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Springfield Ballet School's Dance Chance Program Offers Opportunities to Under Privileged Children

The Springfield Ballet is giving under privileged children a special opportunity. The ballet school is wrapping up its summer semester and preparing for its fall semester of Dance Chance. Dance chance is a new program designed to expose underprivileged children to ballet. KSMU's Jana Greer tells us more about this program.

Grace Bordeaux is an eleven year old student from Robberson Elementary School who has been participating in the summer Dance Chance program at the Springfield Ballet. She is dressed in a black leotard and tights, with a blue floral skirt. She says she has been learning a lot at Dance Chance this summer.

Grace is one of many children who have been coming to the ballet school once a week to learn ballet free of charge. The program started in January as an outgrowth of the arts in the parks series where ballet was taught to children for one week every summer. Marsha Warnke is the Director of the Springfield Ballet School. She says that the same kids would come every summer and she saw that one week out of the year was not enough.

Dance Chance is funded by a grant through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and allows the school to provide students with free lessons, dance wear, ballet shoes and tickets to ballet performances. The students can be in Dance Chance for one year then are eligible to receive scholarships if they want to continue into regular classes. Zoe Hawk is one of the instructors for the program. She says the program is great for the kids.

Marsha Warnke says the program has been very rewarding.

The program is geared toward children from kindergarten to eighth grade from the Springfield Community Center and Robberson Elementary School. There are plans to continue to expand the program to other schools in the future. If you are interested in the program you can contact Marsha Warnke at the Springfield Ballet School.