Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 3:32 PM on Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dancers made a difference

I had the fortunate opportunity of attending Thodos Dance Chicago a few weeks ago at the Mariner Theatre. Anyone in attendance would certainly agree that it was a phenomenal performance and I am so grateful to the Homer Council on the Arts for bringing such a professional group to our town.

I had a conflict that night and almost did not go. But you know what cinched my decision to attend the performance? The outreach that Thodos provided to Fireweed Academy and West Homer Elementary students.

As with many professional groups who come to perform with grant assistance from the WESTAF Foundation, outreach is a required component of the tour. I have been to many such events and never have I seen one more exciting, professional and at the same time absolutely accessible to young kids.

For a full hour 300 third-sixth graders were completely spellbound, learning about dance modalities, engaging with the dancers and having the opportunity to watch polished performance pieces. The talk in the halls after the outreach performance was all about what they liked best, what kind of dance they would like to learn, how cool the costumes were the kids (and teachers as well) really connected with the dancers. I bought my ticket right away.

My sincere thanks to the Gail Edgerly and Homer Council on the Arts for hosting the Homer tour, Melissa Thodos and Thodos Dance Chicago for making the trek to Alaska, and to the students for being so interested and enthusiastic. Truly a job well done by everyone.

Janet Bowen

Outreach Coordinator/Administrative Specialist

Fireweed Academy