Carol City High School

Carol City Middle School's Growing Dance and Music Programs

Honestly, it's hard to tell the Carol City Middle School drum line just formed three weeks ago. They sound more polished than that.

The dance program at the school started from scratch in January, when the principal brought in an experienced dance teacher to make something out of nothing.

"So what we're doing now is we're establishing a new voice for the kids through the arts," said Constance McIntyre, the dance program founder. "It's ground zero for everyone."

Back in December, the principal polled the student body about elective choices. The kids said they wanted dance and music.

"So we started with a couple of dance classes during the day, and that has kind of snowballed into what we have now which is a full dance program, as well as a music program," explained principal Derek Negron.

Figuring it takes a village to raise the arts, Negron got the neighbors involved. Students from Barbara Hawkins Elementary School, which is next door, walk over once a week for dance lessons with the big kids who they literally look up to.

All the kids are rookies when it comes to learning the art of dance, but for the older kids, they're also figuring out, for the first time, what it means to be a role model.

"Oh my goodness, they're learning patience, a great deal of patience, they're learning about themselves, they see themselves through the eyes of the child," McIntyre said. "So sometimes it's not about the dance but it's about the attitude and what you represent."

They even have high school involvement. Eight students from Carol City High School, which is just around the corner, are mentoring their younger peers. It's like they're getting the prospects ready for the big leagues, and everyone benefits.

"We know that if kids are really excited about an opportunity or a program they're going to be more likely to be invested in what we're doing here at the school so to have arts, I mean it's invaluable," Negron said.

Invaluable, and they're just getting started. The kids are looking forward to their first-ever recital, a dance showcase on May 30th.

Break a leg!

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