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Sweet Briar students work with kids to put on dance recital

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  • Sweet Briar recital

    Sweet Briar dance major Katelyn Craig, of Fredericksburg, leads local 6- and 7-year-olds in practice for their first dance recital on Saturday.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 12:00 pm | Updated: 11:49 pm, Thu Dec 12, 2013.

After gaining knowledge from college-aged instructors, young dancers will demonstrate their skills this weekend at Sweet Briar College.

Children from the Amherst and Nelson county communities who range in age from 4 to 17 years old will present a recital this Saturday of dances that they helped to create.

According to Sweet Briar dance professor Ella Magruder, the program, which pairs small classes of school-aged students with Sweet Briar College dance students, has been in existence since 1996.

Magruder said the program “balances technique with creativity,” as the young dancers assisted in the brainstorming and planning of their performances.

Classes are broken down by age, and the students themselves perform movements that are appropriate for their ages. The classes consist of around 10 students each, so they’re not too intimidating for the college-aged instructors, Magruder said.

“I want my Sweet Briar students to have a positive experience,” she said.

The students have attended classes once a week since the end of August. The styles of dance range from modern dance to Scottish dancing, jazz and hip-hop.

The event is free and open to the public.

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