Kelly Charlton is the Director of Pacific West Performing Arts and the PacWest Performing Company.
Kelly opened PacWest in 2004, seeing a need for a family-friendly studio that allows kids to participate in as much or as little dance as they and their parents felt they could handle. Over the 20+ years she has taught she's seen kids forced into a choice between dance and soccer, dance and cheerleading, or even dance and school. Her vision was a studio that delivered high quality training but kept requirements realistic and, at the very core, kept classes fun.
Kelly has performed regionally and nationally with a multitude of performing groups and in a ton of different genres -- hip hop, tap, modern, etc -- all in an attempt to find her 'dance home.' She loved each style but wasn't feeling fulfilled as a performer. At the age of 33 she knew that her performing days were probably behind her, and she should focus on being the best studio owner she could be. Around that same time she was starting to attend Seahawks games on a regular basis. At a freezing November game in 2009 she looked down at the Sea Gals and thought "I'm 10 years older than they are, but I'm going to try out anyway." She made the team that year, and received the highest score two of the four years she tried out in a field of up to 250 girls. She was immediately put into a leadership role as a squad leader. The Sea Gals provided the perfect mix of teaching, performing, precision dancing, being glamorous (who knew?) and getting to be a part of something bigger -- the greatest four-years the Hawks have ever known. She found her dance home.
Being a studio owner, teaching five days a week, and being an NFL cheerleader was no easy feat, but in retrospect it was the best four years of her life. She performed in Hong Kong, befriended Hall of Famer Warren Moon, was interviewed on New Day Northwest and Evening Magazine, and most importantly travelled to NY/NJ for Super Bowl XLVIII. Her passion for football and performing for the 12's revitalized her passion for teaching, and she loved being able to share this with her students.
Kelly is now retired from the Seahawks, but continues to teach and choreograph for the best football sisterhood in the NFL. She is also incredibly happy to be at the studio more, inspiring her students to find their passion.