Teens learn to swing dance at SL park

About a dozen teenagers took to the dance floor while another dozen watched from the wings during an evening of swing dance fun Friday night at Spring Lake's Mill Point Park. "It was warm, but I think the rain earlier cooled things off,' said dance instructor Ben Terpstra, a student at Hope College. "It was a beautiful night.' All high school students are invited to the two-hour event, called "The Dance Project,' which runs from 7-9 p.m. every Friday. Refreshments are served.
Becky Vargo
Jul 22, 2011


“It’s where kids can be who they are — and at the same time learn new skills, and have fun doing it,” Terpstra said.

Terpstra said the event is family-value focused.

“It ends at a decent time and we have at least two chaperones every night,” he said.

Things start with basic swing dance instruction, then just go into open dancing, Terpstra said. If someone needs help, he keeps working with them.

Terpstra said the program started during the school year when high school student Kimberly Braybrook brought the idea to the area after moving here from Brighton.

“It originally was a bunch of kids who love to dance and want to share that passion with other kids,” Terpstra said. “It’s a way to get kids together to have fun in a safe environment.”

The dances were held at a church during the past school year, and will go back inside once the weather starts to turn cooler, Terpstra said. A location is yet to be determined.

“Once school starts, we will likely switch it to a different night,” Terpstra said. “And once a month we have a theme night.”

Although the focus is on high school students, Terpstra said they hoped to eventually make it more of a full community event. In the meantime, parents are welcome to come and visit with each other while the kids dance, he said.

The event is free.

Schedule information is posted on a Facebook page at: thedanceproject-grandhaven.


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