Balance: The GW Ballet Group performs for elementary school

“When I grow up, I’m going to be a ballerina,” proclaimed a student from Anthony Hyde Elementary School Friday morning at an event featuring members of Balance: The GW Ballet Group.

The group performed abridged versions of “Peter and the Wolf” and “Hansel and Gretel” Friday for a group of roughly 50 elementary school students, all craning their necks to see over their classmates at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Georgetown.

Junior Marcia Newbert and senior Barbara Grant choreographed the group’s performance.

“Children really are our best audience,” said Newbert, who joked that younger kids tend to enjoy their shows more than her own friends.

In addition to the group’s usual campus events, including an annual spring performance scheduled for May 2, Newbert said Balance is seeking to expand its community outreach through a philanthropic living and learning cohort called “To the Pointe.”

“We feel it’s really important to bring arts into the community and expose kids to ballet,” she said.

The project was a perfect match for Hyde Elementary principal Dana Nerenberg, who has been working to bring an enriching fine arts program to her school. In addition to having the GW group perform, Nerenberg said Hyde Elementary has partnered with the Fillmore Arts Center – a local organization that specializes in arts education – to create specialized courses encompassing a breadth of fine arts.

Hyde Elementary’s other partnerships enable students to participate in activities they otherwise would not be exposed to, such as plays and performances at the Kennedy Center, Nerenberg said.

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