Bates Dance Festival holds youth arts program

The Bates College Dance Festival, in sponsorship with the City of Lewiston Recreation Department, is conducting a three-week “Youth Arts Program” from July 28 through Aug. 16 at the Lewiston Memorial Armory on Central Avenue. Sixty-one Lewiston children, ages six to 17, are involved with music and dance classes Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Taught by nationally recognized artists, students are experimenting with a range of dance and music styles, developing basic skills to enhance self-confidence and self-expression, and gaining an understanding for the performing arts. The program is divided into three age groups: six to nine years, 10-12 years and 13-17 years. Each age group takes two daily classes in dance and music, with a snack provided mid-morning. Under faculty direction, students will create and stage a show in Kennedy Park on at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15. The public is invited to attend free of charge. Students will also stage the production as part of the final concert of the Bates Dance Festival at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16.

Jane Weiner, program director, returns to teach her dynamic combination of modern, ballet and hip hop. A founding member of the acclaimed Doug Elkins Dance Company, the Rigamarole Dance Company, and the Rig Kids, a children’s dance group in Ohio, she also established a children’s dance company, the St. James Gang, in New York, and was a founding teacher of the Children’s Dance Program at Perry Dance II. Weiner graduated from Bowling Green University with a degree in deaf/elementary education and a dance minor. She lives in Houston, Texas.

Andrew Kuskin, a talented percussionist and dancer with the San Francisco based troupe Contraband, returns to teach his popular music classes using rhythm, movement exercises and song. The teaching staff also includes Montana resident Rosie Leach, a specialist in creative movement for young children, and Sara Rabidoux, a graduate student in choreography at Smith College.

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