The beginning dance class in a Norman Parks & Recreations center near Reaves Park is a lesson in life, community and culture.
Pandora Tadefa-Everett was a volunteer teacher at the center when she spotted a trend.
“There were children (who) wanted to come and learn, but their parents couldn’t afford it,” she said. “A lot of them had to make the choice between groceries and whether or not they could actually provide an opportunity for kids.”
So, she started a scholarship program for disadvantaged kids. The students pay $15 a month for facility upkeep, and Tadefa-Everett uses her salary for:
” travel fees and
” the remainder of their tuition.
Established in 1983, the Ballet Flamenco Español Company received nonprofit status in 1992, and in 2007, has three companies with about 25 students.
Alison See, one of the original students, said she never planned on taking dance seriously.
“I got involved originally just as an extracurricular activity, but I fell in love with it and haven’t stopped since,” said See, now 20. “I have learned so much about dedication and working hard to do what I believe is right.”
Tadefa-Everett said what she does makes a huge impact on the community.
“These are our future,” she said, pointing out Sofia Graham, 10. “She looks like a little kid, but tomorrow, she could be the physician (who) saves your life.”
Graham seemed unsure about her future as a physician. But she was sure about dancing.
“I like just dancing, jumping around and moving my skirt,” Graham said. “It never gets old.” “Krista Nightengale