The Point

The Point

The Point

Merry ChRWAstmas:

Ready Wiling and Able Hosts Annual Dance Recital

Ready Willing and Able is a dance program that accommodates anyone ages 14 and older with special needs and it is an extension of the Palos Verdes Performing Arts Conservatory. 

The program puts on two full productions a year at the Norris Theater, one in early December and one in May. This year’s Christmas recital, the 12 Days of ChRWAstmas, was held on Dec. 6 and it showcased a variety of dances to popular songs. 

The program was established in 2004 by Liz Cantine as an after school dance class for students with special needs to help develop motor skills and interpersonal skills. 

The dance classes are coordinated and taught by mentors from PVPUSD middle schools, Peninsula High School, Palos Verdes High School, college students and PVPSA mentors.

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There are a variety of dance styles taught year round at the Harlynee J. Norris Pavilion ranging from family classes, ballroom dancing and even a ‘Jazzy Tappers’ class. 

A typical class begins with a warm up, followed by learning dances for upcoming productions and interactive games. 

“There’s this thing called spotlights so we can highlight individual talents where they can do duets or do their own thing. The music choices and the attitudes, you see another personality side of the students when they get to do something like that,” Ready Willing and Able Director Julie Hast said. 

“[For example] Elron, he’ll sing the same song and they won’t get tired of it. That’s the other specialty, just to see their faces brighten up.”

Junior Azalea Lurie has been working with Ready Willing and Able for a year after her experience working at the Willenberg Special Education Center. 

“I really enjoy working with people with special needs and I love dancing, [so] it seemed like a perfect opportunity. A lot of the kids I work with remember my name and I see them all the time and I help them with their mobility. I think it’s really helping the kids and the parents,” said Lurie.

 This year’s Christmas Dance Recital was filled with festive cheer and performances to artists such as Justin Bieber.

“Each production I get inspired by the students or the mentors and each time it’s so different. I think the biggest thing is working with the students themselves. The creativity that they come up with, I can’t take credit,” said Hast. 

“It’s just been all the way around an opportunity for everyone to grow, use some creativity, I think that’s our whole goal. To just enjoy dancing together.”

About the Contributor
Chloe Choi, Editor-in-Chief