Youth

Esquina Youth

 

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The Program 

The Youth Dance Program at Esquina Tango uses Latin Social Dance-and its influences, such as Cumbia, Tango, Samba among other dances, as the foundation of its program. Participants will learn specific dances, rhythms, footwork, carriage, and frames of selected social dances. Students learn how to create and innovate within the structures of the selected social dance forms. A multi-cultural approach to the curriculum emphasizes community and individual expression while studying various dances. The curriculum is developed by a team of dance educators with extensive experience working with youth in diverse populations. Participants enjoy opportunities to express themselves and develop peer interactions in a positive environment and the classes culminates with a ‘showing’ for parents and invited guests.

The Philosophy 

Esquina Tango’s youth social dance program is designed to inspire young people to dance, nurture artistic skills and abilities, and provide a fun multi-cultural experience that supports youth in their academic goals. We believe that the study of social dances invites young people to engage in the cultural, artistic, and intellectual aspects of diversity, which helps continue important cultural traditions as well as teach tolerance and encourage excellence. Our wish is that children will discover the joy of movement and creativity while experiencing the rich, diverse cultures and histories of the countries from where the dances originate. Our hope is that this will become a life-long, positive influence in their lives. If you would like to contribute to this dream you can through our secure link.

The Benefits

The benefits of teaching social dancing to children and youths are extensive. They include:
· improved social skills and confidence
· enriched health and mental well being
· dancing builds self-esteem
· promotes physical fitness
· teaches respect for self and others
· models appropriate social interaction
· helps develop creative and critical thinking skills
Research has documented that youth that receive training in the arts are more likely to achieve academic success in school*

Program Founders 

Monica Caivano  started working in East Austin in 1999 for the Aztlan Dance Company as both a dancer and a prolific tango instructor. She has worked with youth at such places as the Dougherty Arts Center and the Zachary Scott Theater. At Esquina Tango, she has created a cultural place where dance, arts, and culture bring people together.

Rachel Murray is a professional dancer, educator, and choreographer. She is an impassioned tango dancer who has studied and performed numerous social and theatrical dance forms. Ms. Murray has created and taught dance curricula in K-12 settings in many diverse locales, including Brooklyn, NY, Seattle, Wa. Honolulu, Hawaii and Edinburg, Scotland. She was Artistic Director of  “Believe in Me” and is currently the Director of the dance program at Manor High School.

Jay Whitley is an avid tango dancer and an educator, with over 17 years of experience as a middle and high school teacher. He began his dance journey performing with a Filipino Folkloric Group for 5 years. Jay continues to study tango intensively as well as Salsa and Cuban Rueda. He is the sponsor/instructor of a middle school Salsa Rueda Club.