Teachers using dance to help build students' character - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Teachers using dance to help build students' character

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

At Whitewater Middle School in Charlotte students are learning all things dance.

For one semester, 6 through 8th graders can choose the dance class as an elective.

"We do a little bit of everything, "said dance teacher Natasha Little.

"We do jazz, modern, and hip hop."

But that's not all, the students also learn to maximize their talents and come out of their shells.

"It gives them great self esteem," said Little.

"My parents are proud of me because I'm kind of shy and it influenced me to dance in front of a lot of people," said 12 year old Kimberly Gonzalez.

Seventh grader Samir Brice-Greene said "In the 6th grade I couldn't and really didn't know how to dance and when I started learning more I wanted to take it again and get more experience."

Little pairs boundless energy with an obvious passion for movement and its connection to child development.

"It's fun for them, great exercise for them they enjoy having to come and create and it's a way for them to express themselves."

Little says encouraging children to explore movement helps with all kinds of learning later on.

"It does so much for them like building their self esteem and having that confidence that they need on their day to day."

So it's only natural smiles are plastered on both Kimberly and Samir's faces as they improve their dancing skills and building confidence one step at a time.

"Most of the time people see me as someone little that I can‘t do a lot of things," said Samir.

"I just want to make sure that I can impress those people that doubt me."

The students will have a spring recital where they will have the opportunity to showcase all that they've learned.

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