The Impact of Youth Dance Ensemble

The Youth Dance Ensemble (YDE) is Joy of Motion Dance Center’s elite program for the developing young dancer. This pre-collegiate program, with core classes in ballet, jazz, and modern, provides an experience that inspires excellence in dance, education, and life. The guided curriculum for the program is based upon the National Dance Education Organization standards for learning and teaching dance in the arts. In addition to core classes, the YDE program incorporates supplemental study in additional dance forms, dance history, improvisation, and composition, as well as artist residencies and numerous performance opportunities to create a unique, rewarding, and enriching learning experience. Below is a letter to YDE Program Director Helen Hayes from Devona Perrineau, mother of YDE student Bria Mukes. It talks about the positive impact YDE has had on Bria:

Bria MukesI wanted to take a moment to let you know the impact that the YDE program has had on Bria.

At the orientation last year, one of the statements that stood out to me was when you said most of the students grades improve because they have to learn and master time management to get everything done and keep up. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical.

This became such a challenge for Bria and me because I was finishing a Masters program in Advanced Esthetics in addition to working full-time and didn’t know how we would get it all done and keep her grades up.

Well, Bria has made the honor roll every single quarter, she has been nominated for the Junior National Honor Society and the Junior Young Leadership Program by her teachers. She also is one of the volunteers/spokespersons for a nonprofit organization called LoveMyBody. She participates in their Beauty Mark and Healthy Little Cooks campaigns.

Here is my point: she approached me about three weeks ago and asked if she could try out for the school’s talent show. I said sure. She auditioned and got the approval to participate. Bria chose to perform a solo dance piece that she choreographed herself. She didn’t make a fuss, ask for help or anything like that. She was very nonchalant about it all, which made me a little nervous. This past Thursday was the talent show. She was absolutely amazing and came in third place, judged by the teachers.

As her mom and watching her adjust to her first year of middle school so well, I am very proud. I also feel that if it were not for the YDE program, she would never have had the guts or confidence in herself to not just perform a solo piece but choreograph it with no help from anyone. She took it all in stride. Thank you to you and all of her instructors. She is not a shy kid but she was never this confident and I credit it all to the program. We are happy to be a part of it and I am looking forward to her continued growth.

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