Matthew Whaley Gets Dance Fever

The Matthew Whaley Dance Club pauses outside the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Julie Jones, music teacher at Matthew Whaley elementary school, recently traveled to Washington, D.C. with a gaggle of wide-eyed young people. For many it was their first trip to our nation’s capitol. These children, many of whom fall under poverty guidelines, have been studying dance after school through a free program developed by Mrs. Jones at MW.

Like many of our grant recipients, Mrs. Jones has cobbled together funding from a variety of sources, including the WCF, in order to make some dreams come true for her students. As a special treat for all of their work during the year, they were given the opportunity to watch a professional dance performance of Debbie Allen’s “Oman.”

The goal of the program is to help students achieve physical fitness and expose them to the arts through dance. Annual or semi-annual opportunities to view the work of professional artists are used to reinforce the training the children receive in the classroom.