DANCE TIME: TES students ‘dancing with the stars’

Published 8:36 pm Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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Even before there was music, feet were dancing.

That was the scene in the gymnasium at Troy Elementary School on Tuesday morning. But it was no different from any other Tuesday morning at TES.

Tuesday is designated as BEYONDance day at the Troy elementary school.

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BEYONDance is the Patti Rutland Jazz Arts in Education Outreach Program, which is the largest weekly outreach program in Alabama.

BEYONDance is in its third year at Troy Elementary School and all students in grades one through six are involved.

Ryan Wagstaff, a professional dance instructor with BEYONDance, was in the building Tuesday morning and the students were ready and anxious to dance.

“We’re learning to hip-hop and the students really enjoy that,” Wagstaff said. “Each week, the students have the opportunity to dance. Dancing is great exercise; it improves motor skills and it is disciplined. The students have to pay attention to detail and think about how their body works –how it moves. Dance encourages students to think creatively. And, it is fun.”

BEYONDance carries a $12-per-child price tag and, to help fund the program at TES and, hopefully, extend the program to other schools in the county, a fundraising event, “Dancing with the Stars: Troy Edition,” will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 8 at the Claudia Crosby Theater on the campus of Troy University.

“Dancing with the Stars: Troy Edition” will feature familiar faces: Shelia Jackson, Tracy Jones, Jonah McWaters, Troy Weed, Jeffrey Bennett, Tonya Terry and Kelly Sanders, event organizer.”

Each local dancer will be paired with a Patti Rutland Professional Jazz Dance Company dancer, including Ryan Wagstaff, whose partner is Tonya Terry, a WSFA news anchor.

“We are working on our dance and it’s coming along,” Wagstaff said, but not giving away what “our dance” might be. But he did drop the name, “Prince,” if that means anything.

Wagstaff said Terry is a quick learner and “she’s got rhythm and moves.”

“Tonya really gets into it,” he said. “She has a fun spirit and a great smile. She’s a joy to be around. We’re having a good time.”

And, if their toes don’t get in each other’s way, the Wagstaff/Terry dance team should dance like stars and push the competition.

“Dancing with the Stars: Troy Edition” will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, February 8 at the Claudia Crosby Theater  and will conclude around 7:30 p.m.   

Tickets for Dancing with the Stars are $25 general admission and $15 for Troy University and PRJ Dance Center students.

Sponsorships for Dancing with the Stars: Troy Edition are available beginning at $500 Theater Sponsorships and increase in $500 increments up to the $3,000 Front Row Sponsor.  A Center Stage Sponsor is $5,000. Invitations to the VIP reception and reserved seating for the show are included in the sponsorships.

For tickets or sponsorships, visit the Dancing with the Stars: Troy Edition website or contact any of the local “stars.”