Cleo Parker Robinson Summer Dance Institute

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 Have you ever gotten a chance to dance in a different way? I’m talking about something that you may not have ever heard of!

 Have you ever gotten a chance to dance in a different way? I’m talking about something that you may not have ever heard of! A dance that is a bit different than ballet, hip-hop, or jazz. Kids ages 3-12 had the chance to learn about all types of dances in only one week filled with great opportunity at Cleo Parker Robinson Summer Dance Institute.

In just a week, these kids learned about so many cultures and their dances. These include: Mexican folkloric dance, Haitian dance, American hip-hop culture, and West African dance. I went to the place where all the dancing went down and happened to be there just in time to see them learn the Haitian dance. The kids were having so much fun as the bongos were being played and everyone was screaming and dancing and making music and having a blast. The Haitian dance was one that was fun for everyone. McKenna Zinnea, 7 years old who got the opportunity to dance this week, said “ The Haitian dance was my favorite!” and many agreed. After this tiring dance workout, the dance teacher who was actually from Haiti, told stories about what it was like living in her home, and how they would dance, dance, dance, all the time. And by the end of the week, kids knew all of the different dances thanks to the expert teachers they had.

At the end of the week, kids got a chance to show off their skills at the Black Arts Festival in Central City Park. Each group performed one traditional dance, such as ballet or jazz, and then performed one cultural dance such as West African or Mexican Folkloric. All of their performances were great! The crowed was screaming and clapping along to the beat and the whole place was filled with music and dance. And as the great Cleo Parker Robinson exclaimed, “Let the spirit of dance live through you!”