Dance program promotes reading

By Nicholas Elmes -

Students at Miss Joyce’s Dance Studio are learning more than just dance steps thanks to a program that owner Joyce Triche has been hosting since 2006.

The program, called “A Dancer Reads,” encourages students at the studio to compete to see who can read the most pages form reading material dealing with dance over the course of a month. This year students read a total of 15,492 pages.

“I saw something in a dance magazine about some studio encouraging students to read dance related books, but it was not a contest or anything,” said Triche. “I thought it was a good idea and that it would be a good way to start off the year because then the students will know more about what they are doing. It has really taken off.”

The winners, crowned as princesses and a queen, get year specific t-shirts and small toys to commemorate their success.

“There is not a specific number of pages they have to read to win, but i break it off where there is a clear gap in the totals,” said Triche. “This year the break point was around 600 pages.”

She said the King Public Library has helped partner with her studio to make the program a success over the years.

“They give a list of all of the dance related books in the library, and set up a special display with all of them for the students,” said Triche. “I want my students to be intelligent dancers and to understand that it is not just the movement but the background and terminology that is important. I also have my students doing worksheets every week.”

This year’s Queen, Melody Rose Proctor, read a total of 4,430 pages from Sept. 14 through Oct. 17.

“It was fun, but quite a challenge,” she said. “I think that is the most I have ever read.”

The 8-year-old, a fourth grader through a homeschooling program at the Hummingbird Nest, is not stranger to reading having started reading when she was just 18 months old.

“I decided to read all of the small books, because it would take less time,” she said. “I figured I would get more pages that way.”

Other students took different approaches this year, with one choosing to read some complex dance text books.

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.

By Nicholas Elmes

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