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2008.01.29 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@mail.unomaha.edu

Elementary School Students Become Ballroom Dancers at UNO This Semester

Omaha - The patter of precise, graceful steps echo throughout the Dance Lab at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) this semester, but those filling the dance shoes aren’t traditional college-age students.

Nearly 100 fifth- and sixth-grade students from Omaha Public Schools are participating in free ballroom dance lessons that began Saturday, Jan. 5. The course runs 15 weeks through May 24. The Dance Lab is located inside the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building on the UNO campus.

The remaining class dates are as follows: Feb. 2, 9, 23; March 1, 15, 19; April 5, 19, 26; and May 3, 10, 17, 24. Classes run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The students are enrolled at one of eight OPS elementary schools: Liberty, Druid Hill, Belle Ryan, Harrison, Crestridge, Rose Hill, Fontenelle and Kellom. They previously participated in the 10-week Dancing Classrooms program at their schools, hosted by The ARTery in Omaha.

The New York branch of Dancing Classrooms was featured in the 2005 documentary “Mad Hot Ballroom.” In 2005 Omaha became the second city, after New York, to offer the Dancing Classrooms program. The Dancing Classrooms program is currently in Philadelphia, Dallas/Fort Worth, Newark and Toronto.

The Moving Company at UNO and The ARTery, a private arts organization in Omaha, have organized the lessons, which are funded by a grant from the Sherwood Foundation.

“The partnership between The ARTery and The Moving Company allows young ladies and gentlemen to attend the class on the UNO campus, broadening their background of experience and making the university a regular part of their life,” said Marian Fey, artistic director of The ARTery.

The students receive free shoes and free transportation during the semester. UNO dance instructor Marty Hebert will lead the lessons, along with a staff of other teachers.

“The experience will be an amazing program for these students to become involved with a rigorous dance genre that involves technique, styling, etiquette and promotes self discipline and self esteem,” said Josie Metal-Corbin, director of The Moving Company at UNO.

The Moving Company is UNO’s modern dance performing group and part of the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Auditions are open to all UNO students and members of the Omaha community. It is an intergenerational company with a mission to create new works and to restage historical pieces.

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© 2014 University Communications. voice: 402.554.2129, fax: 402.554.3541, unonews@unomaha.edu