BEYONDance brings education through dance

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Dancing may not be for everybody but, given the opportunity, it can be.

During the school year 2017-2018, the students at Troy Elementary School had the opportunity to take dancing each week through the BEYONDance outreach program offered though Patti Rutland Jazz-Dothan.

BEYONDance is the largest weekly outreach program in the state. The program is designed to fully engage and improve communication/motor skills, overall physical fitness as well as conduct, focus and social skills.

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Kelly Sanders of Troy said she was introduced to the outreach program through Patti Rutland Jazz in Dothan and quickly saw the value of such a program for youths in Troy.

BEYONDance (Bringing Education to Youth through Outreach and Dance) was introduced to Troy City Schools in August 2017 and will be included in the curriculum in 2018-2019.

The cost of the program per child is $12 and is funded through Patti Rutland Jazz, a non-profit organization that consists of a professional dance company, a dance outreach program and a dance studio in Dothan.

“Members of the professional dance company go into the schools to teach the students,” Sanders said. “It was exciting to have professional dancers as teachers.”

During the first year, stretching and movement were important elements of the classes but the dance the TES students learned and enjoyed was hip-hop.

“Not only do the students learn about dance, a recital is planned for them and they have the opportunity to perform on stage,” Sanders said. “BEYONDance is an outstanding program and is a chance for schools to provide an opportunity to learn to appreciate and participate in the soft skills that are not often taught in school.”

Students who enjoy dancing and would like to take studio classes and, perhaps, join a performance team also have that opportunity locally.

Patti Rutland Dance Center in Troy is located next to Xtreme Athletics on Highway 231 south of Troy.

The studio offers classes in hip-hop, ballet, tap, jazz, modern and lyrical dance and also musical theater.

“And at affordable prices,” said Casey Green, studio manager. “The price depends on the hours and is also based on the school lunch program. Students that are on reduced and free lunches pay accordingly. Scholarships are also available for those who need assistance with the cost of dance lessons. Patti Rutland Jazz is designed to that any child that wants to take dance will have that opportunity.”

Sanders said it is rare for students, schools-wide, to have the opportunity to take dancing from professional dancers and to perform what they have learned on stage.
“This year, additional plans are for a professionals from Patti Rutland Jazz to perform in Troy,” she said. “It’s exciting to have these opportunities for our students and our community. To have professional dancers come once a week to teach students is a rare opportunity.”

However, there is a cost associated with bringing these arts opportunities for free in-school classes and reduced and scholarship dance studio classes to Troy. Corporate school sponsorships are available at different levels. Sponsors are recognized accordingly for their support of the BEYONDance outreach program.

Also, individuals may sponsor scholarships for dance students or donate to the overall program.

To inquire about dance classes at Patti Rutland Dance Center –Troy or about corporate or individual sponsorships, call Casey Green at (334) 672-7712.