If there’s anything kids really love to do, it’s moving and dancing.
So, with that in mind, this year, the Stoughton Area School District’s Summer Excel program has partnered with Madison Ballet to provide new opportunities for kids to learn the art of dance – and have fun while dancing. summer.
Erin Conrad, director of SASD Summer Excel, said the district approached Madison Ballet CEO Jonathan Solari, a Stoughton resident, about bringing the ballet to the city, and he was happy to agree.
“Jonathan was thrilled to help us bring creative movement and ballet to our SASD students,” Conrad wrote in an email last week.
District paraeducator and certified music teacher Angie Kettner has agreed to team teach with two Madison Ballet guest artists, Lily Edgar and Sarah Minton. Conrad said that while she wasn’t sure at first if there would be enough interest to fill a class, the Creative Movement class was the first to fill up, with an “extremely long waiting list. “.
The course, which ended last week, was an inspiration to students and staff, Kettner said, as the young dancers learned and encouraged each other to learn.
“A lot of them were hesitant to let loose at first, but now they’re dancing hard in every class,” she wrote to the Hub in an email. “It’s comforting to know that some of these dancers would never have had the chance to try ballet without this program. Who knows where this experience will take them in the future?
Minton said she loved teaching young students, who were “so eager to dance and learn new steps.”
“I love sharing with them different ways to move our bodies and it’s really fun to watch them explore what they can do!” she says.
Edgar said the students bring “excitement and creativity” to every class.
“As a dancer myself, it’s very inspiring,” she said.
District Director of Program and Instruction Kate Ahlgren said the district is “eager to further explore partnerships with Madison Ballet and other organizations to expand the range of our offerings for students. “.
“We are always looking for ways to deepen both SASD learning and belonging, and these expressive, lively and dynamic movement classes offered a unique opportunity to do both,” she wrote in an email to the Hub.
Conrad said she thinks this summer’s lineup is just the beginning of a “budding relationship” with Madison Ballet. Also principal of Kegonsa Elementary School, she said she was “already developing ideas with our other elementary principals for curricular linkages.”
“In the third year, as part of our language arts program, our students grapple with the questions: what makes an artist? What inspires artists? Why is art important? Konrad said. “Dancer Alvin Ailey is one of the artists we study. Maybe this year we could even take a trip to see a ballet in person! »
Contact journalist Scott De Laruelle @[email protected]