CHCS School Dance Program 

Dancing is a great way to get some energy out, and get your creative juices flowing. That’s the idea behind a program sponsored by Community Health and Counseling.It’s called Dance, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, and it’s being taught in seven schools throughout the area including at Hermon Elementary School. Once a week dance instructor Tom McGary stops by to teach the kids the latest dance moves and some oldies but goodies.It’s part of a program by Community Health and Counseling. Coordinator Karen Hartnagle says the goal is to get the kids moving in a positive direction in their lives. “What we’re looking for is to really build that resilience and self esteem and one of the things that I think is if they learn to respect themselves and what they’re capable of doing down the road, they’re less likely to harm themselves with drugs, alcohol or something like that.””It’s really a new experience”, says one student, but one that brings smiles to the kids faces.”I didn’t expect it to be this fun.” That’s a common reaction for a lot of the boys when they start.”The boys the first class they may be a little reluctant but a soon as they realize how athletic it is, they just take right to it”, says instructor Tom McGary.They learn everything from hip hop, and improv to ballet, and you won’t hear a complaint from the kids.”We just dance and have fun. He teaches us to be creative. Mr. Tom is a great instructor”Each child walks away with their own lessons learned.”I like the educational parts like we get to learn a lot of our muscles like the abdominal, the biceps, the triceps”But they all get the message, that they’re talented, because there are no mistakes in this class, and there’s no competition. It’s not about being the best, it’s about trying their best.McGary says, “This class allows every child to shine. They don’t have to be the jock and they don’t have to be the smartest kid in class”The class will be putting on dance performances next month for their school mates and their parents.The dance classes are funded completely through donations and grants, so it’s always a struggle to find the funding.The class is currently taught in seven schools, but CHCS is looking to expand.To get more information about the class, contact Karen Hartnagle at 947-0366 extension 451 or e-mail or at [email protected]