Augusta Ballet teaches children to tap their feet

There were a lot of smiles as shoes clicked and bodies moved Saturday during a one-day tap-dancing workshop for children presented by the Augusta Ballet.

The children spent the day learning tap routines as they danced to music from the movie Happy Feet. At the end of the workshop, they put on a brief performance.

"The goal was to expose the kids to one of the most classic and popular forms of dance: tap. For many of the kids, this was the first time they have put on tap shoes," said Patti Ann Smith, the managing director of the Augusta Ballet.

Most of the children were from region seven of the Division of Family and Children Services and from Goodwill Industries, Ms. Smith said. Other children from the community also attended.

Each child received a T-shirt and a tote bag and was provided tap shoes for the workshop.

"From the minute they put the shoes on, we received an immediate response," she said. "They lit up, and seeing those smiles made this effort very worthwhile."

Saturday's workshop was a step toward a longer program the Augusta Ballet hopes to implement next summer. The organization hopes to partner with other agencies to provide weeklong job training for parents and guardians while their children participate in tap workshops, Ms. Smith said.

The workshop was sponsored by the Augusta Recreation and Parks Department, McDonald's, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Augusta, Pollock Co. and DanceWare.

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