Young performers entertain crowd at Germantown senior center

Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley residents were all jazzed up Thursday morning for a School of Dance Arts students’ performance called “Veggie Hype vs. Zombaronies.”

Lori Faison, an activity aide at the Greene Street location, said collaborations like this one with student-oriented programs bring much joy to residents.

“The residents just love the children and you can actually see their faces light up,” said Faison. “I think it reminds them of their children and grandchildren and no matter what age group, you can see they play a big role in their enjoyment.”

Performance with a message

During the hour-long performance, students from the school’s summer-stage musical-theater day camp stressed the importance of friendships, healthy eating and making wise decisions.

Mirroring “The Wizard of Oz,” female performers embarked on a journey on which they faced several obstacles.

This included a message of exercising enough self-restraint to shy away from cotton-candy walls and a cupcake tree in “Temptation Island.” There, male performers dressed in black suits with tails, large green bowties and top hats served as the gate keepers of the fictitious land.

Students benefit as well

Chrystie Cannon, owner and founder of the School Dance Arts, said the students were instrumental in brainstorming themes for, and writing, the skit as well.

While the audience was smaller since a group had taken a daytrip to the Philadelphia Zoo, Cannon said the performance offered a chance to help build the students’ self-esteem.

“Some of them are very shy. They are not trained actors or actresses,” said Cannon. “It’s just all about bringing out their confidence, individuality and uniqueness that they can be different, work in a group and have a voice to share who they are and everyone listens.”

The School of Dance Arts in Philadelphia is a year-round professional dance program which aims to teach dancers of all skill levels by focusing on self-discipline, self-esteem, body awareness and creativity.

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