And the vote is in…today I was told my students are the best dancers at our school! Woohoo!
For those of you who aren’t aware, the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) is an INCREDIBLE organization. Not only is it a highly-acclaimed dance program that sends students to some of the best performing arts school in the country, but their outreach is something to applaud. CPYB has a program called DISCOER DANCE. This is a 4 tiered program.
- Tier 1: Exposes children in the capital region to professional, live theatre productions such as Hansel and Gretel, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, The Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake.
- Tier 2: 1st and 2nd grade children are given the opportunity to experience a dance class in their own public school setting.
- Tier 3: Interested and talented children are invited to participate in a formal fifteen-week workshop at CPYB’s studios in Carlisle.
- Tier 4: Scholarships are awarded to selected students to fund their formal study of classical ballet at CPYB.
This is such a great thing for any student to participate in. It is especially significant for students like ours who may never get an opportunity to be exposed to this genre of entertainment or participate in dance classes like this.
Today was the day that the dance instructor (a former student from our school!!) came to our school and taught the students. The students worked on balance, classical ballet, stretching, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The instructor was captivating. He had quite a way with kids and every kid was engaged. We got a HUGE compliment from the CPBY instructors. They said how impressed they were with every kid being focused the entire time. They even commented about the one student who stood in the back and barely moved the whole time. As the instructor put it, he clearly thought, “ok this isn’t my thing, but I’ll just stand here and watch and let everyone do their thing.” I had a little boy who happened to be front and center who just shined and we all noticed. He is incredibly sweet, but academics don’t come easy. On the contrary, he got the dance! By the end he was anticipating the choreography and saying the counts himself. Overall, all the kids shined and got the gold star for the school :)
After a year that has started off in a cloud of negativity, today was just what I needed. I laughed and loved watching my students just be kids who were willing to dance no matter who was watching. I saw my students through the eyes of strangers who saw their strengths and talents without a second look. Thank you to my joyful kiddos and the incredible staff at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet for all that you do for the kids in our community.
Check out CPYB. It is an organization worth knowing.
I can’t post a video of my kiddos (Oh how I wish I had captured their dancing to cheer me up on hard days), so here’s Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Just imagine a group of diverse 7/8 year olds who learned this dance in a period of 10 minutes performing Thriller. Go ahead, try not to smile.