- Faith & Family
Exposure to the arts is arguably one of the most important elements to the full development of children. Recently students at Miami Northwestern Senior High School and Charles R. Drew Middle School got a lesson in dance. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Dance residency program was held at Drew, 1801 NW 60th ST.
“The students were very excited, they embraced us and I think they are having a really good time,” said Nasha Thomas-Schmitt, national director of AileyCamp. “The arts require discipline, commitment and focus. These are things that carry on as everyday life skills. I think that one of the high points for us is to give these young people a platform to have a voice where they can express themselves through dance as well as writing.”
Thomas-Schmitt has been a part of the famed dance theater for 12 years and now directs workshops around the country. Through the program students were able to learn different dancing techniques from Thomas-Schmitt and other professional instructors. In addition to dancing, students were engaged in various writing exercises that were aimed at helping them to be creative in other areas of the arts, specifically literature.
“To me dancing is what you feel,” said Adrianna Lanier, 13, Drew 8th grader. “In dancing there is no right or wrong you do what feels right to you.”
Students learned the biography of Ailey, who was raised by a single mother during the Great Depression. They also learned about his work during the civil rights movement.
Jazmine Edgecomb, 13, Drew 7th grader also said she enjoyed the dance experience.
“I like dancing because I find that it helps me to express myself through movement,” she said.
By Randy Grice