Hill Youth Center children dance the night away in recital

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman LaTanya Reid
  • 2nd Combat Camera Squadron
Dance students from the Hill Youth Center performed for an audience of family and friends at a recital held at the Edward Kenley Amphitheater on June 23.

The event titled "Always Believe and Dance" gave the children, ages 3 years old and above, the opportunity to show their ballet, jazz and tap dancing skills on stage at the amphitheater.

"The purpose of the recital is to give the students an opportunity to show what they have been learning in class," said Antionette Martinez de Stapley, the program's dance coordinator and director of the A Plus Dance Co., in Clearfield. "Also, it helps them to be able to perform in front of an audience."

Martinez de Stapley said she finds that dancing is an outlet that helps the children with self-esteem and confidence building.

"It gives them something to concentrate on while their parents are deployed or away," she said.

Stapley said 38 children were in the performance and 21 of them enrolled in the program were military dependents.

"The dependents are signed up for dance classes through the youth center," she said. "It's optional if they want to perform in the recitals."

At the amphitheater the children danced to the medleys of "Rhythm Nation," by Janet Jackson, "Ice Cream Freeze," by Miley Cyrus, and from the animated movie Beauty and the Beast "Be Our Guest," and more, showcasing both group and solo performances.

Capt. Steve Gallagher, 388th Fighter Wing and Tech. Sgt. Kristy Gallagher, 75th Dental Squadron said they enrolled their daughter, Keira, in the A Plus Dance class through the youth center to help build her social skills and structure.

"The military parents are very involved and I am very impressed with the involvement and support they give," Martinez de Stapley said. "They come into the class to watch at the beginning of each month and ask how their child is progressing."

However, while the event was a success she said the show was a bittersweet moment for her.

"The children did a great job and had fun, which is very important," she said. "However, it was bittersweet for me as I am closing my studio off-base to concentrate on the program here at Hill."

While she will be closing her dance studio in the Clearfield community, Martinez de Stapley admits there is a motive behind her increasing the focus on Hill.

"The military community deserves to have top notch programs available to them on base so I felt with my background it would be a great fit," she said. "My goal is to make this the best dance program any military installation has ever seen."

The dance classes will be held over the summer and during the school year. For more information about the classes contact Antionette Martinez De Stapley at 801-940-6852.