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Dancing darlings

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Bowers team shimmies at Princess

By Cindy Simpson

 

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Keeping a smile on while learning complex dance moves is hard for some of the most seasoned dancers, but the girls of the Bowers Elementary Dance Team master it beautifully.
Their instructor, teacher Dawn Jenkins, an experienced dancer herself, spoke of the difficulty of a particular dance they’ll be performing to a lively Justin Bieber tune. She was impressed with how well the students kept their poise throughout the dance.
“I’m telling you what, this dance is hard girls. I’m out of breath. Last year did we do anything this hard? No,” Jenkins said.
They’ll be taking their moves to many different locations this winter. They’ll be dancing in the Harriman Christmas Parade on Nov. 29; at the Princess Theatre with the S.E.C.C. Clogging Company on Dec. 15 for the Caroling Around the Trees charity event to benefit Hands of Mercy food pantry; and at a local nursing home on Dec. 18.
Principal Candace Lett said the dance team has frequently represented the school in the community. She said it has been particularly touching to watch the youth and elderly interact at the nursing home.
“They went to all the rooms,” Lett said.
“They asked us to come every month, but we can’t do that,” Jenkins added.
Morgan Grigsby said the nursing home trip is the highlight of the dancing season for her.
“I like people feeling like they are appreciated when we dance for them,” Grigsby said.
The residents enjoy visiting with the girls after their performance, and the girls bring small gifts.
“Last year they gave us cupcakes. It was fun. They love it,” said Sydney Fisher.
A number of dances are being prepared for the variety of performances the group has this year.
Dancing is a passion for the girls, many of whom have danced for other organizations.
“It makes me feel happy. It makes me feel like I’m supposed to be dancing,” said Saddie Swafford.
She’s looking forward to the Christmas Parade performance, which will include pompons and be to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”
“You have a big crowd. You get to show people what you can do and how you can do it. You just put your heart to it and say we can,” Swafford said.
Fisher, who has been dancing with Arts in Motion since she was a tot, is looking forward to the Christmas parade, too.
“You get to see all your friends and show them what you can do,” Fisher said.
Emma Ward and Blaklee Turner take clogging together and are excited about the Princess because of their opportunity to showcase that skill as well as their dance team abilities.
“Mrs. Jenkins, our teacher, does clogging too; she’s in the adult class,” Ward said.
The fact the Princess has been restored to its splendor excites the girls.
“It is kind of a little newish, and I’ve never really been there,” Ward said.
The dance team consists of fourth and fifth graders and includes: Ananda Bertram, Kylie Bullington, Camyla Campbell, Taele Cohoon, Makenzie Crass, Kortney Culy, Kylee Currier, Alexia Davis, Sydney Fisher, Emilie Goddard, Aaliyah Goins, Aleena Goldston, Morgan Grigsby, Haylee Hanshaw, Macey Hendrickson, Morgan Liles, Baylee Mize, Naytaya Moore, Kendra Qualls, Harlea Shillings, Saddie Swafford, Blaklee Turner, Latasha Walsh, Emma Ward and Marisa Webb.