WTVM Editorial 2-8-19: Off-Stage Lessons

WTVM Editorial 2-8-19: Off-Stage Lessons

(WTVM) - There’s something wonderful happening in Columbus, thanks to the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts and the performers of Ballet Hispanico.

The beauty of dance is always inspiring. It can make us see the world in new ways we might never imagine otherwise.

But this modern ballet company doesn’t just perform on stage.

Last week, this professional dance troupe, known around the world, spread their love of storytelling beyond the RiverCenter stage, bringing the cultural pride of Latin dancing to local schools…and to the inmates at the county jail. Yes, the Muscogee County Jail.

That’s exactly what happened as part of Ballet Hispanico’s residency program, a unique element of their national tour that they brought to Columbus last week.

RiverCenter Executive Director Norman Easterbrook says the ballet is known for its leadership in sharing the Latino culture through dance.

The residency’s workshop for Hispanic inmates at the city jail was a way to expose that group of people to the arts at the grassroots level.

The professional dancers of Ballet Hispanico held what they called a “movement workshop” for about a dozen Hispanic inmates, so the inmates could learn more about the ways Hispanic dance conveys the Latin culture.

This was probably something lacking in their everyday jail routine, which makes it a very special kind of outreach.

The ballet troupe also created special workshops at a nice cross-section of local schools, teaching students – from kindergarten to a master class at Columbus State University – their unique skills and methods.

This is the third dance residency the RiverCenter has sponsored in Columbus with Ballet Hispanico, which has been the leading Hispanic dance company for nearly 50 years.

The Ballet Hispanico should be celebrated for demonstrating how storytelling and the power of dance can communicate culture and history in an entertaining way. But beyond their performance, the ballet also be admired for being willing to share their special talent off the stage, in new and creative ways. Thanks to Ballet Hispanico, everyone, even if they have two left feet, can learn why dance can be such a powerful artistic expression.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

1909 Wynnton Road

Columbus, GA 31906

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