Leaping at a chance to dance
Clad in ballet shoes and leggings, three dozen third-graders from Seattle and Bellevue school districts learned stretches, proper posture...
Clad in ballet shoes and leggings, three dozen third-graders from Seattle and Bellevue school districts learned stretches, proper posture and leaps during their first lesson Tuesday at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School.
About 35 boys and 30 girls were selected from more than 1,600 who auditioned for the DanceChance program, which aims to discover talented public-school students and give them an opportunity to pursue a dance career, said spokeswoman Judith May Austin.
Students receive a full scholarship for the 10-week program, free tickets to performances and a tote bag with dance attire and shoes.
In its 14th year, DanceChance teaches students the fundamentals of ballet, modern, jazz and character dance and allows them to perform in Pacific Northwest Ballet productions, such as "The Nutcracker" and "Swan Lake."
Angela Dunavant, principal of Bellevue's Ardmore Elementary School, said the program helps build confidence and exposes students to the arts.
"All of our third-graders have learned more about ballet and that it requires athleticism and discipline, like many of the sports they are familiar with," she said.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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