FootLights is a performing arts and education program for children ages 5-17 designed to help youth discover their talents in a safe, fun environment. Founded by Michele Colletti and expanded by Debra Mauldin, the program focuses on both the artistic and the academic success of its participants.
Footlights runs Monday-Friday from 3:30-7pm.
- Lyrical (ages 5+): Lyrical dance is a style that fuses ballet, jazz and contemporary. In this class the students will focus more on the ballet portion of lyrical dance. The students will learn the very basics of ballet and begin to use their bodies to tell a story.
- Self empowerment/martial arts (ages 5+): Traditional martial arts encourage the development of basic social skills such as respect and self-control; which comes through internal motivation. “Baekjul Boolgool” a Korean phrase which means “To be fully committed to fulfilling one’s personal Vision”. To fulfill a vision, a student must set and achieve a progressive set of goals that will lead to personal improvement rather frustration.
- African Drum (ages 5+, some restrictions may apply): African drumming develops respect and discipline. Through practice, note speaking/singing, repetitive learning of rhythms and musical arrangements the students begin to communicate through drum, forming bonds centered around self-respect, respect for others and their instrument. Participants will learn to play traditional rhythms. We will cover basics skills such as holding and striking a drum properly, coordination and group drills. Everyone who completes this class will be able to play the African drums. Those individuals with prior experience will be given more challenging rhythms and playing techniques.
- Cultural/modern jazz (ages 7+): Participants taking this class will focus on dance technique. They will learn basic dance language needed to explain and create choreography. Participants will become familiar with different modern/jazz techniques and cultural flavors. With this combined dance class the students will prepare their bodies to interpret feelings with movement of expressions, and tell stories without words.
- Show choir/voice class (ages 7+): Something for every level of singer: reading musical notation, sound and tone production, musical history, vocal range expansion, and an emphasis on singing both melody and harmony through a choir setting. Those interested can audition for solos that will be sung with the choir. Choir performs at Footlights’ many performance opportunities. Only regular attendees will be allowed to participate in performances.
- Drama & acting/spoken word (ages 7+): This class focuses on developing the stage presence of today’s youth in an effort to help build self-esteem and talent within our participants. The course concentrates on core principles of respect for the arts, memorization, articulation, and impersonation. Through focusing on monologues, short poems, acting scenes; participants will gain and increase the confidence to culminate in a final year end performance. Our goal as a class is to focus on team work and individual responsibility in an effort to present a quality performance.
- Creative Art (ages 7+): Footlights participants will work together as a team under the direction of their Art Instructor. Project will involve designing props, back drops and scenery for theater ready pieces. Participants will create their own character and or prop piece with scenic direction. Emphasis will be on artistic development both individual and collaborative in an artistic setting, supporting on Footlights Program Theme.
- Dance 101 (ages 9+): This class is a mixture of inspired beginners and youth with little experience who are ready to learn Hip Hop and other forms of dance. 1st 3 months participants will learn how to break down music in various styles of counts and learn how to conform the movements to the music. Participants will create and choreograph movements that they like and use those steps along with instructor’s choreography for the final year end production. In the 2nd session we began to choose music and create solid choreography. Participants will learn not only to dance but to move together as one and bring the movements to life.
- Step & Drill (ages 9+): In this class the students will learn how to be a unit, enhance their listening skills, eye coordination and most of all embrace discipline. In drill you have to pay attention to many elements in order to stay together. At all times the captain is giving out instructions or using their whistle to direct the team through a series of militant creative dance movements. This class requires unified discipline, commitment and dedication.
- Dance Choreography (special audition required): This class is for youth who have at least 3 years of dance training. Participants will be asked to perform throughout the year. Sound commitments to take on high level performance pieces are required from each advance participant. To improve skill level, participants are required to attend modern jazz/ cultural and drill classes so that they have a full rounded dance schedule and are able to perform these artistic styles of movements. Participants will have homework that will help them independently create 32 counts of choreography that they will showcase at the end of the year performance. Their piece will reflect a mesh of dance styles and techniques.
In addition to performing arts classes, we provide daily academic support through private tutoring. We also have computer access, monthly field trips, workshops, and performances! At the end of each school year there’s a performance for the families, friends and supporters of the participants to showcase their hard work.
Auditions are held over the summer, and the program runs during the school year. Please call the Welcome Center for more information, or to find out how to register mid-year.
Also inquire about our volunteer, fundraising, school community service hours, internships and work study opportunities!
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