Bancroft Elementary hosts DEA Youth Dance Program

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Program seeks to provide alternative outlet to ‘at risk’ behaviors

By Kim Chiomento, Staff Writer, The Times

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Bancroft students enjoying the DEA Youth Dance Program kickoff assembly

NEW GARDEN – Third, fourth and fifth grade Bancroft students were treated to a sampling of dance styles including samba, salsa, step, ballet and hip-hop as a part of a celebratory and very energized kick-off assembly last week. The assembly featured dancers from Washington, DC based ClancyWorks Dance Company who are partner members of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Foundation’s Youth Dance Program.

In addition to performing, members of ClancyWorks spoke to the students about how dance can help kids focus on positive health, maintaining a good attitude, teamwork, fairness with friends, responsibility and provide an outlet for expression and stress. Dancers also took time to share their diverse backgrounds and fielded questions from the enthusiastic student audience.

The popular nation-wide DEA Youth Dance Program offers 20 weeks of free after school dance instruction by a certified dance teacher at no cost to the students or schools. The goal is to help kids feel a sense of belonging and provide an alternative outlet to ‘at risk’ choices and behaviors.

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Bancroft’s message partners perfectly with DEA Youth Dance Program initiatives

Bancroft’s program is being tailored for fourth and fifth graders to help them get ready for the Talent Show and will incorporate tips on choreography and staging a performance in conjunction with teaching fundamentals of dance. Bancroft will host 10 weeks of after school instruction Mondays this spring; and an additional 10 weeks of instruction in the fall; students do need to provide a consent form to participate.

Bancroft mom and DEA Youth Dance Regional Director, Kelly Kuder, says “It’s a great joy to see that one student, who may be quietly sitting in the back of the room, find the confidence to come out of their shell, enjoy the art of dance and eventually end-up dominating the stage…It is wonderful to be able to offer kids a message of never giving up on your dreams, help them build self-esteem, experience the benefits of working as a team, and hear that they are good kids, all why having fun.”

During the assembly both students and teachers had the opportunity to learn dance moves, perform on stage and experience the fun first-hand. Dancers personally spoke to the students about the importance of eating well, getting good sleep, caring about their bodies and how dance has allowed them to stay out of trouble and express themselves on both good days and bad. To enjoy videos, and some additional pictures of all the fun, please visit The Kennett Times FaceBook site: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Kennett-Times/203530116352753.

Members of ClancyWorks Dance Co. and DEA Regional Director, Kelly Kuder (center), enjoy a pre-performance moment

Members of ClancyWorks Dance Co. and DEA Regional Director, Kelly Kuder (center), enjoy a pre-performance moment

To donate or to bring a DEA Youth Dance program to your school visit www.deaeducationalfoundation.org today. There is currently a waiting list due to the popularity of this program. If you are interested in volunteering or getting involved, contact Kelly Kuder: kellykuder@mac.com.

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