Patriot dancers teach today’s youth

Shannon Heckt

Kids run everywhere. Energy is high. The Kidz Bop version of Macklemore’s Thrift Shop is playing in the background. The teacher summons the kids to attention and they all gather around her. She tells the students to begin their “animal” stretches, and every kid bends  his/her leg to do the “flamingo”. After stretches they practice their wild and sporadic hip hop dance moves to prepare for their upcoming performance.

This is what happens in one of the many dance classes that are taught by Liberty dancers. Senior Rachel Wittenberg and Senior Ryana Jackson, among others, teach weekly dance classes to elementary age children.

“I teach them how to count music and the thing we work on most is performance and having fun with it,” Jackson said.

Jackson and Wittenberg teach hip hop classes to kindergarteners, who learn basic level dance moves and how to perform in front of others. At the end of each class the students will perform what they learned that day for their parents.

“The best experience is watching them do it on stage on their own in front of their parents,” Jackson said.

The Patriot dancers who teach say it is a very rewarding experience and enjoy having their efforts be shown in the kids’ dedication and performances.

“There are those kids who really listen to me and smile when they are dancing. Those are the kids that remind me why I teach,” Wittenberg said.

After a year of classes the kids perform on stage in front of their parents. The student teachers can’t help but feel proud of the kids and of themselves because they both put in many hours and hard work and in the end all their efforts are clearly shown.