2004-04-02 / Community

Middle School 53’s Dance Troupe


Pictured above are Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Senators Smith and Maltese, and Beach Channel High School students accompanied by Mrs. Murray, Mrs. Bauman and Mrs. Wittter.Pictured above are Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Senators Smith and Maltese, and Beach Channel High School students accompanied by Mrs. Murray, Mrs. Bauman and Mrs. Wittter.

M.S. 53 has renovated its dance studio after many years of using the room for other purposes. Principal Ken Graham had mirrors placed in the studio, railings on the walls and the floors refinished. Now, M.S. 53 students can learn different types of dance at school and receive credit for it.

Assistant Principal Clarisa Rene was instrumental in pushing for the dance program as well. Best of all, Principal Graham hired Chanda Thornton as the school’s licensed dance teacher. Thornton will shortly receive a masters of dance education from New York University. Her specialty is modern and cultural dance. She has taught dance for years in after school programs, and is thrilled to be able to now teach a fulltime dance curriculum.

"Language in Motion" is the name of Thornton’s dance class. After being a literacy teacher, Thornton wants to impart language through dance. She also notes that math can be taught through dance (rhythm and geometry), science (motion) and history (multicultural dance).

Her classes were instrumental in M.S. 53’s recent Winter Music Festival with their exciting rendition of "The Nutcracker." Thornton is now working on a Spring Concert that will emphasize cultural dancing. Principal Graham notes that the dance studio is the first of many innovations he is bringing to the students of M.S. 53.


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