Arts academy students prepare to ‘Dance for Change’

Outside, it was gloomy and grim; but inside were bright lights, bright faces, and girls and boys focused on performance - as 18 dance students at the West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics practiced for their Thursday night benefit for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore.
Janet Tyson
Jan 18, 2012


“You’re doing better,” dance instructor Rachel Fetterley said loudly to the dancers over the music, a recording of Katy Perry’s “Firework.” “But remember, you have to be strong and hold yourselves up. Now, where are your arms?”

This year’s “Dance for Change” is the third such event that selected academy students in grades 5-8 will present. Each year, they choose a different cause.

“It was exciting to receive that phone call,” said Cindy Timmerman, executive director of the Muskegon-based Big Brothers Big Sisters. “I love that they’re dancing for change, that they thought enough of the BBBS program and the children we serve. It’s heart-warming to know that kids are caring for kids.”

The BBBS staff was invited to attend the performance and talk about their program, Timmerman said. 

“This is a chance for us to let people know what the need is, because the need is great and growing rapidly,” she said. “We have a waiting list in Ottawa County for 80-90 children. Our biggest challenge is awareness of the program.”

Students at the Ferrysburg academy involved in the fundraiser are from four different classes. They will  present group performances of tap, jazz dance and ballet; as well as individual performances.

“Dance for Change” takes place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Orchard View High School, 16 N. Quarterline Road in Muskegon. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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