LRWHU 0RUHODNG HRVWLNG Span­ish danc­ing evening

Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - By Caitlin Burns

cburns@jour­nalregis­ter.com

Stu­dents of all ages in LRwHU 0RUHODnG SFhRRO DLVWULFW wLOO VDOVD, MLvH and cha cha for au­di­ences wLWh LWV Rwn UHnGLWLRn RI WhH IDPRuV “DDnFLng wLWh WhH SWDUV.” 7hH LRwHU 0Rre­land High School SpanLVh COuE wLOO hRVW LWV 6Wh Dn­nuDO DDnFLng wLWh WhH Span­ish Stars com­pe­ti­tion whHUH VL[ hLgh VFhRRO VWuGHnW FRuSOHV wLOO SHUIRUP EDOOURRP GDnFHV WR wLn WhH cov­eted mir­ror ball tro­phy March 20.

Tick­ets for the 7 p.m. perIRUPDnFH DUH $2 HDFh DnG are do­nated to the FoundaWLRn IRU LRwHU 0RUHODnG Schools.

Span­ish teacher and event co­or­di­na­tor Re­nee san Naar­den said it’s a unique op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents to learn ball­room danc­ing and chal­lenge them­selves to do some­thing out­side their com­fort zone. san Naar­den said the event brings to­gether the school com­mu­nity by in­clud­ing stu­dents of all back­grounds. She said since the com­peti­tors range from ath­letes to artLVWV, WhH HvHnW GUDwV HvHUy­one.

In ad­di­tion to the six com­pet­ing stu­dent cou­ples, WhHUH wLOO EH D SHUIRUPDnFH Ey D FRuSOH IURP WhH ORwHU schools. One is a Mur­ray Av­enue stu­dent and her part­ner is a Pine Road stu­dent. 7hHUH wLOO DOVR EH fivH IDFuOty cou­ples danc­ing through­out the night.

“It’s a chal­lenge. It takes a risk,” san Naar­den said. “I feel such a great pride for th­ese stu­dents and the teach­ers.”

sol­un­teer dance choreRgUDShHU DnG LRwHU 0Rre­land High School 2008 alum Amanda Spi­vack helps VWuGHnWV HDFh yHDU wLWh OHDUnLng WhHLU WwR GDnFHV: the cou­ples dance and the gUDnG finDOH. ShH LV RnH RI three vol­un­teer in­struc­tors that par­tic­i­pate in pre­par­ing VWuGHnWV IRU WhH VhRw. 7hLV yHDU, SSLvDFN VDLG, WhH finDOH wLOO EH WR AGHOH’V “SNyIDOO.”

“[Danc­ing] is my pas­sion. , gUHw uS wLWh LW VLnFH , wDV 5 yHDUV ROG,” SSLvDFN VDLG. One of her fa­vorite things DERuW GRLng WhH VhRw, VhH said, is the ap­pre­ci­a­tion stu­dents de­velop for ball­room danc­ing and their ex­cite­ment to con­tinue. Spi­vack said many stu­dents have been in­spired to con­tinue their danc­ing ed­u­ca­tion af­ter the VhRw HnGV. “, ORvH WR GDnFH. , wDnW WR VhDUH LW [wLWh VWu­dents].”

“It’s fun and it’s nice to be back,” de­fend­ing cham­pion and se­nior Lance Gif­ford said. Gif­ford and his part­ner wRn WhH PLUURU EDOO WURShy last year. “I’m try­ing to de­fend my ti­tle. It’s very hard [ball­room danc­ing].”

GLIIRUG VDLG hH finGV PDny chal­leng­ing about learn­ing the dances, in­clud­ing remembering the steps, keep­ing count and stay­ing fo­cus. HRwHvHU, GLIIRUG LVn’W DERuW WR gLvH uS hLV WL­WOH wLWhRuW D fighW. “,I yRu FDn’W GR LW, gR home.”

san Naar­den said, alWhRugh DDnFLng wLWh WhH Span­ish Stars is a pop­u­lar SURgUDP, WhLV wLOO EH WhH ODVW yHDU. ShH VDLG SSLvDFN wLOO no longer be able to con­tinue teach­ing the stu­dents their dances due to time con­straints. san Naar­den said for about six months each year Spi­vack spends each wHHN UHhHDUVLng wLWh VWu­dents and pre­par­ing them for the big per­for­mance.

“, wLOO PLVV WhH H[FLWHPHnW and the great sat­is­fac­tion of see­ing it all come to­gether,” 9Dn 1DDUGHn VDLG. “, wLOO PLVV WhDW wRnGHUIuO H[FLWH­ment.”

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