Dance classes at Straz teach more than technique

- A talented group of dancers helped FOX 13’s Chip Brewster leap into beginning ballet and tap dancing at the Straz Center Tuesday.

Some five and six-year-old ballerinas already have more experience than Chip in the art form, but they welcomed him to their class with enthusiasm.

Moms and dads were also on hand to help Chip learn the art of the so-called ballet bun – a hairstyle known as a staple in the world of dance.

Tuesday, Miss Susan Downy was helping students learn to connect several types of dance steps, which she said helps build coordination, spatial awareness, and memory.

The beginning ballet and tap dancing classes are offered at the Straz Center’s Patel Conservatory, which provides performing arts training for students ages three through adults with a varying range of abilities.

Many young people learn the basics of ballet and other forms of dance through the Patel Conservatory Youth Ballet program. There are also programs for teens and young adults who hope to make dancing a career or those who simply enjoy the artistic expression, fitness, and experience of performing arts.

The conservatory also offers group and private classes, as well as camps and workshops, in theater and music.

For more information on classes and programs offered at the Straz Center’s Patel Conservatory, visit

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