by William Crum
Soon the holiday season will be here. This is where family and friends get together and traditions are made.
One tradition in my home as I grew up was going to the Kansas City Ballet’s “Nutcracker” performance. Did you know there are kids that live here and are in the “Nutcracker” ballet? Students from the Turner School District, through a community engagement and education program, participate in the ballet.
How it works is a teacher from the Kansas City Ballet comes to the school and teaches ballet. One school that participates is Oak Grove Elementary. By having this outreach program, students learn better. They seem more relaxed, said James Polk, principal of Oak Grove Elementary.
Currently some schools in the Turner district participate in this program sponsored by the Kansas City Ballet.
A teacher from the ballet goes to the school and teaches a class in the gym once a week. Students are observed by the teacher with a watchful eye. Those students who show desire and perseverance are invited into the scholarship program. Statistics show that schools that have programs like this have students who are more relaxed and attentive in school. Plus, they have a tendency to be able to cope with life a lot easier.
Rowan Bouray is a student who has a scholarship from the Kansas City Ballet. She has performed in the “Nutcracker” for the last two years. This year she will be a soldier in the performance.
When asked how she feels when she dances in the ballet, Rowan, who is shy, lit up with happiness.
“It makes me happy inside,” she said. “I feel like an angel.”
Rowan is a student at Turner Elementary, a future ballerina in the making.
There are others like Rowan who come from the Turner School District.
“I really enjoy working with the Turner School District,” said April Berry, outreach director for the Kansas City Ballet, adding that she was looking forward to working with them for years to come.
Besides the “Nutcracker,” the students may participate later in “Swan Lake.”
The “Nutcracker” opens on Dec. 5. For ticket information, visit https://kcballet.org/events/the-nutcracker/ or call 816-931-8993.