Pro dancers prepare Philadelphia students to take center stage

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Monday, March 27, 2023
Pro dancers prepare Philadelphia students to take center stage
The Dance eXchange program pairs dancers and musicians with local students who can follow in their fancy footsteps!

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "I was a very quiet kid in middle school. You know, I was just drawing instruments," said Kevin Harris II. "And I saw my friends breakdancing."

Harris decided to join in the fun and eventually became a street dancer. And his hobby quickly turned into a passion.

"I've went through college, I've went through performing art schools and here I am," he said. "I am teaching kids how to be themselves through dance."

Harris is now a teaching artist with BalletX, a dance company with the moniker of "Philadelphia's Premier Contemporary Ballet." He instructs elementary school students in the art of dancing through their in-school program, Dance eXchange.

Dance eXchange is now part of four schools in Philadelphia, including Stephen Girard Elementary in South Philadelphia. There, Action News captured the final practice before students took their routine to the Mandell Theater to perform for family and friends.

"We're hoping to instill confidence in them, teamwork, and build their self esteem that can carry over into the classrooms," said BalletX Program Coordinator, Alisa Moore. "And as years go on, we hope to be involved within more schools in the Philadelphia area."

One 3rd-grade student, Mason Hollis, was particularly fond of the Dance eXchange program that took him out of the classroom twice per week.

"First I couldn't dance at that time, but what changed is that, when I got in the program, I got better at it," said Hollis. "My dream is that, when I grow up, I want to be a professional dancer."

Students will continue performing at the Mandell Theater until March 29, 2023. To learn more about BalletX and their Dance eXchange program, visit their website.

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