Use Your Feet and Dance to the Beat!

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Zoe Knight writes, Do you like to dance and learn about new cultures?

Do you like to dance and learn about new cultures? If so, then the Children’s Week of the 16 th Annual International Summer Dance Institute at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance is the place for you. I attended the Children’s Week camp which was held from July 5 th to July 10 th.What I really like about this camp is that each day we learn two different types of dances as well as the history of the dance. Each day started with a Harambee, (which means “all pull together” in Swahili). After the Harambee we attended a technique class, either modern, step, ballet, or jazz. My favorite technique classes were ballet and jazz. Did you know that jazz originated in four different cities including Kansas City and New Orleans? The second class we attended each day was cultural, which included hip-hop, Folklorico, West African, and Haitian. Each cultural class was taught by a special guest teacher. I really liked learning Haitian dance because the movements really seemed to flow together, just one into the next. Lunchtime was fun and the best time to meet new people. Another fun part of the day was when we made a craft that related to the cultural dance we had learned earlier that day. It was really cool learning about cultures from other parts of the world. At the end of each day all of the dancers shared with the rest of the camp and parents what we had learned that day. At first I was nervous to dance in front of everyone, but once I started dancing I had a really good time.This year Children’s Week ended with a special Pamoja (which is a Kiswahili word meaning “together”). The entire camp got to march in the parade and perform at the Colorado Black Arts Festival! Even though it was hot, everyone enjoyed performing and dancing for the community. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance offers dance classes year round and for all ages, so be sure to check them out! Go to www.cleoparkerdance.org for more information.