The arts are extremely important to the growth of young people and the wonderful thing about the theatre is that it includes all of the arts in one! All people need a creative outlet to express themselves! Statistics show that students successfully finishing a theatre or speech class are over 50% more likely to be successful in college and the work force. The drama program at Roanoke Catholic is a taste of everything the Theatre Arts have to offer. From acting to directing, play writing to the world of technical theatre, costume designers, scenic, lighting, sound, props and more is included.
—Seeking a Program Director
I have heard it said, “If you build it they will come,” and I believe that is true. Mr. Patterson, the head of Roanoke Catholic School, decided to add a dance program to the Renaissance Program at our school last year. I happily accepted the position as Director of Dance. I have been dancing for as long as I can remember. It seems like my mom put tap shoes on my feet and directed me to a stage as soon as I could walk. I enjoy moving to music, and I love sharing my passion for dance with others.
I believe we have established that there is a need for the dance program in our school. The program has grown since we started last year, with enrollment growing 85%. Currently, dance classes are held in a typical classroom with tile floors. Imagine the difference a sprung dance floor, mirrors, barres, and sound system would make for the children. Having additional funds to further develop the program would create an atmosphere of creativity, life-long passion, and learning.
Our short-term goal is to continue the dance program and create a more functional dance studio space. Our long-term goal is to build a Performing Arts School. I want to create a climate where children will thrive. In our world today there is so much violence, depression, and disappointment; I know we can make a difference. Some children are “drowning in their inadequacies” and dance can be one thing that can help them develop a sense of worth.
Considering our current economic situation locally and throughout the world, we need assistance. Knowing our strengths and weaknesses helps us to develop a better, stronger program. I want to see this program thrive and watch the children become our future leaders and entertainers. I know that all things are possible with God, so first I am requesting prayer. I want the dance program to become what God wants it to be, nothing more, but nothing less. I am also requesting financial support so we can physically develop an appropriate dance space.
If you cannot afford to give or do not feel led to give financially, we would still appreciate your presence. The dancers perform annually at Our Lady of the Valley and at the Lower School Talent Show. I am so proud of the students and would love for others to see what they have accomplished. The dance program reaches the students, parents, teachers, and beyond. Some RCS teachers and parents have even joined our ranks in the the finale of the talent show.
To build a dance studio in an existing classroom would require a dance floor ($2,500-$10,000), mirrors ($1,000 to cover one wall), barres ($300), and a sound system ($500-$3000). We will accomplish this goal one dollar at a time. I hope you will consider making a tax-deductable donation to the Dance Program at Roanoke Catholic School. We have applied for a grant from Taubman Sustainability Grants. I believe we will be more likely to receive financial assistance from them if they see that we started fundraising at home. Thank you for your time and for allowing the students at RCS to dance!
—Mitzi Keeley, Director of Dance and RCS parent