This year Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA) has joined forces with the Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center and Emotions Physical Theatre to bring free dance classes to the youth of Spring Valley. RoCA is offering these free eight week long classes to introduce students (ages 12-17) to the fundamentals of modern and contemporary dance.
The students are required to commit to the full eight-week program. This unique opportunity also includes the students learning choreography and culminating with a performance.
RoCA has brought on Shawn Rawls, a professional dancer/educator, and Founder and Artistic Director of Emotions Physical Theatre. Rawls and his dance company established a program in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency that teaches high quality dance presentations with anti-drug messages for at-risk kids. He has been teaching dance for over thirteen years at numerous dance schools, community centers and public schools.
During his own youth in Cleveland, Rawls studied martial arts and street dance leading him to dancing with U.D.C. (Urban Dance Collective) and Y.A.R.D. (Youth at Risk Dancing), an award-winning program helping youths develop an artistic voice.
Rawls hopes to expand the program, with RoCA, to three class offerings in the near future giving dancers the opportunity to learn contemporary and modern dance. Here is some feedback from young dancers in the program:
To find out more about RoCA’s programming, visit www.rocklandartcenter.org.