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Yoaldri Messina, our dance teacher, works with students from Early Childhood to Upper School, providing classes and also supporting extracurricular activities such as our theater productions and our after-school programs. In pre-K dance class last week, Mrs. Messina warmed up her students by encouraging them to express themselves to a favorite song, “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay. Washed in blue light, she then led them in practicing focused movements.

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During sixth-grade dance class, Mrs. Messina helped her students practice a series of movements they choreographed together using the canon technique (when dancers—usually in a line—take turns performing identical movements.) The art of dance reinforces technique, coordination, and teamwork, among other skills, Mrs. Messina said. “I’m so proud of my students,” she said. “It is definitely important to have dance in the curriculum at Friends Academy, because again, it reinforces not just movement and free expression in kids, but also their memories. And it also helps them open their minds to different possibilities.”

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