With all the cheer that surrounds the holiday season, one local middle school classroom incorporated their own, through dancing.
When it comes to swing dancing, Elegance Ballroom Dance Studio owner Leslie Lee Knows how to get anyone’s feet moving.
“Because of the changes that middle schoolers are going through, I think it’s absolutely crucial for them. So, really, I like to get with children in that forth to eight grade age range, because, again, it teaches them the respect and it teaches them self-confidence that they really don’t have in other venues,” said Lee.
While also managing her studio, Lee travels all over the state to teach children within schools.
“I think it’s a great experience to learn social skills, and this is just one area that students can learn how to interact with each other in a fun setting. One thing I didn’t learn when I was young was how to dance with a partner. I missed that. I think it’s something they’ll use later in life,” said Sherri Thornton, who is the teacher of the Cyber Foundations II 8th grade class.
It’s not only the dance moves that she hopes to teach them, but to teach them life lessons, as well.
“I really want to work with the children using dance as kind of a vehicle to teach social graces. So, you know, we’re teaching them respect for their partner and working together as a team to see what they can accomplish. We also try to put together the history and culture of the dance that we’re working on to blend in with their curriculum of what they’re currently studying,” said Lee.
According to Lee, with most dances originating from other countries and cultures, swing dancing is one of the few that originated right here in the United States in the 1940’s in New York.