Credit: Kidsday illustration / Alessandra Reilly, Kings Park

At our school, students have an optional dance program in place of physical education.

Our dance program is led by Mrs. Tara Obermeyer, and the students who opt for dance take classes on a weekly schedule. We learn some of the basic steps of different styles of dance and then perform for our family, classmates, teachers and friends. We performed a show during our school Christmas concert inspired by “The Nutcracker.” This spring we will perform again with a new dance and style.

So far this year, we have done ballet and now we are doing jazz. Mrs. Obermeyer also works at another studio, and brings the technique and work ethic to our school to push us to be the best we can be in her class. We enjoy her class because it has a very open and welcoming setting. We learn many skills and love the environment, which allows us to be ourselves.

During class, we also learn about the history of dance and about Broadway shows. We’ve learned many things about shows like “West Side Story” and “The Greatest Showman.” We love to learn about the things we are doing and about the origin of the steps we’re learning. I’m glad to be a part of it.

Marytheresa Donohue's seventh-grade class, St. Mary School, East Islip

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