Three Sampson County seniors and dance students for The Performing Arts School in Clinton have chosen to devote their senior projects to dance education, something that has thrilled their instructor.
“It is always exciting to mentor young dance students and watch how they grow into artists,” said Suzi Faircloth Matthews, artistic director of The Performing Arts School.
Midway High School senior Meagan Shaffer hosted an evening of dance, fun and music for students with Down Syndrome on Nov. 9 and Matthews donated the use of her studio to assist with the endeavor.
Lakewood High seniors Ashton Odum and Bailey Dudley spent many hours assisting in classes at Matthews’ studio. These girls learned how to think on their feet and how to challenge young dancers over the course of several weeks.
Odum focused on how to design lesson plans and teach a dance class to second-grade dancers as part of her project.
Dudley, who has already been accepted to East Carolina University for the fall semester of 2013, plans to audition for the dance department in February. She wishes to continue to perform as a dancer throughout college.
Matthews noted that it is always a challenge to turn students into artists and educators. “It is exciting to witness their enthusiasm for the arts and to hope that they will carry this excitement with them throughout their adult lives, when they can truly make a difference in the lives of others,” she attested.