Celebrating the beat

Celebrating the beat

For the past five years I have had the privilege of getting to know and work with Celebrate the Beat.

Celebrate the Beat, through the Youth Foundation, brings an impressive dance program to Homestake Peak, Avon Elementary and Berry Creek Middle School.

The program consists of a dance class offered once a week to third through fift graders, as well as after-school classes extended to the sixth through eighth grades.

This is truly one of the finest programs I have had the opportunity to work with.

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Each year kids are taught high quality dance skills, which culminates into an amazing show.

This year was no exception.

Last Friday night, Heather Kratz and Jessica Merritt, along with several local musicians, coordinated more than 300 dancers at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

The show was the product of hard work, leaving nothing but smiles on faces and parents saying, “I can’t believe my kid could do that!”

While the primary focus of Celebrate the Beat is music and dance, the lessons that kids walk away with are so much more than that.

Year after year, I watch students take safe risks, persevere, show grit and self control, build confidence and smile all along the way.

The addition of the arts into our curriculum broadens the education of our children and is vital to developing well-rounded citizens. Students who sometimes struggle in academic areas discover new talents and find themselves center stage.

Thank you, Youth Foundation for offering this program. Words cannot express how important this program is for the children of this valley. Thank you, Heather, Jessica and Tracy Strauss for the passion you bring to your profession, the love you give to kids and the many lessons you teach them.

Sara Aragon


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