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Johnstown Concert Ballet has been around for 50 years.

By Arlene Johns

Dancers in tights and toe shoes gracefully swept across the stage at Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center at Pitt Johnstown as Johnstown Concert Ballet performed its production of "Beauty and the Beast" this spring. Belle gave her heart to the much-feared beast as Gaston lost his battle for the beauty. The feather duster and candlestick flirted as cups, saucers and tea pots danced for joy. And through it all, Carla Prucnal watched each movement from behind the side curtains - as she has done for the past 50 years.

She has taught hundreds of would-be dancers their pirouettes and arabesques. Many have gone on to dance for professional companies or teach dance themselves. But they are not likely to forget what they learned in Johnstown. "They graduate and go on to another company, but they tell me they want to come back. They miss it when they leave here," Prucnal says. Prucnal founded Johnstown Concert Ballet, the city’s first regional ballet company, in 1965 and serves as its artistic director.

Prucnal founded Johnstown Concert Ballet, the city's first regional ballet company, in 1965 and serves as its artistic director.

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