Alumni Spotlight: Q&A with Kelly Schmitt '16

October 31, 2018

Indiana Pacers dance team; Schmitt is at the far right in the top row. (Credit: Pacers Sports & Entertainment)

Each month, Bellarmine University's Alumni Association profiles a graduate who is up to something interesting.

This month's alumni spotlight features a conversation with Kelly Schmitt '16, a Chick-fil-A catering manager who is also a dancer and ambassador for the Indiana Pacers NBA team. 

She graduated from Bellarmine in 2016 with a degree in psychology and a minor in exercise science and was - naturally - a member of Bellarmine's dance team, which won a National Dance Alliance Division II national championship in 2015.

Bellarmine: Did you plan to keep dancing after college, or did you think you'd stop after your time with Bellarmine's dance team was over?
Kelly Schmitt: Initially I did not plan to continue dancing. However, one day after graduating I just realized I wasn’t done. 

BU: What made you want to try out as a dancer for the Pacers?
Schmitt: I wanted to dance professionally and considered multiple avenues to achieve that. The team atmosphere and style of NBA dancers seemed most similar to Bellarmine’s dance team. I chose the Pacers initially because they are close, but I fell in love with the coach and veterans when I took a clinic there to prepare for auditions.
Bellarmine's 2015 NDA championship team.
BU: What's the time commitment like?
Schmitt: We practice twice a week from 6 to 10 p.m., with usually two home games a week in addition to appearances. Compared to collegiate dancing, we are learning at a much more rapid rate. There’s not much time for individual feedback, so a lot falls on the individual if she isn’t keeping up.

In less than a month we’ve already learned five full dances, four timeouts, and performed one of the dances. Time management is crucial, which I’m sure any Bellarmine student has learned! It’s important to have a company that supports your life outside of work. Since I’m not in the full swing of balancing a full-time job and NBA games, I’m not entirely sure what the days will look like just yet. [Note: we spoke to Kelly shortly before the NBA season started]

BU: What opportunities do you have to put your Bellarmine education and Bellarmine's values into practice?
Schmitt: Along with Chick-fil-A, being an ambassador for the Pacers organization gives me the opportunity to connect with more people from different populations. It also allows me to continue my call to serve others throughout the community. Additionally, I love to build others up, and I hope to achieve that for my teammates and coworkers. Being a Pacemate will allow me to maintain Bellarmine’s values of keeping a healthy balance between mind, body and spirit.
BU: Why did you choose Bellarmine?
Schmitt: I never understood what people were talking about when they said “you just know” until I visited Bellarmine.

BU: Sum up your Bellarmine experience in five words.
Schmitt: Wouldn’t trade it for anything!

BU: Anything else you want us to know?
Schmitt: I hope to see you at a game!

Schmitt's family showed up to support her at the Pacers dance team tryout.

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