Article: Inspiring the Next Generation of Dancers

Inspiring the Next Generation of Dancers

Group shot of the Monday group of Dance Excel students

Every year since 2011, Churchville-Chili High School dance students have used the holidays as an opportunity to act as role models for younger students and introduce them to the joys of dance. Over the course of two days, several teams of dancers from grades 9-12 visit a district elementary school, performing a holiday dance they’ve choreographed and then teaching their audiences a simple dance routine. Last year’s health restrictions limited this interaction to a remote online video performance, but this December the tradition is happily back ? live and in person!  

“I’m so excited to bring dance back in person at Churchville Elementary School,” said high school dance instructor Janelle Hernandez. “Everyone was laughing, smiling and dancing together!”

CES physical education teachers Bethany Matsko and Chester Palozzi organized this season’s festive dance outreach program along with Hernandez. Their kindergarten through third grade students were excited to meet their guests ? some of whom had once been CES students themselves, and who fondly remembered their own holiday introduction to dance.

Each class began with an exciting dance and gymnastic performance by the visitors, set to a Christmas medley, that induced oohs and aahs and loud applause. Younger students had a chance to ask questions and learn a little bit about the older students. Then they separated into small groups to learn their own dance moves to the song “Jingle Bell Rock.” Before long, everyone was dancing together for an appreciative audience of teachers and CES Principal David Johnson.

CES students learning a routineParticipating high school students from the Dance Excel classes included:
On Monday, Dec. 13: Ashlyn Broussard, Ali DeMatteo, Anna DiGaetano, Kyra Fry, Kylie Green, Annamaria Hagen, Alexis Jeffers, Madison Lass, Jessica Magguilli, Valerie Manczak, Abbigail Rioux, Rachael Romesser and Jordan Sassone.

On Tuesday, Dec. 14: Alyssa Benedetto, Marina Borchers, Camryn Broussard, Madison Capierseho, Kaitlyn Cope, Mia Gonzalez, Cailyn Hubble, Madelyn Keymel, Kenzie O'Donnell, Chloe Osterling, Tessa Patchen, Isabella Pimm, Chiara Terranova, Sam Wadkins and Sophie Wanck-Kann.

Churchville-Chili’s High School dance program gives interested students an opportunity to explore a wide array of dance genres and styles, along with dance history and choreography. It is a great option for students who want to experience a more creative way to stay active and healthy.

The school’s annual student dance recital features solos, duets and class routines from many talented young dancers. This year, the performance is scheduled for June 8, 2022 at 7 p.m. in the CCPAC. It will be free and open for the community.

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