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SUMMER SCHOOLS THEY WON’T HATE

by Lenise Willis

Making learning fun can be difficult if you’re focusing on math, science or English. But it’s quite easy if you can find something that your child is already interested in, like the arts. Don’t underestimate how much children can learn from a drama, dance or music class. Not only could they discover a hobby (or even career path) that they love, Lenise Willis but they’ll also develop life sk ills, too.

There are several theater organizations in the Triad that offer summer camps for children of all ages, and Greensboro’s Drama Center of City Arts is one such group with classes starting soon and continuing through mid-summer.

“Our camps benefit youth not only by teaching them authentic arts techniques, but also by building their understanding of many useful work skills, including the advantages of being self organized and working with others to be organized,” said Mary Alice Kurr- Murphy, City Arts manager. Kurr-Murphy says the camps also help the children further develop the skills needed to do well in school and stick with long-term commitments.

I never went to a summer camp for the arts. I was too busy getting dirty in the woods at outdoor camps. But I was enrolled in drama classes throughout the year, and I can’t tell you how much it helped me to break out of my shell, discover myself and even make new friends.

Check out the list and see if any might interest your kids. The best part is that every class culminates in a live performance, so you’ll get plenty of proud-parent snapshots.

BROADWAY ACTION: JUNE 15-19. $125 For those spunky little ones and melodramatic teens, a class on what it takes to be on Broadway, may just give them the right outlet for their extra energy. In this class children in grades K-10 will learn hip-hop, tap, jazz and other dance techniques, as well as the process of acting and characterization.

CIRCUS ARTS: JUNE 22-26. $125 If your kid is anything like I was growing up””obsessing over a magician’s kit and putting on shows for the whole family, then a class on how to be a true entertainer might make their summer. Campers in grades K-5 will learn the art of clowning, as well as how to juggle and perform magic tricks.

DANCE THE CIRCUS: JUNE 22-26. $125 As a follow up to Circus Arts, this class throws choreography into the mix to help take your kids’ status as an entertainer to the next level. You might think of it as an investment in your own entertainment, since you’ll probably sit through quite a few living-room performances this summer anyway.

LET’S MAKE A MOVIE: JUNE 22-26. $250 Acting isn’t just limited to the stage, of course. For children more interested in the high-tech form of entertainment, this class takes them behind the scenes of film. Campers in grades 6-10 will learn the techniques involved in making a movie both in front of and behind the camera, by writing, directing, acting and shooting the scenes.

DO A PLAY ALL THE WAY, CINDERELLA: JULY 6-10. $250 If playing pretend is the name of your kid’s favorite game, then he or she will be thrilled to take on a role in a classic fairy tale. Not only will kids in grades K-3, 4-6 or 7-10 (depending on the session) will learn about acting, but they’ll also learn other aspects of musical theatre, including singing, dancing and working on the set and costumes.

DO A PLAY ALL THE WAY, ROBIN HOOD: JULY 13-17. $250 If the story of a beautiful princess doesn’t appeal to your little actors, then how about the action-packed tale of Robin Hood? Campers in grades K-3, 4-6 or 7-10 (depending on session) will learn about acting, singing, movement, dancing, and even stage combat, as well as set design and construction.

IMPROVISATION: JULY 20-24. $125 Have a ham who can think on his or her feet? Enroll them in a class to help them hone their improv skills. Kids in grades K-5 and 6-10 will learn from the Triad’s very own improv troupe, Soylent Greensboro, to develop their techniques for on the spot comedy and movement. !

WANNA go?

For more information on the above classes, as well as others more focused on dance or music, visit city-arts.org and click the Camps Summer 2015 tab.

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