Registration is now open for the inaugural Summer Dance Academy partnership between Baldwin County School District (BCSD) and Allied Arts.
Operating Monday through Thursday from June 7 through July 1, the free program is available to K-12 students and adults in the community at large.
“We want students everywhere who want to dance and who may not be able to afford it,” said Crystal Williams, current dance teacher at Oak Hill Middle School.
Those interested in participating can email Williams at [email protected] for a link to the online entry form.
Organizers are currently planning classes for five different age groups this summer: Elementary Primary, Upper Primary, Middle School, High School and Adult. No prior dance experience is necessary to attend. The program will be open not only to BCSD students and families, but to the community at large, which is why Allied Arts has decided to help fund the new initiative. Bus transportation to and from classes will be provided for students currently enrolled at BCSD, while community participants will need to have their own. Different disciplines such as ballet, jazz, modern and hip hop will be taught in turn by teachers with extensive dance experience. Practicing artists will also give occasional master classes. The whole experience ends with a performance that will take place on the last day of the academy. Class sizes will be limited to meet CDC guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new program is part of the school district’s efforts to provide more fine arts opportunities for its students. Middle and high school each have their own full-time dance instructor, and beginning this school year, the two instructors also began spending time in upper elementary schools. BCSD has begun developing the budget for next year, and included in the proposal is the addition of a full-time elementary level dance instructor, as discussed at the March board meeting. In addition to dance, a music instructor for upper elementary schools and a choir teacher for middle school are also being sought as part of the 2021-22 school year budget.