Tuesday, November 8 | Submitted by Caitlin Kissee | Downtown Central
Twenty one students at Williams Elementary had the chance to dance every week with Springfield Ballet instructor, Teresa Simpson. Dance Chance, formed in 2007 in collaboration with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, is a partnership between Springfield Ballet and Caring Communities that strives to make quality dance training accessible to all students, regardless of socio-economic status. Every Wednesday afternoon, Simpson travels to a Title 1 elementary school and leads a class of 3rd-5th graders in dance movement. The program is free to participants. Simpson taught six weeks at Williams, and is now repeating the program at Robberson Elementary.
Concurrently, another Springfield Ballet instructor, Carla Williams, teaches Dance Chance at the Springfield Community Center on Friday afternoons at 4 p.m. Dance Chance offers far more benefits to its students than just new moves. LeeAnn Camey, Community Development Specialist at Robberson Elementary observed, “the students who participate in Dance Chance learn discipline, self-confidence, commitment, and so much more.” More than 200 students have been reached by this program in its 4 years of existence. Dance Chance is made possible this fall through a grant from Great Southern Bank.
Springfield Ballet is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to developing a ballet company, and to helping expand public awareness of, participation in, and appreciation of a broader range of the arts through dance.