors. Growing up in North Carolina, Calvin was homeschooled, and at the age of eleven began studying dance at the Rocky Mount Dance Academy. He then attended the Raleigh School of Ballet where he studied until graduating high school.

Calvin was inspired to become a dancer because of his sister, who is also a graduate of The Hartt School. After taking dance classes for a few years, she convinced Calvin to try, and he has been dancing ever since.

At his time at Hartt, Calvin found the community to be very welcoming and supportive. He credits The Hartt School for preparing him for his current career by teaching him life skills such as organization, time management, stress management, focus and concentration, research skills, writing skills, networking, and more. He has learned to be versatile and adaptable and to face problems head on and from all angles.

One of Calvin's greatest accomplishments at The Hartt School was the creation of a piece entitled What Happened At The Garden Party. This piece was choreographed for his senior choreography project in the fall of 2016. In addition to the creating the choreography, Calvin also composed the music. The piece was featured at the American College Dance Association New England festival in March of 2017. What Happened at The Garden Party was selected to be performed at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in August of 2017. Fewer than ten pieces from the regional ACDA festivals were invited to perform at Jacob’s Pillow.

Now that Calvin has graduated, he plans on freelance choreographing, dancing, and teaching dance. He has accepted a position as a dancer with the Vivid Ballet in Hartford.

His advice for an incoming dance student? “Time management and organization is a must, and don't overload yourself. Keep a positive attitude, communicate with your teachers and classmates, and don't be resistant to change. You will change here, I can guarantee it.”