Private donations save South Side High School’s dance program

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News release from the Fort Wayne Dance Collective, dated May 31, 2011 – see the webmaster’s note at the end of this post:

Private Donations Save South Side High School’s Dance Program

The South Side High School Dance Program presented its first full-length evening dance concert April 27, 2011 and at that time was informed by Fort Wayne Community Schools the seven year-old program was being cut for next year. Through the support of the Fort Wayne Dance Collective, private donations were solicited to save the program. With help from smaller private donations and one large individual sponsorship from Ian and Mimi Rolland, the program was saved for the year. Throughout the last seven years, the dance program has grown to include 125 students and has collaborated with many community projects including: the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, Indiana Dance Festival, and South Side’s art and photography classes. This year’s performances in April were nearly sold out and the excitement and energy spurred the effort to save the program for next year.

A diverse student body of African-American, Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian, Burmese, and Multi-Race students attend dance classes. Students work together in choreography groups, learning compassion and compromise. Life skills are paralleled to dance in the classroom and
diverse subjects are taught in collaboration with dance; students learn time management, organization, art, poetry, acting, math, music, French, English, History, nutrition, choreography, dance teaching, and improvisation, in addition to the dance technique curriculum which is comprised of Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Modern, Hip-Hop, and Creative Movement. Dance also allows students the opportunity to emotionally express themselves and heal from life’s difficulties. Many students who began their year with behavioral problems have developed selfconfidence, discipline, and are thriving in the classroom. Dance allows students to be a part of a team and work toward a goal. It allows non-English speaking students to learn English and thrive in a class where communication can be accomplished kinesthetically. As one parent thanked the instructors he commented on how much his daughter had grown and how grateful he is that she is, “in here doing something productive rather than being out there on the street.”

Dance at South Side High School has been offered to the students at no charge and has given students the opportunity to study dance that have little or no access to the arts. Seventyfive percent of South Side High School students receive free or reduced lunch.

Additional pledges and/or donations to support the dance program at South Side High School may be made payable to the Fort Wayne Dance Collective, 437 E. Berry St., Fort Wayne, IN, 46802.

For more information contact Liz Monnier, Artistic Director, Fort Wayne Dance Collective 260-424-6574, or SSHS dance instructors: Brittney Coughlin, 705-0214 or Kelly Holt 385-8658.


Webmaster’s note I have several news releases from various organizations sitting in my inbox. Part of the mission of this blog is to keep a historic running record of the goings on in Fort Wayne. To that end, even though they are out of date, I am including this older news release.


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