YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE DANCING

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We all do it at some point in time. We feel the rhythm, hear the music and before we know it, we're dancing. In fact many children dance long before they can walk. You don't need the finesse of the ballroom dancer or the grace of the ballerina to dance — it is something that comes straight from the joy in a person's soul. It's just plain FUN!

Walton's Adventure Centers are full of activity every day…from reading to science experiments to art, drama, music, baking  — even sewing! It's all part of the plan to impact this generation and the next by providing a wide array of enriching experiences for our kids. Our partner, Parents with a Purpose, does an amazing job of lining up these activities so that kids can explore what gets them excited and makes their hearts sing. One such experience is dance classes. Mind you, this is not just someone who has decided to play some music through their iPhone and get the kids moving. It's much more than that.

Some time ago, through our partnership with the YMCA, we were introduced to Creative Learning Atlanta. This organization, founded by Annie Cripe Drennan, seeks to lay a foundation for children to have a lifelong, positive relationship with the creative arts. All of their instructors are educators first, giving them a unique understanding of appropriate teaching methods and a thorough knowledge of the educational needs of young children. After volunteering in our Adventure Centers for a time, it was decided that Creative Learning Atlanta would continue to partner with the Adventure Centers to teach dance to our kids. So, just what does dance do for children?
*  It can increase a child's self-esteem, coordination, balance and poise.
* It provides an intense and fun form of exercise.
* Children learn proper posture.
* Children learn discipline as they begin to master the various dance moves.
* A child learns respect for others, as well as for themselves.
* Dance education creates opportunities for self-expression and communication.

Last Friday evening, the children from Walton Ridenour celebrated the end of their dancing season with a recital at Grace Community Church in Marietta. Each child was fully outfitted with dance tights and tutus (where applicable) and they danced their little hearts out. The smiles were wide, the joy was genuine and the parents were oh, so proud. And so were we.

We'd like to extend our thanks to Creative Learning Atlanta, and especially to dance instructor, Jessica Roesener, who gave her heart and soul to the children in our Adventure Center. You make us ALL feel like dancing!

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