Dancing is her passion. Kelly Phelan has been taking dance instruction classes — from ballet and tap to jazz, Broadway and lyrical — for just about half of her 8-year-old life. The youth said there's nothing she'd rather do than tap her toes and move her feet.
But, there's more to this week's Valley Sun All-Star than rhythm, tempo and talent. The Palm Crest Elementary School third-grader also has a passion for people and making life a little brighter for those less fortunate.
Kelly's concern and empathy came about in part because she's lived through a small portion of what some sick children must go through on a daily basis. When the youth was in pre-school, her hair began falling out — for no apparent reason. “I lost half my hair and I was scared it would never grow back,” Kelly said, adding that she was “so happy when it did.”
During the months of having one full side of her scalp bare, the little girl heard about Locks of Love and how that organization crafts wigs of donated human hair for children who have lost their locks due to cancer and other illnesses. “That's when I decided, if my hair grows back, I'm going to donate part of it for other children,” Kelly said. “I wanted to help the other kids 'cause I knew what it was like to be without hair.”
Kelly recently donated a length of her hair to the organization.
“Kelly is a very caring and great kid,” her mom, Lisa Phelan said. “She loves to help other people.”
Kelly's dance instructor, Julie Stallcup, owner of Revolution Dance Center in Tujunga, also sees a compassionate side to her young student, who enjoys helping other students on her team in the center's JK's Dance Company as well as learning new dance steps, routines and movements.
“Kelly is a very focused young dancer,” Stallcup said. “She strives to be her best and she loves her team-family. Her goal is to be an all around person and to grow closer to her team, which is all her family, and to push herself to be better than the best she can be.”
Kelly is the middle child of Lisa and Scott Phelan. The family has lived in La Cañada all of Kelly's life. She has a brother, Jack, 12, a student at Frostig Center in Pasadena, and a sister, Casey, 7, a second-grader at Palm Crest Elementary School. She also has a beloved dog named Charlie.
Kelly said she wants to become a dance teacher or a veterinarian when she grows up, because she enjoys teaching and animals.
She also loves to read and traveling with her family. She is enjoyed a past trip to Las Vegas and is looking forward to a family vacation to Maui later this summer.
Kelly has been a Girl Scout for the past three years and has participated in Y-Tribes with her dad for four years. She also studies piano and is an excellent student at school, her mom said.