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After-school program gets kids grooving

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Dance instructor Amy Liscomb with a few of the dancers from the Meadowbrook After School Dance Program. Dance instructor Amy Liscomb with a few of the dancers from the Meadowbrook After School Dance Program. (Photo courtesy of MASDP)

EDDINGTON Students are moving and grooving in Eddington thanks to the Meadowbrook After School Dance program (or MASDP).

The non-profit formed back in 2008 as a way to build confidence, self-esteem and teamwork while promoting healthy, physical activity through reduced-cost dance lessons to children kindergarten through 12th grade.

The studio currently has 19 students enrolled in the program; owners Chuck and Sue McKay say there's room for more.

'Chuck and I have always looked at dance as a great way to have fun while exercising. And these days, with so many kids tuned in to the internet, video games and TV, we thought it might be a way to get more kids moving - especially kids who might not be interested in or make the team in sports normally offered in school or in afterschool programs,' explained Sue McKay.

The program is split into two levels. Students in level one meet on Mondays and Wednesdays while students enrolled in level two meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. With permission from the local schools, the school bus drops students off at the After School Program where they are taught timing, rhythm and the history of several ballroom dances including swing and lindy hop.

'We regularly get feedback from the local school teachers and the elementary school principal about what a difference the program makes for the kids who attend,' said McKay. 'In the program, we focus a lot of attention not just on the physical aspect of dance, but also on the social and teamwork aspect of dance. The overall result is kids who are more confident in themselves and in their abilities and kids who are more respectful of other kids and of adults.'

The Meadowbrook After School Dance Program costs $20 a week. The non-profit does have tuition assistance available, in the form of reduced tuition rates or sibling discounts, for those who qualify through the Meadowbrook After School Dance Program Tuition Assistance Fund.

The non-profit has a murder mystery dinner fundraiser planned on Saturday, October 29 at the Meadowbrook Reception Center in Eddington to benefit the MASDP. Tickets are $25 per person or $40 per couple until October 15 which includes an all you can eat buffet and a show. After October 15, the price increases to $30 per person.

For more information on the Meadowbrook After School Dance Program or for murder mystery tickets, visit their website at www.backdoordance.com or call 356-1454.

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