Last year, St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy (SPCAA) in Geneva, was awarded $11,400 for their Dance Floor for Youth Development project from the Rochester Area Community Foundation. The grant funds, from the Ralph C. Wilson Legacy Youth Sports Fund, provided a new Marley dance floor that will help strengthen the Academy’s overall dance studio, drawing greater student attendance and expanding the program offerings. It will also improve the safety and positive experience for the dancers.
A handful from St. Peter’s and the Academy’s boards, parents, faculty, staff and community members helped install the floor over two days. Regular practice sessions have already resumed in the space as well as rehearsals for the dance studio’s upcoming performance of Peter and the Wolf at Hobart & William Smith Colleges.
Dance classes provide a social outlet for kids. Attending lessons regularly can help young children develop their social skills. The National Dance Education Organization states ballet and other dance forms help foster teamwork, communication, trust, and cooperation. They can help children forge new friendships, overcome shyness or awkwardness in social situations and reduce fears associated with being in a group and performing to an audience. Dance can also help to improve children’s mental and emotional health. The Brighton Ballet Theater asserts that training in classical ballet instills a sense of pride and accomplishment, which can boost self-esteem. As children improve and master more challenging movement combinations, they feel more self-assured, which can carry over into other areas of their lives. Dance training can be a great way to relax and use excess energy productively.
St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy believes arts are central to personal growth and contributes favorably to an individual’s general health and wellbeing, both physical and emotional. The Academy provides high quality instruction in music and dance to students of all ages and levels of skill regardless of financial means, race, gender, religion or ethnic origin. Our mission “Arts For All” is to create a rich cultural environment accessible to all through classes, workshops, and performances.