Metropolitan Ministries, Straz Center open up world of dance to elementary students
TAMPA, Fla. - A partnership between the Straz Center and Metropolitan Ministries has kept elementary students on their toes for 16 years.
In 2006, Metropolitan Ministries reached out to the theater in hopes of making ballet classes available to students at Sullivan Partnership School on the campus of Metro Ministries.
"I believe dance and all arts education truly should be for everybody, and we all need those things," stated ballet instructor Hannah Box.
Box uses dance as an escape from the world. Once a week, she teaches the students at Sullivan Partnership School and hopes students can view ballet the same way.
"That's my way to figure things out, and everyone deserves to learn that tool," she said.
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Box is the outreach arts instructor for the Straz Center. She's been teaching at Sullivan for two years.
For 16 years, Metropolitan Ministries and the Straz Center has brought ballet to elementary school students.
"I believe dance and all arts education truly should be for everybody," she explained.
Many of Sullivan's students live on the Metro Ministries campus. The school was the Straz Center's first partner for the Straz Arts Education Partnership Program.
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"For many students, gaining this confidence in themselves and in their body, their communication skills improve. They gain confidence. This is my second year at Sullivan Elementary doing this program, and even seeing the growth from students who started with me last year to this year is just huge in the way that they can walk into this room and express themselves," Box said.
To kick off November, 96 students received free ballet shoes.
To kick off November, 96 students received free ballet shoes. Both partners look forward to the annual tradition.
"To see the students grow and gain confidence in their bodies and gain confidence in their movement, it is just so rewarding," Box said. "To see them fall in love with something new is just the best."
The Straz Center currently has 48 education partners.
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