Through Anderson Grove Elementary’s new club, students learn to be leaders, teamwork and boogie.
Anderson Grove launched a dance club earlier this year after Olivia Lee, the school’s speech therapist, and Lauren Rutledge, a fifth-grade teacher, teamed up to give students a creative outlet.
“We really wanted to do something that gets kids out there and being active and we knew there were a lot of kids out there who liked to dance for fun,” Lee said.
To be in the club, students had to try with a prepared routine of 30 seconds to one minute.
Based on creativity, dance skills, and preparation, Lee and Rutledge picked 18 of 30 students in grades three through six who tried out for the club.
Although not every student is on the team, Lee said she was happy to give students a chance to explore an activity that impacted her life and that of Rutledge.
Lee said she grew up taking various dance classes while Rutledge was a cheerleader for many years. By launching the club, the two instructors hope to offer club members, who might not otherwise have the chance to attend dance classes.
People also read…
“I was lucky enough to be able to go dancing outside of school,” Lee said. “My school has never had anything like this, so I think it’s pretty awesome that at Anderson Grove we can provide this opportunity.”
At club meetings, which are held for an hour after school on Tuesdays, students learn new dance moves and choreography that are performed at school assemblies.
“My favorite part is seeing the creativity of the students,” Lee said. “They get together and work on teamwork skills and create a routine.”
From jazz and hip hop to line dancing, the group covers an array of dance styles.
In addition to dance moves, Lee said she hopes students at the club will learn leadership, teamwork and collaboration skills because being part of a team means “you share a common goal together”. , she said.
Fourth-grader Callie Privett said she was thrilled to be part of the team.
“I’ve loved dancing for many years and always wanted to be on a dance team in high school, so it prepared me,” Privett said.
Some of her favorite parts of the club, Privett said, are surrounded by supportive people and, of course, fun dance routines.
“The people and the coaches are nice and the dances are great fun. They are kind of sassy dances,” she said.
Lee said she and Rutledge enjoy sharing their love of dance with the students.
“We’re really passionate about it and we love seeing that kids want to explore that interest,” she said. “Dance is so near and dear to my heart because it’s something special. You can be creative, have fun doing it, and you can show emotion through it.