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Kids Exercising Goes Cultural

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Students at selected Tulsa elementary schools are getting an introductory education in classical ballet. It's part of a program called "Leaps Ahead" operated by the Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education. News on 6 reporter Rick Wells reports the program has an enthusiastic and growing group of students.

Third and fourth graders from Wright elementary were ready to learn about ballet on Tuesday.

"They come over for an hour once a week and take a ballet class," Stacey Jenkins with the Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education said.

The girl’s class is lead by Pam Cameron, while Stacy Christiansen leads the boy’s, and the kids seem to like it.

"It's really fun like gym," said one student.

The “Leaps Ahead” classes are free, funded by a grant from the Schusterman Family Foundation. The kids get top-notch instructors, accompaniment, leotards, shorts and T-shirts are also provided.

"We want them to have the whole experience,” said Jenkins. “We don't want them come over and not do everything we do in a typical class."

The “Leaps Ahead” program has expanded to schools other then Wright as it has grown in popularity, and there are opportunities to continue if the kids like it, and do well.

Young Myleah Brewer's is in her first year of classes, she heard about it from other kids.

"I like jumping and dancing that's what I'm here," she said.

Several of the kids from Wright's Deaf Education Program attend the program too. Interpreters come with them so it's as complete an experience as it can be.

“Leaps Ahead” started at Wright Elementary four years ago, and the program grows larger every year. If you'd like more information about it, visit the Tulsa Ballet’s website, tulsaballet.org.
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